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12 Archeological Sites Near Cancun and Tulum Reopen After Two Years

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Long-awaited Reopening Marks Another Step Towards Normality in Quintana Roo And Yucatan

As many as twelve archeological sites in Quintana Roo have reopened for the first time in two years, coinciding with the arrival of the Spring equinox. The openings mark yet another positive step towards normality in Quintana Roo.

foggy ruins

Since the beginning of the pandemic, many historical sites have been shut or open on a very limited basis to help safeguard the community. Although Chichen Itza, the focal point of the region’s historical tourism, has been open, many other important sites have not.

The announcement came just in time for the arrival of thousands of visitors to Chichen Itza for the Spring equinox. Before the date approached, it was unclear if the world-famous site would be able to accommodate the sudden arrival of all the interested tourists.


The Spring equinox is traditionally an extremely important time for Chichen Itza. The archaeological site is the home of a truly amazing spectacle that falls each year on the turn of spring. The architecture of the Mayan temple was designed in such a way that the sun setting on the equinox casts a shadow resembling a feathered serpent crawling itself down the steps of the structure.

tikal ruins

Although numbers have not been released yet, as many as 15 thousand visitors were anticipated to visit to see the spectacle. There was talk of the site not opening for March 21st, with management citing health concerns at the prospect of enforcing sanitary protocols on so many people.

Pressure from local businesses saw the decision made to open, and several other important sites have reaped the benefits. The spectacle can actually be seen a week before and a week after the exact date of the equinox, something local hoteliers wanted the site to make clear as it would entice further tourists. 

nohol ruins

For those in Cancun, El Meco has also reopened. Much closer than Chichen Itza, El Meco sits on the outskirts of Cancun, making it an easy stop-off for any tourists needing a short break away from the beach. Archeological sites in Tulum, Muyil, El Rey, Chacchoben, and Dzibanche Kinichna have all reopened too, allowing tourists access to the amazing options the state offers.

chichen itza

Quintana Roo and Yucatan are both packed with major historical sites built by the ancient Mayan civilization that once inhabited the area. Many tourists never leave the Cancun Hotel zone, but those willing to venture out can find some of the best archeological sites on the planet.

The openings are a positive change for the state, marking another set towards normality after the problems that COVID threw at the travel industry.

mayan ruins

With the state now in the green zone and set to remain there, for the time being, tourists arriving in the region can expect a comparatively normal experience. Mandatory mask usage in public has been dropped this week and restaurants and bars now have extended operating hours, closer resembling the experience that could be found back in 2019.

Easter is approaching, with an estimated 3 million tourists anticipated to be moving through the are over the next few weeks, and as many as 200 thousand a day in Cancun alone in Easter week. With most of the historical sites now open, they will all be offered a different option on their vacation.

tulum ruins

The arrival of the Maya Train next year will change the entire experience for many visitors, opening up the state in an even grander way. These sites will be extremely accessible to everyone from Tulum to Cancun, instead of visitors having to organize their own travel or being forced to book a tour group.

Travelers arriving in Cancun in the near future should continue to check on the restrictions in both their home country and in Mexico. 

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