Cancun is undoubtedly one of the most popular destinations in Mexico and the wider Caribbean.
What’s more is that incredible ancient Mayan ruins are littered all around it, with a well-known archeological site reopening to tourists this year near the main hotel zone and a hop-skip-and-a-jump away from Isla Mujeres.
The island is small in scale and quickly becomes a firm tourist favorite with its crystal blue waters, golden sandy beaches, and endless water sports activities.
Now, a perfect activity has become available before jumping on the ferry to the nearby island, offering the key to a lesser-known gem that will capture your imagination for sure.
The El Meco Archeological Zone
After closing its doors to the public in August 2023, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has been working tirelessly to rehabilitate the El Meco site before reopening in the summer of 2024.
With new and improved trails and routes, as well as more information for tourists at each section, El Meco is expecting to see a much busier season of visitors keen to see the historic zone.
What began as a fishing village around the year AD 300 quickly grew and was repopulated by the ancient Mayans, who transformed it into a thriving trade center due to its closeness to the Caribbean Sea, playing a pivotal part in the civilizations’ history.
@thebeardedvagabond This is a short from my full video at El Meco Archaeological Mayan site in Cancun. In this clip I just discuss some of the history of this ancient city while exploring the ruins all to myself. Watch the full video on my channel The Bearded Vagabond. #elmeco #mayan #mayanruins #cancun #mexico #ancientruins #archeology #history #archaeology #travel #méxico #cancún #travelvlogger #traveler #travelling #travelguide #travelholic #traveladdict #travelbucketlist #traveltiktok #foryoupage #fyp #beautiful #follow #tiktok ♬ original sound – TheBeardedVagabond
The site is complete with 14 structures, with the stand out being a 41-foot-high pyramid with stunning views of the nearby lagoon and jungle mangroves beyond it.
The huge feat of architecture and engineering resembles many other pyramids throughout the region from the same period and is just as impressive.
El Meco is located approximately 4 miles north of Cancun, along the coastal road, and can be reached by private hire, bus, or taxi. Many hotels in Cancun offer tour deals and packages to the various archeological sites nearby.
Why People Love El Meco
Cancun can be an especially busy place during peak seasons like winter and summer, and sometimes, the hotel zone doesn’t give off the calm, secluded vibe that lots of people enjoy from a vacation.
What is perfect about El Meco is that it is an off-the-beaten track and feels a world away from the hotel zone while still being relatively close to it.
Though the site is smaller than Chichen Itza, it still gives off a grandeur that will blow you away.
With greenery surrounding the site, the place is perfect for exploring and walking around, offering something slightly different from the many beach locations that the area offers and the ‘untouched’ vibe that we all love.
Where Next After El Meco?
Once you are done with being Indiana Jones for the day, you can jump on a 15-minute ferry to the breathtaking island of Isla Mujeres, a tranquil haven for beach lovers and sun-worshippers.
Though the island is known for its beautiful white sand beaches and calm, crystal-clear turquoise waters, it also offers so much more.
With the friendliest locals in the Mexican Caribbean, who are genuinely happy for tourists to be there, the island has a community feel that is charming and welcoming to no end.
If you love the water, this place will become a favorite, with endless water sports options and even an underwater museum known as the MUSA.
This innovative project was built to combat the effects of climate change on oceans and reef systems and hosts huge, man-made sculptures on the sea floor to be marveled at by tourists while also creating new coral growth and marine life along the way.
There is also the Tortuga Granja, a sea turtle sanctuary home to various sea life from tropical fish to manta rays!
The Mexican Caribbean has such a diverse range of options for its tourists; one moment, you are exploring ancient Mayan ruins, and the next, you are on a peaceful beach paradise, swimming in the clearest blue waters you will ever experience.
What are you waiting for?…
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