Many people who visit Cancun spend a day or two exploring Mayan ruins, and there are numerous important archeological sites in the region worth seeing.
But some, not all, are extra special because you can climb them, though you definitely do not want to climb the ones you can’t.
As we’ve seen in the news recently, some people have tried and dealt with the consequences.
So here are which Mayan ruins near Cancun visitors can still climb without getting in trouble.
**Update 5/6/2023 – The Cancun Sun has been informed by recent travelers that Coba and El Meco are in fact not allowing tourists to climb ruins. Travelers are advised to confirm with tour companies whether or not they will be able to climb ruins before embarking on their journey**
El Rey – 0 Minutes From Cancun
The El Rey ruins are a great option because they are located right in the Cancun Hotel Zone.
The archeological site consists of a total of 47 structures varying in size, many of which visitors can climb.
The El Rey archeological site is not huge, but there’s still plenty to explore, and entry is less than $3 per person.
@nelly.urena1 Ruinas El Rey 🤴 #cancun #cancunmexico #cancunphotoshoot #cancun2022 ♬ Hay Que Bueno – KD One & PV Aparataje
El Meco – 30 Minutes From Cancun Hotel Zone
El Meco is another small archeological site located right in Cancun, though a little further away from the Hotel Zone.
One structure on the site, El Castillo, though much smaller, is very similar in design to the one at the well-known Chichén Itzá archeological site.
A visit to the site only costs $3.50 per person, and there are structures that can be climbed, including El Castillo, which stands 41 feet high.
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Coba – 2 hours 20 Minutes From Cancun
The Coba ruins take up a massive piece of land, which is evidence of just how big the city was when it was occupied as early as 100 AD.
The site is so big, in fact, that many visitors rent bikes to get around, and the main pyramid, Ixmoja, which you can climb, is over 130 feet tall.
Entry to the ruins is around $5 per person, and bikes can be rented for about half of that if you want to explore the rest of the archeological site.
@greekbackpacker Coba ruins is an ancient Maya city on the Yucatán Peninsula, located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The site is the nexus of the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Maya world, and it contains many engraved and sculpted stelae that document ceremonial life and important events of the Late Classic Period of Mesoamerican civilization #creatememories #travelingtheworld #wanderlust #solotraveler #explore #mexico🇲🇽 #mayanempire #mayanruins #visitmexico #cobaruins ♬ Epic Music(863502) – Draganov89
Ek Balam – 2.5 Hours From Cancun
The ancient Mayan city of Ek Balam is very large, covering nearly five square miles, but is only partially excavated.
The one square mile that can be accessed is worth the visit, though, as Ek Balam is known for its more stylized facades that are made of limestone mortar and stucco, which were then painted.
The site is also surrounded by the Yucatán jungle, and climbing the main pyramid will afford you some pretty spectacular views.
These ruins are a little bit more expensive to visit, costing about $22 per person, but being able to climb them and see the view is priceless.
@badrthanurfavbadbitch It was amazing here!!!! Shout out to our guide Daniel, definitely worth getting a guide to really understand the archeological site. #fyp #conlabrisa #yucatan #maya #ekbalam #ekbalamruins #temozonyucatan #temozon #archeologytour ♬ Con La Brisa – Foudeqush & Ludwig Göransson
Izamal – 3 Hours 40 Minutes From Cancun
Although a bit of a ride from Cancun, a day trip to the Izamal ruins is definitely doable, and the 360-degree view from the Kinich-Kakmo pyramid is breathtaking.
You can see the city and the jungle from the top, but it isn’t all that easy to climb it, and even harder to get back down, according to many visitors.
The Izamal ruins are located in the middle of the city and will cost you nothing to explore.
@paradaadrian #viaje #yucatan #merida #mexico #izamal #maya #good #travel ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic
Uxmal – 5 Hours From Cancun
Uxmal is the furthest archeological site with climbable ruins from Cancun, but its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is proof of how important these ruins are.
Miles of jungle can be seen from the top of the main pyramid, which in terms of the conditions of the steps is one of the easier ones to climb.
Many visitors that have seen multiple Mayan ruins say that this is one of their favorites.
Entry to see the ruins and climb the massive pyramid is about $22 per person.
@fatt_natt Visiting the ruins went like 🤪 #uxmalyucatan #uxmalruins #tulummexico #travellife #traveltiktok #fyp #tulummexico #pyramid #travelbucketlist ♬ Moon (And It Went Like) – Kid Francescoli & Julia Minkin
Mayan Ruins On The Yucatan Peninsula
Mayan history is an important part of the Yucatán Peninsula’s story.
Exploring the ruins is a great way to get to know the region better, and the sites with climbable ruins offer views you won’t find anywhere else in the Yucatan.
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Saturday 6th of May 2023
Bad info. We just went to Coba, partly because we were told we could climb it. You most definitely cannot. And it does not appear to be that new of a rule change.
Saturday 6th of May 2023
You cannot climb the pyramids of El Meco and Cobá!
Friday 5th of May 2023
Lol climbing many (or all?) of these ruins is explicitly NOT allowed. Was just in Cancun last week; the ruins there are certainly off limits from climbing.