Not only did Cancun break all records this year with the number of tourists traveling to the stunning location for their picture-perfect beach vacations, but attendance for the archeological zones and museums also saw a huge spike in popularity.
Only last month’s figures showed 333,217 visits to these incredible areas, confirming that tourists are looking beyond the typical beach vacation when coming to the area and searching to see what else is on offer.
Cancun and the surrounding areas are home to some incredible archeological sites dating back to ancient Maya times some 2000 years ago and have been attracting adventurous travelers from all over, with international tourists making up about three-quarters of all who visit them.
Now that schools have returned, signifying the end of the summer vacation period, those numbers have started to decrease, according to a report from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), meaning that fall could be the perfect time to see them.
Local authorities have been responding to the astounding boom in the tourism sector within the Mexican Caribbean by expanding and renovating sites so that all visitors can marvel at the many wonders it offers.
Providers of tourist services and guides have confirmed that the months of September and October usually see a decrease in numbers due to it being considered low season, before the end of November and in December, when high season begins, and many travelers plan to return to popular areas such as Cancun.
So, what archeological sites should you visit this fall?
This incredible area is located in Cancun’s Hotel Zone and contains 47 Maya stone structures.
The area was named when a mask and skull were found on-site, believed to honour the Maya sun god, and these ruins are the remains of both ceremonial buildings and market areas.
This is the perfect site to visit if you aren’t looking to travel further away from your accommodation in Cancun to well-known areas like Chichén Itzá or Tulum, as it is right on your doorstep and offers some incredible views of Nichupte Lagoon and the Hotel Zone from some of the Maya structures.
This lesser-known archeological site is located by Kukulcan Boulevard near downtown Cancun and is the home to a prehispanic settlement.
The site was originally opened to the public in 2012, and yet many tourists and even locals are unaware of its existence.
The area dates back to the late post-classical period, with some of its structures estimated to have been built between the 11th and 13th centuries.
The actual site of San Miguelito is located within a museum in Cancun’s hotel zone known as the Museo Maya De Cancun and is well worth a visit, with admission included in the ticket price to enter the location.
This small Mayan Archeological site is another well-preserved location that is perfect for viewing before heading to the beaches of Cancun or catching a ride on the Isla Mujeres ferry.
It is located to the north of Cancun and has the highest structure in the northern peninsula, giving visitors an incredible view of the Caribbean Sea, all of Cancun’s lagoons, and even Isla Mujeres itself.
Experts believe that the small city was first inhabited in 200 AD, acting as an important civil and ceremonial center, and has many resemblances to that of Chichén Itzá and Itzamna, such as the two well-preserved serpent heads that are emblematic of the period.
If you are using public transportation to get to the area, it is as easy as hopping in a taxi or using one of the many combis (public vans) that travel to the location.
With adventure tourism booming in the area, promoters are keen to encourage the visiting of archeological sites as it benefits the local economy of cities and those who inhabit them, as well as offering a more all-rounded tourist experience by showing everyone beyond the famous beaches and crystal clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean.
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