Archaeology & Mayan culture
Playa del Carmen is the ideal starting point for discovering the wonders of the magnificent Mayan civilization. Evidence of this highly evolved society can be found throughout the Yucatan peninsula, there are even ruins in downtown Playa! Be sure to visit at least one of the following spectacular ruins left by the Mayans:
Tulum – 1 hour South of Playa is Tulum, site of a pre-Columbian Maya walled settlement serving as a port for the inland Mayan city of Coba. One of the only remaining Mayan coastal sites, the spectacular temple and other remains are impressively positioned atop steep cliffs overlooking the Caribbean.
Coba – Located around 2 jungle lagoons, Coba is a vast ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, half an hour inland from Tulum. Estimated to have had some 50,000 inhabitants at its peak, Coba features several large temple pyramids, including the tallest in Yucatan (138 feet).
Chichen Itza – If you’re up for a longer day-trip, Chichen Itza is unforgettable. 2 ½ hours’ drive from Playa, Chichen Itza is one of the most significant Mayan archaeological sites and remains in a remarkable state of preservation. Highlights include the magnificent Temple of the Warriors with its countless stone columns and intricate carvings, the impressive Great Ball Court with its 40ft high walls (the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica) and the El Caracol observatory temple.