Dzibanche & Kohunlich Mayan ruins in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico
If you like Mayan ruins, southern Quintana Roo has some of the best. Roughly 4 hours south of Tulum, down at the base of the Yucatan peninsula, are some fantastic archaeological sites.
The ruins of Kohunlich and Dzibanche are a couple real gems. Completely surrounded by the lush foliage of the tropical jungle these time worn ruins have a mystical quality that is enhanced by a lack of tourists, who seldom venture this far south. For that reason they are frequented by all manner of tropical wildlife and exotic birds. On any given day, it's not unusual to find yourself alone to wander the maze of paths that lead to the different plazas.
Small pyramid Dzibanche
These fifth century stucco masks below represent the rulers of Kohunlich.
From the top of a temple at Dzibanche
Also in the state of QR are the ruins of Chakanbakan and Oxtankah located on the shores of Chetumal Bay; and Chacchoben located off highway 307 north of Bacalar near Limones village on the road from Chetumal to Majahual.
To reach Dzibanche take highway 307 (Cancun/ Tulum highway) approximately 3.5 hours south of Tulum to where 307 ends at the Chetumal/ Escarcega highway (past the town of Bacalar). Turn right. At kilometer 58 (sign for Dzibanche/ Morocoy) turn right again and drive 22 kilometers to the ruin site.
To reach Kohunlich continue past the turn for Dzibanche on the Chetumal/ Escarcega highway, and travel just 2 kilometers farther on, then turn left (at the sign for Kohunlich) and travel approximately 9.5 kilometers to the Kohunlich ruins.
In the neighboring state of Campeche
In the neighboring state of Campeche there are quite a few more archaeological sites including; Xpuhil, Chicanna, Becan, Rio Bec, Hormiguero and Calakmul. Most of these are turns off the Chetumal/ Escarcega highway, farther west across the Quintana Roo / Campeche State border. Some are located off road and are very difficult to get to. The best way to visit the area is to spend the night down in the Bacalar / Chetumal area.