Menu

Chac Mool Ruins – Sian Ka’an

History of Chac Mool Settlement

The Maya archaeological sites of Chac Mool located within the Punta Pájaros Reserve south of Punta Allen inside the Sian Ka’an Biosphere was a trading post from the Early to Late Post Classic Period (900 A.D. – 1550 A.D.). The name Chac Mool came from Thomas Gann who discovered the site in 1919 and found the protected Chac Mool sculpture in Building F. The settlement had three important responsibilities. It was a ritual site, a civil site, and had an important role in the security of the land. Chac Mool was a commercial port, market and housed laborers who built canoes. As a Caribbean port, it linked to three important trade routes, Central America, Yucatan, and the Usumacinta River. The settlement is thought to be have been abandoned around 1550, but occupied again during the Caste War as a haven from the fighting. From 1940 to 1950, the site was used as a copra (coconut) camp. Today, the area has been excavated and documented by local archeologists. Permission to enter the ruins is required from the land owners at Casa Blanca Fishing Lodge. Our tour was arranged by our friends at Sol Caribe, a hotel in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve was established in 1986 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. The 1.3 million acres of protected land plays an indispensable role in the lives of countless terrestrial, aquatic and airborne species. It’s an area of spectacular, desolate beauty that includes diverse habitats of sea, shallow bays, brackish mangrove estuaries, savannas and low jungle. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve contains 22 registered archaeological sites, one being the Chac Mool Ruins.

The Adventure to Chac Mool Ruins

chac-mool-ruins in the Sian Kaan Biosphere Mexico

This trip wouldn’t have come together without the help of our good friend and business associate, Michael. Michael was the owner of Sol Caribe hotel/resort located in Sian Ka’an just 8 kilometers north of Punta Allen. He arranged our transportation to the Chac Mool ruins, a small boat and captain Manuel Garza who would navigate the waters to Chac Mool.

Fast Facts about the Chac Mool Ruins

• Chac Mool is a small archaeological site in a remote location.
• The settlement had connections to Chichen Itza and Tulum.
• Important trade route that linked Chichen Itza, Central America, Usumacinta River and Yucatan
• 17 grave sites have been found during excavations that lead to important facts about the settlements.
• Architecture is similar to Tulum, Xel Ha, San Gervasio and Chichen Itza. There is some evidence of Puuc architecture.
• Buildings B and C were ceremonial buildings.
• Building F houses the Chac Mool sculpture.
• Building A is the main palace with a ceremonial plaza in front.
• Total size and population of the settlement is unknown.
• Tupac ruins are a short paddle through the mangrove from the Chac Mool ruins.

Why we love the Chac Mool Ruins

Having the freedom to explore the site was a privilege. We hope to return soon to do some fly-fishing, and also to see the Mayan ruins at Tupac which is a short paddle through the mangrove from the Chac Mool ruins. This remote location in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere makes for a great two day adventure and lets you discover different parts of the coast and Caribbean.

Getting to the Chac Mool Ruins

The Sian Ka’an Biosphere is located to the south of Tulum and can be accessed by car from the Tulum Beach Road. The one road into the Sian Ka’an is an unpaved road so be prepared to drive slowly. Our suggestion is to stay at Sol Caribe Hotel just north of Punta Allen and arrange your boat transportation to the Chac Mool ruins through the hotel. Let the owner know that you intend to visit the ruins so he can arrange the tour in advance. From Playa del Carmen, the drive is about 4 hours to Sol Caribe. From Tulum, the drive is about 2 hours. This is a unique tour and an exciting adventure so get ready for an experience you will not forget.

chac mool ruins map

LocoGringo suggests these great vacation spots:

Casa Aquamarine
casa-aquamarine-yang-soliman-bay-condos-9026
Three beach front condos with shared pool and each is fully air conditioned. These are fully equipped vacation rentals on a lovely part of Soliman Bay beach. Rent one, two or all three units, subject...
Take Me
Zen del Mar
Zen del Mar Akumal villa rental, Jade bay
20% Off and Complimentary Arrival Meal! This villa offers a long list of luxuries. The owners have thought of every detail in creating this amazing custom-built luxury vacation home!, with 5...
Take Me
Cabanas Tulum
Cabanas Tulum Hotel, Tulum beach vacation rental rooms, Riviera Maya, Mexico
3 Specials Available, Choose Your Savings Today! Cabañas Tulum first established in 1972 is located on a large stretch of beautiful beach, surrounded by coconut palms and the turquoise sea. It's...
Take Me
Villa Lol Beh
Lol Beh, Soliman bay villa vacation rental, Riviera Maya
Bask in luxury and style in this spectacular beach front villa ideal for larger groups or families who seek casual sophistication and luxury on relaxing shores Soliman bay. Be pampered in your own 12...
Take Me
Casa de los Suenos
Casa de los Suenos, Akumal rental home, Yal ku lagoon
Located on the ocean inlet to Yalku Lagoon this lovely villa has a great view, with 3 air conditioned bedrooms, an ocean side swimming pool, living room, dining area, kitchen, pool patio w/ grill and...
Take Me
Maria del Mar
Maria del Mar, Tulum hotel, vacation rentals
This beautifully designed hotel takes the best of Tulum's picturesque coast and local restaurant scene and puts it into one exquisitely designed...
Take Me
Yal Ku Cai Casita
Yal Ku Cai casita, North Akumal vacation rental, Riviera Maya
Homey, private and affordable Yal Ku Cai Casita features airy living and dining areas, a full bathroom with shower, a separate bedroom, furnished with a king-size bed, and a private porch – an...
Take Me
Villa Paloma
Villa Paloma, Tankah bay vacation rental, Riviera Maya
It’s the picture postcard view that you will see when looking at  Tankah Bay through the two-story high windows of Casa Paloma. This splendid four-bedroom beach front villa is a rare jewel that...
Take Me
See All Properties

Explore Your Next Trip...

I Want...

Departing from

Going to

Start Date

Return Date

Who's Going...

Give Me the Details