Muyil, Chunyaxché Ruins - Tulum

Maya Ruins South of Tulum Connected to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere

We love this ruin site! Muyil is the modern name used to refer to this archaeological site, but it is also know as Chunyaxché. This site is located within the northwest boundaries of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve off Hwy 307. Muyil Ruins is small, lush, has few visitors, and feels magical. This is an easy site to navigate, fun site to walk through, and the lagoon adds a new dimension to this Mayan history lesson.

Muyil is the most notable of the 22 pre-Hispanic settlements of the Sian Ka’an and is situated 12 kilometers inland from the Caribbean shoreline and approximately 25 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of Tulum Pueblo on Highway 307.

This is an additional coastal Maya ruin site, Tulum and Xel-Ha being the other Mayan settlements located on the Riviera Maya coast. There are two archeological sites in Muyil, but only one is open to the public. If you have research Muyil at length before you visit, archeologists refer to the public site as Muyil A and the private site as Muyil B.

Fast Facts About Muyil Ruins

  • The settlement extends across 38 hectares of jungle.
  • Muyil was one of the earliest settlements on the Caribbean Coast.
  • Only some of buildings have been excavated.
  • The Castillo (pyramid) is 57 feet high, the highest pyramid on the Riviera Maya Coast.
  • The boardwalk to Muyil Lagoon is located at the end of Sac Be 1
  • The Lagoon lookout is open to the public and shows spectacular views of Laguna Muyil and the jungle.
  • Ceiba trees are located throughout the site. Alux (spirits) are thought to watch the trails, protecting those in the area. Known as the “tree of life,” Ceiba trees were believed to be the connection to the underworld for the Maya.

A Little History About Muyil

Muyil was a densely populated settlement during the pre-Hispanic era. Buildings were mainly of a civic-religious and residential nature and showcase the Peten architectural style. The site’s proximity to Muyil Lagoon made it an important maritime trade route, with relations to Coba well documented. Visitors can travel through the lagoons of Muyil and Chunyaxche including the ancient canal system dredged by the Maya that access the Caribbean Sea through Laguna Campechen and Boca Paila.

Muyil seems to have been settled around 300 B.C., centuries before Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Tulum. It remained as a settlement up until the time of the Spanish invasion in the 16th Century where people either fled from the Spanish out of fear or were killed from diseases spread by the Spanish.

What We Love About Muyil Ruins

Our two favorite areas in the Muyil Ruins are Building 8 located deep in the jungle to the north and the boardwalk that takes you into the Sian Kaan. It takes about 60 minutes to walk through the site, but we stopped and paused at both Building 8 and along the boardwalk to take in the full effect of this archaeological site. Muyil needs to be experienced, not read about, to truly appreciate this site.

Update 2015 – We still love, love, love these ruins! One change during your visit is the new entrance fee required to enter the Sian Ka’an portion of the site. This area is where you access the viewing tower and the lagoon. Cost is 50 pesos and you will receive a ticket once you pay. You pay either at the small palapa located at the entrance to the board walk, or you may be asked by the caretaker as you walk along the boardwalk. The caretaker frequently walks around either sweeping the board walk or attending to plants.

Stay Close By

  • Tropical Evergreens Casita

    Soliman Bay – Tulum| 3 Beds | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    This cheap vacation rental bi-level guest house is an ideal alternative for a couple or a family of 4. Each level has a separate entrance and comes with a kitchenette, a living area, a private bathroom, AC, Wi-Fi and an outdoor BBQ. Explore Soliman Bay beach which is just a short walk away.

  • Del Sol Beachfront Hotel

    North Akumal| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]

    Rediscover the essence of low-key beachfront living, with postcard-perfect views of Half Moon Bay and comfortable rooms, featuring AC, a beachfront balcony, a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and a small fridge. The famous Buena Vida ‘swing’ bar and a dive shop are next door.

  • Del Sol Beachfront Condos

    North Akumal| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]

    On Half Moon Bay beach in North Akumal. Vista Del Mar offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos. Each with full kitchen, living room and dining area, decorated in a Caribbean style. A swimming pool, restaurant and dive shop are on premises. Great views.

  • Tulum Beach House for Vacation Rentals Casa de las Palmas Tulum Mexico

    Casa de las Palmas

    Tulum Beach| 5 Beds | 3 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    One of few beach houses on amazing Tulum beach. This 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom alternate energy house is close to restaurants & beach bars. Each bedroom has a balcony. Multiple living spaces, kitchen. Sleeps 8 adults, 3 small kids

  • Ana y Jose Hotel and Spa

    Tulum Beach| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    Come to Tulum for the sun, surf and sand. Stay at the family-owned beachfront hotel with its 14 air-conditioned rooms, an elegant swimming pool and a lovely beach restaurant & bar. Embrace an 'unplugged' vacation with no TV, emails or work calls. You deserve it!

     
  • Villa Ka Kuxta

    South Akumal| 5 Bed | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]

    This 5,000 sq. ft. deluxe Spanish colonial style beach front villa with guest house has central AC, swimming pool, 4 bedrooms [main house], 2 full kitchens, 2 living rooms, TV/DVD, stereo, rooftop deck w/ wet bar, optional guesthouse with 1 bedroom. Sleeps 10 adults, 2 kids.

  • Casa del Sol

    North Akumal – Yal ku Lagoon| 9 Bed | 6 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    Right on lovely Yalku Lagoon with 5 air conditioned bedrooms, pool, large furnished patio and 2nd floor living room w/ balcony, 2 kitchens. Perfect for large families and groups. Pavilion on the lagoon. Grill. Sleeps 14.

  • Casa Luna

    North Akumal | 5 Bed | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    This oceanfront vacation house rental has a pool and 3 bedrooms w/ AC in the main house and guest house w/ AC. Enjoy Caribbean and Half Moon Bay views from several outdoor patios and terraces, equipped kitchen, living room. Sleeps 10

     
     
  • Maria del Mar Boutique Hotel Tulum Beach

    Maria del Mar Boutique Hotel

    Tulum Beach| 1 Bed | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    This beautifully designed hotel takes the best of Tulum's picturesque coast and local restaurant scene and puts it into one exquisitely designed vacation.

  • Casa Cascadas

    North Akumal| 6 Beds | 4 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]

    This deluxe oceanfront villa has 4 air conditioned bedrooms, a swimming pool, full kitchen, living room, several decks and patios, gas grill, rooftop observation deck for stargazing/ sun tanning, great view. Sleeps 10.

  • Beach front house Casa Cavu in Tulum on Tankah Bay

    Casa Cavu

    Tankah Bay – Tulum| 4 Beds | 3 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    This is a big sunny beach house with 3 air conditioned bedrooms and a beach side swimming pool. Enjoy 2 double kayaks, great sunbathing by the pool or on the beach, grill, big kitchen, awesome ocean views, large living room, open dining room.

  • casa del corazon bungalows tulum soliman bay rentals

    Casa del Corazon Bungalow #2

    Soliman Bay – Tulum| 1 Bed | 1 Bath [woocommerce_reviews_avgstars]
    This eco-comfy, 2-level bungalow is located a minute’s walk from the fine Soliman bay beach, near Tulum. With 2 bedrooms (including a Bali-style master suite), 2 baths and a well-equipped kitchen it is an ideal getaway for couples and families of 4.

My Faves
Find A Place You Love