Here's your chance to step back in time on a private excursion to the Mayan ruins of Chacchoben, in Costa Maya, Mexico, and learn about the ancient Mayan culture.
This private excursion is just for you and your party. You'll meet your private guide just outside your cruise terminal in Mahahual and board your private transportation before setting off to the ruins. The drive is approximately 50 minutes through the jungle to the mysterious ruins of Chacchoben, named after a nearby village. The original name and leaders of this archeological site are unknown, so it has been given the name of the village, which means The Place of the Red Corn. Along your drive, your guide may point out a few native animals like spider monkeys, small mammals, reptiles, and snakes. It's also a bird watcher's paradise as there are many species of birds living here too.
Like many Mayan ruins, these were known only to the locals and have only been discovered and excavated within the past 50 years. On its 70 hectares, you'll find various buildings and complexes. The site has been dated to 200 BC with structures dating from 700 AD, even though some have been rebuilt. While flying a helicopter over the area, the American archeologist Peter Harrison noticed hills on the flat land and concluded that they were temples. He reported his find to the Mexican authorities in 1972, though excavations by the National Institute of Anthropology and History didn't begin until 1994, and the opening wasn't until 2002.
Chacchoben was a prosperous city due to the cultivation of corn. Today you can walk around the 3 excavated pyramids and many restored walls and staircases. At the base of the largest pyramid is a stela (large stone slab) with Mayan hieroglyphics that have unfortunately been so eroded they are unreadable but the stela still stands. The structures appear to have been used for civic and religious functions, due to a large number of incense burners recovered in the top of the large basement. The temples were used to study the stars and astronomy and as a place of worship. The top of the temples has a structure that tracks the sun throughout the day. You can see the excavated portion of the ruins from a circular path.
So far only 5 buildings have been excavated with many more waiting their turn. At present date, you can still climb a short way up the pyramids. Some of the red paint that used to cover the structures is still visible and now being protected from the sun to further preserve it. The ruins are set in the jungle which is home to animals like deer, armadillos, raccoons, spiders and howler monkeys, and many others.
Come and explore the beauty and mystery of one of the world's greatest prehispanic civilizations in this Private Shore Excursion. At the end of your amazing day, your transportation will return you to your Costa Maya cruise terminal.
This private excursion to the Mayan ruins of Chacchoben will take you and your group back to ancient times and amaze you with the Mayans' technology, history, and tales.