Visit the Archaeological Parks of Mexico

May 11, 2015
Michael Ryan

If you want to take a step back in time, Mexico is the place to visit.  Mexico has a rich cultural history and if this is what you are interested in, there are several archaeological parks to visit within the country.

Chinkultic

Chinkultic Pyramid

Chinkultic Pyramid

Chinkultic is located on the western side of the Lakes of Montebello National Park.  It offers visitors a range of buildings and temples to explore, with stunning views across the jungle and the general landscape.  This site can be reached quite easily from Comitan and is an interesting stopover if you are visiting the Lakes of Montebello.

This ancient Mayan site dates as far back as 600AD.  The site has not been excavated as extensively as some of the others in the country, such as Chichen Itza and Palenque.  It is still worth a visit as the views, atmosphere and history is of great value.

A tour of the site should take one to two hours.  Upon entering the site, there are several areas which have been partially excavated and are still covered with vegetation, such as the Sunken Plaza.  Once you cross over the stream at the stone bridge, the gradient becomes steeper.  It is a brisk walk which leads you to the site’s main temple, the Acropolis.

When you reach the top of the hill, you have the opportunity to explore some of the remains of the Acropolis.  It is a serene, calm setting and the views of the jungles and surrounding area are stunning.  If you look toward the left below the Acropolis, you will see the only known cenote in the state of Chiapas.  Cenotes were very important as water sources and are often found close to the archaeological sites.

Chinkultic’s climate is humid and hot, so make sure to use sunscreen, insect repellant and carry plenty of bottled water.  It is advisable to wear suitable walking shoes as some of the areas to traverse are quite steep.  Wear light clothing to avoid overheating.

The site is open every day of the week, including weekends, from 8am to 5pm.  There is an admission fee payable.  Mexico City is the closest city to the site.

Coba

Coba is an extremely interesting archaeological site to visit as it feels unexplored.  It is one of the largest cities dating back to the Mayan era, but most of it has not been excavated.  This makes it mysterious and interesting.

It is believed that during ancient times, Coba was a vital trade center between the Caribbean and Chichen Itza.  There are a number of ancient roads within the area, one which runs for around 45 miles, connecting Coba to Yaxuna.  This network of roads is built around Coba, which implies its importance at the time.    There are towering structures and pyramids in the dense jungle and these can be seen poking through the brush and undergrowth.

Coba’s architecture remains a mystery as it is different to that of Chichen Itza, but similar to that of a settlement a few hundred miles away.

A visit to Coba will take between three to four hours if you want to experience all it has to offer.  The site consists of a maze of walkways and roads.  Some of these go through the main site sections, whilst others veer into the jungle.  You should concentrate on where you go as you could easily get lost in the maze of roads.

As you enter the site, you will be able to see Grupo Coba, a large pyramid.   A climb to the top of this pyramid will provide you with excellent views.  The Great Pyramid of Coba, Nohoc Mul, measures more than 40 meters in height, which makes it the tallest Mayan pyramid within the southeastern peninsula of Mexico.  There are other sights to see at Coba, such as the 9-chamber Castillo and ancient ball courts.

The site is open Monday to Sunday, from 8am to 5pm and you will be charged a fee to enter.

It is recommended that you visit the site before noon or wait until after 3pm as it can become hot and humid.  Wear suitable walking shoes and wear light clothing.  Always make sure that you have sufficient drinking water.

If you are looking for something interesting, exciting and unexplored, Coba is the site to visit.

Teotihuacan

Pyramid of the Sun , Mexico

Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico

Teotihuacan is located around 30 miles from Mexico City.  Like many of the Mexican archaeological sites, Teotihuacan also has secrets that have yet to be deciphered.  It is uncertain how the area originated, but it is believed that some of the residents in the area were refugees from the Xitle volcanic eruption.  The eruptions caused havoc in the area and forced many inhabitants to find new areas in which to settle.

According to archaeologists, this is an important global site.  It was once the largest city in the Americas and when it reached its peak around 500AD, it hosted a population larger than Rome at the time.  It has however remained a mystery as to where all these people eventually moved to.  It appears that they simply vanished.

Human sacrifices were a regular event at this site, in combination with astronomical events.  During the excavation of the site, many tombs were discovered and it is believed that some of these were of people sacrificed to the gods.

This is one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico.

The ruins cover around one square mile of the city, although the original city is said to have measured around 10 square miles.  All the attractions at the site are connected by the Avenue of the Dead.  There is a large square, The Citadel, which is located at the southern part of the site.  Here you will find different structures and pyramids.  It has been stated that the Templo de Quetzalcoatl was the main ruler of Teotihuacan’s main residence, as well as the administration center for the city.

The Pyramid of the Sun is one of the largest pyramids in the world.  You can also climb the Pyramid of the Moon, which is at the northern end of the site.  It is smaller than the Pyramid of the Sun, although when you climb to the top, it appears to be of similar size.  The reason for this is that it was placed on higher ground.

There are several courtyards, palaces and plazas to see at the site.  An interesting event to witness is the Papantla Flyers.  They are normally at the site entrance and consist of a group of males in traditional Indian costumes, around a tall pole.  They climb the pole, with one sitting on the top whilst playing a flute, while the others ‘fly’ down the pole.  The ‘flyers’ are supported by a rope which is attached to their ankles.  This event is repeated during the day and tips are requested after the show.

The site is open for visits Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.  There is a modest admission fee payable, with concessions for seniors, children and students.  On Sundays, admission is free for Mexican citizens and foreigners who can prove residency.

Be Sure to Get Your Mexican Auto Insurance

Mexican Insurance

You may want to consider driving to Mexico as this will give you the opportunity to visit more than a single park and enjoy the different cultures, artifacts, pyramids and ancient buildings.  If you are going to drive in Mexico, be it in your personal vehicle or a rental vehicle, you should ensure that you purchase Mexican car insurance.

It is recommended that you purchase Mexican auto insurance prior to leaving on your road trip as buying it at the border will definitely be a more expensive and time consuming exercise.  Prior to purchasing insurance online, you should check that the insurance provider is licensed to sell Mexican auto insurance.  This will offer you security that you will be covered in the event of an accident. You can purchase your Mexican auto insurance from this MexInsuranceStore link.

You will have the option to purchase liability only or comprehensive coverage.  If you are driving a vehicle which is still under finance or has a high value, you should consider buying comprehensive vehicle insurance.  In the event of an accident, you will have peace of mind that all your costs, as well as those of third parties, will be covered with your comprehensive policy.  If you opt for liability only, only the third party costs will be covered.  This puts you at risk of loss as you will have to bear your costs personally.

There are several other archaeological sites within Mexico that you can visit, but make sure that you have adequate Mexican car insurance so that there are no interruptions to your trip.  With your Mexican auto insurance in hand, you can be sure that should you be stopped by traffic authorities or you are involved in a vehicle accident, you will not have to spend any time in a jail cell.

6 Comments. Leave new

There are multiple mammal species listed in Mexico. You can see them if you take a vacation in Mexico. While your purpose in Mexico is about wildlife, still you can’t ignore your Mexican insurance.

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Cheree Rosas
May 17, 2015 8:13 pm

It is not smart to carry big cash amounts while traveling. However, you must have all things you need available for paying or buying items. Always bring your credit cards, in addition to your Mexican insurance.

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Dalia Beckwith
May 18, 2015 6:13 pm

Mexican insurance is required by Mexico law, so don’t drive unless you’re covered. It’s mandatory and compliance is necessary. Think about this before taking you vacation in Mexico.

Reply

Mexico is perfect for outdoor activities. Trekking in the jungle will help you discover hidden ruins. Also, you can snorkel in clear water of the Mayan Riviera overseeing playing monkeys.

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Everyone who is burnt out deserves Mexico. A quick drive to see Mexico takes only Mexican insurance.

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Buying Mexican insurance might take 10 minutes.

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