Do You Want To See Something Truly Awesome? The Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Do You Want To See Something Truly Awesome? The Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

The Chacchoben Maya Ruins Tour is perfect for first-time explorers as well as experienced Maya ruins enthusiasts. Chacchoben is surrounded by exuberant vegetation, exotic palm trees, and many opportunities to see local fauna such as birds and spider monkeys. The site is full of life yet quite peaceful.

Chacchoben's History and Secrets

Chacchoben, also known as the Place of the Red Corn in Yucatec Maya, is a beautifully restored archaeological site. The pyramids' lovely curved lines are an important feature. And characteristic of Peten-style architecture.

Ceramic evidence suggests that settlement activity occurred during the Late Pre-Classic period. Monumental architecture flourished throughout the Early Classic period (200-600 A.D.) And continued until the Late Classic period (600-900 A.D.).

A native Mayan discovered the unexplored ruins in 1942 and decided to settle his family among the ruin mounds. He farmed the area, built a house, and lived among the ancient ruins.

A wandering archaeologist discovered the family and the ruins in 1972. He then reported the discovery to the Mexican government. The Mayan family was appointed as the site's Honorary Guard. INAH began excavating the ruins in 1994. They are regularly visited by a huge number of tourists. The Mayan family still lives near the ruins, and their house still stands on the ruin site.

Chacchoben, The Place of Red Maize

The ruins site, located about 110 miles (177 kilometers) south of Tulum, has two large temple pyramids dating from 200 BC to AD 700. There is also a third, smaller pyramid. Even after the Mayan civilization ended, Chacchoben remained a ceremonial center. Rites were actively happening at the temples. But, eventually, the Mayans abandoned the site.

Temple 24 & Plaza B

Temple 24 is an enormous step pyramid built in the Classic Maya Period (250-950 CE) architectural style. It sits in Plaza B. Long before 250 BCE, the Mayans were using hydraulic cement. Kilns crushed their plentiful supply of limestone into powdered cement. The powder was mixed with water, stones, and clay to form concrete. Temple 24 shows the ancient artisans' ability to use concrete between the layers of stone.

The Plaza & The Temples of Gran Basamento

The Great Plaza served as the city's market and center, separated by a wide highway. The remnants of ancient market stalls and upper-class dwellings can still be seen on either side of this road, but many are concealed by foliage.

Temple One

Temple 1 is a beautifully constructed pyramid perched above the Acropolis platform on its own base. It rises to 42 feet, towering over the lush jungle canopy below. A modest, two-tiered, multi-room structure with a single stairway sits at the pyramid's base. There's a single great stairway that looks out over the plaza terrace.

The Ceremonial Heart of Chacchoben

The Great Basement platform was an important location for religious rites held at Temple 1. The many cups, pitchers, bowls, and plates used in these rituals were kept in the neighboring Temple of the Vessels. The smaller structures were most likely the residences of the priests and temple laborers. These are now nothing more than outlines in the dirt or foundation walls.

Temple Two: Chacchoben's Temple of the Vessels

The Temple of the Vessels is located on the Acropolis terrace's lower level. It is on the northeast corner, facing Temple 1. This pyramidal construction has a single large stairway. A thatched shelter covers the back of the pyramid to protect a section of the original 1,200-year-old red stucco finish. It still sticks to the pyramid surface. It is pretty amazing that authentic stucco finishes and artwork survive in such a difficult setting as the Maya subtropical jungles.

Getting To Chacchoben

Chacchoben is 90 kilometers west of Costa Maya. The drive takes about 50-60 minutes from the Costa Maya Port or Mahahual. The road is in good shape, so you can expect a decent trip.

Essential Supplies to Take With You

You’ll be doing quite a bit of walking, so take comfortable shoes. And water. You can buy some snacks from stalls at the entrances, but I would take a bottle of water with me. Take bug repellant as well.

Final Thoughts

Chacchoben is an awesome place to visit, and if you’re in Costa Maya, it’s one of those “not-to-be-missed” tours. Even though there can be lots of tourists wandering around, there’s a sense of grandeur and mystery surrounding the place. One tour company that will make your trip memorable is Chunky Monkey. You’ll get the personal touch, and highly entertaining, knowledgeable guides make everything great fun as well.