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Saturday Art: Chacchoben Mayan Archaeological Site


Upper Temple at Chacchoben

Map showing Mayan ruins in MesoAmerican Central America

South and inland from Tulum the ruins of Mayan ceremonial temples named Chacchoben is located many miles from the shoreline.  Most visitors to Costa Maya go there for the reason of seeing this site, excavated in 1994.   The original temples have been dated back to 700 A.D.

Chacchoben (chak-CHO-ben; Maya for “the place of red corn”) is the name of a Mayan ruin approximately 110 mi (177 km) south of Tulum and 7 mi (11 km) from the village from which it derives its name.


Visitors to the site today walk a circular path that includes three excavated and restored pyramids, as well as many walls and staircases. Excavation is continuing on several mounds which are known to contain further buildings. Some structures still bear traces of the red paint with which they were originally coated, and INAH has set up shaded areas to prevent further degradation of this pigment by the sun. Also notable at the base of the largest pyramid is a large stone slab called a stela with a Mayan hieroglyphic inscription. Chacchoben is one of the more popular ruin sites in southern Quintana Roo, with regular tourist trips from the port of Costa Maya.

The highest temple is reached by climbing its lower area, and can be seen to reach to full height from previous constructions which are part of its area.


Side temple at Chacchoben

Stair to upper temple

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Ruth Calvo

Ruth Calvo

I've blogged at The Seminal for about two years, was at cabdrollery for around three. I live in N.TX., worked for Sen.Yarborough of TX after graduation from Wellesley, went on to receive award in playwriting, served on MD Arts Council after award, then managed a few campaigns in MD and served as assistant to a member of the MD House for several years, have worked in legal offices and written for magazines, now am retired but addicted to politics, and join gladly in promoting liberals and liberal policies.