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“Worth the effort to get there”

Calakmul Archaeological Zone
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Calakmul Archaelogical Zone and Reserve Day Trip from Palenque
Ranked #2 of 61 things to do in Campeche
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Ancient Mayan city historians now believe to have been bigger than Chichén Itzá.
Apopka, Florida
Level Contributor
75 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Worth the effort to get there”
Reviewed September 1, 2012

The amount of wildlife we saw on the way down and back almost rivaled the immense beauty of the ruins. Since it is deep in a national park, you can stand on top and truly get a feel of what it was like hundreds of years ago, away from the tourists and roads. A great place to visit, but bring lots of water, because it was hotter than Hades and there was nowhere to buy drinks.

Visited June 2012
3 Thank Joshua C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 reviews from our community

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Edinburg, Texas
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“majestic Mayan site deep in the forest”
Reviewed June 21, 2012

I was well-prepared for the effort it would take to reach Calakmul, and I knew the pyramids would be spectacular. I even knew there would probably be monkeys around. But somehow the overall impact of roaring howler monkeys as we skirted the edge of the main plaza on an otherwise quiet, warm morning was still quite overhwhelming. What was also amazing was the way the ruins "hid" behind the trees, such that we walked past one of the large structures, that was only a short distance down a side trail. We wanted the full experience, so we took the Ruta Larga, which starts at the Gran Acropolis and then swings by the two big pyramids before entering the main plaza. Everything was great, and there were just a few other visitors and some workers. Be ready to walk, bring lots of water and some snacks, plus mosquito repellant, and you'll have a great time! We were allowed to drive in, since it was in the "low season," and we enjoyed seeing some Ocellated Turkeys (rare elsewhere) on the way in. It is well worth the road maintenance and other fees. Very highly recommended!

Visited May 2012
4 Thank Tim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The most awesome pyramids in the whole Mexico!”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Calakmul is remote but well worth the effort. Located deep in the forest, Calakmul is the most tranquil archeological site where all the pyramids can be climbed. Like all the other travellers said on this Tripadvisor page, there were hardly any tourists at this place. We were the only ones the whole time we were there. I was a bit restless as there were a lot of insects which I am not used to. I have visited many other pyramids in Mexico and by far Calakmul was my best experience. Other famous archeogical sites in Mexico are like Disneyland with tons of tourists. I would love to revisit Calakmul next year as I didn't get to see everything and we already spent 4 hours there!

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Susan W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint James, Missouri
Level Contributor
49 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Grand Temple of Calakmul”
Reviewed May 22, 2012

Calakamul is very remote, about 50 km from Guatemala border. Not as touristy as many ruins.

Visited May 2012
Thank BillC00per
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Level Contributor
43 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Maya place UNESCO heritage”
Reviewed May 8, 2012

Visit Clakmul is really for Mayan culture lovers, the ruins are in the middle of nowhere and far to reach. The importance of the ruins compete with Tikal since was one of the biggest diplomatic mayan centers in the mayan world.. Big city where they have found more jade masks ever in a mexican ruins, they are now showed at anthropology museum at Campeche city.
The place is nice to visit very early since the road has a reserve of wild animals and you can see lot of them crossing..so careful.
I recommend also ruins of Xpujil, becan and Chicanna.

You can reach Calakmul and the area of Xpujil with public bus line ADO or SUR from Chetumal city to Escarcega, from there stop at Xpujil, there taxi drivers charge you 800 pesos to the ruins with few hrs visiting, you can wait more passengers at the bus station and ask share taxi. Other option is just take the public bus and leave you at the crossing point of the entrance of Calakmul reserve and from there call the camping or hotel to pick you up, better call in advance and say the time. Or ask for help at Hotel puerta calakmul.
Always the best option renting a car from chetumal and see all you want..good condition highway with army checkpoints.

Accomodation there:
there are hotels and one ATM inside a sueprmarket at Xpujil, you can use the place as base to explore the ruins around. nice handcrafts at stone with mayan stuff at Xpujil

the option of hotel Puerta Calakmul cost around 180 usd a night and its basic dont expect something amazing. The other option at kilometer 8 if the camping place Ecoturismo Calakmul, they rent only tents no bunwalows. The place is nice and good tower for bird watching. No electricity there.. so be prepared with good antimosquito spray and flashlight.

Visited April 2012
7 Thank VIVAMXadventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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