This archaeological site sits on a jungle-backed grassy area. The ruins, dating from both the late pre-Classic (AD 100–200) and the early Classic (AD 300–600) periods, are famous for the great Templo de los Mascarones (Temple of the Masks), a pyramid-like structure with a central stairway flanked by huge, 3m-high stucco masks of the sun god.
The thick lips and prominent features are reminiscent of Olmec sculptures. Of the eight original masks, only five remain relatively intact following the ravages of archaeological looters. Large thatch coverings have been erected to protect the masks from weathering, but you can still get a good look at them. Try to imagine what the pyramid and its red masks must have looked like in the old days as the Maya approached them across the sunken courtyard at the front.
A few hundred meters southwest of Plaza Merwin are the 27 Escalones (27 Steps), the remains of an extensive residential area.
The hydraulic engineering used at Kohunlich was a great achievement; 90,000 of the site’s 210,000 sq meters were cut to channel rainwater into Kohunlich’s once-enormous reservoir.