Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul


Lying at the heart of the vast, untrammeled Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul (which covers close to 15% of the state’s total territory), the magnificent ruins of Calakmul are surrounded by rainforest, an endless canopy of vegetation. While wandering amid the ruins, you might glimpse ocellated turkeys, parrots and toucans among the over 350 bird species that reside or fly through here.

It's also possible to see or hear spider and howler monkeys, but you're much less likely to spot a jaguar – one of five kinds of wildcat in the area. There are also many other mammal, reptile and amphibian species that call this biosphere home. Animals are most active during the morning and evening.

Note that the last entry is at 2:30pm.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Calakmul attractions

1. Calakmul

0.67 MILES

Quite unlike any other Maya city you'll visit in Yucatán, Calakmul was ‘discovered’ in 1931 by American botanist Cyrus Lundell, and is located deep in the…

2. Estructura III

0.73 MILES

The palatial Estructura III consists of a dozen rooms atop a raised platform. Archaeologists found a tomb inside the 5th-century structure that contained…

3. Estructura I

0.74 MILES

Estructura I is Calakmul’s second great pyramid (surpassed by Estructura II). American botanist Cyrus Lundell named the site Calakmul, Maya for ‘two…

4. Gran Plaza


The Gran Plaza, with its ancient buildings and many stelae, is a good place to begin your Calakmul explorations. Climbing the enormous Estructura II, at…

5. Estructura II

0.82 MILES

Climbing the enormous Estructura II, at the south side of the Gran Plaza, is a must. Each of this pyramid’s sides is 140m long, giving it a footprint of…

6. Gran Acrópolis

0.96 MILES

The Gran Acrópolis is a labyrinthine residential zone with a ceremonial sector containing a ball court. (From the northern perimeter of this zone, you can…

7. Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología

18.66 MILES

Calakmul's modern Museo de Naturaleza y Arqueología has geological, archaeological and natural-history exhibits that are well displayed and provide a…

8. El Mirador

26.65 MILES

Buried within the furthest reaches of the Petén jungle, just 7km south of the Mexican border, the Late Preclassic metropolis at El Mirador contains one of…