Archaeological Site in South of Mérida

Archaeologists have been excited about the ruins of Oxkintok for several years. Inscriptions found at the site contain some of the oldest-known dates in the Yucatán, and indicate the city was inhabited from the pre-Classic to the post-Classic period (300 BC to AD 1500), reaching its greatest importance between AD 475 and 860.

Three main groups of the approximately 8-sq-km site have been restored thus far, all near the site entrance. Though much of the rebuilding work looks like it was done with rubble, you can see examples of Oxkintok, Proto-Puuc and Puuc architecture. The highest structure (15m) is Ma-1, La Pirámide, in the Ah-May group, which provides good views of the area. Probably the most interesting structure is Palacio Chich (Estructura Ca-7), in the Ah-Canul group, for its original stonework and the two columns in front carved with human figures in elaborate dress. Researchers discovered a labyrinth beneath La Pirámide, though unfortunately it's closed to the public.

The ruins are reached via a west-leading fork off the road to the Grutas de Calcehtok, which is 75km southwest of Mérida off Hwy 184, a few kilometers south of the town of Calcehtok. The 4.5km dirt road to the ruins is in poor shape, so expect a slow bumpy ride.