Hola amigos! Today I have a very special treat that, though you can’t eat, it’s a feast for your eyes. One of our favourite activities here is, of course, walking on the beach. On this walk a last minute detour away from the water lead us to the Xaman-Ha Mayan ruins. You can imagine our excitement seeing the archaeological site right before our eyes. This was the first time hubby and I have ever seen Mayan ruins.
Nestled between light jungle, luxury living complexes and just meters away from the beach lay the Xaman-Ha (meaning waters of the north) Mayan ruins. They are located right in Playa del Carmen, only a short walk from 5th Avenue, and in the Playacar fase 1 neighbourhood.
These temples are the origins of the city now called Playa del Carmen. What lies now in ruins was the Mayan port from which pilgrims made their yearly voyages to the island of Cozumel. The trips across the coast were made to honour Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, medicine, health and pregnancy. Archeologist have revealed that alongside the market place there were many signs that the society was involved in agriculture, breading of animals, beekeeping, fishing and hunting.
On our exploration hubby and I only saw 3 temples, but while doing research I read that in fact there are a total of 8 sites in the surrounding areas. On one tourists website I also found that there are a total of 3 archaeological sites with multiple buildings. They suggest looking for the roadside markers as well as venturing into the light jungle via the pathways to see more ruins. We unfortunately missed the ones nestled in the jungle, but we will be making another trip back very soon.
As we made our way from one temple to another we remained in a state of awe. It is such a beautiful spot. Along the ruins you can hear exotic birds calling, spot both baby geckos and full grown iguanas, see an agouti makes it’s ways across the jungle, and see how the gentle ocean breeze sways the tree leaves back and forth. You can really imagine what the place looked like back in the days when Mayan pilgrims decided to settle here, and before the modern development.
If you would like to take a break from shopping, water sports and sunbathing, then you must make your own pilgrimage to the Xaman-Ha ruins. If you’re lucky you might even get the place to yourselves just like hubby and I did. There is no admissions charge, no queues, and no souvenir shop. Take in the natural beauty, be careful where you are stepping and above all be respectful of the historic human value of these sacred grounds.