The archaeological zone of Kabah belongs to the Mayan cities of puuc style, one of the most beautiful architectures of the ancient Mayan. If you travel the Ruta Puuc, it is one of the stops on your way.
Within the so-called Puuc Route we can enjoy several Mayan cities united by the same architectural style, the puuc.
There are several styles that we can distinguish in this civilization: bec style, puuc, chen, central petén, east coast style, usumacinta. The puuc is the most delicate and precious architectural style for me.
Kabah, in the Puuc style combined with Petén and Chen, adapted its construction to the rocky terrain and the hills that exist in this area of hills, the highest in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Kabah, close to Uxmal, often goes unnoticed or as a second course after visiting the great jewel of the puuc.
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The one known as the East Group of Kabah, which is the one that we have access to visit (there is a large part of Kabah that remains closed to the public), is known to have been a residential complex of the ruling lineage. It's just gorgeous.
This means that in addition to residential, this complex had administrative and religious functions. We are talking about a very beautiful enclosure full of details.
HOW TO GO TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE KABAH
The Kabah archaeological zone is located south of Mérida, the capital of Yucatán. Normally it is visited as a complement to Uxmal, the jewel of the puuc. The truth is that in this area there is much to enjoy.
The town of Santa Elena in Yucatan is a perfect center for my liking to explore the puuc area by car. You have several lodging options, personally I really like the Pickled Onion.
- FROM MÉRIDA: you must take the Uman-Holpechén road, number 261. It is 105 kilometers and it takes 1 hour and a half by car.
- FROM SANTA ELENA: in the very center of the Puuc Route, just 9 kilometers from Kabah
Discover the Puuc Route and public transport options
El sacbé from Kabah
This area was fruitful in Mayan cities, which were connected by roads (sacbé in Yucatec Maya, singular). He sacbé that runs through Kabah-Uxmal, is 4.5 meters wide and 18 kilometers long.
The Mayan civilization created very fluid trade and communication routes in the territory it covered. I really dream of recovering some of these roads to favor hiking between different Mayan cities.
We know that the pre-Hispanic name of the city was Kabah, due to the mention made of it in the Chilam Balam found in Chumayel, a town that is part of the Convents Route.
The combination of these two routes with some other treasure of the area, will make you enjoy this area as one of the richest culturally to travel in the Peninsula.
Codz Poop from Kabah
Kabah It is a small enclosure full of good taste. There is much in restoration work to appreciate more clearly its exquisiteness.
His acquaintance Codz Poop (rolled mat or petate in Spanish) delights any curious person who comes here. It is a facade of one of the palaces completely decorated with sculpted images. Many of them are the 250 masks of the god Chaac. A marvel, pure Mayan art.
This part of the settlement is the one that has been reconstructed with greater care, although many pieces will be found on the ground. The coatings of Kabah They are pure fantasy for their walls, the work is very fine.
As in most enclosures, most of the pieces found are in museums, protected from looting and weathering.
MY KABAH EXPERIENCE
It is a small and beautiful Kabah enclosure, with endless details that will delight your visit. Just arriving and seeing that esplanade that leads your gaze to the complex makes you fall in love.
And so you start to walk around the enclosure starting to your right, you will go up the stairs that go up to the Codz Poop. Your mouth literally drops at this wonderful building. Enjoy each of the details of the circuit, there are several details.
I have enjoyed it on several occasions, and always discover something new on each visit. Do not miss, on the other side of the road, the sacbé and the arch of kabah, it is mythical.
As in Uxmal, we see chultunes, the water tanks that the Maya built in areas where they could not be supplied with water from the cenotes. It is something that I still like to highlight, because it gives us additional learning in this Puuc area about how the Mayans handled fresh water.
Without a doubt, Codz Poop is the emblem of Kabah, something unique in the Mayan world.
I leave you other details of the place so that you can enjoy the visit more.
- APOGEO KABAH: around 400 AD the development of the place begins. It was slow, like most cities in the Puuc area. This is attributed to the lack of permanent water in the area. Remember that there are no cenotes here: there are chultunes, artificial wells to collect water that the ancient Maya made. Its heyday goes from 600 to 1000 AD, the most fruitful years being 750 to 900, when they reached an approximate radius of 2 km.
- WHAT DOES THE NAME OF KABAH MEAN: the name of this archaeological zone means Lord of the strong or mighty hand
- KABAH ARCHITECTURAL STYLE: the most relevant buildings are Puuc style, combined with petén and chen some of them.
KABAH ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA MAP
The archaeological zone of Kabáh is divided by the road. The one known as Grupo Este, is the one that we can visit. It is a residential, administrative and religious complex.
Unfortunately, the part that remains on the other side of the ticket office only has a small part open, that of the sacbé and arch of Kabah. I dream of the day when we can visit the entire venue, it will be wonderful.
Visit the area in an anti-clockwise direction, entering you can go to your right hand. Some arrow indicates the route at some point where it is not clear.
TIPS FOR VISITING KABÁH
- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: remember that you can visit the famous sacbé on the other side of the road. It is a good walk through nature.
- WHAT TO BRING: light and light clothing, hat, insect repellent, closed and comfortable shoes to climb structures and protect yourself from insect bites. Bring some water, it's always good.
- VISIT TIME: Calculate more or less 1 hour and a bit to walk through the place calmly. If you are going to see the Arch, add more.
In each of the Mayan cities we visit we can expand our knowledge of the Mayan civilization. You will surely enjoy this little gem.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION TO VISIT KABÁH
I leave you as always the information of the place
1- Kabáh archaeological zone schedule
From 8 to 5 in the afternoon every day of the year. Arrive an hour before closing.
- Are there bathrooms.
- Parking is free.
- You can hire accredited guides at the entrance.
3- Price Kabáh archaeological zone
75 pesos per person
Keep in mind:
✔ On Sundays, admission is free for Mexicans and foreigners with permanent residence.
FREE ENTRY EVERY DAY FOR:
Mexicans •Over 60 years of age (with official credentials) •Retirees and pensioners (with official institution credentials) •Teachers and students (with official credentials of the Mexican Educational System) •Children up to 12 years of age •Researchers and interns (with INAH permit credential )
Mexicans and foreigners • People with disabilities (with their proper credentials)
PLACES NEAR KABAH TO VISIT
Most combine Kabah with Uxmal, but there is a lot to discover here, so enjoy the area.
- Uxmal archaeological zone 22 kilometers from the great jewel of the puuc, 20 minutes by car.
- Puuc Route, where you find Sayil, Xlapak and Labná as the closest areas.
- Chunhuhub Archaeological Zone You locate it 28 kilometers, 30 minutes by car. It is a small treasure of Campeche that is rarely visited.
- Santa Elena It is located only 8 kilometers away, I love this population
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- Stay with airbnb and get 25 € discount.
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