By naming Xel Há many will think of the famous water park of the Riviera Maya. Only a few will do it in the exquisite archaeological zone Xel Ha.

The Xel Ha archeological zone is under the long shadow of the Xel Há media park. This entertainment water park is one of the most sought after destinations in the Riviera Maya.

From the archaeological zone Xel has the vast majority of tourists do not know it, and they are a pimp. Let's be curious 😉

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archaeological zone Xelhá

Brief history of Xel Ha

It is believed that the archaeological zone Xelhá, Mayan word that means water entrance, was one of the most important ports of the powerful Coba during the Classical period, from 250 dC to 600 dC

The beautiful Caleta de Xelhá, where today we find the Xel Há water park, it was the refuge of this port city. As of 600 AD it goes into decline and temples and palaces cease to be built. After the 1200, when the thriving commercial activity that characterized the Postclassic Period, Xelhá resurfaces again.

archaeological zone Xelhá

Xel Ha Archaeological Zone Tour

From its first period of splendor it conserves mural paintings, like the board found in the Group of the Birds, that remember the strong presence that Teotihuacán had in the Maya area in those times.

archaeological zone Xelhá
Wall remains of a board
Xelhá ruins

From its second epoch there is a relevant mural painting with hardly any remains of the figure of a feline in a descending position in the call House of the Jaguar, within the Jaguar Group.

In this group we find original wooden lintels made of chicozapote, the tree from which the chewing gum is extracted, and remains of hand paints printed in bright colors. He Jaguar Group of Xelhá is from the Postclassic era, between the 1200 and the 1500 dC

jaguar group Xelhá
Temple of the jaguar, where painted hands are appreciated

This vestige is a bit removed: a path (sacbé in Yucatan Maya) leads you to the cenote near the Jaguar Group, in an attractive walk through the lower jungle where the Mayan Riviera is camouflaged.

Xelhá bird group
archaeological zone Xelhá

Xelhá I was lucky enough to visit him with a group led by Claudio Obregón Clairín, an excellent Mayista author of the blog Literature and Mundo Maya, with which I always learn and reflect. Do guided trips and workshops, follow it in your facebook if you are interested in the subject

archaeological zone Xelhá
Claudio Obregón Clairín guiding in Xelhá

A pleasant surprise on the way Xelhá. As it almost always happens to me, each Mayan zone offers me walks and visions that expand my person.

Xel Ha Archaeological Zone, Archaeological Site

LOCATION: Xelhá It is located at 113 km. from Cancun and 39 km. from Playa del Carmen and 16 km. of Tulum, by the federal highway 307, Cancún - Tulum. The archaeological zone Xel ha remains on the inner side, it is indicated. Do not confuse with the water park.
SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: Open from 8 to 17 daily hours. They do not sell drinks or food inside. There are services at the entrance.
PRICE ENTRY: 70 mxn. On Sundays the entrance of the INAH is free for Mexicans and permanent residents. The access to the archaeological zones is free every day to children under 13 years, students, teachers and senior citizens with valid credentials. HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? From Tulum they pass buses on the main street. If you go from Cancun the collective They leave near the ADO terminal) you must get off at the last stop of Playa del Carmen and from here take another bus to Xelhá (from 2 street between 15 and 20 avenue). Let the van driver know that you go down in the ruins of Xelhá, he will let you know.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothing, hat, insect repellent, sunscreen, closed shoes better and some water always goes well.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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