El Rey mayan ruins, Cancun – Image courtesy of jok2000/Wikimedia Commons
Ruins of the King, Cancun
Stroll between a small temple and several ceremonial platforms in this interesting archaeological site (commonly called El Rey) located just a short distance from Cancun’s Zona Hotelera.
The site dates from the 3rd to 2nd century BC and wasn’t explored until 1910. Excavations didn't begin until 1954; by 1975, archaeologists began restoration work on the 47 structures.
El Rey is notable for having two main plazas bounded by two streets. (Most other Mayan cities contain only one plaza.)
The site has been linked to astronomical practices and was originally named Kin Ich Ahau Bonil, Mayan for ‘king of the solar countenance’.
A platform sits atop the pyramid, and inside the vault are stucco paintings. From the skeletons found at the base of the pyramid, archaeologists believe the site may have been a royal burial ground.
Location: Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 17, Zona Hotelera, Cancún
Hours: Daily 8am-5pm