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A New Mayan Ruin soon to be open to the public

3 Mar, 2023

Ichkabal is the new Mayan ruin that will be open to the public in Quintana Roo. An ancient Mayan city believed to have been established in the early Preclassic period, around 400 BC and was inhabited until the Late Classic period, around 900 AD. Although it is one of the largest Mayan sites in the region, it remains relatively unknown to the wider public, making it a hidden gem for travelers looking to explore the rich cultural heritage of the Maya.

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) revealed that this is an area they have been working on for several months to develop its potential and become one of the major attractions of the Mayan Train route.

Located only 30 kilometers from what will be the Bacalar station of the railway project, the Mayan city was discovered 28 years ago, but this 2023 enters a stage of in-depth research with a view to its opening. The site, which for almost a century evaded the arrival of researchers, begins to show its monumental pyramids to enrich the knowledge about the cosmogony and the greatness of that Mesoamerican civilization.

Mayan Ruin of Ichkabal

When will Ichkabal be open to the public?

According to INAH, for the opening of Ichkabal, excavations are planned, first, in the monumental area, as part of the most recent research season. Keeping in mind that  Ichkabal is located 24 kilometers from Section 6 and 20 kilometers from Section 7 of the Maya Train. Its reopening will go hand to hand with the inauguration of the Tren Maya.

Location of Ichkabal

About Ichkabal

The name Ichkabal means “the place of the canals” in the Mayan language, and the city is so named due to the extensive network of canals that once ran through it. These canals were used for transportation, irrigation, and to regulate the city’s water supply. They also served as a form of defense, as they made it difficult for invading armies to penetrate the city.

One of the most remarkable features of Ichkabal is its extensive system of causeways and sacbeob, or raised stone pathways, which connected the city to other nearby Mayan settlements. Some of these causeways are over 30 feet wide and are lined with large, finely carved stone monuments. These monuments depict scenes from everyday life, as well as the lives and achievements of the city’s rulers.

The city was home to a number of impressive architectural structures, including several large pyramids, temples, palaces, and plazas. One of the most notable structures at Ichkabal is the Acropolis, a large complex of buildings that served as the administrative center of the city. The Acropolis is home to a number of large courtyards, as well as several large pyramids and temples. The structures here are well-preserved and provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the Maya.

Ichkabal mayan ruin

Architectural impact

In addition to its impressive architecture, Ichkabal is known for its many impressive art and architectural achievements. The city is home to a number of finely carved stelae, altars, and other monuments that depict the lives and achievements of the city’s rulers. Many of these monuments are richly decorated with intricate carvings and are considered to be among the finest examples of Mayan art and architecture.

Despite its many impressive features, Ichkabal remains relatively unknown to many travelers. This is largely due to its remote location, as the city is located deep in the jungle, several miles from the nearest town. However, for those willing to make the journey, the city offers a unique and fascinating look into the rich cultural heritage of the Maya.

Restoration and reopening

In recent years, efforts have been made to increase awareness of Ichkabal and to promote it as a tourist destination. The site has been partially restored and is now open to visitors. Although the site lacks some of the amenities found at more popular Mayan sites, such as Chichen Itza or Tulum, it offers a quieter and more immersive experience.

In conclusion, Ichkabal is a fascinating and largely unknown Mayan city that offers a unique glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Maya. Despite its remote location, the city is well worth the effort for those seeking a more off-the-beaten-path adventure. With its impressive architecture, intricate carvings, and extensive network of canals and causeways, Ichkabal is a must-see for anyone interested in Mayan culture and history. Do not miss the opening of this amazing archaeological site!


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