Campeche – Calakmul

The ruins of Calakmul are in the state of Campeche just 35km from the Guatemala border. It’s a huge site with over 6,000 structures, but has not been excavated and restored like Palenque. It’s about 60km off the main highway on a twisty and sometimes rough road, so I don’t make it to the ruins until later in the afternoon. The bright sun and jungle shadows make it difficult to get good pictures.

Calakmul is known for its many inscribed stelae. They are made of limestone and have mostly eroded away over the years. These are supposed to be monuments to the many kings and their wives.


The jungle has not been cleared back much, which lends to the Indiana Jones/explorer feeling of the ruins.


One of 2 large temples on the central plaza


Everywhere there are trees growing out of and around the ruins.


One of the stelae with part of the inscription remaining.


I have a couple of hours to wander around in the ruins. This late in the day it is very quiet, just a few other tourists here. It’s out in the middle of nowhere with only one resort right at the highway, but although they did have a room available it was $200USD.

On the way back to the highway I can drive a little faster as there is no oncoming traffic. I have to dodge several groups of peacocks crossing the road and at one point I saw a huge tarantula highlighted by the sun in the road ahead. I checked in the rear view mirror and I’m pretty sure I squashed it.

It’s getting dark when I reach the highway and the nearest town with a hotel is 35 miles away, so I decide to break the #1 rule of driving in Mexico: Never drive at night. This highway is the straightest, smoothest road I have been on so with topes (speedbumps) few and far between so it is not too risky.

Arriving at the unexpectedly nice hotel I check in, crank up the AC, and enjoy a much needed shower. As today is my birthday I went to the hotel restaurant and splurged on a steak dinner with a couple of cold Coronas.



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