Next up, after visiting Campeche and the Edzna Ruins, we rushed over to the Kabah ruins, to see if we could make it there before they closed. Alas, we were too late!  We learned that all the pyramids close at 5pm (perhaps there is an exception at the very well-trafficked ones, but not around here!), so when we arrived at 5:30pm, the gates were shut. Funny thing is…the road goes right by these pyramids. It makes you wonder what was discovered first…the ruins, or the road. It also made me wonder what pyramids may be lurking behind the forest in all directions…perhaps even right across the street!

I stood on the gate to take a photo of the Kabah ruins, assuming that we would continue on our way, and not get to revisit them. The groundskeeper quickly saw me, and ordered me off the gate. Gee whiz!

We drove on, but didn’t have luck finding a nearby hotel, so we turned and headed toward Ticul, a small town about an hour off the main road (that we would have to return to the next day).  Although we arrived past dark, we found a lively town bustling with holiday activity (remember that Lady Guadalupe biking ensemble from Day 1? Well…the party lives on!).   We grabbed some bad pizza from a local pizzeria, and watched a parade of people go by, on their way to the chapel. We had fun trying to keep Ethan (1 1/2 years old), from walking into the parade.

We found a pleasant hotel, and rushed the kids into the bathroom for a quick shower.  Much to our dismay, we discovered the hot water didn’t work in our room. Seeing how it wasn’t the cheapest room in the world (and I was specifically assured of the availability of hot water), we reported it, and were told a person would soon come to our room to look at it. That person came, and confirmed that indeed, the hot water didn’t work. Yeah,we knew that. They said they would call a repairman, and he would be there in 30 minutes. Hmmmm…seeing how it was already past bedtime, and I wasn’t keen on the idea of having a repairman working in the bathroom all night, we asked to be moved to a different room. They acted a bit surprised, but obliged. The hotel was nearly empty, after all!

The next room turned out to be more spacious, and a great free upgrade!  The hotel also had a nice dining area, which we enjoyed for breakfast. Actually, the kids and Jared enjoyed it while I sat upstairs trying to return phone calls to customers that we had missed. The Christmas buying season is NOT a good time for us to be on the road, we’ve discovered–since it is a very busy time for online sales and customers asking shipping questions. I finally made it down much later than everyone else, and the waiter warmed up my huevos divorciados in the microwave, since they had become cold.

A drive out of town revealed the main mode of transportation to be tuk tuks and pedicabs. A pedicab, by my definition, is a bike with a seating platform attached.

It also wasn’t uncommon to find classic huts like this, in which people were living (my apologies for the blurry drive-by photo):

This was a fancy palapa on a farming property. Definitely a lot higher quality than most of the palapa roofs we saw over people’s homes.

We made it back to the main highway, and realized we would be foolish if we didn’t return to see Kabah, which was only 15 minutes back down the road. So, we did!

Kabah was in its prime between AD 750-950.

Kabah is another site where the “pyramids” have doorways leading to rooms. Some rooms are still in one piece, others have collapsed roofs. Either way, they let the imagination wonder as to what kind of things took place in these rooms so many years ago.

One of the most extraordinary features of Kabah was on the facade of El Palacio de los Mascarones (Palace of Masks). It is covered in nearly 300 masks of Chac, the rain god or sky serpent.

 You can see the long curling noses of the masks jutting out from the wall (although most are now broken off), which prompted the modern Maya to name it Codz Poop (Rolled Mat). I personally liked the Codz Poop name better.

We had to stop our children from adding little rocks into the masks’ mouths…forever altering people’s perspective of what this wall should look like!

On the other side of this building there are two restored atlantes. The book explains that the plural of atlas is atlantes, and an atlas is a male figure used as a supporting column. One atlas is now headless, and the other wears a jaguar mask on his head.

We managed to get a family photo in front of the statues. I thought it was such a shame that the man who took our photo had cut off the statue’s head, until I realized it was the headless statue that got cut off. Well, whatever.

It was kind of neat to see a crew still at work to reconstruct the ruins. You can see their piles of rocks/carvings on the lawn in front in the photo below…and piles like this were scattered throughout the grounds. I wonder how much of the process of piecing things together is scientific, or just like making a collage!

Of course, we were free to climb the ruins and roam about as we pleased!

Satisfied with our decision to not miss out on Kabah, we jumped in our van to head towards the next destination, the Uxmal Pyramids…you won’t want to miss those!

Yukatan Road Trip Day 4 – Kabah and Uxmal Pyramids


2 Responses to “Kabah Pyramids in Mexico”

  1. Wow – what gorgeous ruins. I love seeing old buildings and wondering who lived in them, and imagining what they were doing!
    Glad you got to go back and see Kabah.
    How funny was the hotel about the hot water, and moving to another room 😉


    • Hi Lisa! I thought Kabah was really worth the return! It almost seemed too easy to get to, though. You parked next to the road at the front gate, walked a hundred yards, and there they were…staring down at you! When things are so easy to get to, you wonder if they’re really worth paying for!! But they certainly were!


  1. Uxmal Pyramids near Merida Mexico | Living Outside of the Box - [...] Mexico, What to see | 0 comments On Day 4 of our month-long Yukatan road trip, we left the Kabah…

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