El Meco Mayan Ruins

Photo Credit: © Kirt Edblom CC BY

One of the most recently discovered Maya Ruin sites, El Meco opened to the public in 2001, and remains one of the least visited of the ruins. The site was believed to have been built between 13th and 16th centuries, with a Plaza dedicated to the rain god, Chaac. Excavation is still underway, so visitors will often find different sections blocked off. Climbing is never permitted on the pyramids.

What to Expect

Although there are 14 known structures at El Meco, only about half are consistently open to the public. Since you can't climb the pyramids, a tour of the grounds will take about an hour, though you can stay longer and enjoy a picnic lunch.

These ruins are much smaller than some of the other well-known sites in Mexico, though that does not make them any less intriguing. Explore a decaying site in stark contrast to the modern city just down the road.

Staying Close

You may enjoy staying in the vicinity of Cancun if you plan on visiting El Meco Mayan Ruins, as travelers to this area of Cancun will be pleased to have easy site access during their visit. Since there is a large number of lodgings near El Meco Mayan Ruins, travelers visiting the region can afford to be picky when choosing a room.

Hotels near El Meco Mayan Ruins
Hotel Type Distance Direction
Mar Azul Isla Mujeres Hotel 0.4 mi. (7.2 km) S
All Ritmo Cancún Resort & Waterpark Resort 0.7 mi. (6.9 km) S
Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort Resort 1.5 mi. (7.2 km) N
La Amada Hotel Hotel 2.1 mi. (7.5 km) N
Hotel El Pueblito Beach Cancun Resort -- --
Excellence Playa Mujeres Luxury Adults Only - All Inclusive Resort 2.2 mi. (7.7 km) N
Antillano Cancun Hotel 2.8 mi. (3.4 km) SW

Location and What's Nearby

El Meco Mayan Ruins is located in the vicinity of Cancun, in Quintana Roo; it's five miles (seven and a half kilometers) to the northeast of Cancun.

El Meco Ruins are located just north of Cancun, and driving up the coastal road for just a few miles will bring you right to the ruins on your left. Additionally, there are many buses that leave from the Hotel Zone that will bring you here.

If you find your belly rumbling after your historic site visit, don't worry -- you can find a broad selection of lunch and dinner options in the general vicinity. The closest restaurant is Barefoot Grill, which has a menu full of American fare. The eatery is a brief distance off, but far-off enough that you will need to arrange for having a method of transport to get there. Also close-by, you will encounter eateries including Bordeaux and El Patio where you and your companions should test out Mexican dishes and enjoy the local foods and culture of Cancun.


Operating Hours

The gates to El Meco open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m.


There is an entry fee of $3.30 US, or 35 pesos.

Contact Information

Location: Cancun, Mexico


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