Beginning of main content
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1,000,000 properties worldwide and 550 airlines worldwide.

Search over a million flights, hotels, packages, and more

No Expedia cancellation fee to change or cancel almost any hotel reservation.

El Meco Archaeological Site

Visit one of the pyramids for which the Mayans are famous at this carefully cared for archaeological site.

The ancient Mayan city of El Meco began its existence as a fishing village around the year ad 300. When the fishermen abandoned the city in ad 600, El Meco lay dormant for almost 500 years, before it was repopulated as a thriving trade center prized for its proximity to the Caribbean coast. As is the story with many former Mayan settlements, the city was again abandoned during the 16th century with the arrival of the Spanish. Today, the El Meco Archaeological site is a popular tourist destination and remains a site of significance to the Mayan people.

El Meco’s remnants consist of 14 structures, located between the coast and an expansive lagoon. The centerpiece of the archaeological site is the 41-foot-high (12.5 meters) Mayan pyramid. Mayan pyramids can be found throughout parts of Central America; however, this is the only one in the Cancun area. Known as El Castillo, or The Castle, the pyramid features a temple at its top. Climb the pyramid’s steps to reach the summit and take in the stunning views of the nearby lagoon. 

While the El Meco site is only small, it has been well looked after since excavations began in 1997. Today, its employees continue to keep the structures well kept and are happy to show you around the ancient temples and administrative buildings of the city. Shade yourself from Cancun’s relentless sun under the branches of the old fig tree that grows within a small temple on the site. 

An adjoining archeological site shows signs that the city was once an extensive port and commercial district, and may have been the former gateway to Isla Mujeres. Much of this area has not yet been formally explored by archaeologists. The Mayans have since long gone, but the site is now alive with native birds and iguanas that add to the atmosphere.

El Meco is located approximately four miles (six kilometers) north of Cancun, along the coastal road. The site can be reached by bus, taxi or chartered tour from Cancun. The site is open daily for a small fee, and parking is free.

Popular Activities at El Meco Archaeological Site

Get the most out of your visit to El Meco Archaeological Site. Here's a list of some of the most popular activities:

You might like to think about purchasing a Cancun City Tour 5 in 1 or a Full-Day Tour of the Hotel Zone with Beaches, Ruins & Market Visit while you're in the area. These experiences are some of the best.

Have a look at our Cancun things to do page to discover even more activities while you're here.


Guide to Exploring around El Meco Archaeological Site


Map

Best Lodging Options Near El Meco Archaeological Site

See all 1,667 Properties near El Meco Archaeological Site
All Ritmo Cancun Resort & Water Park - All Inclusive $179
All Ritmo Cancun Resort & Water Park - All Inclusive

All Ritmo Cancun Resort & Water Park - All Inclusive

Km. 1.5 Carretera a Puerto Juarez, Punta Sam, Cancun, QROO
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Cancun, this beachfront property is in the city center and within 2 mi (3 km) of El Meco Archaeological Site and Gran Puerto Pier. Plaza Las Americas is 5 mi (8.1 km) away.

    Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun
    Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun

    Planet Hollywood Adult Scene Cancun

    Carretera a Punta Sam, SM006 MZA2 Lote 7, 08 Zona Coster Zona Continental , Cancun, QROO
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Cancun, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Beachfront Apartament FOR Relaxing
      Beachfront Apartament FOR Relaxing

      Beachfront Apartament FOR Relaxing

      Cancun, QROO
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Cancun, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Sunrise View Over the sea From Your Private Balcony
        Sunrise View Over the sea From Your Private Balcony

        Sunrise View Over the sea From Your Private Balcony

        Cancun, Quintana Roo
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the beach, this condo building is within a 10-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Hotel los Naranjos Cancún Inn $105
          Hotel los Naranjos Cancún Inn

          Hotel los Naranjos Cancún Inn

          Avenida López Portillo SM 85 MZ 2 Lote 4, Puerto Juárez, Cancun, QROO
             
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Cancun, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Luxury Suites at All Ritmo Resort - All Inclusive
            Luxury Suites at All Ritmo Resort - All Inclusive

            Luxury Suites at All Ritmo Resort - All Inclusive

            Cancun, Quintana Roo
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Cancun, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Ocean Front Property, Condo #112
              Ocean Front Property, Condo #112

              Ocean Front Property, Condo #112

              Cancun, QROO
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated by the ocean, this condo building is within a 15-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Junior Suite - All Inclusive
                Junior Suite - All Inclusive

                Junior Suite - All Inclusive

                Cancun, Quintana Roo
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Cancun, this apartment building is within a 15-minute walk of Cancún Underwater Museum (Cancún) and El Meco Archaeological Site. Gran Puerto Pier and Punta Sam Ferry Terminal are also within 3 mi (5 km).