Calakmul is a Maya archaeological site in Mexico 22 miles from the Guatemalan border. Calakmul was one of the largest and most powerful ancient cities ever uncovered in the Maya lowlands. It was discovered in 1931 from the air by biologist Cyrus L. Lundell of the Mexican Exploitation Chicle Company, because the jungle had long ago swallowed it up.
Calakmul was a major Maya power within the Yucatán Peninsula. Calakmul was the seat of what has been dubbed the Kingdom of the Snake and reigned during most of the Classic period (up until the 10th century AD. Calakmul itself is estimated to have had a population of 50,000 people and had governance, at times, over places as far away as 93 mi. There are 6,750 ancient structures identified at Calakmul, the largest of which is the great pyramid at the site at 148 feet tall, making it one of the tallest of the Maya pyramids. Four tombs have been located within the pyramid. Like many temples or pyramids within Mesoamerica the pyramid at Calakmul increased in size by building upon the existing temple to reach its current size.
Throughout the Classic Period, Calakmul maintained an intense rivalry with the major city of Tikal (in present day Guatemala), and the political maneuverings of these two cities have been likened to a struggle between two Maya superpowers.
In order to reach Calakmul we drove for four hours from Campeche and spend the night in campsite just inside the National Park. It was so remote we slept in tents and the restaurant cooked over an open fire. The next morning we drove an hour into the jungle and were amazed at the animals we saw on the way. The two best parts of Calakmul is that it has very few visitors due to it remoteness and second this is the only site we visited where you could climb the stairs to the top of the the great temples.
If you want to see more about Calakmul, I am putting together a travel video about our second week in Mexico and it will be featured in it. We are calling this episode Mayans & Cenotes because we traveled the entire Yucatan Peninsula checking out as many Mayan ruins and cenotes as we can. It will have lots of info plus be lots of fun as you watch Lily and I interact around Mexico!!!! The video will post on YouTube so you can Subscribe to my channel and hit the bell icon to be notified as soon as it airs.
In the mean time you can click the link to watch the first week in Mexico called Beaches & Islands, which features from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Make sure you FOLLOW me on your preferred social media platform ( Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) so you do not miss one bit of our travels through Lily’s country of Mexico.