People in front of Chacchoben ruins in Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico, one hour away from the luxurious gated community housing development Ichkabal Villas and the 60km long freshwater lake, the Bacalar Lagoon, alongside Mexico's prized Pueblo Magico, Bacalar.

Unveiling the Mysteries: Chacchoben Archaeological Zone in Mexico

Nestled amidst the lush jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, the Chacchoben Archaeological Zone stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of the ancient Maya civilization. This sacred site has become a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and curious travelers eager to explore the remnants of a once-thriving ancient city.


Chacchoben, meaning “The Place of Red Corn” in the Maya language, is believed to have been inhabited as early as 200 B.C. The archaeological evidence suggests that the site reached its peak during the Late Classic period (600-900 A.D.), when it served as a vital center for trade, agriculture, and religious ceremonies. The city played a crucial role in the broader network of Maya cities, engaging in commerce and cultural exchange with other regional centers.
Mayan pre-Columbian pyramid at Chacchoben, translating to "place of the red corn", Archaeological Zone. Settlement by the Maya at the site is estimated at 200 BC, and the structures date from 700 AD. Chacchoben was the biggest Mayan ruins site found in the region of Los Lagos.

Architectural Marvels

The Chacchoben Archaeological Zone boasts a stunning array of architectural marvels that showcase the advanced engineering and astronomical knowledge of the ancient Maya. Among the notable structures are the towering pyramids, temples, and ceremonial plazas, each meticulously designed and aligned with celestial events. The most prominent structures are the Structure 24 and the Gran Basamento, which serve as focal points for visitors exploring the site.


Chacchoben’s strategic location in the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula places it within proximity to other significant Maya sites like Kohunlich and Dzibanche. The site’s position in the dense jungle adds an element of mystery and adventure to the visitor experience. Surrounded by vibrant flora and fauna, the journey to Chacchoben becomes a sensory-rich exploration of both history and nature. Chacchoben is located approximately 45 minutes driving from the center of Bacalar.
Aerial View of Chacchoben Ruins near Bacalar, Mexico, fortyfive minutes from Mahahual, two hours from the new International Airport of Tulum, an hour and fifteen minutes from the state capital Chetumal.

Excavation & Restoration

Rediscovered in the 1940s, Chacchoben underwent significant excavation and restoration efforts in the late 20th century, allowing visitors to witness the site’s former glory. Archaeologists have carefully unearthed intricate stucco friezes, pottery, and ceremonial objects, shedding light on the daily life, religious practices, and artistic achievements of the ancient Maya.

Visitor Experience

Today, Chacchoben welcomes visitors from around the world to immerse themselves in its mystical ambiance and explore the remnants of a civilization that thrived centuries ago. Guided tours provide insights into the historical significance of each structure, unraveling the stories of the ancient Maya and their intricate connection to the cosmos.
Newly restored Mayan pyramid from the Chacchoben Archaeological Site accessible by ferry or boat from the Caribbean Ocean at the south end of the state of Quintana Roo.

The Chacchoben Archaeological Zone stands as a captivating testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the ancient Maya civilization. As visitors traverse the paths of this archaeological wonder, they are transported back in time, gaining a profound appreciation for the cultural richness and historical depth that define this extraordinary site in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula.