The Stunning Mayan Ruins at Kabah


Kabah Maya Ruins is an archaeological site located south of the ruins of Uxmal in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Located 90 miles South of Merida, it is the second largest Mayan ruin after Uxmal. The word “Kabah” means “Strong Hand” in Mayan language.

The Kabah Maya ruins at Kabah are located along what is called the “Puuc Route”, named after the many sites around Uxmal where the Maya Puuc style of building can be found. It is here in the inland hill country of the Yucatan that the best of Puuc architecture can be found.

Although only a small part of this site has been excavated, it is home to some very interesting and unusual buildings and sculptures.

The site was inhabited from about 350 B.C.E., but most of the architecture was built around 700-1100 C.E. Kabah was abandoned around 1200, before the Spanish conquest of Yucatan. It is thought that in early times Kabah was a thriving city, an adversary of Uxmal, but they eventually allied.

The Kabah maya ruins is home to its main attraction, the “Palace of the Masks”, which is a façade decorated with hundreds of stone masks of the long-nosed rain Mayan god Chaac. - Kabah Ruins Mexico 5

The obsessive repetition of Chaac speaks about the strong importance of rain for the region, due to the lack of water. In the Riviera Mayan there are plenty of cenotes, however here there are no cenotes nor rivers, locals were entirely dependent on the rain. Here they constructed geometric drainage systems of canals to help irrigate the land. It is believed that the scarcity of water caused the city to eventually be abandoned.

The site spans many square miles, though only the ceremonial center has been cleared and restored, the rest is still covered by the jungle. Located in the middle of nowhere, this ancient lost city offers you a number of palaces and low stone buildings, such as:

• The Arch of Kabah, a gateway to the city that links it to Uxmal, via sacbe, a Mayan ceremonial walkway

• The Temple of the Columns

• The House of the Witch

A large pyramid at Kabah ruins is still waiting to be uncovered in the future. No one knows what artistic treasures may be found under the overgrown jungle trees and vines that cover its surface.

What to do in Kabah Maya Ruins:

• Behind the Palace of the Masks is El Palacio. You can climb the steps and look through the many doorways at the top, although nothing much is inside.

• The biggest draw at Kabah is El Palacio de los Mascarones. The impressive building at Kabah is CODZ POOP (Palace of Masks) – almost 300 masks of Chac (the rain god or sky serpent).Beyond Codz Poop is a small pyramid and EL PALACIO which has traditional Puuc architecture.

• On the east side of El Palacio are two restored atlantes (two male figures used as a support column). These are unusual because Mayan statues don’t portray human figures. One figure has wearing a jaguar mask while the other is sporting no head at all.

* The most important structure in Kabah ruins is the Palace of the Masks or Codz Poop wich has a facade covered in hundreds of stone mask of the rain god Chac. This repetition of a single element of the mayan masks is unusual in the Maya art. - Kabah Ruins Mexico 9

How to get to Kabah Ruins:

This mayan archeological site is located on Highway 261 , 140 km south of Merida near Ticul city and 22km south eat of Uxmal.

If you stay at a Merida hotel, the best way is to take a tour to visit the Puuc Route wich in addition to this archeological site includes the mayan sites of Labna , Sayil and Xlapak and the Caves of Loltun.

Kabah is situated right next the Merida – Campeche road just 20 km south of Uxmal. By road, Kabah is about 75mi (120 km) from Campeche on the Mex 261 and about 80mi (130km) from Merida on the Mex 261.

Where to stay? We recommend you stay in a Merida Hotel and hit Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak and Labna.



Travel guide to the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum. Features hotels, original activities, tours, restaurants and wedding planning.
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