Ichkabal ruins near Bacalar

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Ichkabal ruins near Bacalar

Close to Laguna Bacalar lies Ichkabal, an ancient Maya city that predates even Chichén Itzá and Uxmal. This significant political and cultural center is one of the most paramount in the Yucatan Peninsula. People found it by chance in 1995. Due to its vast extent, it remained concealed. So long as authorities grappled with the challenge of protecting and preserving its historical treasures. Here are some tips on Ichkabal ruins near Bacalar.

 Ichkabal ruins near Bacalar: What to expect

Just 18 miles to the west of Bacalar lagoon, Ichkabal remains shrouded by the jungle’s embrace. It reminds us of its millennia-long isolation from human touch. Archaeologists, uncovering its secrets, hold strong convictions about its pivotal role in the history of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Excavations have unveiled a central complex of structures, some dating back at least 2,400 years. Among these ancient edifices stands a remarkable 131-foot-tall pyramid, nearly twice the height of Chichen Itza’s Temple of Kukulcan, with a base reminiscent of Teotihuacan’s imposing Pyramid of the Sun.

Man-made lagoons

One of the most remarkable finds at Ichkabal is the artificial lagoons encircling the ruins, believed to have functioned as a water reservoir for the ancient city. The archaeologists leading the excavation project have been astonished by the advanced hydraulic engineering techniques employed in its creation, specifically designed to mitigate erosion and water infiltration.

As its mysteries continue to be unveiled, Ichkabal is likely to keep astonishing experts and, soon enough, tourists. Yet, the city seems reticent to fully disclose itself. Since its relatively recent discovery in 1994, researchers have recognized the immense challenge of transforming it into a tourist attraction, largely due to its vast size, estimated at 6,000 hectares.

 Ichkabal ruins near Bacalar: When can we visit

Unfortunately, it is still not possible to visit these ruins, however, according to what was stated by the head of the INAH Quintana Roo Center, Margarito Molina, the Ichkabal archaeological site could open its doors to tourists between April and May 2024.