Kohunlich: a Mayan archaeological site near Bacalar

Kohunlich: a Mayan archaeological site near Bacalar

Close to Bacalar you will find Kohunlich, an archaeological site where you will feel like a new explorer discovering an unchartered territory in the middle of the jungle. It is one of the most attractive Mayan archaeological zones due to the lush nature that surrounds it. You can get there either by taxi or by rental car as there is no public transportation to the area.

It is a truly remarkable site you will be able to roam and inspect freely and almost on your own exploring the different structures and finding unexpected locations like the Temple of the Masks, a place that has been widely used to promote the Mayan culture with images of the almost 7 feet tall masks that remain in an astoundingly perfect condition, which captures the imagination and curiosity of history buffs and Mayan culture fans.


At Kohunlich there are beautiful sights of the jungle amidst remnants of squares, ceremonial centers, residential areas and water canals. The local palms that give shade to the area are said to have been the reason for the site’s name, as an English-speaking explorer baptized it as cohoon ridge and from there, with time, came the name Kohunlich. Its original Mayan name is unknown but it must surely have made reference to its lush nature or the huge masks found in its temple.

As all other tropical jungles in the state, it has a rich and astonishing ecosystem and we should be thankful that this place is still yet little known and yet unspoiled, however, if we all do our bit to take care of it and preserve it, the extraordinary birds such as toucans, the peculiar howler monkeys that wander around the area and the bats that live in the constructions, will be able to stay put where they are, which will make visitors very happy and help the local flora and fauna.kokunlich_bacalar.webp

The temple of the masks and the 27 step compound and many more constructions in this beautiful area are great reminders of the richness of the Mayan civilization and the natural treasures of this land that was their home. There is not much to think about. If you are staying in Bacalar, walk the same roads as the wise men and warriors of a civilization very much ahead of its time and do yourself a favor coming to discover some place new, beautiful and inspiring, which, much the same as the 7 color lagoon and the city’s famous Fort will charm and enchant you.