Cancun is a popular destination known for the unbeatable beauty of its crystal-clear turquoise waters and the sophisticated variety of nightclubs that come alive at nightfall. However, there are a few places less explored such as the archaeological site of El Rey, or “The King”.
On your next vacation getaway to Villa del Palmar Cancún, we highly recommend a visit to the archaeological site of El Rey, a fantastic hidden cultural gem that is conveniently located in the Hotel Zone strip, approximately 25 minutes from Villa del Palmar Cancun. It is perfect for a quick visit if you are interested in visiting an archeological site, but don’t quite have the time for a trip to Tulum or Chichen Itza. The cost of admission to El Rey is very affordable, unlike some of the other archeological sites, which can be pricier.
During your visit, you will have the opportunity to walk around the 47 buildings that were inhabited by the ancient Maya a thousand years ago. You will notice that some of the structures are more intact than others and they preserve an important part of the ancestral history of the “Nest of Snakes” city, Cancun’s Mayan name.
Walking through the different buildings will not take you more than 35 minutes, so it will be a quick but very interesting tour. It is advisable to download and listen to the TekTrek audio guide to learn more about the traces of the ancient Maya that have been discovered here, including what is considered the tomb of an important king, as well as rural paintings.
A visit to the Mayan ruins of El Rey is a one-of-a-kind experience. Its buildings will take you on a journey back in time, where you can get to know the iconic Mayan temples, small squares, and enjoy contact with nature, observing the lush native flora and seeing many of the iguanas that can be found in the area.
There are few shaded areas around the ruins and the heat can be intense, so we recommend you bring a sun hat or umbrella as well as sunglasses. We also recommend wearing comfortable shoes. Bringing sunscreen and insect repellent is also advisable.
It is important to mention that you will be required to pay an additional fee in case you want to bring in a professional photo or video camera, so make sure you bring extra cash as well if you plan on documenting your trip to this small jewel of ancient civilization.
It is believed that El Rey served as a commercial seaport between Cancun and the archeological site of San Miguelito, another lesser known archeological site, and where the interesting Museo Maya de Cancún (Mayan Museum of Cancun) is located. After your walk through El Rey, you should also take time to stop and visit the San Miguelito archaeological site, located within the Museo Maya de Cancún.
Afterwards you may want to enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean at one of the amazing beaches nearby. Don’t forget to bring your towel and swimsuit with you.