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Yucatan Peninsula – Calakmul

Yucatan Peninsula – Calakmul


Bacalar - Chetumal 1h en collectivo pour 45 pesos (1,90 euros)
Chetumal - Xpujil en bus avec la compagnie Caribe pour 80 pesos (3,40 euros)
La ville la plus proche pour visiter les ruines de Calakmul situé en pleine jungle, est Xpujil.

For us, this establishment is ideal for its location and because it offers everything on site. We arrived at the end of the afternoon. The time to put down the business and off we go for a little stroll in the center which quickly scared us away. Honestly, it's ugly, there is nothing and people are looking at you weird. Suddenly, the kindness of Oscar and his little family contrasts sharply with the rest of the city. Personally, who cares, we came for the ruins. At 8 am the next morning, our driver picks us up. 2 hours drive to reach the Calakmul site accompanied by a couple of young Parisians and an Argentinian. 

Price: Ecotax + access rights to the reserve + ticket to visit the ruins = 200 pesos

The ruins of Calakmul

Calakmul is the modern name of one of the oldest and most powerful Mayan cities discovered within 7,200 km22 of the biosphere reserve of the same name.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this archaeological site is located about 35 km north of the border with Guatemala, in south-eastern Mexico in the state of Campeche (Yucatan Peninsula).

This Mayan city was inhabited for more than 1000 years, then abandoned before being engulfed by vegetation. Nicknamed the Serpent Kingdom, its population is estimated to be 50,000. One of its “pyramids” rises to 50 meters in height, it is about one of the highest of all the Mayan civilization.

Discovered in 1931, excavations actually began only 25 years ago. She was the construction the longest of the Mayas: 500 BC - 900 AC. Here reigned the most powerful Mayan dynasty named the dynastie Kaan..

More than 6500 structures are present on this site lost in the middle of the jungle, it feels like Mowgli.There you will find residential areas, the large acropolis and the small one, the large square and various structures which all had a particular use. The highest pyramid with its 50 m height is the Structure II followed by Structure I with about 40 m high. You can climb to the top of these.  The view is breathtaking. The atmosphere is really special, mysterious. 

Advice: allow 4 to 6 hours for the visit, good sneakers, 3-4 liters of water and food. There is absolutely nothing to eat, so be careful in your preparations.

Visit of the biosphere

After 4 hours of visiting the ruins, our driver offers us to continue with a tour in the jungle to see the animals. Quick consultation of the group where everyone responds with a big YES.

Price: 100 pesos/pers (4 euros)

Let's go for a 2 hours walk in the jungle. Pure happiness! We will see 2 kinds of monkeys there as well as their dormitory, a crocodile, a cabeza de viejo or Sanjool, all kinds of birds, an astonishing vegetation…. We took full eyes. We are in heaven. 

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The Bats Cave

Here we are driving towards Xpujil when our driver tells us about bats.

Not far from the reserve, there is a rather special cave not to be missed… Every day at nightfall, 3 million bats escape in a spectacular flight. This phenomenon only occurs a priori in 2 places on the planet: in Yucatan and Malaysia, so obviously we did not want to miss it! This phenomenon only occurs a priori in 2 places on the planet: in Yucatan and Malaysia, so obviously we did not want to miss it ! 

We see the road signs scrolling “Attention bats” (personally, it really makes me laugh 😂 ) and that's good, our dear little beasts will soon be leaving their cave. Only here, our 2 Parisians are exhausted and want to return to Xpujil. Decently, we can't take them as hostages ahaha. I understand their fatigue and at the same time, I can't see myself missing it. Neither one nor two, I suggest to Estelle to get out of the vehicle, to witness the take-off and then to hitchhike to return. I was expecting in response to a "you're sick but it's not going", here she is all excited who answers me without hesitation "yes yes good idea, let's do that". I love. After negotiation, we convince our driver to leave us at the guides meeting point where people are already waiting. Suddenly, it circulates the noise that we are looking for a return vehicle. It's not been 2 minutes we are there that a Mexican couple offers to bring us back with their pick-up haha. Is not life beautiful ? Finally, Thomas, our Argentinian, joins us. Awesome ! The cave is ours !😁

The spectacle is gripping and truly unique. 


-  Hotel Chaac Calakmul   -

Hotel - Super nice restaurant located in the center of Xpujil. 
Booked on Booking for 300 pesos (12 euros). Our room with 2 double beds and private bathroom is certainly very simple, without frills, but it is comfortable and clean. Oscar, the boss is really lovely and helpful. He keeps it all together with his equally nice wife and son. We felt so good there that we will also eat there. It's good and really cheap. I really recommend the pizzas. So we also book the tour via Oscar.
Strengths of the establishment



Back at our hotel after a busy day, we decide to eat there. Our Parisians are already seated when we arrive. The festivities begin with them when suddenly I think I'm hallucinating. Who land ??? Our shocking duo Jules and Jérémy. Hello surprise !!! Homecoming with “ahhhh but what are you doing here? but it's soooo nice ”In short, it chirps, it chirps. Let's go for a drunken evening haha.


What a huge day ! We will have chained 3 visits, watered at the end of the day with our beautiful table. We should take the bus at 2 a.m. to get to Palenque but obviously there would be another bus at 10:30 am. So, we stay to sleep a second night at the Chaac Hotel. Cool ! A little rest… well deserved.

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