A small Mayan city in the eastern coast of the Yucatan peninsula, also known as Chunyaxché, although its original name is unknown, Muyil was one of the earliest Mayan settlements as well as one of the longest continually inhabited ones. Artifacts discovered here have been dated as early as 300 BC and as late as 1500 AD. This city was of vital importance to settlements inland and further up north as it was a link in the maritime trading routes of the Mayan world and a connection inland to cities like Cobá, with whom they maintained strong ties through most of their history. Despite lacking direct access to the Caribbean, the city was built on the shores of a lagoon that connects to sea via a series of natural canals.
The site is beautiful because of its natural surroundings and the view of the lagoon, but it also offers a unique view of Mayan architecture uncommon for this area. That is the Peten style, usually found in cities further south, with Tikal being its most famous example. This style is characterized by pyramids with steep tall walls for each level. A small but nevertheless beautiful site, Muyil is a great stop for an adventure in the southern end of the Riviera Maya, specially if you pair it with a stop in Tulum and its world famous beaches or the nearby cenotes.
How to get There
The drive is pretty much a straightforward one. Once you get on the Cancún-Tulum highway continue heading south, keep heading south until you’ve passed the town of Tulum. Continue on the highway, now in the Tulum-Carrillo Puerto stretch, and about 13 km south of Tulum you will find the signs marking the entrance to the site. The other easier way of getting here is by taking a tour; there are many tours that offer stops in Muyil departing from all over Cancún and the Riviera Maya. A tour saves you the hassle of car rental and driving, plus provides the additional benefit of having a knowledgeable guide to learn from when exploring these stunning ancient sites. Bonus points if you book a tour that includes visits to other nearby points of interest like cenotes or the iconic Mayan site of Tulum.
To make the most out of your day and the long drive, make sure that you either book a tour that includes multiple stops or make plans to stay in the area for the day as there are many other things to see here. Bring light, comfortable clothing for the treks on the jungles but don’t forget a bathing suit, towel and change of clothes as you will probably want to take a dip in the Caribbean’s crystal clear waters in the beaches of Tulum or in one of the many cenotes of the area.
Ask us about a private excursion to visit Sian Ka'an and Muyil, we can design the tour that suits you best.
Muyil Ruins, a door to Sian Kaan