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Top 10 best ruins in Mexico - Mayan ruins and templates in Mexico (2023)

Mexico is full of Ruins, Temples and Pyramids. We introduce the best ruins in Mexico in this article so you can choose the one you would like to visit.

Top 10 best ruins in Mexico - Mayan ruins and templates in Mexico (2023)

Mexico is a famous tourist destination in South America that has a lot to offer. The country is full of different types of attractions for various types of tourists. Among these attractions in Mexico, Mayan ruins and templates are unique places for tourists to visit. 

As there are many of these ruins and templates, it is a smart choice to know them before planning your trip to choose and know what to expect.

Let's discover the best historical Mexican ruins sites and Mayan ruins.

Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is one of the most well-designed architectures of Mayan ruins, which has two sections, Old Chichen and Chichen Itza. There are you can find 6 Mayan Ruins in the Old Chichen section and about 20 Mayan Ruins in the New Chichen or Chichen Itza, making it a total of 26 Mayan Ruins to see on the Mayan Site.

This Maya site is famous because, in 2007, it became one of the new seven wonders of the world. It is believed that the site consists of past religious, army, diplomatic, and commercial center buildings.

animal head sculpture on the left and the pyramid on the right in chichen itza


Coba is well worth a visit as it's among the few Mayan pyramids you're allowed to climb. For the past couple of years, the local government has been debating whether or not they should stop people from climbing it, so every time you get a chance to climb this pyramid, it might be your last time!

The pyramid is 42m (138ft), which is the longest on Yucatan Peninsula, and has 120 steps, which might seem not too much but can be difficult to climb up, and of course, to get back down. You can use the rope in the middle as your helper throughout your way.

The best time to visit the pyramid is in the morning as it is not too crowded, and if you could be there at sunrise, you would have the chance to see an absolutely breathtaking view. This pyramid is higher than the trees, which makes this view more unique.

Couple on the top of Coba pyramid watching the mexican jungle


Uxmal is around 4 hour ride from Cancun and was the second most visited ruins site in Mexico before the pandemic. The buildings of the city used to accommodate around 25,000 inhabitants and are decorated with many symbols and sculptures of Chaac, the god of rain.

The buildings of this site are among the best buildings of Mayans, and also they are a sign that the people of that age had knowledge of astronomy. 

You may also be interested in visiting some of the best cenotes in Mexico while traveling there.

The Pyramid of the Magician is the central structure in the Maya ruin complex of Uxmal, Mexico


This place is a UNESCO world heritage site which is known as a holy city, or as they say, the place where gods were created. The structures of this site are very close in competing with Chichen Itza, although they are not as famous.

The two most famous pyramids on this site are the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, which are astonishing structures that were built before the invention of modern tools. The pyramid of the Sun is the third-largest pyramid in the world today!

Pyramids of the Sun and Moon on the Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacan ancient historic cultural city, Mexico

Monte Alban Pyramids

Monte Alban Pyramids are a mysterious archeological site near Oaxaca city and a must-visit place if you are traveling to this area. 

This place was built by the Zapotec civilization and was one of their important centers for politics and culture. Monte Alban is best known for its complex architecture of the pyramids, plazas, and other buildings, which are made by the professional handcrafted men of the Zapotec people.

Monte Alban Pyramids

Tulum ruins

Tulum ruins are smaller compared to all the ruins mentioned above, but as there are very close to the Tulum downtown, they are very convenient to reach. Besides, although small, these ruins are located on the cliffside, looking at the Caribbean and the white sand beaches, which is a beautiful, unique site.

There are different buildings at this site, and the main pyramid here used to be a lighthouse. Right below the main pyramid, there is a small sandy white beach where you can swim. This will be a unique experience for visiting ruins in Mexico.

tulum ruins in mexico


Yaxchilan is a unique Mayan ruin built on the curve of the Usumacinta River. The location of these structures gave them the more strategic advantage of protection at the time and made them be the great power of the area at the time. 

There are different types of buildings at this site, which are all carefully connected to each other with terraces, stairways, and platforms. The pyramids and buildings are very well-decorated and stretch along the Usumacinta River. Also, there are many sculptures are on the buildings and surrounding them that are worth visiting.

Exploring Mexico? explore La Ciudad Amarilla!

Yaxchilan ruins in Chiapas, Mexico


Palenque, like Yaxchilan, is located in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. The craftsmanship and the beauty of the buildings and the sculptures here are good reasons to believe in the brilliance of the Mayan community.

This site is another UNESCO-protected site and has gained a lot of attention from travelers from the 18th century. Here you will find a unique beauty in the buildings that are hidden in the columns, walls, crests, vaulted halls connecting galleries, and T-shaped windows.

Palenque ruins in mexico

Ek Balam

Ek Balam is one of the least visited Mayan ruins in Mexico, and it could be because it is only 51 km away from the famous site of Chichen Itza. If you are looking for less crowded ruins in Mexico to visit, Ek Balam is a great choice for you.

This site was not even discovered until the late 1970s, and there are still many hidden secrets and mysteries in this site to be revealed. The area is 15 km, and there are 40 buildings consisting of several Mayan temples, two palaces, and a pyramid. By climbing up one of the tallest buildings, you will get to see the other buildings and the jungle from above.

Ancient Mayan ruins of Ek Balam in Mexico


Another Unesco worlds heritage site that was declared protected in 2002 for cultural and environmental significance. This site is also another of the beaten site where you can visit the ruins without the crowd. 

Calakmul was one of the major powers of its time and has a great pyramid at the site, which is one of the highest among the Mayan structures being over 45 meters. 

There is a museum at the entrance of the site, which is worth visiting as it explains the history and many facts related to that era. 

Aerial view of the pyramid, Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico

Got any questions? Leave us a comment below in the comment section…

Apr 17, 2023

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