Xcaret Travel Blog

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Xcaret "small inlet" or "deal of merchants". Xacaret is a small Maya civilization archaeological site located on the Caribbean coastline of the Yucatán Peninsula, in the modern-day state of Quintana Roo in Mexico, 1 mile south of Playa de Carmen on Highway 307. The original name was P'ole' "merchandise". Xcaret, the site was occupied by the pre-Columbian Maya and functioned as a port for navigation and an important Maya trading center. The site functioned as a port for Coba. The area around Xcaret was first occupied prior to 300 BC by a farming and fishing community. According to the research by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) the first buildings of the site are from the years 200 AD to 600 AD, but the majority of them are from the period from 1200 AD to 1550 AD.

The structures of the Late Post-Classical period are situated along the coast; some of them in strategic positions as lookout stations for incoming enemies or traders. The site had a defensive wall. This wall  is unlike the one in Tulum which is open towards the ocean. The wall at Xcaret defended the site from assaults coming from the sea. Xcaret was inhabited at the time of the first stage of the Spanish incursion of Alonso Dávila and Francisco de Montejo into the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula (1527 to 1529).

Several small Maya ruins lie within the eco-park of Xcaret 200 acres. This eco-archaeological park has displays depicting different aspects of the Mayan culture of Quintana Roo, and it also has ecological importance due to its efforts of conservation and reproduction of regional flora and fauna.

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photo by: hannajax