Cerros Travel Blog

 › entry 1 of 1 › view all entries

Cerros ("Spanish for Hill") Archaeological Reserve is more than 53 acres on the top of a hill overlooking Chetumal Bay. Cerros is across Chetumal Bay from Corozal. Cerros sits on a peninsula at the mouth of the New River that empties into Chetumal Bay. Cerros served as an link between the coastal canoe trading routes that circumnavigated the Yucat√°n Peninsula and inland waterways. Cerros is a Pre-Classic (350 BC - 250 AD) Maya coastal trading center of more than 50 acres. Cerros is one of only two Pre-Classic Maya sites with no later additions to its structures. There are 5 temples with adjacent plazas, two ball courts and an extensive canal system with raise field agriculture. Adjacent to the south side of the site is a crescent-shaped canal system that encloses the central portion of the site and includes several raised fields.
Residential areas continue to the south of this canal system, radiating southwest and southeast. There have been a number of raised fields identified outside of the canal system. The tallest pyramid platform is 72 feet tall. Cerros probably did not exceed 2,000 inhabitants.

Cerros was first occupied some time prior to 350 BC. Cerros was a small village of farmers, fishermen and traders. They took advantage of the fertile soils, increased the amount of arable land by creating raised fields from soils excavated to form canals. Cerros had easy access to the sea and inland waterways. The population of Cerros produced abundant food store, manufactured finished goods and traded these items with the other Maya in the area. Sometime around 50 BC the population of Cerros began to experiment with the concept of kingship.
The inhabitants entered a period of urban renewal. They burying some of their homes, raised fields and canals to make room for a group of temples and plazas. The first new construction project was the building of the pyramid platform at the northern most point of the sacred north/south axis.This has become the most famous structure at this site. The southern most point of the sacred north/south axis sat the ball court. New temples were constructed to honor the passing of power from one king to another. The last monumental construction projected began prior to 100 AD. Many of the existing structure of the site appear to have been abandoned prior to the completion of this last project. It appears that any new construction was limited to residential units, canals and raised fields. Cerros appears to have been abandoned by 400 AD.

Cerros provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding region. The New River is a habitat for a variety of wildlife that includes more that 100 species of birds, crocodiles and manatee. Open 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, entrance fee of $3.00 US. The site may be reach by heading northeast from Orange Walk heading through San Estevan, Progresso and Copperbank to Cerros at roads end. Cerros is about 1 hour from Orange Walk. The site provides restrooms, water, and a covered picnic area.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Sponsored Links
photo by: geokid