El Rey A Day Trip Out Of Hotel Haciend, Cancun City

Cancun Travel Blog

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El Rey ("The King"), located on Isla Cancun, is just off Kukulkan Boulevard at KM 17 in the Southern Hotel Zone in Cancun. El Rey is adjacent to the Hilton Resorts Golf Course on the lagoon side among mangroves. The tallest of these ruins offer a great view of the Post Classical Period Maya Plazas, much of the Southern Hotel Zone and Nichupte' ("full of roses") Lagoon.

El Rey is located between the Caribbean and Nichupte lagoon. Archaeologist believe that it functioned as a center for the maritime traders and a fishing port and distribution center. It is assumed that El Rey formed part of the commercial structure of the zone, receiving canoes that entered the lagoon through the Nizuc channel.
Numerous eroded murals are still present.

Between Punta CancĂșn and Punta Nizuc are numerous Mayan ruins, mostly Puuc in style. These ruins are referred to collectively as the El Rey ruins. Other names have appeared in print for specific groups of individual structures. some of these names are Las Pinturas, San Miguel, Yamilum, Pok-ta-poc and El Conchero. Most are badly eroded pyramid platforms. some with remnants of shires on top. Several of these pyramid platforms have rounded corners. There have been more than 50 tombs excavated.

Occupation of El Rey area began prior to 300 BC. Maya occupation of this site began prior to 900 AD and continued until at least 1550 AD. The visible structures were constructed after 1200 AD. The architecture is complex in style and somewhat similar to Tulum.

Archaeologist named this site El Rey because of a sculpture of a nobleman head found on the site that honors the Maya Sun God. This sculpture can be seen at the Archaeological Museum of Cancun. The original name of this site has not yet been determined. There are at least 47 structures at this site. Most are low platforms, and platform temples. The two largest platform temples are believed to be the remains of religious ceremonial center and the market areas. If you look closely, you can see stones carved with Maya glyphs and remnants of painted murals.

Archaeological work at El Rey has continued to find new information. In 2006 a skeleton was uncovered. this is not a case for Cancun CSI! The archaeological report has not been published for this find.

El Rey still is heavily populated.
There must be 1,000 iguanas making a living in this grand tourist trap of Cancun. frequently the park guides feed the iguanas. This population of iguanas does not fear humans. They think all humans are a source of food.

El Rey can be seen in an hour. Be prepared to use a DEET based insect repellent before exploring the park due to the large number of mosquitoes that may be present if wind conditions are just right.

Entrance to the El Rey Park was 30 pesos with hours from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is little to no parking. Any taxi will be able to deliver you to this site. I recommend making arrangements for a pick up time before you leave your taxi. Buses can be used also.

Artifacts from this and other sites in the state reside in the small Archaeological Museum of Cancun at the Convention Center. The museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
bkretzer says:
Sounds like it is worth a visit, once I make it down to Cancun!
Posted on: Apr 16, 2009
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photo by: Marina2710