Kohunlich Mayan Ruin Site

Kohunlich is an amazing Mayan Ruin site best known for its Temple of the Masks. It is located about 65km west of Chetumal in beautiful sub-tropical rainforest. We wanted Nate to be able to see some of the reasons we retired here and Kohunlich was a great opportunity to take him on an adventure and show him some history. The site itself covers about 21 acres and contains about 200 mounds but only a small fraction of them have been excavated; the remainder are still covered by dense vegetation and what appear to be banyan trees. Kohunlich was settled by 200 BC, but most of the site was built during Early Classic period from about 250 to 600 AD.

The Temple of the Masks itself is an Early Classic pyramid whose main stairways are lined by huge human faced masks. Historians believe that many of the structures on the site were once covered with a red tinted plaster. The masks on the Temple of the Masks still retain an ancient reddish coloration.

When Nate and I visited we literally had the grounds to ourselves. The place was thick with palm forests and had an eerie almost white noise background buzzing sound. Green parrots flew overhead and leaf cutter ants and bright orange colored centipedes crawled on the ground. There is a huge central plaza surrounded by temples, pyramids and even a ball court complete with a sloped, bleacher like viewing area. The stone foundations and a few walls still exist where the “elites” lived; the simple wooden structures where the less fortunate resided have been completely reclaimed by the jungle.

This part of Quintana Roo is thick with barely visited ruins of this type. The Mexican government seems to be doing a great job preserving these wonders and I hope interested people will make sure it stays that way.

 

 

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Author: Jonathan Look

In 2011 Jonathan Look decided to change his life and pursue adventures instead of comfort and possessions. His goal is to travel the world solo; one country at a time, one year at a time. To accomplish this he got rid of most of his possessions, packed up what little he saw as necessities and headed out. His goal is to spend ten years discovering new places, meeting new people and taking the time to learn about them, their values and their place on this tiny planet. He embraces the philosophy that says a person is the sum of their experiences and rejects the fraud of modern consumerism that makes people into slaves of their consumption. He doesn’t intend to be modern day ascetic, just more mindful of his place in the world and to make decisions according to that new standard.

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