Not far from downtown San Ignacio are the ruins of Cahal Pech. Honestly if you didn’t know they were there, you would never guess to drive up the road that leads to the entrance to the ruins. Our car climbed the steep gravel road and as we reached the hillcrest, we immediately saw the entrance.
It was the middle of the week, early in the day and we were the only people in sight. We had arrived right after the ruins had opened to take advantage of the cooler weather in the morning. After paying our entrance fees, we wandered through a small museum with artifacts and details on the Mayans who had once lived there.
After a short walk, we reached the first structure at the site. It was incredible how many different structures were on the property. Unlike many of Mexico’s Mayan sites, visitors here were able to explore the ruins, climb the structures and enter the rooms at the ruins.
We explored the entire property and checked out the bedrooms where the Mayans slept, walked in the steam/saunas they relaxed in, and strolled across the ball courts where the top athletes competed. It was amazing to wander around, thinking about all of the things that happened there so long ago.
When we left, we met a local in the parking lot who told us about the continuous discovery of artifacts by residents living in the town below. People plant a tree or companies dig a new sewer line and pottery, bones, and other artifacts show up. They aren’t even sure how far this particular Mayan town extended away from the main ruin site. The royals and other rich and important people lived in the main area, while the “normal” residents and peasants lived in homes below.