"Kohunlich: Mayan Ruins deep in a Tropical Jungle" Ruinas Kohunlích by Stephen-KarenConn

Ruinas Kohunlích Travel Guide: 36 reviews and 129 photos

Ruinas Kohunlich is a Mayan Archeological Site which was active from around 600 - 1200 A.D. It lies deep in the tropical jungle at the southeastern corner of Mexico, near the international border with Belize. Kohunlich is a corruption of the name "Cohune Ridge". Cohune is a type of fruiting palm which grows in the area. The earliest modern-day explorers to find Kohunlich called the site "Clarksville," which is how it is referred to in old maps and reports.

This is one of the lesser known Mayan sites and has never been fully investigated. What little archaeological work that has been done, has revealed only a general time frame of occupation. The city apparently rose to prominence in the Early Classic period when there were important ties to the cultures of northern Belize; this has been deduced from the style of the god masks.

The first modern explorer of the city of Kohunlich was an American, Raymond Merwin, who came here in 1912. However, partly due to its hard-to-reach location, it was quickly forgotten about again for another fifty years. It was not until the activities of looters was made known that Mexican authorities were finally prompted to undertake restorational work from the 1960s to the 1980s. Kohunlich has now been designated as a National Park.

Although remote, Kohunlich can now be reached by good new roads. Most visitors, like ourselves, come by way of cruise ship excursions from Puerto Costa Maya, a two hour drive away.

  • Last visit to Ruinas Kohunlích: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Feb 24, 2007
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Reviews (18)

Comments (9)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2008 at 9:51 AM

    The temples at Kohunlich such as the Temple of the Masks looks so beautiful. I am hip to taking advantage of coach tours, very safe and comfortable. I did not know about the upside down trees, very interesting. Thanks!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Feb 1, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    great to catch up on your latest adventures. good stuff.

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM

    Fascinating page, ruins and jungle! Very good warning tip on malaria. I would like to see jaguar in wildlife.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Mar 7, 2007 at 4:35 PM

    another great page!

  • sswagner's Profile Photo
    Mar 2, 2007 at 8:13 PM

    Archeaology is always fascinating. It looks like you had a great time seeing some incredible ruins. Great photos and descriptions.

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Feb 27, 2007 at 3:43 PM

    Ruinas Kohunlich reminds me of Dzibilchaltun Ruins near the Port of Progreso...where my sister & I toured on our cruise. Excellent descriptions, vibrant photographs, and the top-notch writing skills of Stephen!

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2007 at 4:34 PM

    Interesting page on some ruins in Mexico that I've not been to. That's one of my favorite things to do when we visit! Love the upside down trees :-)

  • Feb 25, 2007 at 3:49 PM

    I was here in '93...and smelled like bug spray for 2 weeks after!! I remember the upside down tree!! Thanks for taking me back...in your own special way!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2007 at 4:10 AM

    I really enjoyed this page Stephen. I love Mayan ruins & this one looks exceptional, especially the Temple of the Stelae, the Acropolis and the fascinating Masks. Reminds me a bit of Chichen-Itza.

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