This site, whose modern name means “two adjacent pyramids”, was discovered in 1931. During the Classic Period of the Mayas it was a regional capital of the Snake Head or Snake Kingdom and the foremost rival of Tikal, Guatemala. Its spacious plazas are framed by stepped platforms, stelae with inscriptions, a pair of residential units, a ballcourt, and two colossal pyramids.

The origins of this metropolis date back to 600 BC. From 300 BC to 250 AC the two monumental pyramids that gave the site its name were built. In the same period Calakmul began to consolidate its power as the Snake Head Kingdom and to intensify its foreign polices.

From the mid-sixth to early eighth centuries, this consolidation was strengthened through alliances with cities such as Yaxchilán, in Chiapas, and Dos Pilas and the Petexbatún, in Guatemala. By the Late Postclassical (1250-1517 AC), records indicate that Calakmul still conducted ceremonial activities.

The site stood out for its dimensions (the core alone covered some 25 sq. km.), as well as for its many buildings, some of the largest in the Mayan zone, and for the number of stelae in the region (more than a hundred).

The Great Plaza stands at the core of Calakmul’s urban layout with residential areas for different lineages around it.

In the first section, structures IV and VII stand out, and in the second structures V and II. Another important space is known as the Great Acropolis, designed in two sections: the North Plaza – including the Ballcourt, structures XIV, XVIII and its annex- dedicated to ceremonial activities, and the South Plaza, for public acts, which include structures XV and XVII.

Other major features are the palatial compound for ruling classes, such as the Wac Ahau Nah and the Utsiaal Caan residential units- both in the K’inich Pak Group.

There the number of rooms suggests occupation by extended families; representatives from subordinate city states probably stayed here when they came to deal with administrative, political and military matters.

Today your can visit the CALAKMUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL ZONE a World Heritage Site in our tour:

MAYAN ADVENTURE- Mayan archaeological tours

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