Ichkabal is a newly found ruin that is currently being excavated. Originally due to open in 2011, it has been delayed until possibly 2013. This was announced in March of 2011. Ichkabal archaeological site is located in the municipality of Othon P. Blanco, which started exploration work in 2003.
There have been several factors causing the delay including the lack of economic resources, the death of the archaeologist Enrique Hernández Nalda last year, who was in charge of the project and the status of the land. Twenty-five square kilometers of the archaeological site are ejido. According to the delegate in Quintana Roo, National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Adriana Velázquez Morlet, the talks with the members of the Ejido de Bacalar are on good terms but there is still negotiations going on.
Regarding the financial issue, Velázquez Morlet said only 20% of the needed funds have been allocated. The death of Enrique Nalda created a complete shutdown and a void of information coming from INAH, with exception of the video below which was made in March of 2011. There is now activity on the site, although it isn't clear which Archaeologist is in charge.
Notably Ichkabal is one of the most important settlements of Preclassic Maya yet was not discovered until 1995 and exploration work did not begin until 2003 - about the time Mayan Beach Garden opened.
Photo from INAH
Ichkabal includes a man-made lagoon full of crocodiles at this moment in time. From satelite photos you can see the lagoon and the two large temples sticking out of the vast jungle. See Map below.
Video from INAHTV
The following information about the site was announced the second week of April, 2009. . A team of specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH-Conaculta) headed by archaeologist Enrique Nalda explorations began the project in the Mayan site of Ichkabal, seat of a political center in the Southern region of the state of Quintana Roo.
The team of archaeologists is currently excavating the two main structures, and it is hoped that this year the work will be extended to other sectors of the site that include minor structures in order to know the sequence of occupation of the city and the functioning of its various constructions . (NOTE: I've seen these two buildings and the view is amazing from the top)
Adriana Velázquez Morlet, director of the Centro INAH in the state of Quintana Roo, reported that at the end of the first stage of the archaeological work, the site will join a group of archaeological sites of this region. A new road being built will create a cultural route that tentatively starts at Bacalar, through Ichkabal, Dzibanche, Kinichna, Kohunlich and in the future Chakanbakán, with major benefits for the inhabitants of the region. It is expected that in two years more Ichkabal can be accessed by the public.
The archaeologist noted that this site was probably the seat of importance, because of the large buildings, such as those in place .
The site was recently discovered in 1995 when Mr Alejandro Cano, founder of the ranch "El Suspiro", located in Ejido Bacalar, Quintana Roo, who reported the existence of a pre-Hispanic ruins to archaeologists Evelia Light Campaign and Javier López Camacho INAH researchers , who in those days were on a tour of the southern state, registering pre hispanic sites.
When archaeologists came to Ichkabal realized that this was a huge Mayan settlement, they began mapping and began collecting basic information determining that this was a first class city, whose largest base measuring 200 meters and 46 meters in height.
This is a city whose construction began in the Preclassic era, 250 years ago before Christ.
Velázquez Morlet explained that although the area has not revealed many architectural details, by looking at the mounds covered by lush vegetation of the area, there is a sense that the construction style is Petén. The site is well preserved, although there have been some attempts of looting, possibly from the 70s and 80s.
Likewise, today reported that the State Government of Quintana Roo and the Municipality of Othon P. Blanco, which is located Ichkabal, build the access road to the site, which will be considered a breakthrough because previously impassable in rainy season.