Maya Ruins > Muyil /Chunyaxché

The ruins of Chunyaxché are situated in the Pueblo of Muyil and at one time the ruin was named Muyil but has recently changed. All recent guide books use the name Chunyaxché. Both are named after Lagoons that are adjacent to the site. Muyil and the ruin of Chunyaxché are located 14 km south of Tulum on the east side of highway 307.

Muyil temple

While not very spectacular, its a nice diversion on the drive south to the Costa Maya. It sits on the edge of the Sian Ka'an and you very likely may have this little known ruin to yourself. Despite its proximity to Tulum, its a much older site, coming to prominence during the pre-Classic era from about BC 300 - AD 800.

When these pictures were taken (2002), the most spectacular temple Castillo, was under repair. This temple was damaged during hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and since that time you are not allowed to climb it. While this has now been completed you still might not be able to climb this temple. The site has around 180 buildings, but the place is fairly overgrown and most are buried in the jungle. Those that have been restored are fairly far apart. If you like the park-like and picturesque courtyards like Chichen-Itza, you may have a hard time getting a sense of scale of the city, but it is quite large and was at one time a very important city. The lagoons that border the ruins have a canal dug by the Mayans that connect them with the Caribbean.

temple of Chunyaxche
Because of its proximity to the Sian Ka'an, Muyil is a good place to wander around the jungle and see some extraordinary flowers, birds and butterflies. For a rest and a change of pace, take the path that leads to Lake Chunyaxché passing more smaller ruin mounds on your way.

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