Mayan Archaeology > Yucatan > Yucatan

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A place where trading occurred

X’Cambó, “celestial crocodile” or “place where trading occurred”, was strongly influenced by the Mayan cities of Izamal and Thó (now Mérida). A salt-mining center from the beginning of the late Preclassic period (100 B.C – 250 A.D.), it had its peak in the Classic period. Salt is still produced here today.

X’Cambó has gone through various stages in its architecture, however most traits come from the early Classic period and are in the Petén, Megalithic and Izamaleño styles, characterized by staggered pyramids, the use of rounded corners, façades with enormous painted stucco figureheads, as well as the use of great stone blocks in walls and stairways, among others.

X’Cambó was a pilgrimage center in the late Postclassic period, and it is now a place of worship to the Virgin of X’Cambó, who has been worshipped for over 60 years in a chapel built on the remains of a pre-Hispanic residence, where her image was found. Aside from its historical relevance, it is located within a natural and ecological environment. The Virgin Mary is celebrated each year in the month of May. The celebration in her honor is very traditional and colorful.

The Main Plaza is composed of 11 buildings of magnificent architecture, which are the product of a combination of architectural elements characteristic to various styles and eras. The most important buildings of the plaza are the Pyramid of the Masks, the Pyramid of the Cross, and the Temple of Sacrifice.

Monday through Sunday, from 9:00 to 17:00
How to arrive

From Mérida, take the 261 superhighway to Puerto Progreso (33km). In Progreso take highway 27 to the east to get to Xtampú, then take the turn leading to the town of Dzemul; the site is located 2.2 km south of the coastal highway.


Map and address

It is located 6 kilometers from Telchac Puerto and 2km from the coast, near the Progreso-Telchac highway.