Calakmul, Calakmul Municipality, Mexico
1 day - December 2017
Final stop of the Mexican leg of our trip: Calakmul!
Calakmul was the biggest Mayan city of the region.
Eternal enemy of Tikal in now Guatemala, they kept fighting over the years.
Calakmul is not really on the touristy track and it takes a minimum of 2h to reach it from Xpujil on a dirt track with speed limited at 30km/h.
We left Bacalar at 6.30am and didn't reach Calakmul before 11am, what a journey!
These are the best ruins we ever saw! In the middle of the jungle (180,000 sqm!!), we followed the intermediate itinerary (enough to see most of the sites) and climbed many pyramids - the biggest one being 45 metres high ! We were a max of 20 people on the site looking for animals, ruins and exploring. Apparently some jaguars are still present but we haven’t see any unfortunately. We kept saying we felt like Indiana Jones (or in Planet Earth!) and wondered how the first explorers survived such an hostile environment.
At some point we heard a lot of noise, thinking one of the guide was imitating jaguars with a toy (similar in Teotihuacan!) so Cedric asked one of them what the noise was and the guide told us Monkeys. We thought he was making fun of us until we saw them up in the trees. Turn on the videos to hear what noise they make: deep, aggressive sound. So scary !
We spent easily 30min looking at them and realised how similar to us they were with their facial expressions, fingers, feet and movements.
Some recommandations :
# rent a car as it's not accessible by tour
# we've decided to do it from Bacalar but the trip can be split by sleeping in Xpujil. The site is 2h from Xpujil
# Costs: we pay 3 times along the road: 60 pesos+ 60 pesos + 54 pesos per person.
# don't skip it even if it's a journey! It was fantastic to be in such a remote environment and exploring the Mayan City by ourselves