Chinkultic – Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Mexico

Chinkultic

The Acropolis of this little-visited Mayan archaeological site offers great views of Chiapas’s Lake District. 

The Maya abandoned Chinkultic at the start of the 13th century. Unlike some of Central America’s other Maya sites, this one remains largely overlooked by tourists.

The archeological zone has not been excavated as much as other cities. Some of its overgrown buildings give an idea of what sites like these looked like before archaeologists began restoration work.

Most of the more exposed ruins are located on an Acropolis atop a single hill overlooking a sheer cliffside. This vantage point offers excellent vistas of Lagunas de Montebello National Park.

Chinkultic is hardly included in tours of this area. In fact, it has only been reopened to the public for less than a decade. In some cases, the site has so few visitors it almost feels as though you have it to yourself. 

Know Before You Go

The site is open daily except holidays from 8 a.m.to 5 p.m. and is free. During the rainy season (August to October), the river surrounding the archaeological site can overrun and cut off access to the Acropolis. Given the site's low number of visitors, not all on-site facilities might be open on the day of your visit. While Chinkultic is the most common spelling of the site’s name, variants like Chinkultik and Chincultic are common. If you encounter these spellings don't worry, they all refer to the same place.

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