Mexico

Where to stay in Calakmul

Where to stay in Calakmul, when visiting the biggest Mayan city Mexico has to offer? Unfortunately you can’t stay in Calakmul itself, as it is located deep down in the Mexican jungle. This off-the-beaten-track destination in Mexico is not easy to visit because of its remote location. Tourist crowds flock to the easily accessible Chichén Itzá, but you have to make a lot more effort for Calakmul. We do believe Calakmul is totally worth all the effort of getting there. You will be rewarded with a unique jungle city filled with the most amazing Mayan pyramids and you don’t have to share it with the big crowds! This blog post will learn you exactly how to get to Calakmul and where to stay in Calakmul, as you’ll definitely need at least one night in the area.

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How to get to Calakmul in Mexico?

Calakmul is located deep in the jungle in southern Mexico. The ancient Mayan city is located on the Yucatán Peninsula, not far from the border with Guatemala. The Mayan city Tikal is actually not that far away as the crow flies, but there are no roads through the jungle, so you won’t be able to get here that easily.

Which popular Mexico destinations are close to Calakmul? Well, actually none. The towns of Bacalar, Palenque and Campeche are closest to Calakmul, although it is still quite a few hours drive from these places to Calakmul. Touring companies offer their guided Calakmul tours from Lake Bacalar, but those tour days are long and exhausting with many hours of travel time.

The reason why it takes so long to get to Calakmul is because of its location deep in the jungle. Even from the main road, it is still a two-hour drive on a dead-end road through the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve National Park to get to the ancient ruins. The start of that road is on the 186, a road in the south of Yucatán and near the border with Guatemala. Here on Google Maps is the exact point on the map where you need to leave the 186 and start driving into the jungle. The place nearest to Calakmul and on the 186 is the village of Xpujil which is a 120-kilometer drive from the Mayan ruins. Xpujil therefore makes the best place to base yourself when visiting Calakmul. It has the best offer in hotels near Calakmul and also a few supermarkets and restaurants.

Calakmul Road

Why Calakmul is worth a visit

As one of the best travel destinations in Mexico Calakmul is definitely worth a visit. The ancient city was one of the biggest of its time and is now the greatest Mayan ruin complex in Central America. Unlike the famous Chichén Itzá, you can climb the pyramids in Calakmul for a phenomenal view over the jungle. In our opinion, exploring the unique and unforgettable Mayan city of Calakmul is very much worth the effort of getting there.

Read more: our travel guide for visiting Calakmul in Mexico.

Calakmul in Yucatan, Mexico | Mayan Temples | The Orange Backpack

Spend the night at Calakmul: hotels in Xpujil

When visiting Calakmul and looking for a place to stay, you should look for a hotel in Xpujil or the main road 186. We already described how to get to Calakmul: from the main road 186 take the dead-end road into the national park Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and drive deep into the jungle. So both the 186 and the village of Xpujil on this road make the best place to base yourself.

The best hotels near Calakmul:

#1 Puerto Calakmul is the top choice to visit the Mayan city due to its perfect location right at the gate of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. The ecoresort offers beautiful sleeping places in the middle of nature. There is a green jungle garden and a private swimming pool.

#2 Rio Bec Dreams for a unique place to sleep in the jungle not far from Xpujil. The beautiful jungle garden has several huts with basic, but comfortable furnishings. The restaurant and breakfast are fine options, even if you are not staying at Rio Bec Dreams.

#3 Casa Maya Calakmul for the most beautiful hotel near Calakmul. Casa Maya is located near Xpujil and offers its guests comfortable rooms in a green jungle garden.

#4 Casa Ka’an for the best-rated place to stay near Calakmul. Located in Xpujil and rated with a 9 by its hotel guests, this jungle hotel is a traveller’s favorite for visiting Calakmul. There is a garden with fruit trees, an extensive breakfast and a communal kitchen for self-catering. The small-scale accommodation has five comfortable cabins in its jungle garden.

#5 Hotel Maya Balam for a nice basic hotel in Xpujil. This value-for-money hotel has its own restaurant for a well-priced breakfast and dinner.

#6 Eco habitat for a budget-friendly and very basic accommodation near Xpujil, where we spent the night before starting our early morning drive to Calakmul. The hosts are very friendly and the cottage was fine for this low price.