The balance of life

Between the mist that forms the humidity emanating from the jungle and the tropical temperature, in the central region of the Mayan empire, southeast of the state of Campeche, is Calakmul, whose name means "two pyramids together".

This Mayan city conformed by temples, ball games and palaces, as well as diverse constructions, evidences the great movement that took place in this area. The agricultural activities, the commerce, the astronomy and its ceremonial center got to gather until 50 thousand settlers.

Calakmul is full of stelae, many concentrated in the two main pyramids, which also house a large number of dynastic texts and paintings that are not yet open to the public as a whole.

After the fall of the Mayan Empire, the city remained in oblivion without arousing interest for more than six centuries. Upon the arrival of the Spaniards, the absence of gold and metals, the remoteness and a difficult land to exploit caused disinterest in the Europeans. However, this region was constituted as the main corridor of evangelization from the north of the peninsula towards Guatemala.

At the end of the 19th century, the North American logging companies exploited the natural wealth of the area, cutting down cedar, mahogany and redwood; also called "palo de Campeche" or Campeche stick, as well as the extraction of chewing gum; giving rise to a repopulation and, therefore, to the rediscovery of archaeological sites.

But Calakmul is much more than just an archaeological zone, it is the largest tropical reserve in Mexico. It is a natural area protected by decree since May 22, 1989, with an area of ​​723 thousand 185 hectares that has important ecosystems, among which three types of forest predominate. Due to its development, it was also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is one of the most spectacular natural areas in Mexico, and is called the "Land of the Jaguar".

Its forests allow the reproduction of felines such as the jaguar, puma, ocelot and the tigrillo. The tall trees are home to monkeys and the low jungles protect the habitat of deer, armadillos, tapirs and the anteater. It is estimated that there live more than 300 species of tropical birds such as the parrot, the toucan, and different types of parrots and eagles.

Much of its ecological importance lies in the fact that it hosts many species that are in danger of extinction.

Calakmul is a place where the wisdom of nature unfolds all its splendor. As an example, many plants with yellow flowers open during the day to be pollinated by bees. During the night, some white flowers open for pollination by bats.

To the north of the reserve is the so-called "Volcán de los Murciélagos", a deep cave where thousands of them live and which has only been partially explored. Each night, for more than three hours, infinity of bats emerge from the mouth of the cave, as does lava from a volcano.

Calakmul is the place of the two pyramids together, a key element in the evangelization of Central America, a place where gum and wood are exploited; but above all it is the reminder of the power that man has to destroy or preserve the wonder of nature and its wise balance.


All you must know about Calakmul here, in our audio guide


Share this page

More about Campeche

More Archaeological Sites

We want you with us

Subribe to our newsletter and discovery Mexico with us