Chakanbakán Archeological Site

Chakanbakán is an archeological site that greets you with imposing plazas and jaguar-shaped deity masks.


This magnificent archeological site is nestled amidst the Om and Chakanbakán lagoons in Quintana Roo, a mere 56 miles from Chetumal. Thanks to its geographical location, it boasted abundant natural resources, evolving into a prosperous and protected city. During the Late Preclassic period, Chakanbakán seems to have wielded social, political, and economic control over the region.

Its name in the Mayan language means ‘surrounded by savannah,’ as the inhabitants of this area constructed a city on elevated terrain, protecting them from floods. The Cehaches, inhabitants of this micro-region, traded flint, a variety of quartz. They were producers and exporters of several weapons and tools.

Temple atop the Pyramid

During the Postclassic period, rituals were conducted, and offerings were made to the deities at Nohoch Balam, a small temple atop the pyramid. People subsisted on agriculture, hunting, basic fishing, and trade. The order of their social, political, and economic organization contributed to the city’s and region’s progress, maintaining connections with other cities in the vicinity and even those farther away.


  • Daily, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Free entry.
  • An additional fee for video cameras is applicable for video recording. 

Though the site is open for visits, there are times when it might be closed. So don’t forget to call ahead to confirm if you can visit this impressive place influenced by the Guatemalan Petén region.

How to Get There

From Chetumal, take the Chetumal-Escárcega federal highway and at km 81, head towards the Caobas turnoff; 3 miles further, you’ll find the entrance to the site. You’ll need to traverse both paved and dirt roads to enter.


Zona Arqueología Chakanbakán, Caobas, Q.R., México

See map