Xcaret Archeological Site

Also known in pre-Hispanic times as P'olé, its remains serve as a window into the commercial and ritual past of the Caribbean region.


Visit this Almost-Forgotten Archeological Site in the Riviera Maya 

The Xcaret archeological site is situated south of the city of Cancún and a mere three miles from Playa del Carmen. You can reach this archeological site, historically known as P’olé, by taking the federal highway 180 Cancún-Chetumal.

P’olé was a significant commercial port and departure point for pilgrimages to Cozumel. The origin and meaning of its original name date back to pre-Hispanic times and stem from the Mayan root ‘p’ol,’ which was associated with merchandise and dealings with traders. The name Xcaret refers to the toponym of a “small cove or inlet.”

Xcaret archeological site
Photo: INAH

Two Access Points 

Although the archeological site is within the Xcaret Park, it’s not mandatory to pay the park entrance fee to explore it. There is a separate ticket office managed by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) to access the site, which costs $85 MXN pesos per person.

A Glimpse of Xcaret Archeological Site’s History 

This region is part of the Eastern Coast, which engaged in maritime trade during the Early Classic and Postclassic periods, between 200 and 1500 AD.

Over a thousand years ago, a Maya community dedicated to maritime commerce and navigation was established here. Canoes departed from this port, transporting pilgrims to Cozumel to offer tributes to the goddess of the moon, Ixchel.

Xcaret archeological site
Photo: INAH

Architectural Style of the Eastern Coast

  • Facade ornamentation with paintings
  • Entablature
  • Receding lintels
  • Jambs and interior walls of temples
  • Predominance of the color red
  • External and internal stucco covering 

Interesting Tidbit

The Chilam Balam chronicles the mythical pilgrimage of the Itzaes and makes reference to P’olé as one of the journey’s stops.

Opening Hours 

The archeological site is open from Monday to Sunday, from 8 am to 5 pm. 

The INAH entrance fee for the archeological site covers only the right to use the parking, restrooms, and the main store within the park.



Xcaret Park, Solidaridad, Playa del Carmen, Q.R., México

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