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Cancun’s El Meco archaeological site to be part of new metropolitan tour circuit

Cancun, Q.R. — An old Cancun archaeological site is being included in a revamp that will see its infrastructure updated. El Meco, which is near the Cancun Hotel Zone, is being included in the federal Promeza program.

The Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza), developed by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of Mexico, through the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), have announced the articulation of a tour circuit in the metropolitan area of Cancun.

The monumental area of El Meco, an archaeological zone near the Cancun Hotel Zone and eight kilometers from the city center, will once again join the Caribbean coastal strip, thus becoming a destination that will combine interest in the region’s Mayan past with the attractiveness of the beach that faces (the island of) Isla Mujeres.

The project for this site was detailed in the Presidential morning press conference by the General Director of the INAH, Diego Prieto Hernández. During his announcement, he said “the public will have the experience of an ancient settlement directly connected to the sea.”

As its ancient Mayan name indicates, El Meco (trade channel) was a nodal center for maritime traffic developed by the ancient inhabitants of the bay of Isla Mujeres, which maintained links with Tulum, Muyil and Cobá, being a prosperous city.

Among the structures that managed to survive the ravages of time is the civic and ceremonial plaza, where stands the tallest building in the region, El Castillo at 12.5 meters high, which is believed to be a pilgrimage center and lookout point towards the region of Cancun and Isla Mujeres.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the structure was whitewashed and used as a boundary and a material bank, which revealed its construction stages.

In the 1960s, El Meco (named after the nickname of a local character) was divided by the highway that connects Puerto Juárez with Punta Sam, a condition that will be reversed with the actions of the Promeza.

El Meco has been chosen as one of the 10 archaeological zones in the state of Quintana Roo given its proximity to the Maya Train route. New areas of research and visits will be opened on the Mayan coast of the Caribbean.

The site will have updated infrastructure including reception, rest areas, an interpretation room and infrastructure for research and conservation of the site.

Once complete, it will become part of a circuit in the metropolitan area of Cancun, which will include the archaeological sites of El Rey, San Miguelito and the Mayan Museum of Cancun.