Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey)

Visit the iguanas that now inhabit the spectacular ruins of this ancient Mayan city right in the heart of Cancun’s hotel district.

Cancun marks the entrance point to a historic region known as the Mundo Maya, or the Mayan World. Archeological research shows that the Mayan people have inhabited the area that covers parts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador since as early as 1800 bc. The area around Cancun was once an area of highly populated settlements. Today, evidence of these settlements can be experienced right in the heart of Cancun, at the El Rey Ruins.

The El Rey Ruins are all that remains of an ancient Mayan city, abandoned following the arrival of the Spanish settlers. As you explore the 47 stone structures and let your imagination fill in the details and color of ancient Mayan life. Climb to the top of the highest structure to find a Mayan temple and the burial site of an important Mayan figure. 

Some of the stone walls are still adorned with ancient paintings. While the murals have deteriorated with time, it is still possible to make out images resembling kings and other significant members of the community. While not as grand as other Mayan cities, El Rey is still highly atmospheric and offers an accessible introduction to the original inhabitants of Cancun.

The ruins have another, less expected attraction. Today, El Rey is inhabited by a huge colony of iguanas. The iguanas have become accustomed to human interaction, and are confident around people. Bring some fruit or bread to feed these fascinating creatures as they crawl between the ancient ruins.

El Rey Ruins are located in the center of Cancun’s hotel district, on the edge of the lagoon. They are best reached by bus or taxi, and paid parking is available in the hotel district. Entrance to the ruins is available daily for a very small fee, although this is waived on Sundays. The ruins offer little shade, so pack an umbrella, hat or sunblock.


Guide to Exploring around El Rey Ruins


Best Lodging Options Near El Rey Ruins

See all 2,466 Properties near El Rey Ruins
Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun - All Inclusive NT$6,996
Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun - All Inclusive

Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun - All Inclusive

Blvd. Kukulkan km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, Cancun, QROO
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Nestled on the beach, this Zona Hotelera property is within a 10-minute walk of Aquaworld and Maya Cancun Museum. Delfines Beach and El Rey Ruins are also within 2 mi (3 km).

    Royal Solaris Cancun Resort Marina & Spa - All Inclusive NT$4,020
    Royal Solaris Cancun Resort Marina & Spa - All Inclusive

    Royal Solaris Cancun Resort Marina & Spa - All Inclusive

    Boulevard Kukulcan Km 20.5, Lote 64, 2a etapa, Seccion A, Zona Hotelera, Cancun, QROO
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly Cancun property is located on the Strip, within a 15-minute walk of Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres National Park, El Rey Ruins, and Delfines Beach. Aquaworld and Maya Cancun Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Crown Paradise Club Cancun All Inclusive NT$4,293
      Crown Paradise Club Cancun All Inclusive

      Crown Paradise Club Cancun All Inclusive

      Boulevard Kukulcan Km 18.5, Cancun, QROO
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nestled on the beach, this Zona Hotelera property is within a 10-minute walk of Delfines Beach and El Rey Ruins. Aquaworld and Maya Cancun Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Emporio Cancun NT$2,867
        Emporio Cancun

        Emporio Cancun

        Blvd. Kukulcan, Retorno Gucumatz, Km.17, Lote 49, Segunda Etapa, Zona Htl., Cancun, QROO
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Nestled on the beach, this Zona Hotelera resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ballenas Beach, Aquaworld, and Delfines Beach. El Rey Ruins and Maya Cancun Museum are also within 2 mi (3 km).

          GR Solaris Cancun & Spa - All Inclusive NT$4,020
          GR Solaris Cancun & Spa - All Inclusive

          GR Solaris Cancun & Spa - All Inclusive

          Blvd. Kukulkan Km. 19.5, Lt 59-2, Sección A, 2 da etapa Zona Hotelera, Cancun, QROO
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Zona Hotelera, this beachfront property is in the city center and within a 10-minute walk of El Rey Ruins and Delfines Beach. Aquaworld and Maya Cancun Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            GR Caribe By Solaris Deluxe All Inclusive Resort NT$4,020
            GR Caribe By Solaris Deluxe All Inclusive Resort

            GR Caribe By Solaris Deluxe All Inclusive Resort

            Blvd. Kukulcan Km 20.5, Lote 64, Section A, 2nd entrance, Hotel Zone, Cancun, QROO
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Zona Hotelera, this beachfront property is in the city center and within a 15-minute walk of Costa Occidental de Isla Mujeres National Park and El Rey Ruins. Delfines Beach and Aquaworld are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Iberostar Selection Cancun All Inclusive
              Iberostar Selection Cancun All Inclusive

              Iberostar Selection Cancun All Inclusive

              Boulevard Kukulcan, Km. 17, Cancun, QROO
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Nestled on the beach, this Zona Hotelera property is within a 15-minute walk of Delfines Beach, El Rey Ruins, and Maya Cancun Museum. Aquaworld is 1.2 mi (2 km) away.

                Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Cancun Adults Only - All Inclusive NT$7,540
                Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Cancun Adults Only - All Inclusive

                Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Cancun Adults Only - All Inclusive

                Boulevard Kukulkán KM 17 B, Cancun, QROO
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Nestled on the beach, this Zona Hotelera property is within a 15-minute walk of Delfines Beach, El Rey Ruins, and Maya Cancun Museum. Aquaworld is 1.3 mi (2 km) away.