Muyil Ruins Tulum Guide

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Muyil Ruins Tulum (Laguna Chunyaxché) - 2023 Ultimate Guide

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At Muyil Ruins Tulum in Quintana Roo – also known as Chunyaxché- you will find a magical world full of lushness, beauty, and Mayan history that few visitors get to explore. Located within the northwest boundaries of Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve off Hwy 307, this ruin site offers an easy way to navigate through its ruins while having fun; not forgetting the beautiful lagoon Chunyaxché that is perfect for a boat trip and adds another dimension all together!

Muyil Castle
Muyil Mayn Ruins Castle

Muyil is the most renowned of all 22 pre-Hispanic villages located in Sian Ka’an and sits 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) inland from the Caribbean shoreline, roughly 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Tulum Pueblo on Highway 307. It is one of the very best Mayan Ruins near Tulum and definitely worth a visit.


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The Riviera Maya coast is home to two well-known Mayan settlements, Tulum Ruins and Xel-Ha. However, there are also two additional coastal Maya ruin archeological sites in Muyil – one of which is open for public exploration. 

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History of Muyil Ruins

Founded in 300 BC, Muyil flourished as the hub of a bustling trade route along the Caribbean coast and south of Tulum. Developing strong bonds with other pre-Columbian cities such as Coba, its central location enabled it to become an influential city in this area.

Muyil’s influence on society took a catastrophic turn in the 16th-century, when Spanish conquistadors invaded Yucatan Peninsula. Some of its inhabitants perished as a result of diseases brought by these colonizers, while others fled to other cities, leaving behind an abandoned city that today stands in ruins.

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Investigate the 38 hectares of jungle that were once home to the Mayans and a vibrant mayan civilization hub. Remember, you can only explore one site – Muyil A – since its counterpart (Muyil B) is off-limits to visitors. Embark on an exciting quest through this ancient sanctuary and learn more about what makes it such a unique destination!

Muyil Ruins Tulum
Muyil Mayan Ruins Pyramid is the crown jewel of the whole site

Interesting Facts about Muyil Ruins

  • Spanning a massive 38 hectares of lush jungle, the settlement extends in all directions.
  • Located along the Caribbean Coast, Muyil stands as one of the oldest settlements in history.
  • Muyil was established as a settlement around 300 B.C., centuries prior to the emergence of Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Tulum.
  • It would not survive past the 16th Century Spanish invasion; people either ran for their lives or were killed off by diseases brought in from Europe at that time.
  • Just a few structures have been uncovered thus far, and among them stands the Castillo pyramid. Rising 57 feet high, it is the tallest pyramid along the Riviera Maya Coast.
  • To reach the picturesque Muyil Lagoon, make your way to Sac Be 1, where a boardwalk awaits.
  • The Lagoon lookout offers stunning views of the grandeur that is Laguna Muyil and its lush rainforest – available to all!
  • The Ceiba tree, otherwise known as the “Tree of Life,” stands tall throughout this site. It is believed to be a portal for Alux (spirits) that guard the trails and protect all who venture by. In Mayan culture, these trees were thought to serve as conduits between our world and the afterlife.

What to See at the Muyil Ruins

Although the Muyil are a vast area, much of it is still hidden among the lush foliage yet to be discovered. For now, though, only a small portion of this ancient site is available for public access and exploration.

El Castillo
Muyil Mayan Ruins – El Castillo

At the Muyil, all eyes are on el Castillo – a towering 57-foot steep pyramid standing in the center of the complex. For an additional 50 pesos, you gain access to a secret pathway behind el Castillo that winds through lush jungle and culminates at Laguna de Muyil within Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve! Along your journey, marvel at the natural habitat as monkeys swing from trees while deer, foxes and hundreds of bird species flutter by.

Make sure to ascend the El Mirador Sian Ka’an observation tower, nestled deep in the jungle! It offers a spectacular perspective of the laguna and Muyil ruins beneath. Don’t miss out on this remarkable chance to capture an awe-inspiring view of nature’s beauty!

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Although it is a strenuous hike, the rewards are well worth it. To make sure you don’t miss any of the spectacular sights, such as the ruins, laguna, and biosphere reserve, we recommend that you plan on staying for approximately two to three hours.

Muil Ruins

How to Get to the Muyil Ruins

The most convenient way to discover the wonders of Muyil Ruins is by renting a car. Set apart from other tourist archeological sites in Tulum like Tulum Ruins, this isolated location can be explored at your own pace when you drive yourself there. Renting a car makes it easier than ever for adventurers to explore and take advantage of all that the region has to offer.

Path to Muyil
Path to Muyil


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Simply head south on highway 307 until you find the entrance sign, turn left off the highway, and drive at your own pace! Not only will it guarantee a pleasant experience – with no anxiety about being late or leaving quickly – but it will also provide you with ample opportunities to explore other captivating sights along the way.

Muyil Ruins Tulum Mexico
Muyil Ruins Tulum ancient settlement

Even without your own vehicle, you can easily experience the ancient ruins of Tulum! Like most other tourist attractions surrounding Tulum, it’s also possible to get here with public transportation or ‘colectivos’. You can find the minivans in the center of Tulum, and just take the one going to Felipe Carrillo and they will drop you off right in front of the entrance, but the ride can take up to an hour. However, getting back is a bit more tricky as they depart less frequently and only when full. So be sure to plan accordingly and leave yourself plenty of time to make it back before dark!

  • Entrance fee: 50 Pesos per person
  • Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am – 5 pm

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Muyil Ruins Tulum Entrance
Muyil Archeological Site – A journey into Mayan history

Tours to Muyil Ruins

If you aim to explore Muyil and its nearby attractions, such as the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) or the Kaan Luum Lagoon (where boat tours are offered), we highly recommend that you join a guided tour! Not only will this provide an easy way for you to access these sites but also enable you to make memorable memories with your family and friends.

View fro Muyil
View from Muyil Mayan Ruins (perfect for a boat ride) – Muyil Lagoon Laguna Chunyaxché  Sian Ka’an biosphere

Tips for going to Muyil Mayan ruins

  • Bring sun protection as the ruins are in the sun.
  • Bring a hat and sunglasses
  • Bug spray is good to have some times of the year
  • Lightweight clothes and comfortable shoes
  • Bring water with you. There are very limited small stores on the main highway but nothing for sale at Muyil ruins
  • A camera for great photos
  • Sorry shoppers, there is no gift shop or anything for sale at Muyil ruins.
  • Parking is free
  • Bathrooms are available at the entrance of the site and are free and relatively clean
  • There is one restaurant across the highway if you need to get something, but otherwise, there are no refreshments or anything else in this area.

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