​​​​​welcome to the mayan ruins website .

el palacio rear view                                   dan himes                                  

el palacio                                        charles s rhyne


codz pop rear view (east)                           dan himes

overview                                     google earth

codz poop                                      charles s rhyne

KABAH, Yucatan, Mexico

Kabah is located in the western Yucatan along both sides of Highway 261, south of Merida along the “Puuc Route”. It is the second largest ruin site in the area after Uxmal. This site is one of a series of Maya ruins that can be found in the general area and with an architectural style named after the low arid hill country in which they are located. Others are Uxmal, Sayil, and Xlapak.


ENTRANCE FEE: U.S. $3.50/50  Pesos
SERVICES: Restrooms, water, soft drinks, handicrafts
ACCOMMODATIONS: None on-site. Nearby towns of Santa Elena, Ticul, Muna,  and  Oxkutzcab offer hotels and hostels. Day trip from Merida
GPS: 20d 15' 13" N, 89d 39' 19" W

Though built atop an earlier, small settlement, the buildings that one sees today date from the Classic Maya era (600-900 A.D) and are termed Puuc style. The earliest recorded date is 879 A.D. The site was first reported on by those intrepid explorers John Lloyd Stevens and Fredrick Catherwood in the 1840’s. Exploration, excavation and restoration work continues to this day. 

The main restored structure seen today is the Codz Poop, or Palace of the Masks. This stunning palace at over 147 feet in length contains on its western façade over 250 Chaac rain god masks. Each are composed of 30 carefully carved mosaic stones. These masks are executed in a style known as Chenes. The Palace has ten chambers entered through 5 doorways. The Palace sits upon a three tiered platform. Topping off the Palace is a high, decorative roof comb which gives the impression of greater height and grandeur.  A stunning site in the sunlight. 

A water catchment system is set up within the raised terrace in front of the temple, and stretches about 20 feet/7 meters across. It has been restored and currently provides water for the site. A dismembered hieroglyphic altar is also found on the terrace. There is a grand stairway on the west side that leads up to the terrace. At the foot of the stairway are dozens of architectural elements of Chac masks waiting to be returned to their rightful place.

The rear portion of the Codz Poop fronts a small plaza and faces east. The rear wall has its own intricate geometric design pattern. Extending out from the wall on small platforms are two stunning figures sculpted nearly in the round. These are presumed to represent individual rulers of the site. There are 2 chultuns located on the raised terrace.

To the east and backing onto the Codz Poop is a large plaza containing several structures. El Palacio, is a two-story palace type structure with seven doorways, and an open roof comb. It is on the east side of the plaza. A stela and altar are located in front of El Palacio. The south side of the plaza is formed by a structure known as the Teocalli, a range type structure possibly of a civic or administrative nature. The north side of the plaza has a number of low structures. The west side consists of a small, two-tiered and a three-tiered structure with a pathway between.  

Quite a bit further to the east is El Columnas. This is a long one-story structure on a raised platform. The main architectural elements are banded colonnettes, and are pure Puuc in style.

The above described structures all appear on the East side of the road. Across from here are other structures of note.

On the West side of the road is a cluster of plazas and structures, the most important being the Great Pyramid. It is in an unrestored condition and closed to the public. The path over an ancient sacbe continues on between low unrestored platforms on either side. To the west of this is the Arch of Kabah. This arch is thought to have been the entrance to the ceremonial city. It is here that a 10 mile/16 kms long sacbe, raised white stone road, terminates from the archaeological zone of Uxmal. This undecorated arch perched atop a stepped platform is still impressive at over 15 feet/5 meters in height.

Further to the west are three groups currently closed to visitors and under restoration. They are known as the Early Group, the Mirador Group and the Manos Rojas Group. There are numerous other structures throughout the site awaiting excavation and restoration.

palace                                                           steve mellard.

codz pop west view detail                    mesoamerican