Approaching Xkokoh

I’ve been to Uxmal several times. ¬†I’ve visited Ak√©, Calakmul, Chichen Itz√°, Mayapan, and more. ¬†I’m fascinated by ancient “lost” cities. ¬†Recently I was honored to be invited by a friend and neighbor to hike into some of the more remote sites. ¬†It was especially delightful, due to his expertise, as he has been exploring ruins of the Puuc¬†region (meaning:¬†hills) for over thirty years, and knows of ruins that are remote from tourism in Yucatan.

¬†Stephan Merk, that neighbor in Merida, is serious about these ruins, and has written about them (see two books at top of linked page). ¬†He organized our overnight visit chronologically, so that another friend and I would notice the evolution of the architectural styles, starting with the proto-Puuc, and transitioning all the way to the “squatters” after the population collapse, encompassing more than 500 years of masonry building practices.

Here’s a photo of our intrepid instructor, seated at a spot he has chosen as a time-study for capturing the aging of a ruin, and its observer, having collected these images seated upon this same block, at Canacruz/Chuncatzim 1, over the years :

Ruina Canacruz / Chuncatzim 1.



Above is the oldest site we visited ‚ÄĒ on the grounds of the eco-lodge where we stayed. ¬†Just imagine exploring a smallish temple/house in the jungle that was likely built around the year 550, of the common era! ¬†(The person in straw sombrero at top of rise is Umberto, a Mayan guide who is often available at the lodge.)¬†


Sabacche 5.


Chuncatzim 1.


Descending into a dry well (“chultun”) near Sta.Elena, Yucatan (two images).


Window in my very comfortable room at the lodge.