INAH to open 2 more archaeological sites to the public on Mayan Train route

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Southern Quintana Roo is teeming with archaeological sites, most of which are yet to open to the public. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Mexico has announced plans to open two new archaeological sites to the public in Quintana Roo. 

The sites belonging to the Maya civilizations known as Ichkabal and Paamul II, and both are very near the path of the Mayan Train. 

“These two sites are sure to become stars of the Mayan world and attract great numbers of visitors,” said INAH Director Diego Prieto. 

Ichkabal was discovered in 1995 and has already undergone extensive restoration efforts but has not been opened to the public due to a lack of funding. Near Bacalar, the ancient city features six architectural groups featuring pyramids up to 160 feet tall. 

Paamul II was recently discovered during work on the train’s path between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Well-visited archaeological sites like Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, and Kabah are scheduled to receive upgrades to their facilities and new museums. 

Earlier: Work begins on the Mayan Train’s Tulum-to-Bacalar route

Several other already-restored sites, such as Tankah, remain closed to the public partly because they are on private property owned by hotels.

Also getting a good deal of attention are yet more discoveries made during the construction of the Mayan Train near the ancient city of Ek Balam. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

By federal law, all archaeological sites belong to the federal government and are administered by INAH, though this rule is not always followed.

Other archaeological sites on the path of the Mayan Train are also being restored in hopes of attracting visitors. These include Reforma del Moral in Tabasco and Xiol on Mérida’s outskirts. 

The Mayan Train route is to span Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. 

The massive project was a campaign promise of the president, who was elected in 2018. 

The rail line is designed to stimulate tourism in the region and contribute to the economic development of southeastern Mexico.