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Photo credit: Arian Zwegers / Foter / CC BY
  • (worth a trip)
  • full day
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A lesser-known Mayan city that is worth visiting!

Dzibanché (“writing in wood”), is a Mayan archaeological site located near the city of Chetumal and Bacalar lagoon. It was a major city during its golden days and recent excavations indicate that it was once the capital of the Kan dynasty (most likely during the 5th and 6th centuries).  The word Dzibanche comes from the sculpted wood lintels found in the Temple of the Lintels.


Dzibanché features a Peten style of architecture, similar to nearby cities such as Tikal (Guatemala) and Muyil. The most important buildings in the ancient city are the Temple of the Captives, the Temple of the Lintels and the Temple of the Owl.


Another sight worth noting is the Cormoranes Pyramid, the largest on the site and the funerary pyramid of one of the kings of the dynasty. Built during the 5th century, this pyramid is especially interesting as it features a Teotihuacan style of architecture as well as many symbols.


Outside of the “center”, so-to-speak, is the K’inich Na’ (The House of the Sun God”) Pyramid, where two royal tombs were found along with jade offerings. It is hypothesized that the site was home to the elite class.