Exploring ancient Mayan ruins on a trip to the Mexican Caribbean doesn’t take a traveler to the area getting their bullwhip and fedora and heading into the jungle like Indiana Jones. There are plenty of places for visitors to explore, starting with the hotel zone in Cancun.
Temple of the Scorpion
While most tourists in Cancun think that Mayan temples are located a day’s trip away in the remote jungles of the Yucatan, the fact is the Temple of the Scorpion is right in the hotel zone.
The temple, known as Yamil Lu’um, is actually overlooked by most travelers to the Mexican Caribbean region. However, this is a mistake.
The Temple of the Scorpion is believed to be an ancient watch tower or navigational aid of the Mayan people as it sits on a coastal bluff. It was regarded as a vigil point of significant importance to the locals and was used between 1200 and 1550 AD.
The temple gets its name from the scorpion impressions that were made into the wall along with several handprints from some of the ancient visitors. However, the scorpion impressions and handprints are unfortunately lost to time among the weathered walls of the temple.
How to Visit
It is free to visit the Temple of the Scorpion and it is amazingly close to several of the main hotel zone tourist resorts in Cancun.
Tourists staying at the Weston Lagunamar, Park Royal Beach Cancun Hotel or even the Ocean Resort Villas & Spa, have direct access to this historical site directly from their resort hotel.
For other visitors to the area, head to kilometers 12.5 of the hotel zone near Playa Marlin and look directly behind Plaza Kukulkan and the Luxury Mall Cancun. There you will find this unique ancient Mayan ruin.
For visitors to Playa Marlin, it is a quick 15-minute walk to the Temple of the Scorpion.
It’s strange why more visitors to Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are not familiar with the ancient structure that sits right off the hotel zone.
However, it’s nice that it is relatively unknown because the site does not get lines of visitors like some of the more popular temple complexes in the Yucatan such as Chichén Itzá. However, Chichén Itzá is definitely much more dramatic.
However, for a free nearby excursion to explore the world of the ancient Mayans, the Temple of the Scorpion is a great urban way to get some adventure without venturing too far from the hotel zone in Cancun.
Tips For Travelers
Most travelers would be surprised to find that this ancient ruin actually sits right next to some of the most popular hotel zone tourist resorts in Cancun.
In fact, travelers overlook it because it seems like it is simply part of the resort zone dropped between Park Royal Beach Cancun Hotel and the Westin Lagunamar.
However, for tourists with limited time to explore more rural areas, or without the desire to venture far from the hotel zone, it is an option to connect with the traditions and architecture of the local Mayan people.
It’s also a popular spot for travelers looking to get some interesting pictures from their vacation.
Tourists on their next trip to Cancun should simply take a walk, or even a taxi or Uber, and explore this real gem in the middle of the tourist zone.
Bullwhip and fedora are of course optional items for travelers as they explore the fortune and glory of the Temple of the Scorpion in the hotel zone of Cancun.