Thursday, 29 August 2013

Edzna Ruins are one of the most interesting Mayan cities

View of Edzna pyramids 
Edzna Ruins are located 55 km southeast of Campeche City in the State of Campeche by the Federal Highway 180 in south east Mexico. Edzna is a Mayan name, which means House of the Grimaces (also known as the house of Itzaes).

The city was founded around 600 to 300 BC as a small agricultural community. Edzna reached its most important era as a grand regional capital between 600 and 900 AD.

Edzna is one of the most interesting Mayan cities, due to the technological advances developed there such as:

• An advanced system of hydraulic works; 

• a magnificent drainage system; 

• rainwater flowed to artificial deposits called chultunes.

Edzna ruins cover an area of three kilometers east to west and two kilometers south to north.

In Edzna, there exists two large clusters of structures: the Group of the Ceremonial Center and the group of La Vieja.

The ceremonial center of Edzna features a central square surrounded by several structures such as:

• The Acropolis on the eastern side; 

• the Large House or Nohol Na on the west; 

• the platform of the Knives on the north;

• temples on the south.

Where to stay in Edzna?

The closest hotels are in Campeche City.

How to Get to Edzna Ruins:

Several tour companies in Campeche City operate tours of the site, although given how compact the ruins are, it may not be worthwhile if you've already visited other Mayan archaeological sites and are happy to wander around on your own.

From Campeche City, join one of the collectivos, mini-vans that ferry passengers to various points within and outside of the city, found inside the main market (confirm your destination with the driver.) Upon departure, you’ll have to walk out to the highway to flag down one of the collectivos on its way back to Campeche City (they pass every half an hour or so).

It is located 55 km away from Campeche City (one hour drive).

We recommend you take a tour around Campeche City or ask about other options at the Tourist Information office on Campeche City's main square.

By car: drive south from Campeche City on Highway 180 and turn on to Highway 261 at km. 45 which leads to the site.

By bus: Autobuses Ejidales departs from Avenida Republica in Campeche City south of the public market and across from Puerta de Tierra. The cost is $20 Mexican pesos (around $2 usd).

What to do in Edza Ruins:

In May you can see a representation of the Mayan ball game (poc ta pok), one of the most important pre-Hispanic games.

On Fridays and Saturdays an exquisite Light and Sound Show takes place. At night, the temperature may cool down, so make sure you are warm enough. 

Schedule and Prices of Edzna Ruins:

Open Daily

From 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Price: $46 Mexican pesos

There is a Light and Sound Show on Friday and Saturday- Winter at 7:00pm, Summer at 8:00 pm. Purchase tickets that includes the show. Cost - $85 Mexican pesos.

Interesing facts about Edzna

  • Edzna was the location for the filming of Mel Gibson's Hollywood film: Apocalypto. After producing and directing the most successful independent film of all time, "The Passion of the Christ", Mel Gibson shot his next film "Apocalypto" at Edzna. Gibson reconstructed replicas of some of the ancient Mayan structures in order to minimize damage to the actual archaeological site. Filming, however, was done with the actual structures as background. Apocalypto was released in 2006. "Apocalypto" was filmed entirely in the Mayan language and the cast consisted of local indigenous Mayan actors.
  • Edzna rose to glory during the Classic period. This site contains numerous canals and water deposits, which denotes an advanced technological society. The site also contains a short sacbe that is in relatively good condition along with a large plaza, acropolis, ballcourt, steambaths and large temple/pyramid.