Freedom8 Mesoamerica



 

   

El Meco -
The Cancun regions version of the ancient Maya port city of Tulum. In this case it is the port city of "El Meco". The Mayan City of El Meco is believed to be named after the infirmity of a local coconut plantation owner of a former era who displayed a significant limp in his gait and upon whom the locals bestowed the Mayan Ruin site the name. So, there's no Mayan significance or tradition to the modern name of El Meco to the ancient Maya. The city is however believed to have been a major commercial port for the Maya and overlooks the beach and docks from across the road at Punta Sam where nearby claims indicate that there's the last vestiges of the ancient port hidden along the beach line. The city's importance to the Maya is thought to have occurred from its proximity across the coast from Isla Mujeres, its location along the coastal trading routes and the area of calm but deeper water for vessels.
At the center of the site is the large El Castillo Pyramid surrounded by a dozen or so smaller structures believed to be used for governmental, religious and commercial trading purposes by the Post Classical Mayan period starting in the 10th or 11th century AD. The site previous to this was believed to be home to a small native village going back to the 6th century AD.
Speculation based on artifact finds and architecture places El Meco at the heart of one of the Chichen Itza periods and further speculates that the city was amongst the then extended realms of the rulers of Chichen Itza.
Visitors from Cancun can reach El Meco via bus, taxi or rental car on the road to Punta Sam past Puerto Juarez while visitors staying at the resort(s) in the newly developed Playa Mujeres region will want to travel south to the site.