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The history of Kabáh is closely tied to that of Uxmal: Kabáh was one of its satellites when Uxmal ruled the hills and valleys of the Puuc region. A monumental arch here marks the southern entrance to an 18 km long sacbe, or “white road,” that leads to Uxmal. Near the arch thick vegetation envelops Kabáh’s largest pyramid, as yet unexcavated, and perhaps it most important edifice.

Kabáh, or “Strong Hand,” was settled as early as the 3rd century B.C. and was still flourishing in 987 AD, the latest date carved into stone at the site. Highway 261 bisects the archeological site, dividing it into east and west sections. Nine main structures line two plazas in the East Group, nearest to the entrance kiosk. Principal among them are the Great Temple and Temple of the Columns.

One of most fantastic buildings in all of the Maya world is found at Kabáh: the Codz Poop, or “Wall of Masks.” Covering the facade are 260 stone masks depicting the rain god Chac, one for each day of the Mayan sacred calendar. Water is scarce in Kabáh – and its architects went to great lengths to make sure Chac was pleased.

Getting to and away

Kabáh is on Highway 261, 140 km south of Mérida, 28 km from Uxmal, and 9 km from Santa Elena, the nearest town with accommodations and food. The Ruta Puuc bus from Mérida stops at Kabáh for one half hour.

Hours: Daily, 8:00am to 5:00pm

Services: parking, restrooms

Admission: MX$43/US$4.30




Other places nearby Kabáh: Progreso, Hopelchén, Ciudad Del Carmen, San Felipe, Santa Elena, Chetumal, Oxkutzcab, Merida, Ticul and Mahahual.

By George Nunes
Mayan archeology and culture are my passion and I've visited over 20 sites so far. My career path has encompassed being a professional dancer and...
17 Mar 2010

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