Cancun, Filming with the Travel Channel, Mexico

Cheap Mayan Ruins near Cancun’s Hotel Zone

El Rey Ruins


When Bob found out we were going to Mexico, he quickly started researching Mayan history and the suspenseful drama behind the 2012 conspiracy.

2012– End of the World- Aliens– Mayan Spirits… oh my!

Chichen Itza Ruins, via

Even before this year, visiting Mayan ruins while in Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula are on every tourists must-do list. Chichen Itza, the most well known and best preserved, is one of the biggest tour company draws from the famous Cancun Hotel Zone and even made it onto the New 7 wonders of the world list.

However, it is also the most crowded. Due to the end of the Mayan Calender in 2012, the ruins are expecting larger than ever attendance records. And because of it’s popularity, tour companies can charge quite a lot of money for the day trip (it’s about a 3 hour bus drive away from Cancun at about $110 USD per person).

On top of the temple, El Rey Ruins

Since we didn’t want to spend half of our very limited time in Cancun on a bus, we decided to investigate other Mayan ruins closer to our hotel. We were delighted when we discovered one, the El Rey ruins, a short 15 minute bus ride away from our hotel, that just so happened to be way cheaper and had far fewer visitors.

Chichen Itza ~$110 USD, El Rey Ruins ~ $3 USD (that’s a $107 dollar savings!)

Obviously, if you want to see one of the new 7 wonders of the world, then you should just spend the extra money to see the larger temples. The El Rey ruins are much, much smaller and some of the Mayan markings aren’t as well preserved.

BUT- The beauty of the El Rey ruins is being able to feel like you are alone with the history and the feeling that there are still artifacts left to be found. In 2006, workers discovered a Maya skeleton on the barrier of the land, leading to speculation that this land still has a lot to be uncovered.

So, if you have limited time in Cancun and not a lot of money, make sure to check out the El Rey Ruins.