Edzna Ruins: Guide to the Best Day Trip from Campeche
Edzna Mayan Ruins only an hour bus ride from Campeche is the perfect one day trip when visiting this colonial city in Mexico. Edzna archeological site is one of the least visited, but it for sure deserves travelers' attention. Read our guide on how to get to Edzna Ruins independently, what to see and do, where to stay, what to pack, and how much things cost.
When we were coming closer to the entrance gate for Edzna Ruins, we started to feel uneasy. The parking lot was completely empty, and when we walked in the building where the counter was, there was not a single person around. But not only there were no other tourists around, but also there was not even the clerk behind the counter.
We waited for a moment, and finally, after five minutes a man showed up, so we could pay for a ticket. The price for two tickets was Mx 120, I gave him Mx 200, and he shook his head with an apology that he does not have change as we were apparently first visitors that day, and he did not have any extra cash. He said he would give us money back later, hopefully, by then, some visitors arrive.
This is how our one-day trip from Campeche to Edzna ruins started. We could not believe it. Only a short drive from a pretty colonial city Campeche, we expected Edzna Ruins would be loaded with tour buses and independent travelers as well, but this archeological site turned out to be the least crowded Mayan ruins we've visited in Mexico.
And thanks to the serene atmosphere and beautiful structures, it was also one of our favorite ones.
For almost an hour we had the site only for ourselves, it was just us, the ancient structures and many lizards rustling in the leaves. It was hard to imagine that almost 25 000 people lived in Edzna between 400 - 1000 AD when the city was in its peak of power.
The one-day trip from Campeche to Edzna Ruins was simply perfect, and in this guide, you can read how to visit the ruins, how to get there independently, where to stay in Campeche and what to pack.
Hope our photos will make you want to visit these Mayan ruins, and you will put Edzna on your must-do list when in Mexico.
VISIT OF EDZNA RUINS
After we paid the admission, we walked through a small exhibition where we could see some artifacts found on site.
We continued out, and on the first intersection turned left, so we soon got to the Nohochna alias Big House which was a long structure with several steps where we could climb and get the first better glimpse of the Great Plaza. Nohochna structure encloses the main square on the west side.
We walked around this structure later as well because we spent quite a long time on the square enjoying the fact no one was there, and later we met here a guide who told us it is hard to compete with famous ruins such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza, but according to him, they are expecting more visitors soon, so you better hurry to enjoy this outstanding ruins without crowds.
Then we continued to the highlight of Edzna Ruins, the main square surrounded by well-preserved remarkable buildings.
The absolute must-see thing is Piramide de Los Cinco Pisos alias Pyramid or Temple of the Five Floors. This building served as main living quarters for the rulers and religious leaders. As the name suggests the temple has five floors and the central stairway leading to the top.
Although you can climb most of the structures in the Edzna archeological site, it is not possible to climb to the top of this pyramid.
After an hour or so (the pyramid was way too photogenic plus we had to wait for the sun hiding behind the clouds) we continued via Little Acropolis to the Temple of the Masks which contains only recently discovered two colorful statues representing sunset and sunrise.
Then we walked through Ball Court, a structure which must have been in every Mayan city. Ball Court served as a playground where Maya people played traditional games, and where those who lost often also lost their lives. We crossed the free space in front of Nohochna again, walk around Platform of Knives, Platform of Ambassadors and Chultun, a well which was used as a water container.
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If you have enough time, it is worth it to walk about ten minutes to less preserved and wilder part of Edzna ruins, where you can see how the site looked like before it had been discovered when nature was in full charge here. This stretch reminded us of a bit of Tikal Ruins in Guatemala. It won't take long until you reach the Old Sorceress area.
If you haven't been alone on the grounds, this is the place where you will. After seeing this more remote part of the ruins, we ventured back to the entrance gate and waited for colectivo back to Campeche.
HOW TO GET FROM CAMPECHE TO EDZNA RUINS INDEPENDENTLY
Getting to Edzna Ruins independently is absolutely hassle-free, and you do not need to take a taxi or tour as it is as simple as it can be in Mexico.
In Campeche, you need to get to the corner of Calle Nicaragua and Calle Chihuahua from where frequent colectivos leave approximately every 30 minutes. You only need to ask a driver to be dropped off at ruinas, and that's it.
The ride takes about one hour, and the ticket costs Mx 40. The driver stopped at the intersection near the entrance to Edzna ruins, so we had to walk only two or three hundred meters to the cashier.
When we explored the ruins, we went back to the intersection and waited here for approximately 20 minutes before a colectivo showed up. There is no official stop, so you need to flag down the colectivo, but the driver will most likely stop once he spots you.
We soon found out that the most popular way how to get around Mexico is by rental car as we were the only ones that day traveling by public transport.
You can rent car directly in Campeche and use it as a base for your one-day trips. The road to Edzna Ruins is well-marked and newly paved, so you should not have any problem when driving. There is even a small parking lot in front of the entrance where you do not need to pay any fee.
Our Tip: When you are in Campeche and short on time, you can take a tour and combine visiting of three ruins in the area in only one day, Edzna, Kabah, and Uxmal.
ENTRANCE FEE TO EDZNA RUINS
If traveling on a budget but you still want to see the best ruins the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer, you can head to Edzna Ruins where we paid the cheapest entrance fee out of the eight Mayan ruins we've visited in Mexico.
The admission is Mx 60 per person, which is a pretty reasonable price, probably aiming to attract more visitors.
WHAT TO PACK FOR ONE DAY TRIP TO EDZNA RUINS
Depending on what time of the year you are visiting Mexico, you can expect either extremely hot weather from November to May or hot weather with afternoon showers during the rainy season from May to October.
Here are five essential things you should pack with you when traveling for a one-day trip to Edzna ruins from Campeche.
Ultralight Packable Daypack | Bring a light backpack where you can keep bottle of water, snack and rain poncho.
Water Bottle | We never had to buy water in Mexico as it was always provided for free in our hostel. Buy reusable bottle water to reduce your plastic waste to a minimum.
Sunscreen | Do not forget a quality sunscreen. We used 50+ SPF all the time in Mexico, and it worked well.
Rain Poncho | We always have a light and foldable rain ponchos in backpack just in case an unexpected rain comes.
WHERE TO STAY IN CAMPECHE
When looking for accommodation in Campeche, depending on for how long are you visiting the colonial city for, if you have own transport or what are your plans to do, you can choose to stay in the city center, close to the beach or near the bus terminal.
We've handpicked three hotels for every budget and every type of traveler.
Budget | Hostal Casa Allende - It is not easy to find in Campeche typical backpackers hostel for a cheap price. This hostel offers a friendly atmosphere, clean rooms, both dormitories and private rooms within walking distance to the city center.
Mid-range | Hotel Socaire - Colorfully decorated hotel offers spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and basically, you might need - the best value for money in Campeche.
Luxury | Hacienda Puerta Campeche a Luxury Collection Hotel - Great location, excellent rooms in a restored mansion, spa, indoor and outdoor pools, and tasty breakfast are the main reasons why to stay here.
Alternatively, search for your accommodation via Hostelworld.
HOW TO GET TO CAMPECHE
Campeche still is not that popular and did not make it firmly to most of the Mexico travel itineraries, but if you'll decide on visiting, it is not hard to find a bus from for example Merida or Palenque.
Merida is only a bit more, than a two-hour ride from Campeche and when traveling from other destinations on the Yucatan Peninsula you will most likely have to go via Merida, while Palenque is much further, and you will spend on a bus almost six hours.
When short on time, Campeche has an international airport so you can fly in.
When looking for flight tickets you can search Skyscanner to find the best price.
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