township of Campeche State, Mexico

Xpujil is a remote village in the state of Campeche, located at an important junction in the interior of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. It offers the only services on Mexico's Federal Route 186 in the interior of the Yucatán. The town's sole point of interest is a fairly small Mayan archaeological site, though its also close to the archaeological ruins and biosphere reserve at Calakmul.

Three square towers of Structure I, Xpujil

Get inEdit

Highway 186 is well-paved and in mostly excellent condition, with little traffic. The road north connecting Xpujil with Holpelchén is narrow, most of it has been paved and is in excellent condition. However, there are portions of the road to the north of Reserva de la Biosfera Calakmul that are in disrepair; littered with astonishingly deep potholes that resemble a never ending abyss into the depths of hell. Some travellers may want to avoid this route or expect to travel at a much slower speed. To the south of Xpujil, this road is an unimproved seasonal track.

Many buses, both first class and second class, traverse Route 186 and stop in Xpujil on their way to Chetumal or Escárcega.

Get aroundEdit

Jaguar mask on temple at Xpujil

Xpujil is small enough to navigate by foot, and automobile traffic is very light off the main highway. Calle Chicaná is well lit with a paved sidewalk, and makes for a pleasant evening walk.


Calakmul Archaelogical Zone


The ancient Mayan city of Xpujil is just outside the town of Xpujil. The site is small, encompassing only two visible building groups: the main temple complex, and the three towers that mark Structure I. The original city covered an area of several square miles, but most of it has been covered by dense vegetation and is inaccessible.

Mayan architecture in this region is characterized by the Rio Bec style. Some Rio Bec features you can see at Xpujil include the mock pyramid architecture of the Main Temple with its steep staircases. Note the monster mask shape of the central doorway -- this too is a hallmark of Rio Bec style.

Structure I is the most interesting feature of Xpujil. Each of the three parts has a characteristic steep staircase, and there are mock staircases on the upper levels. Each of the three towers was topped by a pyramid, though only the central tower's pyramid is in good condition. The monster mask theme is carried through the three towers, with the giant serpent mouth of the central tower being the most unsettling.

Other nearby Mayan sites include Chicanna, Becan, Hormiguero, and Rio Bec. The largest nearby Mayan site is Calakmul.

There are at least two companies offering day trips to the Calakmul archaeological site for M$350-400 (not including individual park and road fees). A driver may approach you outside the bus station or you can contact Calakmul Transporte Colectivo via Facebook. The day trips leave at 08:00, arrive at the site shortly after 10:00, and leave by 16:00, in time to make a stop at a nearby bat cave before sundown.

An ecotourism information center in Xpujil offers information and guided tours for the nearby Reserva de la Biósfera Calakmul.





  • Posada Victoria.
  • El Mirador Maya. +52 983 871 6005
  • Hotel Calakmul, +52 983 871 6029. This place is right downtown and has 20 M$600 double rooms with AC and TV, but there are also 8 M$250 rooms with shared bath and fan. All rooms have two beds.

Go nextEdit

If you are heading to Chetumal, it is easy to catch either a colectivo or wait for enough people to fill up a taxi near the bus station for the 1½-2 hour ride.

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