Description There are 120 carved stelae in Calakmul, many of which are severely weathered or plundered. They mostly show the Mayans at work or in a marketplace. A number of them depict a lady, whom some believed to have been a ruler of the ancient city. There is an interior stucco frieze much more elaborate and larger than the one in Balam ku.
Its central core is protected by a substantial wall which was probably set up to defend the major political and residential buildings. Water management was an important feature. A network of canals and arroyos surrounds a central area of around 8.4 sq miles.
Structure 2 is its tallest pyramid at a height of 180 ft. A palace was constructed at its top in which were discovered four burial tombs. Its base measures 450 ft on each side. Like many temples in Mesoamerica, the Mayans built on top of an existing temple to get it to its current size.
Structure 6 is an example of the sophistication of Mayan astronomy as its architecture registers the annual solstices and equinox.
Structure 3 was the burial site of an early king on whom were found exquisite jade masks, jewelry, ear plugs, rings, plaques beads and thousands of shell beads. Many of the jade jewelry and two of the masks found here are displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Campeche.
The biosphere is the Yucatan’s last virgin forest and its largest. The 1.8m acre Calakmul Biosphere was created in 1989 and is the home for a vast diversity of plants and animals. Fauna found here include monkeys, armadillos, fox, puma ocelots, white-lipped peccaries and deer. It has the largest jaguar population outside of the Amazon.
There are at least 250 bird species here and you might spot the toucan, the occellated turkey and parrots. In winter, the forests are filled with the flapping of wings as 3 million migratory birds find their way here.
The biosphere receives as much as 16 ft of rain a year. It is best to avoid visiting during the wettest months between June-October.