Final restoration work is set to begin at Kulubá, Yucatán. Final restoration work is set to begin at Kulubá, Yucatán.

Archaeological site new tourist attraction

Yucatán expects Kulubá will bring significantly more tourists

Visitors to the Yucatán Peninsula will soon have another archaeological site to add to their itineraries alongside the region’s many other ancient Mayan wonders.

The Yucatán state government and the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) will start the final restoration work on the Kulubá archaeological zone in the coming days, before it partially opens to the public later this year.

The state secretary for economic promotion told the newspaper El Universal that he is confident that it will attract a significant number of tourists and put the state “in the eyes of the world.”

“Kulubá will be the 18th archaeological zone that Yucatán will have and we will allocate significant investment to it because we hope that it will spark the tourism potential of the east of the state,” Saúl Ancona said.

He explained that restoration of the site dates back to 1980 and since then several of the buildings have been recovered.

“In the coming days . . . we will know which parts may be opened to visitors,” Ancona said.

Beyond restoration work, the substantial investment — expected to run into the millions of pesos — will be used to undertake reforestation work and build a 37-kilometer road to the site.

Located in the municipality of Tizimín in the northeast of the state, Kulubá was located by the noted United States archaeologist E. Wyllys Andrews IV in December 1939.

However, it wasn’t until 1941 that the first report about the site, along with detailed sketches, were published.

According to archaeologist Alfredo Barrera Rubio, the architecture of Kulubá is similar to the Chichén Itzá and Ek Balam sites with signs of influence from both the Mayan and Toltec civilizations.

There is evidence that residents of the site maintained an important trading relationship with Chichén Itzá and other ancient Mayan cities. The name Kulubá is believed to come from the Mayan word K’ulu’, a wild canine-like animal that inhabited the area.


The economic promotion secretary said that visitor numbers to Yucatán have grown just over 54% over the past five years. Just under 2.3 million tourists visited the state in 2012 but that number grew to just over 3.5 million last year.

However, when Kulubá opens, Ancona optimistically predicted that “those numbers will double.”

Some of the other archaeological sites in the state are Uxmal, Kabah and Mayapán.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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