Temple of Alacran – Quintana Roo
The Templo del Alácran (Scorpion’s Temple), Mayan name Yamil Lu’um, was used between AD 1200 and 1550, and sits atop a beachside knoll in the park like grounds between the Park Royal and Westin Lagunamar hotels.
This was the last site I visited on my 2023 trip and it was, without a shadow of a doubt, the saddest site of all those I had the chance to see. Sadder even than those which had not seen any significant restoration.
It survives only because it was a condition for the hotels getting planning permission. Constructed as the hotels were after it wasn’t easy to just destroy the Mayan national heritage it was allowed to be dominated by commerce. Perhaps, in a way, it’s more of a symbol of what has happened to Mayan culture since the arrival of the Europeans, more than 500 years ago, than the major sites of Chichén Itzá or Uxmal.
How to get there:
Between the Park Royal and Westin Lagunamar hotels at Blvd Kukulcán Km 12.5, in the Cancun hotel district. Buses R1 and R2, to and from down-town Cancun, run regularly along the road. M$12 per journey.