While Cancun enjoys its fame as a party place and Mexico City soaks in the glory of its culture and food, very few people know about Yaxchilan—the ancient Mayan city. By Tara Choudhary

Yaxchilan on the banks of Usumacinta River in the state of Chiapas, close to the border with Guatemala has dominated similar smaller sites in the past. It has also rivalled and warred with some others and is within a driving distance of other big archaeological sites in Chiapas such as Bonampak, Palenque and Piedras Negras.

View this post on Instagram

Yaxchilán fue una de las ciudades mayas más importantes del período clásico. Su ubicación, arquitectura y su cercanía con el Río Usumacinta le ayudaron a conservar su atmósfera misteriosa a lo largo de los siglos ya que pocos podían llegar a ella. Esta zona arqueológica esta prácticamente rodeada de agua, ya que se encuentra construida en una pequeña península la cual es bañada por las aguas del Río Usumacinta. Aquí destacan sus edificios, pero principalmente sus estelas y dinteles de piedra labrados que narran la historia de las diferentes dinastías de la ciudad y sus guerras con otras ciudades como Bonampak, Tikal y Piedras Negras. 🌟 🌟 #destinoexotico #yaxchilan #destinoexótico #zonaarqueologica #ruinas #piramides #riousumacinta #chiapas #mexicolindo #mexicoenunafoto #mexicoesamor #culturamexicana #antepasadosmexicanos 🌟 @destino_exotico

A post shared by Destino Exótico (@destino_exotico) on

The Yaxchilan Archaeological Park is open throughout the week from 9 am to 5 pm. The entry is charged at a minuscule $10 (INR 715) and is completely worth the price. The park is best known for having preserved over 120 structures that have been the foundation of this city. The area is divided into three parts — the Great Plaza, the Grand Acropolis and the Small Acropolis.

To get inside, you can take a small boat, which will drop you at a pier where the ticket booths, rest rooms, drink stands and the tour guides are. From here you go through a dark tunnel until you enter the main plaza surrounded by impressive ruins, palaces and temples. The most popular points of interest are usually the numerous carvings on stone blocks and the many carved hieroglyphics that each tell their own stories.

You can get to Yaxchilan by air, bus or car from other cities, however you must take a boat ride to complete the final stretch to the ancient Mayan city. The weather is usually hot and humid, so it is important to wear loose, comfortable cotton clothing and sunscreen to protect yourself.  It is also important to wear sturdy shoes as you will have to walk a lot within the city of Yaxchilan.

Related: The Therapies In Mexico Come In A Dizzying Amount Of Colours