Monday, September 7, 2009

Ruinas el Rey Cancun- Iguana Party!

Hidden away amidst the flashy resorts of Cancun's hotel zone is a little piece of history, the small Mayan ruins site called El Rey. While not as significant as Chichen Itza or Tulum, the ruins do offer a glimpse of the ancient Mayan life. Archaeologists estimate that the area was inhabited from roughly 900 AD to 1550 AD when the Spanish conquered Mexico. There are several structures on site, from the religious temple to the castle to simple living accommodations.

While the ruins may no longer be inhabited by people, they are home to hundreds of iguanas who know to come running when someone starts throwing tortillas. They appear out of nowhere with their bouncy little run and flicking tails, fighting each other for a little nibble. They're certainly not afraid of humans and humans should not be afraid of them, iguanas don't bite though they'll use their powerful tails to take a swipe at you if they feel threatened.

We paid a little visit to El Rey yesterday, stocked and ready with two bags of tortillas to feed the monsters. The ruins are located around km 17 in the hotel zone, across from the famous Playa Delfines and the old El Pueblito hotel (a ruin itself since Hurricane Wilma). El Rey is open from 8 am to 5 pm and the entry fee is 37 pesos (discounts for locals with ID). We were the only people there, had the place to ourselves, most likely as it was a million degrees when we went. I've never had so much sweat pouring off of me! It's unsurprising that Max was more taken with the iguanas than the "old rocks" of the ruins. We explored on our own, no guide, so we really didn't have much idea of what we were looking at, but it was fun nonetheless (Max would have been bored with a history lecture anyway).

View of the site from the top of the castle

The ancient Hilton....

Typical castle structure of the Maya


Sloppy eater

I took a short video of the iguanas, it's amazing to see them run from long distances, obviously they put out the Batsignal that breakfast is served. I kept getting spooked by the ones running up from behind me, I'm not afraid of iguanas but I don't like them sneaking up on me.

If you find yourself in Cancun and are short on time for a trip to Chichen Itza or Tulum, take a little peek at El Rey for a taste of history. You can see the whole site in a short period of time and be back on the beach in a flash with some great iguana tales to tell.


KfromMichigan said...

Some huge iguanas! I would keep my distance .. I like to look at them, but don't come near me.

Paul said...

I loved the feeding video. (Especially mom's comments to son to not get them too close.) Thanks for sharing.

Denise said...

Wow!!! I saw three Iguanas the whole time I was in Tulum. One at the hotel and two at Tulum. They really weren't that big though. Actually the biggest Iguana that I saw was in Florida in my sister's backyard. It was like a huge dinosaur. THe ones in your video were actually small in comparison. And, as you know, there were some decent sized ones in the video! You know feeding the Iguanas reminds me of feeding the diucks in the lake here! I guess we are all the same afterall.

mare ad mare said...

Always love reading about your adventures through Mexico - makes me feel like I'm almost there with you (wish I was!!!).
Can I ask what video editing software you used for that vid? I like the animation/text that you had at the start - looks great.
The Hilton Hotel right behind the rocks - I thought you were being clever calling the pile of rocks their version of a Hilton hundreds of years ago - until I saw the Hilton sign :-)

Gaelyn said...

I'm glad that El Rey has been left unmolested by the concrete of Cancun. How magical that you had the place to yourselves. Well, plus the iguanas. Which is commical to see eating the tortillas. And some of them look so huge. What a wonder outing.

Mic said...

Wow!! Have not idea they were so BIG!! and FAST!! Will probably have nightmares about them tonight but glad I I got to actually hear Max's little voice. Makes him more of a real person\ :-).

CancunCanuck said...

KfromMichigan- I've got a soft spot for these beauties, but yeah, don't think I would want them too close to me either!

Paul- Thank you kindly sir, I was trying not to sound like nagging mom, haha! :)

Denise- Feeding iguanas, feeding ducks, it's just geography that's different. I love that these guys are such dinosaurs, I feel connected to a whole other time and place with them.

mare ad mare- The video was done in Microsoft Movie Magic, I think it's bundled in with the software. Super easy to use, not a whole lot of bells and whistles but enough for my purposes (titles, music overlay, etc). Thanks for the kind words, always a pleasure to see you here.

Gaelyn- It is a little sanctuary, hotels on one side, golf course on the other, but inside it still holds the ancients' secrets. It was great to have it all to ourselves, but seriously, we were kind of foolish to go midday in that heat! :)

Mic- OH yes, they are faster than you think, they can give you a good scare when running up from behind! As we were leaving one giganto iguana started chasing me, not sure why, though I suspect it was the empty tortilla bag he spotted. Though part of me put words in his little mouth "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!". :)

Alex said...

Do iguanas bite? heh cool pics and most lovely video miss K, Max is SUPER cute speaking English! :D

Anonymous said...

they are so biiiiiig!!

are they eating tortilla??


PS Ready for dolphin trek???

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