Costa Maya, Xcalak and Mahahual (Majahual) Visitors pages - Oxtankah |

OxtankahOxtankah (pronounced osh tahn kah) is a medium-sized Mayan site, located on the shores of the Chetumal bay. It once played an important role in Mayan trade due to its location. It was built during the early classic period. Its buildings date from 300 A.D. and it appears to have been occupied until the arrival of the Spaniards in the 1500's. There are remains of a Spanish church at the site. Some archaeologists believe that this is the oldest church in the area and that it is related to the Chaktemal Kingdom started by Gonzalo Guerrero who was one of two Spaniard soldiers surviving after their ship wrecked off the coastline of the Caribbean. Gonzalo Guerrero married the daughter of the local Mayan ruler and completely adopted the Maya way of life.

The architectonic style of the buildings ties it to the Petén region, in Guatemala. The size and the importance of Oxtankah not always were equal, since some portions were left a.d. after year 600, later being occupied and again remodeled by means of extensions of the platforms and the construction of new palaces, administrative temples and buildings on the already existing ones. Until the arrival of the Spaniards, the city was occupied by manifold and modest residential units, as well as by innumerable horse armor of residential boundary (earthworks). After the first Spanish incursions, the chapel was built at the north end of the site.

Excavations were carried out under I.N.A.H., restoring the church in the late '80s and the Classic structures in 1997.

Open daily 8:00 - 17:00. Sundays and holidays closed.
Admission: 22 pesos.
LOcation: Approximately 16 kilometers north of Chetumal. Take the Chetumal-Calderitas highway and continue on the asphalt road that runs along the bay. There are good restaurants on the bay not too far from Oxtankah.