The largest structure built by the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) since 1987, Cancun's new archaeological museum, the Museo Maya, opened to the public in late 2012 after six years of work. The building is new, modern and air-conditioned and a visit can be a welcome relief from the heat outside. The museum consists of three large exhibition halls and additional venues for temporary exhibitions, and houses about 350 Mayan artefacts discovered in the region. Artefacts include things like carvings, pottery, weapons, tools, ritual objects and burial masks, and one of the highlights is the 14,000-year-old skeletal remains found in Tulum's underwater caves, which greet visitors as they enter. Unfortunately, most of the information is only in Spanish, although videos tend to have English subtitles. The museum is enclosed by lovely landscaped grounds and nestled within are some fascinating Mayan ruins, including a small pyramid; this site, called the San Miguelito Archaeological Site, is possibly the best part of a trip to the museum. The surrounding tropical gardens are home to many lizards, who seem to enjoy the ruins! The Museo Maya is conveniently located in the Zona Hoteleira, and is a good place for tourists to gain some insight into the Mayan culture.
Address: Blvd. Kukulkan km. 16.5, Zona Hotelera, Cancun
Opening times: Open Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 6pm (museum) and 9am to 5pm (archaeological site).
Admission: $57 (US$5, but only pesos will be accepted).