Meet an iguana at El Rey – in Cancún

Cancún did not really capture my interest. If I’m to be totally honest, I was very disappointed the same night I arrived, and the taxi brought med to my hotel. What I saw through the windows was pure and utter tourist madness and I wasn’t impressed. If I’m to be even more honest, I don’t really know why I in the first place even thought Cancún would be something for me!





Thus, when I after a few days and some searching on the internet I discovered there were actual real RUINS smack in the middle of the tourist area Zona Hotelera, I did not waste any time getting there.


There’s something positive about Cancún’s Zone Hotelera and that is the buses go 24/7, and they only charge 12 pesos.


Unlike the rest of the Mexico I’ve seen so far, that is incredibly cheap! So I hopped on a bus to MY ruins. When I got off the bus I passed some bushes and I happened to see a rather large iguana. He was just lying there on the ground enjoying his lonesome and the quiet (!), just next to the heavily trafficked road passing straight through Zona Hotelera.


iguana el rey cancun


The first day I was out walking in Cancún I’d stumbled upon an iguana in the middle of the sidewalk, and I neglected to take a photo! So, I wasn’t going to repeat that mistake, this time at least.


You don’t see iguanas lounging around every day, or so I thought! 🙂


I continued on to El Rey, which was my goal, and after I’d paid the entrance fee a really old man introduced himself. It turned out he was a guide, and he told me some interesting facts about the Mayans and the ruins I had in front of me, and asked me if I wanted a guide.


I rarely hire any guides, and it’s not because I don’t find them interesting or that they don’t provide value to the place. It’s rather because I enjoy discovering places on my own and I can’t really relax dragging around someone else. I suppose that’s connected to the while introvert thing again…



It was just something, though, with this man who gave me such enormously guilty conscience because I hadn’t hired me! Such an old man and yet he was standing there day in and day out (in that awful heat!), offering his knowledge to tourists for hardly anything, and most of them were/are probably too cheap to pay for him.


It broke my heart, but I still said no.


Soon I caught a glimpse of a bunch of friends – iguanas to the right and to the left… where to begin???



They didn’t look as grumpy as I got closer, as the guy out on the street, so I was able to get rather close, which was pretty lovely.


iguana el rey cancun



There were also some birds there, and one of the species I’d seen several times in Cancún. It’s a rather unusual or odd looking bird with its long thin beak, and I have no idea what it is. If anyone knows please leave a comment.



Some not so nice animals I found there however, was some sort of a mini-mini-fly. I’ve never seen such a small fly in my entire life, and they were completely awful – biting me all over! The bites hurt as frack too, almost like getting stung by a wasp, and resulted in bumps for over 3 weeks! I believe the little bad guys are called “biting midges”.




I experienced almost the same while visiting Chichen Itzá, but I came prepared and was covered from top to toe with bug spray, so they fell short that time!


If you’re planning on visiting ruins in Mexico I highly recommend to cover yourself in some kind of bugprotection – even during day time, and leave that little black dress hanging in the closet, because they’re apparantly crazy about black! Hideous creatures!


Then what about those ruins?


The ruins are – obviously – from the Maya kingdom and some 2000 years old. No one knows the original name, and the place got named “El Rey” due to a statue they found which looked like a monarch. Rey is the Spanish word for King. El Rey is the most important archeological place in Cancún, and believe it or not, but Cancún actually boasts several other ruins…


iguana el rey cancun


The ruins at El Rey are not at all as powerful as Chichen Itzá, but the place is peaceful, and there is history here – well worth a visit if you’re in Cancún. And if you’re slightly more extrovert than me, you might consider taking a guided tour with the old man… 🙂


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