Edzna (Campeche): The Definitive Guide + My best tips


The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Edzna in 2024

Edzná is a Mayan archaeological site in the state of Campeche, Mexico. It’s only an hour away from the city of San Francisco de Campeche.

Edzná was founded in 600 BC and was a major regional capital until the 15th century. It had up to 25,000 people living there and strong ties with other great Mayan cities like Calakmul and Piedras Negras in Guatemala.

But over time, the city lost its power and influence until it was abandoned around 1450.

I didn’t know much about Edzná before I visited it and I was amazed by its beauty and history!

In this guide, I’ll show you why Edzná is a must-see in Campeche, the buildings you can’t miss, and some practical tips to plan your visit.

Why you should visit Edzná on your trip to Mexico

The archaeological site of Edzna may not be as big as Calakmul or Chichen Itza, but it has a unique charm for several reasons.

First of all, its main pyramid has 4 vaulted floors, which is very unusual for the Maya, who usually built stepped pyramids.

In addition, Edzná has a certain wild beauty, as not all the structures are perfectly clean, which has resulted in the natural invasion of plants among the stones.

Finally, it’s a hidden gem, where you won’t see many tourists. When I was there, there were only 7 of us, and more lizards than people! 😆

Edzná is one of the most fascinating Maya cities because of its technological innovation. Its people developed a sophisticated hydraulic system of pipes that they used to water the crops all year round, as well as for transportation and, sometimes, for defense.

sitio arqueológico Edzná
archaeological site Edzná
edzna campeche
edzna campeche

What to see in Edzná

Edzná had many buildings for religious, administrative and residential purposes, covering an area of about 25 km². It had a mix of Puuc, Peten and Chenes architectural styles.

Today, only a small part is open to the public. These are the main structures of Edzná:

  • The Big House: the “Nohochná” is a large platform that separates us from the Great Acropolis when we enter the site. It may have been an administrative building, or maybe a stand for events held in the main plaza.
  • Great Acropolis: this is the main complex of Edzná. It has a central plaza surrounded by several buildings. The most impressive is the Five-Story Building, a 5-story pyramid with 4 floors that have vaulted rooms, which is rare for a Maya site. You can’t climb the building anymore, but you can get a view from the top of the nearby buildings, like the House of the Moon or the Northwest Temple.
Gran Acrópolis Edzná
Gran Acropolis Edzná
  • The Small Acropolis: this is next to the Great Acropolis and has 4 buildings that contain some of the oldest remains of Edzná.
  • The stelae: these are 32 stone slabs that depict the rulers who came to power, or the famous ball game, the conquest of a region, a political alliance, etc. They are from different periods (4 of them were carved between 41 and 435 AD, 11 between 633 and 830 AD, and the rest between the 9th and 10th centuries).
  • Temple of the Masks: you can easily spot this because it’s covered by a roof. There you can see the amazing stucco masks on both sides of the stairs.

Map of Edzná

Here is a map of Edzná, made by INAH, the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico, to help you find the main structures.

mapa edzna
edzna map

Visiting Edzná: practical information

Here is everything you need to know to visit Edzná:

  • Entrance fee: 90 pesos
  • Optional guide: 500 pesos per group
  • Open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm
  • Sound and light show at 7pm or 8pm, depending on the season (canceled due to the pandemic)

How to get to Edzná

The site is only an hour away from Campeche. If you don’t have a car, the simplest way to get there is to take a Tour from Campeche.

I paid 350 pesos for a local agency, but that price only covers transportation (not the entrance fee or the guide).

If you’re on a tight budget, you can take one of the colectivos (45 pesos) that leave near the Puerta de Tierra and go to Bonfil. They will drop you off 330 yds from the entrance (a 5-minute walk).

What to bring when visiting Edzna?

Edzná is very hot and humid, so you should bring mosquito repellent (there are many of them!), sunscreen and a hat or cap.

My visit to Edzná was unforgettable: I battled with swarms of mosquitoes and got a nasty sunburn as a souvenir. 🤣

¿Where to stay to visit Edzna?

The closest city is Campeche, so it is the ideal place to spend the night before visiting Edzna. Here are my three suggestions for hotels for all budgets:

  • Melisa Hostal: very well located hostel in a beautiful typical house in the center of Campeche, friendly staff, with a small pool, access to a kitchen, and very clean and comfortable mattresses. Bed in shared room, from only 20 $usd per night
  • Casa Serena Beautiful Colonial Loft: a spacious apartment in the center of Campeche that offers excellent value for money. With air conditioning, a living room, kitchen, terrace, good wifi with breakfast included. Sleeps 2 to 4 people, starting at 125 $usd per night
  • Boutique Hotel Casa Don Gustavo: an elegant 18th century manor house completely restored on a pedestrian street in downtown Campeche. A beautiful blend of modernity and colonial decor, with comfortable air-conditioned rooms. Wifi, outdoor pool, jacuzzi and a very tasty à la carte breakfast await guests. Starting at 65 $usd!

Rent a car for a trip to Mexico

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Yucatan and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Booking.com Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Video of Edzna

If you want to know a little more about Edzná, I suggest you watch this interesting report from INAH.

How to find your plane tickets at the best price?

For the best deal on your flight to Campeche or Cancun, use our Mexico flight comparison tool, powered by Skyscanner: it’s the smart way to save money on your international and domestic flights!

Book your trip now and save money!

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visit Edzna Campeche
visit Edzna Campeche

I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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