Fines for climbing the pyramids in Mexico

Once, visitors could climb the Mexican pyramids, enjoying the panoramic views.

Standing on top of these monumental ancient structures offered a unique view of the surrounding area. In recent years, this magical experience has been restricted to preserving the integrity of these historical treasures.

All archaeological sites in Mexico are managed by government organizations. A key organization responsible for the oversight of all these sites and pyramids is the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

How illegal is it to climb the pyramids in Mexico?

Climbing the pyramids in Mexico is prohibited, and violators face penalties. Despite the ban implemented four years ago, tourists still attempt to ascend these ancient structures, risking fines and public condemnation.

If visiting archaeological sites is on your bucket list, make sure to follow the rules.

The urge to climb these monuments built hundreds of years ago, is understandable – seeing the view from above is a tempting thought. However, repeated climbs by thousands of tourists can cause irreversible damage.

In 2020 Mexico enforced a long-considered decision: banning the climbing of the Uxmal and Teotihuacán pyramids, extending the prohibition from the 2008 ban on climbing the Temple of Kukulcán in Chichen Itza.

Fines and Penalties on Climbing Pyramids

Recently have seen cases of visitors attempting to climb the pyramids. The allure of the panoramic view from the top, possibly the site of ancient violent religious rituals, is strong, but the prohibition on climbing remains firm.

Penalties for such actions include fines and potential jail time. Fines range from approximately 9 to 27 euros. If damage occurs, fines can escalate to around 5,100 euros, and jail time is possible if the damage is irreparable.

Public opinion is divided on this issue. Social media comments reveal a split between those questioning the ban, citing historical access, and those concerned about the impact on tourism. But many people support the ban.

While the temptation to climb these iconic structures is understandable, it’s crucial to follow the local regulations to protect and preserve these ancient wonders, ensuring their preservation and integrity for future generations.

Natural and Human Threats

The primary reason for the ban on climbing measures is preservation.

Over many centuries, natural erosion, and weathering have taken their toll on these structures. But not only wind, rain, and temperature fluctuations are causing gradual erosion, weakening the ancient stone and mortar.

Human activity also poses a significant threat to the preservation of pyramids.

Pyramids have withstood the test of time, but modern footwear and the sheer number of visitors (up to 15,000 per day) pose significant threats to these monuments. Despite the ban, some tourists try to scale the pyramids.

Which Pyramids in Mexico Can You Still Climb?

Exploring the ancient ruins offers not just a glimpse into the rich Mexican history but also an adventurous opportunity to climb some of the iconic pyramids, which promise both breathtaking views and historical intrigue.

Of the popular ruin sites, only a few still permit visitors to ascend its main pyramid. However, yet there are lesser-known ruins that offer equally enriching experiences, including opportunities to climb their main pyramids.

Archaeological sites where climbing the pyramids is still permitted:

  • Ek Balam ruins
  • Calakmul ruins
  • Kinich Kak Moo Pyramid in Izamal
  • Ake ruins near Izamal

Stay informed about local regulations and updates regarding pyramid climbing. Laws and policies regarding climbing pyramids or accessing certain areas can change due to conservation efforts or safety concerns.

Before attempting to climb any pyramid or other structure, it’s advisable to check with local authorities or tour operators for the latest information and to inquire about any necessary permissions or restrictions in place.

How to Climb Pyramids in Mexico?

Climbing pyramids requires caution.

On the way back, during descent, steep, uneven steps can prove challenging. Visitors are advised to descend slowly, either scooting down while seated or using a zigzag pattern to mitigate steepness and maintain stability.

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