Surrounded by a plantation where disease-resistant coconut trees are being developed, the Xcambo (ish-cam-bo) site is a couple of miles inland following the turnoff for Xtampu. It's also in the hometown of former governor Victor Cervera Pacheco, who, it's rumored, gave priority to its excavation. Salt, a much-sought-after item of trade in the ancient Mayan world, was produced in this area and made it prosperous. Indeed, the bones of 600 former residents discovered
in burial plots showed they had been healthier than the average Maya. Two plazas have been restored so far, surrounded by rather plain structures. The tallest temple is the Xcambo, also known as the Pyramid of the Cross. On a clear day you can see the coast, about a mile away, from the summit. Ceramics found at the site indicate that the city traded with other Mayan groups as far afield as Guatemala, Teotihuácan, and Belize. The Catholic church on the site was built by dismantling some of the ancient structures, and until recently locals hauled off the cut stones to build fences and foundations.