According to 16th-century chroniclers, the name “El Meco” was the nickname of a 19th-century local resident, whose nickname referred to a malformation of his legs; He was associated with the ruins, since he was the caretaker of a small ranch on the beach, located near the current lighthouse.
El Meco is located on the north coast of Quintana Roo, right in the bay between Isla Mujeres and Cancun, so it is very likely that it has played a relevant role in the Mayan navigation route along every coast. In its early stages, in the Late Classic (600-800 A.D.), the settlement was linked to Cobá, as a fishing village of relative importance.
The building known as “El Castillo” is the tallest in the region and from its top you can have a privileged view of the bay of Cancun and its surrounding areas, which should have given it strategic importance in pre-Hispanic times. Its port was the center of an important commercial activity and from there the access to the neighboring Isla Mujeres was surely controlled, which functioned as one of the most important sanctuaries of the late Postclassic (1200 – 1500 A.D.).
The monumental nucleus of the old settlement is located at kilometer 2.7 of the road that connects Puerto Juárez with Punta Sam, on land corresponding to the continental portion of the municipality of Isla Mujeres, north of the city of Cancun.