When early explorers and archeologists found these ruins which had been hidden deep in the jungle for hundreds of years, they wanted to be sure they could find their way back. The ruins were overgrown with lush tropical growth and very hard to find.
To mark the path they dug up trees and planted them upside down. You can still see a couple of these, along the road that leads into the ruins and at the entrance to the site.
Note in the photo to the right that this dead upside down tree has another tree which has taken root atop it, sending down it's own latticework of roots along the trunk of the host upside down tree.
The first thing you will see upon arriving at Kohunlich is this thatch-roofed building beside a dirt parking lot. A sign says that it contains restrooms and a cafeteria. However, when we were there the cafeteria was nowhere to be seen.
The restrooms were barely adequate - definitely not up National Park standards one might expect to find elsewhere - but still appreciated after a two hour bus ride. These are the only amenities of any kind at Kohunlich except for a few interpretative signs (in Spanish, French & English) which help tell the story of the ruins.
To me, the lush tropical plants growing wild at Kohunlich were almost as interesting as the ruins. We saw many trees, vines, and herbs which resemble those which are seen only in a greenhouse or conservatory at more northerly latitudes.
I wish at least a few of the plants had been labeled. Perhaps the people who live here take such things for granted.
At Kohunlich you may see large termite nests as this one which these social insects have built several feet above the ground in a tree. My niece, Kim, gives some scale to the photo. Termites are much more abundant in tropical and sub-topical climates than in temperate zones.
One of the most harmful things you can have in your house is termites - eating away at the wood. But here in the tropical Jungle, termites fill a very important niche in the natural scheme of things, helping to turn decaying wood into soil.