Xelha is an archaeological site of the Maya civilization from pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, located on the eastern coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula, in the present-day state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The etymology of the sites name comes from Yukatek Maya, combining the roots xel (spring) and (water).
The site of Xelha is located south of the modern township of Playa del Carmen, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The evidence is inconclusive concerning a founding date for Xel-Ha, but it was occupied by the 1st Century and active during Classic and Postclassic times, with most of the buildings being rebuilt in the Late Postclassic.
It was probably not fully abandoned until the 19th Century.
Xelha was one of several key ports of the Maya city of Coba; others included Tancah and Tulum. It was likely used as a point of intercultural exchange between the Maya and other sea-navigating peoples between the 7th and 12th centuries, and eventually was a beacon to which European colonial navigators were drawn.
The location of Xelha was used as a base by Spanish forces, during the ultimately unsuccessful first expedition (1527–28) led by the conquistador Francisco de Montejo (the Elder).