Land of the Maya

Chichen1

Dominated by the pyramid, “El Castillo”, Chichen Itza is found along the excellent road to Cancun. A great deal of restoration has occurred in the last few years. Today the site occupies nearly 4 square miles. There is a museum and visitor center.

 

Perhaps the most beautiful ruin in the Yucatan can be found atuxmal1
Uxmal. The Temple of the Magician looms over the surrounding jungle. Climbing this pyramid is strenuous but the visitor is rewarded with an unsurpassed panorama. Be forewarned, the trip back down can be frightening in its steepness. After Uxmal and nearby Kabah, visitors can follow the Ruta Puuc, a chain of ruin sites including Sayil, Labna, and others.

Dilbitz1Nearby Dzibilchaltun has also a museum featuring beautiful, priceless artifacts from all over Yucatan. Unique to this site, the ruins of a colonial church constructed from the Mayan stones stands as a monument to the Mexican conquest.

 

cenote1The Yucatan peninsula is geologically a single, huge, limestone shelf. Occasionally a portion falls in, leaving a cenote filled with crystal-clear water. These are the only source of fresh water in a land with no rivers. The Maya naturally settled the surrounding areas. Today vacationers can cool in their waters after exploring the mysteries of the pyramids. At Dzitnup, and Dzibilchaltun you can swim in them and picnic right along their edge.

lutun1

There are also magnificent caves to explore. At Loltun, the crystalline caves were used as a home and art gallery by the ancient Maya. It is located off Highway 261, near Merida, about 20 km from the ruins at Labna. Among the most famous caves is the one at Balancanche with its intact ceremonial altar site deep underground. Pack a lunch. We have coolers available.

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