The Maya ruins transform you to an age when great architectural structures formed civilizations amidst the dense vegetation. It shows you the art and perseverance of the people of a bygone era. A classic gateway into the life and times of one of the greatest civilizations on the planet.
Witness the Mayan temples, art and artifacts and take a course in this ancient Mayan culture. The art of the Mayans is considered sophisticated and the most beautiful of the New world art of that time. The art is spiritual in nature and is inspired from the Mesoamerican cultures. Sight see the ancient artifacts and the large pyramids of the Mayas.
The Mayan civilization is one of the greatest on the face of the earth. It was ahead of its time and was intertwined deep in culture and science. The Mayan culture refuses to die out even in today’s high tech world. The Mayan people find representation even in this age in regions of Central America and south Mexico.
The Maya ruins are significant as they showed the different sovereign states which conducted trade with each other and even resorted to war to settle their differences. The Mayan cities were located in Guatemala and the many sites included Nakbe, Cival, San Bartolo and El Mirador.
The Mayan Ruins are excellent sites to understand the civilization which developed complex system of writing. They were masters of astrological calendars and mathematics.
The Yucatan Peninsula is situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The amazing Maya ruins found here in Mexico have fascinated tourists and historians time and again.
Chichen Itza: “the well’s edge of Itzaes”
For centuries the Chichen Itza was a military, political and religious center for the Mayans. Two areas can be found in Chichen which is the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. The city here flourished during the years from 300 to 900 A.D. The city was then abandoned. Under the Toltec rule the city was re-established between the years of 1000 to 1250 A.D. Hence the two sites can be found today.
An important building found here is the Castle or the Castillo which was made in the honor of the Plumed Serpent, Kukulcan. During the time of the equinox on the stairs of the building a play of shadow and light is cast. It takes a serpent like form. This famed archaeological site can be visited 70 miles to the east of Merida and 60 miles to the west of Cancun.
Mayapan: “Mayan Flag”
It is believed to the last great stronghold of the Mayans. This site was part of alliance with Uxmal and Chichen Itza. After the fall of chichen Itza it was at the peak of its reign. The site is coversabout four kilometers and consists mostly of residential buildings. Vestiges of nearly four thousand buildings can be found here. Many of the buildings have mural paintings in them.
One can also sight a Castillo or castle on the lines of the one present in Chichen Itza. The site is 27 miles to the south east of Merida.
The three times built: Uxmal
Visit this Mayan settlement in the Puuc region which played a significant role in history. A legend draws one to this mystical site. The story goes like this, a dwarf is said to have outwitted the regions king and in turn saw the crown fall into his lap. The new dwarf ruler is said to have magically constructed the buildings found here in Uxmal.
The ruins here do reflect magic in their behemoth construction. A dominating structure here is the pyramid of the magician or the dwarf. The buildings here are designed in carvings on ornate stones. Revel in the enchantment of the ruins which are be found 48 miles to the south of Merida on the federal highway 261.
El Rey: the king
The ruins at the tourist resort of Cancun are referred by the stone sculpture of a head with elaborate headdress which was found here. The original name of the settlement here is unknown. The archaeology museum at Cancun displays the stone head. Ancient structures which form the center of the small city were primarily involved in fishing and maritime trading. 47 ancient buildings have been excavated here.
Xcaret: Little inlet
It can be visited 35 miles to the south of Cancun. Xcaret is an ecological park which has an archaeological excavation of a small Mayan settlement. It was the chief commercial port due to its location on one of the important coves here.
Tulum is believed to be the original name of the Mayan Ruins found 81 miles to the south of Cancun. On can journey down the Highway 307 to reach here. The location of this site is spectacular as it is situated on a cliff in the vicinity of the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean.
The tulum city has a meager population of about five hundred people which consisted of nobles. The commoners resided on the outside of the walls of this fortress city. This was the first Mayan dwelling to be reported by the invading Spaniards.
The El Castillo is one of the ruins which once found use as navigational aid. It helped navigate the Mayan vessels or rafts through the reef break. The temple of Frescoes here is also an important structure.