The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is one of the main places of interest for tourists visiting the Yucatan peninsula, in Mexico. The name of the city means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza", and is believed to have reached its apogee during the political and economical dominance of the Itza ethnic group over the northern Yucatan.
Chichen Itza is a large pre-Colombian archeological site built by the advanced (for its time) Mayan civilization. Archaeologists have found signs of previously built settlements in the area, but the most impressive buildings in the city were built around 600 AD.
North of Guatemala City lay the Tikal Ruins, the site of what was once a cultural Mecca of ancient times. The great dynasties of Tikal included some of the most famed of kings as well as several queens too.
In 1979, Tikal National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site for the many offerings that it gave to the world. The technology, the architecture, the very atmosphere are the best reasons that Tikal ruins should be on your list of places to visit in Mayan territory.
Where the black rocky cliffs, the stone outcroppings meet the shock of the deep turquoise seas, the Tulum ruins of the Mayan culture stand in stark relief.The picture that they present against the white sand beaches, the black rocks, the lush green palms will inspire a sense of reverence.
One of the most fascinating and easily accessible of the Mayan Ruins, the Tulum ruins are well worth a trip to visit.
Among the grand Mayan ruins that are housed in the Yucatan area Palenque ranks easily in the top of the "must see" category. Easily competing with Chichen Itza and Tikal simply for the Mayan temples and the architectural beauties along the Palenque ruins provide a non-stop trip through history and culture for those who take the time to go and visit.
Somewhat off the beaten path, the Palenque ruins are about 650 kilometers from the beaches and white sands of the Riviera Maya, but makes for a reasonable overnight trip for those who would like to experience history as well as some sunshine.
The most renowned of the Mayan ruins, the Chichen Itza ruins are famed for their amazing architecture as well as for the legends that surround the area. Chichen Itza literally means at the Mouth of the Well. The well of course refers to the sacred well nearby, where it is said that sacrifices of gold, silver, precious stones, as well as humans were sent into the well.
One legend says that those who are sent into the well as a sacrifice will have the power of prophesy if they live. When one group were sent into the well and none survived, an ancient ruler cast himself into the well and upon arising from it unscathed, prophesied his own rise to power.
There are two principal styles of public architecture at Chichén Itzá. The first is a local variant of the Puuc style found at sites in west-central Yucatán and northeastern Campeche. The other style, according to Peter J. Schmidt, "is partly derived from the same roots but is vastly enriched by elements and concepts from other parts of Mesoamerica, notably the Gulf Coast, Oaxaca, and central México.
Early investigators of Chichén Itzá proposed that Puuc-style traits were "Maya" and the features of the "Toltec" style include serpent columns, Chac Mools, Atlantean figures, serpent heads at the top of alfardas, tzompontlis, and carvings of processions of warriors, among others, much like those found in Copan and Tikal.
Duende Tours will offer you a tour of the Tulum, Mexico ruins as part of optional package that also includes a trip to Chichen Itza, before or after your Mayan jungle Excursion. Below is synopsis of what the Tulum Ruins are like and what you can expect from the site.
The town of Tulum, Mexico has an aura of tranquility and beauty. The town is situated on the coast of the Riviera Maya South of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, near the Guatemala-Belize Border. The town’s primary industry, like that of its sister cities in the Riviera Maya is tourism.
Chichen Izta, (pronounced, Cheechen eetZA) is perhaps the best known Mayan archaeological site on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, leading Palenque, in Chiapas, Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala and Copan in Honduras. Thought to be built on the site of a prior Mayan settlement, the city was at its height from around AD 980 to 1220, preceding the Toltecs from central Mexico, who settled here.
Many ruins of important buildings remain from this time. The Castillo and other temples with sculptures and color reliefs, an observatory, and a sacred well (cenote), into which sacrifices, including human beings, were thrown are included among these.
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