Chichen Itza is the largest and most famous Mayan site in the Yucatan Peninsula. Because of the sheer size and scope of the ruins, it’s best to have an idea of what you want to see when you arrive. Walking around randomly will only confuse your senses and perhaps make miss out on something you’d enjoy more. To help you figure out what are the most popular things to see at Chichen Itza, I’ve compiled a short guide.
If you plan on making a trip to Chichen Itza, then you’ll be sure to see many of the main attractions, such as the Great Ballcourt, El Castillo, and the Observatory. What you want to keep your eyes open for are the few little known ruins and sites that many pass up without notice. After all, the big things are easy to notice, it’s the little things that make their trip worth your wild.
The Red House is named this because of the flakes and scrapes of red paint that were found inside the structure. It was built on a high platform, and is pronounced Chichen Choob in the Mayan language. It is translated as "small holes" and most assume it points to the lime comb roof.
The rugged mountains and deep jungles, not to mention the teeming wildlife in the virgin rainforests, are all the reasons why you should go on hiking and adventure trips in Guatemala. The vast jungle of Guatemala presents great hiking opportunity for the avid backpackers.
If you're one of them, you shouldn't dare miss this opportunity to go trekking up on the mountains. Just add a little human intervention provided by the local Mayan people, and this trip can be the most amazing adventure you'll have in your life.
The place is called Cuatro Balam. It is located in Guatemala and is quickly becoming one of the most interesting places to go to if you want to see Mayan pyramids. Inside Cuatro Balam park there are up to 4,000 Mayan pyramids. The park was started under the former Guatemalan president Berger due to the citizens' concern over protecting the natural and archeological beauty of the country. Guatemala’s current president now supports the large park’s growth and funding, as well as several private investors, who have similar worries about ancient artifacts being lost forever to time.
One such artifact that has only recently been discovered is more of a jungle sculpture than artifact. This new sculpture was located inside the Cuatro Balam park at a location called El Mirador. The sculpture is over 2,000 years old. This link between the two far off countries has added to the drive of Mayan tourism. Those who can’t make it to the Egyptian pyramids are equally in awe of the Mayan accomplishments, which can rival Egyptian pyramids in any engineer's or tourist's eyes. It is a strange fact that every experienced archeologist that has studied both Mayan and Egyptian cultures has admitted.
The power of the Mayan civilization stretched for almost the entire length of South America. The Mayan ruins that have been left behind are the only lasting memory we have of what the Mayans did for a living, how they worshiped, and how they went about making their civilization. Some of the Mayan ruins have dated back as early as 5000 BC, while others are as new as 1500’s.
Most of the Mayan ruins fall in between those two times though, such as Palenque located in Chiapas, Mexico. Palenque has become one of the most influential ruins in the modern understanding of the Mayan people. The reason behind this is the vast amount of detailed work that archeologists have done there. Some speculate that Palenque is one of the most excavated and studied Mayan sites anywhere in Mesoamerica.
The city of Calakmul was one of the most powerful cities in the Mayan world and especially of Southern Mexico. When individual entered the territories controlled by the city of Calakmul, the city’s emblem could be seen in numerous places. The emblem depicted the head of a snake. This emblem let all travelers and newcomers looking to make a claim in the in the area know the land was already owned by the Snake Kingdom.
The Snake Kingdom was at its peak during the Classic period, which is the later end of the Mayan history. The city itself boasted one of the highest populations for any city of its day, a whopping 50,000 residents. The city
governors and politicians ruled cities and villages as far away as 150 kilometers.
The Mexican government is excited to announce the discovery of an ancient Mayan ruler in the Palenque area of southern Mexico. They are as of yet unsure of the ruler’s name, but the tomb was discovered not far from another famous ruler named Pakal.
The discovery of this tomb being so close to another has led Mexican authorities and archeologists to believe that area in which they were found to be could be unrecognized Mayan burial ground. For nearly a decade the people in charge of the Palenque dig have been aware of the tomb below their feet. It hasn’t been until the recently that the Mexican government would agree to examine the area more thoroughly. They have allowed the process to go on due to the threat of imminent cave-ins and the invention of smaller and more agile cameras to fit in the tomb.
The infamous tourist attraction Playa del Carmen has tourists coming to see the wonders of Mexico. It's situated just south of Cancun, bordered by the coastal regions facing the Caribbean Sea.
The Mayan people are, perhaps, best known for their awe-inspiring architecture, which ranged from magnificent, pyramid-shaped temples to simple homes for the commoners. Their style changed slightly over the generations, but never lost the mystique that surrounds these great buildings, hidden deep within the jungles of South and Central America.
Though all of the cities share the same basic style, their planning for each development was effected by such things as terrain and what building materials were available. The buildings that were set upon a layer of limestone, for example, became expansive municipalities. Other sites, built into the hills and mountains, used this to their advantage, building their towers and elaborate temples to soaring heights. All of the cities, however, were built with some of the same aspects.
The Riviera Maya is one of the most popular travel destinations in the entire Yucatan Peninsula, and probably even entire Mexico. This 75-mile coastal region stretches from the Mexican Caribbean to the south easternmost part of the Yucatan Peninsula. Of course, the weather is ideal for travel and there are beautiful sandy beaches with crystal clear sea waters. Aside from those things, the place is teeming with birds and other wildlife. If you enjoy leaning more about archaeology and adventure then the Riviera Maya will suit you well.
There are four large eco parks along the Mayan Riviera. Here in Mexico, the conservation is provided by the community, who in turn help to develop tourism. The profit earned from commercializing helps the conservation projects. Many enterprises conduct businesses on the Mayan Riviera to make it convenient for tourists.
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