Travel Chakan Bacab Mexico Ruins El Caracol Mexico Ruins
Chakan Bacab Mexico & El Caracol Mexico - Two newly discovered Maya cities that for centuries were hidden in the highland jungles of Quintana Roo state on the Mexican Caribbean will be open to the public in 2005. Chakan Bacab and El Caracol, located some 60 kilometers (35 miles) west of the city of Chetumal, near the border with Guatemala and Belize, rival the ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal. The state government will invest US 3.2 million over 20 years to restore the Maya structures of the cities of Chakan Bacab and El Caracol. Opening these ruins to the public will allow authorities to establish an archaeological corridor to the areas of Kohunlich and Dzibanchen in the neighboring state of Campeche.
Chakan Bacab, Mexico - Chakan Bacab, which means "rubber tree" in the Maya language, is one of the most recent archaeological finds in the center of the Yucatan Peninsula, and dates back to the Late Preclassic Period between 400-700 A.D. This Maya city was lost in the highland jungles for around 500 years but nonetheless kept its splendor since many of its constructions are great temples, squares and ball-game courts that make its importance evident. The ruins in Chakan Bacab have at least 12 large structures, as well as statues, monuments and buildings as significant as Kohunlich and that could compete with the beauty and splendor of the great Chichen Itza. }
El Caracol , Mexico - More than 600 years old, El Caracol has a square of over three hectares (7.5 acres), well-preserved buildings, a court for ball games and an artificial lagoon built by the Mayas to collect water.
Like the Aztecs, the Mayas took part in a ritual ball game that concluded with human sacrifices to the gods. Evidence of this practice includes a disc-shaped scoreboard found in other ruins dating from 591, which combines geometric and human forms.
Both Chakan Bacab and El Caracol show the Maya empire at the height of its power and achievement, an empire that once spanned 400,000 square kilometers (155,000 square miles) of jungles in what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize and whose origins go back to 2600 B.C. The Maya culture disappeared around 1000 for reasons that are still not understood.
There are plans to build a hotel at each archaeological sites, as well as provide infrastructure and services for tourists. This will assist in consolidating the archaeological corridor along the southern Mexican border, which has more than a dozen Maya cities including Calakmul, Rio Bec, X'Pujil, X'Kaban and Kohunlich.
The Mayan's were gifted mathematicians and astronomers, and they invented a calendar even more precise than the one used today. Their last major enclave, Mayapan in western Yucatan, fell in 1441.
Ruins at Tulum - Tour packages are provided by several operators which originate from both Playa del Carmen and Cancun. This is a heavily visited tourist attraction in the Yucatan Peninsula. Please go early and take bottled water and cash. Nearest ATM is about 81miles away. The ruins are open daily and cost less than $5 USD to enter. There are local hotels, lodging cost varies from $30 - $50. Tulum is considered to be the most beautiful of the Mayan sites. Tulum is small but exquisitely poised on the fifteen-meter-high cliffs above the Caribbean.
Chichen Itza - This archaeological city of the state of Yucatan was founded by the Maya-Itzas who came led by Itzamna after separating from Acalon. They arrived in the Peninsula around the year 435-455 A.D.. Chichen was occupied twice. The first occupation was from 495 to 692, and the second from 948 to 1204. The architecture of the first period is considered to be authentically Maya, and the second is considered to have Toltec influence, since it has certain elements in common with those found in Tula, the ancient capital of the Toltec-Hueytlapalanecas
Sian ka'an biosphere reserve - Heading south of Playa del Carmen, travelers can get to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Natural Reserve, also known as "the place where the sky begins". It is an area of 530,000 hectare formed by rain forest, lakes, swamps, coast ponds, bays and reefs; all of which also come to be the natural habitat of thousands of animal species, such as jaguars and pumas, white-tail deer, crocodiles, howler and spider monkeys and an astonishing 345 species of birds. About 1,000 inhabitants in the reserve live off fishing. All day expeditions from Monday to Saturday are available, which include a three hour boat trip. Requires reservations in advance.