Many people consider Tulum to be
the loveliest of all of Mexico's ruins. It sits on cliffs just above
the sea and was built sometime after 900AD, in the latter part of Mayan
history. The principal building is the graceful and domed Castillo, which
some have speculated was once a lighthouse meant to guide boats through
a nearby reef passage. Other famous buildings are the Temple of the Frescoes,
and the Temple of the Descending God.
A few hours inland, Chichen Itza
is well worth a visit. It is much larger than
Tulum and it was built by the Toltects in the late 10th Century. The
main, pyramid, called El Castillo, is one of the best preserved pyramids
in Mexico. The pyramid's design is imbued with calculations based
on the Toltec calendar. There are 365 steps for the days of the
year; 52 panels on each side, representing the 52-year cosmic cycle;
on the spring spring equinox, a serpent appears to crawl down the steps,
while it climbs back up on the fall equinox.Other important buildings
are the Temple of Warriors, the Observatory, and the Ball Court.
There are many other ruins in Yucatan
which you can visit by car or bus, including: Coba, El Balam, Yaxuna,
Izamal, Uxmal, Kabah, Ake, and many more. If you're interested in learning
where all the sites are, there are many archeological maps of the peninsula
a popular ecological and archeological theme park located about 45 minutes
south of Cancun. You can don a mask, snorkel, and fins and explore an
underground river system, swim with dolphins, ride horses, explore the
resident Mayan ruins, and experience the wonders of Xcaret's aviary and
An hour south of Cancun, Xel-Ha
is another ecological theme park, remarkable for its crystal clear turquoise
lagoon. The lagoon begins in a mangrove forest and ends at the seashore,
and you can snorkel the length and admire the thousands of colorful fish
residing in this "natural aquarium."
Yucatan is dotted with thousands
of ancient Mayan wells, called cenotes. They are openings in a vast network
of underground river systems carved from the peninsula's limestone base.
The limestone filters out impurities in rainwater, and the resulting
water is impossibly clear. You can arrange to snorkel or even scuba dive
in a local cenote, though you should never do this without supervision.
Other Attractions and Activities:
- Isla Contoy - A local bird sanctuary.
- Wet'n Wild Water Slides
- Scuba Diving - the diving in the area
is excellent and easily arranged.
- Water Skiing
- Deep Sea Fishing
- Water Bikes
- Jet Skis
- Jungle Tours
- Bullfights every Wednesday
- National Folkloric Ballet & More
1998-2008 interKnowledge Corp. All rights reserved.