Famous as much for its beaches as its Mayan ruins, Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula stands as a testament to the Mayan world. Colossal temples with intricate designs lay over huge areas, all of which was built without the wheel. Each of the three main sites are worth visiting; Chichen Itza – whose size and grandeur never fails to impress, Uxmal – a master class in Mayan sculpture and design, and Tulum whose steep temples are ideally located on the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean.
Chichen Itza is located on a limestone plateau and is one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatan and was recently voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. At Uxmal you can see the incredible Pyramid of the Magician and the beautiful Governor’s Palace, which are two of the finest examples of Mayan art anywhere. Tulum is simply stunning, dating much later than other Mayan sites (12thcentury) it shows the troubled times that occurred in the latter stages of the Mayan world, which is reflected by its defensive wall and watchtower that is rare in other sites.
Chichen Itza is a spectacular Mayan site and was recently voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. The giant stepped pyramid of Kukulkan dominates the ancient city and from its heights you can contemplate structures such as the Warrior’s Temple,the moon observatory Caracol or the Giant Ball Court, complete with grandstand and stone hoops, where prisoners played for their lives.
The setting of Tulum is simply stunning with a compact group of Maya-Toltec temples perched on coastal cliffs above the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Tulum was built in the 12thcentury and these were troubled times in the Mayan world as reflected by its defensive wall and watchtower, rare in other sites. Despite the beautiful sunrises from here, each doorway faces west and the site is dedicated to the worship of the Falling God or Setting Sun.
Expansive in its design with majestic palaces and temple pyramids, Uxmal is renowned for its superb sculptures and design. Long geometrical friezes rank among the most splendid examples of ancient American art. The incredible Pyramid of the Magician and the beautiful Governor’s Palace are two of the finest examples of Mayan art anywhere.Considered by many archaeologists as one of the finest examples of an ancient Mayan city.
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