The Treasures of the Mayan World
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The Treasures of the Mayan World
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The Treasures of the Mayan World

  There exists a place where mystery and nature merge with history to give birth to incredible cultural richness and vast natural resources. This place is the World of the Ancient Mayas and all the marvelous and colorful destinations that form it. Discover unique landscapes where the ancient ancestors that dominated these lands created a legacy that will most likely outlive us all.

This route is filled with impressive views and passionate pasts that are life-changing and can change one's outlook on the world. The culture and color that fill this ancient world can etch itself onto your memory forever. Chichen Itza is a wonderful example and is one of the many archeological legacies of Mayan culture and of the new Wonder of the World.

Enjoy the crystal-clear waters of Bacalar, surrounded by history that goes back to pre-Hispanic times and where you can also find edifices constructed during the Conquest, like the Fort of San Felipe de Bacalar. Enjoy unforgettable flavors of Yucatecan cuisine in Merida, where savory colonial food goes hand in hand with a city that's lively and cultural. Be in awe of the colors and colonial architecture in cities like Izamal, Valladolid and Chetumal, where you can visit art museums and learn about the culture and archeology of the pre-Hispanic world.

Contemplate the archeological traces left by the Maya in places like Kohunlich and Xpujil and where they still reside, like in the ancient city of Calakmul, among other towns. Learn about the natural resources of the banks of the Chinchorro, brimming with life, colors and beauty. Let the water of the sea of the Riviera Maya take you to places that you thought could only exist in your imagination. Once you've traveled through the World of the Ancient Maya, you'll understand the real secret of these places that, together, make up a true heaven on earth.




Travelers exploring this amazing route can experience destinations such as Tuxtla Gutierrez, Sumidero Canyon, Chiapa de Corzo, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Villahermosa, the city of Campeche, and the ruins at Edzna and Sabancuy, which have been around for thousands of years.

The trip begins in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of the state of Chiapas and the hometown of great Mexican poet Jaime Sabines. This place holds a mixture of modernity and deeply-rooted traditions, where the daily hustle and bustle is present in government offices, bars, restaurants, shopping malls and cultural centers, while tradition can be seen in the region's colorful dances and music. Marimba music floats through the air in Tuxtla Gutierrez, where you can try tasty cochito (pig) tacos and a refreshing pozol (traditional cocoa and corn beverage).

Just 15 minutes away from Tuxtla Gutierrez is Chiapa de Corzo, a small city that has always been protected by its brave inhabitants. Since pre-Hispanic times, different Aztec and Mayan enemies tried to conquer this city by any means necessary. Later came the Spanish conquistadors, who after many battles finally defeated the natives and founded the first Spanish city in the state of Chiapas. Despite its somewhat violent past, beautiful traditions are still present in the city, such as the "Fiesta Grande de Enero" (Great January Celebration), "La Danza del Calala" (Calala Dance) and "La Traida de la Flor de Niluyarilo" (a flower contest).

Near Tuxtla Gutierrez you'll find this route's most famous attraction, Sumidero Canyon. This geological fault separated the lands of Chiapas millions of years ago. It features cliffs that reach well over 3,000 feet in some areas, above the waters of the Grijalva River. The green rock walls have different types of vegetation, ranging from pine and oak trees to ceiba and Montezuma oaks. These trees are home to many bird species, monkeys and other small animals. You can tour the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon from below along the Grijalva River, taking a boat departing from Cahuare or Chiapa de Corzo, or from above by car, visiting several lookout points along the road.

Set amongst the mountains, San Cristobal de las Casas is a stunning city filled with a variety of cultural attractions, creating a beautiful image of traditional Mexico. This town's historic value can be seen in the red tiles and multicolored facades of the downtown buildings, the numerous neoclassical and baroque buildings, and the many cultural events that take place here.

Important places to visit in San Cristobal de las Casas include the cathedral, the Temple of Santo Domingo, the Na Bolom Museum and the Amber Museum, where you'll find beautiful pieces of art crafted by local artisans. Near San Cristobal de las Casas, there are several interesting towns and natural attractions, such as San Juan Chamula, Zinacantan, El Chiflon Waterfall and the Montebello Lagoons.

The town of Palenque, which offers a good deal of accommodations for any budget, is mainly an archaeological destination, whose ancient ruins are located just five miles from the city. This impressive Mayan site is one of the most beautiful and fascinating of its kind. It was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1987.

At the Palenque ruins, travelers can explore a variety of different structures, like the Temple of Inscriptions, the Palace, the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Foliated Cross, among others. The jungle that surrounds and protects this archaeological site can also be explored on the way to the breathtaking waterfalls at Agua Azul and Misol-Ha.

The capital of the state of Tabasco, Villahermosa, has numerous interesting sites to explore, including La Venta Museum-Park, Tomas Garrido Canabal Park, Yumka and the Lagoon of Illusions, along with many museums.

The area also features various ruins. About one hour from Villahermosa is La Venta, which was the main ceremonial center of the Olmec culture during its peak era. Another nearby site is Comalcalco, located about half an hour away, a Mayan burial site built of fired clay bricks.

Set in the Yucatan Peninsula, the state of Campeche features a stunning collection of Mayan treasures, such as the archaeological sites of Edzna, Becan, Calakmul, Dzibilnocac, and others. Edzna is a particularly important site, with approximately 200 structures that are open to the public, including platforms, temples and ancient houses. Here, the Mayan people achieved great mastery in the art of engineering by constructing a complex system that drained water from the flooded valley where the city was located, out to the adjacent fields. The most impressive parts of Edzna are the Mask Temple, the High Temple, the Small Acropolis and the Great Acropolis.

The state of Campeche's capital city, also called Campeche, offers interesting attractions featuring objects and information from the Mayan culture: the Mayan Culture Museum, located at the San Miguel Fortress, and the Mayan Stelae Museum, located in the Soledad Bastion.

Finally, the town of Sabancuy offers visitors beautiful fine-sand shores, such as the beaches of Rosalia and Camaguey. The region also features some unexplored virgin beaches. Sabancuy allows travelers to enjoy a peaceful, relaxing vacation away from the crowds commonly found at other busier travel destinations.

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