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>> Yucatan 1, (3 days / 2 nights)

 

Riviera Maya - Caves – Chichen-Itza - Merida – Uxmal- Ek-Balam – Riviera Maya

 

Day 1: Riviera Maya-Caves-Chichen Itza-Merida


There are unique stalactite caves in the jungle coast of the Riviera Maya. They are fantastic places for divers and enthusiasts to swim for snorkeling. We will visit one of these places.


Next you will visit a large pre-Columbian archeological site built by Maya civilization and located in the northern center of the Yucatan Peninsula. Chichen Itza was a major regional point in the northern Maya lowlands and exhibits a multitude of architectural styles. The site contains many fire stone buildings in various states of preservation, and many have been restored. The main structure in the center of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan, often referred to as “El Castillo” (the castle). Archaeologists have identified in Chichen Itza the Great Ball Court about 150 meters to the north-west of the Castillo and it is very impressive. It is the largest ball court in ancient Mesoamerica.


Then arrival to Merida, accommodation.

 

 

Day 2: Merida – Uxmal – Ek-Balam – Riviera Maya


In the morning you take a tour of the picturesque colonial city of Merida. Merida is the capital and the largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatan. Merida was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo. It was built on the site of the Maya city, which have been a center of Mayan culture and activity for centuries. As the state and regional capital, Merida is a cultural center, featuring multiple museums, art galleries, restaurants, movie theatres and shops. Merida retains an abundance of beautiful colonial buildings and is a vibrant cultural center with music and dancing playing an important part in day-to-day life.


Next you will visit Uxmal. Uxmal is another large pre-Hispanic city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatan. It is one of the few Maya cities where the casual visitor can get a good idea of how the entire ceremonial center looked in ancient times. Some of the more noteworthy buildings include: The Governor’s Palace; Pyramid of the Magician; The Nunnery Quadrangle; a large Ball court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame. A number of other temple-pyramids, quadrangles, and other monuments, some of significant size, and in varying states of preservation, are also at Uxmal. These include North Long Building, House of the Birds, House of the Turtles, Grand Pyramid, House of the Doves, and South Temple.


Then you will visit Ek’Balam, a pre-Hispanic archaeological site in Yucatan. Ek’Balam means “black jaguar” in Mayan language. Ek’Balam includes 45 structures. The largest structure, known as The Acropolis, has a 5m tall jaguar’s mouth featuring winged Mayan warriors, as well as inscriptions in ancient Mayan script. At the entrance to the Acropolis pyramid there is a monster-like figure that is said to be guarding the entrance to the underworld. Under the thatched roofs that protect the facade, other statues and carvings of angels, animals and various figures are integrated in a complex and beautiful design. The complex also features a number of smaller temples, altars, and living quarters.


On the way to Ek’Balam you will have the opportunity to see one of the first colonial cities of Mexico – Valladolid distinguished by its architecture.


Return to Riviera Maya.


 

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