S: Yucatan Road Trip
FC: Yucatan Road Trip
1: Our travel itinerary
2: Chichen Itza
5: Chichen Itza | meaning "Mouth of the Well of the Itza". For centuries Chichen Itza was the political, religious and military center of the North of the Yucatan Peninsula. The city flourished from 300 to 900 A.D., was abandoned, then re-established from 1000 to 1250 under Toltec rule. The most well-known building of Chichen Itza is the Castillo, or "Castle," which was dedicated to Kukulcan, the Plumed Serpent. At the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the morning and afternoon sun produces a light-and-shadow illusion of the serpent ascending or descending the side of El Castilo's staircase.
6: UXMAL | "Three harvests" or "Three times built". This is the most important site of the Puuc region and was at its peak between 600 and 1000 A.D. The legend of the city's founding involves a dwarf who outwitted the king, became the new ruler and magically constructed the buildings of Uxmal. The Pyramid of the Dwarf (also known as the Pyramid of the Magician) dominates the site. Many of the buildings are decorated with ornate stone carvings .
11: Located halfway between Mérida and Cancún, Valladolid is a bustling Mayan city with a special colonial flavor. This is where you can see the majority of the townspeople still wearing the typical dress of the Mayas, and the buildings around the Main Plaza painted in pastel colors. You can feel the atmosphere of a laid-back pace of life. A great place to get away from the hustle of the tourist-ridden beach towns and see some authentic Mexico and enjoy the delicious Yucatecan cuisine.
14: Ek'Balam | This little gem of a Mayan city is rarely visited and we ended up strolling around almost all by ourselves among temples and jungle. It's a bit off the beaten path. Ek'Balam or the "Black Jaguar" holds the record as one of the longest continuously inhabited communities in the area. Whereas many other cities in the Yucatan had a life span of five or six hundred years, Ek'Balam was alive and kicking for about 1000 years. Construction started in the late Pre-Classic period (100 BC to 300 AD) and continued well into Late Classic time (700 to 900 AD). It may even have been inhabited as late as the time of the Spanish invasion in the 16th century. The buil- dings suggest that it was rich and powerful at one time.
20: Coba | "Ruffled water". Functioning between 400 and 1000 A.D., Cobá was built around four small lakes. Only a few of its estimated 6,500 structures have been uncovered. It was the hub of a complex network of causeways called sacbeoob (plural of sacbe- meaning white road). The Nohuch Mul Pyramid, the tallest in the area, has 120 steps and the view of the surrounding jungle from its top is breathtaking.
22: Punta Laguna
24: " | "Wall". It is believed that the original name of this city meant dawn. The most spectacular aspect of Tulum is its stunning location right on a cliff by the clear turquoise water of the Caribbean Sea. The fortress city of Tulum had a population of only five to six hundred people within its walls, probably only nobles, and commoners dwelled outside the walls. The site was at its peak between 1200 and 1520 and was one of the first sites mentioned by the Spaniards. The most important structures within the site are El Castillo, which functioned as a navigational aid, directing Mayan craft through the break in the reef, and the Temple of the Frescoes.
28: Beach time!