Mayan Temples and Archaeological Sites
Observing the Skies and Honoring the Heavens
If you think of the Mayan pyramids
as decaying remnants of a past culture, you're in for a wonderful
surprise. Their sheer size and intricate designing is enough to take
your breath away.
The awe-inspiring Mayan architecture
seems to have absorbed the spirits of the ancient Mayans, who had a
high level of social organization and a respect for nature, science,
writing, art and astronomy .
On the Yucatan Peninsula there are many stunning examples of monumental Mayan pyramids, making it easy to visit multiple sites during your stay.
hard to even know where to begin because there's such a wealth of
archaeological sites with Mayan pyramids and structures in this region.
Next you will find a brief description of several interesting
archaeological sites with impressive pyramids, amazing Mayan temples and
Mayan structures in the states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche.
If you are here for a few days and staying at a Cancun hotel or at one of the beautiful Riviera Maya hotels, I recommend you to visit:
- Chichen Itza-one of the most popular Mayan pyramid sites.
- Ek Balam-a highly interesting archaeological site located within a calm atmosphere surrounded by tropical vegetation.
- Uxmal-one of the most relevant and outstanding archeological sites in the state of Yucatan.
If you are taking a longer Yucatan travel and staying at a Merida hotel
or nearby, then you will be able to visit more Mayan sites, Mayan
pyramids and ceremonial centers, some of them being really "off the
beaten path" treasures:
- Acanceh- it has two impressive features: the Pyramid and the Palace of the Stuccos, and beautiful Mayan masks.
- Ake-a quiet “off the beaten path” site.
is one of the main emplacements with several units of structures. You
can admire the sun phenomenon on every spring equinox at sunrise and on
every autumm equinox.
- Mayapan-a major archaeological site and Mayan ceremonial center. It is very large, peaceful and not crowded.
excellent “off the beaten path” large archaeologica site to enjoy a
serene and beautiful site without the crowds in the Puuc region.
"City of the Three Cultures has a pyramid named K'inich K'ak' Mo', that
is one of Yucatan's largest pyramids and is 114 feet high.
- Xcambo-a very interesting archaeological site of historical importance and with a beautiful ecological environment
The Puuc Route: Kabah, the second largest ancient Mayan city in the Puuc region after Uxmal, Labna and Sayil, and Xlapak, which has a very interesting structure with a beautiful façade, showing two superimposed Mayan masks of the Mayan god of rain Chaac.
These Mayan sites exhibit the extraordinary Mayan art expressed in the Puuc style in stonework, which is a carachteristic of this region.
If you are taking a short vacation in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, the Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, then these three sites are a "must see":
- Tulum-one of the most attractive archeological sites in front of the beach on the Riviera Maya.
- Coba-a large Mayan archaeological site full of pyramids, temples and platforms distributed around squares and patios.
- El Rey-the only Mayan archaeological site in Cancun.
- El Meco-a
very interesting "off the beaten path" Mayan archaeological site
located at only 6 km north of Cancun on the Federal Highway to Punta Sam.
However, if you are taking a longer vacation, you can also plan to visit
the following archaeological sites in the south of the state in the Costa Maya:
popular Mayan archeological site, which is the largest site found so
far in the region of the lakes. Its attractiveness is hightened by the
beautiful tropical surroundings.
- Dzibanche-a major Mayan archaeological site surrounded by tropical forest.
- Kohunlich-a large archeological site that is of the highest interest to archaeologists and anthropologists.
interesting archaeological site located within the Sian Ka´an Biosphere
Reserve surrounded by jungle, lagoons and ocean on the east coast.
Mayan archaeological site within the tropical forest. It is considered
as the most extensive and important one near the Chetumal bay.
This Mexican State offers really impressive archaeogical sites and
Mayan centers with really impressive Mayan pyramids and Mayan temples.
is an excelent place to discover and explore many "off the beaten
paths" for adventurers, explorers, independent travelers and those who
love nature, monuments and culture.
The following Mayan sites exhibit the extraordinary Mayan art expressed in the Chenes style in stonework, which is a carachteristic of the Chenes region:
- Edzna-a beautiful archaeological site with several Mayan structures.
- Santa Rosa Xtampak-an archaeological site considered as the largest and the most important Pre-Columbian Mayan city in the Chenes region.
- Hochob-the entire complex is a perfect example of the Mayan art, representing the Chenes style in Mayan architecture.
archaeological site, although with only one significant structure, has a
mystical majesty that makes the site worthwhile to visit.
Amazing Mayan pyramids in the heart of the jungle:
- Calakmul-the largest Mayan archaeological site in Mesoamerica located in the heart of the jungle in the Campeche State.
- El Tigre-beautiful archaeological site located in midst of the jungle at 140 km west of Calakmul, on the banks of the Candelaria River.
A unique Mayan island:
- Jaina Island-an archaeological site that served as a Mayan burial site. A permit of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) is required to visit the island.
Magic or Science?
The Mayan pyramids described above and the many other smaller ones in
the Yucatan are simply remarkable buildings that reflect a magnificent
culture able to blend science and religion.
The impressive Mayan art
skills and the highly outstanding knowledge of Mayan math, Mayan
astronomy and Mayan architecture is evidenced in each one of these
Visiting the Mayan pyramids
with their amazing structures is an incredible lifetime adventure into a
Mayan cosmovision full of magic, mysticism, science, and Maya history that you will truly enjoy!
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