Yucatan Peninsula Journals

Life Among The Ruins

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A January 2004 trip to Yucatan Peninsula by dawn

Tulum pyramid Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico More Photos
Quote: The majority of people fly into Cancun and get to the beach as quickly as possible. If you never venture out, you will miss an astounding amount of Mayan culture and archaeology. Follow me to find life among the ruins.

Life Among The Ruins

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Overview

Ek Balam Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
Stir your imagination and think about what it might have been like for the explorers John Stephens and Frederick Catherwood in 1839 as they slashed their way through the hot Yucatan jungle on the trail of lost Mayan civilizations. I can picture them, working at a feverish pace, fighting off malaria and poisonous snakes. Would they stop to catch their breath, leaning on a machete as eyes fell upon a hidden stone step nearby? Slowly, their vision would rise as they followed the scattered gleam of limestone hidden under vines above their heads. Being the first to walk in the path of ancient footsteps must have been a humbling experience. The walls of the ancient cities continue to hold their secrets sinc...Read More

Los Lirios Hotel Cabanas

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Hotel

Los Lirios Hotel Cabanas Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
Wide white sand beach…blue warm water…air conditioning for hot nights… What else do you need for a beach vacation? Maybe a hammock on your patio or balcony? Maybe massage or yoga services? Maybe fresh squeezed lime margaritas? You’ll find all of these services at Los Lirios located along the potholed gravel road to Punta Allen. Okay, so the road is hard to navigate, but you are driving a rental car not your own! Los Lirios is about half way down the road and at the point you are sick of dodging other vehicles and deep holes in the road. All of this is worth the beauty of this beach! There are plenty of cabanas along this stretch of magnificent beach, but some have sand floors with little prote...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2004

Los Lirios Hotel Cabanas
Carretera Tulum Boca Paila S/n
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico 77780
www.locogringo.com

El Meson Del Marques

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Hotel | "LE MESON DEL MARQUE’S"

El Meson Del Marques Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
Vallodolid is a Colonial Mexican town for those who want to explore a cultural life different than the beach scene or who want cheaper accommodations closer to Chichen Itza and Ek Balam. When we first drove into Vallodolid my 20-year-old daughter said, "MOM! What are you getting us into?" as her eyes rapidly scanned the narrow walkways and the low slung stucco buildings squashed into each other. Not many tourists in sight! Just my cup of tea! The most beautiful area of Vallodolid is at the old centre square with the colonial church across the way. Mayan women sit along the square and sell lovely embroidered goods and you can even watch them while they work. Old men played chess in the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2004

El Meson Del Marques
Calle 39 No. 203 (entre 40 y 42)
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico 97780
52-985-856-2073

Mayaland Hotel

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Hotel

Mayaland Hotel Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
The Mayaland was the first hotel built at the archeological site in the 1920s by the Peon family. At that time Fernando would trek to Progresso to convince tourists to leave their ships promising amazing ruins in the jungle. His descendants still own the hotel. The main building is built in the style of a lovely hacienda from Colonial times with stucco walls and wooden beams, beautiful Spanish archways, and inlaid tumbled Mexican marble floors. The main building has 55 rooms with 5 suites that are all air-conditioned. There is a formal dining room with homemade specials each evening priced at an average meal of $12 per person. The selection is a balance of local cuisine and continent...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 30, 2004

Mayaland Hotel
Chichen-Itza Archeological zone
Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
800-235-4079

EK- BALAM, THE DARK JAGUAR

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Story/Tip

Ek Balam tomb Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
Arrive by rental car or organized tours (limited) from Cancun /Chichen-itza hotels Free on Sundays and Holidays, $3 entry fee. 10 miles north of Vallodolid. No restaurant or bathrooms Ek Balam is the oldest of the three sites and the most mysterious. Surrounded by jungle, and under reconstruction since 1997. Luckily, it’s off the large tour bus route. Pulling into the empty parking lot we were bombarded by shoeless, shirtless children. "Ohoh," said my husband as they circled our car taking a mental inventory. They wanted us to hire them to watch our belongings. If the children make money here, their parents won’t send them to school. We walked over to a 4 ft. high and wide...Read More

Ruins of Chichen Itza

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Attraction | "CHICHEN ITZA"

Ruins of Chichen Itza Photo, Chichen Itza, Mexico
Quote:
Arrive: tours from Cancun or Merida, ADO bus, or rental car. 2 hours from Cancun. Free Sundays and Holidays, entry $11. 8am – 5pm. Reopens for evening show at 7 or 8 pm/audio sets (necessary if not fluent in Spanish) $4.50 Guides: $40/up to 4 people Chichen Itza was built as a religious center by the Itza-Mayan people who changed their form of government from a King to a ruling class (nobility, priests, and warriors). It is estimated that over 50,000 people lived here. They were active traders with non-Mayan people and multi-cultural designs are reflected in the architecture. These ruins cover 4 sq. miles but you can take a horseback ride to an earlier settlemen...Read More

Ruins of Chichen Itza
Tinum
Chichen Itza, Mexico

TULUM

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Story/Tip

Tulum pyramid Photo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Quote:
Located 3 hours south of Cancun. Arrive by tour bus, ADO bus, or rental car, parking fee $3 Entry: $4, free on Sunday. Open at 8am-5pm (winter) Guides at the entry for $40US per group of 4. I was not impressed with this service. Train ride to the site: $2, otherwise it’s a couple of miles to walk roundtrip. Mercado at parking area (No good deals, $$$$) with restaurant and bathrooms More bathrooms at the archeological site. When the Spanish arrived in the 1600’s, Tulum was still occupied and a bustling seaport located on the azure blue sea. It was an important trade site between Belize and points south. The Yucatan is agriculturally rich in cotton, corn, b...Read More