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Merida is one of the best cities in Mexico to explore and discover the ancient Mayan ruins as well as other natural wonders of the Yucatan. All tours will include transportation from your hotel in Merida, lunch and soft drinks and return trip to your hotel.
The sacred city of the Itza, called Chichen-Itza (chee-chehn eet-sah) in Maya, is located 75 miles east of Merida, the Capital of the State of Yucatan, Mexico. This archaeological site is rated among the most important of the Maya culture and covers an area of approximately six square miles where hundreds of buildings once stood. Now most are mounds, but about thirty may still be seen by tourists.The ruins are divided into two groups. One group belongs to the classic Maya Period and was built between the 7th and 10th centuries A.D., at which time the city became a prominent ceremonial center. The other group corresponds to the Maya-Toltec Period, from the later part of the 10th century to the beginning of the 13th century A.D. This area includes the Sacred Well and most of the outstanding ruins.

When Chichen-Itza was first settled it was largely agricultural. Because of the many cenotes in the area, it would have been a good place to settle. During the Central Phase of the Classic Period, referred to as Florescence, (625 -800 A.D.) arts and sciences flourished here. It was at this time that Chichen-Itza became a religious center of increasing importance, evidenced by the buildings erected: the Red House, the House of the Deer, the Nunnery and its Annex, the Church, the Akab Dzib, the Temple of the Three Lintels and the House of Phalli.

Around 1000 A.D. the Itza allied themselves with two powerful tribes, Xio and Cocom, both claiming to be descendants of the Mexicans. This alliance was favorable to the Itza for about two centuries. During this time, the people of Chichen-Itza added to the site by constructing magnificent buildings bearing the touch of Toltec art: porches, galleries, colonnades and carvings depicting serpents, birds and Mexican gods.

The Toltec influenced the Itza in more ways than just architecture. They also imposed their religion on the Itza, which meant human sacrifice on a large scale. They expanded their dominions in northern Yucatan with an alliance with Mayapan and Uxmal. As the political base of Chichen-Itza expanded, the city added even more spectacular buildings: the Observatory, Kukulcan's Pyramid, the Temple of the Warriors, The Ball Court, and The Group of the Thousand Columns.

The Temple of the Warriors has pillars sculptured in bas-relief, which have retained much of their original color. Murals once adorned its walls. It is surrounded by numerous ruined buildings known as the Group of a Thousand Columns.

The Cenote of Sacrifice was reserved for rituals involving human sacrifice involving the rain God. The victims were not only young women, but also children and elderly men and women.

Possibly the best known construction on the site is Kukulcan's Pyramid. El Castillo (Kukulkan-Quetzalcoatl), a square-based, stepped pyramid that is approximately 75 feet tall. This pyramid was built for astronomical purposes and during the vernal equinox (March 20) and the autumnal equinox (September 21) at about 3 P.M.. the sunlight bathes the western balustrade of the pyramid's main stairway. This causes seven isosceles triangles to form imitating the body of a serpent 37 yards long that creeps downwards until it joins the huge serpent's head carved in stone at the bottom of the stairway. Mexican researcher Luis El Arochi calls it "the symbolic descent of Kukulcan" (the feathered serpent), and believes it could have been connected with agricultural rituals.

In 1194, Mayapan broke the alliance and subdued Chichen and Uxmal. The city was gradually abandoned.

The name "Uxmal" means: "That which was built three times" or "Place of abundant harvest" and is located 78 km from the city of Merida. This archaeological zone is surrounded by ancient hill ranges, creating a magnificent frame for these series of settlements. The architecture in this region is distinct from other sites in the Yucatan and is know as the Puuc style. Uxmal is the site of one of these constructions, The Governor´s House, considered by experts as a wonder of the ancient world for it´ precision and architectoral beauty. The Soothsayer´s Pyramid with it´s imposing 35 meter height is also a wonderful masterpiece and it still holds a large number of enigmas still to be discovered.

The walled city of Mayapan (Banner of the Mayas) is located on part of the tourist route known as the Covent Route. There are approximately 4000 structures at this site. This city is considered the last great Maya capital, dating back to the beginning of the common Era and reaching it´ golden age arounf 1200-1450 A.D. It is belived that this city once had a population of around 15,000 inhabitants, and is frequently mentioned in maya literature and other hispanic sources. It´ ancient grandeur is still evident in it´ great builings. The main builing is the "Castle of the Kukulcan", which was influenced by Chichen Itza. As more research and investigations are preformed in this area it is increasingly clear that this city was even more important than had been thought previously.

In Spanish Dzibilchaltun means "The place with writing on the stones". It is one of the major centers of the Mayan culture in the Yucatan. At one time this city had a population of 40,000 inhabitants. It was discovered a few years after Chichen Itza and Uxmal, but it dates back to around 500BC. This site covers an area of 16 square KM in which there are about 8,400 structures. The Temple of the Seven Dolls is a wonderful masterpiece to behold. Also in the Central Square, which is the largest in the Mayan era is 130 meters long and also holds a wonderful pyramid and an open chapel build after the Spanish concered the Mayas. Just to the north of the Central Square is the Xlacah Cenote, which has a depth of at least 80 meters. Make sure to bring you swimsuit because it is a great place to cool off after you visit the ruins here.

The Celestun Estuary is located on the west coast of the Yucatan and in 1979 was declared as a ecological shelter. The banks of the coastal lagoon harbor fauna and flora of expectional beauty. There is a large variety of fishes, pelicans, herons, albatross and the Caribbean Flamingos (which Celestun is famous for) that live in the estuary. This region also boast 234 mammal species, among which include the ocelot, the jaguar and the spider monkey, all of which are considered endangered specioes as well as three different species of sea turtles and two of the crcodile.

These caverns, whose name comes from the maya "Lol": Flower, and "Tun": Stone, are one of the biggest known from the huge cave system that covers the great territory in the southern Yucatan. The caverns have been arranged for a safe tour that measures approx. .62 miles long. In one of it's cavities, known as "Huechil", archaelogical excavations were carried out and in one of it`s lowest levels extinct animal remains were found. There is also basrelief carvings that date back to 600 B.C. as well as other mural paintings of hands, faces, animals and flower motifs, which give the name to the cavern.

This wonderful small fishing village is a great place to relax on the beach(best on the west coast of the Yucatan) or if you want to take a fishing trip this is the place to go. There are many different species of fish, crabs as well as shrimp to be caught. On this tour if you are going to be fishing, we can arrange to prepare you catch after you return from fishin at one of the restaurants in Sisal.