Mayan Ruins - The Yucatan is home to Chicken Itza | Dzibilchaltun | Uxmal and many more amazing ruins to visit!
For us these ruins were even way better in person then we expected and they are a must see! There is an abundant amount of information online for all of the ruins available to visit but here is information on a few top sites!
Chichen Itza was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in a worldwide vote involving more than 100 million people!
It is a complex of Mayan ruins on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula and is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico (over 2 million tourists in 2016 alone!). Its center holds a massive step pyramid, known as El Castillo or Temple of Kukulcan, dominates the ancient city, which thrived from around 600 A.D. to the 1200s. The site exhibits a large variety of architectural styles, and graphic stone carvings survive at structures like the ball court, Temple of the Warriors and the Wall of the Skulls. Nightly sound-and-light shows illuminate the buildings' sophisticated geometry.
It was one of the largest Maya cities and may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world! It was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature.
Uxmal is the beautiful and ancient Maya city that is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture and is known for the region's dominant architectural style. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance.
Its very large sized buildings are decorated and etched with snakes and/or two-headed snakes are used for masks of the rain god, Chaac.
The big noses on the statures represent the rays of the storms. Open fangs on feathered serpents are shown leaving from the same human beings.
Dzibilchaltun Ruins are located near the colonial city of Merida, Yucatan.
Dzibilchaltun was a large settlement and still occupied when the Spanish arrived during the 1500s. Archaeologists estimate there were as many as 200,000 inhabitants and 8,400 buildings during its history with artifacts dating back to the middle of the classic period (700 – 800 A.D.) Highlights are the large plaza, sacbe trails, the Temple of the Dolls, and the Open Chapel, an unusual amphitheater shaped structure.
Dzibilchaltun, a modern Mayan name meaning “writing on flat stones,” doesn’t have huge pyramids like Chichen Itza or Uxmal, but it does have its own unique features that make it a worthwhile site to visit.
There is a beautiful freshwater Cenote (Xlakah) located to the side of the main plaza. It was the city’s freshwater source and perhaps the main reason the Maya chose this location to build their settlement. Water from Cenote Xlakah would have been perfect for residential drinking water and irrigation of their fields.
The cenote was first explored from 1957-59 when thousands of pottery shards and urns were found in the water along with wood, stone and bone artifacts. The earthenware dates to the Late Classic Periods of 600-1000 A.D.
Visitors to Dzibilchaltun can swim in the cenote during their tour. Bring your bathing suit so you can take advantage of the cool fresh water.