Mexico is famous for its ancient Aztec and Mayan ruins, which are still being found to this day. They hide deep in the jungles of Mexico under thick vegetation which make them nearly impossible to find. Many of these pyramids connect to miles of underground tunnels, which are, unfortunately, inaccessible to you and me.
I visited the Mayan ruins of Chacchoben which is located about 45 minutes inland from Costa Maya, or as the locals call it, Majahual. There are 3 large pyramids at this park. The area was settled in 200 BC, the pyramids were built 900 years later in 700 AD, and they were found sometime in the 1940’s when farmers began developing the land. The Mexican government wasn’t notified of the ruins until 1972, they were excavated in ’94, and finally opened to the public in 2002.
The main pyramid, pictured below, is directly in line with the Autumnal Equinox, when the Earth is at a 0° tilt. I coincidently missed it by only 1 day. The sun would align perfectly between a structure on the top of the pyramid, which no longer exists. If I had been more awake on this early morning, I probably could have done a better job photographing this…
The Mayans were the only known pre-Columbian American society to have a fully developed written language. They controlled areas in the Yucatan peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, and Nicaragua, in contrast to the Aztecs who ruled west of the Yucatan. Additionally, the Mayans were present well before the Aztec people and only have a slight overlap before their civilization’s final collapse.
One thing you may not know is that Mayan people still are alive today. Even though their civilization was destroyed by the Spanish, their blood line, language, and traditions live on. My guide through the ruins was proud to be 100% Mayan and even spoke the dialect.
Have you been here or to other Mayan ruins? Comment your experience below!
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