Yucatán

 

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The 181,000-square-kilometer Yucatán Peninsula comprises a significant portion of the ancient Mayan lowlands. There are many Mayan archeological sites in the region, and indigenous Maya and Mestizo make up a sizable proportion of the population.

The state of Yucatan  is one of the 31 states of Mexico. It is bordered by Quintana Roo, Campeche and the Gulf of Mexico.

Progreso is the Yucatán's northern port city. It is a stop for cruise ships which dock at its landmark 6.5-kilometer-long pier. Its oceanfront Malecón is lined with beaches and thatch-roofed restaurants.

Progreso is a hub for fishing and container shipping industries. Mostly local tourists travel here as a place to get away from hotter temperatures inland.

A charming local entrepreneurial spirit can be seen in the shops lining the roadways. 

Valladolid is a colonial city known for its16th Century Convent of San Bernardino of Siena and San Gervasio Cathedral.

The streets of Valladolid are colorful and full of vitality. We enjoyed watching local people go about their daily lives.

Yucatán has thousands of cenotes, natural sinkholes in the limestone which have various cave formations for exploring and freshwater pools for swimming.

Cenote Zaci features a viewing platform and a plaza for artisans' shops.

 

Chichen Itza is the best-known of the Mayan archeological sites. A massive step pyramid, the Temple of Kukulkan, dominates the city which thrived from 600 A.D. to the 1200s.

Graphic stone carvings can be viewed at the Temple of the Warriors, The Wall of the Skulls and the Ballcourt.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Uxmal, Kabah, Labna and Sayil represent the pinnacle of late Maya art and architecture and demonstrate the Mayan knowledge of astronomy.

A unique feature of the Kabah structures is the use of human figures, not usually found in  Mayan buildings.

The Pyramid of the Magician, the Nunnery Quadrangle, and the Governor's Palace at Uxmal are some of the largest buildings of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

The ornate details on the structures display traditional Mayan glyphs, geometric designs and animal images. 

This Mayan farmer welcomed us into his home and allowed us to observe while he worshipped at his altar.

His wife prepared a meal of corn tortillas, beans and squash.

At the Casa de Los Venados, we viewed folk art and sampled Yucatán foods.

 

A history of deforestation for cattle ranching and sugar cane plantations and subsequent damage by hurricanes, soil erosion and drought have endangered the diverse tropical vegetation.

 

Traditional rural villages and Mesoamerican farming systems, such as Mayan milpa, solar and t’olche’, are being revived and transformed in an effort to halt deforestation, increase productivity and boost income.

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This site was last updated 05/08/19