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Mayan World

Among the options when visiting and getting to know the prehispanic cultures is the Mayan World. This culture achieved a great development in astronomy and mathematics -the Mayas used the zero long before it was known in Europe- flourished in south eastern México when today the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán are located.

The Mayan World has more than 50 well known archaeological centres, which for more than 150 years have attracted specialists. The Mayan culture is characterised by its political organisation in cities and states that flourished between 600 and 900 AD in the southern region, and from 900 to 1200 AD in the Yucatán Península.

Among these are Chichén Itzá and Uxmal in Yucatán, Tulúm in Quintana Roo, as well as Palenque, Bonampak and Yaxchilán in Chiapas. The Museo de la Venta, in the city of Villahermosa, Tabasco, contains the most important collection of works from the Olmec culture, which is considered to be the mother culture of the Mesoamerican civilization, including the Mayan.

A view of the Mayan World can be combined with tours of cities which flourished during the colonial era and which are today active urban centres, such as Mérida, Campeche and San Cristóbal de las Casas. Additionally a trip can be used to visit the recreative centres at the Beaches of the Mexican Caribbean. Undoubtedly, during the last few years, Cancún in Quintana Roo has become the most internationally recognized tourist centre of the region.

México's Yucatán Península is phenomenally rich in major archaeological sites. We are only giving you details about a few of them here. Others we are encouraging the traveller to consider visiting are: Sayil, Kabáh, Labná

Chichén Itzá in the State of Yucatán 120.67 kilometres east of the city of Mérida and 201.12 kilometres west of the city of Cancún is one of the largest archaeological sites in México, and it's rich with legends and treasures.

If the tourist is lucky enough to visit during the fall equinox or spring equinox, and the weather is co-operative, the sun and shadow will create a "serpent" body along the edge of the pyramid that lines up with the carved stone serpent head at the bottom.

Palenque is another important archaeological site located in the State of Chiapas, that is a mystical, ethereal place; precious little box, it sits in the foothills of the Sierras, surrounded by primordial jungle vegetation. With the whole atmosphere visitors feel like just stumbled onto the existence of a deep, mysterious secret. One of the site's structures, The Temple of the Inscriptions, holds the Royal Tomb of Pacal, a great Mayan priest-emperor who is supposed to have magical powers. Some contemporary stories pose intriguing questions -was he a space traveler from another planet? When the visitor see his portrait on the lid of his magnificent 5-ton sarcophagus he may begin to wonder himself.

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