Known as “The Three Times Built”, it is one of the archaeological sites of the Mayan culture whose architecture is one of the most impressive in Yucatan. Its beauty is characterized by having low and horizontal palaces, placed around courtyards or quadrangles, which are rich in decorations of very detailed sculptures made with thousands of small stones perfectly polished and adjusted forming geometric mosaics of a perfection not equal in the whole area Maya.
The city consists of 15 groups of buildings, distributed from north to south, in an area of approximately two kilometers. Among those that stand out: The Pyramid of the Adivino, with its Plaza de los Pájaros, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Ball Game, the Governor’s Palace, the Great Pyramid and El Palomar, in addition to the North Group, the House of the Old , The Cemetery and the Temple of the Phalluses. Uxmal, a city with a certain subtle air, that just by contemplating it, can move its visitors.
The most impressive structure, with a unique elliptical shape and a height of more than 35 meters is La Casa del Adivino; According to an ancient legend, this pyramid was raised by a dwarf in only one night, although in reality it was built in five stages and was designed in such a way that its stairway faces east, towards sunset on the solstice Of summer.
From the Quadrangle of the Nuns there is a light and sound show by Uxmal, in which Mayan legends of the region who gave life to this mystic place are narrated.
One of the reasons to visit this site is its beautiful beaches, those landscapes, the tranquility that exists in the vast majority of its beaches that are difficult to find in other places, besides it is very easy to access them. The sea and the sand is the complement and that touch that makes them perfect because it does not matter that the beach all the perfect lives.
The Mayan Riviera is surrounded by cenotes and there are even more cenotes than those currently known to exist. These natural pools are fascinating with an ideal water for hot times and with a landscape that makes you fall in love from the first moment.
Fifth Avenue is the backbone of Playa and from there you can access several popular spots such as: shops, restaurants, museums, clubs, bars; and also has various accesses to the sea and beach clubs such as Mamita’s Beach Club. It is a must to take a walk along this important route where there are no cars passing by and that is always full of life and activity.
Additionally, it is very easy to move around Playa del Carmen to other points of the Mayan Riviera and the Yucatan Peninsula, and best of all, very economically. There is a good bus service, buses and taxis but you can also move to walk through its main streets or you can choose between different areas or towns.
There are more than 150 km of coastline to choose from! so it is possible to visit a different beach every day. Whether it’s in Playa del Carmen with its diverse beach clubs, Akumal with its cute turtles or the stunning turquoise beaches of Cancun, Isla Mujeres or Tulum.
The Mayan Museum of Cancun opened its doors in November 2012; It presents historical relics and extensive exhibition spaces, in a modern environment. The multimillion dollar project is the culmination of 30 years of collection and has 350 Mayan pieces. For those interested in learning more about the traditional culture of the area, or in search of an activity a rainy day, the Mayan Museum of Cancun is a fascinating place to spend a few hours.
The museum consists of three exhibition spaces that cover a total of 409 square meters (4,400 square feet) where relics are shown, and even replicas of bones dating back 14,000 years.
The first room of the Museum:
It is dedicated to the archeology of Quintana Roo. Its chronological journey begins with the oldest burials that have been found in submerged caves of the Quintana Roo coast, passing through the history of the monumental sites of the south of the State, until the boom of the northern region of the entity or East Coast prior to arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
The pieces reflect the origin, development and change strategies of different cities; the funeral rites, architectural elements, ritual and domestic objects used by the Maya of Quintana Roo throughout two thousand years of history.
The second room:
It abounds on general aspects of the Mayan civilization: its relationship with the environment; the origin, development and decline of their cities; its economic activities, from agriculture to commerce; the characteristics of the ruling elites and the wars between them; its most important cultural expressions such as writing and the calendar and some of its rites such as the ball game.
The pieces exhibited here come from excavations carried out in Quintana Roo, as well as in the rest of the Mexican states that cover the Mayan area: Tabasco, Yucatán, Campeche and Chiapas. A portion of these works have been granted on loan by the Comalcalco Site Museum, the Yucatan Regional Museum “Canton Palace”, the Chichén Itzá Site Museum, the Chiapas Regional Museum and the Palenque Site Museum “Alberto Ruz L’huillier.
The third and last room:
It is dedicated to the presentation of temporary exhibitions linked to the theme and vocation of the Museum.
The visit to the Museum also includes access to the San Miguelito Archaeological Zone; Through a path that starts from the lower corridor of the Museum, this site is made up of at least four groups consisting mainly of structures that supported wooden houses and palm houses, in which possibly diverse families lived during the last years prior to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
Located on south of Isla Mujeres we will find the Turtle Farm, better known as “Tortugranja”, a project funded by the government and donors, with the objective of protecting giant sea turtles. The Turtles for many years have come to the soft sand of the island to lay their eggs and because they are clumsy in their walk on the sand, they were easy victims for the hunters who captured them to obtain their meat, shell and eggs.
In your visit you can feed the small species that are in piles placed in the central part of the aquarium, as well as around you can admire other species such as: fish, sea horses, snails, urchins, among others.
On the outside there is an area where there are other batteries a little larger where you will see larger turtles, and in the back you will discover that there is an area where they keep the rescued eggs and that they are waiting of its hatching.
The Isla Mujeres Turtle Farm is located in the south of the island, on the Sac-Bajo highway, about a kilometer north of the beach. The entrance has a cost of $ 20.00 pesos, there you can buy small bags with food for the turtles if you want to feed them, for a cost of $ 20 pesos.
Just 20 minutes from Tulum is Muyil, this place offers us a unique experience, it is not only the magic of the archaeological zone that is in the middle of the jungle or its different lagoons that are connected by channels, Muyil is more than that, the energy that keeps this place is unique.
Site that stands out for the natural beauty of its lagoons. Muyil and Chunyaxché, located within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, declared a Natural World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1987, is a particularly attractive place for those interested in appreciating Mayan archeology and enjoying contact with nature.
It is believed that in the past, Muyil was a seaport built by the Maya to favor the commercial activities of the area. It is one of the 20 most important archaeological sites for its size and quantity of architectural remains.
Enjoy a cultural immersion with a local guide touring each of the buildings, including El Castillo, the structure of greatest importance and height, for its architecture is believed to be intended to represent the Ceiba, the sacred tree of the Mayans; Go into the jungle of the reserve crossing the “sak be” (white road in Mayan language), and finish the journey in the crystal clear waters of the channels. Let yourself be carried away by a relaxing experience.
After discovering a bit more of the history of the Mayans, you will walk through an interpretive trail, where you can observe different flora and fauna characteristic of the area. Zapote, rocket and ficus, is only part of the flora that houses this jungle. In addition to that you can see up close different water eyes from which fresh water emanates.
The project began after in 1997 by the sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor, a cruise ship crashed and destroyed much of the coral reef Punta Cancun, so alternatives were sought to attract tourists. This is how the idea of submerging concrete structures to preserve the reef that today is in very good condition arose.
Currently these mysterious statues are covered with algae and coral polyps, the plan worked, and Cancun is now home to the largest artificial reef in the world.
The National Park located between the waters of Cancun and Isla Mujeres is one of the most visited in the world. Each year hundreds of thousands of tourists swim in these waters, which generates an environmental impact on the reefs and the life that is generated in them.
By placing these pieces of marine concrete, MUSA promotes the generation of life and, therefore, the recovery of natural reefs. In addition, the load of visitors in the natural reef is directed to this museum, diminishing the impact generated in past years
The museum is divided into two Galleries: Manchones and Punta Nizuc. The sculptures in Machones are located 8 meters from the surface, so diving is recommended for a better appreciation of the collection. In Punta Nizuc, only snorkeling is allowed, since the pieces are only 4 meters from the surface.
Soon pieces will be placed in Punta Sam.
Marvel at the more than 500 sculptures that the MUSA has permanently submerged. Examine the sculptures set at the bottom of the sea in an area of more than 420 square meters with its more than 200 tons of art.
A tour of the Underwater Museum of Art of Cancun is a good alternative, especially if you like to practice diving or snorkeling. These sculptures do not affect the marine ecosystem of the area because they are made of neutral PH concrete, the idea is that they attract algae and marine life in general, so that they begin to have a life of their own quickly.
Explore mangrove forests, wetlands and Mayan archaeological sites. Discover the rich history of local sailors at the Punta Celerain Lighthouse and the navigation museum.
In Punta Sur, a virgin beach (no large buildings), it has all the necessary facilities to spend the day without worries. It has a restaurant, a small palapa where you can rent a snorkel equipment, bathrooms, parking, snacks, lounge chairs.
To complement your visit with a little history and culture, in Punta Sur you can visit the Cultural and Navigation Museum. This simple nautical museum is located in an old lighthouse built during the Porfiriato and covers the history of navigation and signage from pre-Hispanic times to the present day.
You can appreciate the best panoramic view of Cozumel, from above the Celarain Lighthouse. If you are passionate about photography, here you will go crazy, where you turn there is a beautiful view: on one side a perfect horizon of the Caribbean Sea and its multiple shades of blue and on the other the huge Laguna Colombia surrounded by tropical jungle.
In Quintana Roo there are few places where you can contemplate a sunset on the beach. Due to its location, in Cancun and the Riviera Maya you can not see the sun falling on the sea, however, as Cozumel is an island, it looks very beautiful. It will be the last thing you do in Punta Sur Park as they close early.
Playa del Carmen has had a huge growth in recent years, many people every day decide to live in this paradise of the Riviera Maya, and if you still can not decide, here are some points to finally make a decision.
- As a consequence of the increase of its population and tourist flow, Playa del Carmen now has roads that allow you to reach different places faster without having to detour to Cancun. Escape the weekend to Holbox, Valladolid and even to Merida arriving in a few hours.
- Once you find the perfect place to live on the beach, your concern will be that visitors know more tourist sites than you. Prepare your agenda and program escapes to cenotes, such as Dos Ojos, Aktun Chen and Azul or to the surrounding natural parks. You can even go to beaches with less tourism, including Akumal, which is famous for the presence of turtles.
- The climate of Playa del Carmen has a pleasant warmth and perfect for going to the beach or in a pool. It is the Caribbean and a tropical area so just enjoy it, you will like that you will not feel high temperatures.
- Playa del Carmen has a more relaxed and casual nightlife. It is on 12th Street where the main bars and nightclubs for different tastes are concentrated, all very close to each other. Coco Bongo, Blue Parrot are some of the most popular sites.
- If you like exercise and outdoor activities, Playa del Carmen promotes a lifestyle in motion, in addition to all the options of outdoor activities and water sports such as snorkeling, diving, paddle surfing, kayaking, you will also find from gyms , yoga studios, crossfit, salsa classes and public places where anyone can take advantage of the fresh air in the early morning to exercise without problems.