By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Which Mayan archaeological site to visit?
The Mayan civilization was the most advanced of its time and many aspects of their culture still remain a riddle. With over 150 archaeological sites to be visited in the Mundo Maya, how does a traveler decipher which ones are worth visiting? The answer is easy: as many as you can.
In Mexico, the archaeological sites —some of which are named as UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their special cultural significance to the world—can be found in five different states: Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and the Yucatan. Each of them is special and unique in its own way with intriguing histories and stories.
On a journey through the Yucatan Peninsula, it is possible to cover six different sites in just four days: Toniná, Palenque, Yaxchilan, Bonampak, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza. Each of the sites has something significantly different about it, whether it is a unique location in the middle of the dense jungle or almost-unbelievable, perfectly preserved murals.
Many people do not realize that the Mayas existed from 300BC to 1517AC. Centuries passed through their culture and different innovations and styles of living transpired that we are able to witness today.
Location: Oscingo, Chiapas
Time Period: 300 to 900AD
What makes it stand out? Its size. Its pyramidal structure is composed of seven platforms and thirteen temples.
Location: Palenque, Chiapas
Time Period: 200BC to 800AD
What makes it stand out? Its majesty. The architectural and sculptural remains are exceptionally preserved and picture perfect.
Location: Oscingo, Chiapas
Time Period: 300 to 800AD
What makes it stand out? Its location. Only accessible by boat, the structures are deep in the jungle where you are accompanied by hower monkeys, spider monkeys, and other wildlife.
Location: Oscingo, Chiapas
Time Period: 580 to 800AD
What makes it stand out? Its murals. Three rooms at Bonampak feature near-perfectly preserved frescoes where the ancient history, aftermath, and celebration of the site are displayed astonishingly.
Location: Santa Elena, Yucatan
Time Period: 500 to 1000AD
What makes it stand out? Its intricacy. Well-cut patterns of Mayan geometric art and stone mosaics (influences from the Puuc) set this site apart.
Location: Chichen Itza, Yucatan
Time Period: 600 to 1300AD
What makes it stand out? Its precision. The structures of Chichen were built perfectly aligned with time and astronomical events. The tracking of the sun, moon, stars, and planets enabled the Maya to create a calendar, which was so precise they could forecast events thousands of years beyond their time.
Other sites: Ek Balam, Kabah, Labná, Calakmul, Dzibilchatun, Cobá, Edzná, Kohunlich, and Tulum.
Discover your inner artist
A unique art appreciation and painting experience in Paris and Normandy will be offered by AMA Waterways on August 13-22, 2015. You can immerse yourself in Northern France”s fascinating artistic heritage and create your own masterpieces inspired by the very same landscapes that captivated artists like Monet, Renoir, Gauguin, and many more. Bonus: on-board painting sessions with guidance from an expert art instructor and insightful and entertaining art discussions.
Three for Free
Princess Cruises launched the “Three For Free” sales event for guests booking 2015 Alaska, Europe or Japan cruises and cruise-tours by November 20. The offer includes free stateroom upgrades, a shore excursion credit, an onboard credit, and refundable deposits of US$100 per person. The cruise sale gives guests the best stateroom available within a category and a shore excursion credit of US$100 per person in Europe and Japan and US$50 per person in Alaska. Also included in the offer is up to US$100 per stateroom in onboard spending money in Europe and Japan, and up to US$50 per stateroom in Alaska.
Chicago’s Midway Airport opens yoga room
We all know flying can be a miserable experience, especially if you’re stranded in an airport for hours—a not—uncommon occurrence during the long, cold, snowy, miserable winters in Chicago.
In an attempt to promote calm and zen-like moods, Chicago’s Midway International Airport—the smaller, second airport dominated by Southwest Airlines – has opened a yoga room. (Its much-larger sibling, O’Hare International Airport, opened one in December.)
Midway’s yoga room has a sustainable bamboo floor, exercise mats and floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall. Frosted windows let in natural light while shielding you in your downward dog pose from prying eyes in adjacent public spaces. A wall-mounted video monitor displays yoga techniques and images of nature. Soothing sounds are piped in. And there is a public restroom nearby for changing into the obligatory yoga pants.
Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes in designing tours, cruises and independent travel for discerning travelers. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone at 415-111-8765, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or view the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises online.
Sources: Mexico Journey, AMA Waterways, Princess Cruises, Travel Pulse, WOW