Vacations, Travel and Tourism to Yucatan
The state of Yucatan is indeed a warm place, not only for its climate but for its people as well. Yucatecans are rooted to their homeland and their customs and they are proud hosts who welcome love to share stories of their past and their ancestors.
Yucatan proudly preserves vestiges of the great Mayan civilization that once flourished here, which are admired by foreigners as well as by locals. Even to this day you can still find Mayan villages, whose inhabitants still follow their ancestors' traditions, religious practices and speak their native tongue. Touring small towns and villages is a rewarding experience which you will cherish forever.
At present Yucatan is one of the most prosperous regions of Southern Mexico, famous not only for its archaeological treasures and fine regional cuisine, but for its rich wildlife, as well as for its booming trade, tourism and agriculture.
Even though the state ofYucatan has a modern infrastructure in its main cities, there is a strong indigenous influence from the Mayans. Mayan language is spoken and taught in schools throughout the peninsula and according to the INEGI (the Central Bureau of Statistics), Yucatan has the largest indigenous population of all Mexico, which gives the state its rich and interesting blend of modernity and strong cultural roots that appeals to foreign tourists so much.
Evidence shows that the origin of the Mayan civilization dates back 8,000 years before Christ, although the Itzaes, founders of the city of Chichen Itza, did not flourish in the peninsula until the year 435 A.D.
The three main Mayan sites in the peninsula are Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayapan who formed an alliance known as The League of Mayapan' that lasted a couple of centuries. Chichen Itza was the most important one in the north of the peninsula until 1194 when war broke out between the three cities resulting in the fall of Chichen Itza and the rise of Mayapan as the most powerful city of the north. In the year 1441 a rebel group waged war against the central government of Mayapan causing its decline. In the aftermath, all the cities are abandoned and Yucatan is divided into several smaller territories ruled by lords without much political significance. Due to these rivalries among the Indian groups, it was fairly easy for the Spanish conquest to take place.
Later on in 1541, after two attempts to subdue the Indians of the Yucatan, Francisco de Montejo's son finally succeeds in conquering the Indians and Spain establishes the city of Merida, thereby consolidating the Spanish domain over the region.
Lots to See
Yucatan still preserves evidence of the colonial period as well as interesting archaeological sites that hold the great wisdom of the ancient Mayas, enigmatic underground cave systems known as grottos or caverns with fascinating rock formations, deep fresh water sink holes called 'cenotes', old haciendas or estates where henequen used to be grown and that have been turned into modern day hotels or inns. Visiting Yucatan is a true learning experience, rich in culture, history and traditions that have existed for generations.
Merida is the capital of the state of Yucatan, the most important cultural landmark and economic center of Southeast Mexico. This charming city still conserves the splendor of the Colonial period in the country. Because of its historical importance, Merida was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 by UNESCO as well as the American Culture Capital by the OAS (Organization of American States) in the same year. Merida is certainly an obligatory stop on your visit to the Yucatan.
Chichen Itza, which means 'at the mouth of the well of the Itza', was at its peak, the strongest political, economic, and religious center for the Mayans of Yucatan. This amazing site is currently one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and definitely worth seeing first hand. If you visit Chichen Itza, you can also see unique cenotes and mysterious caverns throughout the area.
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