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The Yucatan Peninsula was the cradle of one of the most important pre-Columbian cultures, the Maya.The ancient cities of Coba, Chichen Itzá, and Tulum are witnesses to their outstanding architectural and engineering skills.



The Yucatan Peninsula was the cradle of one of the most important pre-Columbian cultures the Maya.

For over 3,000 years, the Maya was the most prominent group in the Peninsula.

The ancient cities of Coba, Chichén Itzá, and Tulum are witnesses to their outstanding architectural and engineering skills.<

But the Maya didn't vanish; millions are still living today according to their traditions, scattered over the south of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.<

Hotel La Tortuga in Playa del Carmen offers you a privileged location for day trips to Coba, Chichén Itzá,Tulum, and more.

The once sleepy village of Playa del Carmen has twice doubled its population over the last few years.

Visitors from around the world have been mesmerized by its alabaster white beaches, gentle surf, coral reefs and easygoing lifestyle of “Playa”.

Today, Playa del Carmen is a meeting point for artists, adventurers, and businessmen alike.

Its local community has become an amalgam of nationalities, languages, colors, and traditions.
One could say that Playa del Carmen is creating its own lifestyle as a melting pot of cultures, resulting in a cosmopolitan and multiracial community.

The same can be said about our tourism.
The mix of sun worshippers, archeological buffs, backpackers, and eco-adventurers from all over the world makes Playa a unique and fascinating destination.

Maya Culture
Over a period of 3,000 years, the Maya developed a refined civilization.
Among them were great astronomers and mathematicians, as demonstrated by the precise calculations that enabled them to build the Chichén Itzá pyramid, an ancient wonder that worked as a giant solar clock.

Indeed, the Mayas’ deep understanding of nature allowed them to interpret the movements of heavenly bodies from observatories like the one in Bonampak.

They established a calendar more accurate than the one we use today.
Cobá and Tulum are witnesses to their outstanding architectural and engineering skills, with imposing pyramids, beautiful palaces and watchtowers.

They invented a complete system of pictorial writing with symbols called glyphs, which appear on stelae and temple walls throughout the area.

The Maya Today
To say that the Maya civilization disappeared when the city-states from the Classic period were abandoned is like saying that the Italians vanished when the Roman Empire fell.

Over 6 million Maya live today according to their traditions, scattered over the south of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize.
Throughout hundreds of years of outside efforts to oppress and assimilate them, the Mayas have continued to hold on to their unique way of life. The modern Maya religion is a colorful hybrid of Catholicism and ancient Maya beliefs and rituals.

Today, devout Maya worship at mountain and cave shrines, making offerings of chickens, candles and incense with a ritual alcoholic drink.

Traditional Food and Clothing
You can identify the community to which a Maya individual belongs by their dress.

Maya women wear loose hand-woven or embroidered huipiles (blouses) with distinctive patterns and colors for each community.

Maya men have adopted a more Spanish and modern-style dress.
Some traditional styles have been adapted to modern times.
For example, the embroidered loincloth of pre-Colombian times is now worn as a sash or belt.

Traditional Yucatecan cuisine has much more to offer than tacos.

No visit to the Mayan Riviera is complete without trying one of these superb specialties:

  • Cochinita Pibil - baked pork in a tangy red sauce (achiote, garlic, and sour orange), sometimes served wrapped in a banana leaf - a must-try Mayan dish
  • Poc Chuc - flattened grilled pork steak with a citrus sour orange marinade - another must-try Mayan specialty
  • Huevos Motuleños - fried eggs with peas, ham and cheese
  • Pavo en Relleno Negro - turkey with black chile sauce
  • Salbutes - fried tortilla topped with turkey, onion and avocado
  • Sopa de Lima - chicken soup with lime juice, sometimes topped with crushed fried tortillas

Archaeology

For hundreds of years, the Maya ruled the vast jungles of the Yucatan, and built magnificent, intricate stone cities. Along the coastline of the Mayan Riviera, rimmed with ivory white sand beaches meeting the warm, turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the Maya erected temples like Tulum, or small outposts on the few outlying islands. Inland, elaborate, lavish cities were built and their temples still remain despite the voracious attempts of the jungle to swallow them up. Cobá and Chichén Itzá are among the most exceptional Mayan ruins, all at a day trip’s distance from Playa del Carmen. Day trips are available and our staff at La Tortuga Hotel & Spa will be glad to offer all the extra information you may need as well as make bookings and reservations for you.

 
 

 



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