The pyramid of El Castillo was built to stop people in their tracks. And, almost 20 centuries after it was built, it’s still doing its job. You’ll get to experience the effect yourself on this guided tour around Chichen Itza. This Mayan city was built between 750 and 1200 AD. And El Castillo is just one of the ruined buildings that still stand strong here. You’ll also see the Temple of Warriors, which is gilded with statues and symbolism. And you’ll see the Great Ball Court, where the Mayans used to host spectator sports. As you walk around, your guide will explain the meanings hidden in the architecture and layout of the ancient city. Then you’ll have some time to explore for yourself. Once you’re familiar with the site, you’ll head to a local restaurant for lunch. Mexican food hasn’t changed that much since Mayan times. Rice, beans, tortillas and spice were eaten then as they are now. Your lunch will feature a few modern additions, though, like cochinita-style pork, lime soup and Yucatan barbecued chicken.
This tour starts with a scenic coach drive to the famous ruins of Tulum. Centred on a soaring Castillo temple fringed by snaking stone walls, the relics once made up a flourishing Mayan port. Don’t miss the murals inside the ‘Templo de los Frescos’, an ancient observatory. Spectacular sights aside, what really sets Tulum apart from the crowd is its location. The ancient walled city was once called Zama, or ‘dawn’, and it’s a fitting title. Perched on wave-beaten cliffs, it overlooks the Caribbean Sea, so fantastic views stretch out into the horizon, and the sunsets are something else. Once you’ve taken it all in, you’ll head back to Playa del Carmen for some free time before returning to the ship.
You’ll get to see 2 of the most elite addresses of Mayan times on this trip. Built in 1200 AD, the ancient city of Tulum crowns a 12-metre cliff, and the whole site looks out over the Caribbean Sea. Of all the structures here, your guide will focus on 3 in particular. The Temple of the Frescoes was used as an ancient observatory, The Temple of the Descending God was a homage to Venus, and The Castle was built in the image of the main pyramid at Chichen Itza. When you’ve seen the sights of Tulum, you’ll move on to Xel Ha. Back in the 1st century, this was an important Mayan port and it used to attract traders from around the Americas. These days, it’s a natural aquarium, and people come here to splash about. Snorkelling and for an extra charge, swim with dolphins are just two of the things you can do here.
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