The Eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula holds 4 major archeological sites that we can visit together: Chichen Itza, Tulum, Coba and Ek Balam.
CHICHEN ITZA IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE TOP 3 SITES TO VISIT IN MEXICO
Palenque at Chiapas (A 15 hour bus ride from Playa del Carmen); Teotihuacan (2 hours by plane from Cancun to Mexico City and a 2 hour bus ride from the airport to the site); and Chichen Itza, only two and a half hours away from Playa del Carmen by car. It may seem like a long journey, but you will be informed about the geography of the Peninsula during your ride to the site. Our official guide will share the history of the Maya civilization with you , while you enjoy the comforts of the A/C and listen and learn about who were the Mayan people and what happened to them. You will learn how the Mayan people were able to build massive constructions, and the type of materials they used back then. Upon arrival to the site you will have plenty of background knowledge of what Chichen Itza represents. Our guide will walk along with us while we admire the buildings and structures that have been restored by archelogiists since 1927. Our guide will continue to explain further details on the walking tour. Our personal opinion about Chichen Itza is that it is a magnificent location for photographers, amateurs or professionals . You will enjoy the beauty of this ancient ceremonial center.
In 1988, UNESCO recognized the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza by adding it into the list of Historic and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity. This was a great honor offered to Mexico and the Yucatan; however, the Mexican government takes on the huge responsibility to maintain and preserve the site for locals and tourists. It is a priority for the Government that people continue to admire and experience the achievements of what the Mayan people accomplished many years ago.
In 2005 there was an international contest to determine the new “7 Wonders of the World”. There was a list of 77 ancient monuments representing different world sites and 100 million people voted online or on their cell phones.
July 7th, 2007 , the Official New 7 Wonders of the World was elected by more than 100 million votes. The results where published and the world honored the Temple of Kukulkan, the emblematic building of Chichen Itza to represent global heritage throughout history.
Now we recognize and can appreciate the importance of this magnificient archeoligical site. Famous artists throughout the years have travelled from all parts of the world to not only visit this magical site, but to offer an experience such as live performances by: Luciano Pavarottie, Placido Domingo, Sarah Brightman and Elton John. Imagine staying in Playa del Carmen or the Mayan Riviera knowing you are just minutes away from one of the Wonders of the World a once in a life time experience.
Our idea is to avoid the crowds:
That is why we prefer to start our day with an early pick up at your hotel. Our official guide will welcome you and invite you to take a seat on board. We leave early to avoid the extreme heat and thousands of people that arrive mid day on group bus tours. Believe me when I say ¨thousands¨, the crowd can create a very intense atmosphere that may inhibit your enjoyment. We make sure this does not happen on our tours. We will avoid the massive crowds at all costs by arriving at a certain hour of the day that ensures a calm and enjoyable experience.
A two hour visit is enough time to experience at Chichen Itza:
You will take lots of pictures, leisurely walk around the site with our official guide and when you are finished you will notice the hords of people quickly surrounding the area. This is when we exit without waiting in line. You will be grateful for the early rise especially to finish before the onset of tourists arrival.
CENOTE AND RESTAURANT
Now we have a chance to rest for a bit and get ready for a delicious meal and some fun in the water. We take a 10 minute ride to a special cenote. You will enjoy the beauty of this cenote( natural sink hole) where you can go swimming in the fresh water of the underground rivers. This sink-hole is open, no roof just sunshine. It truly is magical to see and enjoy a swim in the cenote. Life vests are available if necessary. At the cenote you can enjoy an international and local buffet at the restaurant. We will spend an hour and half enjoying our swim and lunch. Buen Provecho!
VISIT OF A COLONIAL HOUSE AT VALLADOLID – ENJOY MASTER PIECES OF MEXICAN ART
Once fresh, clean and satisfied… it is time for a siesta. While we drive for 35 minutes to Valladolid you can relax, close your eyes and practice this traditional Mexican extreme sport: siesta time. Be careful, you might become addicted to it.
Wake up! We already arrived. Welcome to Valladolid, one of the few Colonial towns where you will see a variety of Spanish architecture of the XVI-XVII centuries. Many tours unfortunately perceive Vallodolid as a pit stop and do not offer enough quality time to explore the wonders of this colonial town. We get to discover the Spanish flavors mixed with the Mayan people, a real treat to learn more about the Spaniard influence.
Here, we have the chance to discover a beautiful colonial house owned by an American couple that have been collecting famous Mexican popular art and master pieces for over a decade. We will spend 40 minutes admiring the beautiful artwork that is handmade by local artists all over Mexico. A truly inspirational visit. This is an open house for the public to admire the various artwork . Univers-Maya donates a small fund to support the owners mission to assist handicap people and to give thanks to the Mayan People of Valladolid.
We still have a good 20 minutes of free time and we will continue exploring this wonderful town, grab a cup of coffee or a refreshing drink, take some photos of Cathedral or the Central Park ( the Plaza). You will notice the Mayan woman still ware their traditional home made “huipil” which is their traditional dress of the Yucatan . You may even spark up a conversation with the local Mayan People or choose to rest in one of the original benches ( “love seats”) designed by the Spaniards . A romantic experience!
It is time to leave this beautiful town and head back to your hotel. We started our tour early in the day and we return early afternoon. The ride home is peaceful and you will enjoy the scenic route back to your hotel. Take a siesta or talk about all the activities you´ve experienced with your fellow travelers, or if you still have some burning questions, please ask , we will have the answers.