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EXPERIENCE MAYAN CULTURE AND ARCHAEOLOGY AT HOTEL XIXIM

Archaeologists estimate there are over 4,000 ancient Mayan ruin sites, many of which are not yet investigated or even discovered. The western Yucatan Peninsula, reached via flights into the cities of either Merida or Campeche, is covered with Mayan ruins large and small.  Come explore these archaeological sites in the low canopy jungle of the Yucatan and experience firsthand the excitement of discovery.  Learn about the ancient Maya who ruled for more than 1500 years!

Hotel Xixim, in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, is the perfect base from which to explore.  Enjoy the comfort of our beachfront Mayan bungalows and Mayan-Mexican fusion cuisine. Explore the ruin sites via our guided excursions.  Or rent a car or van in Merida upon arrival and independently explore from the hotel on your own.  With a rental vehicle, you can delve into Mayan architecture and history throughout the western Yucatan Peninsula.  In that case, we recommend ending your self-drive exploration with a relaxing 4-5 night stay at our unique Mayan hotel, in pristine nature on miles of white sand beach.

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE MAYAN WORLD, BASED AT HOTEL XIXIM

WHO WERE THE ANCIENT MAYA?

THEY WERE AMERICANS

The Maya were the most advanced of all ancient Mesoamerican cultures. They arose in what is now Central America over 2000 years ago and spread centuries later northward into Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.  The earliest date on the long count Mayan calendar is August 11, 3114 BC, the date the Maya recorded to be the birth of their civilization.  The first dynastic calendars were used by about 400 BC. The Mayan Empire consisted of numerous city-states such as Tikal, Calakmul, and Uxmal.  Total population peaked in the millions between AD 300 and 900, and then slowly declined for unknown reasons.  The Spanish explorers arrived in the mid 1500’s and found much smaller Mayan cities.

THEY HAD A WRITTEN LANGUAGE

Mayan written language is believed to be the only complete writing system in Mesoamerica.  The glyphs, first placed on stelae about 300 BC, are now known to be syllabic versus alphabetic symbols.  Just 50 years ago, it was discovered that some glyphs record dynastic histories in specific cities, similar to family histories in Europe and other literate cultures. This exciting decipherment continues today with 90% of Mayan texts now readable with reasonable accuracy.  Original Mayan writings are found only in stone and in 3 original bark cloth codices, the latter now in European museums.  These old stones can be seen in the Yucatan and will “talk” to you today.

THEY WERE ARCHITECTS AND BUILDERS

Mayan architecture had different styles, developing over time, just as the Greek and Roman architecture evolved with different styles.  Uxmal, near Hotel Xixim, is an amazing example of the Puuc style (and some say on par with the Roman Coliseum or Forum). The Maya built large 4-sided pyramid-temples, ball courts, observatories, and palaces -- all without metal tools and wheels; canals and elevated roads connected their cities in the jungle.  Many sites exist in Yucatan, of all sizes, which are open to the public.  Many others are yet to be discovered underneath what appears to be simply a hill covered with jungle.

THEY WERE SCIENTISTS AND RESEARCHERS

The Maya, through a sophisticated numerical system including the concept of zero, mathematics, and astronomical observations, created tables on Venus, Mars, eclipses, equinoxes, solstices, and movement of the tides.  They predicted solar and lunar eclipses and tracked the motion of the planets, especially Venus, in great detail. These studies were interpreted in relationship to agricultural, political and social life.  The Maya also contemplated creation of the universe and had a rich mythology, which influenced every aspect of their daily life. The Mayan calendar systems were highly sophisticated and accurate.

THEY PREDICTED A “NEW ERA” AT THE END OF 2012

According to the “long count” Mayan calendar and Mayan creation mythology, December 21, 2012 (which also is the exact 2012 Winter Solstice date), signifies the end of a World Age, when 13 baktuns end (5,125 years, 133 days).  This 2012 Mayan date will be celebrated in Mayan Yucatan as a new beginning, a New Era, when Man and Nature will be in harmony.  Modern Mayans, descendants of these ancient Maya, still live in the Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and continue to practice Mayan ceremonial rituals related to the seasons and nature.

CONTACT US FOR YOUR HOTEL XIXIM-BASED MAYAN CULTURE GROUP EXPLORATION

Are you interested in organizing a Mayan Culture group trip for your school or organization? Or maybe a once in a lifetime cultural adventure for your extended family group? Imagine your kids (parents or siblings) feeling like “Indiana Jones” exploring a temple-pyramid, learning a few Mayan words, or recognizing glyphs discovered on site.  We offer group discounts starting at 5 rooms (10 guests). We look forward to welcoming your special interest group to our unique Mayan hotel in the Yucatan!  What better time to come – in the Year of the New Era 2012-2013Contact us for more information or for a group quote.

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