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Mesoamerica

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A collection of Mesoamerican Archaeology, Ethnology and Ecology from prehistoric and present day Mexico and Central America.
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Río Dulce, Guatemala
Hacienda Tijax in Rio Dulce, Guatemala offers a different over water bungalow experience than those glamorous lodgings found in Tahiti. These bungalows are tucked into the swampy jungles behind the Rio Dulce. Sitting on the back porch of your...
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Chicanná, Campeche, Mexico
Chicanna was a small Classic Maya (250-900 AD) town located in southern Campeche, Mexico that thrived despite its close proximity to larger regional powers. The site is composed of palaces, plazas and relatively small temples and contains no large...
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The Parque Museo La Venta in the busy city of Villahermosa, Tabasco provides an excellent opportunity to experience Tabasco's local archaeology and ecology. Tabasco was the ancient heartland of the mysterious Olmec culture and is a steamy, jungle...
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Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
What combats humidity and sweltering air that feels like it's being expelled from a jet engine? Paletas! At less than a dollar and in a range of bright juicy flavors, these little Mexican popsicles offer a melty respite from the summer heat. Try...
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Carretera Merida-Campeche Km. 78, 97890 Uxmal, Yuc., Mexico
Overshadowed by its larger and more well-known cousins, Palenque and Chichén-Itzá, Uxmal ("Oosh-mahl") is the ruins of an ancient Maya city located near present-day Campeche. In its heyday, Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatan...
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After a long and arduous day of driving hours over bumpy roads and climbing up and down the pyramids at Caracol, my wife and I were dying for some relief. We were about halfway back to San Ignacio, Belize when we saw the famous Blancaneaux Lodge....
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Rivas, Nicaragua
When your swaying with the tropical breezes in your hammock on Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua, you need a few items within easy reach to maintain maximum relaxation. Those items include, among others, a good book and an alcoholic beverage. In Nicaragua...
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Livingston, Guatemala
Guifiti is an infused spirit made by the Garifuna people that settled along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The Garifuna are the descendants of Caribs and West Africans that have blended their languages and...
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Rock Stone Pond, Belize
Just 45-minutes north of Belize City, Altun Ha is a complex of Mayan ruins dating back hundreds of years. Once the "treasury" for the Mayan people, Altun Ha is one of the most important Mayan sites in the country. Go on a tour of the place with...
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Tollan, El Salitre, 42800 Tula de Allende, Hgo., Mexico
Tula is an important archaeological site located a couple hours due north of Mexico City in the state of Hidalgo. Tula was the capital of the Toltec empire, which was characterized by long range trading and the beginning of pan-Mesoamerican...
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Granada, Nicaragua
Grenada, Nicaragua exudes enough charm with its pastel colored colonial buildings, but when the city is decorated for Christmas the place becomes magical. The sight of Christmas trees and twinkling lights in the tropics feels strange at first, but...
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Calakmul, Camp., Mexico
Rising high above the vast expanse of the Peten forest in southern Campeche are the towering pyramids of Calakmul. Calakmul was perhaps the most powerful state in the Classic Maya world, dominating the likes of Tikal for centuries and creating a...
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Hochob is a small yet interesting Maya archaeological site situated about an hour's drive southwest of Campeche. The principle structure is fronted by a stylized mask, which has a doorway for the mouth, serrated teeth, swirly eyes and an array of...
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Champotón-Campeche, Campeche, Mexico
The days of Black Beard and Captain Morgan terrorizing the high seas have long since past, but the Fuerte de San Miguel still watches vigilantly over the city of Campeche. The fortress is located upon a rise just south of the city and attractive...
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Av de los Héroes, Centro, 77000 Chetumal, Q.R., Mexico
The capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal is a great place to base yourself for a couple nights in order to explore some of the surrounding attractions, including several Maya archaeological sites and the Bacalar Lagoon, before jumping across the...
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Latin America
I did not see any red corn at the Maya site named Chacchoben as its translated named would imply. What I did see were many well restored temples and structures and what I did not see was another tourist. I find that smaller archaeological sites do...
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Ekbalam, Yuc., Mexico
Visitors to the Yucatán and the Riviera Maya never miss Chichen Itza, but there is another hidden and almost unknown archaeological Mayan ruin called Ek’ Balam. Set in jungle, the site is not well known because it was discovered much later than...
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Latin America
The Totanac archaeological site called El Tajin in northern Veracruz, Mexico, contains many unique examples of Mesoamerican architecture, such as the Templo de los Nichos or Temple of the Niches. The Totanacs ruled coastal Veracruz in the Classic...
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Av. 5 de Mayo 61, Centro Histórico, Centro, 06000 Centro, CDMX, Mexico
The restaurant and bar, called El Balcon del Zocalo, on the roof top of the Holiday Inn located along the Zocalo, or central square, of Mexico City is worth the inflated prices in order to get a bird's eye view of Mexico's largest and most...
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Copán Department, Honduras
The hieroglyphic staircase at the ancient Maya site of Copan tells the story of the Copan dynasty in its entirety and is the longest inscribed Maya text ever discovered. I'm certain the sacrificial victims who were forced up these stairs to have...
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Chichicastenango, Guatemala
The Maya city of Chichicastenango is a great place to experience some living Maya culture as well as shop for some amazing Maya artwork to grace your home and remind you of your travels in the highlands. The most popular items are the brightly...
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71240 Cuilápam de Guerrero, Oax., Mexico
The ex monastary of Santiago Apostol in Cuilapan, Oaxaca was a large Catholic monastery built by the Spanish to subdue the large population of indigenous Zapotecs and Mixtecs living in the region. The monastery contains an unexplained block that...
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Bonampak, Chis., Mexico
The classic Mayan site of Bonampak, located deep in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico, holds one of the most unlikely and important discoveries in the history of Mayan archaeological investigation. The story of the wall murals is a story of an...
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Paseo de la Reforma & Calzada Gandhi S/N, Chapultepec Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo, 11560 Ciudad de México, CDMX, Mexico
Housed in a 1964 structure whose modern lines and central fountain greatly complement what's on view, this anthropology museum is a repository of the most important pre-Hispanic treasures modern Mexico has discovered. The works are...
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Edzna, Campeche, Mexico
Edzna is a large Maya ruin located about an hour away from Campeche, Mexico. The features a five story ceremonial pyramid, which was constructed in the Classic Period (650-900 AD). The site has a long history that dates back to the Preclassic...
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55800 San Juan Teotihuacán, State of Mexico, Mexico
While it's not in Mexico City proper, the sacred pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan is close enough–about 30 miles– for an easy day trip if you're interested in architecture, archaeology, and indigenous history. The site's primary...
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Monte Albán, Oax., Mexico
The Zapotec ruled above the Valley of Oaxaca from their hilltop capital, named Monte Alban. Any visit to Oaxaca should include a tour of these impressive ruins. The native people living in Oaxaca today can trace their heritage directly back to the...
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Tonina, Chis., Mexico
The ancient Maya city of Tonina has its ceremonial core built onto a hillside, creating the appearacnce of one massive pyramid. Tonina reached its zenith during the Classic Period (250-900 AD) and was an adversary of Palenque. The hillside temple...
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Latin America
Xochicalco is a fascinating archaeological site located a few hours south of Mexico City in the state of Morelos. The site came to prominence after the fall of Teotihuacan and may have played a part in Teotihuacan's demise by blocking valuable...
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Circuito Perimetral S/N, San MIguel del Milagro, 90720 Natívitas, Tlax., Mexico
Nearly 1,000 years after the once-powerful central Mexican city of Cacaxtla was abandoned, would-be looters of the hilltop palace ruins came across fantastically well-preserved and still colorful murals painted in a somewhat puzzling Mayan style....
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Palenque was a classic Maya city-state located in Chiapas, Mexico, and has gained notoriety among Maya archaeologists for its extravagant architecture and refined art and writings. The temples perched upon a hill adjacent to the main plaza of...
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México 54 Km 34, 99500 Villanueva, Zac., Mexico
A northern outpost of Mesoamerican high culture lies in the Mexican state of Zacatecas. The precolombian hilltop ruins contain a pyramid, ballcourt, palace and many other structures. The site may have been a Toltec outpost that traded southern...
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Juárez, 71980 Puerto Escondido, Oax., Mexico
Puerto Escodido, Oaxaca is primarily known for its double overhead barrels and surf scene. However there are some nice secluded coves protected from the massive surf, where one can enjoy calm, warm Pacific waters and eat fresh mariscos on the...
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Xochimilco, 86369 Comalcalco, Tab., Mexico
Comalcalco, the mighty Gulf Coast Maya city-state located in Tabasco, Mexico, used its proximity to the sea to become a major player in preColombian trade. The unique feature of Comalcalco's architecture is the use of crushed shell for plaster and...
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Tikal, Guatemala
The ancient Maya city of Tikal, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, was once the most mighty state of the Classic Period of Maya history. The evidense of Tikal's former glory can be viewed towering over the dense jungle canopy, still...
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Petén Department, Guatemala
Yaxha is an imposing classic Maya archaeological site located just off the highway between Tikal and the Belize border.
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Quiriguá, Los Amates, Guatemala
The massive stone stelae located at the Maya site named Quirigua impress not solely by their size, but by the intricately carved glyphs and depictions of kings and gods on display as well. The site is an easy stop for those traveling between the...
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Negroman Rd, San Ignacio, Belize
Black Rock Lodge is the ultimate Belizean jungle lodge, located a few miles outside San Ignacio and down a dirt road that leads you into a high-walled, karstic river valley. All the cabinas are perched on the hillside with spectacular river views...
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Laughing Bird Caye, Belize
On approach, Laughing Bird Caye is breathtaking: a narrow island, lined with multiple palm trees, with a single thatch hut where a resident park ranger awaits to welcome and inform visitors. It's not so bad once you've arrived,...
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Hummingbird Hwy, Belize
If you rent a car in Belize, make sure to cruise the Hummingbird Highway from Dangriga to Belmopan. Take your time and check out all the amazing locations, such as Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory, St Herman's Cave, Five Blues N.P., and the Blue...
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Chiquibil Forest Reserve, Belize
My favorite ruins in Caracol were not necessarily the most grandiose, but the ones least excavated so it felt like you were discovering it yourself.
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Chiapas, Mexico
Yaxchilan is a Maya archaeological site strategically situated on a protected hill surrounded by a meander in the Usumacinta River. The site is oddly reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and Stairway to Heaven. The grand stairway...
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Museo de Antropología, Lomas de San Roque, Xalapa Enríquez, Ver., Mexico
One of the great mysteries and archaeological wonders of Ancient Mexico is the colossal stone heads carved out of volcanic stone by the Olmec, who ruled the southern Gulf region of Mexico between 1,500-400 BC. The Olmec Civilization was located...
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Campeche, Mexico
Rent a car and get out on the highways and byways of the Yucatan Peninsula to discover the Maya Kingdom that still exists beyond Cancun's resorts and Chichen Itza's overrun ruins. Maya towns with charming colonial centers and empty ruins dot the...
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Hormiguero is the name of this Classic Maya archaeological site in southern Campeche. Hormiguero is a seldom visited and relatively small ancient Maya city located south of the trans peninsular highway that cuts across the southern Yucatan through...