The lakeside capital of the Purépecha and its vast independent empire had a population of 30,000 at the time of the Spaniards’ arrival. Founded eight centuries ago, it was the seat of the Uacúsecha dynasty. The impressive remains include the Great Platform with its semi-circular “yacata” pyramids, one of the most voluminous structures in all Mesoamerica.
Uxmal is a magnificent and monumental city, one that astonishes visitors with its Pyramid of the Magician, the Nunnery Quadrangle and the House of the Doves. This is the most representative Puuc-style site with its decorated facades with masks of the god Chaac, fret patterns, hieroglyphic panels and tall roof combs.
On the banks of a river, convenient for trade, remarkable urban planning and the Fretwork Temple, whose facade decorations depict the serpent of fire. The Mexica held sway over the site, who took advantage of the communications network to exact their tribute.
One of the first Mayan settlements seen by the Spanish conquistadors in 1518, opposite to the island of Cozumel. Its Maya name means “water from the north.” There are eight groups of small buildings lined up between the beach and the jungle; there are fragments of paint and one of the last Mayan dates recorded.
An outstanding 1,000-year-old Puuc site that was capital of many surrounding settlements. It only has a few temples and palace structures, and no ball court, but Xcalumkin has an impressive number of hieroglyphic inscriptions about its rulers and other lower-ranked figures.
The inhabitants of Xcambó settled in a petén, the largest in the region, with numerous useful features: soil, drinking water and materials for their buildings. The site was erected as a commercial port during the Early Classic period (c. 350-550 AD).
Pre-Hispanic port of departure to Cozumel for numerous pilgrims headed for the sanctuary of the goddess Ixchel, as well as a very important Maya trading city whose inhabitants navigated the Caribbean coast as far as Honduras. Its monuments are in the unique coastal style with large platforms and rounded corners.
Crucial maritime port for the Maya Caribbean, possibly serving the great kingdom of Coba 1400 years ago. Impressive structures remain, such as the Building of the Birds, with its outstanding mural paintings. This and other vestiges reveal the influence of Teotihuacan.
Ancient settlement of hunter/gatherers and farmers, founded twenty centuries ago, influenced by Teotihuacan. It became a distribution center for the Acolhua, situated between the Altiplano (high plateau) and the Gulf Coast. There are notable cave paintings at Tres Peñas and El Tecolote.
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