The Mexican Caribbean has more to offer than some of the best beach destinations in the entire world.
The region has been inundated with visitors this year, with huge portions of tourists taking a keen interest in the archeological and historical offerings of the stunning location.
Chichén Itzá has been the number one hotspot for tourists to explore: a ruined ancient Maya city dating back some 1,500 years ago, located in south central Yucatán state.
Now, an area that has been closed to the public for decades known as Chichén Viejo, has officially opened its doors once more after being inaugurated by Andrés Manuel López Obrador this Saturday.
President of the Republic, Obrador’s visit was part of his supervision route of the long-awaited Mayan Train — a state-of-the-art transport system that connects tourists and locals along the many incredible historical and environmental destinations in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Over the last thirty years, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has worked tirelessly on the Mayan residential area in Chichén Viejo, naming it the Initial Series, known to have been where the elite of Chichén Itzá lived.
Though less in size and grandeur when compared to the Temple of Kukulcan Pyramid, Chichén Viejo tells the story of its history and style of the period from another perspective.
More than 25 structures are on display, such as El Castillo de los Faros and the Casa de los Caracoles, which comprise the main building, as well as residential, administrative, and religious areas, with plazas that were likely used for rituals by its inhabitants.
There is a tomb with the remains of five cremated human bodies that date back to the ancient period which can be viewed by tourists.
These bodies are presumed to be linked to the founder of the Cupul family, one of the noble families of Chichén Itzá, and were buried together in a collective tomb, with the chamber comprising of the remains of skulls, jaws and bones, located in the North Plaza.
Other areas listed are The House of the Snails and The House of the Monkeys, which has hieroglyphic writing inscribed into its structures, with one tomb holding the inscribed date of July 30, 878 A.D, highlighting just how ancient this site truly is.
Local authorities are keen to respond to the surge in popularity that it seems to be experiencing in the tourism sector this year, with the expansion of historical sites and the opening of a new train system being only two small examples of just how much is being done.
There seems to be a growing demand and interest in the historical offerings of the Mexican Caribbean, so it was a natural next step that Chichen Viejo be reopened after a nearly thirty-year hiatus.
Within Chichén Itzá itself, a site museum is also being constructed as part of the Archeological Improvement Program, aiming to enrich the experience of all visitors keen to learn a more in-depth account of what life was truly like during the ancient Mayan period.
Tourists can also see the incredible Autumn Equinox between September 22nd and 23rd, another feat of the Mayan’s incredible ingenuity with astronomy, where the image of a snake can be seen descending the steps of the famous pyramid from the shadow of the sunset.
The current fee for the area is 85 pesos (about $5), set by the INAH, as well as additional charges which are dependent on whether you are a local, national, or foreign visitor.
It has been reported, however, that a single fee will be introduced for the area and will include Chichén Viejo as part of its ticket price.
The expansion of this famous archaeological site is now set to paint an even broader and more in-depth look at the ancient Maya period, with Chichén Itzá representing the deities and their relationship to astronomy and Chichén Viejo representing the houses and buildings of daily life among one of the most fascinating and important civilizations in the history of the world.
So why not be one of the first visitors in decades to see the incredible archeological site that will undoubtedly transport you back in time and take your breath away?
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