The Mayan legacy increases tourism Reservations grow 8% in the first semester of 2012.
NEW YORK. The number of hotel reservations in the five states the government of Mexico is promoting as part of the “Mundo Maya” grew 8% the first six months of 2012, according to the Ministry of Tourism, as published in the journal “Excelsior.”
“The increase on reservations could be attributed to the promotional campaign we have been doing since last year, which has generated the people´s interest in coming to see what happens in our country,” said the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico, Gloria Guevara.
In an interview after a working trip to New York, she said the government of Mexico promotes the legacy and current vitality of the Mayan culture, and of areas that haven´t been promoted internationally.
“We promote the Mundo Maya, not promoted before. We push Campeche, Yucatan, Tabasco, Quintana Roo cultural zone and, of course, Chiapas. We promote with traditional sun and beach destinations, but also urge nature tourism in the area,” she said.
At Manhattan business center, she joked with the idea that the world will end later this year, according to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar.
The end of the world view has also helped attract visitors to the region.
Although there are not any consolidated figures, “reservations for the second semester seem higher than those we saw in the first six months,” she said.
The top 10 destinations in the 5 states that make “Mundo Maya” and promoted by the Tourism Ministry are:
Chiapas bordering Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean, a world of scenic, cultural and tourist resources merge here naturally. The colonial cities of San Cristobal, Chiapa de Corzo or Comitán rival with the splendor of the Mayan sites of Izapa, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan or Toniná.
1. Toniná is an archeological zone with abundant traces of Mayan culture. Its name means, in Tzeltal language, “the stone house” or “huge stone houses.” It had its glory during the Late Classic (600-900 AD), when most inscriptions and monuments were made in the Ocosingo Valley, a transition zone between the Chiapas jungle and the forest. Toward the end of the Classic, the Acropolis of Toniná was one of the larger structures of antique Mexico.
2. Palenque. The true name of this ancient city is Lakamha’, which means “place of many waters.” Eventually the archeological city takes its name from the nearby community founded in the late sixteenth century, Santo Domingo de Palenque. Palenque means “Stockade” or “Palisade” which refers to a circle of wood protecting a site.
Here the landscape goes from the lush jungle with interior lakes and rivers, to small coastal fishing villages enabling the preservation of many Mayan archeological ruins and colonial cities. Several Mayan archeological sites such as Calakmul, Edzná, Hochob, Becan, and Chicana, and other assets such as an underwater world, where you can visit its natural resources, and go to sunken wrecks near the cost.
3. Edzná. The traveler wanders around the archeological site, south of Campeche, and thinks that some cities are like stationary objects in time, dominated by this the idea, perhaps it will be a good choice to consider rides like this, walks allowing us to live time.
4. Calakmul. It means “Two mounds together.” It is one of the most important cities of the Mayan civilization, both by extension and by population with more than 50 thousand inhabitants. The chronology of the city dates from the Pre-Classic period (300 BC-250 BC), while their peak occurs in the Classic period when the kingdom of Kaan joined other states in a confederation called “Cuchcabal.”
In the Gulf of Mexico, its low-lying and predominantly hot and humid climate, make an eternally green landscape, dotted with rivers, lakes, marshes and beaches.
5. Comalcalco. Its current name derives from the Nahuatls´ surprise, when arriving in the area found it already deserted with structures built of an unknown material, brick; so they opted to give it a descriptive name, the closest thing they knew, the comal, calling it “Comalli-Calli-Co” which means “House of the griddles” .
6. Pomona. It rises over several mounds serving as the separation point to two geographic areas, both governed by the river Usumacinta. This region, called the Usumacinta province, grouped in the Tabasco territory, leads the river through sedentary plains to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mayan cities of Moral Reform, Santa Elena and San Claudio. In the state of Chiapas, in a rugged landscape, through valleys and mountains, many other cities rise, among them Palenque, Bonanpak, Yaxchilan or Piedras Negras.
In the Mayan Riviera or Riviera Maya, several archeological Mayan sites can be visited: Chacchoben, Coba, Dzibanché, King, Ichkabal, Kohunlich, Muyil, Oxtankah, San Gervasio, El Meco, Tulum, Xel-Ha and Xcaret. Themost known form part of the Top 10.
7. Cobá. Its name means “water with moss” or “water humidity.” The archeological site is sixty miles east of Chichen Itza and forty miles northwest of Tulum, it has an area of more than 70 square kilometers and a network of 45 roads (or sacbés) connecting the site sets and other smaller communities, under their domain.
8. Tulum, The archeological site of Tulum is perhaps the best known of the Maya Riviera, in the National Park of the same name, declared as such on April 23rd, 1981. The mangrove eco system is composed mainly of red mangrove. Tulum, in Yucatan, formed when the land emerged from the sea thousands of years ago, also called the Land of the Mayab, an important Mayan archeological site.
9. Uxmal. The name Uxmal means “thrice built” or “three harvests,” and refers to the complexity of this city in the Puuc hills, a group of hills that break the monotony of the Yucatan plains, were the Maya cities settled.
10. Chichenitzá. Chichenitzá was the most important city of the Mayan culture during the Terminal Classic and Early Post Classic periods, between 900 and 1300 .