Mayan Museum open in Cancun


On November 1, 2012, Cancun opened a new Maya Museum in the hotel zone, located at KM 16 Blvd Kukulkan. Investments of $15 million was used to launch the project; about 70% of which was obtained from the federal government through the National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The Maya Museum exhibits over 350 archaeological artifacts including relics that have never been shown as well as others that were discovered in recent excavations. The museum has three exhibition halls; two are permanent and one is for temporary venue for national and international exhibitions. One exhibit in particular is quite remarkable: a 14,000-year-old skeletal Mayan remains discovered in the underwater caves at Tulum.

Maya Museum hours are on Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 7 PM, with extended hours on Thursday (7 AM to 10 PM). Tickets cost $5 USD per person for access to both the Maya Museum and Mayan ruins of San Miguelito, next to the museum. Kids under 13 and adults over 60 years old get free admission. On Sunday, admission is free to local residents with official identification.

Photos courtesy of J. Michel Photography

Chichen Itza Light & Sound show renovations

The Light & Sound show at Chichen Itza ruins closed down back in August of 2012 for renovations. Their expected down-time was 6 months. It is a shame that the show was closed during the winter solstice when Chichen Itza saw record numbers of visitors.

In my opinion this was a long-overdue renovation. For many years the light & sound show was sub-par by most people’s standards. It was not a laser light show, instead they just lit up the main pyramid with different colored lights. The “sound” portion of the show was a looped recording in Spanish. There were translator headsets available for rent for 25 pesos each, however they were first-come-first-serve and were not guaranteed to work. Seating was very limited with most people having to sit on the ground. Many visitors to the light & sound show were disappointed over the last several years.

There is still no reopen date for the Light & Sound show, but when it does open we will go check it out for you. I will post photos and video of the new show. I hope to be amazed. It would be wonderful to recommend this tour to people traveling to Cancun or the Riviera Maya.

Road Trip to Mayan Ruins – Part 2 Chichen Itza

Chichen Iza

We left Ek Balam and headed back to the toll road, Hwy 180, and headed west toward Merida. There will be another toll plaza, where the right lane exits to Chichen Itza and pay $59 pesos. You have 10-15 minutes to go and just follow the signs. We encountered some road work in the town and it was hard to see the sign. But you make a left where you must go left or right. This trip is roughly 50 km / 35 mi. and just under an hour. Parking was $22 pesos.

Chichen Itza Ruins

Chichen Itza Ruins

Entrance tickets to Chichen Itza were $177 for Foreigners, $125 for Nationals and Students with an FM2 or FM3, and $38 if you have the INAPAM (basically a Mexican AARP card). Students must have serious proof to get the lower rate, being Estudiante on your FM2 or 3, or a valid student ID from your school. Sundays are free for Nationals, Students and those with INAPAM cards. This is quite a commercial place as you will see. Guides are available and the prices are posted. $60 US but you can share that with a small group. We were approached by a man, 84 years old, who was not an official guide and offered to guide us for $400 pesos, came down to $300 and, after we visited the restrooms, came at us again for $200. We later saw him with a group of four people so free enterprise seemed alive and well.

Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and is most depicted in photos of the majestic El Castillo (The Castle), and is 25 meters/82 feet high. It is straight ahead as you enter the park and you are drawn to it. It is a captivating experience and we could not get enough pictures of this marvelous site. You can no longer climb El Castillo. If you stand in front of the pyramids as you travel around Mexico, you will often see guides and visitors clapping in unison. The acoustics reflect the sounds back [Read more…]

Road Trip to Mayan Ruins – Part 1

Recently I went on a Road Trip with three friends. We visited ten of the Yucatan’s most special locations.

In order, we visited the archaeological zones of Ek Balam, Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak, aka Xlapac, Labna, Izamal and Coba. We also visited the famous caverns of Grutas de Loltun (31 km after Labna).

Join us on our journey . . .

. . .  We began early on a Friday. Hopping on the toll road it was an easy 1:45, 150 km / 95 miles to the Tizimin exit. This is immediately before the loop exit to Valladolid. There is a toll of $241 pesos a bit before the exit.

Mayan Ruins at Ek Balam

Mayan Ruins at Ek Balam

Heading north, you take a right after about ten minutes.

This road is a slow drive with lots of [Read more…]