Wouaaah ... Chichen Itza! Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.
@ Corinne Bourbeillon / Little Bubbles Elsewhere

The girl who wanted to see the Mayan pyramids

#Mexico

  Mexico: Yucatán - July 2014

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

The old stones of Mexico are worth seeing. And Indiana Jones can (still) go get dressed. To me, the mysterious Mayan pyramids!

It's not just diving in life ... ???? When my stay in Mexico in July 2014, I could not pretend to ignore the pyramids of the ancient Mayans, all close. Here are four archeological sites that I took the time to explore between two dives, and which I warmly recommend the visit, if you travel in the Yucatan peninsula:

Cozumel: iguanas and old stones

July 2014. Overwhelming heat. In this season, in the Caribbean Sea, the Mexican sun is beating. In front of me, the remains of a small pyramid of gray stones in the middle of a clearing, surrounded by vegetation.

A beautiful iguana is watching me out of the corner of my eye. I approach slowly to draw him the portrait.

An iguana watches over the ruins of the pyramid of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
An iguana watches over the ruins of the pyramid of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.

We are in San Gervasio, Maya archaeological site, created around -100 BC. JC and occupied until the sixteenth century. Surrounded by a small jungle, it is in the center of the nice island of Cozumel, located off Playa del Carmen and Cancún.

There are old stones, trees hugging the old stones and some dripping tourists, more fascinated by the iguanas stuck in the bushes than by the old stones, in truth. Yet this small site dedicated to the Mayan goddess Ixchel - goddess of fertility, the moon, medicine, weaving - is not lacking in charms. An ancient paved road, a graceful arch still standing, several temples and buildings in fairly good condition. The place is peaceful, far from everything.

To find out more: Wikipedia on San Gervasio (in English)

I rented a scooter for the day, just to explore Cozumel quietly. San Gervasio is my first Mexican "cultural" excursion, my first Mayan pyramid!

Intense heat on the small pyramid of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
Intense heat on the small pyramid of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
A guide tells a group of tourists the story of the ark and the old Mayan road of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
A guide tells a group of tourists the story of the ark and the old Mayan road of San Gervasio. Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.

Tulum: facing the sea

A few days later, I leave Cozumel, where I spent most of the week exploring the beautiful coral reef of the island. I now head for the beaches of Tulum and its archaeological site (created in the sixth century, occupied until the sixteenth), a few kilometers south of Playa del Carmen.

Tulum is a Mayan archeological site overlooking the beach and the turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
Tulum is a Mayan archeological site overlooking the beach and the turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.

I took the ferry at dawn in Cozumel, then boarded a bus that drops me off at the guesthouse i-Tourat the crossroads of two major roads in Tulum. I took the economic option for the only night I plan to spend here. The accommodations on the beach are crowded and overpriced, flanked for the most bars with sonos for "beach parties" night ...

To just sleep and wander during the day, i-Tour proves to be a good option. Adorable welcome (in French!), Loan of bicycles, impeccable air-conditioned rooms, comfortable and thematic (from Frida Kahlo to Hugo Sanchez), several nice restaurants around. They are also tourist center: all minibus excursions stop at home in the morning for breakfast and at that time, there is a crowd in the small courtyard, funny as anything (wink to Marie-Julie from the Taxi-Brousse blogwho stopped there).

i-Tour Mexico, Tulum. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
i-Tour Mexico, Tulum. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.

I leave my bag and quickly bike to the Tulum site in the middle of the morning. It's already a little too late: the clusters of tourists from Cancún and Playa del Carmen are starting to flow.

Here too, the sun is beating. Tulum was a port-fortress and one can discover many well-preserved buildings on a cliff overlooking the beautiful turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea. The light is intense, the place very beautiful.

To find out more: Wikipedia on Tulum

But the crowd of visitors, always denser, spoils a little contemplation. I finally run away and pedal to a stretch of beach to complete this day of tourists on the Riviera Maya.

At the foot of the cliffs of Tulum, a protected beach, where turtles come to lay. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
At the foot of the cliffs of Tulum, a protected beach, where turtles come to lay. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
The Mayan site of Tulum is very busy. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
The Mayan site of Tulum is very busy. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
Tulum is one of the only archaeological sites that offers direct access to the beach. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.
Tulum is one of the only archaeological sites that offers direct access to the beach. Quintana Roo, Mexico, July 2014.

Chichen Itza: spectacular!

The next day, I take a bus to Valladolid, old colonial town a little more inside, where I intend to stay a few days to explore the surroundings and visit several other famous sites, including the very famous Chichen Itza.

Wouaaah ... Chichen Itza! Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.
Wouaaah ... Chichen Itza! Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.

Valladolid is charming and enchants me on arrival. Less and less far from the coast than Mérida, it is the ideal base to shine in the region. One morning, very early, I embark in a collectivo (taxi collective), holding absolutely this time to arrive first at Chichen Itza.

It is the most famous, the most visited, the most beautiful, Unesco classified site, and everything! ! ! ????

To find out more: Wikipedia on Chichén Itzá

The girl who wanted to see the Mayan pyramids saw them ... Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico, July 2014.
The girl who wanted to see the Mayan pyramids saw them! Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.

I'm so excited when I'm here that I succumb to Instagram selfie pure tourist. Well yes, it's not every day you can make a selfie in front of a Mayan pyramid... 😀

I arrive so early that the wickets are not open yet. I am really the first visitor of the day to pass the entrance of the site. It makes the staff laugh at the checkouts, which takes advantage of the calm before the tourist influx of the day.

I had read mixed reviews about Chichen Itza. For my part, it's the opposite, I'll be delighted with my visit.

I attack by the big pyramid. The light is beautiful and soft, again, at this time of the day. Some idiots like me are already on the heels of the vast grassy esplanade. Street vendors begin to arrive. For them, it's the race. They rush with their carrioles in the aisles, to quickly have their stalls of trinkets. They throw me astonished looks.

Chichen Itza is definitely worth a visit. The huge pelota court, the still intact sculptures and the vertiginous central pyramid are the show's nails. When I leave, late in the morning, I can hardly go up the flood of the crowd in the opposite direction!

The great pyramid of Chichen Itza, just for me! Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The great pyramid of Chichen Itza, just for me! Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The great pyramid of Chichen Itza, before the arrival of the crowd. Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.
The Great Pyramid of Chichen Itza (called "Castillo" by the Spanish Conquistadores) before the arrival of the crowd. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The arrival of street vendors in Chichen Itza. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The arrival of street vendors in Chichen Itza. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The huge playground of pelota. Large snakes guard the most imposing buildings. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The huge ball playground. Large snakes guard the most imposing buildings. They represent the god Kukulcan, the feathered serpent. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The Great Pyramid of Chichen Itza. Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.
The Great Pyramid of Chichen Itza. Mexico, Yucatán, July 2014.
At the foot of one of the stairs of the great pyramid. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
At the foot of one of the stairs of the great pyramid. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
One of the strange faces that adorn the building called "La Iglesia". Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
One of the strange faces that adorn the building called "La Iglesia". Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
An army of skulls of warriors. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
An army of skulls of warriors. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
Skulls sold to tourists. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
Skulls sold to tourists. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
I leave the site when the crowd begins to arrive. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
I leave the site when the crowd begins to arrive. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.

Cobá: mysteries in the jungle

And then, there is the nice site of Cobá, scattered in the jungle. It is also easily accessible from Valladolid. We rent a bike, or a cyclo for two, at the entrance. It's a pleasure to pedal under the trees and to stop from one vestige to another.

The great Mayan pyramid of Cobá is one of the few where it is still allowed to climb. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The great Mayan pyramid of Cobá. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.

I attack by the big pyramid. One of the few where it is still allowed to climb. It is dizzying, the steps are a little collapsed and you have to cling to a big rope to go up as down. But it's worth it. The jungle stretches endlessly, below, like a sea of greenery.

To find out more: Wikipedia on Coba

Again, I managed to arrive early enough, to feel almost the soul of an explorer. But it does not last very long ... I will console myself with the small pyramids still buried in the vegetation, where does not stop the crowd.

The huge site of Cobá can be visited by bike. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
The huge site of Cobá can be visited by bike. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
Smaller pyramids are still buried in the vegetation. Cobá, Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
Smaller pyramids are still buried in the vegetation. Cobá, Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
From the top of the pyramid of Cobá, we see over the jungle and we guess the sea, on the horizon. Smaller pyramids are still buried in the vegetation. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.
From the top of the pyramid of Cobá, we see over the jungle and we guess the sea, on the horizon. There are many other buildings, more or less well preserved, scattered in the vegetation. Yucatán, Mexico, July 2014.

I publish this post more than a year after my July 2014 trip to Mexico!

If I have already spread a lot about spectacular dives that I was able to do in the waters of the Yucatán peninsula, but I still have some "terrestrial" memories to revive. Other Mexican articles should appear unexpectedly, as the next publications ...

To find all the articles already published on this trip to Mexico in 2014, click on the link below ... ????

  Mexico: Yucatán - July 2014

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