Mexico - one version

Mexico - one version
Mexico - one version

"Trust me, Mexico is endless! There is so much in it that I'm afraid I won't be able to tell you half of it"…

Mexico - one version

“After all, what makes a good guide? Of the many versions, he chooses one in which he believes. And builds an interesting story around it. And where is the truth, no one knows …”- our guide Armina honestly admits on the way to the Mayan pyramids. Talking about an ancient civilization, she strays into other topics, because: “Trust me, Mexico is endless! There are so many things in it that I'm afraid not to have time to tell you half of it. And we obediently plunge into the atmosphere of this country, without noticing how we are changing. The brain, instead of the usual fuss, is busy with clues to hieroglyphs, the eyes are not surprised by lizards on the ground and pelicans over the sea. And the skin is covered with a tan of that special color that is obtained only here

Remember everything you know about Mexico: sombrero, chili, corn tortillas, tequila. Aztecs, conquistadors and pirates of the Caribbean emerge from novels about Indians. Next - thanks to Hollywood - Frida Kahlo and Salma Hayek. Oh yeah, and the story of the Wild Rose and actress Veronica Castro.

If you, like me, could not remember anything else, then you, like me, will have many discoveries after arriving in this country. Whether you want to relax by the sea, immerse yourself in history, see the nature of the jungle, whether you are fond of speleology, diving - here you will find everything you dreamed of and even more.

Turquoise with cream

One of the best resort places in Mexico is the city of Cancun, standing on the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. The embargo imposed 30 years ago by the United States against Cuba helped him turn from a village into a luxury resort. American tourists, accustomed to relaxing in the Cuban Varadero, have lost their favorite "cottage". And Mexico took advantage of the situation - even though the beaches of Cancun are no worse than those of Cuba. Soon, along the road that runs parallel to the sea, hotel buildings rose up - one more luxurious than the other. Where there used to be jungles, lakes with mangroves and crocodiles living in them, restaurants, shops, discos appeared - 22 km of tourist pleasures. Many hotels stand on a narrow strip of land between the sea and the lagoon, so you can swim all day following the sun.

How is the local beach holiday different from the Egyptian, French or even Maldivian? Firstly, here is a completely different sea. Near the shore it is of such a delicate color, as if cream had been added to the turquoise. Then the turquoise becomes brighter and more saturated, and eventually turns into a bright blue. Since the wall facing the sea is made of glass in almost all hotel rooms, all these colors flood the space around the clock. The sea is very warm - about 27 ° C - and somehow especially gentle, like silk.

Secondly, the sand on the beach is dazzling white and cool even in the heat. And all because this is not the sand we are used to, but crushed shell rock.

Holidays in Cancun means a very high level of service. For example, in five-star hotels, the Personal Butler service is popular here. This means that an employee is assigned to your room who will fulfill your requests: pour a bath, serve dinner in the room, unpack the suitcase, light the aroma lamp, and so on.

Compared to European hotels, the number of services in the All Inclusive package is much larger. Rooms at the sophisticated Hotel Le Blanc feature whirlpool tubs overlooking the sea, while the minibar includes unlimited whiskey, gin and tequila. Even beach towels often do not need to be taken: neatly folded, they lie right on the sunbeds.

Why is the snake glowing?

But if you are in Mexico, then a beach holiday cannot be the only purpose of travel. Because only here you can literally touch one of the most captivating mysteries of history - the Mayan civilization.

The countdown of the existence of civilization is from 2500 BC. e. and until 1521. But the Spaniards, who landed on the continent in the 16th century, did not meet the Mayans at all, but the bloodthirsty Aztec tribes. Why? Yes, because just 200 years before that, the Aztecs founded a settlement on the site of present-day Mexico City. And soon they conquered almost all the original territories of the Maya. That is why the cruel Aztecs appear in the literature on the wars of the conquistadors.

And the Mayan civilization by the time the Spaniards appeared, in a strange way, almost disappeared - and all those grandiose pyramids and cities that amaze the imagination today were “eaten up” by the jungle. It was as if knowledge about time and space, about celestial bodies, about the structure of the human body had evaporated, all culture, including writing, had sunk into oblivion. In an incomprehensible way, the carriers of knowledge disappeared - as we would say today - the Mayan intelligentsia.

There were people left who did not know writing and could only work on the ground. Their descendants still live here. They speak their own language, but write words in Latin, live in primitive houses without amenities, cook on fire, sleep in hammocks.

What happened to a great civilization, why did it die? No one knows the exact answer, and this is where the versions begin: maybe third-party people were originally the carriers of knowledge? Then where did they come from - from another planet? The version of the alien landing is considered by some scientists quite seriously. The arguments are, for example, found skillful crafts that could not have been made with the tools that existed then, and even those that exist today.

There are many mysteries: why did the Mayans, who did not have a wheel, lay absolutely straight roads between cities in the jungle? How could they keep them straight for 200-300 km? How did the Maya map the sky so detailed and accurate that some of the stars are only being discovered today? And with what tools did they do it? Why have only three documents come down to us from all writing? How did the Maya create the world's most accurate calendar? With the help of what did the Mayans perform the finest surgical operations, including those on the brain? (Some of the skulls found showed signs of trepanation.) And, finally, who was the tall, fair-skinned man with a white beard who, according to the local legend, sailed in a boat without oars, taught many sciences, and then sailed away?

Excursion to one of the most famous Mayan cities Chichen Itza - an opportunity to see evidence of these miracles with your own eyes. The most famous building here is, of course, the Castillo de Kukulkan temple. It is also sometimes called a frozen calendar - each of the elements corresponds to the numbers of the calendar. For example, the number of all steps is equal to the number of days in a year, the number of squares on the planes is equal to the number of months, etc. Twice a year, on March 20 and September 22, thousands of people come here to see how a ray of sun enters the window at the top of the pyramid, and then illuminates a strip of stairs and falls on a huge snake head at the foot. And for 20 minutes, a luminous figure of a snake is visible, which, as it were, descends the stairs from the very top of the pyramid to the ground. This serpent Kukulkan is a deity whose image can be found absolutely everywhere.

Not far from Chichen Itza is another ancient city - Tulum. Surrounded by a stone wall, it seems to hang over the seashore, and the largest temple is built on a cliff. It turns out that the place for the construction was not chosen by chance: it is opposite the temple that there is the only place where you can go through the coral reef, which means that ships can get close to the shore. Thus, this temple was at the same time a lighthouse. And the extension to it is not something, but a maternity hospital! Both the birth of a child and death were perceived by the Maya as parts of a whole. The Maya generally believe in reincarnation, so one of the most fun holidays in Mexico is the Day of the Dead, and one of the favorite characters is a skeleton named Katarina dressed up in frivolous dresses and hats.

Journey into the earth

Slight insanity awaits on the Yucatan Peninsula for those who are fond of geology and the history of the Earth. Because this is where the story becomes absolutely tangible.

About 62 million years ago, a giant, about 170 km in diameter, meteorite fell on the site of the current Yucatan, which was then the seabed. The impact force was equal to the explosion of hundreds of atomic bombs - hurricanes arose, clouds rose in the air over the entire Earth. The sun was not visible for so long that most of the plants died, followed by the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Since the earth's firmament literally fell down, now a layer of calcareous rock begins here under a thin layer of red soil, which goes many hundreds of meters deep. And below, under all roads, cities, jungles, rivers with fresh water flow. Seeping through the porous limestone, rainwater pours into this vast system of rivers and lakes. And all the trees in the jungle, so small at the top, have very long roots that break through the rock to reach the cherished water. You can see all this in cenotes - places of limestone collapse, which are everywhere on the peninsula. It looks almost unreal: a “hole” in the ground, a lake below, and roots stretching towards it like tentacles.

More geological discoveries are waiting in the karst caves, which are also in abundance here. For the most part, these caves are "wild", it is easy to get lost in them, because most of them are connected to each other using underground rivers.

Every year, dozens of divers travel along these rivers, reaching the very sea - a very dangerous route. However, for those who do not want to take risks, there are options. For example, the karst caves of Rio Secreto have recently opened for tourists, where an experienced guide-instructor accompanies them all the way.

Inside the cave, huge stalactites and stalagmites cut through the space, and water droplets glitter on them like small rhinestones. The stalactite grows very slowly - 1 cm in 100 years, so looking at the three-five-meter columns, you can calculate how many thousands and even millions of years nature has been working here. In natural huge halls and small grottoes, you can see corals frozen in stone, a sandy seabed and the roots of fallen trees.

Life is everywhere

In addition to ancient monuments, the sea and mysterious caves in Cancun and throughout the Riviera Maya (this is a 100-kilometer coastal strip from Cancun to Tulum) there are many entertainments. For example, the most famous discotheque CocoBongo with its bright show. Performances by Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury look-alikes give way to a bartending show, acrobats appear from the ceiling… And if you take a boat and sail to the Isle of Women, you can swim with dolphins: here you can pet them, hug them and ride holding on to their fins.

One of the evenings you need to get to the charming town of Playadel Carmen, between Cancun and Tulum. On the street called Fifth Avenue - hundreds of shops, cafes and small hotels. Here they buy blouses made of the finest cotton with embroidery, colorful bedspreads, silver jewelry or hammocks, the most popular furniture in this part of the world.

Love virus

There is no influenza epidemic in this part of Mexico and never has been. Neither in Cancun, nor on the islands, not a single case was recorded. However, the panic did its job, and for a long two months the resorts of Yucatan were empty. Now, having made sure that there is no danger, American tourists have returned here, the speech of the British, French, Germans, etc. is heard.

But one disease you will bring from here is absolutely certain. Having been here, you will remember Mexico, sigh about it, dream - and one day you will come again.

However, I'm beginning to understand our guide: there is so much to tell, but I didn't have time to do anything. Not about the sacred baths of temazcal, not about how to choose tequila, not about the fact that not only drinks are made from cacti, but also ropes, not about sweets with pepper. So, you have learned only one of the many versions.

Where to stay:

• Hotel Le Blanc - Gourmet Spa Hotel, Adults Only:

• Hotel Fairmont Mayakoba - two-storey waterfront bungalows:

• Hotel Maroma - a small hotel with exceptional service for an intimate getaway, a favorite haunt of Hollywood stars:

• Hotel The Ritz Carlton is traditionally luxurious, like all hotels of the chain. Here you can take a cooking class and learn how to cook Mexican dishes:

• Hotel Paradisus Riviera Cancun is a family-friendly hotel. All inclusive system, huge territory, kids club. There is a "Royal" service that gives various privileges:

Thanks for the ride:

• Embassy of Mexico

• Caribbean Club Travel Company:

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