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North America » Mexico » Yucatán » Uxmal
February 9th 2011
Published: February 9th 2011
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A resident iguanaA resident iguanaA resident iguana

You don't mess with them....
Monday

We had only planned a visit to Uxmal today, but ended up doing much more, mostly by choice.

We got to Uxmal before the crowds (which really weren’t that big) and toured this magnificent site for few hours. We left around noon and decided we had time and energy to visit the Loltun cave further south of Santa Elena. Since we were passing the ruins at Kahbah, we decided to stop there en route.

Kahbah is small, but has really beautiful details and a striking arch. ( I’ll add more info with the photos). The cave was amazing in its size…we only could visit a small part of it. It holds signs of human habitation since prehistory (9000 BC). Our guide had played in the cave as a child, before the State took it over. The drive to the caves and onward was through farmland, scented with citrus blossoms (and occasionally road kill skunk).

After Loltun, we headed back to Santa Elena to rest and eat before returning to Uxmal for the sound and light show. We decided to go back through the town of Ticul (often confused with Tikal in Guatemala by misinformed tourists). There are no signs for Santa Elena (only 14 kilometers away) anywhere in town…even the police officer we asked gave us the wrong turn. After several wrong tries, we finally found the road and got home! In talking to the staff, we were told that everyone gets lost there, and there are residents of Ticul who don't know that Santa Elena exists...

The sound and light show was fun, but overdramatic….no surprise.


Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


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Bill dwarfed by the structures in the "Nunnery"Bill dwarfed by the structures in the "Nunnery"
Bill dwarfed by the structures in the "Nunnery"

Silly Spanish name...never were any Mayan nuns...
Looking at the Great Pyramid, UxmalLooking at the Great Pyramid, Uxmal
Looking at the Great Pyramid, Uxmal

From the "Governor's Palace"...another Spanish name.
DetailDetail
Detail

Uxmal was built in the later period, and has incredibly complex designs everywhere.
Iguana high up holeIguana high up hole
Iguana high up hole

He was keeping a close eye on us...
Iguana in holeIguana in hole
Iguana in hole

He didn't like us looking at him....
KahbahKahbah
Kahbah

The spectacular wall of carvings....it is thought that these all held incense...so the structure would have glowed at night...
Sorting stonesSorting stones
Sorting stones

a glimpse of the work it takes to reconstruct a building. The stones have to be sorted and then the motifs connected and the stones put back into place...
Prehistoric handprintsPrehistoric handprints
Prehistoric handprints

Similar to those in caves in Europe
Exit from the caveExit from the cave
Exit from the cave

This looked a lot like the cave that Pedro showed us...to the right there is a tunnel that goes for at least another kilometer...and is full of artifacts.


23rd February 2011

That is really amazing. We are definitely going there if/when we go back.

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