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Your favorite Mayan sites?

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Mar 10th, 2017, 12:34 PM
  #1
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Your favorite Mayan sites?

'My cousin and I will be spending two weeks in Yucatán in November. I am an "elderly" woman (I hate that word, but I am 81 years old, so there's no getting around it) so I won't be climbing any pyramids. I'll bring my walking stick but will probably also be holding on to my cousin's arm if there are a lot of roots in my path, as at Tulum.

Last year I went to Chichen Itza, Mérida, Valladolid, Uxmal, Tulum, and a cenote somewhere or other.

I'm wondering if you can recommend any favorite Mayan sites.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 12:43 PM
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While at Uxmal, did you see the Puuc Route cities? They are small and easily visited in a day with a driver.

And I assume you saw Ek Balam near Valladolid.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 01:09 PM
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We liked Ek Balam best, but the terrain is rather rough and overgrown, and the jaguar sculpture of primary interest is half-way up the climbable pyramid, so maybe not the best choice for you. (from one who is coming to terms with her own frailties of aging).
However, Coba has bici-taxis that can drive you around the site comfortably. The drivers are pretty good tour guides too. You do have to walk in a couple of hundred feet to where they park, though, and the first few have loose rocks and roots iirc, but doable. Maybe your cousin could go in first and summon a bici-taxi to come closer to the entrance. It's a less restored site and very interesting IMO. There is a very rough pyramid to climb, with a rope to aid climbers, the second tallest pyramid in the Yucatan. Lots of photo ops of trees growing out of the rocks of the buildings. There are 3 cenotes nearby and alligators in the lake across the street. Quite a few shaded food stands/restaurants, with good food, bordering the parking lot.
There is also a smaller ruin in Muyil, just south of Tulum, off route 307, and you could also go on a boat ride there in the Sian Ka'an biosphere. You might even enjoy floating down a Maya built canal there (or you can stay in the boat).

Happy travels.
Adventure before dementia!
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Mar 10th, 2017, 01:12 PM
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I haven't been to Mayapan, but friends highly recommend it. I'm thinking we'll go next time we're in Merida.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 01:17 PM
  #5
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No, I didn't see Ek Ballam, but I was planning on seeing it.
Good idea for a driver to the Puuc Route sites. I'll do that.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 02:08 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the great suggestions.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 02:59 PM
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2 of my favorites are Ek Balam and Cobá.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 05:22 PM
  #8
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I don't have a "favorite" -- I selected the dozen or so sites I visited specifically for their differences, and enjoyed each for what it was.

That said, I second a visit to the Rutu Puuc and would add Palenque into the mix.

Much as I enjoyed Ek' Balam, it's greatest treasure, IMO, is its frieze, which can only be seen by climbing one of the steepest sets of stairs I've ever seen! I'm not sure I would make it a priority....

FWIW, I strongly recommend the Moon Guide to the area.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 06:07 PM
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Yes, you'd need binoculars for the frieze if you didn't climb the face. That said, it's still one of the coolest settings and you don't see the crowds there which makes it more magical imo.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 06:09 PM
  #10
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@ hopefulist: Could you see the frieze with binoculars? When I was there, the overhanging thatch prevented that....
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Mar 10th, 2017, 06:16 PM
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I was about to agree with hopefulist about binoculars but then saw kja's post. I honestly can't remember. But bring them anyway. As far as I know, those friezes are unique in Mexico.
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Mar 10th, 2017, 06:40 PM
  #12
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There is also a magnificent frieze at Balamku. I'm not sure what the experts point to as the key distinguishing features; I could tell that they were different, though, and can understand if each is considered "unique." Balamku is much harder to reach than Ek' Balam. And honestly, even if not totally "unique," I'm very very glad to have seen both!
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Mar 11th, 2017, 05:45 AM
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Yes, Coba seems to be the logical site for you at this point, especially with the bicycle taxis that will take you where you need to be...
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Mar 11th, 2017, 06:39 AM
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kja -- was not aware of Balamku. Something for next time! Thanks.
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Mar 11th, 2017, 11:05 AM
  #15
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@ Fra_Diavolo: I hope you get to see it! It's near Calakmul.
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Mar 11th, 2017, 12:46 PM
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I have to agree about Coba and Ek Balam being my two favorite sites and the tricycleros (guys who drive the trike taxis at Coba) are quite helpful although for many English is their third language (after Mayan and Spanish).
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Mar 13th, 2017, 03:50 AM
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We loved Labna - are they part of the Puuc road sites ?We saw 3 sites in a row on the same road, absolutely great, and not 4 tourists on each.

And flat. mostly.

Peg my great aunt broke an ankle at 85 on a pyramid somewhere there... I heard she did it whilst descending a helicopter but it may be exxagerated.

A great way to break an angle, we were all ... jealous actually !
I broke my own ankle simply by twisting my foot whilst leaving a friends house. No style.
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Mar 13th, 2017, 05:23 AM
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>>>We loved Labna - are they part of the Puuc road sites? We saw 3 sites in a row on the same road, absolutely great, and not 4 tourists on each.<<<

Yep, that's the place!
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Mar 13th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Coba would be perfect with the bicycle guys. We did it when I was quite pregnant and my kids were little and we all loved it. It's also quite shady which makes it not so hot as some of the others and it's something to see. We really enjoyed it. We did not take a tour. We took a bus from Tulum pueblo there and a taxi back so we could do it on our own time (much cheaper than a tour as well).

Good luck and enjoy
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Mar 13th, 2017, 03:55 PM
  #20
kja
 
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You can visit most of the Ruta Puuc sites without running into many other people. Of course, Uxmal gets MANY visitors (but it's big and can handle them) and you'll often find buses of tourists at the Codz Poop in Kabah, although they rarely visit the rest of Kabah. (And the Codz Poop is, IMO, well worth seeing.)
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