Maya religious centers are one of Mexico’s cultural treasures, the vestige of a great civilization that prospered for 2,000 years (peaking from 600-800 CE) in Mesoamerica and created some of the most impressive art and architecture in the New World. This Approach Guide serves as an ideal resource for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of this Maya cultural legacy through a comprehensive exploration of five ancient cities.
What’s in this guidebook
- Background. We start off by providing some critical background information — focusing on cosmology and the role of the dynastic ruler — that makes sense of the forms and symbols of the unique Maya aesthetic.
- Tours that go deeper on the most important sites. Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for culture-focused travelers, we then turn our attention to Mexico’s premier Maya cities: Bonampak, Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tulum and Yaxchilan. For each city, we start by introducing the distinctive features of its art and architecture, isolating key features and concepts that you will see again and again as you make your way through the site. The tours walk you through the highlights, aided by high-resolution images and a discussion that ties it all together.
- Tours of Maya-connected civilizations. Finally, to put these Maya sites into context, this guide profiles the capital cities of three Mexican civilizations that were closely connected to the Maya over its long history: La Venta (Olmec civilization), Teotihuacan (Teotihuacan civilization) and Tula (Toltec civilization). Detailed tours of these locations reveal the back-and-forth exchange between the Maya and its neighbors to the north.
- Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan your visit, this guidebook offers logistical advice and provides links to online resources. Plus, we provide our personal tips for getting the most from your experience while on location.
- Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; and images are mocked up with text that explains important features.