Pyramids and Flamingos

Merida Travel Blog

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This morning we will visit the site at Uxmal. Encircled by hills, Uxmal is expansive in its design with majestic palaces and temple pyramids. Long geometrical friezes rank among the most splendid examples of ancient American Art.

Uxmal means "'built three times" in the Mayan language, and though its name is a mystery, its beauty is not. As a World Heritage site, it is one of the best-restored and maintained archaeological sites in the Yucatán, and certainly one of the most magnificent. Its architecture, some of the most majestic of the Yucatán archaeological sites, is characterized by low horizontal palaces set around courtyards, decorated with rich sculptural elements and details.

Uxmal was the greatest metropolitan and religious center in the Puuc hills in the late classical period.

It thrived between the 7th and 10th centuries AD and its numerous architectural styles reflect a number of building phases.

Recent studies have suggested that Uxmal was the capital of a regional state that developed in the Puuc region between 850 to 950 AD. Other evidence suggests that Uxmal collaborated politically and economically with Chichen Itza.

The most impressive structure and the tallest at 100 feet is the House of the Magician just beyond the entrance. According to ancient legend, this pyramid was built by Itzamna in one night. It actually appears to have been built in five phases, and it was situated so that its western stairway faces the setting sun at summer solstice.

The incredible Pyramid of the Magician and the beautiful Governor’s Palace are two of the finest examples of Mayan art anywhere.

This afternoon we choose to visit Celestun, the pink flamingo sanctuary. On July 19th, 1979, the Federal Government decreed the Celestun Wildlife Refuge. Because of its importance as the main feeding area for the American Flamingo and countless species of waterfowl and shorebirds its status was upgraded to that of a Special Biosphere Reserve in 1989. The Special Biosphere Reserves are representative zones of one or more ecosystems that haven't been altered by man. These areas are the habitat to endemic, and or species threatened with extinction.We take a boat trip around the lagoon to spot the birdlife. I have never seen such pink flamingoes anywhere else on my travels.

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photo by: Cho