CNN has recently drawn attention to the ‘Year of the Maya,’ which is a term the Global Heritage Fund has given to 2012,a year that holds special significance in the ancient Maya long count calendar.
The Maya were an ancient civilization that reached its height in Mexico real estate and other parts of Central America between 2000 BCE and the time of the Spanish conquest in the 1500s. According to the calendar,on December 12,2012 the sun will align with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in nearly 26,000 years. The end of the 13th Maya calendar follows this event on December 21,2012,which marks the end of a 144,000-day cycle that began on the Maya day of creation around 5,200 years ago.
In Mexico,the UNESCO World Heritage site of Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula was a key location for the Maya and is expected to draw record crowds this year. It dates back to around the 5th century AD and features a combination of Maya and Toltec architecture. Chichen Itza is quite large and has a variety of monuments for visitors to explore,including the stepped Kukulkan pyramid and the Great Ball Court.
Also in Mexico’s stunning Yucatan and part of the breathtaking Riviera Maya,the ruins at the city of Tulum real estate are visually stunning and the site is home to the only pyramid that overlooks the sea in the entire world. Here,visitors can enjoy sustainable travel accommodations and modern luxury against a backdrop of the Mexican Caribbean Sea.
As part of its efforts surrounding the Year of the Maya,the Global Heritage Fund has also worked to bring attention to the dangers of tourism at these ancient sites,educating the public about the effects of looting and deforestation.
“Major Maya archaeological sites are economically sustainable through visitation and with appropriate investment,” said Jeff Morgan,executive director of the Global Heritage Fund. “They can generate hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation and maintenance of both the cultural and natural heritage.”