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A Journey Into Paradise

3 Secret Places to Visit on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula

16 September, 2013

Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is home to many mysteries that still baffle the minds of modern archaeologists and scientists from nations around the world. For example,the ruins at Muyil can be found in the state of Quintana Roo,which lies mainly along the Caribbean Cost of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Muyil

Although the Mayan city of Muyil is smaller than nearby Chichen Itza,in part because only a few of its structures are accessible to modern visitors,its signature landmark – the pyramid El Castillo – is much more varied and interesting architecturally than its counterpart at Chichen Itza. In addition,El Castillo is taller than any other ancient building along the coast.

As an added bonus,Muyil is situated within the region’s magnificent Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve,which is home to more than 20 pre-Hispanic settlements. It lies just south of the eco-chic beach town of Tulum,and at just over 7 miles inland,the city of Muyil was once an important trading center. Another fact about Muyil? It is accessible only via a narrow canal that is still maintained today by its creators’ descendants.

Xcacel

Next,don’t skip a visit to Xcacel Beach along the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo. Frequented by locals and sea turtles,this pristine stretch of coastline lies along the Riviera Maya just south of Akumal near Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Bacalar

Also in Quintana Roo,albeit in the far south near Chetumal,the “Lake of Seven Colors”lies near the town of Bacalar and is actually a lagoon that is interconnected by an intricate set of waterways to the Caribbean Sea. The town has remained quite tranquil and traditional,but is renowned for the stunning color shifts of its lagoons.

“Cenote Azul at the south end of town is Mexico's largest cenote,swaddled in flowers and trees and filled with water so clear that you can see through the first 200 of its 300-foot depth”,writes Zagats. “Inns dotting the shore make an appealing alternative to staying in Chetumal while visiting the stellar Museum of Maya Culture in the capital city and exploring Maya ruins in the Rio Bec area.”

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