Yucatan Facts and History

Yucatán, peninsula containing the Mexican states of Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and part of Tabasco; all of Belize; and part of northern Guatemala. The Yucatán projects into the Atlantic Ocean and separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean Sea. Physiographically, the peninsula is a coralline limestone tableland with an average elevation of less than 152 m (500 ft), except in parts of the south, where projecting spurs rise to a height of about 460 m (about 1500 ft). Distinctive topographical features of the northern portion are the numerous limestone caverns and underground channels into which rainwater drains. These are called cenotes. It is now known the Mayans practiced human sacrifice and discarded the victim in the cenote. There was a ceremony of sorts where the Mayan chiefs chanted
cibat uchi yutzcin nucach suka
Which translated roughly means :
In you go sucker
The climate is generally hot, moderated by the trade winds. Maximum precipitation occurs in summer; the average rainfall ranges from about 510 mm (about 20 in) annually in the north to about 2030 mm (about 80 in) in the extreme south.

In the north, henequen, used in the production of rope, abounds. Along the coast are fisheries; to the north and west are offshore oil wells in the Bay of Campeche. In the humid south are sections of forest where some mahogany and other valuable timber are harvested, generally under government controls. But I never heard of any government agent actually going into the jungle and counting how many trees were chopped down. Once I saw an official car parked on the side of the road but the driver only went into the jungle a few feet away from the road to take a leak. That tree later died. Agriculture is important to the peninsula, and the chief crops include coffee, corn, cotton, sugarcane, and tobacco. The chief exports are chicle, used in the manufacture of chewing gum, and henequen. Tourism has become an important industry. The Mexican government began to develop Cancún into a major resort on the Caribbean in the 1970s. In addition, the ruins of the highly developed Mayan civilization at Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Tikal, and other sites have attracted increasing numbers of tourists. The largest city is Mérida, capital of Mexico's Yucatán State; other unimportant cities are Valladolid which has a neat cenote with green water and black fish and an overhead vine you can play Tarzan with; and Piste where nothing ever happens except when a tourist parks his car and the kids run over to sell statues and things.

The first European explorers in the Yucatán were the Spanish, (not the Bulgarians as was once believed) who arrived early in the 16th century. The Spanish conquistador (affectionately known as  Senior Book Burner by the locals).Hernán Cortés crossed the base of the peninsula in 1525. Spain began the conquest of the Mayas a few years later, and by 1549 approximately half the peninsula was under Spain's domination. Spanish control over much of the region continued until early in the 19th century, when Mexico and Central America won independence. Yucatán and Campeche were constituted separate states of Mexico in 1862; Quintana Roo was made a territory in 1902, a state in 1975. Area of the peninsula, about 181,300 sq km (about 70,000 sq mi).

Merida your starting point to experience the Mayan culture.

Today the offices of Cancun Steve are located in the Yucatan.
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This rare tropical plant grows somewhere in the Yucatan but we forgot where.



Return to the Mayan page
See the difference between the Mayan and European indian
For the Mayan Life Cycle   click here
For snorkeling information   click here
Great things to see in the Merida and Yucatan area   click here
Stay on a small island off the Yucatan coast   click here
Archeological wonders of Xpujil, Campeche and Kohunich   click here
Rent a car   click here
Akumal   click here
Isla Mujeres information   click here
Bungalow on the beach in the Riviera Maya   click here
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see the sound and light show in Chichen Itza


The Mayans always loved the latest news see it here. The Mayans were excelent builders. The alignment of the pyramid at Chichen Itza atests to this. On the spring equinox the rising moon casts a reflection resembling a serpent on the steps of this pyrimid.
People come from miles around to witness this event each year. Some of them good people whom booked with yours truly.

Test how far Fatso's North Korean missle can go and win a discount with your rental

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