The place less travelled to. It would not be sensible at all to travel to this area of the world without seeing Mayan Ruins. There are all of the famous and known archeological places, all the smaller locals and a fair number which have not yet been completely excavated.
But first – a quick mention of Costa Maya. No fools, the local area made a decision a number of years ago that the way to improve the economy was to bring in tourists. Given their location on the Yucatan Peninsula, motor coach and planned vacations homes were not going to cut it. The cruise industry was taking off. Throwing in their lot – they built a pier and set up to take tours out to the ruins, off to clean beaches and whatever else it seemed like those needing a day on land would be interested in providing money to do.
It worked – even in spite of major hurricane damage in the 1980s that took them out of the business for almost 18 months – the tourists now provide the money for maize and pineapples in this area of Mexico.
If you are familiar with the history of Mexico in general (or have read Jared Diamond’s Collapse – which uses the Mayan’s as one example of non-sustainable civilisations) you may know that the Mayan’s were already well into decline before the arrival of the Conquistadors. That is not to say that their effect, along with the addition of slaves for plantations, did not permanently change the face of this area of Mexico. Simply it points out that all societies are complex and the factors have different weights of influence in different geographical locations.
Following you will see picture of the ruins – the 9 Ft Jade head has been removed. I will label photos when I have better computer access.