Muyil was an ancient Mayan salt trading post a little south of present day Tulum. The ruin is the tallest on the Caribbean Coast. Our Mayan guide walked us through the jungle explaining plants and trees. I climbed the wooden tower for a view of the lagoon beyond. On that body of water were took boats, crossed through a mangrove island and entered a larger lagoon. There we inverted our life jackets and jumped into a canal of cool fresh water that carried us for 40 minutes toward the sea. These waterways were used by canoes to transport trade items. Near the end we surfaced onto a boardwalk that took us above mangrove on a more direct route back to our boats. This is part of the nature preserve Sian Ka’an, absolutely magnificent!
The Uxmal ruin is located about an hour drive south of Merida in the Yucatan state of Mexico. It is ancient and marvelous with incredible stone work. Our guides detailed the origin of various symbols repeated in stone but I was too busy looking to listen very much. There has been great controversy over the rain god, Chaac and the Witz monster. Lydia’s website has much more information: www.hammocksandruins.com.
One enters the ruin to encounter the huge, imposing Wizard’s Pyramid, on to the intricate detailing of the Nun’s Quadrangle (mis-named by Spanish conquerers), the ball court, the Governor’s Palace high on a raised cliff, lesser reconstructed pyramids and the Dovecote. Phallic symbols abound on the carved stone edifices – downturned asking for rain and upturned thanking for it. At some time the large sculptural penises were broken off so as not to offend some conquerer and are displayed under a palapa at the foot of the Governor’s Palace.
We had visited years ago a couple times but still amazing to find again.