68 images Created 14 Sep 2012
The Yucatán Peninsula welcomes more visitors than any other part of Mexico with an unrivaled mix of sophisticated resorts, ancient Maya cities and beautiful beaches. But there is another, more secret, Yucatàn populated by stories of pirates and Mayan cities still wrapped by the silence of the rain forest. A world that begins in the old town of Campeche, restored in recent years with the intact colonial architecture of the only still walled city of Mexico, the preferred target of the pirates of the Caribbean, where the Spanish galleons full of gold and silver gathered before sailing to Havana. Along the border with Guatemala the Mayan cities of the Ruta Río Bec spread out over a large area, starting from Edznà, and include the sites of Becán, Xpujil, Río Bec, Chicanná. Not well restored at present and Less visited than more accessible and famous sites in a comparatively remote area, they have a strong fascination with a distinctive architecture called "Rio Bec" Maya style, with tall steep towers and carved stone facades in the form of fantastic animals. Deep in the interior of the Mexican jungle near the border with Guatemala, the ruins of the big Mayan city of Calakmul, situated in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, are still in the process of being restored and offer stunning views of the jungle. Calakmul was one of the most powerful Mayan cities rivalling with Tikal, and only in recent years the archeologist discovered the real importance of this city. Along the Ruta Bec some fascinating haciendas and resorts offer a minimalist luxury in a ecosystem meticolously preserved.