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Cancún (/kænˈkuːn/ or /kɑːn-/; Spanish pronunciation: [kaŋˈkun]) is a city in southeastern Mexico on the northeast coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It is an important tourist destination in Mexico, and the seat of the municipality of Benito Juárez. The city is on the Caribbean Sea, and is one of Mexico's easternmost points. Cancún is just north of Mexico's Caribbean coast resort band known as the Riviera Maya. In older English-language documents, the city’s name is sometimes spelled "Cancoon," an attempt to convey the sound of the name.
Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities and it was likely to have been one of the mythical great cities, or Tollans, referred to in later Mesoamerican literature. The city may have had the most diverse population in the Maya world, a factor that could have contributed to the variety of architectural styles at the site.
The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia (National Institute of Anthropology and History). The land under the monuments had been privately owned until 29 March 2010, when it was purchased by the state of Yucatán
Coba is located around two lagoons. A series of elevated stone and plaster roads radiate from the central site to various smaller sites near and far. These are known by the Maya term sacbe (plural sacbeob) or white road. Some of these causeways go east, and the longest runs over 100 kilometres (62 mi) westwards to the site of Yaxuna. The site contains several large temple pyramids, the tallest, in what is known as the Nohoch Mul group of structures, being some 42 metres (138 ft) in height. Ixmoja is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatán peninsula.
Ek' Balam was occupied from the Middle Preclassic through the Postclassic, although it ceased to thrive as a major city past the Late Classic. Beginning in the Late Preclassic, the population grew and the city expanded throughout the following periods. It eventually became the capital of the polity that controlled the region around the beginning of the Common Era.
Tulum this Maya site may formerly have been known by the name Zama, meaning City of Dawn, because it faces the sunrise. Tulum stands on a bluff facing east toward the Caribbean Sea. Tulúm is also the Yucatan Mayan word for fence, wall or trench. The walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to be defended against invasions. Tulum had access to both land and sea trade routes, making it an important trade hub, especially for obsidian. From numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god. Tulum had an estimated population of 1,000 to 1,600 inhabitants.
Uxmal is an ancient Maya city of the classical period in present-day Mexico. It is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of Maya culture, along with Palenque, Chichén, and Calakmul in Mexico, Caracol and Xunantunich in Belize, and Tikal in Guatemala. It is located in the Puuc region and is considered one of the Maya cities most representative of the region's dominant architectural style. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of its significance.
Palenque also anciently known as Lakamha (literally: "Big Water"), was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has since been excavated and restored and is now a famous archaeological site attracting thousands of visitors. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, about 130 km (81 mi) south of Ciudad del Carmen, 150 m (164 yd) above sea level. It averages a humid 26 °C (79 °F) with roughly 2160 mm (85 in) of rain a year.
Palenque is a medium-sized site, much smaller than such huge sites as Tikal, Chichen Itza, or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 5th century and extensive knowledge of the city-state's rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque was K'inich Janaab Pakal, or Pacal the Great, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle.
Mayapan is a Pre-Columbian Maya site a couple of kilometers south of the town of Telchaquillo in Municipality of Tecoh, approximately 40 km south-east of Mérida and 100 km west of Chichen Itza; in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. Mayapan was the political and cultural capital of the Maya in the Yucatán Peninsula during the Late Post-Classic period from the 1220s until the 1440s. Estimates of the total city population are 15,000–17,000 persons, and the site has more than 4000 structures within the city walls, and additional dwellings outside.
The site has been professionally surveyed and excavated by archeological teams, beginning in 1939; five years of work was done by a team in the 1950s, and additional studies were done in the 1990s. Since 2000, a collaborative Mexican-United States team has been conducting excavations and recovery at the site, which continue.
Mérida is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán as well as the largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula. It is located in the northwest part of the state, about 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the Gulf of Mexico coast. The city is also the municipal seat of the Municipality of Mérida, which includes the city and the areas around it.
According to the 2010 census, the population of Mérida was 970,377, ranking 12th among the most populous Mexican metropolitan areas. The municipality's area is 858.41 km2 (331.43 sq mi). The metropolitan area includes the municipalities of Mérida, Umán and Kanasín and had a population of 1,035,238 in the same 2010 census. It is the largest of the four cities of the world that share the name Mérida, the other three being in Spain, Venezuela, and the Philippines.
The city, like much of the state, has heavy Mayan, Spanish, French, British, and to a lesser extent Dutch influences. Mérida has the highest percentage of indigenous persons of any large city in Mexico with approximately 60% of all inhabitants being of the Maya ethnicity.
cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath. Especially associated with the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico, cenotes were sometimes used by the ancient Maya for sacrificial offerings.
The term derives from a word used by the low-land Yucatec Maya — ts'onot — to refer to any location with accessible groundwater. Cenotes are common geological forms in low latitude regions, particularly on islands, coastlines, and platforms with young post-Paleozoic limestones that have little soil development.