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The Best Family Vacations on the Riviera Maya

by on Jul.03, 2012, under Mexico

Renowned almost without compare among Caribbean tourist destinations is Mexico’s famous Riviera Maya. Lying on the eastern seaboard of the lush Yucatn peninsula, the Riviera Maya is almost an oxymoron, being a cluster of huge resorts and eco-parks nestled within the arms of the wild, untouched rainforest that surrounds it. This makes the Riviera Maya an unprecedented opportunity to experience both the luxury and comfort of a five-star hotel, and to explore some of the last truly untouched refuges of nature on the planet in an environmentally conscious way. The area also contains amazing beaches, awe-inspiring Mayan ruins, and a variety of eco-lodges and parks that supply ecologically themed activities and adventure treks. In short, no matter what your family’s preferences, interests, and tastes may be, the Riviera Maya is sure to satisfy them all with room to spare.

Take an Eco-Tour for the Adventure of a Lifetime

Because of its proximity to such unspoiled natural beauty, the Riviera Maya is one of the best places in the world to take an adventure trek into the wilderness. If you were born to love volcanoes, lowland jungles, thick rainforest, towering mountains, or sapphire seas, it’s no matter, because virtually every landscape one could desire to visit is available in the Yucatn region. Diving enthusiasts will be thrilled at the underwater vistas provided by the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which lies just off shore, and history buffs will gawk in amazement at the towering pyramids of Chichn Itz or Xel Ha, as most jungle tours make a visit to one or several of the many amazing Mayan sites in the Yucatn part of the experience. If your adventuresome spirit gets the better of you, you can set out alone or on horseback and carve your own path (with a trusted and experienced multilingual guide as company, of course) through the steamy jungle, cresting the mountaintops that guard the coast and making your way down the white sandy beaches to the ancient port city of Tulum, one of the last Mayan strongholds on the peninsula. At night, the smoldering sunset bathes the lapping ocean in brilliant pastel colors, and the absence of city lights and the clean, clear air make available a dazzling panorama of glittering stars, putting a perfect cap on your long day of adventure.

Feathered Friends

Anyone with a predilection for flora and fauna (which would include almost all small children) will be delighted at the bountiful and diverse population of animals and plants that one can view on a nature tour through the jungle. Birds especially are found in abundance; the varieties of brightly colored plumage, strange beaks and crests, and melodic calls echoing through the trees will bring a smile to the face of any bird-watcher, be they amateur, expert, or simply enthusiastic. To make the most of your walking tour, consider hiring an experienced jungle guide who can point out the myriad examples of avian and other jungle life. Many forest denizens have by necessity become quite adept at concealing themselves from all manner of hungry and prying eyes, and so having an extra and knowledgeable pair at your disposal could mean the difference between catching a glimpse of a particularly elusive species, like the majestic Guatemalan quetzal, and missing a rare opportunity.

Fabulous Ocean Fishing

The seas around the Riviera Maya are equally rich in natural beauty and untold numbers of amazing sea creatures. The warm waters are so clear and pure that it’s difficult to imagine a better spot for observing ocean wildlife, either from the comfort of your boat on the surface or from their midst as you splash and dive in the sea’s gentle embrace. Anglers will be more than satisfied with the size and abundance of game species, so if you came to fish, get ready to put your game face on, and bring a healthy appetite, because the only thing better than the catch is the meal that comes after. However, if you prefer to let the ocean creatures remain in their natural habitat, why no go to them by taking a short scuba diving course? Qualification is quick, safe, and will enable you to spend hours swimming alongside all manner of fascinating animals, from dolphins to sea turtles, even including sharks!

All this and more is waiting just a short flight away at the exotic and unforgettable Riviera Maya. The next time you have a family vacation to plan, the choice of destination should be an easy one to make tearing yourself away from the fun will be the only difficult part!

Read more about the ancient Mayan civilization here: Mayan 2012. Those who enjoy getting to know a specific Mayan site, can try Chichen Itza.

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    Talking to Anthroplogist and Archeologist Jos Roman Robertos Moguel

    by on Jun.14, 2012, under Mexico

    Having a degree in Anthropology, Jos Roman Robertos Moguel also has a specialization in Archeology from the School of Anthropology at the Autonomous University of Yucatan:


    I asked a question that was almost superficial and somewhat innocent, like something was sensed yet didn’t came to realize the essence of its intuition. The subject matter of the discussion was actually different for me from the last question that I raised, one last question and the resulting response, which aroused by curiosity, subjugated me, and compelled me to further build on the subject matter.

    In an interview regarding the knowledge of the compass by the Maya in a time well before its alleged invention by the Chinese civilization, I formulated the question to the Czech astronomer Jaroslav Klokocnik. Aztln: If your research regarding the Mayan calendar is true, the fall of the Mayan Empire did happen in the ninth century of our era, but much later. Can you give explanation to this theory?

    Jaroslav Klokocnk: The GMT correlation, which is said to connect the Mayan calendar with our calendar, is clearly incorrect. Yet, it is still being used by some archaeologists and they do not want to hear astronomical evidence indicating that the GMT correlation is incorrect and that the entire Mesoamerican history of have to travel 104 years into the present. The newly discovered evidence was research based; it was based on research of astronomical phenomena which is described in the Dresden Codex. It is certainly difficult to convince our non-astronomers colleagues regarding the important change in the Maya chronology.

    Was that statement true and what is the truth behind it? Was he the sole individual who was advocated to do it or was it in fact a way of thinking apart from confirmed official version?


    I was fortunate to have found another person who had a lot of good arguments to defend the same idea: The correlation concerning the Mayan Calendar and our present-day calendar postulated by Goodman, Martinez and Thompson is inaccurate. That other individual is Jose Roman Robertos, who has lived firsthand experiences that present quite more frequently than we believe. The way official science despises and ignores changing vision in regards to what is known to remain immovable.


    One feature is common all throughout Mesoamerica and it is the use of a common calendar, at least in its fundamental. Nonetheless the Mayans leaped further and developed the system of counting time, establishing the colloquially Long Count. By and large, the common calendar for all people of Mesoamerica, who have its inception in the Olmec culture, is based on the combination of two different cycles. The 365-day solar cycle identified as Haab in Maya language and another cycle of 260 days referred to as Tzolkin, which together have a period of 18,980 days (which is the least common multiple of 365 and 260) or a 52 years period , which some authors dub as the Mesoamerican century.

    It is required in this account system that when those 52 years expires, the time count starts again and the days are referred to with the same name they had 52 years ago, which basically reflects the cyclical view of time in the Mesoamerican worldview, but the downside is that whenever a specific date is cited it does not indicate which of the 52-yearcycles are being referenced, which had not matter much to most of ancient inhabitants of Mesoamerica simply because they believed in repeating the cycle again and again. Nevertheless this system is essentially unlikely. If we were to employ this calendar system at this time, we may read things for instance the First World War started in the year 25 and the World War 2 began in the year 15. As a date did not disclosed in which 52-year period taken into account, at the end of each cycle, the specific point in time when something occurred was absolutely lost of track.


    The Mayas should have recognized the importance of recording a certain day and differentiate it from any other the reason why devised the Long Count, in order to have a start date from which to begin counting the days without the possibility of repeating a similar right until 5125.36 years elapsed. In the traditional version, the long count, includes 5 figures which indicate the days (kin), months (uinal, 20 day months), years (360 days year or tunes), katun(7,200 days, under 20 years) and the baktun (144,000 days, rather less than 400 years) which have passed since the starting date of counting time, or what’s similar to the zero date.

    To illustrate, if we have a long count date showing, this shows as:

    9 baktuns

    12 katuns

    8 tunes

    0 uinals

    1 kin

    So that you can estimate the specific day you will only need to perform the following operation: (9×144.000) (12×7.200) (8×360) (0x20) (1×1) = 1,385,281 days since the origin of the long count (the

    Usually, after the way to analyze a day of the Long Count was deciphered, your next step is to find out the way to coordinate that day to our calendar and that is definitely where the GMT balance shows up in the picture.

    Aztln: What makes the relationship between the Gregorian calendar created by Goodman, Martinez and Thompson and the Mayan calendar wrong? Can you explain in your own opinion?

    Jos Romn: The question seems to be easy, but definitely not, simply because you can’t generate a small and engaging summary of a job so big that has to have plenty of mathematical evidence.

    In order to cite the basics, suppose the Mayan Calendar the majority of laymen say is probably the most precise created by man, or otherwise that’s the most accurate, yet usually with reference to the Gregorian calendar which all of us make use of at present, almost universally, that’s incorrect.


    The GMT correlation creates a connection between the Mayan calendar and the Gregorian calendar, which is what governs our current calendar, first passing through an intermediate correlation with the Julian calendar. It was in 1890 when Goodman decrypts the long count in some Mayan monoliths, that had happened to be deciphered in 1887 by Forstemann in Mayan codices. In 1918, John Smith modifies the correlation proven by Goodman in 1905 and in turn Thompson corrects in 1927 the connection created by Martinez

    Even if there were a number of correlations, the most accepted today is the one established by Goodman, Thompson and Martinez. Yet it’s just one of numerous proposals. Something which appears to back up the incorrectness of the GMT correlation is specifically the research directed by astronomer Jaroslav Klokocnik, looking to connect astronomical events documented in the Dresden Codex with the dates we know about them when they can happen via informatics tools and also contrasting them with the expected date that delivers the GMT correlation, resulting that the right correlation is referred to as BB, which is a forward displacement of 104 years of dates supplied by the GMT correlation. Jaroslav Klokocnik himself begins from presumptions that must definitely be true for the BB correlation to be correct (for instance that some glyphs in the Dresden Codex fact match the Sun, Planets and also Eclipses)


    The GMT or Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation parts from a number of wrong assumptions. Because it is visible in any summation on the Mayan calendar, these researchers created an artifice which omits the key fact from Fray Diego de Landa’s contribution, who states that during the time of the conquest, the year loaders (basically, the days the solar years commenced) were Ix, Kan Muluc and Cauac, but they’re still utilizing for today dates, and till the year 2012 the year loaders from a time known as ‘classic’ that are Lamat, Aklbal Etznab and Ben.

    In the GMT system, days on the Mayan calendar are shifting in order that a month such as ‘UO’ (the 2nd on the calendar) which implies ‘frog’ or ‘pitahaya’, which clearly indicates the tropical rainy season in August changes to the winter or spring, and the same comes about with ‘POP’ (the 1st month), which starts the solar year whenever the sun passes over the Zenith in Yucatan. On top of that, it’s referred to as base date or ‘zero’ mayan of 4 Ahau 8 Cumku (August 13, 3114 BC) is an invention or a convention to be taken as absolute, but really there isn’t a legitimate evidence for that date.


    It happens to be remarkably unlikely (pretty much bizarre) that the correlation GMT (which is simply a hypothetical calculation) would have coincided appropriately with the 13th of August that the Mayas would’ve documented roughly one thousand years prior to Christ, and almost a question that on August 13th of the year 3114 (according to Schele Fraidel) the Mesoamerican world had been created and that August 13th, 1521 had ‘effectively’ ended the Mesoamerican world on the fall of Tenochtitlan. However more remarkable still is that the GMT ‘accuracy’ states that the Mayan astronomers would have predicted or prophesied the date of the fall of Tenochtitlan “thousands of years before.’ All this without counting that the month Cumku (according to Landa) occurs in June or July, not in August.

    There is absolutely no reason to not consider that if the Mayas reached the convention of zero would not have set a zero point as the beginning of their calendar, starting the ‘Tzolkin’ (year of 260 days), the ‘Haab’ (year of 365 days) and the ‘Tun’ (year 1460 days) from the same date 1-Imix 1-Pop and did not require a leap year just like ours to adjust the calendar, yet a cyclic change of loaders. The names provided for times are inventions right after the katun. The date of origin is conventional, despite the fact that we have made an effort to back them up with hieroglyphic pseudo lectures.

    Based on the GMT the ‘tun’ comprises 360 days periods, yet this is ridiculous when they shift the count of the days of the year further away from the sidereal year. The representation of the numerals on the registrations doesn’t imply that a progressive vigesimal pattern was being utilised with an intentional exception, mainly because it was not essential to place glyphs beside it if days were what was counted, because it would’ve sufficed to represent the numbers by itself. This is simply to name a few of the disparities in the GMT”

    Aztlan: What gap does really exist involving the GMT interpretation and yours?

    Jos Romn: The difference is enormous, mainly because while the GMT one sets December 21, 2012 as being the endpoint of the Mayan calendar, according to it on 4 Ahau 3 Kankin (that should fall in the month of April, in line with Fray Diego de Landa ), while in our correlation always the month falls within a suitable range to those stated by Landa. We think that the Mayan Calendar is a numbers game which projects to time from a fundamental core that is:

    calendar day (kin)

    the 13th of days, (the figures)

    the twenty days (the ‘uinal’)

    year ‘Tzolkin’ or ‘Bucxok’ of 13 or 260 days uinals

    the solar year (Haab) of 18.5 months or One year

    the ‘tun’ four ‘Haab’ (1,460 days, 3 years of 360 days and a 380 days year)

    Katun, 20 ‘Haab’ equal to 7,300 days

    the fiftydozen years or 13 ‘tunes’ (18,980 days)

    periods of time (three of 360 years and one of 380 years)

    eras of 1,460 years (532,900 days)

    and a complete course of 5 eras totaling 7,300 years (2664500 days)


    Fray Diego de Landa claims: ‘The Indians state that the Spaniards had just came to the city of Merida the year of the Nativity of Our Lord 1541, which was only the 1st year of the Buluc era (11) Ahau which is the one in the house where the cross is and they came exactly the same month of Pop, the initial month of their year.

    In the year 1549, Landa arrived in Yucatan and became the guardian of Izamal in 1552, keeper of Yucatan in 1556, guardian of Merida in 1560, and provincial shrines in 1561 and illegal shrines in 1562 were discovered that led to the Auto-da-f of Man. Landa gives a ‘model’ or ‘typical’ year of the ancient celebrations to be quite inaccurate, but when we assume he was a witness, if only indirectly, that a few of the beginnings of the year were on July 16th that must have been between 1552 and 1555, 6-Cauac year, 7-Kan, 8-Muluc, 9 Ix, while he was guardian of Izamal (as the Spanish had arrived in Merida in 8-Kan at the beginning of Katun 11 Ahau)

    Nonetheless, Landa’s typical year commences in 12-Kan but do not place names or numbers to those fateful days, but when reaching 7 Akbal jumps and begins the month Pop in 13 Kan, when in fact it must be 13-Muluc . This is due not to Landa making a faithful imitation of a calendar, yet him establishing Kan as one example of the first ‘Sunday Letter’ to match with A, Sunday and the number 12 is arbitrary.


    Bishop Crescencio Carrillo y Ancona states that when Tutul Xiu and his court got into T’ho where Montejo was seated, the priest Francisco Hernandez hosted a ceremony worshipping the Holy Cross, since ‘not being sure’ it was the appropriate time for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, or being the celebration of Mass the biggest and most important of Christian feasts, the Indians weren’t competent to comprehend the purpose of its sublime mysteries, the priest rightly chosen to hold before the indians the solemn adoration of the Cross , a rite employed in the holy offices of Good Friday, and most certain accordingly to the instances, since it’s at once a majestic objective teaching, real and moving. Or perhaps just Tutul Xiu and his court arrived in the 11th T’ho-Cib 13 Chen (January 6, 1542, day of the beginning of Merida) and decided to be involved in a ceremony of the new religion and the Adoration of the Cross was performed simply because that day was just Friday.


    Looking at the Julian Calendar that was used in times of Landa, who allegedly examined the Mayan calendar in Izamal, and the worship of the Holy Cross might have been on Friday January 6th, 1542, day of the founding of Merida, the start of the following correlation is achieved.

    On Monday July 18th, 1541 (day 562,623 of the Julian Calendar) included day 2,000,201 of the Mayan Calendar and the year was 5.481 (year 8 Kan / 11 Ahau) of the Mayan Era ( 1 Pop) Usually the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord, January 1st of year 1 of the Julian calendar happened on day 1,437,514 of the Mayan Era which was the year 3938 (plus 147 days) of the Mayan Era, day 11th 7-Mol Hix of year 12 Lamat ( / 11 7-Mol Hix) and could have been born (8 days before) in 4 Manik 0 (20) Yaxkin the very same year.

    In the Mayan calendar, January 1, 2000 matches to day 2,166,075 (1,437,514 1,226,986 = 2,664,500), the year was 6294 and 165 days, or 2 Cauac 01 Chen Year 9 Men.

    The world’s end imagined by the Mayas is going to be towards the end of its year 7,300 (day 2,664,501); in the long count it is 7 Cimi 1 Pop, when Vucub Came (7 Death) sits at the head of the Katun’s mat. Is going to be 498,426 days right after January 1, 2000, the Christian year 3,364,507 (year 3364 plus 201 days), or on July 19, 3364 at dawn). Or to put it the other way (2,664,501-1,437,514 = 1,226,987 days following the birth of Christ; therefore, in spite of what GMT states, we still have sufficient time left and won’t see it if this arrives.

    Duende Tours is a tour operator with a special focus on adventure travel. See Duende Adventure Tours to find out more or go to Riviera Maya community.

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      The Mayan’s Definite Musical Scale

      by on Jun.08, 2012, under Adventures

      Specialists on Mayan culture said that the Mayans had a musical scale which is very different from the 5 Western notes. An official source said that they analyzed 125 instruments which include trumpets, flutes, horns, ceramic, ocarinas and conch shells. EFE, Mexico

      In a statement said by INAH or the National Institute of Anthropology and History, “These mentioned artifacts create or produce musical sounds whose scale is not the same as the Western scale, and in fact, it has its own range, which experts have preliminarily described and determined as of Mayan type.”

      According to a statement, physics, ethnology and even ornithology studies were used to analyze the archeological acoustics which was discovered to have applied to 125 instruments which made experts to finally conclude that the Mayas had a “musical scale” far different from that of the occidental ones.

      Scholars have identified the possible sounds after a year and a half of work; and the possible sounds were employed in funeral and agricultural ceremonies to bring rain, imitate or hunt birds, according to a statement from the institution.


      As a matter if fact, this is first investigation that was made to study these instruments found in the Mayan Hall of the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA).

      This investigation or research study comprised professional musicians who have been assigned to use and identify each instrument sound, their scales, tones as well as semitones, according to INAH.

      To add, we have determined that majority of the pre-Hispanic flutes produces scales with more complex and larger sound ranges when compared to the 5 notes of the Western scale; the triple flute is among them which 600 “sound range” were obtained.

      The objects had been screened for their archaeological nature, however a study regarding its function as musical instruments was missing, explained by the director of the MNA, Diana Magaloni.

      She added that this study, made by a team of experts from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and also the INAH and guided by the expert in Mayan studies Francisca Zalaquett, is 90% achieved and will proceed with roughly 200 instruments from the pre-hispanic, Gulf cultures and 40 more from the Mexican culture.


      Alaquett revealed that Mayan musical instruments are categorized as “idiophones” such as rattles and bells, “membranophones” such as percussion as well as “aerophones” or wind musical instruments, such as simple double, triple or quadruple flutes, trumpet made from snails or even from clay having a spiral shape, whistles and ocarinas.

      He said that after reviewing each instrument’s conservation condition, professional musicians are the ones who obtain and record all possible tones free from conditions which can distort the sound. “The range of resonances reached differs with every instrument, for instance, whistles have approximately four types, ocarinas just as much as eight or nine” and the triple flute approximately 600 combinations.

      He also added that this study has been ran in many other museums, research centers and the country’s Mayan archeological sites so as to determine the instrument’s sound patterns.

      Would you like to get in touch with other Riviera Maya travelers? Onejungle.com has a travel community especially for Mexico and the Riviera Maya. For trips in Mexico check Riviera Maya Tours.

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