Mexico’s Mayan secrets
There are more than 60,000 documented sites in the Maya world, which encompasses the five states of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula and also the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, Belize and El Salvador. These sites range from small villages, which were home to just a few inhabitants, to large cities with populations that topped 70,000.
It is located deep in the heart of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, a 1.8 million acre patch of wilderness home to jaguars, howler monkeys, vultures, and hundreds of varieties of birds, butterflies, and plants. Again, like all the other Campeche sites, there are just a handful of people exploring the remains of this extraordinary Maya ghost town.
With the number of buildings - big and small, covered and uncovered - it's not a great stretch of the imagination to see that Calakmul was once a place of great influence.
By the time the Spanish came on the scene at the beginning of the 16th century most Maya cities were either abandoned or in serious decline.
There is no single theory as to why this happened. Ideas range from famine, to revolution to disease, but whatever the circumstances the Maya themselves never disappeared. They are here in today's Yucatán, in every face of every taxi driver, hotel clerk and police officer. Thankfully the language, customs and architectural evidence of their place in history still survive.
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Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Ben Line - Travel Consultant
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.
Carrie Gallagher - Travel Consultant
A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Escorted Groups team.
Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant
Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.
Lina Fuller - Travel Consultant
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Evie Oswald - Travel Consultant
It’s hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.