Discover Maya history along Mexico’s first thru-hike

Mexico is a country rich in history and culture, with the ancient Maya civilization being one of the most prominent. One way to explore this fascinating part of history is by hiking the “Gran Ruta Maya,” Mexico’s first thru-hike, which stretches over 1000 km from the Yucatan Peninsula to Chiapas.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Gran Ruta Maya and the historical significance of the ancient Maya civilization.

What is the Gran Ruta Maya?

The Gran Ruta Maya is a 1072 km long trail that runs from the Yucatan Peninsula to Chiapas in southern Mexico. It is the country’s first thru-hike and takes about two months to complete. The trail passes through some of the most important archaeological sites of the ancient Maya civilization, as well as lush jungles and scenic landscapes.

Historical Significance of the Maya Civilization

The ancient Maya civilization flourished from about 2000 BC to 1500 AD in what is now Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. They were known for their impressive achievements in art, architecture, mathematics, astronomy, and writing.

Maya civilization reached its peak between the 3rd and 10th centuries AD, during the Classic period, when cities like Tikal, Palenque, and Copán were major political, economic, and cultural centers. The Maya built impressive pyramids, temples, and palaces, and developed a sophisticated writing system using hieroglyphs.

The Gran Ruta Maya passes through some of the most significant archaeological sites of the ancient Maya civilization, including Chichen Itza, Tulum, Cobá, Calakmul, Palenque, and Yaxchilan. These sites offer a glimpse into the life, beliefs, and achievements of the Maya people.

Highlights of the Gran Ruta Maya

Hiking the Gran Ruta Maya offers a unique opportunity to explore some of Mexico’s most stunning natural landscapes and historical sites. Here are some of the highlights of the trail:

  • Chichen Itza: one of the most famous Maya sites in the world, known for its impressive pyramid, El Castillo.
  • Tulum: a walled coastal city overlooking the Caribbean Sea, known for its well-preserved ruins.
  • Calakmul: an ancient city in the heart of the jungle, known for its impressive pyramids and wildlife.
  • Palenque: a city surrounded by lush vegetation, known for its intricate sculptures and impressive architecture.
  • Yaxchilan: a city located on the banks of the Usumacinta River, known for its well-preserved stelae and lintels.

Practical Information for Hikers

Hiking the Gran Ruta Maya requires a certain level of physical fitness and preparation. The trail can be completed in about two months, and hikers should expect to walk about 20 km per day on average.

Hikers should also be prepared for the hot and humid climate, especially during the summer months. It is recommended to bring lightweight and breathable clothing, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water.

Accommodation options along the trail include camping, hostels, and eco-lodges. Hikers should also be prepared to carry their own food and cooking equipment, as there are limited food options along the trail.

In conclusion, hiking the Gran Ruta Maya is a unique and rewarding way to explore the historical and cultural significance of the ancient Maya civilization. The trail offers a blend of natural beauty and archaeological wonders that will leave any hiker in awe. So, if you’re up for a challenge and want to discover Mexico’s rich history

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