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Yucatan Peninsula - Land of the Maya
The Yucatan Peninsula is comprised of three Mexican states: Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche and rather prides itself on being "different" from the rest of the country. Aside from its relatively flat, scrubland terrain which is in contrast to the rest of mountainous Mexico, what sets the Yucatan area apart from the rest of the country is its distinctive culture rich in Mayan origins. This notion of seperateness is a feeling shared by the people living in this region who consider themselves "yucatecos" first, and Mexican second.

The ancient Mayan heritage of the Yucatan area emerged over centuries as Maya migrated northward from Honduras and Guatamala of Central America to the present day states of Campeche & Yucatan where they dispersed throughout the peninsula. Although it is believed that the Maya were decendants of the Olmec civilization which settled and flourished in present day Tabasco area, their exact origin is not known. During their dominance of the Yucatan region, the Maya constructed more than 1,500 major cities and tradeposts such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Tulum, Mayapan, Edzna and Coba.

As direct decendents of the Maya, the Yucatecan people are one of Mexico's largest indignea groups. Living throughout the entire peninsula area, thier short stature, dark complexion and sculpted cheekbones are predominant features which leave no question concerning their Mayan heritage. Even though the Yucatan is widely a tourist area and Spanish as well as English is spoken by some, many Maya dialects are just as readily spoken by the locals.

Prior to the conquest, the Yucatan peninsula was alive with trading and commerce amongst Maya villages who bartered such things as fruits and honey. Following the conquest, early records of economic activity for the region indicate that only one product, sisal hemp, was grown in any abundance and exported from the Yucatan plantation owners. The long sword shaped sisal hemp leaves were used in the making of rope and mats. Then in 1869, with a US patent in place on chewing gum, chicle became a viable export as well. Chicle is actually resin from the sapodilla (Acras zapota) tree.

Economic development in the Yucatan thrived for awhile with these exports until techniques for making synthetic chicle and sisal were invented. With these synthetic replacements, the Yucatan agricultural export economy slowly declined. Today the largest industry in the Yucatan is tourism which was spawned in the 1950's as several highways finally penetrated the dense tropical jungle of the area. More recently the development of Cancun as a resort destination and the addition of airline and cruise line service, the economy of the Yucatan continues on a path of growth and modernization. - Travel deals to top destinations Find Great Deals at! Welcome to!

 Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!
Tired of visiting the sights as part of the "herd?" Not seeing an excursion that exactly fits how you'd like to spend your day on the mainland? No problem! COZUMELINSIDER can custom design a mainland excursion just for you and your group!
From US$168
 Riviera Maya - Dolphin Swim Adventure
Share a series of sensational and safe activities while establishing a unique bond of trust. With a handshake, kiss and belly ride will enjoy moments of great spontaneity during your free time together. It is an unforgettable experience!
US$ 119.00 Adults / US$ 89.00 Kids
 Riviera Maya - Dolphin Royal Swim
This most popular program can be described in two words: "action" and "speed". Get a handshake, a kiss and then you give them one. Feel the strength of your new friends as they push you across the water from the bottom of your feet in the thrilling foot-push. It is "the experience of a lifetime!"
US$ 149.00 Adults / US$ 89.00 Kids

Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!

Design Your Very Own Custom Mainland Tour!

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