Photo: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Nature and archaeology lovers have a new tourist option to consider in Mexico with the launch of a walking route through the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
The hike begins at the Muyil Archaeological zone, a settlement that reached its peak during the Late Postclassic Period (1200-1521), organizers told the media.
It is “one of the few sites that combines historical appeal with lush vegetation and spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea,” Marco Antonio Palet, the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas’s director of communications and culture for conservation, told Efe.
The Mayan settlement features a series of constructions including pyramidal bases, temples, altars and platforms.
Muyil also is “one of the most environmentally preserved sites of the protected reserve,” Palet said.
Located 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of the resort city of Cancun, Sian Ka’an (Heaven’s Gate in the Mayan language) is Mexico’s third-largest biosphere reserve and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
It encompasses 500,000 hectares (1,930 sq. miles) of tropical ecosystems and includes a section of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System.
The biosphere reserve also is home to at least 800 species of plants and provides habitat for more than 360 species of birds and other animals, including jaguars, cougars, ocelots, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, crocodiles and different types of turtles.