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Tropicante Ameri-Mex Grill

The Tropicante Ameri-Mex Grill is Mahahual's premier oceanfront eatery, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner on the beach, the Malecon or their charming inside dinning area. And come as you are, right from the beach because our "no shirt, no shoes, no problem" dress code is strictly enforced. Then, pull up a table and chair for the rest of the afternoon and enjoy the beach. When it is time to return to the ship, climb into one of the many waiting taxis for the 5 minute ride back to the port. Email ahead to reserve loungers and palapas.

Mahahual

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Visit Costa Maya

The best spot, the best coladas and the coldest beer in town, seafood tacos, and ceviches

Mahahual, Mexico , Mexican Caribbean , 52-9831040811

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I found a cool local bar with very friendly staff. the place is called green iguana. it is along the Mahajual beach

Oct 06, 2010
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Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is blessed with tropical forests, natural fresh water springs and mysterious underground caverns. The steamy tropical rainforest, once the favored home of the powerful Maya people, has given way to an uneasy balance between developers and traditional regional villages. Still, the region is an archaeologist's dream, with ruined Mayan sites, in various states of preservation spread all across the rainforest. Although there was never a truly unified Mayan Empire, the Yucután peninsula was home to many Mayan communities. A diverse people, each community had its own socio-political structure. The societies also thrived in what are now Chiapas state, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. Even though the communities were unique, they shared some common cultural characteristics. Each observed the same sophisticated calendar, used the same complex writing system, and utilized a complex mathematical system. The various populations have also been classified according to cultural development into several distinct periods. The Preclassical Era lasted from approximately 2000BC to 100AD. The Classic Period followed, stretching from about 100AD to 900AD, and the final Postclassical Era lasted another six centuries after that. Famous sites like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Dzibilchaltun, Labna Sayil, and Kaba are among the places you can find clues and insight into the ancient societies. The region is still home to the Maya descendants who preserve the cultures and languages of their ancestors.
Like many place names given by foreigners, Yucatán was a misinterpretation of the Maya phrase uhuuthaan! ("listen to the [strange] way they are speaking!"), the very phrase uttered by the astonished local people when they first heard the Spaniards speak for the first time. This surprised declaration was, in the conquistadors' view, the reply to their question: "What is the name of this place?"
Quintana Roo is the western side of the thick peninsula, sidled snugly up to the neighboring states of Campeche and Yucután. Belize and Guatemala mark the state's southern boundary. Yucatán is a flat jungle-covered land - there are no mountains at all, and because of the heat, travel was limited in ancient times. The Maya knew they lived in paradise, though. Even when daytime temperatures climb above 90°F (20°C), the sea offers a refreshing and convenient respite.
Quintana Roo's southwestern shores were less attractive to the Maya. Much of the region is protected wetland habitat and the marshland could not have supported the weight of great temples like those found at Chicken Itza. Large tracts of the important ecological zone have been protected. The southern central section of the Yucután has been set aside as the Reserva de la Biósfera Calakmul, a magnificent archaeological zone that sprawls across a tract of thick jungle. Much of the coast has also been protected. There are several important wetland bird sanctuaries on the northern shores, and just north of Mahahual, Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka'an protects nearly 2,000 square miles of tropical jungle and a magnificent coral reef that is popular among fishing and snorkeling enthusiasts.
South of the preserve, the shore was undeveloped and practically inaccessible until the early 1980s when the government added roads. Although the region mostly remains in its undeveloped and natural state, the shores have become increasingly popular among eco-tourists hoping to find a hotel-less Mexican beach. Known as the Maya Coast, the southernmost land is a peninsula that is separated from the mainland by a sizeable inlet. The upper reach of the gulf is known as Bahia de San Jose, while the lower (wider) section is Bahia Chetumal.


MAYA PEOPLE
Among the fascinating cultures in pre-Columbian America, the Maya societies were among the most sophisticated. The civilization began to decline by 900AD, but some outlying centers still thrived long afterward. Although their heyday had passed by the time Spanish explorers landed in the early 1500s, evidence of their civilization was everywhere apparent. The height of the Maya came around 250AD and stretched across a broad region. They had arisen from the remnants of earlier nations, and they inherited and developed their inventions and ideas. The Maya also created some of their own innovations though. Their understanding of astronomy, timekeeping, hieroglyphic writing, architecture, and masonry was remarkable. They built huge structures without the benefit of metal tools or modern equipment, and even the 16th-century Europeans were often astonished at the advanced cultures they found.
The Maya were agrarian people. The main food was maize (corn) and growing this food formed the main central economic base of their societies. Their growing method was relatively inefficient slash-and-burn (milpa), which may have eventually been their undoing. Another favorite food was chocolate, a delicacy that was known as food of the Gods. Europeans did not know chocolate until they arrived in the Americas.
The ball game is one of the most fascinating aspects to modern observers, perhaps because of the parallels that can be drawn with modern society's fascination with sports and sporting events. Although it is difficult to imagine greater preoccupation with sports than the 21st-century devotion to games like soccer, American football and the Olympic Games, Maya ball games were much more serious for the ancient people. Most important Maya cities had ball courts-some had several. There are some Spanish accounts of the proceedings.
It seems that some parallels might be drawn with modern sports, but the games also had some sort of religious significance. The outcome was deadly serious. Historians disagree about the exact rules and meaning of the games, but some ancient carvings suggest that the captain of the winning team may have executed his adversary!
Maya culture was based on a clearly defined social structure. The pyramids were physical representations of the earthly plain as it related to the heavens, as well as societal structure. The top class was the sole domain of the priests. Nobles and wealthy merchants followed below the priests, and then came commoners and low-level governmental officers. Slaves and servants stood on the lowest rung of the Maya social ladder. The upper classes were further subdivided. Rulers and priests shared nearly identical levels, although it is though that the priests may have held slightly more sway since they were assumed to have direct contact with the Gods. The extent of the differentiation is not known. The supreme Maya ruler was the halach uinic ("true man"), a hereditary title. The halach uinic, advised by an elite council, was in charge of domestic and foreign matters. Subordinate chiefs ruled smaller social units. The religious world was the domain of the ah kin mai ("Representative of the Sun"). Religion was a bloody affair. Particularly repulsive to the Spaniards, two specially selected groups were employed for the sole purpose of human sacrifice. The chacs were old men who held the living victim down while the nacon cut his heart from his chest.
Spanish conquest of the Maya and Aztec peoples proceeded at a frightening clip. Within a few decades, many of the sophisticated societies were obliterated, and many of the people were enslaved, executed, or infected with deadly (for their unaccustomed immune systems) European disease. It should be noted that indigenous Americans also "struck back" with "new" strains of their own. Several infectious diseases, like syphilis, were "gifts" to the ruthless invaders. Sadly, Maya practices were misunderstood among the Spaniards. Ritual sacrifice and idol worship were used as pretexts to attack and destroy. Perhaps the most tragic monument to the devastation is the northern Yucután village of Maní. The Maya name means "the end of being," and recalls the July 1952 public burning of Maya writings, statues, and religious carvings that had been gathered for the purpose. The perpetrator was Father Diego de Landa, Bishop of the Yucután. Like many people that have committed terrible acts, he believed he was doing the people a favor. Still, the damage was thorough. In a moment of burning frenzy, the pious man wiped out centuries of irreplaceable historic Maya records. Fortunately, during the many centuries of pre-Columbian American life, the Maya had managed to build many cities, and much remained hidden in thick inland jungle, far from "salvation." Landa did notice the intricacies of the societies he helped destroy in his zealousness, and was apparently impressed. In a twist of irony, Landa later wrote Yucután: Before and After the Conquest, considered one of the most faithful modern accounts of the Maya.
Spanish conquest of the Maya and Aztec peoples proceeded at a frightening clip. Within a few decades, many of the sophisticated societies were obliterated, and many of the people were enslaved, executed, or infected with deadly (for their unaccustomed immune systems) European disease. It should be noted that indigenous Americans also "struck back" with "new" strains of their own. Several infectious diseases, like syphilis, were "gifts" to the ruthless invaders. Sadly, Maya practices were misunderstood among the Spaniards. Ritual sacrifice and idol worship were used as pretexts to attack and destroy. Perhaps the most tragic monument to the devastation is the northern Yucután village of Maní. The Maya name means "the end of being," and recalls the July 1952 public burning of Maya writings, statues, and religious carvings that had been gathered for the purpose. The perpetrator was Father Diego de Landa, Bishop of the Yucután. Like many people that have committed terrible acts, he believed he was doing the people a favor. Still, the damage was thorough. In a moment of burning frenzy, the pious man wiped out centuries of irreplaceable historic Maya records. Fortunately, during the many centuries of pre-Columbian American life, the Maya had managed to build many cities, and much remained hidden in thick inland jungle, far from "salvation." Landa did notice the intricacies of the societies he helped destroy in his zealousness, and was apparently impressed. In a twist of irony, Landa later wrote Yucután: Before and After the Conquest, considered one of the most faithful modern accounts of the Maya.
Spanish conquest of the Maya and Aztec peoples proceeded at a frightening clip. Within a few decades, many of the sophisticated societies were obliterated, and many of the people were enslaved, executed, or infected with deadly (for their unaccustomed immune systems) European disease. It should be noted that indigenous Americans also "struck back" with "new" strains of their own. Several infectious diseases, like syphilis, were "gifts" to the ruthless invaders. Sadly, Maya practices were misunderstood among the Spaniards. Ritual sacrifice and idol worship were used as pretexts to attack and destroy. Perhaps the most tragic monument to the devastation is the northern Yucután village of Maní. The Maya name means "the end of being," and recalls the July 1952 public burning of Maya writings, statues, and religious carvings that had been gathered for the purpose. The perpetrator was Father Diego de Landa, Bishop of the Yucután. Like many people that have committed terrible acts, he believed he was doing the people a favor. Still, the damage was thorough. In a moment of burning frenzy, the pious man wiped out centuries of irreplaceable historic Maya records. Fortunately, during the many centuries of pre-Columbian American life, the Maya had managed to build many cities, and much remained hidden in thick inland jungle, far from "salvation." Landa did notice the intricacies of the societies he helped destroy in his zealousness, and was apparently impressed. In a twist of irony, Landa later wrote Yucután: Before and After the Conquest, considered one of the most faithful modern accounts of the Maya.

FELIPE CARRILLO PUERTO
Formerly known as Chan Santa Cruz, Felipe Carrillo Puerto was renamed to honor a popular Yucután governor. The town was home base for the rebels during the 19th-century War of the Castes. The conflict's underdogs were the Maya, as they made their last stand against Spanish conquest. In 1847, the Maya of Valladolid rose against the dzules (white people). Tensions had long been brewing. The town was a place in which those of Maya or mixed ancestry were not even permitted to appear in several "reserved" districts. The spark for the revolt was the execution of Manuel Antonio Ay without a trial. He was suspected of fomenting revolt, and while he was a leader in the local movement, his influence was more powerful as a martyr. Revolts erupted throughout the region, and soon war was on. The frightened Yucután colonists turned to Mexico City for protection. Until that time, they had stubbornly refused to recognize authority from the larger city. The insurgents were pushed back to southern Quintana Roo where they sought refuge in the small town of Chan Santa Cruz. The year was 1850. Fearing that sagging morale might lead to final defeat, leader Jose Maria Barrera came up with a brilliant plan to bolster his followers. At the outskirts of town, a miracle was reported. An important local cenote (watering hole) was marked with a simple wooden crucifix. One day, as some people were gathering water, the cross spoke aloud! The surprised people reported the strange event and soon, people were flocking to the site. When several other crosses also began to speak, Maya from outlying regions came to the site. Of course, the cross was not speaking at all. Barrera had engaged a ventriloquist to be "the voice of God," and the oracle directed the crucobs (chosen people of the cross) to resist European domination. For eight years, the mysterious icons guided the Maya in their struggles, culminating with the capture of the Spanish fort at Bacalar. Disease and attack eventually led to the movement's decline, however, and by the end of the century, the region was firmly under federal control.


SIAN KA'AN
Reserva de la Biósfera Sian Ka'an, encompassing 2,000 square miles of tropical rainforest, has been named a United Nations World Heritage Site. North of Mahahual, Sian Ka'an is a Maya phrase that means "place where the sky begins." The preserve includes offshore coral reef habitat and is home to indigenous monkeys and powerful jaguars that fascinated the Maya. More than 300 bird species have also been sighted in the park. The reserve is undeveloped-there aren't even any hiking trails, so most visitors arrive by boat. Guided land tours are offered, but usually take several days. Independent visits to the park are not recommended. The few roads that lead into the area are extremely rough, and it is easy to become lost in the vast wilderness.


CHETUMAL
The relatively remote capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal is well situated on a protected natural inlet. The Rio Honda flows through town and empties into the bay, and demarcates the border with neighboring Belize. Originally a Maya port, the city fell to the conquistadors in the 19th century after the War of the Castes. The Spaniards first named their captured city Payo Obispo, but in the 1930s, the name reverted. Unfortunately, it turned out that the bay was not all that protected. The coastal wetlands area on the opposite side of the bay is flat, and offered no obstacle to the devastating 1955 Hurricane Janet that devastated the capital and the rest of the region. Following the storm, the city was rebuilt and is once again a thriving Caribbean port.
The city center is a few blocks from the waterfront, and while the metropolitan is rather spread out, most of the city is residential area. The wide Avenida Alvaro Obregón is lined with shops and is the center of the city's commercial district. There are also hotels and restaurants in the neighborhood. Most visitors make an obligatory stop at the loca marketplace, where some souvenir items from the region (including Guatemala), can be found.
Don't miss the important and excellent Museo de la Cultura Maya. Even if you were not familiar with the ancient culture before your visit, you will walk away with some understanding of the complex societies that once thrived in the Yucután. Not only do the displays include important relics from the region, replicas of important Maya cities illustrate the everyday life of people in the ancient communities. The Maya world-view is well illustrated, beginning with the museum layout, divided such that the earthly world is displayed on the main floor. Heavenly elements are exhibited upstairs, and displays explaining Xibalbá (she bal BAH), the Maya underworld, are placed in the basement. Computerized displays explain principals of Maya mathematics and reveal the inner workings of a "typical" Maya city. The museum closes on Sundays and Mondays.
Nearby Museo de la Ciudad recalls the post-Columbian era. Colonial antiques recall the early settlers, and old photographs provide fascinating views of former times. An interesting exhibit explains the powerful forces that drive the autumn hurricanes that often lash the region. The museum opens daily, except Monday.
Not far from the capital, on the shore of the bay, Chakanbakan and Oxtankah are noted Maya ruins.


LAGUNA BACALAR

About 20 miles east of Chetumal, the long and narrow Lake Bacalar has long been the central source of fresh water in the midst of Quintana Roo's coastal jungle. The water is remarkable clear and free of impurities because its source is an underground cenote (collapsed limestone cave) rather than drainage from the surrounding jungle. Rather than draining water into the lake, the vegetation is fed by water seeping from the lake. Near the charming lakeside village of Bacalar, the ruins of Fuerte de San Felipe recall the tragic War of the Castes. The Maya made their final stand at the fort. There is a small archaeological museum in the town. There are also several archaeological sites near the lake. Chacchoben ranks among the most noted.


DZIBANCHÉ

The Ruta del Rio Bec follows the Bec River across the southern Yucután and is a rich archaeological zone. Many of the district's ancient Maya sites are preserved in the bounds of the Biósfera de Calakmul that straddles the Quintana Roo-Campeche state line, but some of the sites are closer to the coast. Nearest Mahahual, the site at Ichpaatun is still being excavated, but a little further west, the site at Dzibanché has been opened to visitors. Dzibanché means "writing on the wood," and refers to the hefty quebracho wood lintel on Temple VI at the site that bears eight symbols along with a date indicating it was made in 618AD (remember that the Maya were expert timekeepers), during the height of the Classic Maya era. The city was spread across a large area and contained homes and temples, many of which are still buried in the jungle thicket. The most important architectural complex is a central area of plazas that are surrounded by a series of palaces and platforms that once formed the foundations of the site's several Peten-style temples. The ball court is near what appears to be a ceremonial center, supporting the idea that ball games held religious significance. Like all Maya cities, Dzibanché was built near a cenote, and there are several chultunes (cisterns) in the complex. The site opens daily. The roads leading to the site can be rough due to residual erosion from the harsh seasonal wet season. The (six-mile) last section of road is dirt track. Carry mosquito repellant


KOHUNLICH
South of Dzibanché, Kohunlich is even older, dating from the early sixth century. Like many other Maya sites, it was mysteriously abandoned sometime around 1200AD. Perhaps there was a natural disaster or the local population simply grew too large (migration to other cities was virtually impossible in the midst of thick jungle terrain). The name Kohunlich evidently refers to Cohoon Ridge, site of the city-the Maya name is no longer known. Cohoon is a fairly modern term referring to a type of indigenous palm tree. Kohunlich was an important city in its day, and the Petén style of its buildings reveals a link to neighboring Guatemalan communities. Although the site is still an active archaeological zone, Los Mascarones, (Hall of the Masks) is one of the most interesting with its ornate stucco designs. The fifth-century building was probably one of the oldest. Its designs represent the various phases of the sun. The entire city was probably as decorated and is thought to have been bright red.
Its elaborate water system was remarkably advanced for its time.


BEACHES AND SPORTS
Mahahual has begun to see development of modern infrastructure to support a growing number of visitors. The offshore Banco Chinchorro National Marine Park is a popular snorkeling and diving site that features several suken wrecks, including a 400-year old sunken Spanish galleon! The remains and black coral reef can even be seen from the water's surface. The Costa Maya is lined with quiet unspoiled beaches, though most of them are still in their natural state-there may be offshore seaweed beds. A few small hotels have been built, but none of them begin to approach the scale of their larger cousins in Cancun and Cozumel. at the southern end of the shore, just before the Belize border, the fishing village of Xcalak (ska lak) is a quiet Caribbean town with a lovely offshore coral atoll that is favored among savvy divers and snorkelers that sometimes visit. The Sian Ka'an reserve is also favored among divers and snorkelers.

SHOPPING TIPS
The unit of currency is the Mexican peso, divided into 100 centavos. American dollars and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Local vendors may appear at the dock selling various handcrafted goods. The port has recently been developed as a cruise destination and word has gotten out.
There is a sizeable local market in the state capital of Chetumal.

With acres of unspoiled coastal land, vast natural resources and rich historic and cultural influences, Costa Maya offers visitors true insight into the essence of Mayan culture and the heritage of the Mexican Caribbean. Costa Maya has the highest concentration of Mayan archeological sites and the largest existing Mayan population in Mexico.

The palm-lined beaches of Uvero, one-of-a-kind diving destinations, exciting adventures, sights and flavors of Costa Maya make for an unforgettable experience.

 

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