The Maya are probably the best-known of the classical civilizations of Mesoamerica. Originating in the Yucatán around 2600 B.C., they rose to prominence around A.D. 250 in present-day southern Mexico , Guatemala , northern Belize and western Honduras .
There are hundreds of Mayan ruins throughout Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, but the Yucatan Peninsula (where Tulum , Playa del Carmen and Cancun are) have some of the most impressive ruins.
Although the Mayan people never entirely disappeared—their descendants still live across Central America—dozens of core urban areas in the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula, such as Tikal, went from bustling cities to abandoned ruins over the course of roughly a hundred years.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
To answer your question though – yes, the ruins are safe . Chichen Itza is a bit of a trek (3 hours drive each way) and being inland in the jungle, it can be extremely hot there. Tulum is much closer and the setting is spectacular (the ruins are on top of a cliff).
If you prefer to go on your own with no guide, the cost of entrance is just 80 pesos = $3-4 USD. Because the ruins are a little removed from the parking lot, a folkloric train is available to take you to the entrance and is another 20 pesos = $1 USD per person.
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
There were Aztec garrisons on the Maya frontier, and very likely plans to attack. But then the Aztecs themselves were attacked – by the Spaniards. However, if by “the Aztecs ” we can include surviving warriors from the regions of Mexico that were part of the Aztec Empire, then the answer is yes.
In short, the Maya came first, and settled in modern-day Mexico. Next came the Olmecs, who also settled Mexico. They didn’t build any major cities, but they were widespread and prosperous. They were followed by the Inca in modern-day Peru, and finally the Aztecs , also in modern-day Mexico.
The Spanish conquistadores arrived in the early 1500s and the last independent Mayan city, Nojpeten (in present-day Guatemala ), fell to Spanish troops in 1697. The ancient cities were largely forgotten until the 19th century, when their ruins started to be uncovered by explorers and archeologists.
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .