Photographer's Note

Xcaret is a Maya civilization archaeological site and an ecological park and resort located south of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Mayan "X" is pronounced approximately "Eesh", hence the name is similar to "Eesh Caret" when pronounced.

Several small Maya ruins lie through the park's 200 acres. Xcaret is a Mayan word meaning "small inlet." This settlement was at its peak from 1400 to approximately 1517 A.D. The Mayas are said to have bathed in the inlet to purify their bodies before traveling to Cozumel to worship Ixchel, Goddess of Fertility.

With the idea of a tourism development that would add to the attractions of the region, a group of Mexican entrepreneurs purchased the land surrounding Xcaret.

In 1984, Architect Miguel Quintana Pali, captivated by the spots natural beauty, purchased 5 hectares of this wonderful parcel from the group with the idea of building his dream home.

However, when he began to clear the land, he started uncovering cenotes formed by collapsed cave ceilings weakened by 3 million years of erosion from underground rivers running through them and flowing into the sea. He felt that so much beauty should not be accessible only to a privileged few. Quintana began to formulate the idea of a Natural Park open to the public and soon joined forces with Oscar, Marcos and Carlos Constandse to achieve this goal.

There are various attractions in Xcaret. They include the Scenic Tower, swim with dolphins, Underground River Swim,and many more. Xcaret also has many animals, such as macaws, flamingos, turtles, bats, and wild iguannas. There are also many events in Xcaret Park. These events range from Turtle Feeding to The Dance of The Owl.

The "Travesa Sagrada Maya" (Mayan Sacred Crossing), in pre-Columbian times, was an annual rite when Mayans would cross the sea from Xcaret and Playa del Carmen to Cozumel to pay homage to the lunar goddess Ix Chel. The modern version is a re-creation of this rite done in late May to early June.

By: Wikipdia

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Additional Photos by Lucas Vieira (lucasgalodoido) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6049 W: 190 N: 7835] (27698)
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