Within the deep jungles of Mexico and Guatemala await many mysterious temples and pyramids of the Maya.
While Europe was still in the midst of the Dark Ages, these amazing people had already developed astronomy and calendrical systems, as well as a hierarchical system of government ruled by nobles and kings.
They constructed vast cities with extensive trading zones across a huge jungle landscape, with an amazing degree of architectural perfection and variety - all without any metal tools, wheels, or beasts of burden.
The historical development of the pre-Hispanic Maya civilization is divided into three broad periods:
PRE-CLASSIC 1800-900 B.C. Distinguishing features of the Maya culture took shape; agriculture became the basis of economy, the first villages and ceremonial centers were built and various cultural activities evolved around religion.
CLASSIC A.D. 250-600 In this time period, all fields thrived. Important events in history were recorded. Great strides were made in agriculture, technology and trade. Political, social, priestly and military hierarchies were consolidated. Ceremonial centers and cities were built where science and arts flourished.
Around the 9th century, culture collapsed, perhaps because of an economic, and consequently socio-political crisis. Political and cultural activities came to an end in the great classic cities in the Central area.
POST-CLASSIC A.D. 900-1500 The Northern and Southern areas experienced a cultural revival under the influence of groups arriving from the Central Plateau.
The Northern area boasted the imposing site of Chichén Itzá with its remarkable Toltec-influenced works of art; the city of Mayapan was founded, which seems to have politically dominated all the other centers in the region.
In 1441 war destroyed Mayapan; the main cities on the Yucatan Peninsula were abandoned and new urban centers arose. Practical and military interests overtook religious, intellectual and artistic creation; many cultural features were secularized and Maya history started on a new course, as war and trade became the predominant activities.
Recently, a Mayan guide reported that the Mayans were their own beasts of burden, doing all the lifting, carrying and hauling of the huge carved rocks used to create their magnificent cities. Their legacy lives on in the seven million descendants of the classic Maya civilization and the highly decorated, ceremonial architecture that still stands.
There are many sites readily accessible and within easy day trips from Maroma, see the Excursions section of the website for the trips that the resort offers.