Table of contents:
- Basic data
- Tourism & Attractions
- Ancient city
- Buildings of Palenque
- Hypotheses of the death of civilization
- Chichen Itza
- Description of the city
Canyon del Sumidero (Mexico) is the national park of the country. It is well known to lovers of ecotourism. Mexico is a state that attracts with its thousand-year history and fantastic natural beauties. About the Canyon del Sumidero and other attractions of this amazing region will be described in the article.
In Mexico, Sumidero Canyon is located in the state of Chiapas, in the north in the direction from the city of Chipapa de Corso. It was formed around the same time as the famous Grand Canyon, located in Arizona in the USA. The reason for the appearance of these creations of nature was a crack in the earth's crust and the centuries-old erosion of the Grijalva River, which still flows in these places.
Sumidero Canyon has vertical walls reaching over 1000m and the river has 13km turns up to 90°. This place is surrounded by a national park, which bears the same name. It is a federal territory protected by the state and extends over almost 22 hectares.
The majority of vegetation in Sumidero Canyon National Park is tropical deciduous forests at medium to low altitudes, with small mixed pine-oak forests and grasslands.
To the north is the Chicoasen Dam and an artificial reservoir. The reservoir is one of several located on the Grijalva River. All reservoirs are very important for generating electricity and storing water reserves.
The national park and canyon are the main attraction of Mexico along with the cultural and historical architectural monument of the Mayan Indians - Chichen Itza, located in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula.
As mentioned earlier, Sumidero Canyon was formed due to a crack in the earth's crust and erosion of the Grijalva River. The formation process, according to scientists, began about 35 million years ago.
The canyon is narrow and deep, framed by waterfalls, karst formations and caves. In total, there are five waterfalls, two springs with fresh water, 30 rapids, three beaches and a cofferdam, which is three meters wide - this is a special hydraulic structure that allows you to fence off part of the water area, and then completely pump out water from it for construction work.
Sumidero Canyon (Mexico) has many small caves, ancient rock formations and other natural wonders. One of the most famous caves is the Cave of Flowers, which received such an unusual name thanks todeposits of potassium, magnesium and other minerals that form colored layers on the rocks, especially pink. The Virgin Mary of Guadalupe is depicted in one of the caves, and the nearby Cave of Silence surprises with the absence of an echo and any resonance.
In a nearby cave there is a stalactite, which, due to its shape, is called the Seahorse. Amazing waterfalls are seasonal, such as the Christmas tree: the so-called "Christmas tree branches" are the deposits of the waterfall, which are gradually covered with moss.
During the rainy season, the waterfall becomes active, the water and "branches" change color and form a geological formation.
Remarkable is the fact that Sumidero Canyon National Park was nominated in 2009 as a New Natural Wonder of the World.
The natural attractions of Mexico include the vegetation of the national park. In the dense forest, consisting of tropical trees, there are many species of the Fabacae and Asteraceae families. These amazing representatives of the plant world form thickets in the state of Chiapas.
More than 125 species of rare ornamental plants grow in the canyon, 46 of which are used in the manufacture of medicines. The vegetation in these forests is predominantly deciduous, changing color and falling off during dry periods. In addition to tropical forests, Sumidero Canyon contains oak and pine forests. There are also meadows, most of which are artificial.
The maximum height of trees ranges from25 to 30 meters. While most plants lose their foliage during dry seasons, some flora remain green all year round.
According to research by local scientists, the area of Sumidero Canyon National Park has had a large negative impact on wildlife since the 1960s. For example, the expansion of human settlement, the increase in agricultural land, hunting.
After the creation of the federal park in 1980, the diversity of wild flora and fauna began to increase markedly. In 1986, in a report of scientists, it was noted that 90 species of fauna inhabit the territory of the reserve, which include:
- 40 mammals;
- 14 reptiles;
- 4 kinds of fish;
- 1 amphibian;
- 26 birds.
Research carried out 30 years later proved that the number of species has increased from 90 to 300. In other words, the status of a national park has allowed not only the inhabitants to exist peacefully, but also to increase the number and diversity.
Tourism & Attractions
Mexico is one of the most popular countries for travelers from all over the world. The landscape of the canyon is one of the favorite panoramas of the country's guests. Ecotourism is well developed in these places. In addition, extreme sports competitions are often held in some places in the canyon, which attract thrill-seekers from all over the world.
In the navigable part of the Grijalva River, entertainmenttourism industry. For example, boat trips are carried out here, tourists are delivered to hard-to-reach parts of the Sumidero Canyon. The park has six viewing platforms specially equipped for visitors, which can be easily reached on foot.
During the rainy season, there is an increase in the tourist flow due to the fact that there are several waterfalls that are not in the dry season. The canyon is the second most visited place after the world-famous Palenque, which will be discussed below.
Looking briefly at the sights of Mexico, let's talk about the ancient city of Palenque. In translation from the ancient language of the Mayan Indians, this is “big water”. This is the conditional name of the ruins, which turned into a large city of the Mayan Indians. It is located in the northeastern part of the state of Chiapas in Mexico. It was the political and cultural center of the Maya Indians in the period from the 3rd to the 8th centuries, and was the capital of the Bakul kingdom.
The main surviving buildings date back to 600-800 years. In the very center of the Mayan city there is a large palace with a whole group of buildings that are located around two small and large courtyards. In the interior, decorative trim and decorations in the form of stone and stucco reliefs have still been preserved.
Buildings of Palenque
The main building is a palace, 92 x 68 m in size. The architecture of the building is a square tower. Nearby structures are called the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Cross and the Temple of the Inscriptions.
In 1949, spendingarchaeological excavations, the Mexican scientist A. Rus Luillie found inside one of the buildings a room with a false vault, bas-reliefs and carvings on the walls. In the center of it was a sarcophagus, in which the remains of the leader of Palenque were found. The tomb of the ruler was opened, and the precious jewelry in it was sent to Mexico City, to the National Anthropological Museum, where they are currently located. The famous carved tombstone was also delivered there. An exact copy of it was installed in the tomb itself.
Hypotheses of the death of civilization
As scientists suggest, Palenque most likely perished due to the invasions of numerous neighboring tribes that lived on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the 9th century. The ruins of the ancient city have become known to the civilized part of mankind since the 18th century. Since that period, they have been studied more than a dozen times. Numerous archaeological studies were carried out by Mexican scientists from 1949 to 1968.
In 1999, researchers found a tomb in one of the temples, and an altar in another, on which a relief depicting the grandson of the leader Pakal was carved. At the end of August 2018, scientists from Mexico found a small mask that depicted the face of a rather elderly person with very long longitudinal wrinkles. As the researchers suggested, this is an image of Pacal himself, one of the rulers of the ancient city-state of the Maya, who ruled in the 7th century.
Another attraction and interesting place in Mexico isone of the monuments of history and ancient architecture. This is the cultural center of the Maya, which is located in the northern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, the sacred city-state of the Itza people.
Translated from the Mayan language, Chichen Itza means "the mouth of the well of water sorcerers." There is another translation option, since "chi" means both "mouth" and "edge". However, the first option is generally accepted, official.
Itza is a people who at one time managed to achieve economic as well as political superiority in this region, the main part of which was around the city itself. An interesting fact is that the Itza people had a code called "Chilam-Balam", which means "Book of the Jaguar Prophet".
It contains the myths of the Indians about the creation of the world, as well as explanations of various astronomical phenomena that coincide with the ideas on the same issue of European scientists of the late Middle Ages. The codex describes the historical events that took place in the Yucatan Peninsula, medical prescriptions and, most surprisingly, the predicted conquest by the Spanish conquistadors.
Description of the city
In the city of Chichen Itza, as well as Palenque, buildings unique for that time were erected. As the researchers suggest, the Itza created their civilization ldf centuries earlier than the Maya, who lived in Palenque.
Scientists have discovered several ancient temples: the dates of erection of some belong to the era of the Mayan Indians, and others - to the period of the Toltecs. Chichen Itza was supposedly founded in the middle of the 5thcentury AD e., and conquered from the 10th to the 11th centuries by the Toltecs, who made it the capital.
It is known that after less than two centuries the city was deserted, but for what reason this happened is unknown. All the versions put forward by scientists do not have any evidence base and are based only on speculation.
The unique Indian cultures still remain a mystery. Even though modern scientists have access to various historical documents and the latest technologies, they cannot answer the question of how the Indians obtained and used such knowledge. This is a mystery that remains unsolved to this day.
Mexico is an amazing country that is rich in sights. Those who are going to visit it need to take into account that it will be interesting for lovers of eco-tourism, those who appreciate extreme recreation, as well as those who prefer to study history and architecture, combining it with relaxation under the warm sun and a pleasant tropical climate. This is what attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world to this amazing country all year round.