Feathered Serpents Litter the Grounds at Chichen Itza, But One Can Only Be Seen on the Equinox

North stairway at Chichen Itza on a normal day, with serpent heads at base

Worship of a feathered serpent deity may have begun as early as 200 B.C. at Teotihuacan near present day Mexico City, but it reached its pinnacle at Chichen Itza, the Mayan cultural capital in the north central plains of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Named Quetzalcoatl by Nahua residents of Teotihuacan, to Maya the plumed serpent was Kukulcan, … Read more

Hacienda Xcanatun – An Oasis of Tranquility in Mexico’s Yucatan

I followed the bellman down a long covered portico, where lustrous marble floors gleamed like polished bronze in the slanting rays of a late afternoon sun. At the end of the terrace he stopped before a massive set of wooden doors and jiggled a large metal skeleton key in the lock. Shifting my backpack impatiently, … Read more

Built Atop the Ruins of Ancient T’Ho, Merida’s Main Plaza is the Wellspring of its Culture

I pressed my nose to the bus window as we rolled into Merida, one of the places in Mexico that I had yearned to see for years. My brow furrowed in disappointment; the city looked nothing like I had envisioned. With its location in the northwestern corner of the Yucatan, just inland of where the … Read more