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Ruins, Off the Beaten Path

Out There

Examining Xaman-ha 

Forget Tulum! Sure, its 13th-century ruins—the iconic pyramid shaped temples in the middle of the jungle—are a major marker of human civilization. But, they’re also bustling with tourists. If you’re looking for an equally historic destination, try Xaman-ha in Playa del Carmen. Here, you’ll find smaller temple ruins on grounds overrun with iguanas. The beach, too, is walkable, and offers an aviary and, uh, Señor Frog’s.

Thousands of years ago, these structures served as sites of worship. A spiritual air still surrounds the current ruins, and no matter what your belief system, you may be awed as you enter a place where citizens once came to pray for the things we still desire: health and happiness. Indeed, the ruins may even inspire a sense of human connection with not just the long-gone Mayans, but the people still living, working, and vacationing in the region.

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