Winged Warriors of Ek ‘Balam

Many mythologies mention the presence of winged beings, even the Mayan civilization has representations of these mysterious beings, which until this day we have not been able to unveil the mystery. Were they angels, extraterrestrials, or the Mayan gods themselves?

 

In the year 770, the sovereign Ukit Kan Lek Tok ‘, assumed the power of the city of Ek B’alam at age 30. The records call him “Jalomté”, which could be translated as “a king of kings”. Although many of the details of his reign are unknown to us, we know that he was a very powerful ruler, proof of this are the objects discovered in his tomb, almost 7000 jade objects, beautiful shells and ceramics as well as a very strange gold pendant from the Oaxacan jungles as well as the very detailed decoration of his tomb.

Winged Warrios of Ek Balam

It would seem as the entrance to his tomb resemble the jaws of a jaguar (Ek ‘Balam means Black Jaguar) devouring the bodies as they cross to the underworld as well as the representation of a macaw, which the Mayan believed existed since before the sun was created. There are also corn cobs representing the cycle of the corn, as it dies to be reborn as a new plant as they believed that Ukit Kan Lek Tok’ would do as well being a son of the corn to serve as spiritual sustenance to his people. This tomb is considered to be a divine temple and possible one of the most imporant ones, the “temple of creation”.

There are also these winged beings that popular tradition has called “the angels of Ek ‘Balam” or the “winged Warriors of Ek ‘Balam”.
In most ancient cultures, there are symbols or energies that can be attracted, repelled or represented by hand gestures. The Viking runes or the sign that Christians make with their hands when crossing themselves, for example. The Mayans also knew these “magical passes”: At the top of the tomb we can see, on the right side, a mysterious being representing this sign with his hand the glyph “Mih” of the Mayan symbols that represents creation.

What or who are these winged beings guarding the tomb of a Mayan King and what do they represent?

What do you think?

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Should you bring USD, CAD or Pesos to Cancun and Riviera Maya?

Most of our customers ask us if they can pay in USD, CAD currency or if they should bring Pesos to pay for services.

 

We accept all three currencies but most establishments will only accept USD or Pesos, so what to do?

 

The best option would be to go to your local bank and change some money there, they will most likely have the best exchange rate and some of them will even deliver your currency to your home. Keep in mind that if you live outside a major city, the bank may need to order the currency from their brand office and it may take a while for the cash to arrive, so plan ahead and call them before hand.

 

You can also wait until you get here and either go to the bank, which will offer probably the highest rate, or look around for a money exchange booth, they all have different exchange rates but most of them will be better to exchange it at the hotel.

 

If you are going shopping and don’t have any pesos left, go to your hotel’s front desk, their exchange rate is lower than the banks but it will be much better than paying for your souvenirs in USD.

 

Please do not exchange your money at the airport as they offer the lowest exchange rate and you will end up losing some dough.

 

Whatever exchange rate you see on Google, XM.com or any other online financial company, does not apply here.

 

Every single stablishment have its own exchange rate, being a bank, supermaket, souvenir shop, all rates will be different.

 

If your currency is either Euros, Sterling Pounds, Yens, Rubles, Rupees, try to change it back home to Pesos or USD before you travel. Euros and Sterling Pounds are accepted at most banks and some exchange rate booths but most establishments will not accept any other currency.

 

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If you have any Pesos left at the end of your holiday, you can change it back at home with your local bank to ge the best rate, however, they will probably not accept any coins, so try to bring back only paper money.

 

If you are eating out of your All Inclusive resort, consider a 15 to 20% gratuity for the waiter (depending on the service of course), he will split it with the bar and kitchen, they will gladly accept Pesos but everyone loves those green bills.

 

Do you have any advise for exchanging money?

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Airport Staff

 

Our friendly airport staff will greet you and make sure your vehicle is ready up on your arrival

 

Noe Contreras
Saul
Manuel
Alex de la Rosa
Eddie Chi
Efrain

Drivers

 

We only recruit highly experienced drivers and fully bilingual , with exceptional customer service skills.

 

Ignacio "Nacho" Torres
Jorge Camargo
Carlos Lopez
Rogelio Salazar
Castulo Gonzalez
Pablo Villasis
Jose Dominguez
Isaias Sulub
Wilver Chan
Luis Arreola
Jorge Camara
Eric Koh
Nelson Chuc
Pasiano Fuentes
Juan Pablo Fragoso
Jose "Pepe" Morales
Manuel "Manolo" Gamboa
Fernando Gamboa
Guillermo "Memo" Arevalo
Juan Ballado
Alberto "Beto" Castro
Rafael Valero
Edgar Cabrera
Emiliano Palomo

We have received reports from clients and from other transportation companies regarding “Pirates” or scammers at the airport offering transportation pretending to be from the company that you hired.

Here is how they work:

If for some reason you do not see your Canada Transfers greeter (or other company you may have hired), they see you looking for someone and very politely offer to help.

They know that we and most reputable companies have staff at the airport at all times, but there are moments when we are helping other customers, that we need to leave the area for a couple of minutes.

They must act fast so they ask you for your voucher and offer to call the office for you, they will even offer to dial from their phone, they pretend to dial the company but in reality, they call an acomplice, hand you the phone and the person on the line will tell you that either your transportation is gone or that it will take over an hour to get there, so they advise you to take a taxi and pay for it telling you that we or the company you hired will reinburse you the next day at the hotel.

At this point, you have been scammed.

How can this be avoided?

In al lof our confirmation vouchers are instructions on how to find us and show pictures of how we look like, most serious companies do this as well so you know who to look for.

If the person at the airport is not wearing the uniform representing the company that you hired, do not accept any help and if you do and the person offers you to call, make sure you dial the number that is in your voucher and dial it yourself.

If you do not have roaming but you can connect to the airport’s WiFi, contact us via LiveChat on our website, we are live 24/7.

We are constantly reporting this issue to airport authorities and hopefully will end it soon, meanwhile, we will do all we can so you don’t fall in their hands.

Our staff wears navy blue pants, long sleeve white shirt and a blue tie with maple leaf pattern.

Canada Transfers Airport Staff
Canada Transfers Airport Staff

 

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So you are probably wondering what is all that brownish stuff at the beach shore and why is there so much of it…

It’s called Sargassum, which is basically sea weed (but don´t try it with your sushi, trust me). It mainly comes from the Sargasso Sea, a región of the North Atlantic Ocean which contrary to every other sea, it is not bounded by land but by ocean currents.It spreads approximately 1,100 km (638 miles) wide by 3,200 km (1998miles) long and it’s located close to the Bermuda Triangle.

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Sargassum is deposited here by the surrounding currents creating a huge brown mass, yet the ocean water below it is distinctive for its deep blue color and exceptional clarity, with underwater visibility of up to 61 m (200 ft).

It’s considered to be a dangerous and misterious spot in the Bermuda Triangle as due to the calmness towards the center and the absence of winds has pretty much created a sailboat cemetery.

But, why is it in my hotel beach? You may ask, and why don’t get rid of it?

Up until 2011, no one in Cancun and the Riviera Maya had seen such a large amount of sargassum being thrown out by the ocean. Although it generates some discomfort for visitors and has a very particular smell, it is necessary to keep our beaches from running out of sand. This seaweed pretty much traps the sand and makes it more resistant to swell and wind.

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Local authorities cleaning the beach

This seaweed invasion it’s mostly coming from the East, UNAM’s biologists are still unsure of the cause for such a large amount has been thrown out but they believe it could be due to an increment of nutrients in the ocean caused by the rising temperatures throughout the globe.

If your hotel beach has been taken over by this weeds, you may want to consider visiting a few of the beaches that have not been affected by it such as Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Isla Blanca.

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Isla Blanca Beach

Have a look at some of the options that we offer so you can enjoy a sargassum free day at the beach.

Isla Mujeres Catamaran: https://www.canadatransfers.com/regular-tour/isla-mujeres-catamaran-/

Isla Mujeres Garrafon Park: https://www.canadatransfers.com/regular-tour/garrafon-park/

Cozumel Plus: https://www.canadatransfers.com/regular-tour/cozumel-plus-and-playa-del-carmen./

 

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Sustainable Tourism in Mexico.

What is the Sustainable Tourism?

It is an industry committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The positive of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development is a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and tourists themselves.

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What is the UNWTO?

Is The World Tourism Organization. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, this organism promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development, and environmental sustainability. Also encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism to maximize tourism’s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The sustainable tourism in Riviera Maya.

The development of tourism has become a priority for the Mexican government. This shows a particular interest in ecology and has introduced the concept of sustainable tourism for the protection and use of the environment and biodiversity in the tourism industry.

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The commitments of the sustainable tourism.

Maintain the integrity of the environment

Strengthen the conservation of natural parks and natural heritage.

Encourage the development of practices and patterns for sustainable tourism.

Maintain cultural integrity of the local people and ensuring community participation in tourism to promote their wellbeing.

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What are the sustainable tourist companies in Mexico?

Alltournative: Since 1999 is the pionner in eco-tourism and has developed sustainability programs in the state of Quintana Roo Mexico that have benefited the economic, social and cultural development of various Maya communities.

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Xcaret Park: Xperiencias Xcaret is a tourist industry and one of the most important model of sustainable tourism in Mexico. This is a Mexican organization that began work as a group in 1990. The products of this group are: Xcaret, Xel ha, Xplor, Xchi chen, Xenotes and Xoximilco. This group is part of the UNWTO since February 2014.

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Chichen itza Private Tour.

Enjoy visiting Chichen itza on a private tour.

A private tour to Chichen itza is an option for those people who want exclusivity in the service and flexibility in the schedule. Chichen itza is the most important archaeological site and currently one of the new seven wonders in the world.

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You can enjoy comfortable and luxurious vans for 10 people with a bilingual driver on this private service. In addition you can choose your departure and your return times to your hotel as well as the stops that you want to do along the way.

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There are people who want to do an express tour to Chichen itza and this private service is good for them. On this service with an extra charge you can have a professional guide included or you can hire him at the entrance of the site. Along the way there are many good restaurants that our driver can recommend you or you can order your own box lunch.

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On the Yucatan Peninsula there are many Cenotes (sinkholes) located in the area. Near Chichen itza there is one very famous which named is Ik kil. In case you love the nature and want to feel the experience of swimming into its crystalline and fresh waters we suggest you to make a stop and visit this beautiful Cenote.

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As an optional stop if you want, you can visit the old colonial city called Valladolid. At this place you can admire the uses and customs of its inhabitants and buy some of the beautiful local handicrafts. This colonial city is very quiet and you see a part of the real Mexico. It is a pleasure to visit this place.

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So, if you like the culture and history of pre-Hispanic civilizations don’t miss the chance to visit Chichen itza. Really worth it and even more on a private tour. https://www.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/chichen-itza-private-

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Cenotes in the Riviera Maya.

What is a Cenote

A Cenote is a natural Pit or Sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes ground water underneath. They are located and associated with the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

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Types of Cenotes.

Jug or pit Cenotes: Are those with a surface connection narrower than the diameter of the water body.

Cylinder Cenotes: Are those with strictly vertical walls.

Basin Cenotes: Are those with shallow water basin

Cave Cenotes: Are those having a horizontal entrance with dry sections.

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What activities you can do in a Cenote

This beautiful places inspire adventures, explorers, snorkelers, scuba divers and people who want to experience the beauty of nature swimming through its crystal and fresh waters and admiring the ancient formations of stalactites and stalagmites in the Cenotes.

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Cenote Sac Actun

It is located into the jungle near Tulum. This Cenote is also known as a pet cemetery due to the enormous amounts of fossilized animal skeletons found in the caves. You can practice snorkeling through its crystalline waters and admire the thousands of formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

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Cenote Dos Ojos.

It is located near to Xel ha park and is one of the most filmed and photographed Cenote of the Riviera Maya. This Cenote is made of two sinkholes of approximately 70m in diameter, connected by a 400 meters long passageway. Its water temperature is perfect for snorkeling throughout the year.

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Cenote Dos Ojos and Cenote Sac Actun are two of the most visited Cenotes by the tourist, who want to do snorkeling or diving into their crystalline and fresh waters. There are private services which take you to these or another Cenotes that you have in mind. https://www.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/cenote-dos-ojos-private-tour/

 

 

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Mayan Weddings

Mayan Weddings in Cancun and Riviera Maya.

Mayan Weddings rescue a prehispanic tradition laden with mysticism and a deep spiritual sense. They usually take place in a magical environment, for example, a Cenote, surrounded by thick vegetation, an archaeological zone, hidden caves in the jungle or a paradisiac Caribbean beach.

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The ceremony does not have legal validity, but can be a prelude before the official wedding. A shaman will present the lovers to mother earth and the spiritual strength of the ancestors.Mayan Weddings can range from a simple ritual ceremony to a more elaborate nuptial service. These ceremonies are performing in the Mayan language. They are considered serious spiritual ceremonies, and are performed by authentic Shamans who develop an authentic ritual to consecrate the union of the couple. These Mayan ceremonies can be also performed in English.

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Based on the Mayan connection with the Universe and its gods, which are described in the sacred book of Popol Vuh, the couple is taken to the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) to unite them to the female mother land and masculine cosmic energy, symbolized by a central sacred candle.

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An altar is created to represent this four cardinal points. Flowers mark these four points and at the altar there are traditional offerings to the gods like corn, beans, rice, and fruit to represent gifts of prosperity and fertility. Before the ceremony, the area is smoked and cleaned with sacred copal smoke at the four cardinal points by the Shaman, and the sound of ritual snails. Family and friends gather in a circle at the altar and celebrate the union of the Promised by giving them flowers, music, food and drinks. Mayan music with pre-Hispanic instruments and snails is played before and during the ceremony.

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Puerto Aventuras Riviera Maya.

Discover Puerto Aventuras. An exclusive and luxury place for the lovers of resting and pleasure.

Puerto Aventuras is a community located in the municipality of Solidaridad in the State of Quintana Roo. in the Riviera Maya. It is located 55 miles away from Cancun and just 14 miles from Playa del Carmen. It had a 2010 census population of almost 6,000 inhabitants, and has an elevation of 30ft above sea level.

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It is divided in two majors areas: The residential area and tourist development, and the town Puerto Aventuras where local people live. Due to its strategic location, It is considered one of the best places to vacation because it is surrounded by beautiful beaches, cenotes, archaeological ruins (Tulum, Coba, Chichen itza) and theme parks (such as Xcaret, Xel ha, Xplor among others).

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This quiet place also has the most complete and deluxe marina in the Yucatan Peninsula that caters to the international and national boats coming into its port. Beautiful beaches in front of the Caribbean Sea and a famous golf course with 9 holes, 36 pars and designed by Thomas Leman in 1991. There are also a tennis club, school, religious temple, shopping area, museum, shops, restaurants and bars.

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residencias

Puerto Aventuras offers a wide range of vacation accommodations from condominiums to hotels and luxury beachfront villas. The place offers also activities for those who seek rest and enjoy nature as for those who venture into the nautical world and explore the resources that nature gave this place.

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Among the activities you can do in Puerto Aventuras are: Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing, Golf, Tennis, sailing, swimming with dolphins, nightlife or just swimming and sunbathing on the beach.

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If you have your accommodation on this place and you need a transfer from the airport do not hesitate to contact us and check our rates. https://www.canadatransfers.com/transfers/

 

 

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