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.

 

Resultado de imagen para money exchange

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.

SargassumLoopSystem2

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.

Isla Blanca (1)
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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Underwater Museum Cancun

The interesting Underwater Museum Cancun.

One of the best tour you can do in Cancun is snorkeling or diving in the Underwater Museum Cancun and watching over 460 underwater statues.

Underwater Museum Cancun.

History of the Museum:

This Underwater Museum Cancun was created in 2009 and completed at the end of 2013 in the waters surrounding, Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc. The sculptor in charge of making most of these statues was the English Jayson De Caires Taylor and the others by five Mexican sculptors. Currently the museum has over 500 permanent life-size and monumental sculptures and is one of the largest and most ambitious underwater artificial art attractions in the world.

Underwater Museum Cancun

Galleries:

Three galleries have been created. Two underwater and one on land. Manchones reef with 477 sculptures. This reef is 8 meters deep and suitable for divers and snorkelers. Punta Nizuc reef with 23 structures. This reef is 4 meters deep and only permitted for snorkeling. The gallery on land is in the mall, Plaza Kukulkan with 26 replicas.

Jason

Activities to visit the Underwater Museum:

Glass bottom boat: This unique excursion offers a view of the ocean like you’ve never seen before! A perfect activity for all ages, you’ll be able to view the depths of the ocean without getting wet at all.Subsee-explorer-to-visit-MUSA-Cancun

Scuba Diving: You do not have to be certified, just take a lesson and enjoy the shallow waters of Manchones reef to see closely the sculptures of this gallery.

Bacab-underwater-sculpture-Salvador-Quiroz-Ennis

Snorkeling: This activity will take you to explore over 500 statues located in Manchones and Nizuc reefs.

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All the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialized materials used to promote coral life.

 

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Sacred Mayan Journey

The Celebration of the Sacred Mayan Journey.

The Sacred Mayan Journey is an event in Xcaret Park, that recreates one of the oldest traditions of the Mayan Culture. The Pilgrimage nowadays is performed by local people in canoes paddling towards the Cozumel Island to worship the goddess Ixchel with offerings in search of her divine message.

Sacred Mayan Journey

Sacred Mayan Journey

ABOUT IXCHEL.

Ixchel is the the ancient Maya goddess of fertility and healing. Ix means goddess of the feminine. Chel means rainbow or light. In other words, she is the goddess of the rainbow, and Lady of Sacred Light. She is always associated with bodies of water, lakes, streams, rivers and creeks.

Sacred Mayan Journey

The canoers

During 6 months the canoers prepare themselves physically and mentally to face the challenge of crossing the Cozumel Island to know the designs of the Ixchel Maya goddness.

Sacred Mayan Journey

Their participation is voluntary and the motivations are varied: A promised to Ixchel looking for their own and or the couple’s fertility, working as a team, overcoming fears, learning to face adversities, among several others.

Sacred Mayan Journey

This will be the 11th, edition of the Sacred Mayan Journey 2017. This 26th and 27th of May, you will witness the dances, Mayan rituals, and bid farewell to the canoers who will set out on a pilgrimage to Cozumel. To have a private transfers to Xcaret please contact us to send you a quote. https://www.canadatransfers.com/contact/

Sacred Mayan Journey

For the Mayans, this journey was a mystical undertaking in which they were profoundly affected by their intimate contact with the forces of nature.

Sacred Mayan Journey

All night long, guests in Xcaret, participate in rituals and supplications to the goddess IXchel, as they wait for the first rays of dawn, when they send the canoes off to Cozumel.

Sacred Mayan Journey

Do not miss the opportunity to participate and enjoy of this ceremony that is already a tradition at Xcaret Park.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jungle Tour in Cancun

Enjoy the exciting Jungle Tour in Cancun

The jungle tour in Cancun has been for a long time, one of the most famous and fun activities to do in this beautiful place. This jungle tour is designed for those people who do not want to spend an all-day tour.  The duration of this activity is only two and a half hour. Usually they have three daily departure times which are 9:00am, 12:00, and 3:00pm.

Jungle Tour in Cancun

For the jungle tour in Cancun they use speed boat with capacity for two people and limo speed boat for 4 people. The ride is on the lagoon passing through the canals and mangroves, while observing the lagoon’s flora and fauna where live frogs, iguanas, white turtles, crabs and different species of wild birds.

Jungle Tour in Cancun

This is a guided activity with staff of the marina, who will help you during the whole trip. It takes approximately 45 minutes of crossing the lagoon to go out to the sea and reach the coral reefs area named Punta Nizuc which is very famous for its abundance of sea life, with great variety of multicolored fish.

Jungle Tour in Cancun

Jungle Tour in Cancun

In this place is where you can practice snorkeling for about 30 minutes. The whole set of snorkeling equipment is included as well as the life jacket. The snorkeling instructors will be glad to assist all the beginners.

Jungle Tour in Cancun

Jungle Tour in Cancun

This tour is highly recommended for its short duration and economic price. Canada Transfers offers this activity and you can book it with us. https://www.canadatransfers.com/regular-tour/jungle-tour/ If you are in Cancun for vacations do not miss this exciting adventure.

 

 

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Swimming with Turtles

SWIMMING WITH TURTLES.

Akumal means in Mayan language Land of turtles, and for a long time was the best place to swim with these species for its shallow and clear waters. Since February 15th 2017, the swimming with the turtles in Akumal was prohibited. There were several causes that gave rise to this situation. Actually the laws of protection to the environment in Mexico has regulated the rules and laws to carry out this marine activity. In the past any company or group of persons without the corresponding permission could do this activity causing damage to marine life and disturbing the habitat of the turtles. The people did not use life jacket and they used fins damaging the reef. They touched, grabbed and chased the turtles, without leaving them alone. Now, all these things are not allowed anymore.

akumal1

New rules for swimming with the turtles.

It is mandatory to wear a life jacket

Be respectful to the turtles without touching or chasing them.

Respect the demarcated zones with buoys to observe the turtles

A distance of approximately 2 meters should be kept in order to observe them

The use of sunscreen must be biodegradable.

akumal2

Until the elaboration of this article, the swimming with the turtles in Akumal continues suspended until further notice. However there is another place named Yalku which is a beautiful lagoon near Akumal where it may also be possible to swim with turtles. There are agencies authorized and regulated by the Mexican law of protection to the environment to offer this service to the tourists.

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In case you want to visit Yalku on a private van transportation, one of the recommended options is Canada Transfers. https://www.canadatransfers.com/ with a reliable service and experience.

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Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

What are the Cenotes.

The Cenotes in the Riviera Maya are deep, water pits in limestone that are created when the roof of an underground cavern collapses. This creates a natural pool which is filled by rain and water flowing from underground rivers. Some Cenotes in the Riviera Maya are vertical water-filled shafts, while others are caves that contain pools and underwater corridor in their interior.

Water Clarity.

The water filling the Cenotes is rain water that has filtered through the ground, it has few suspended particles, so the water is extremely clear. It is a delight to dive in.

Purpose of the Cenotes.

Cenotes had a ritually significant to the Mayans, because they were considered passages to the underworld. They had sacrificial purposes too. The Cenotes nowadays are a big attractive for tourists who enjoy them for swimming, snorkeling or diving.

Excursions to Cenotes.

Canada Transfers offers private excursions to different Cenotes. https://www.canadatransfers.com/private-tours/ Here are some of the most important.

CENOTE DOS OJOS:  Is considered as one of the best Cenotes to practice cave diving and snorkeling. The visibility through the water is amazing. It is into the top 10 longest underwater cave systems in the world.https://new.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/cenote-dos-ojos-private-tour/

Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

CENOTE IK’KIL: It is located very close from the archaeological site of Chichen itza, and usually most of the excursions to this place make a stop at the Cenote for swimming. https://new.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/chichen-itza-cenote-ik-kil-private-tour/

Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

CENOTE SAC ACTUN: It is an underwater cave system. This Cenote is also known as a pet cemetery due to the enormous amounts of fossilized animal skeletons found in the caves during the exploration. Its crystalline waters are perfect to practice the snorkeling. https://new.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/cenote-dos-ojos-private-tour/

Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

CENOTE AKTUN CHEN: This place is a theme park, which has one of the most beautiful Caverns and Cenotes in the Riviera Maya. You can practice the snorkeling in the crystal fresh waters of the Cenote, and Zip lining above the jungle. The park has also a zoo of wild local fauna to visit. https://www.canadatransfers.com/private-tour/eco-park/

Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

XENOTES OASIS MAYA: This is a regular tour to connect you with four different and beautiful Cenotes near Cancun.https://www.canadatransfers.com/regular-tour/xenotes–oasis-maya/

Cenotes in the Riviera Maya

 

If you know or have in mind, another Cenote which is not on the list, please contact us to send you the information. https://www.canadatransfers.com/contact/

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