The Yucatan Peninsula is unlike any other region of the world. The dynamic jungle offers the world a rich history of the sophisticated Mayan past. And more than that, from the ones who know it best—its indigenous people. Dive head-first into a vibrant lifestyle. Taste the food, smell the fruits, and listen to the stories. Discover one of the seven wonders of the world through the voices who call it home. Welcome to Mayaland.
The Mayaland Family: The Meaning of Hospitality
A visit to Mayaland means becoming a member of one of the oldest families in Mexico. Mayaland was the first hotel in the world to be constructed on an archaeological site in 1923. Chichen Itza joined UNESCO’s World Heritage site in 1988 and became the seventh Wonder of the World in 2007.
Visit the site through its public entrance, stand in a hoard of crowds, and check that off your bucket list. But what if I told you there was more to the story? What if there was a part you were missing? Let me introduce you to the faces that make Mayaland the only destination you’ll need for a vacation of a lifetime.
Wilma is the Commercial Director of Mayaland. It’s unlikely you’ll cross paths with her during a stay a Mayaland, but you should know who she is.
While you’re busy riding through the citrus plantation in a 1930s-esque Land Rover or watching the sun rise behind the massive Chichen Itza, Wilma is active behind the scenes to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. She knows each employee by name and takes pride in their work at Mayaland. Wilma is proof that sometimes some of the biggest smiles come from the inside out.
Take a Ride With Carlos
When we arrived in Cancun, we were greeted by a long immigration line and a sea of cab drivers begging for our business. The air was sticky, the crowd was large, and we were a little overwhelmed.
And then there was Carlos. The friendly five-foot-seven Mayan man in his Panamania-style straw hat met us with a single rose, a cool towel, and a contagious smile. He immediately took our heavy luggage and ushered us into the luxurious, extended Cadillac Escalade. Along the way, he taught us some traditional Mayan words and customs, told us stories of his days growing up in Tulum, and welcomed us to the area like family.
Listen to the Stories of Victor
Did I mention Mayaland holds the key to a private entrance into one of the Seven Wonders of the World? And the story wouldn’t be complete unless told by one of the hotel’s expert tour guides.
Victor has a knack for storytelling. The local Mayan tour guide has been with Mayaland for 35 years, and it’s clear that he loves what he does. Follow him through the ancient ruins of the Mayan pyramids as he tells the stories of the Chacmools and the Mayan warriors. Visit Los Colorados and Mexico’s only pink lake where he can show you all of the secrets of the town. Then hop aboard for a winding boat ride through Rio Lagartos where he’ll put you next to flamingos, seagulls, and crocodiles. You haven’t toured the Yucatan until you’ve seen it with Victor.
Cook a Meal With Rosa
Rosa is a woman of few words, but don’t worry—there won’t be much talking when you’re with her. Sit fireside as she carefully crafts handmade corn tortillas, fresh brown eggs, homemade sweet bread, freshly cut fruits, hand-pressed orange juice, and so much more. Follow suit and lend a hand in grinding and mixing Chili Gueros with fresh garlic, salt, and the native sour orange juice to create mouth-wateringly delicious salsa at their intimate traditional Mayan breakfast. Trust us—Rosa will not leave you hungry.
The Man Behind Mayaland: Fernando Barbachano
You won’t find a face at Mayaland that doesn’t say, “Mr. Barbachano” with a smile.
Fernando is a fifth-generation owner of the hotel group that has remained in the Barbachano dynasty since its creation in 1921. But he’s so much more than the president of the company. Mr. Barbachano is a friend to every one of his employees. In a world where finances come first, Mayaland breaks the mold, ensuring that their people are encouraged and strengthed. The Barbachano family provides it all, from educational benefits to community restoration to rides to work in the morning and everything in between.
The secret to your very best vacation in Mexico is really no secret at all—happy people make happy guests. Whether you’re going to visit the ancient Mayan cities or unwinding from the chaos of life, you can rest assured that your next visit to Mayaland will send you home with a refreshed mindset and a full heart. ¡Bienvenida, amigas!
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