The jungle that covers the Yucatan Peninsula is dense as it is lushly filled with numerous trees as a wild forest. This jungle is not cultivated anymore but according to researches, the landscapes were highly and devotedly managed by the ancient Maya people prior to the collapse of their civilization. The wild forest that has been discovered is what the ancient Maya cities have turned into after thousands of years of being left to the intervention of nature.
The Untamed Gardens of the Jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula
All the plant and tree species that are present in the jungle of Yucatan are Maya civilization’s greenery that have gone untamed and the forest is not the landscape that was there prior to foreign invasion.
One evidence that pointed out that there was an ancient civilization that prospered in the jungle thousands of years ago is the fact that the ecosystem of the peninsula bears the indication that there was human manipulation. The plants are uniformly spread which is not the case if they evolved naturally. This observation only proves that the Mayans rigorously changed the jungle where they developed their civilizations. Most of the plants are species that were highly cultivated but have gone untamed after long years of being neglected.
After further investigations, it was found out that the most number of plants that are still present are those that are economically important. This means that the ancient people had really used up the land to provide them with food.
The Forest of the Yucatan Peninsula Today
The jungle is almost totally inaccessible except by going on a guided tour. There are roads that were built cris- crossing the region and main highways that run along the coasts.
Most of the inner parts of the jungle are uninhabited except for some hunters that still reside in small communities. These native villages are accessible by trail and there are even some with electricity.
Yucatan Peninsula as an Eco-Friendly Park
The Yucatan Peninsula is a rugged flat terrain and there are portions that have been turned into National Parks and commercial places like the Xel-Ha and the Xcaret parks that are both are located in the Quintana Roo state.
The Xel-Ha theme park was established in the 1980s and it has been managed by a private company since 1995. The main attraction of this park is the natural lagoon and inlet where hundreds of water species live in. The park boasts a turtle reserve and among the activities being offered includes swimming with the dolphins, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Xcaret means ‘little cove’ in Maya language and this park was founded by a millionaire developer who developed it into an intriguing educational and recreational project that is a first of its kind. The park covers 250 acres of land and an inlet. There is a museum that preserves the ancient people’s history and culture. There are also archaeological sites that are scattered around the flourishing landscaped grounds. There is also a wide area of space provided for activities such as swimming, snorkeling and horseback riding.
These parks and the rest of the National Parks around the Yucatan Peninsula provide today’s generation with places to learn about the ancient Maya civilization and to experience something that has long been hidden from the rest of the world.
The Mayan jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula is a dense tropical rainforest inhabited by the Mayans that was converted into Mexican villages of our modern times. The peninsula is a unique combination of cultural and ecological diversity.
Plan your visit to the Yucatan Peninsula and explore the National Parks and the amazing Mayan ruins. Read more about our Mexico adventure trips.