Sun, sand and cerveza may be Cancun's most popular attributes, but a new $15-million museum in this resort town in Mexico's Yucatan will give tourists some variety -- and also an education.
The Maya Museum of Cancun, in the hotel zone, celebrates the Maya Empire, which reached its peak in the sixth century. Maya culture has been the focus of increased interest in the past year because the official end of the Maya calendar is Dec. 21, marking a time when global consciousness changes and a rebirth begins.
The new museum is made up of three 4,400-square-foot exhibition halls and includes 350 ancient artifacts that were collected over 30 years. Among its features are 14,000-year-old Maya remains discovered in the underwater caves of Tulum, the 10,000-year-old remains of La Mujer de las Palmas (The Woman of the Palms) and tools and other artifacts the Maya once used in daily life.
More than 12 million tourists visit Cancun annually, making it one of Mexico's most popular destinations. The museum expects to draw about a million guests annually.