Cancun's new Maya Museum also includes the San Miguelito archaeological site.
(Courtesy The Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau)
With less than a month to go before the official end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012, a new museum focused on Mayan history has opened in Cancun. The Maya Museum of Cancun is a $15 million project that includes 350 ancient Mayan artifacts it took more than 30 years to collect. Designed by Alberto Garcia Lascuráin and showcasing three 4,400-square-foot exhibition halls, the museum features 14,000-year-old Mayan 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) discovered in a nearby cenote 10 years ago, and a room full of tools and other artifacts the Mayans once used in daily life. Sculptures by artist Jan Hendrix are also on display, as is a 26-foot-tall Great Pyramid inside the main building and displays of ancient dwellings, altars, and mural paintings. Next door to the Maya Musem is the archaeological site of San Miguelito, also included in the $5 admission price. The museum's official website is currently only in Spanish, but an English-language version is in the works (the Cancun tourism board's website has information in English as well).