Climbing the Mayan Ruins at Xcambo

The view after we climbed up on top of one of the ancient structures at the Xcambo Mayan ruins in Mexico was really cool! Read all about it at Burnsland.

The view after we climbed up on top of one of the ancient structures at the Xcambo Mayan ruins in Mexico was really cool!

I have mentioned a few times in the 2016 Cruise to Mexico Trip Report about how excited we were to be able to climb on some Mayan ruins. After all, they built so many of those things with stairs going up to the top, so the Mayans meant for you to climb them, right? How can you resist climbing on something with stairs, anyway. I think that the climbing restrictions at some ruin sites only make you want to climb on others even more. So we were happy to be able to climb at Xcambo.

Once we got to the top, we were even more excited, because the view of everything down below was really cool, as you can see here. Those clouds made it all even better, too. A perfect day for being out and climbing on some cool ruins. It was cool enough that I have mostly forgotten about how hot it was when I look at these photos now. It was worth a little bit of sweat in the long run.

Seeing all these structures built by ancient people make me think of other similar structures, such as the mounds built by the ancient people of the area where I live. The Mayans used the stones that were available in that area, while the people here (we still call them Indians although this obviously isn’t India) used the dirt that was available to them. But the common factor for all of these and so many others was to build something tall. Apparently, height was associated with power and prominence back then, so whoever could get up the highest must be the most important. Most theories point to the town elders or ruling officials living in houses on pyramids or mounds. Sometimes they are thought to be the teachers, astrologists, or medicine men. Whoever was most important in that village.

I guess that really isn’t all that different from how we are today, at least in our big cities. Tall buildings abound, including office buildings and apartment buildings. Sometimes, it isn’t as much about power as it is about efficient use of space. But even if it isn’t about power, we still marvel at the view from up high, because it is just cool.

Maybe part of that fascination just comes from getting a different outlook on things. I sometimes get the same feeling from being up on the barn roof, or even just from looking out the second story windows sometimes. While I don’t think that I am “looking down on the rest of the world” in a sense of contempt, I do think that it helps to get a different view of things sometimes, especially for those of us who usually just stay down near the ground, for whatever reason. No, I’m not afraid of heights; I just don’t often have a good reason to go up, in case you are wondering.

So if you get to climb up on something high sometime, enjoy the view. Just don’t let it go to your head.

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. - Proverbs 29:23

About the photo:

I wanted to bring out the cool clouds in the sky, so I made sure to use some selective coloring to make the sky look as blue as I could. Once I altered the sky color, I had to alter the green color a bit so that it didn’t look weird. Did you know that to alter the color of greenery like this in a photo, you should actually change the yellow values more than the green values? I seem to have been running into that a lot lately. Who knew there was so much yellow in leaves and grass?

Also, I like the people you can see here, because they help you to visualize the size of all of this. There aren’t that many people out there in this photo, but the two just to the right of the palm trees in the center are probably the best for size comparison. Yes, the fisheye lens makes things sometimes appear to be farther away than they actually are, but having people in the photo helps keep things in perspective, I think.

Here is a before-and-after comparison to let you see some of what was changed during processing:


2016 Cruise to Mexico

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Location: Xcambo, Yucatan, Mexico

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.