Chichen Itza Debuts on Second Life

June 11, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Ancient! Contemporary! Futuristic! Second Life®? Famed archaeological site and finalist towards becoming a new seventh world wonder, Chichen-Itza, will be making its debut in the virtual world, Second Life® (SL) on June 10, 2007 at 1:00 pm PTD, featuring a seven hour music showcase. SL is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents with the participation of more than seven million people from around the world.

Virtual tourists will be able to enjoy an array of interactive and life-like attractions at the Chichen-Itza virtual site, where they can climb or fly over the great pyramid El Castillo, dive and search for hidden treasures in the sacred cenote (sink hole), and visit a (traditional Mayan home). The area will also include a Mayan temazcal (sweat lodge), where the SL community will be able to enter and lie on a floating mat with visible steam and glowing lava rocks. The mystical experience will allow the participant to see visions of stars, butterflies and images from the past.

In addition, an audio tour of the area with relevant historical information about
Chichen-Itza will be made available with its very own transportation from the back of a Mayan butterfly. A gallery of images and a streaming video of the equinox will also be on hand.

“We are proud to share with the world this Mexican landmark and heritage,” said Francisco Lopez Mena, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board. “We are very excited to be promoting Chichen-Itza in this new medium, and encourage everyone to visit the site and cast their vote for Chichen-Itza as a new seven wonder,” he added.

Voting kiosks will be placed throughout the site and across the virtual world in high-traffic areas, where you will be transported automatically to the “new7wonders” website to vote for Chichen-Itza, upon clicking. As a token of appreciation, the Mexico Tourism Board will be giving voters beautiful Mayan inspired clothing and jewelry to wear in their SL travels.

To access the Chichen-Itza site, simply download the Second Life software and follow the instructions. Once the user has entered, they must type into the search engine “Visit Mexico,” where they will be automatically tele-transported to the new site.

Wonderful Chichen-Itza dazzles visitors
It is for good reason that Chichen-Itza, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, is included in the finalist list for the new Seven World Wonders. The sacred site is considered to have been one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatan peninsula, and today is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico.

Today Chichen-Itza is the most visited archaeological site in the Yucatan Peninsula. Many tourists add a day trip to their vacation to travel to the site, located approximately two hours away from Cancun and two and a half hours from Merida.

The site’s main attractions include El Castillo, or the Pyramid of the Serpent God Kukulkan, a magnificent pyramid topped by a temple, to which thousands of people from all over the globe flock every spring and fall equinox to witness a shadow depicting the god slither down it. Visitors can also explore the sacbes, white limestone pathways used by the ancient Mayans.

Its immense ruins are surrounded by lush green vegetation, underground rivers, natural wells and limestone that the Mayans used to construct their magnificent buildings.

About Chichen-Itza, the World Wonder
Swiss-based New7Wonders Foundation is revising the original seven ancient wonders of the world, and Mexico’s Chichen-Itza in Yucatan State is one of 21 finalists to become a new Seven World Wonder. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, Chichen-Itza is considered to have been one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatan peninsula, and today is one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico. To vote for Chichen-Itza as one of the new Seven World Wonders, visit the “new7wonders” website.

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Erick Laseca
Mexico Tourism Board
312-228-0517 ext14