ceiba tree yucatan

Ceiba Tree

The Ceiba Tree in Yucatan, Mexico

A very special tree.

The Ceiba tree, also known in the Mayan language as Yaaxche, (which means First Tree or Green Tree), is native to the tropical forests of Central and South America and they are also found in West Africa.  The trees grow in the wet tropical regions of forests, jungles and the African savannah. The branches of the tree are covered with thick, short spikes and the tree can grow to a 100 feet.

The blooming season of this ancient tree starts from January and continues till March. It produces dull white flowers with the seeds enveloped in a sort of fluffy fiber, a material which was in previous times, was used to stuff beds, toys and pillows.

Centuries ago, the Mayan civilization revered this grandiose tree as the tree of life, which they believed was branched in the middle of the earth, bridging both terrestrial and spiritual worlds. If you see the symbols Mayans used illustrating the great tree of life, the root system was symbolized as the resting place of the dearly departed. The Mayan people symbolized the trunk being in the middle of the earth, where all humans reside, and the rest of the branches were hailed as gateways to the heavens.

Also, according to the Mayan mythology, the tree was also a vessel to house bats, which they thought of as creatures of the dark and cold underworld. You can catch a thorough glimpse of these magnificent trees on your tour to the Tulum and Coba ruins.

It was common for Mayans to build entire villages around the spiritual Ceiba tree as they believed the mystifying tree offered great protection, success and insight. For them it was a symbol of prosperity and eternal life.

Take a tour with us to see the incredible and historical elements of the Mayan civilization and to witness the significance of the Ceiba tree firsthand with Absolute Adventure.


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