For thousands of years, humans have inhabited the islands and coastlines of the Caribbean and in the process, they have left behind legacies of great civilizations, conflicts, faith, and commerce. The Seven Man-Made Wonders of the Caribbean are included in this legacy. They feature the remains of the ancient cities and temples of the Mayans, the thriving historic capitals of Cuba and Puerto Rico as well as the Panama Canal. Let’s take a look at some of the man-made wonders of the Caribbean.
Mayan Ruins of the Mexican Caribbean
The ruins at Chichen Itza on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula were recently added to the new list of New Seven Wonders of the World. They stand as a lasting tribute to the Mayan civilization that raised the city between the years of 400 A.D and approximately 1400 A.D which is when it mysteriously vanished. The tallest and most well-known structure at Chichen Itza is the Pyramid of Kukulkan. The site, however, also contains a grand plaza, a marketplace, a ball court, and an ossuary. While the Tulum ruins are smaller in size, they are no less impressive as the walled port city is well-preserved in part due to the fact that it was inhabited deep into the 16th century. It is also a popular tourist site that combines ancient history with the beauty of the Caribbean cost which can be found just 80 miles south of Cancun.
The Basilica at Higuey, Dominican Republic
This structure is located near La Romana in the Dominican Republic and named for the spiritual mother of the Dominican order of nuns. It became a Catholic festival site after Dominican troops secured a victory over the French army at the nearby Battle of Sabana in 1691. After the victory, the soldiers offered their arms in Higuey as a tribute to Our Lady of Altagracia. The Basilica at Higuey is a modern structure that was built 1971 and is located forty minutes from the resort area of Punta Cana. It is, in fact, one of the most visited buildings in the DR and the signature 248-foot central arch along with its other architectural features are lit in bright colors during the night.
The Panama Canal is a testament to human industriousness as it links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans by the narrow isthmus of Panama and through the Caribbean Sea. Construction of the canal began in 1880 and took over thirty years to complete while costing the lives of 22,000 workers. For over a century, it has remained a key shipping conduit that provides the only passage between the two oceans other than circling Cape Horn. In present day, about forty cargo and cruise ships make what is a nine-hour passage through the 48-mile canal as they pass through two sets of locks along with 17 artificial lakes.