Mexico: Earth's Festival of Life

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Forests of the Maya

Series 1 - Episode 2 Forests of the Maya



Almost every ancient civilisation grew up on the banks of a river; not the Maya, who numbered 13 million people in the eighth century, until drought hit their homeland in the forests of the Yucatán. As we learn from this programme, the Yucatán peninsula is a special place, geologically – a forest sitting on a vast slab of limestone, sitting on a flooded labyrinth of caves.

The latter are beautifully explored and filmed but it’s the birdlife that makes for the better scenes, from flamingo chicks (how do their parents find them among 15,000 others?) to a bird with impressive plumage and a name to relish: the turquoise-browed motmot.


Exploring the forests of the Yucatan Peninsula, which contain the ruins of the Mayan civilisation and a wide range of wildlife, including jaguars, monkeys and tropical birds. The region also holds a secret that is the key to how Mexico's people and animals are able to survive during the country's dry season.

Cast & Crew

Producer Stuart Armstrong
Series Producer Patrick Morris