The fast-approaching end of the Maya Long Count has inspired a number of Mundo Maya accommodations to come up with some truly unique and creative offerings this year—the best of which include a way for local Maya people to benefit from tourism.
Take, for example, the Toledo District of southern Belize, which has long been known for its various Maya village guest house and homestay opportunities. You can also choose a lodge that will plan everything out for you. The Lodge at Big Falls, a highly recommended small lodge in southern Belize, located on a gorgeous stretch of the Rio Grande River, is offering a “New Mayan Dawn Tour.” This 4-day/3-night package includes all meals, transfers, and activities, while combining visits to nearby Maya archaeological sites and authentic interactions in the homes and villages of the region’s English-speaking Maya.
“Toledo is the Mayan heartland of Belize with more than 50 Kek’chi and Mopan Maya villages,” says Rob Hirons, owner of the Lodge at Big Falls. “While the district still remains largely undiscovered by mass tourism, [this] is changing rapidly and social customs and traditions are threatened along with the forests and natural environment.”
That’s where you come in. “This trip makes a difference because it provides income for the families involved and reinforces the notion that their culture and music are valuable and worth preserving.”
If you prefer covering more ground, there are also a number of multi-country 2012 tours happening this year, often led by experts and academics.