Maya Tours and Packages in 2012
Throughout 2012, every country in the Maya world will host events and ceremonies at most of the ancient sites. The majority of 2012 activities will be celebrations of Maya culture, both ancient and modern. Most tours are anchored with visits to relevant archaeological sites, to Maya villages, consults with astrologers, and lectures from archaeologists and epigraphers.
Another way to acknowledge 2012 is to help out in a rural Maya community, either by donating to a foundation that helps the modern Maya, or by participating in a homestay or simple tourism program.
A handful of community-based tourism opportunities exist throughout the region, some quite primitive and authentic. Your support of these programs in 2012 and beyond helps allow modern Maya to diversify their income.
- Combines tours to Chichén Itzá, Dzibilchaltun, Uxmal, Tulum, Cobá, and Ek Balam with lectures about the Maya calendar and ancient astronomy. Stand beneath Chichén Itzá’s Castillo Pyramid as the shadow snake descends on the spring equinox.
- Join this established eco-tourism project in the Maya village of Muchucuxcah where you can spend your nights in hammocks, eat local meals, and learn a Maya trade such as weaving or palapa construction.
- Learn the fundamentals of Maya writing and the Maya calendar, then test your knowledge in the field at archaeological sites like Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilán, and Tonina.
- Xcaret Ecopark will reenact a Maya crossing to Cozumel with 300 canoe paddlers dressed in ancient Maya clothing, ornaments, and body paint.
- Celebrates the beginning of a new era with visits to Cobá, Ek Balam, Chichén Itzá, cenotes, and the colonial cities of Valladolid and Mérida.
- Three tours, led by a Maya spiritual leader, focus on enlightenment and self-discovery in 2012.
- Volunteers are invited to share their knowledge and experience with this indigenous community.
- This tour of Maya culture through the ages visits archaeological sites with the earliest Long Count calendar dates, as well as stunning Maya lake villages. Includes: Tak´alik Ab´aj, Ixmiche, Santiago de Atitlán, Chichicastenango, Quetzaltenango, Antigua, and Izapa.
- Activities are based at beautiful Lake Atitlán and include Maya cuisine, a fire ceremony, Maya spiritual cleansings, and a reading of your Maya birth date.
- Get deep into the Mundo Maya, including homestays in nearby Cakchiquel and Tz’utujil Maya villages.
- Huehuetenango is ground zero for grassroots, village-based eco-tourism. These projects are the first of their kind and are visited by just a handful of visitors.
- Learn your Maya birth glyph, participate in ceremonies, visit archaeological sites, sample local food and drink, and learn about Maya cosmology.
Attend lectures on the Maya calendar and the possibility of a new cycle, then visit Lamanai, Xunantunich, Caracol, and Cahal Pech, before spending the night under the stars at Tikal (just across the border in Guatemala).
- This weeklong tour includes a trip to Actun Tunichil Muknal cave and a private full-day tour of Lamanai.
- This is Belize’s Super Bowl, an exciting and convivial canoe race held during the first week of March and timed to coincide with Baron Bliss Day celebrations.
- The Lodge at Chaa Creek offers an expansive 2012 winter solstice program. On December 22, a huge stela will be erected, inscribed with the names of participating guests.
- This eco-tourism program organizes homestays in Maya villages. Activities include craft lessons, storytelling, and tours.
- Many jungle resort packages in 2012 include tours to Xunantunich, Caracol, and Cahal Pech, morning forest walks, visits to sacred caves such as Actun Tunichil Muknal, and sometimes a side trip to Tikal.
- After a full day touring the Copán ruins, sign up for this Maya ritual sweat bath. The Copán Valley boasts several yoga retreats and forest-bound boutique spas.
© Josh Berman from Moon Maya 2012