Discover the land of the Ancient & Present Day Yucatecan Maya.
Sun drenched Yucatan lies on the Peninsula that shares its name. Known for it’s aqua blue waters, the great Classic and post-Classic Maya empires of Uxmal and Chichen Itza, colonial Merida, and the Winter feeding grounds of the Greater Flamingo, Yucatan never fails to enchant and delight those who come to explore; including Stephens and Catherwood, who wrote of their discoveries in the classic book, Incidents of Travel in Yucatan in 1843!
Tours in Yucatan:
On this journey designed for families, we will learn about the ancient Maya and explore their former ceremonial centers, we’ll visit and interact with local Maya communities to learn of their living traditions, we will refresh in the cool blue green water of the cenotes and enjoy a combination of natural wonders, ancient Maya history, local cuisine and music and dancing.
We will embark on fascinating excursions to meet farmers, fishermen, and ranchers to better understand and appreciate the farm to table relationships and supply chain of uniquely Yucatecan ingredients. Visitors will visit a Yucatecan family to discover the traditional pit cooking style called pib. The culinary traditions of Yucatan are like none other!
Travel to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve and Calakmul Ruins. Visit the heart of the Rio Bec region of Campeche. Get to know the Classic Puuc site of Uxmal, followed by other sites on the Puuc route, such as Sayil, Kabah and Labna, where we see great examples of the Puuc style palaces and arches, originally discovered by Stephens and Catherwood in the 1840’s…
This is why we love Yucatan:
The Colonial City of Merida, known as “The White City”.
The Yucatecan Maya are among the friendliest people you will meet.
The ancient Maya ruins in the Puuc Hills: Uxmal, Labna, Sayil, Kabah.
Mystical “cenotes” or sink holes that remain sacred to the Maya. They are invigorating to swim in!.
The Yucatecan Cuisine is like none other in Mexico: From Maya traditions, dishes have names such as, sikil pak, tikin xic, poc chuc, pibil; all are delicious!.
The main aiport of entry to Yucatan is Cancun. Get a good look, because that’s the last we’ll see of it! We will immediately board transport to take us to the vibrant, tropical, colonial capital city, Merida; land of the guayabera and romantic boleros. From here, we explore the Maya sites of Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, and learn to identify Puuc architecture at Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil and Labna. To enjoy the crystal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, we visit Celestun, the Winter feeding grounds for the Greater Flamingo. Our trip ends with an adventurous trek to the white sandy beaches of Holbox; not easy to get to, but worth the trip. If you like fresh ceviche, you’ll be in heaven.
Architectural Styes of Late Classic Maya
Depending on location and timeframe, the Maya developed distinctive architectural styles; Peten, Puuc, Chenes and Rio Bec. In Yucatan, this style was in large part Puuc, identifiable by keyhole style entry ways and ornate carved friezes. The timeline will be reviewed, from the Pre-Classic, Classic and Post Classic periods to get a better understanding of who was where, when! The Maya Calendar, and the difference between the Calendar Round and Long Count method will be reviewed. We’d better hurry, as the Great Cycle, according to the Long Count calendar ends December 23, 2012!
The Maya Today
It is hard to imagine that so close to us, are a people whose rhythms of life are so different from ours. From what they think about and do when they get up in the morning, to how they build their homes, what they eat, and even where they sleep. In large part, the Maya people of Yucatan have preserved a way of life, that for centuries revolved around the cycle of the seasons and the all important corn harvest, or “milpa”, based on slash and burn methods. Their cultural identity also comes from their unique Language and Religion. Join us on a Journey to learn more about how others in our world live today.
Photos From This Trip