TOURS AND TRIPS
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BY ANA FIGUEROA
Tours to Mayan Yucatán are
plentiful, with options of varying
lengths and prices available from
both mainstream and specialty
operators. The sampling below
includes prices listed on operator
web sites (or provided directly from
the operators) as of March 2012.
1. “End of Bak’tun 13-Winter
Solstice Celebration,” 5 nights,
$2,041, Catherwood Travels.
2. “Yucatán Adventure,” 6 nights,
$2,020, The California Native.
3. “Our Wonders, Chichén-Itzá
to Uxmal,” 3 nights, from $986,
4. “Initiation into Maya Culture,” 3
nights, $983, Catherwood Travels.
5. “Chichén-Itzá from Merida,” day
trip, $69, Adventures Mexico.
6. “Mexico Civilizations,” 8 nights,
$1,549, G Adventures.
7. “Treasures of the Yucatán,”
7 nights, from $1,770, GOGO
8. “The Mayan Experience, Merida
& Chichén-Itzá,” 3 nights, $825,
9. “Chichén-Itzá Plus,” day trip from
Cancun and Riviera Maya, $103,
10. “Chichén-Itzá Plus,” day trip
from Cancun and Riviera Maya,
$109, Funjet Vacations.
Image supplied by Catherwood Travels
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SHARING A NAME WITH A PENINSULA
laden with Mayan treasures, the state of
Yucatán holds some of Mexico’s most
iconic Mayan sites. Those sites — such as
Chichén-Itzá and Uxmal — are fixtures of
tour itineraries, as are lesser-known ruins
(some 1,600 archaeological zones dot the
state), natural wonders such as cenotes,
wildlife sanctuaries, and Mayan villages.
focus on 2012
For tour operators, the Mayan calendar has
provided both added opportunity and challenges in planning programs for 2012.
“There’s massive interest in the so-called
end of the world aspect of 2012, and the
curiosity built around that. We’ve been
giving our Chief Experience Officers extra
training about the Mayan calendar so that
they can handle questions this year when
they guide their groups,” said Leah Griffin,
Innovation Manager for Toronto-based G
Adventures (formerly Gap Adventures).
Julia Miller, Resident Archaeologist
and Administrator for Catherwood Travels
based in Merida, Mexico, welcomes the increased interest in all things Mayan. “What
we want to focus on is the opportunity to
appreciate, honor and explore the Mayan
people. That’s our top motivation in planning the tours for 2012,” said Miller.
a wealth of offerings
Whether clients are looking for an in-depth
encounter with the Mayan world, or simply
a few days focused on culture during a
beach vacation, the range of tour product
is more extensive than ever, according to
CATHER WOOD TRAVELS;
LUIS HERRERA ALBER TOS,
ADVEN TURES MEXICO.
Jorge Romero Herrera, Director of Promotion for the state of Yucatán.
“Agents should keep in mind that Mayan
celebrations will take place all year, not just
on the solstices. We are grateful that so
many tour operators know and appreciate
Yucatán and are providing wonderful options for the traveler,” said Romero Herrera.
Actually, it’s hard to find a mainstream
tour operator that doesn’t include a foray
into Mayan Yucatán in its Mexico itineraries. Selections include Pleasant Holidays’
three-night “Mayan Experience” from Yucatán’s capital of Merida, featuring Uxmal and
Chichén-Itzá, followed by a night in Cancun
or the Riviera Maya. GOGO Vacations’
seven-night tour from Cancun, “Treasures
of the Yucatán,” visits Chichén-Itzá and
Uxmal, as well as the religious center at
Izamal, the Palace of Masks in Kabah, and
the pyramid of Ek Balam.
Classic Vacations’ three-night “Our
Wonders” tour from Chichén-Itzá to
Uxmal features overnights at the Lodge at
Chichén-Itzá and the Lodge at Uxmal, both
overlooking those famous ruins. “They’re
part of our new and improved offerings to
highlight the Mayan world in 2012,” said