If you are one of the many who are searching for a knowledgeable,
experienced source for Mayan ruins tours, student tour and Mayan travel to the beautifully enigmatic world
of the ancient Maya, you've found the right place. Many are not well informed about
the history, the logistics or the accommodations available while exploring the
fascinating region of the Maya. This website is intended to fill that void and get you in direct touch with The Mayan Traveler, a
U.S. based Mayan ruins tour operator with over 25 years of experience in arranging Mayan travel and educational tours to the World of the Maya - Mexico and
Since 1984 The Mayan Traveler has provided
Mayan ruins travel packages, Mexico travel packages. Mexico vacation packages, student tours and educational tours. We
welcome the opportunity to do the same for you. We offer many prearranged Mayan tours and adventure travel tours and can customize any
itinerary for individuals or groups.
Since Belize is such a special country and offers so many unique experiences we have a special menu of resort and tours unique to this wonderful little country. Click this link to go to the Belize Archaeology and Natural History page. We also provide extra special archaeology tours to
Peru and Ecuador for archaeology and student groups!
For those who will be taking
a few extra days before or after our tours that begin and/or end in Cancun we
have some suggestions for Pre and Post Tour activities. Please use this
link - Pre/Post
Tour Activities - for more information.
PLEASE NOTE - Our tours are not "day tours" or "seat in bus" tours. Our tours are
escorted tours - we do not use "local guides".
Our tours are operated with our own private vehicles - we do not utilize "
. Tours include standard
accommodations designed for a minimum of 2 persons.
Upon request we can quote any tour
in "Budget" or "Deluxe" accommodations.
ALSO, it must be noted that the prices presented generally increase during Holiday weekends, Spring break, etc. when travel schedules dictate higher demand.
GUARANTEED DEPARTURE tours and dates
We offer Mayan tours that will travel with a minimum of
4 persons, a maximum of 10. These Mayan travel guaranteed departure tours will be made up of individuals, couples or small groups,
including our extraordinarily popular "The Best of the Maya" .
We have many other tours with regular departures year round that are available for as few as 2 persons. These tour are Mexico City and
Central Mexico, Oaxaca Highlands and Archaeology, The Great Cities of the Maya, Maya
Maya Adventure Tour, Belize Archaeology + Tikal, Chiapas Highlands and Archaeology, Guatemala
Highlands and Tikal, Mexico Grande Tour and Mexico Colonial Tour.
The Best of the Maya
NEW POSTING - Our
Best of the Maya
Guaranteed Departure dates are February 15/22, March 15/22, April 12/19, May
10/17 and June 14/21.
The other tours have their own departure days, generally the first and third Saturdays or every month,
Please check the Guaranteed Departure page or each individual tour's page for specifics.
Individual Tours and Prices / "Guaranteed Departure" Tours and Prices.
Personal safety of our tour participants
High value, reasonably priced participatory tours
Educational, enriching, thoughtful and fun agendas
Environmentally and socially responsive sustainable
Quality adventure tours to Latin America since 1984
Highly recommended by our clients and the press
Vetted, experienced and highly recommended operations
Professional guides and expert lecturers
Colonial and historical sites
Ancient, historic and contemporary religions
Groups – 6 to 10 participants
Groups – 12 to 24 participants
Groups – up to 40 or more
So, take a look at the Mayan travel and Mayan ruins tours presented here and contact us for additional information or for reservations.
The Mayan Traveler
- Some Historical Perspective -
The earliest trace of homo
sapiens found in Mexico or Central America date back about 20,000
years. These early hunter/gatherers eventually cultivated an kind of wild
corn and begin the earliest Mesoamerican civilizations between 5,000 and 1,000
From these humble beginnings the
mother culture of Mesoamerica, the Olmecs, developed along the shores of the
Gulf of Mexico from about 500 B. C. to 100 B.C.
In the central valley of
what would eventually be known as Mexico the city of Teotihuacan arose around
100 B.C. and was mysteriously abandoned around 750A.D.
With Teotihuacan abandoned new
groups from the north descended on the Central Plateau and Valley. As time
passed these tribes converged and became known as the Toltecs. These
people were the first to distill many of earlier manifestations of spiritual
ideals of wisdom and learning into a identifiable "god", the bearded,
fair-skinned Quetzalcoatl. Shortly thereafter this name became
linked with one of the Toltec rulers, in effect transforming the myth into a
The reign of this Toltec priest, Ce Acatl Topilzin, was
remembered as one of peace and plenty. After his death legend told that he
would return in the future. Much to the chagrin of the Aztecs, when Hernan
Cortes landed in Mexico in 1519 they thought that Cortes was the returning Quetzalcoatl.
This created terror in the heart of Moctezuma and helped Cortes immensely in
the early stages of his conquest.
After the Toltecs faded from the
Mesoamerica stage the Totonac, the Zapotec and the Mixtec peoples all had their
periods of glory and prosperity. Though not as famous as the Maya their ancient
cities are evidence of the grandeur of their times of reign. The sites of
El Tajin, Monte Alban I and II are fine examples of their grand architectural
and construction skills.
Then there were the Maya, the largest
homogenous group of indigenous peoples north of Peru. Their cultural
development began around 1500B.C. and spread over an area of 250,000 square
miles, which is now represented as parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.
Today, many of their ancient cities are in remarkable well
preserved repair. These cities are designed along similar lines as other
Mesoamerican cities with a city center where the main temples , ceremonial
structures and plazas are awe-inspiring. Close to this area were the
living quarters of the priests, lords and officials responsible for ritual,
government and administration. Normally there is one of the famous ball
courts nearby where the mysterious game of pok-a-tok was played.
Further out were the homes of the wealthy and important merchants. On the
perimeter were the dwelling of ordinary citizens and farmers.
The Maya had a structured and
disciplined society governed by priest-rulers, but the were never united at a
single capital or under a single ruler. The autonomous city-states shared
a common hieroglyphic script, the concept of zero and a common religion and
The Maya's knowledge of astronomy and
mathematics was immense. Some of their calculations have proved not only
to be well in advance of their time, but more accurate than those that we use
today. They include a more exact calendar than the one we use today and
the calculation of lunar cycles and the accurate prediction of eclipses.
Long-thought to have been peaceful
worshippers of the gods, it is now known that the elaborate Mayan rituals
included blood-letting and that their celebrations involved dance and
sacrificial offering to win the favor of their gods. Also, they were
almost constantly in a state of war with one or another of their neighbors.
The ancient Maya were mysterious and
enigmatic. They left behind some of finest man-made wonders in the
world. Understandably the travelers who come to the region today want to
see the huge pyramids and temples, the great stelae covered in hieroglyphic
inscriptions, the beautiful artifacts and works of art left behind and the
ball courts where mysterious athletic contests were held.
But, it should be remembered that Mayan
lore is more than the ruins and forgotten culture of a long-dead empire.
As you travel here the Maya are all around you. Modern descendents of the
ancient Maya drive your bus, catch the fish you eat, work in the bank where you
change your money and guide you as you trudge up the steep steps of a monumental
temple. The Mayan Empire may be dead, but the Maya - some two million of
them - are very much alive in their ancient ancestral land.
- The Yucatan's Historic Haciendas -
Throughout the Yucatan
peninsula are historic haciendas—the country residences of wealthy
landowners—where once the agave plant was grown. Henequen, a strong fibrous
part of the agave cactus, was used for making rope and was an incredibly
valuable export in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The hacendados
(hacienda owners) controlled vast parcels of land in the Yucatan. Autonomous and
self-sufficient, haciendas operated along feudal lines, with the land owners
reigning supreme. The sad reality was that the land was mostly worked by
indentured indigenous Indians. As the agave fields flourished in the heat of the
Yucatan vast fortunes grew and the owners of working plantations continually
upgraded their haciendas.
Throughout their evolution the
haciendas became surrounded by thick walls to protect the great
houses with their lofty rooms and plant-filled patios. The walls would also
surrounded the hacienda’s chapel, the laborer’s dwellings, the warehouses
and granaries, the henequen (or sisal) production facilities, kitchens, the
schools, the cemetery, stables, cattle yards and other buildings.
After the demand for natural
rope fiber fell in the early part of last century many of these magnificent
architectural masterpieces fell also, into ruins. Long lost, they are now
revived and restored to their original splendor—and then some! Today they are
some of the most distinctive and luxurious small hotels in all of Mexico. Not
only are they atheistically stunning, but the service, food and ambience are as
wonderful as the physical surroundings.
These uniquely beautiful properties are
a wonderful base for the exploration of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Mayan ruins of
their ancient world.
We welcome the opportunity to provide a Mayan ruins tour for you and your party. Our prearranged Mayan tours and adventure travel tours are listed on the Mayan Ruins Tours link below. Also we can and do customize any Mayan travel itinerary for individuals, groups or for student travel.
To make your Mayan adventure even more special we can offer pre or post tour sport fishing, scuba diving or natural history extensions or additional nights for you to simply enjoy the special magic of the Mexican Caribbean and the world of the ancient and modern Maya!
Please let us know if you would like more details.
Also, we can offer similar tours to extraordinary Peru and Ecuador for exploration of the ruins and culture of the enigmatic Inca and the splendor of the Spanish colonial period.
The Mayan Traveler/Tropical Travel
P.O. Box 132739
Panther Creek Station
The Woodlands TX 77393
© 2014 - TheMayanTraveler.com/Tropical Travel Representatives
1-888-The-Maya (1-888-843-6292) or 281-367-3386