- The Mayan Traveler -

 

    

The U.S. Based World Leader in Mundo Maya, Mexico and Central America Tours Since 1984!

We are proud to offer information on high quality escorted Mayan World travel, Mayan ruins tours and student tours to the ancient ruins, natural history and modern wonders of the beautiful world of the enigmatic Maya, the Colonial Cities of Mexico and Central and South America. 

 

Our tours include professional guides (we do not use "local guides") and our tours are operated with our own private vehicles (we do not utilize "public transport").

This is the perfect site to find out-of-the-ordinary Mexico and Central America Mayan vacations and educational tours.  If you are looking for tours to the Colonial Cities of Mexico you can check out our sister site, www.MexicoColonialCities.com.

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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 Central America.

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 high quality, escorted tours - we do not use "local guides".    Our tours are operated with our own private vehicles - we do not utilize " public transport" .  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 Rivers Expedition, 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  -  Our 2014 Best of the Maya Guaranteed Departure dates are February 15/22 (Sold Out) , March 15/22 (Sold Out) , April 12/19 (Sold Out)  and May 10/17.

NEW POSTING - 2015  Best of the Maya Dates

January 10/17, February 7/14, March 14/21, April 11/18 and May 16/23.

Prices to be posted shortly

The other tours have their own departure days, generally the first and third Saturdays or every month, year round.  Please check the Guaranteed Departure page or each individual tour's page for specifics.

Individual Tours and Prices / "Guaranteed Departure" Tours and Prices.

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OUR PRIORITIES

                   Personal safety of our tour participants

High value, reasonably priced participatory tours

Educational, enriching, thoughtful and fun agendas

Pre-planned and customized itineraries

Environmentally and socially responsive sustainable programs

 OUR EXPERIENCE

                  Quality adventure tours to Latin America since 1984

Highly recommended by our clients and the press

Vetted, experienced and highly recommended operations partners

Professional guides and expert lecturers

 TOUR  CONTENT

                   Archaeology

Natural history

Cultural interactions

Colonial and historical sites

Ancient, historic and contemporary religions

Participatory adventures

TOUR SIZES

Individual and Private Tours

Small Groups – 6 to 10 participants

Medium Groups – 12 to 24 participants

Large 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

1-888-TheMaya

(1-888-843-6292)

email:  info@TheMayanTraveler.com

- 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 B.C.

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 reality.  

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 cosmology.

    

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.

Maya Site Overviews Mayan Traveler Tours Colonial Mexico Tours Guaranteed Departures Tour Info Request Health and Packing Inevitable Small Print Why Travel With Us? TMT FAQs

TheMayanTraveler.com

The Mayan Traveler/Tropical Travel
P.O. Box 132739
Panther Creek Station
The Woodlands TX  77393
1-888-The-Maya (1-888-843-6292) or 281-367-3386
email:  info@TheMayanTraveler.com
© 2014 - TheMayanTraveler.com/Tropical Travel Representatives