Every so often, I get travel pitches or see articles about really cool or interesting travel experiences. Obviously, I can’t experience all of these first hand, but I still want to be able to share them with you. Last year, I had the chance to visit the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun as part of a press trip. It was my first trip to Mexico, but I would like to go back someday. And when I do, I want to experience life beyond the resorts as well. On my list of things to experience is La Travesía Sagrada Maya (the Sacred Mayan Journey).
The Sacred Mayan Journey is an annual event that harkens back to the Mayan civilization in the 11th century. Dozens of canoes carrying brave oarsmen and women embark on a 17 mile journey from Xcaret to Cozumel to worship Ixchel, the goddess of fertility. After an evening of festivities, they rise early the next morning to make the return trip.
This past May, roughly 350 men and women made the journey which takes 6-7 hours each way. Participants train for months to build up the strength and stamina for the trip, which pays homage to the proud history of the Mayan people. One of the participants wrote this of the training and of the experience as a whole (translated):
“More than four months have passed! Now I get to thinking: What a great feat the Mayas went through! Rowing year after year bringing offerings to the goddess Ixchel in order to obtain her favors for their people. It is difficult to fathom, while I write this down, that I am now part of an age-old tradition, I have the opportunity to recreate history.”
Visitors flock to Xcaret and Cozumel to see the participants off on their journey and to celebrate their safe arrival. I can imagine it’s quite the party! Would you attend La Travesía Sagrada Maya if you have the chance? Or maybe you have another special celebration you’re hoping to enjoy some day?
Disclosure: Moon Palace Resort in Cancun hosted me for a press trip last year. There was no additional compensation and the opinions contained in this post are my own. Images are courtesy of the Cancun Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.