The Yucatan Peninsula is a destination known to be home to one of the most enigmatic and millenary cultures that exist in the world today: the Mayan culture. Today, there are many community tourism projects that have decided to share their heritage and rich cultural heritage with visitors eager to learn the traditions of this ancient civilisation, which still holds many secrets inherited from their ancestors.
Below, we describe our 4 favorite experiences in the Yucatan Peninsula to meet the Mayans during your travels in the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatán and Campeche. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like us to create a personalised itinerary including these or other similar experiences adapted to your needs through our exciting country!
Learn the basics of Mayan lifestyle in the community of Ek Balam
This is the best way to dive into a typical Mayan community, where you will be welcomed as family! In this tour you can learn about the history of Ek Balam and participate in some of the community member’s daily activities such as: demonstrate your skills as hammock weaver or discover the exciting meaning of the embroidery of colourful huipiles. Also, you will do a master class in corn tortilla making and taste, of course with a selection of authentic Mexican sauces.
You will also learn about life inside a Mayan house, and we are sure that sharing with them some of their daily tasks, will generate in you a feeling of brotherhood and unrepeatable cultural exchange. Of course, be prepared to also answer questions about your country or your daily activities, this is a real cultural exchange!
Immerse yourself in the world of corn in the community of Yaxunah
This is your opportunity to get to know everything about corn: from harvest to production and final processing. Together with a farmer from the community, you will visit a traditional milpa (corn field) to learn about the arduous tasks of cleaning, planting and harvesting the corn crop – in addition to other current challenges such as the effects of climate change on crops and pests. Later, you will enjoy a demonstration of elaboration and tasting of exquisite corn-based drinks such as pozol or atole of varied flavor.
Corn is a highly important product of in Mesoamerican cultures (including the Maya). Since immemorial time, it has been very present in the cosmogony and way of understanding the world. According to Mayan beliefs, the human being comes from corn and with his dough, humanity was created. This experience will awaken your senses away and transport you to the great legends of the “men of corn”!
Visit the gates of the underworld in the caverns of Nuevo Durango
Get deep into the jungle to reach the mouth of a very special set of caverns and discover these geological formations that have meant so much to the Mayans since the very origins of the civilisation. You can reach the inside of the cavern through a vertical descent doing rappel with our expert guides – it is totally secured. But if you are afraid of heights, Tumbeen Kuxtal cavern is easily accessible and you will be amazed by its magnificent formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
For the Mayans, the caverns and cenotes had a sacred meaning, since they were considered the gates to the underworld, also called Xibalbá, place where the gods and ancestors met after death. Adrenaline and landscapes of the Mayan underworld await you!
Cycle tour with overnight stay in the jungle – El Hormiguero
If you are looking to escape from the big crowds and find a moment during your trip to disconnect and connect with nature, you will love this proposal. We head to the south of Campeche for it, where a 7 km cycle tour on a secondary road waits for us. This road has incredible viewpoints over the jungle and you will end in a camp to spend the night under the stars and the sounds of the law of the jungle marked by howler monkeys, crickets and other endemic wildlife.
In the morning, enjoy a country breakfast and visit a very special archaeological site all to yourself! This site is called El Hormiguero (the anthill) and you will be able to transport yourself to the origins of the Mayan world, learning all the secrets of this ancient city with many representations of the different gods. For the Mayans, daily life was highly marked by the gods, so learning about their deities in an archaeological suit will definitely be something you will remember for ever!