The Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret Park, Mexico
Quintana Roo

Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret


Sacred Mayan Journey is a sacred ritual that has been proudly recreated in the last twelve years.

It takes place in the month of May, before dawn at Xcaret Park at the Riviera Maya located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico and this year I had the fortune to be invited to the ceremony.

It was wonderful to have witnessed this event at the fascinating Riviera Maya.

Canoes at the beach of Xcaret Park ready for the Mayan Journey in Mexico
The canoes are ready for the Journey.

What is the Sacred Mayan Journey

The ancient Mayans performed this ritual thousands of years ago to worship the goddess Ixchel.

At that time, what we know today as the best park in Cancun, Xcaret Park was Polé, an old commercial port.  Kuzamil (today known as Cozumel Island) was an important pilgrimage site.


The sacred Mayan Journey sign for the Mayan traditions in Cancun, Mexico
So excited to be part of the mayan traditions.

The ancient pilgrims worship the goddess of the moon and fertility, Ixchel by paddling from Polé (Xcaret) to Kuzamil (Cozumel).

The event is very close to the Mayan history in terms of canoes, dance, music, sacrifice and garments.

My experience of the Sacred Mayan Journey

The event begins at 4:30 in the morning, it is still dark in the port of Polé (Xcaret).

You cross the park following the light of the torches until you get to the beach where the guests take their place.

Everybody is excited to witness the event, you feel like you go back on time.

The ceremony of the sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret Park Cancun, Mexico
The stage is ready and everybody is excited.

Next to the beach there are small tents where you can buy delicious Mexican food and products that remind us of our ancestors.

More than 300 canoeists have been prepared for several months to make the brave journey.

One of the best things to do at Xcaret park is the Sacred Mayan Journey in Mexico
The ceremony begins at Xcaret.

Men and women of different ages will make the journey to preserve the tradition and the sacrifice to the goddess.

The atmosphere smells like incense and pride to our ancestors.

Everything is ready and the ceremony begins, with dances, music and a wonderful show that takes you to the past.

The Mexican and Mayan traditions at The Sacred Mayan Journey in Xcaret Park, Cancun Mexico
They transport you to the past and make you part of it.

Then the canoeists appear, ready to undertake the spiritual and renewal journey to deliver the offerings to the goddess. You can see in their eyes the excitement and joy to begin the long journey.

The trip will take around 6 hours to get to Kuzamil (Cozumel) and they know that they can face even more challenges during the expedition.

The Dances at Xcaret, part of the ritual and the ceremony of The Sacred mayan Journey at Cancun, Mexico
The dancers at the ceremony.
Sacred Mayan Ceremony to preserved Mexican and Mayan traditions in Mexico at Xcaret Park
Beautiful traditions that should be preserved.

The first rays of the sun emerge and with them the farewell of the canoeists; family, friends and every person wish them to arrive safely to Kuzamil.

The Sacred Mayan Journey begins.


The Canoeists at the Journey

They start rowing and they know that the trip will be long and exhausting.

Sometimes the tide overturns the canoes, causing them to fall into the Caribbean. But this doesn’t stop them, they just continue the path.

Xcaret Mayan ritual ready for the journey begins to Cozumel Island, Mexico
The sunlight is here and the wind is blowing.

They have worked for months to make it possible. The canoeists are volunteers, who want to make the journey with a personal desire.

Even people over 60 years old manage to do it. They are people who earn respect and admiration, and every year, new people have the opportunity to realize the dream.

Mayan ritual and the canoes are ready for the Sacred Mayan Journey from Xcaret Park to Cozumel Island in Mexico
The Sacred Mayan ceremony is almost over.

The reception of the canoeists takes place in the Park Chankanaab in Cozumel.

After a few hours of multiple challenges, the canoeists finally arrive at their destination.

The goddess receives the offering and the people acclaim their arrival.

It’s time to rest, because the trip isn’t over yet. The next day, they will leave again to Polé (Xcaret) carrying the message of the goddess Ixchel.

Canoeists at Xcaret ready for the adventure at The Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret Cancun, Mexico
The canoeists are ready for the journey.

So, after two days and paddling for more than 12 hours they return home and of course they are received as they deserve.

There is a celebration at the beach of Xcaret to receive the brave canoeists who made the tradition possible this year.

Canoeists to the Sacred Mayan Journey, excited to begin the adventure to Cozumel Island, Mexico
You can see the excitement at their faces.
Canoeists at Xcaret park the beginning of The Sacred Mayan Journey, Cancun Mexico
It’s time to say good bye and good luck!

Do you want to be part of the Sacred Mayan Journey

If you want to be part of this amazing event, you can do it as a guest or a canoeist.

If you want to witness this event, you can buy your admission ticket to the park for the day of the event and arrive at the time.After the event you can enjoy the wonderful park. 

I have a post about Xcaret Park, with all the things to do in this incredible Eco Park in Mexico.

The Sacred Mayan Journey begins as the wonderful event to enjoy at Xcaret Park in Cancun, Mexico
The Sacred Mayan Journey begins.

In case you want to be part of the canoeists, you need to be between 18 and 65 years old, know how to swim in open waters, have respect for the Mayan culture and reside in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cozumel.

The canoeists and the beautiful restaurant at Xcaret Park in Cancun, Mexico
At the back one of the beautiful restaurants at Xcaret.


One of the best things to do in Xcaret Park, the beach to enjoy at Quintana Roo, Mexico
The marvelous beach at Xcaret.

It was an honor to have witnessed the Sacred Mayan Journey.

Thanks to the Xcaret Group for making these events and preserving our beautiful traditions.

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