Sacred Mayan Journey is a sacred ritual that has been proudly recreated in the last years in the Riviera Maya.
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.
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 is known as Cozumel Island) was an important pilgrimage site.
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), Mexico.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cozumel and they know that they can face even more challenges during the expedition.
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 Cozumel island.
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.
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.
The reception of the canoeists takes place in the Park Chankanaab in Cozumel Island, Mexico.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.