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Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret

The Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret Park, Mexico
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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), 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.

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 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.

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.

Please share with people who love to Travel

Travel Mexico

Amaixico

 

 

 


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Comments (75)

[…] Sacred Mayan Journey […]

Reply

This sounds like such an incredible experience. I am kind of jealous! I will have to add this to our bucket list. 🙂

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Thanks! I’m so glad you liked it, and I hope you have the opportunity to visit the amazing Park soon!

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Wow- so cool that you can watch this event or actually participate in it! What a truly unique experience that would be!

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Thanks! Yes, it is a wonderful unique experience. It’s such a beautiful ceremony and I love they keep the traditions alive.

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Oh I’m so excited of seeing this, cause soon I will be traveling to mexico and hopefully having these kinda interesting experiences. Loved the ceremony photos!

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That’s fantastic! I hope you can experience a traditional ceremony and have a wonderful time in Mexico. Each state maintains the traditions of its region and is wonderful.

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Still amazes me of the ritual of the countries, How they still retain and do the worship on their rituals. Lucky you experience one in Mexico.

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Thanks Laurence! I love to experience unique rituals from different countries or religions. It’s so wonderful to preserve those great traditions.

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Sounds like an awesome trip! I would love to try out the canoeing! Is there someone that shows you how to do it?

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Yes, I think it’s a wonderful adventure. They prepared with months in advanced to make the journey, I think is a fantastic experience.

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I’m really happy to see how in many places around the world old rituals are being brought to life; and I hope that most of the time it’s because they mean so much to locals, not because it attracts tourists. Very interesting read, thank you for sharing!

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Thank you Zenja! I completely agree with you, this kind of traditions and rituals are very important for the people of each country, they are not an attraction for tourists. Although it is very nice to be able to share it with the world and preserve our traditions.

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This sounds like a very exciting experience. You are so lucky to have witnessed it! It’s good that this kind of traditional rituals are preserved and passed on from one generation to the next. And, oh, that beach at Xcaret looks gorgeous!

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Thank you Maria! As you say, it is very important not to lose traditions and feel very proud of it. And definitely Xcaret is a beautiful place to perform this wonderful journey. It was an amazing experience and I hope to do it again.

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What a fantastic experience and even better when everyone is able to participate in preserving the cultural elements. The beach is so inviting as well!

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Thank you! Yes, it is not only the spectacular event, it is also the beautiful beach and all the great activities at the park.

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Fascinating! I had no idea about this local custom. Very interesting post and beautiful pictures!

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Thanks Smita! I just discovered a few years ago and I was so excited to finally experience it.

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I loved Mexico. I have been there some years ago and of course we went to Xcaret. Love all the Mexican history! That is impresive

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Thank you so much Esther! I’m so glad that you visited Xcaret, it’s a wonderful park and the work they do to continue the traditions is wonderful.

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What an experience- looks very beautiful and not somewhere I’ve seen that much info on!

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Thank you Hannah!
Yes, it was a wonderful experience of the Mayan culture rituals.

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Jealous, I love witnessing festivals and events like this and kudos to you for actually knowing what’s happening. Does this take place in other parts of Mexico? Or just unique to here? Just mentally preparing a Mexican itinerary for myself 🙂

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Thank you so much Sarah! This ceremony and journey, happens only from Xcaret to Cozumel Island. I hope you can experience some day, because it’s fantastic and you can enjoy the amazing park for the rest of the day.
I also love to witness ceremonies and traditions in other countries.

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Looks incredible! I would definitely go as a caoneist!

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Thanks Alan!
Really? You’re so brave! I just enjoy with my camera haha, my respects for the canoeists.

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What a wonderful ritual to have experienced and be involved in, loved your photos! thanks for sharing!

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Thank you Melissa! It was so fabulous, it was totally worth waking up so early. I enjoyed it so much!

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I have lived in Playa del Carmen for a couple of months but never visited Xcaret, even though it has very good recommendations! I think I’ll visit when I go back, I’m so in love with Mexico!

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I hope you can visit the next time, you’ll love it. And if you’re lucky to be there for the Mayan Journey don’t miss it, totally worth it! I hope to see you soon!

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This is such a visually stunning trip. love the experience you had

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Thanks Sinjana!
It was a fantastic event and I feel so lucky for the opportunity.

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What a great way to experience a piece of history. I had never heard of this before? Really entertaining to read about you experience, I hope I can do it myself some day!

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Thank you so much Alex! I hope you can experience it someday, it is a unique and wonderful ritual.
And the amazing park it’s totally worth visiting!

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Mexico is one of the most beautiful country in America I guess. I would love to visit it again soon:)

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Thank you so much! I hope you can visit Mexico again soon!

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Fascinating rituals of sacred Mayan journey. Its all about culture and traditions that make each community proud.

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Exactly, the most important thing is to keep our traditions alive. It was a wonderful experience and I am very proud of it.
Thank you so much!

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This sounds like such an incredible experience. I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. Hope I get the chance to experience this one day

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Thank you so much Daniel! I hope you can experience some day, it’s a beautiful ceremony and I love how they have maintained the tradition for so many years.

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What an amazing experience – to witness another culture’s meaningful ceremony. I can’t imagine rowing for 12 hours! Great post 🙂

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Thanks Danielle! I can’t imagine either, although it must be an incredible experience for the canoeists. It was a wonderful experience and I hope to do experience again next year!

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Some old traditions and rituals is the thing, I like to witness and document. Would love to get there with my camera. How do people reach, when they are photographed?

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Thanks Alexander! You can witness and document this journey for sure, as I did. The preparation of the canoeists is very difficult and for them it is very gratifying that people come to document this wonderful journey.
I hope you can make it, it is an event that takes place every year in the month of May.

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After looking at photos I can understand how exciting this journey would have been. Photos describe beauty of the place.

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Thank you so much Rajat!
Yes, I was so excited to finally witness that amazing journey! Thank you so much for your comments!

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I always love to attend sacred and regional festivals and therefore Sacred Mayan journey looks interesting to me. Great to know about giving offerings to Goddess and it sounds similar to Indian customs. Though I can’t be canoeists but can be a guest to enjoy and feel all the spirituality over here.

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Thank you Yukti!
I also love to witness festivals and traditions in different parts of the world. I would love to learn much more about the customs of India, it was a fantastic experience.

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This must have been such a special experience to be part of. I was in Mexico not too long about but didn’t do this. I hope to go back someday and take part. Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks Paul!
If you ever visit Mexico again in May, do not miss it. It is a wonderful experience.

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I am fascinated by the Mayan culture and what a great way to experience their tradition. The photos look amazing and I hope I can witness this ceremony someday.

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Thanks Puja!
I also believe that the Mayan culture is impressive and I love that traditions can be shared with everyone.

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Need to add this to my bucket list! So amazing!!

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Thanks Roxanne!
You’ll love it, I’m sure. It’s a fantastic Eco-Park and the journey is awesome!

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What a gorgeous post. Such a beautiful ritual to be a part of and amazing scenery to boot! Loooove your pictures!

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Thanks Amelia!
It was a fantastic ritual and the place makes it even more special.! It makes me proud of my traditions and past. Thanks for your comments.

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How did you get an invite to witness this? Lucky you- it looks like such a wonderful experience to be part of even if you are an observer.

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Thank you Sherrie!
You can watch this event buying a ticket to the eco park, the tickets are sold several weeks in advance. I was so lucky because it was really a marvelous event!

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You are so lucky to have been invited into such event. I have been a big fan of south american culture since a long time ago and have always dreamt of visiting Peru most of all. And for you to experience a mayan ritual and have a taste of what it’s like is inspiring

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Thank you Jen! Yes, I was very fortunate to be able to witness this incredible event. I hope you can visit Peru soon and more fantastic countries.

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This is such a fascinating ceremony and it’s good that the Conquistas did not manage to erase all of the indigenous traditions and heritage. I used to stay in Puerto Morelos for a month, but never participated in something like this – so thanks for sharing your experience <3

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Thank you so much Renata! You stayed in puerto Morelos for a month? That’s awesome, I love that lovely village, relaxing and amazing.
I hope you can visit Mexico again! Thank you so much for your comments.

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What a cool journey steeped in tradition and history. I cannot believe they canoe for so long only to turn around and return. I love Mexicoand all of the history and culture and cannot wait to return.

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Thank you so much Alison!
The work of the canoeists is also impressive to me, now I understand why they prepare so much in advance. It is a spectacular event. I hope you can come back to Mexico soon!

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What a lively and colourful celebration! I have always been fascinated by Mexico and the Mayan civilisation, so interesting!

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Thank you Claire! Yes, I think so too! The Mayan civilization is impressive, and there are still thousands of things to discover.

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THIS IS A GREAT POST. WOULD LIKE TO VISIT THESE BEAUTIFUL PLACES

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Thank you so much!
I hope you can visit Mexico soon!

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It must have been fun for you to experience the festival. They cannoe for that long just to go back where they came from? This really must be a tradition no one misses there

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Thank you Esther! Yes, it was a very special experience for me. I’m so glad to had the opportunity and hope to do it next year again. The canoeists are amazing, I’m sure it’s a really hard work to make it to the island and the next day paddle again.

Reply

Such an interesting idea for a post and very well put together. I learned a lot about the ancient Mayans. Thanks for sharing your story.

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Thank you!
The Mayan culture is so mystical and wide, I think it’s so wonderful to experience that traditions so many years later.

Reply

What a specular event you have here while witnessing it firsthand! You have such an incredible experience with this trip. In my country the Philippines, i’ve been joining festivals like this as part of the Documentary Team, and the experience is totally hearth-warming!

Cheers!

Reply

Thank you Clement!
Yes, it was a wonderful experience and so much to learn from the mayan culture. I would love to watch festivals from Philippines, I’m sure you’re proud of the beautiful traditions.

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