Maya Exploration Center: Education Through Exploration

In addition to being a center of the ancient Maya Empire with major cities at the sites of Palenque and Yaxchilan, Chiapas, with it's many rivers, waterfalls, lowland plains, mountainous highlands and vast areas of jungle, is also one of the most beautiful of Mexican states.

Chiapas 8 Day Tour
Price $2000 per person (based on double occupancy, add $300 for single occupancy)
Date TBD

DAY ONE: Arrival and Orientation
Arrive at the Villahermosa International Airport in Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. MEC staff will meet you at the airport and transport you to the Hotel Maya Tulipanes in Palenque. Attend a welcome and orientation meeting in the evening.
DAY TWO: Palenque Ruins
Visit the beautiful ruins of Palenque. Tour the site with archaeologists who have been working there for years. Learn about the sacred geometry of the structures. Get on-site translations of the incredible hieroglyphic texts. Visit the current excavation projects. Take a guided tour through the on-site museum and a visit to the recently re-opened Tomb of Pakal.
DAY THREE: Bonampak Ruins and Lakamja
Leave early for the ruins of Bonampak. See painted murals - said to be the most best preserved ever found in the Maya world. Learn about King Chan Muan. Have lunch in the village of Lakamja and meet the Lacandon Maya, the only indigenous group in Mexico who continue to practice their traditional religion. Later in Frontera Corazal, check into the Hotel Escudo Jaguar, a rustic group of cabanas perched above the Usumacinta River.
DAY FOUR: Yaxchilan Ruins and the Frontera Corazal Museum
A dawn boat trip up the Usumacinta to the ruins of Yaxchilan. Explore the site's incredible temples and carved lintels. Return to Frontera Corazal and visit a museum set up by the local community to house stelae and artifacts from the region's lesser-known ruins. The Five Day Package ends on day five with departures from Villahermosa. Transportation from Palenque to the airport is provided.
DAY FIVE: Tonina Ruins and Misol Ha
Enjoy a scenic ride through the Chiapas mountains to the ruins of Tonina whose main acropolis gives the appearance of being one gigantic pyramid. Facades portray fascinating images of Maya mythology. Tonina holds the distinction of having the Maya Classic Period's last pre-collapse inscribed date, 909AD. After lunch, you'll return to Palenque, stopping at the beautiful waterfalls of Misol Ha. The six day package ends on day six with departures from Villahermosa. Transportation from Palenque to the airport is provided.
DAY SIX: Piedras Negras Ruins
Visit the ruins of Piedras Negras, built towering above the Usumacinta River. Travel through the hillside and then by boat to the ruins. Climb the gigantic acropolis at Piedras Negras to see the most recent excavations. Step inside one of eight Maya sweat baths. Lunch will be served on the riverside beach below the ruins. Piedras Negras is a ruin that few get to see and groups usually have the city all to themselves.
DAY SEVEN: Palenque Ruins - Jungle Tour
Take a jungle hike with the archaeologists working on the new map and see how big a city Palenque really was. Examine the remains of Palenque's sophisticated water management systems and the Escondido temple. In the evening the group will gather for a final dinner with the MEC archaeologists and a closing presentation. The eight day package ends on day eight with departures from Villahermosa. Transportation from Palenque to the airport is provided.

- Private transport to/from the Villahermosa Airport
- Your stay at the Hotel Maya Tulipanes in Palenque
- Your stay at the Hotel Escudo Jaguar in Frontera Corazal
- Private transport to/from all ruins on the tour
- Boat ride to/from Yaxchilan
- Entry fees into all ruins and museums
- Breakfast and lunches
- Guided tours of each ruins by MEC archaeologists
- Boat trip back and forth to Piedras Negras (Eight Day Tour only)

Does Not Include:
- Airfare to/from Villahermosa
- Dinners and alcoholic beverages
- Travel insurance

Proceeds from MEC Tours are the center's primary source of research funding. As such, a portion of the tour costs are tax deductible. MEC will provide participants with receipts and proper documentation regarding the center's 501(c)(3) non-profit status for your records.

Other Tours
» April 2018 - Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan

» June 2018 - Calakmul

» November 2018 - Palenque to Copan

» The Living Maya
» Build Your Own

This collection of books is designed to give visitors, tourists and students a better understanding of the ancient Maya.

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Suggested reading books can be bought at JungleCasts with Dr. Barnhart