Every May since 2007 the island of Cozumel in Mexico’s Riviera Maya has hosted the Sacred Mayan Journey,which takes participants on a pilgrimage through the Caribbean Sea in a tradition that dates back more than 500 years. This year,the voyage will include 33 traditional,handmade Mayan canoes with 334 oarsmen and women,who will gather May 23rd at the ancient port in Xel-Há and travel 48 kilometers to land in Cozumel’s Chankanaab Park.
153 women and 181 men will participate in the journey,including locals and other individuals from Argentina,Belize,Canada,Columbia,England,France,Germany,Holland,Puerto Rico,Spain,Thailand,the United States and Venezuela. In addition,more than 600 artists and support staff will aid in the celebration and ritual ceremonies that will take place in Cozumel real estate,including traditional dancers,musicians and more.
On May 23rd the festivities will kick off with a pre-Hispanic market and the arrival of the canoes at the port of Xel-Há,which lies south of Cancun and Playa del Carmen,just north of Tulum in Mexico’s stunning Riviera Maya. As the sun’s rays welcome the dawn on May 24th,the participants will embark and arrive several hours later in Chankanaab,Cozumel,where gatherers will begin the ancient ceremony to honor the Mayan goddess Ixchel. On May 25th the participants will row back to Xel-Há to conclude the ritual.
This year,the festivities will focus on sharing the advanced maritime knowledge of the Mayan people,once again bringing an ancient tradition to new generations and a variety of visitors from around the world. The project was founded seven years ago to strengthen the cultural identity of the Mayan people who are indigenous to the region and has quickly grown in popularity among locals and visitors alike.
The port at Xel-Há lies within an eco-park of the same name that offers a variety of aquatic activities,including one of the world’s most beautiful natural aquariums. Here,visitors can swim and snorkel among the many colorful fish that can be found throughout the region,or opt to explore the nearby jungle via bicycle,train or on foot.
On Cozumel Island,the port of Chankanaab lies within a national park and conservation area of the same name that offers visitors access to fabulous diving opportunities,swimming with dolphins and much more. Here,a replica village offers a variety of traditional dining and shopping opportunities,in addition to the many activities that are planned for this year’s Sacred Mayan Journey.