Last weekend marked the 10th year in a row that the Sacred Mayan Journey has been resurrected in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, with more than 300 oarsmen making the trip across the water from Xcaret on the coast to Cozumel Island, Mexico. According to the Riviera Maya News, the event actually dates all the way back to the Late Post Classic Period, which lasted from about 900 to 1550 AD.
“In the Mayan community, it was common practice of villagers to make an annual canoe trek from what is today called Xcaret, to the island of Cozumel to visit the Oracle of the Goddess Ixchel.”
Traditionally, this yearly pilgrimage included a wide variety of offerings for the goddess in the hopes that she would share her divine message with the devout. Today, the Sacred Mayan Journey has become one of the Riviera Maya’s much anticipated annual events and is accompanied by music, dance and the journey itself, which is completed by skilled oarsmen paddling through the clear blue waters of the Caribbean Sea in traditional canoes. The annual event has grown to attract thousands of onlookers, and took place this year on May 20 and 21.
“On May 20 the canoes check out at 5:30 in the morning to cross the Xcaret to Cozumel course,” stated Carlos Condstance, vice president of Grupo Xcaret. “The canoeists are people in the community who train for six months to participate in the trip.”
The pilgrims depart from Dos Playas – a beach at Xcaret that marks the ancient departure site – and land at Chankanaab Park on the island of Cozumel. Most canoeists complete the journey by around 1 p.m. Friday, only to turn around and make the return trip Saturday morning after an afternoon and evening of celebration.
“After centuries of being lost, Xcaret began recreating the traditional crossing in 2007,” wrote the Riviera Maya News. “Since then, more than 2,596 Mayan canoeists have made the challenging crossing.”
Inside Scoop from Investment Properties Mexico: Xcaret Park was once known as Polé by the ancient Maya and served as the main shipping port of pilgrimages to Kuzamil (Cozumel) and other seafaring ventures.
So, when are you coming to Cozumel for a visit?
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