Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day 5 - Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve kayaking

Day 3 and we are visiting the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, which protects approximately 2,394 acres of land. With 2 freshwater lagoons excellent for kayaking, we will take a 2 hour guided trip through this gorgeous ecosystem which has recorded over 800 plant and tree species, 103 mammal species,including 5 cat species, 339 bird species and 42 amphibian and reptile species.


Today we cruise in motor boats for a shorter site inspection with Antonio, our Mayan guide.

With Emilio, Fernando and our boat driver... 


           In Mayan, "Coox" (coosh), Let's go, or "conex", let's all go!






Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 4- Punta Laguna Monkey Reserve and Cobá ruins

This morning we headed to the Punta Laguna Monkey Reserve to see Howler and Spider monkeys. About an hour and half drive from Chichen Itza, this park is remote and offers protection for the monkeys. The trails rocky, slippery and full of roots but our guide leads us quietly while calling to the spider monkeys. 
It's very windy and our day is not without reward... a family of spider monkeys but they are difficult to follow...


video


video


Punta Laguna was declared a national protected area in 2002 in the official name of "Otoch Ma'ax Yetel Kooh", the home of the spider monkey and the puma. With over 13,000 acres, this community consists of thirty Mayan families and offers hiking, birdwatching, and monkey watching while protecting their natural and cultural heritage. 





Cobá - After the park, we head for Cobá, about 56 miles east of Chichen Itza and approximately 20 miles west of the Caribbean. A climb up the tallest pyramid, Nohoch Mul, 138 ft. tall with 120 steps, reveals two carvings above the alcove of the descending god, still bearing the slight colors of turquoise and red. 
Only a few of the roughly 6,500 structures have been uncovered. As many as 50 sacbes, mayan roads, led into this massive city, including one which is over 62 miles long, the longest in the Mayan world.  


Visitors can still climb this pyramid for a commanding view of the jungle from above. 




The temple of the frescoes








Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day 3 - Chichen Itza / Ik Kil Cenote


This morning we take a short drive to Ik Kil Cenote where the group will go for a swim after visiting Chichen Itza. Can't wait to jump in this swimming hole!!!

video

Chichen Itza, a Unesco World Heritage site, is one of the most visited places in Mexico. Come early to beat the heat and the crowds but no matter when you come, it is sure to amaze. Tales of the infamous ball court games are easy to imagine when you walk into the center of the court. There are 13 ball courts in the park and this represents the 13 heavens in Maya religion. El Castillo, the main pyramid of Chichen Itza, has nine platforms representing the 9 levels of the underworld. It also features 91 steps on each side of the pyramid and including the top floor, totaling 365 steps for each day of the year.

                      
                                

     detail of the temple with serpent heads at the base...




the Chac Mool at the top of the Warrior Temple





The view from the very beautiful Mayaland Hotel lobby looking out to the observatory of Chichen Itza. 


 The Mayaland Hotel also has incredible tropical landscaping and an observatory of its' own, private bungalows, and three pools.
Chichen Itza was once owned by the explorer Edward Herbert Thompson and the adjacent hotel, the Chichen Hotel, was once his hacienda. 




the observatory featuring nightly shows.


Moorish architecture dominates the style of the hacienda.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Day 2 - Valladolid City

We begin in Valladolid, founded in 1545 and located in the Yucatán Peninsula situated in the northeastern part of the Mexican state of Yucatán. We will visit the main square, church and convent and explore the city.


                            





Frescoes were found only six years ago during restoration in the San Gervacio cathedral, that revealed well preserved frescoes.

We then go to the city hall to view four large paintings by Manuel Lisama depicting the coming of the Spanish and the Mayan civlization as they both evolve.





Sunday, December 1, 2013

Day 1 - Welcome to Quintana Roo & Yucatán, Mexico!


Merengue lessons, hiking in a monkey reserve, kayaking in freshwater bays and snorkeling on a barrier reef. Add archaeology and zip lines and you have the Yucatan Multisport program! 

After arriving to Cancun, rest up for a real adventure in the Yucatan Peninsula!





We are about to begin the first Yucatan Multisport for Road Scholar and I am here in the Yucatan Peninsula to do a site inspection before the first group arrives. Take a look at some of the amazing sites we will see in this Multisport program, exploring ruins, snorkeling and even swimming in cenotes along the Riviera Maya and inland!

Day 1: Arrival to Cancun, Mexico
day 2: Visit to city of Valladolid 
Day 3: Chichen Itza / Ik Kil Cenote 
Day 4: Punta Laguna Monkey reserve / Cobá ruins
Day 5: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve kayaking
Day 6: Tulum ruins / Cave snorkeling No Hoch Cenote
Day 7: Snorkeling Akumal bay / Playa del Carmen
Day 8: Selvatica Adventure Park / Puero Morelos snorkeling
Day 9: Departure