With incredible parks in Mexico’s Riviera Maya like Xcaret, Xel-Ha and Xplor, Xperiencias Xcaret is known throughout the region for its unbeatable cultural events. They really put on a show with detailed costumes, beautiful music and innovative ways for the crowd to experience every single event.
Last week, we were invited to attend their annual Sacred Mayan Journey (or “Travesía Sagrada Maya”, in Spanish). This 3-day event recreates an ancient local tradition once done by the area’s Mayan community. Canoes of athletes row all the way from the Riviera Maya to the nearby island of Cozumel to worship the Mayan goddess Ixchel, then row all the way back the following day.
To start off the Travesía Sagrada Maya, Thursday night was the Interactive Mayan Market at Xcaret park. Guests could purchase small bags of cacao beans, which would then be used to exchange for goods like seashells, fruits, vegetables, chiles, necklaces and honey. Performers in simple white Mayan garb posed as the market’s vendors, selling their wares to customers while dancers recreated ancient Mayan chants and traditions in the midst of it all.
After the market, everyone made their way down to Xcaret’s beach, where they sat on the sand or on waterside bleachers to see a Mayan shaman and endless dancers bless the next day’s journey for the canoers who would participate in the Travesía Sagrada Maya. Beautiful women danced on the sand, Mayan warriors performed acrobatics and shamans cleansed the area with copal smoke. Once again, Xcaret managed to put on an amazing show!
Friday morning, we woke up bright and early to make it down to Xel-Ha park at dawn. A crowd gathered around the inlet to cheer on their family and friends who would make the journey across the Caribbean waters to Cozumel. The first canoes slipped through the mist into the inlet, then out into the open sea.
We walked through the jungle to the coast of Xel-Ha, where we were greeted by a jaw-dropping sunrise as the canoers rowed into the horizon on their way to the island.
Thank you again, Xperiencias Xcaret, for preserving the Riviera Maya’s fascinating Mayan culture with this one-of-a-kind event!