Maya Exploration Center: Education Through Exploration
Pillars of the Classic Maya: Palenque to Tikal

A Tour led by Archaeologist Dr. Edwin Barnhart

This eight day tour over the week of Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day will take you between two of the major capitals of the Ancient Maya world, Palenque and Tikal. Running during the first week of February, the weather will be as cool as Chiapas ever sees and the trees will be full of the flowers that only bloom at this time of year. The journey will begin with Palenque in Southern Mexico and make its way through ruins, rain forests, and indigenous towns to the border. Crossing the Usumacinta River into Guatemala, you'll arrive to the island of Flores in time to settle in and watch the beautiful sunset over Lake Peten. The entire next day will be dedicated to exploring and learning about Tikal's vast metropolis. Along the journey back to Mexico, you'll visit the remote ruins of Yaxchilan, accessible only by boat. The last day of the trip will be back in Palenque, with a chance to explore the ruins' museum and relax. A final dinner party with MEC archaeologists will bring the adventure to a celebratory close.

Pillars of the Classic Maya Palenque to Tikal
Price $2300 per person (add $350 for single lodging)
$400 deposit due upon registration, balance due 30 days before the trip.
Date February 9-17, 2013

Feb 9, Saturday: Arrival
Land at the Villahermosa airport in the evening and take a cab to the Hotel Cencali in the heart of town. MEC representatives will meet you there and help you check into your rooms.
Feb 10, Sunday: La Venta Park
Morning: Tour of La Venta Park
Afternoon: Transport to Palenque
Evening: Lecture: Ancient Maya History
Overnight at Hotel Maya Tulipanes
Feb 11, Monday: Palenque
Morning: Tour of Palenque
Afternoon: More Palenque Tour
Evening: Free time
Overnight at Hotel Maya Tulipanes
Feb 12, Tuesday: Bonampak
Morning: Tour of Bonampak
Afternoon: Cross the Usumacinta River into Guatemala
Early Evening: Arrive to Flores for Mardi Gras
Overnight at Hotel Santana
Feb 13, Wednesday: Lake Peten
Morning: Tour of Flores
Afternoon: Boat tour to Tayasal, Santa Barbara Museum, and Petencito Zoo
Evening: Lecture: History of Tikal
Overnight at Hotel Santana
Feb 14, Thursday: Tikal
Morning: Tour of Tikal
Afternoon: Tikal tour continued
Evening: Valentines Day in Flores
Overnight at Hotel Santana
Feb 15, Friday: Yaxchilan
Morning: Transport back to Mexico
Afternoon: Tour of Yaxchilan
Evening: Return to Frontera Corozal
Overnight at the Hotel Escudo Jaguar
Feb 16, Saturdday: Palenque
Morning: Transport back to Palenque
Afternoon: The museum and ruins again
Evening: Return to Villahermosa and final dinner
Overnight at Hotel Cencali
Feb 17, Sunday: Departure
Early morning transport back to the Villahermosa airport for flights home

Villahermosa: Hotel Cencali - AC, private bath, onsite restaurant, pool, telephone, cable TV - luxury hotel located in walking distance from La Venta Park
Palenque: Hotel Maya Tulipanes - AC, private bath, cable TV, pool, onsite restaurant, and internet services - located in Palenque's La Canada neighborhood
Frontera Corozal: Escudo Jaguar Hotel - Bungalows with private bath, fans, and onsite restaurant - a little rustic but the only hotel in town! Nice restaurant
Flores: Hotel Santana - Hotel rooms with AC, cable TV, phone, pool, and onsite restaurant - beautiful sunset views over Lake Peten

- All lodging
- Ground and water transportation
- Entry fees into all ruins and museums
- Breakfast and lunches
- Final dinner
- Archaeologist/Anthropologist guides
- Evening lectures

Does Not Include:
- Airfare to/from Villahermosa
- Dinners
- Tips for Service Providers
- 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