Maya Exploration Center: Education Through Exploration
Zenith Passage 2012 Tour
Surfing the Zenith in the Maya World

A Tour led by Archaeologist Dr. Christopher Powell

This 10-day trip begins in Guatemala City where your guide, archeologist Dr. Christopher Powell, will begin with an introductory lecture, the ruins of Kaminaljuyu (the first capital of the Highlands, now buried under Guatemala City), and an afternoon flight to the Peten. The next day begins bright and early, boating up the Pasion River to Seibal for the zenith passage. While the dates of solstices and equinoxes remain static everywhere in the world, the dates of zenith passage (when the sun passes through the very center of the sky) only occur in the tropic and change according to latitude. As such, this tour will chase the zenith passage southward, witnessing it again in Quirigua, where the tallest stela in the Maya world stand, and then finally to Copán, where its special latitude of 14.8 degrees has the day of zenith passage fall on the Maya creation date anniversary of August 13th and divides the solar year of 365 days into the sacred year of 260 days and the cycle of corn, 105 days. The tour will stay in Copan for two days and then finish up in Guatemala City with a visit to the National Anthropology Museum and a celebratory final dinner.

Zenith Passage 2012 Tour
Surfing the Zenith in the Maya World
Guatemala and Honduras
Price $3100 per person (add $500 for single lodging)
$300 deposit due upon registration, balance due 30 days before the trip.
Dates August 5-15, 2012

August 5, Sunday: Arrival, 9 Ik' 5 Yaxk'in
Land at the Guatemala City airport in the afternoon and transport to the Holiday Inn
Attend an early evening orientation meeting in the hotel lobby
Overnight in Guatemala City
August 6, Monday: Kaminaljuyu, 10 Ak'bal 6 Yaxk'in
Morning: Lecture - Maya History 101
Afternoon: Kaminaljuyu and museum
Kaminaljuyu was the 1st great Maya capital city, dating back to 1000 BC
Afternoon: 4:30pm flight to Flores, Peten Evening: Lecture - Maya Astronomy and the Importance of Zenith Passage
Overnight in Flores
August 7, Tuesday: Zenith at Seibal, 11 Kan 7 Yaxk'in
Morning: Boat up the Pasion River to Seibal
Afternoon: Zenith Passage at Seibal
Seibal was a living city for over 2000 years, from Olmec times into the Postclassic
Evening: Lecture - Ancient Maya Calendars
Overnight in Flores
August 8, Wednesday: Lake Peten Itza, 12 Chickchan 8 Yaxk'in
Morning: Walking tour of Flores
Flores was once Noj Peten, the capital of the last Maya empire - the Itza
Afternoon: Boat tour of the lake - the ruins of Tayasal and San Jose
San Jose is the home of the last 7 Itza speakers left on the planet
Evening: Lecture - Tikal, Rome of the Maya World
Overnight in Flores
August 9, Thursday: Tikal, 13 Kimi 9 Yaxk'in
Morning: Transport to and tour of Tikal
Tikal Stela 10 has a date stretching back over 5 million years into the past
Afternoon: Lunch and onsite museums
Evening: Free time in Flores
Overnight in Flores
August 10, Friday: Rio Dulce, 1 Manik' 10 Yaxk'in
Morning: Transport to Lago Isabel and boat to hotel
Afternoon: Boat trip around the lake
Evening: Lecture - Theories About 2012, What to Believe?
Overnight in Rio Dulce
August 11, Saturday: Zenith at Quirigua, 2 Lamat 11 Yaxk'in
Morning: Tour and zenith passage at Quirigua
Discussion of Quirigua's important creation texts
Afternoon: Travel to Copan (four hours)
Evening: Lecture - The Dynastic History of Copan
Overnight in Copan
August 12, Sunday: Copan, 3 Muluk 12 Yaxk'in
Morning: Tour of Copan
Including a tour of the excavation tunnels underneath the acropolis
Afternoon: Copan's Sculpture Museum
Evening: Free time
Overnight in Copan
August 13, Monday: Zenith at Copan, 4 Ok 13 Yaxk'in
Morning: Free time in Copan
Afternoon: Zenith passage in Copan's plaza and the Sepulturas neighborhood
August 13th is also Maya Creation Day Evening: Free time in Copan
Overnight in Copan
August 14, Tuesday: National Anthropology Museum, 5 Chuwen 14 Yaxk'in
Morning: Travel to Guatemala City
Afternoon: National Anthropology Museum
Evening: Final dinner at El Kacao
Overnight in Guatemala City
August 15, Wednesday: Departure, 6 Eb 15 Yaxk'in
Return to the Guatemala City airport for flights home

Flores: Hotel Santana - AC, private bath, telephone, cable TV, wireless internet, pool, and onsite restuarant - located on the lake shore with a beautiful sunset view
Rio Dulce: El Tortugal - Cabanas with fans, private baths, and onsite restuarant - located on the shore of Rio Dulce in Lago Isabel
Copan: Hotel Copan Marina - AC, phones, wireless internet, pool, and onsite restaurant - located on the main plaza of Copan
Guatemala City: Hotel Holiday Inn - AC, private bath, telephone, cable TV, pool, onsite restaurant, and wireless internet - located in Guatemala City's Zone 10

- All lodging
- Private ground and water transportation
- Flights to Flores from Guatemala City
- Entry fees into all ruins and museums
- Breakfasts
- Lunches
- The final dinner
- Archaeologist/Anthropologist guides
- Six on-site and evening lectures

Does Not Include:
- Airfare to and from Guatemala City
- 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

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