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

A Tour led by Archaeologist Dr. David Hixson

This nine day tour will take you through many of the major capitals of the Ancient Maya world. The journey will begin with Palenque in Southern Mexico where the trees will be blooming with pink and white flowers and make its way through ruins, rain forests, and indigenous towns to the border of Guatemala to visit Bonampak and Yaxchilan. Crossing the Usumacinta River into Guatemala, you'll arrive to the island of Flores in time to tour Lake Peten all afternoon. Then its up at dawn and all day exploring Tikal's vast metropolis. The next day continues south to beautiful Lago Isabel and the resort area called Rio Dulce, where the elite of Guatemala City like to vacation. On the way to Copan, the tour will stop into the little visited site of Quirigua, famous for the tallest stelae in the entire Maya world. Last stop, Copan, where an entire day will be spent exploring the ruins, the tunnels underneath them, and Copan's incredible sculpture museum. A final dinner party will bring the adventure to a celebratory close. Early the next morning, its off to San Pedro Sula to catch afternoon flights back home.

Pillars of the Classic Maya Palenque to Copan
Price $2700 per person (add $400 for single lodging)
$500 deposit due upon registration, balance due 30 days before the trip.
Date February 21 - March 2, 2014

Feb 21, Friday: 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 22, Saturday: La Venta Park
Morning: Tour of La Venta Park
Afternoon: Transport to Palenque
Evening: Lecture: Ancient Maya History
Overnight at Hotel Maya Tulipanes
Feb 23, Sunday: Palenque
Morning: Tour of Palenque
Afternoon: Palenque on your own
Evening: Free time
Overnight at Hotel Maya Tulipanes
Feb 24, Monday: Bonampak/Yaxchilan
Morning: Tour of Bonampak
Afternoon: Tour of Yaxchilan
Eevning: Frontera Corozal Museum
Overnight at the Escudo Jaguar
Feb 25, Tuesday: Lake Peten
Morning: Travel to Flores
Afternoon: Boat tour to Tayasal, Santa Barbara Museum, and Petencito Zoo
Evening: Lecture: History of Tikal
Overnight at Hotel Santana
Feb 26, Wednesday: Tikal
Morning: Tour of Tikal
Afternoon: Tikal's museums
Evening: Relax in Flores
Overnight at Hotel Santana
Feb 27, Thursday: Rio Dulce
Morning: Transport to Lago Isabel
Afternoon: Boat tour of the lake
Evening: Sunset dinner
Overnight at the Hotel Tortugal
Feb 28, Friday: Quirigua
Morning: Tour of Quirigua
Afternoon: Transport to Copan
Evening: Lecture - Copan's Dynastic History
Overnight at Hotel Marina Copan
Mar 1, Saturday: Copan
Morning: Tour of Copan
Afternoon: Tour of Copan's museums
Evening: Final Dinner
Overnight at Hotel Marina Copan
Mar 2, Sunday: Departure
Early morning transport to the San Pedro Sula 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: Maya Tulipanes - AC, private bath, pool, onsite restaurant, and wireless internet access - located in Palenque's most beautiful neighborhood, La Canada
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
Rio Dulce: Hotel Tortugal - Cabanas rooms with fans, private bathrooms, and onsite restaurant - beautiful sunset views over Lake Isabel
Copan: Hotel Marina - Hotel rooms with AC, cable TV, phone, pool, and onsite restaurant - One of Copan's original hotels right on the main square

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

Does Not Include:
- Airfare to Villahermosa, Mexico
- Airfare from San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- 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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Suggested reading books can be bought at JungleCasts with Dr. Barnhart