Travel like a local: exploring the mayan communities

Delve deeper into the Mayan world: travel, learn and share!

    Company Description

    We are Totonal Viajes and we are authentic travel seekers! We create tailor-made holidays that allow visitors from all over the world to discover the real Mexico, delving into the local heritage, the gastronomy and the different cultures from the past and the present.

    What makes us special

    This tour is specially designed for those looking to experience the life of our Mayan communities. You will visit several community based tourism spots scattered around the Mayan Península, in the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo, learning about the Mayan culture, cosmovision and how they are today guardians of our biodiversity.

    This is a completely off-the-beaten track itinerary, not available on our website and designed exclusively for you! The trip takes a total of 9 days (8 nights), staying in beautiful wood and bamboo confortable cabins, exploring the jungle with our local guides, giving a go to handcrafts activities and sharing local knowledge and culture with your hosts.

    Tour Program

    ARRIVAL CANCUN AIRPORT - PUERTO MORELOS Arrival to the Cancun airport and pick up of your rental car. A representative will meet you upon arrival to assist you with the rental paperwork, provide you with your travel notebook and answer any questions you may have. Then you will head to Puerto Morelos to check in to your hotel and rest (25 min by car).

    PUERTO MORELOS - EK BALAM (B/-/D) This morning you will head to the Ek Balam archaeological site (2h 25min) (entrance fee and guide not included). After you visit the site, which we recommend, you will go to the entrance to the cenote where you will pick up your bike rental and ride around the area exploring all its corners. Rounding the sacbe (the white road) you will reach a beautiful cenote where you can cool off after your bike ride. In the afternoon, you will move to the village (5 minutes) where you will take a walking community tour, in which you will visit three homes to see the day by day of Mayan families and witness how they make tortillas by hand, as well as knit hammocks (with a local Spanish-speaking guide). Finally, you will participate in an embroidery workshop. Overnight in an ecotourism cabin.

    EK BALAM – MUNÁ VIEWPOINT – MUN-HA – UXMAL – MUN-HA (B/L/-) In the morning, depart for Muná. Upon arrival to the Mirador de Muna, your host will have everything ready for you to participate in a jícara-engraving workshop. Jícara is a natural fruit of the Yucatán peninsula and was used by their ancestors for food and water storage. You will see many crafts that can be made with natural fruits and will tour their lovely garden and learn about medicinal plants. Later, move to Mun-Ha (15 minutes away), where you will have a lovely regional lunch with them. Mun-Ha is a cooperative made up of indigenous and peasants of the area that have a beautiful rural tourism project that combines the conservation of nature and their traditional Mayan culture. The Muná viewpoint is part of this cooperative. This is where you will stay tonight. Afternoon off to rest or visit the wonderful archaeological site of Uxmal (entrance and guide not included – 18 min away). The name Uxmal means ‘thrice-built’ in Mayan. Uxmal was one of the largest cities of the Yucatán peninsula on the Ruta Puuc (Puuc Route), and at its height was home to approximately 20,000 Mayans. Back to Mun-Ha to rest in your cabin.

    MUN-HA – CHUNHUHUB (B/-/D) After breakfast drive to the next Mayan community: Chunhuhub (approximately 3 hour drive). Here you will visit a beautiful ecotourism center that perfectly preserves Mayan customs and traditions. You’ll learn about the extraction of henequén fiber, fiber that is recognized in the world of textiles and afterwards, you will see an authentic, traditional Mayan house, where, apart from learning how the ancient Mayans lived, you will learn about the meaning of the traditional house (with a local Spanish-speaking guide). Overnight in beautiful cabins.

    CHUNHUHUB – BACALAR (B/-/-) After breakfast depart for the Bacalar lagoon of seven colors (approximately 1h 35min drive). The rest of your day is free to enjoy this area as you please. You can walk around the lagoon or take the kayaks out (from hotel or “beach” club, depending on hotel chosen). Night in a charming hotel in Bacalar.

    BACALAR – DAY OFF (B/-/-) Day off today to enjoy this paradise!!

    BACALAR - NUEVO DURANGO (B/-/D) Today, you will visit the community of Nuevo Durango. En route to Nuevo Durango, a 4 hour drive approximately, you can take a first stop in the village of Felipe Carrillo Puerto (1h 20min from Bacalar), an authentic place full of charm. You could also choose to stop in the ancient Mayan city of Tulum (1h from Felipe CP), with the Caribbean Sea as its background and take a dip in the warm, turquoise water and enjoy one of its beaches. Arrival in Nuevo Durango. Nuevo Durango is a small town that converted to ecotourism and organic food production. It is a traditional Mayan village that has retained a strong cultural identity, in both language and retaining their customs. A nature conservation project gave them the means to create an ecotourism cooperative. Here you will have the opportunity to know and feel the beauty and tranquility of a life in balance with the environment. You’ll also find a small museum of insects. Above all do not miss the sunset, when thousands of swallows flutter in and out of an old well that also acts as a refuge for them. You will discover a cave and enjoy a moment of quietness and freshness in very special environment, accompanied by a local Spanish-speaking guide of the cooperative. Dinner with the community and overnight at a cabin in Nuevo Durango.

    NUEVO DURANGO – TA’AKBIL-JA SUBTERRANEAN RIVER – NUEVO XCAN (B/L/D) After breakfast, you will head to the community of Nuevo Xcan (15 min) for a swim in a subterranean river and a cenote called Ta’akbil-Ja. To avoid causing damage to the ecosystem, do not wear sunscreen, creams or lotions of any kind in the water! Here, you will experience a homestay with a local family (this is a new project and still rather unknown). This community (composed of 245 people) has created a community school and are guardians of 22,000 hectares of natural reserve. Walk around the community to explore and free evening. Dinner with the community and rest.

    NUEVO XCAN – CANCÚN AIRPORT (B/-/-) Today you’ll say goodbye to this charming community and return to the airport (1h 15min). A representative will meet you at the car rental to collect the support cell phone and assist you with returning the car. Board your flight.

    Starting price per person in €

    1250

    Additional Info

    Total price is in euros and per person, based on two people sharing room.

    Community Programs

    All the main destinations and projects of this trip are designed and run by community initiatives that we actively support through tourism. They protect our cultural and natural biodiversity and will be your hosts during your travels, meaning that your holiday will impact directly in rural communities and improve people's livelihoods.

    Environmental Programs

    Our company strives to make the little environmental impact as possible. Therefore we invite our travellers to do the same and try to minimise their environmental footprint whilst travelling, in Mexico and in any other destination. We are all agents of change!

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