The Sacred Mayan Journey is one of the most anticipated events of the year in Riviera Maya, a sporting and almost spiritual activity, which brings together a great variety of people year after year. 

Surely there is no Riviera Maya resident who does not know any participant of the Sacred Mayan Journey, this is how extensive this event is. Many are the ones who, every year, motivated by the experience of some acquaintance or friend, decide to become canoeists.

I had the great fortune of living closely the effort, team passion and dozens of good reasons involved in participating in this event thanks to the fact that in the 2013 year, Faust, along with good friend Manuel, signed up to try their luck. Several have been the friends and acquaintances that I have been able to listen to them and feel their great pride of overcoming and effort. It has a special hitch for the participants, of those activities that link effort with spirituality, to express it in some way.

Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing

What is the Sacred Mayan Journey?

The participants, who become canoeists when they start training, should Cross from the Riviera Maya coast to the island of Cozumel, a distance of 31 kilometers in the open sea (depart from the Xcaret park).

A canoe made in traditional Mayan style It will unite them on a journey where everyone must row and push together to overcome the strong currents of the Caribbean Sea. Once they reach the cove of Chankanaab, on the island of Cozumel, they rest on the island and the next day the canoe teams meet again to return to the Xcaret park. A round-trip full of emotions, values, effort and improvement, something that you can only know if you are one of them.

Each canoe is formed by a group of 10 people, 8 rowers, a helmsman in the stern and the one who sets the pace in the bow. They do not stop rowing within 4 hours or more of the crossing, all at one time. We have said that the canoe is made in the traditional way, as well as its oars, made of wood. At the end of the journey, each one keeps his oar, which was his extension during this time. The canoeists' clothes They are also part of the show of the Sacred Mayan Journey, they are dressed recreating the ancient Mayan. All this makes the event more attractive. Some coaches allow to go with sunglasses, sunscreen or shorts, others not, so as not to detract from the tradition. Burns and sores are part of the Sacred Mayan Journey.

Once at sea, each canoe is and lives its own challenge and journey, they are personal islands. You and your remaining 9 companions, with them is your personal journey. During the Crossing there are boats to support the canoeists, they also supply them with water and what is necessary during the journey. They also take care if there is a vessel that is removed.

The Sacred Mayan Journey puts you to the test with yourself

Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
People of the event who receive the canoeists
Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
Exit of the canoers
Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing

Who can participate in the Sacred Mayan Journey?

You must have between 18 and 65 years, it is essential to know how to swim for obvious reasons and you must reside on the Caribbean coast to have the availability to train during the 6 months prior to the event. You must pass a few minimum tests and choose by lot to the 310 canoeists.

The variety of people and people is a chulada. This year 2018 is the twelfth edition, so there are already canoers hooked to the adrenaline of the crossing that repeat year after year, many newbies and others who repeat after a few years. You must not be a born athlete to sign up and try yourself, that's what the training is for, so that you arrive in good physical and mental condition.

The canoeists and the trainings

Participants train during 6 months before a Sacred Mayan Journey, which is done at the end of May. Some in Cancun, others in Playa del Carmen, Tulum or Cozumel. They form different groups and from there they get to know each other, team up and compete with themselves during these 6 months, where every morning they start training. Training comes out strength, union and courage.

Training. Sacred Mayan Journey Riviera Maya.
Training days at Playa Langosta, Cancun


The days of the Sacred Mayan Journey

The first crossing from Xcaret to Cozumel it is done early, the canoeists leave on the 5: 30 in the morning. They should be a couple of hours before to prepare and do the ritual. If you are a companion you can be in the Xcaret park until they open it to the general public that day. Many companions take the opportunity to cross to Cozumel and wait for them there. For that day you can buy your general ticket to the park of Xcaret and see the exit of the canoeists, and then stay.

The second crossing from Cozumel to Xcaret they do it later, they leave on the 9 in the morning, and they are expected from one in the afternoon at the Xcaret park. Maybe you can go to wait for them, raffle tickets, I think that as a companion you have an entrance. The day of arrival is a party, with hundreds of people waiting for the canoeists, to congratulate them, to accompany them in their deed. Good atmosphere, skin-deep emotions and a lot of pride and exhausted faces among the canoeists, who reflect their achievement with great smiles of satisfaction.

Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
The canoeists receive the blessing before leaving for Cozumel
Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
Arrival at Xcaret park
Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
Welcome ceremony for the canoeists, group photo
Canoe Felix Sacred Mayan Travesi.
The friend Erika congratulating Faust 🙂

For any details of how to attend, how to register or doubts, I leave you in link of the organizers with the frequent questions of the Sacred Mayan Journey. In our section on the Mayan Riviera You find the best attractions in the area and how to enjoy it.

Remember that if shopping in advance your entrance to Xcaret you benefit from discounts. Mexicans have attractive discounts. I leave the direct purchase link.


Who organizes the Sacred Mayan Journey?

It is an event organized by the Xcaret Group, one of the great tourist companies of the Mexican Caribbean, owners of the parks of Xcaret, XelHá, Xplore, Xenotes and a few more x. This company knows how to get the most out of everything related to ancient and modern Mayan culture, distorting too much the cultural traditions and natural spaces it occupies, to sell it in easy-to-digest envelopes. Your idea works perfectly, no doubt.

So every year we look forward to the show of the Sacred Mayan Journey. If you want to know how they explain or link this event to the history of ancient Maya, I leave your own link.

Sacred Maya Crossing, Xel-ha-Cozumel-Xcaret.

In the end the canoeists leave with their hands sore and with a big smile. It was a luxury opportunity to live close to the 2013 edition of the year, the only one that was also longer when leaving Xel-Ha, something that they have not done again since it was a beating. Say goodbye and receive Fausto, Roca and the other canoeists among friends was a rush, of those good days that we will always remember. And the luck of living it personally with Rubí, our passion and desire led us to seal our friendship, a mamichula pleasure.

Sacred Mayan Riviera Maya Crossing
My respects canoeists, I enjoyed as a child with your journey. Thanks Roca and Faust 🙂

The Sacred Mayan Journey engages, my respects to all the canoeists, you are a chulada.

Good way,

Travel hacks
the shortest way participate in affiliate program this means that we get a small commission if you buy through these links accessing discounts; in no case does it suppose an additional cost for you and in this way you help us to maintain the blog.

If you prefer, you tell us your idea of ​​the trip and together we organize it.

Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

error: Content is protected !!