From Akumal to Muyil and Sian Ka'an is about 31 miles, approximately 1 hour; from Muyil and Sian Ka'an to Tulum is about 15 miles, approximately 1/2 hour; from Tulum to Akumal is about 18 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 1.5 miles on gravel surfaces, standing in hot/humid conditions, getting in and out of boats, and swimming. Hat, bathing suit, water shoes, bug repellent suggested; bring a change of clothes. Bathroom facilities available at the reserve.
At the hotel; juice, coffee, tea, and water included.
After boarding the bus, we'll ride to the Muyil archeological site located just south of Tulum, on the Sian Ka'an Lagoon. The Group Leader will introduce us to the history and architecture of Muyil during our walking exploration of the complex. Later, we'll walk for a few minutes on a park trail and boardwalk until we reach a small dock at the Sian Ka'an Lagoon. Especially for kids: An open-air motor boat will transport us across the lagoon, to a man-made canal engineered by the Maya. While wearing lifevests, we'll disembark in the shallow waters of the canal and let the light currents carry us down the beautiful, mangrove-fringed waterway. We will exit the water at a small dock, then follow the boardwalk to return to our boat. Our bus will be waiting to drive us to Akumal once we disembark at the lagoon pier.
At a local restaurant en route.
Back at the hotel, we'll have some "down time" to relax and do whatever we like. Late afternoon, our bus will take us to Tulum. During a walking field trip led by our Group Leader, we will begin to uncover the cultural and historical secrets of the ancient coastal city. We will have the unique opportunity to enjoy the park after-hours accompanied by a park service guard. Tulum, originally serving as a major port and trading center, is a modest site, with Late Postclassic buildings dating between approximately the 13th and 15th centuries and still in use at the time of the Spanish conquest. A walled city, located atop tall cliffs, it offers the opportunity for a better understanding of the prevalence of warfare during the Postclassic period. A temple also graces the location of the main cenote, once again demonstrating the importance of securing a safe source of water. “Descending God” figures, in various poses, can be found on many of the buildings. Especially important is the Temple of the Frescos. Although one can only glimpse the painted murals inside, traces of original paint can be found on the exterior walls, including painted red hands. Masks of Itzamná, creator god, grace the front corners of the building. Return to the hotel.
On own. The Group Leader will be available to offer suggestions.
At leisure. Prepare for check out the following morning.