Whale Sharks & Spider Monkeys: The Yucatán With Your Grandchild

Explore the jungle, swim with sea creatures and discover Mayan ruins as you venture to the Yucatán with your grandchild to learn cool facts about the local wildlife and history.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20435RJ
9 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Quiz time! Where can you meet playful monkeys, search for sea turtles through your snorkel mask, explore ancient Mayan ruins and zipline through the jungle all in one place? That’s Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, of course, and there’s nowhere else on Earth like it! Alongside your grandchild, embark on an unforgettable learning adventure as you dive right into – literally! – nature’s wonders from land, sea and air. Get up close and personal with friendly animals that call the ocean and jungle home on this exciting journey through tropical paradise.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy the exhilarating opportunity to swim with whale sharks — but don’t worry – they’re gentle giants that will swim beside you!
  • Monkey around in a nature reserve as you get an up-close look at spider monkeys, howler monkeys and other Yucatán wildlife.
  • My, oh Maya! Explore the great Mayan city of Chichen Itza, where you’ll find ancient pyramids and a ball court from over a thousand years ago.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 9-11,12-14, or 15-17 depending on the date. For a family version of this program, please check out program number 22177.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Mexico Birds Guide for Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche
by Rainforest Publications
A fold-out, 14-panel laminated plastic card featuring full-color illustrations of the birds of the region.
A Forest of Kings, The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya
by Linda Schele, David Freidel (Contributor)
The history of the Maya, as it was recorded in the previously undecipherable hieroglyphs of the Maya. This excellent account traces the kingships and politics of the Maya, and features narratives recreating scenes of burials, blood sacrifices, battles and other events.
Mexico Caribbean Marine Guide
by Rainforest Publications
A fold-out, 14-panel laminated plastic card featuring full-color illustrations of reef fish, sport fish, marine mammals and sea turtles.
You Wouldn't Want to Be a Mayan Soothsayer!
by Rupert Matthews
The hilarious illustrations and light-hearted tone, helpful hints and glossary in this popular series for ages 7-10 will entice even reluctant readers.
Conquest: Montezuma, Cortes and the Fall of Old Mexico
by Hugh Thomas
An entertaining and monumental tome on the conquest of Mexico. It's rare to find a work of such scholarship and importance that is also an enjoyable read.
The Labyrinth of Solitude
by Octavio Paz
These essays by the Nobel Prize-winning poet address Mexican culture and character. The chapters on the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead and the conquest are especially memorable.
Spanish, A Language Map
by Kristine K. Kershul
This durable, foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly-needed words and phrases.
Moon Handbook Yucatan Peninsula
by Lisa and Gary Prado Chandler
A compact, comprehensive travel guide with an excellent overview of the natural history and culture of the region, including Yucatan but also Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche and Quintana Roo.
Mystery of the Maya
by R. A. Montgomery
A classic "choose your own adventure" story. While on assignment in Mexico, your friend Tom disappears while searching for clues about the sudden collapse of the Mayan civilization. Your search for him could uncover human sacrifice, alien spacecraft -- even time travel!
Breaking the Maya Code
by Michael Coe
Mayan hieroglyphs were a linguistic puzzle until the 1952 breakthrough translation of a Mayan bark-paper text, as Coe explains in this classic tale, revised and updated for this third edition.
Popol Vuh
by Victor Montejo, Luis Garay (Illustrator)
Children will thrill to the tale of the fateful ball game between the underworld gods and the Hero Twins (and parents will appreciate the commentary on the conquering Spaniards) in this marvelous retelling of the sacred Maya text.
The Lost Cities of the Mayas
by Fabio Bourbon
The discoveries of British artist Frederick Catherwood and his American companion John Lloyd Stephens, the first Westerners to see the Maya cities of the Yucatan, are chronicled in this illustrated, oversized biography, featuring 200 color engravings of the monuments of Central America, Chiapas and the Yucatan.
Southern Mexico, Travellers' Wildlife Guides
by Les Beletsky
A popular guide to the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and reef fishes of southern Mexico, featuring 100 excellent color plates.
Spanish Language Learner
by Inc. Dorling Kindersley
A fun, dynamic introduction to the Spanish language for children aged 10 to 14. An audio CD and flashcards accompany a colorfully illustrated textbook.
Yucatan Map
A detailed travel map of the Yucatan, covering Tikal, Copan, Belize, Chiapas and more at a scale of 1:500,000. Printed on tear proof, waterproof paper.
Maya Art and Architecture
by Mary Ellen Miller
An illustrated overview of the art and architecture of the Maya, making use of the latest discoveries at Tikal, Copan and Palenque to demonstrate the range of Mayan artistic influence. Revised and updated, this new edition includes color illustrations throughout.
Incidents of Travel in Yucatan
by John Lloyd Stephens, Karl Ackerman (Editor)
In this beloved classic, first published in 1841, Stephens chronicles his adventures and explorations in the Yucatan, including his rediscovery of important Maya sites, among them Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Kabah and Tulum. This traveler's edition features modern and archival photographs in addition to Frederick Catherwood's original lithographs.
The Corn Grows Ripe
by Dorothy Rhoads, Jean Charlot (Illustrator)
A coming-of-age tale set in modern-day Yucatan that draws on Mayan lore and tradition. Tigre, a 12-year-old boy, must sow and harvest the crops to support his family and appease the gods after his father is injured.
Popol Vuh, The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life
by Dennis Tedlock (Editor)
The definitive, unabridged collection of creation myths and stories of the Quiche people, fundamental to understanding the worldview of the highland Maya.
Mexico in Mind
by Maria Finn Dominguez
John Steinbeck, D.H. Lawrence, Graham Greene, Malcolm Lowry and others offer diverse impressions of the many Mexicos.

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