Featuring Guest Speaker Dr. Simon Martin


The Maya were at their cultural peak during the Classic period (300–900 AD), and we’ll explore three of the most important city-states of this era, learning from Dr. Martin about their complex inter-relationships, including trade and warfare. A highlight of the trip is rarely-visited Calakmul, where Dr. Martin is conducting research with the Penn Museum's Calakmul Epigraphic Research Project.

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1, Dec 28, 2017
Antigua, Guatemala, World of the Maya Symposium

Arrive in Guatemala City, where you are met and transferred to the Villa Colonial in Antigua for a Welcome Dinner and the first presentation by our Guest Speakers.

Days 2-4, Dec 29-31, 2017
Flores, Guatemala, World of the Maya Symposium

Morning excursion to Holmul, La Corona, and El Mirador archaeology labs in Antigua and Guatemala City. Fly to Flores in the afternoon of Day 2, followed by a full program of presentations, excursions, and other activities with our Guest Speakers. Overnights at the Villa Maya in Flores.

Day 5, Jan 1, 2018

A hand-cranked ferry brings us to Xunantunich, a Classic-period center with 25 temples, including the 12-story-high El Castillo.

Day 6, Jan 2, 2018

One of the most magnificent Maya sites in Belize and one of the largest in the Maya world, Caracol has more than 4,000 structures spread across 55 square miles and is still under excavation.

Day 7, Jan 3, 2018
Chetumal Museum / Dzibanché

We visit Chetumal’s Museo de la Cultural Maya, its three levels mirroring Maya cosmology, then head to Dzibanché, once home to 40,000 people.

Day 8, Jan 4, 2018
Kohunlich / Xpuhil

In Kohunlich, we view the famous six-foot-high masks, and at lovely Xpuhil we can climb up a fabulous palace built in the Rio Bec style.

Day 9, Jan 5, 2018
Becán / Calakmul

We stop at Becán, then explore Calakmul, one of the most important city-states of the Classic era, set in the vast rainforests of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. Dr. Martin provides an insider’s view of Calakmul’s place in the Maya world.

Day 10, Jan 6, 2018
Chicanná / Balamkú

At Chicanná, elaborate facades portray the jaws of Itzamná in his “Earth Monster” form. We also visit Balamkú, known for its well-preserved stucco façade, en route to Palenque.

Day 11, Jan 7, 2018

Major breakthroughs in the translation of Maya writing came at ethereal Palenque, whose towering Temple of Inscriptions is adorned with fantastic hieroglyphics. We enjoy our Farewell Dinner.

Day 12, Jan 8, 2018
La Venta Museum / Villahermosa, Mexico

Visit the Museo La Venta, with its famous 10-foot-high Olmec heads, then depart for home.



Four-day symposium based at Antigua and Flores, Guatemala, featuring five of the world’s legendary figures in Maya studies
Explore the magnificent Maya sites of Caracol in Belize and Palenque in Mexico
Visit Kohunlich, Becan, Chicanna and other fascinating Mayan ruins
Enjoy the experience of traveling with Maya expert Dr. Simon Martin
Visit remote Calakmul, where Dr. Martin is working with teh Calakmul Epigraphic Research Project


Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5895  
Arrive: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Depart: Villahermosa, Mexico
Lodging: 11 nights hotels and lodges
Meals: All meals included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Overland travel with walking tours, cultural explorations