MEXICO - YUKATáN

ARCHEO-ASTRO JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

ASTRONOMY - NATURE AND CULTURE

TOUR CODE

WT-03-22-A1

DATE

In Planning

DURATION

16 D - 14 Nts

P.P. PRICE

FROM € 4130

PAX

10 - 18

MEXICO / YUKATÁN - ARCHEO-ASTRO JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

ARCHEO-ASTRO - NATURE & CULTURE

INTRODUCTION

On the Yucatán Peninsula, we explore the impressive Mayan heritage with the archaeoastronomer Jesus Galindo and our local tour guide, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We start with the enchanting Mayan site in Tulum, located directly on the sea. In the middle of the rainforest is the important Mayan site of Becan, where we also visit astronomical buildings. In Becan we plan astronomical observations in the biosphere reserve in the evening. The cradle of high Mayan civilization is in Palenque. Here the elegance and the magic of architecture simmer in the middle of the jungle. After a visit to the archaeological site of Uxmal, built in the Puuc style between 700 and 1000 AD, we witness an impressive sun show of the equinox in the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún on another day in the early morning hours on March 21 . Other highlights of the trip are a visit to the Loltun cave, a boat trip in the Ria Celestùn biosphere reserve and a special tour of the famous step pyramid of Chichén Itzá and the historic Caracol observatory, which we are even allowed to enter with a special permit. At the end of the two-week trip, we enjoy two days on the island of Cozumel in the Caribbean, where, in addition to a relaxing beach holiday, evening sun observation and a visit to the modern planetarium are planned. Interesting lectures by Jesus Galindo round off the programme.

ITINERARY

International direct flight with Lufthansa from Frankfurt / M Airport. at 2:00 p.m. arriving in Cancun / Yucatán around 8:00 p.m. Welcome at the airport in Cancun by our local tour guide and transfer to the hotel.
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Tulum

After breakfast, the programme will be presented and an introductory lecture by Dr. Jesus Galindo on archaeoastronomy. In the late morning we first enjoy Tulum with the Mayan site located directly on the coast of the blue Caribbean. This beautiful, magical place can hardly be described, it was still inhabited when the Spaniards arrived. In the afternoon we continue to the Lagoon of the Seven Colors in Bacalar, where a relaxing boat tour to the lagoon is undertaken in the late afternoon. (B / D = breakfast / dinner)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Chetumal

Today we visit the archeological site of Becan, which is part of the Rio Bec region. Bacán means “gorge formed by water” in Mayathan. The architectural style with pointed towers and platforms is special. The first evidence of human settlement here goes back to 600 BC. After the visit, drive to the hotel and end the day. In the late evening you can enjoy the starry sky here. (B/D)
1 night in Becan / Xpujil

After breakfast visit of Calakmul, one of the largest and most important Mayan sites of the classical period. This site is located in the middle of the rainforest in a biosphere reserve. We will beget one of the most important urban centers in Mexico. (B/D)
1 night in Becan / Escárcega

In the morning we drive to Palenque, where we visit the archaeological site of Palenque, the cradle of the great Mayans. Let yourself be impressed by this capital of the Mayans, because it shines with elegance and magic in the middle of the jungle. Like some other sites, Palenque has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B/D)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Palenque

In the late morning transfer to Campeche (approx. 4-5 hours drive) and free day in the port city of Campeche, where we end the day relaxed. Today or as desired, Jesus Galindo will offer an interesting lecture on the subject of the Mayan calendar. (B/D)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Campeche

After breakfast, visit to the archaeological site of Edzu, whose imposing pyramid houses a similar orientation as the sun pyramid in Teotihucán (near Mexico City), as well as sun masks, which are also of interest from an archaeoastronomical point of view. During the almost one kilometer walk into the cave system of the Loltun cave, we can marvel at the pre-Hispanic wall paintings and handprints in addition to the stalagmites, stalactites and the corresponding formations. (B/D)
2 nights in a 3 * hotel in Santa Elena

After breakfast we drive to Uxmal. There we visit the beautiful Mayan site in the morning, which was built between 700 and 1000 AD in the Puuc style. Also, listen to detailed explanations of the astronomical significance and the connection between the Governor’s Palace (Palacio del Gobernador) and Venus. Followed by a visit to the archaeological site of Kabah, whose palace of masks is particularly worth seeing. In the late evening we visit the Light & Sound Show in the archaeological site of Uxmal to learn more about the interesting history of Uxmal. (B/D)

Today we will visit Mayapan, an archaeological site often referred to as the little sister of Chichen Itzá, as some buildings such as the Kukulkán pyramid or the observatory were built as a smaller version. It is one of the last Mayan capital. This site is particularly worth a visit from an astronomical and historical point of view. The observatory is accessible.
After the detailed visit there is the possibility to refresh yourself with a bath in a cenote. Then drive to the hotel near the archaeological site of Chichen Itza. Shortly before sunset we marvel at the spectacle of the sun of the feathered serpent of Kulkulkán in the archaeological site of Chichen Itzá. (B/D)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Pisté

Today is all about Chichen Itzá, one of the new seven wonders of the world. We not only marvel at the El Caracol observatory, but also the precise construction of the palace of Kukulkán in coordination with astronomy.
In the afternoon we get to know Mérida on a city tour. We learn more about the mixture of indigenous culture and European influence of the colonial times and the time of the big landowners. The influence of the Spanish and French can be felt in different parts of Mérida. The Champs-Elysees, for example, was the model for the Boulevard Paseo de Montejo. (B/D)
2 nights in a 3 * hotel in Mérida

In the morning after breakfast, we start in the Ría Celestún biosphere reserve and enjoy an impressive boat trip through the local mangroves and to one of the few colonies of Cuban flamingos. The afternoon is free in Mérida. (B/D)

In good weather without clouds, we can experience the equinoxes of sunshine today in the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún, which is why we leave the hotel very early on this day (around 5 a.m.). We are also impressively explained the astronomical significance of this archaeological site, which is to be demonstrated in practice today during the morning sun pass through a central opening of the “Temple of the Seven Puppets”.
In the afternoon we will visit the “golden city” Izamal, which has been named one of the magical villages “pueblos mágicos” by the Mexican government. In the “golden city” we will visit the second largest atrium in the world after St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican. (B-Packet-Box, D)
1 night in a 4 * hotel in Valladolid

On the way to Richtig Cozumel we visit the extensive archaeological site of Cobá, which has always had important trade routes with other Mayan sites. Here, too, we get to know the astronomical importance of this site and the observatory.
In the late afternoon, the journey ends with a catamaran ferry (approx. 40 minutes) to our quiet hotel on the island of Cozumel. Since we have chosen a hotel away from tourism and disturbing light, there is the possibility to enjoy the night sky from an astronomical point of view. (B/D)
2 nights / half board in a 3 * hotel in Cozumel

Today is at leisure on the Caribbean beach. In the evening after dinner, we offer a visit to the modern 3D planetarium on Cozumel. Here, at the end of the trip, we can watch a comprehensive film about Mayan archaeoastronomy. There is also an observatory here, where you can enjoy a (weather-related) view of the darkest starry sky in Mexico. (B/D)
Farewell to the group and to Dr. Jesus Galindo. For the participants with a return flight to Germany, transfer at noon from Cozumel to Cancun (we will offer you optional options in Cancun on site). Dinner in Cancun. Then drive to Cancun Airport and international return flight with Lufthansa at around 10:00 p.m. (Participants with an extension to Mexico City / Guanajuato have a domestic flight in the afternoon (see extension programme)
Arrival in Frankfurt / M. around 2 p.m. Connecting flights from Frankfurt / M. are possible on request.
When booking the optional tour “Safari – to the Atlantic” (3) instead of 12 nights on Hakos, only 10 nights on the guest farm and then 2 overnight stay outside in Svakopmund and in the Namib. (For details on the excursion program, see below)

Your archeo-astronomical Expert and lecturer:
Dr. Jesus Galindo

Description coming soon

OPTIONAL EXTENSION TOUR:
Mexico City and Guanajuato with TIGRE Science Project

 

With the exploration of the historical center of Mexico City, 2310 meters above sea level, we start the extension trip. The programme includes the National Museum of Anthropology, as well as the beautiful Chapultepec Park with the historic castle of Chapultepec, a jewel of the Spanish colonial era from the 18th century. In Teotihuacán, at the gates of Mexico City, there is one of the most important prehistoric ruins in America, which is best known for the step temples and the great pyramid of the Aztecs. The legendary silver city of Guanajuato will be the final point of our Mexico trip. This city established the wealth of the Spaniards in the early modern period. We will include a visit to the historic university on a city tour. There is an opportunity to visit the birthplace of the famous painter Diego Rivera. A lecture is planned with the solar researcher and astrophysicist Klaus-Peter Schröder, who teaches at the University of Guanajuato, who will also give us an impressive presentation of the small but fine telescope (1.2m opening) located near Guanajuato, a joint project of the universities of Hamburg, Liege and Guanajuato. The robotic, autonomously observing instrument of German production is equipped with a high-resolution spectrograph, with which, above all, stars are examined for dynamic processes. Magnetic activity, stellar winds, covering binary stars and stars with exoplanets are the main research topics.

Domestic flight with our local tour guide from Cancun to Mexico City (2,310 meters above sea level). Transfer to the hotel and dinner in a selected restaurant. (B/D)
3 nights in a 3* hotel in Mexico City

The day begins with a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology for a comprehensive account of Mexican history. In the afternoon we visit Chapultepec Castle. The castle of Chapultepec, a jewel from the 18th century, is located in the green lung of the city, the Chapultepec Park with a very interesting history. (B/D)
After breakfast lecture in the hotel by Dr. J. Galindo with the topic “The Importance of Astronomy in Mesoamerican Archaeology”. Then visit the historical centre, the highlights of this metropolis. Starting from the “Zócalo”, the central square, you will get to know the pre-Columbian temple complex Templo Mayor, the national palace, the impressive cathedral, and the palace of the “fine arts”. (B/D)

The canal system and the floating gardens in the south of Mexico City are the last remnants of the former lake on which the metropolis of Mexico City is located today. We are driven through the canal system in a stock boat and then leave Mexico City south to Xochicalco.
The former fortress town and today’s archaeological site Xochicalco impresses not only with its fantastic location high above the Morelos valley, but also with its impressive history. After the fall of Teotihuacán between 650 and 900 AD, Xochicalco began to flourish. If open / enabled, a visit to the observatory is planned, which still shows the complex development of the city. (B / L = breakfast / lunch)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Malinalco

This morning we visit the archaeological site of Malinalco, which historically goes back to the time of the Mexicans and the inhabitants of Teotihuacan. This site is a typical example of a ceremonial centre in which the architecture has combined various religious concepts with astronomical knowledge. After the visit, our coach continues to Guanajuato to check-in at the hotel (approx. 5 hours drive). Afterwards dinner in a selected restaurant. (B/D)
3 nights / half board in a 3 * hotel in Guanajuato

Today we enjoy the former colonial and silver city of Guanajuato on foot, which besides an interesting history and an attractive townscape also has a lot more to offer. During the city tour, the central building of the historic University of Guanajuato with the imposing staircase and the white facade catches the eye. During a special tour with Klaus-Peter Schröder, details about the history and the place of work will be explained to you. Guanajuato is the birthplace of the famous painter Diego Rivera, also known as the husband of the eminent painter Frieda Kahlo. Visit the museum of Diego Rivera or the Don Quixote Museum. In the evening, a lecture by Klaus-Peter Schröder on the topic “From Mesoamerican Astronomy to Modern Astronomy in Mexico” is planned. (B/L)
Today we get to know the international science project TIGRE, which was developed by Klaus-Peter Schröder at the University of Guanajuato. The essential part of this project consists of a small but fine telescope with an aperture of 1.2 meters. About 30 minutes drive from Guanajuato is this robotic, autonomously observing instrument made in Germany on a mountain slope with the best panoramic view of Guanajuato. The history, functionality and areas of action are impressively explained to us. Not far from this project we visit a traditional, historically interesting silver mine. A short visit to the associated baroque church is recommended. This church is said to be one of the most beautiful in all of Mexico. (B/D)

After breakfast, it’s about a 4-hour drive to Teotihuacán. It is possible to have lunch in a restaurant within a cave in the immediate vicinity of the archaeological site. (We reserve the right to choose another restaurant for you if the climate is not ideal.) Strengthened for a visit to this imposing complex, we enter the archaeological site of Teotihuacán with its mysterious history. In order to grasp the extent of the site and at the same time get to know one of the essential places for astronomy in Mexico, we recommend that you climb the pyramid of the sun. In the late afternoon we go to our hotel in the center of Mexico City. (B/D)
1 night in a 3 * hotel in Mexico City

Free morning for your own design in Mexico City. Lunch together in a selected restaurant. Transfer in the afternoon to the airport in Mexico City and flight back to Germany at around 7.45 p.m.
Arrival in Frankfurt / M. around 2:45 p.m. Connecting flights possible on request. (Return flight to Zurich on request)
Picture gallery for the optional tour

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7-day additional programme (before the main trip)
Copper Canyon Round Tour

In the evening you will be picked up by your tour guide at Los Mochis airport (English speaking) and driven to the small town of El Fuerte. Dinner in the hotel (D).
1 night in a hotel in El Fuerte

In the morning you will be taken to the train station so that you can catch the train at 8 o’clock. During the impressive train ride, you will travel to an altitude of over 2200 m above sea level in the next 4 hours. During the journey you will drive through numerous tunnels and bridges as well as marvel at beautiful lakes and the rich vegetation. From the Bahuichivo train station you go to the village of Cerocahui, where the Hotel Mision is located, and you will have lunch. After lunch, drive to the impressive “Cerro del Gallego”. In the upper area of the canyon, you can enjoy an overwhelming panorama with a view of the village, the canyon and the river “Urique”, which flows into El Fuerte. On the way back, you will stop at various lookout points to take in the scenery. (B,L,D)
1 night in a hotel in Cerocahui

In the morning you can independently visit the old mission church, which was founded in the 17th century by the Jesuit Father Salvatierra, before you are brought to Posadas Barrancas by car in about an hour in the late morning.
Fortify yourself with lunch for your short hike along the break edge of the Copper Gorge to a Tarahumara Cave. Enjoy the various breath-taking viewpoints along the edge of the gorge. If the situation allows, visit a Rarámuri family during the hike, who impress with their fine braiding made of pine needles and agaves. (B, L, D)
2 nights in a hotel directly on the copper canyon

After breakfast, your overwhelming excursion to the Piedra Volada, to various viewpoints and to the National Park “Barancas del Cobre”, where the three largest canyons meet – the Urique, the Cobre and the Tararecua Canyon. In addition to the majestic beauty of the landscapes, the national park in the heart of the Siera Tarahumara offers a restaurant with a terrace directly in the canyon gorge and crystal floor, mountain bike routes as well as rides with the cable car, zip lines with 7 stations, zip riders, via ferrata; Via ferrata and Tarzan jump. (B, L, D)

After a good hour’s drive, stop in Cusarare and hike to one of the largest waterfalls in the region. In the afternoon visit to the wider area of Creel, the peaceful Arareco Lake and the Missin San Signacio of the same name. In the “Valley of the Mushrooms” and the “Valley of the Frogs”, bizarre rock shapes live up to their name. At the end you will visit the “Valley of the Monks”. (B/D)
1 night in a hotel in Creel

After breakfast drive from Creel to Chihuahua. Today you will visit the highest waterfall in the region, the “Basaseachi!”, Which you will reach after a 3-hour drive. After lunch you will continue towards Chihuahua , (D)
1 night at the hotel in Chihuahua

After breakfast you will get to know Chihuahua on a city tour where you can visit the cathedral, the government palace and the museum of Pancho Villa. Around noon you will go to the airport for your flight to Mexico City or Cancun and international flight back.

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Picture gallery for the optional tour

HOTEL

TERMS & CONDITIONS

TOUR COST

Tour date:
Main Tour – In Planning (Mar. 2022)

Mexico City and Guanajuato – 9 Days Extension

Copper Canyon – 7 Days Pre-Extension         

(Complete tour without international flights on request)

Tour Price:
On Request                            

INCLUDED

✓ International flight in economy class with Lufthansa, Frankfurt / M. – Cancun – Frankfurt / M. (Connecting flights from other airports are available for an extra charge). On all flights including airport charges and taxes
✓ Luggage transport (23 kg and 8 kg hand luggage)
 14 nights in 3 * / 4 * hotels with half board, meals as described in the programme
 Extension programmes: 9 Days & 6 Days as per the plan mentioned
Excursion programme, visits and admissions according to the travel programme
✓ All trips in Mexico including transfers and excursions with modern
✓ Coach, unless they are marked as “optional”.
✓ Local English speaking tour guide
✓ Expert archoastronomical support by Dr. Jesus Galindo
✓ Additional information material about the tour / country

NOT INCLUDED

● Tips
● Other meals and drinks
 Optional excursions as indicated in the programme
 Possible fuel increase
 Programme specified, connecting flights to / from Frankfurt within Germany on request
 Premium Economy Upgrade with Lufthansa possible on request

INFORMATION

We recommend that you take travel cancellation insurance (RRV). This should be completed immediately after booking. We strongly recommend that you take international health and ambulance insurance, ideally as a complete insurance that also includes, for example, travel accident, luggage and travel liability insurance. In contrast to the RRV, all of these insurances can be taken out immediately before the start of the journey. We would be happy to book your desired insurance for you.

The metropolis is located at 2,310 meters above sea level in central Mexico. The high location influences the cold tropical climate, and there are moderate spring-like daytime temperatures throughout the year. The average daily maximum temperatures fluctuate between 19 and 26 degrees over the course of the year, at night the temperatures drop to values between 6 and 13 degrees. Mexico City is normally spared from severe climate phenomena such as heat waves or snow chaos. The daytime temperatures reach between 19 and 21 degrees Celsius from December to February. At night they drop to 6 degrees. December and January are the coldest months in Mexico City with average temperatures of 12.5 to 12.2 degrees. In spring, from March, the temperatures rise to 24 degrees, until they reach their peak in June with 26 degrees. The night temperatures during these months are between 8 degrees in March and 13 degrees in June. With the beginning of the rainy season in June, the maximum daily temperatures are 24 degrees, between July and September a constant 23 degrees. From July to September it is relatively mild at night with 12 degrees. In October and November the maximum daily temperatures are 21 and 20 degrees. At night temperatures drop to 10 degrees in October and 7 degrees in November. In the rainy season from June to September, heavy rain showers with strong thunderstorms (mostly in the afternoon to evening) determine the weather. Even in the rainy season, the sun still shines 6 to 7 hours a day. However, it is very humid. There is very little rain between October and May. The most precipitation occurs in July with 175.1 mm, in contrast to only 4.3 mm in February. From October to May, the humidity in Mexico City is low. Climate / Weather Yucatan – Riviera Maya The Yucatan Peninsula has a warm, humid climate with air temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees Celsius, depending on the season. In the period from August to October, tropical cyclones, hurricanes, can occur. The rainy season, in which there can be heavy rains every day, starts in May and ends in October of each year. The rains are usually short-lived and usually occur in the morning or early evening. From November to April the sun almost always shines and it rarely rains. However, the Yucatan’s Caribbean side is more likely to be surprised by rain showers than the rest of the country. In the period from April to September it is often very humid and hot. The European winter, from November to March, is the best time to travel, because this is the time when the temperatures are most pleasant. The water temperatures are around 26 degrees all year round, so nothing stands in the way of a refreshing swim in the Caribbean Sea. Visitors to the Yucatan Peninsula should always think of good sun protection, because you can get sunburned even in the shade.

EQUIPMENTS

 Binoculars and spotting scope if available, small torch light (red)
Walking shoes for the tours
● Warm clothes for evening observation / photography
● Rain cover / jacket
● Sun protection
● Daypack
● Folding stool (if needed)

(The specified list is not intended to be exhaustive. More details will be shared about 4 weeks before the tour)

GENERAL INFORMATION

●  We reserve the right to change the schedule of excursions, sightseeing and observation programmes – even at short notice due to natural events such as volcanic activity.
  The tour can be cancelled by the tour operator, if the minimum number of participants is not met. In this case, Wittmann Travel e.K. can withdraw from the contract 28 days before the start of the journey. As a rule, however, we inform all participants earlier.

PAYMENT MODE

●  20% of the tour price (billing amount) has to be paid at the time of confirmation.
  Balance payment is to be made 28 days prior to departure.

TRAVEL ADVICE

Travel documents:
German citizens need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months to enter Mexico. A visa is not required for a stay of up to 90 days. On arrival you only have to show a tourist card, which is usually given on the plane. According to current law, every tourist has to carry his passport with him at all times. Citizens of other nationalities should contact your Foreign Office or the respective embassy for information about the entry regulations that apply to you.

FEEDBACK

Coming Soon…

MEXICO/YUKATÁN - ARCHEO-ASTRONOMY - GROUP

ARCHEO-ASTRO JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

TOUR CODE

WT-03-22-A1

DATE

In Planning

DURATION

16 D. - 14 Nts

P.P. PRICE

€ 4130

PAX

10 - 18

Online Request

* Link to data security page www.wittman-travel.de/datasecurity/.

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MEXICO - ARCHEO-ASTRO JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

Current Status

Tour Active

Booking Status

Minimum participants booked

Eligibility

RTPCR test required (24 hours prior to travel) even for vaccinated (Covid19) and recovered participants

Accompanying Lecturer

Dr. Jesus Galindo

Language

English and German

Please Note

Program can be changed without prior notice
Also possible to book half double room