• Aztec dogs xolosquincle
  • copal blessing by Mayan priest at sacred statue Xcaret Park Riviera Maya Mexico
  • Guacamayas red macaws

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Xcaret Park ancient Maya temple

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Xcaret Park Maya marketplace for Travesia Sagrada Maya or Sacred Mayan journey

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Torches in the rain over canoes

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Modern Mayan warrior in the rain

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Xcaret Park Mayan village in the dark before the Travesia Sagrada Maya

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Sacred Mayan Journey canoes depart Xcaret Park

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Crowd of supporters on the beach Xcaret Park Travesia Sagrada Maya

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Travesia Sagrada Maya canoe in the ocean

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Xcaret Park aerial view from airplane

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Travesia Sagrada Maya canoes from the aerial view in the sea

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Sacred Mayan Journey canoes on the beach aerial view

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Sacred Mayan Journey child welcomes canoes

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Canoeros in the Sacred Mayan Journey 2012

    Photo by Sol Tamargo

  • Canoeros in the Sacred Mayan Journey in skull masks

    Photo by Matt Adcock

  • Celebrate canoero at Sacred Mayan Journey

    Photo by Juan Euan

  • Mayan warrior skull mask Sacred Mayan Journey

    Photo by Juan Euan

Riviera Maya Events -Travesia Sagrada Maya – Sacred Mayan Journey

Xcaret Park in the Riviera Maya is a favourite way to spend the day for visitors to the region and for good reason. Natural beauty, cultural exhibits and their dedication to conservation and preservation of the environment and the history of the region. Del Sol Photography is always excited to attend the special events presented by Xcaret and one of the most beautiful and historically significant is the “Travesia Sagrada Maya” or “Sacred Mayan Journey“.

For thousands of years the Maya made an annual pilgrimage from the mainland of the Yucatan Peninsula to the island of Cozumel to honor the goddess Ixchel. The ritual began with a marketplace at the site of the modern day Xcaret Park, previously called “Ppolé”. Goods were traded and items collected to present as offerings to the goddess Ixchel. After the market, “canoeros” began the arduous journey across the sea in carved canoes, rowing to reach the shores of Cozumel and the temple of the goddess of fertility, water, health and vegetation. The offerings were made to receive her blessings for the community for the year ahead.

The annual recreation of this event is a visual treat, a colorful and moving exhibition of dedication and hard work. The modern “canoeros” train for the entire year in order to be physically, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the sacred journey. They wear traditional clothing, some in costume and makeup, the canoes are designed in the ancient style and Xcaret Park becomes the marketplace of 1000 years ago. The copal smoke floats on the ocean breeze, the multi-colored macaws fly and squawk overhead and the crowds of supporters urge on the mighty “canoeros”.

The 2013 Sacred Mayan Journey will take place from May 23-25, with public events to celebrate the ritual. The Maya market launches the event on May 23 at 7:00 pm at Xcaret Park. The journey to Cozumel begins on May 24th with a blessing at Xel Ha Park at 5:30 am. The canoes arrive to Chankanaab Park May 24 around 1:00 p.m. for a grand welcome. That same evening at 8:00 pm, offerings will be presented at the sanctuary of Ixchel, blessings will be made and all will celebrate with dances and song. On May 25th the canoes depart at 9:00 am for the return trip to the mainland, arriving at Xcaret around 1:00 p.m. for more celebrations.

Del Sol Photography wishes all the participants strength, health and a safe crossing. You have our admiration!

Please enjoy the photos of the 2012 Travesia Sagrada Maya/Sacred Mayan Journey that were taken by Del Sol Photographers. It was an honor and a pleasure to attend this important event.  Principal photographes Matt Adcock and Sol Tamargo and Juan Euan.


  1. Era Cardoso April 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Gracias por las fotos!!! Me emociono mucho verlas ahora ya de nuevo cerca para la travesia 2013……….

    • Kelly McLaughlin April 30, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Un placer Era! Es un evento enorme y super bonito! Saludos!

  2. Raduy Fedorenko May 2, 2013 at 11:54 am

    ¡Que bello trabajo! ¡que padrísima experiencia!!!

    este es un registro importante de nuestro país para el resto del mundo.


    • Kelly McLaughlin May 2, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      Muchas gracias Raduy! Es un evento increible!

  3. Damilola May 18, 2013 at 8:08 am

    This is simply FANTASTIC!! I love it.

  4. Antonia Urbiola June 4, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Sus fotografias son Hermosas, Sorprendentes.

    • Kelly McLaughlin June 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Muchas gracias Antonia!