Treasures of Belize, Guatemala & the Yucatan
February 22 - March 1, 2014
We invite you to join us on a winter getaway to Central America’s Caribbean coast. This journey promises to be an enlightening voyage into a world so removed from modern society, and yet, so closes to home.
Back to the top »
On this program, you can swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters off Belize’s Barrier Reef, glimpsing the brightly colored fish and sea creatures that inhabit one of the largest marine systems in the world. You can spot rare plants, flowers, birds, and wildlife as you hike the nature trails within Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. And when you travel deep within Belize’s and Mexico’s tropical forests, you can explore the seldom-visited Maya sites of Quirigua, Lubaantun, Altun Ha, Kohunlich, and picturesque Tulum—with ruins set spectacularly atop 39-foot cliffs overlooking deep turquoise waters. Your home for this voyage of discovery is the Yorktown, a small and intimate ship that is able to visit these unspoiled, out-of-the-way bays, islands, coral reefs, and villages that are not accessible to passengers on mega-cruise liners. Expert study leaders will join you onboard to present a program of lectures and discussions, adding valuable insights into the legacy of the Maya and the natural history of the region.
(please click on location to reveal details)
Back to the top »
FLY FROM USA | SAN PEDRO SULA | PUERTO CORTES, Honduras
Arrive in San Pedro Sula. Transfer to Puerto Cortes to embark Yorktown. (D)
SANTO TOMAS DE CASTILLA |QUIRIGUA, Guatemala
Yorktown will dock in the morning at the port town of Santo Tomas de Castilla. Drive to Quirigua, an ancient Maya center that was founded around a.d. 200, and flourished in the eighth century a.d. Quirigua is famous for its huge stelae and altars that are covered with some of the finest carvings in the Maya world. Alternatively, visit the Castillo de San Felipe, a well-preserved fortress built by the Spanish in the 17th century. (B, L, D)
PUNTA GORDA | LUBAANTUN |SNAKE CAYS, Belize
Arrive in the morning at Belize’s Punta Gorda. Drive inland to explore Lubaantun, a Late Classic Maya center that thrived
between a.d. 700 and a.d. 800. Lubaantun’s remains include five main plazas, eleven major structures, three ball courts, and other edifices. The visitor center displays artifacts excavated at the site. Spend the afternoon at the nearby Snake Cays, swimming and snorkeling. (B, L, D)
From Big Creek, drive to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a dense tropical rain forest set against the peaks of the Maya Mountains. Clear streams and rivers traverse this protected sanctuary that is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including tapier, armadillo, anteater, jaguar, and over 290 species of birds. In the afternoon, enjoy swimming and snorkeling at a nearby cay. (B, L, D)
BELIZE CITY | ALTUN HA | GOFF’S CAY
After arriving in Belize City, drive to Altun Ha, an important ancient Maya site that was occupied for about 1,200 years.
Archaeologists have uncovered more than 500 buildings, but the core of the site is stretched around two great plazas that are lined with temples and other structures.
Return to the ship and over lunch aboard sail to nearby Goff’s Cay, a small islet that offers suburb swimming and snorkeling. (B, L, D)
COSTA MAYA | KOHUNLICH or SIAN KA’AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE | COSTA MAYA, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
From Costa Maya drive inland to explore the rarely visited site of Kohunlich. Located in an area of luxuriant foliage, Kohunlich’s buildings date from about a.d. 100-900.
Notable among them is the Temple of the Masks, a stone pyramid dedicated to the Maya sun god. Alternatively, explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a large protected area facing the Caribbean that is home to a wide variety of plants, birds, and other wildlife. (B, L, D)
PUERTO MORELOS | TULUM | PUERTO MORELOS
Perched on a promontory about 30 feet above the sea, Tulum was one of the major Maya forts that stretched along Yucatan’s coast. Several important buildings remain, including the Temple of the Frescoes and El Castillo, a large pyramid on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea. Overnight aboard docked in Puerto Morelos. (B, L, D)
PUERTO MORELOS | CANCUN | USA
Pricing and Inclusion
Cruise rates from . . . . . . . . . $,1995 total price per person double occupancy*
Singles permitted in category cabin C at $2,995
- Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
- All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Complete program of tours and excursions
- Enrichment program of lectures and discussions by accompanying study leaders
- Professional Travel Dynamics International tour staff
- Complete pre-departure materials
- Gratuities to guides and drivers
Airfare; transfers; port and embarkation taxes; luggage and trip cancellation insurance; alcoholic beverages other than wine and beer with lunch and dinner; personal expenses such as laundry, telephone calls, faxes, and Internet service; and gratuities to shipboard personnel
Back to the top »
Faculty Study Leader
Maria Luisa Crawford
Our Bryn Mawr faculty host is Maria Luisa Crawford, Emerita Professor of Geology. Her research is focused on solving the history of mountain belts (such as the Coast Oregon of British Columbia and southeastern Alaska or the older Appalachians in Pennsylvania) by looking at as many different aspects as possible of the kinds of rocks, the time the rocks formed, the location in which they formed, the way the earth moved.
Back to the top »
Her ongoing research programs have the aim to understand mountain building processes and related terrane accretion. This has focused on the nature, rates, and timing of the processes that resulted in the mountains formed along the present eastern margin of North America during the early Paleozoic (550-350 million years ago) and along the northwestern coast of British Columbia and southeastern Alaska from the Cretaceous (110 million years ago) to the present.