Yucatan Mainland Seen From Isla Mujeres Ferry
"Yucatan Adventure" coordinates exhilarating exploration of the Yucatan peninusla and its offshore islands and reefs.
The founder of “Yucatan Adventure” - Alan Archibald - is a former North Carolina middle- and high school teacher. Alan has also taught Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Durham Technical Community College. Currently, Alan provides American medical personnel with Spanish language immersion training in Oaxaca, Mexico.
"Yucatan Adventure" employs Sra. Minerva Benitez Castillo (a civil rights lawyer), fisherman Arturo Arceo and San Crisanto artists, Rudy and Cruz Crespo Sunza to immerse participants in the joys of Yucatecan life while staying alert to the requirements of safe exploration.
“Yucatan Adventure” reveals the people, life and culture of the Yucatan "where the rubber meets the road."
Oaxaca Adventure - A New Offering!
In June, 2013, I visited old friends in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I used to operate "Medical Spanish Immersion" before focusing all my energy on Yucatan Adventure. My visit to Oaxaca was extremely enjoyable and while traveling across the state I re-connected with former staffmembers and service providers. With great pleasure my team now offers Oaxacan Adventure in addition to our Yucatan offerings. The "legacy" website for ""Medical Spanish Immersion" can be viewed at http://medicalspanish.homestead.com/ .
Suggested Yucatan Itinerary:
(The following itinerary can be adjusted to accommodate your wishes.)
Day 1 As soon as Yucatan Adventure founder Alan Archibald welcomes travelers at the Cancun airport, we travel to Isla Mujeres a tranquil island visible from the northeast corner of the peninsula. After settling into our hotel, we will enjoy a delicious meal at Sr. Fernando Velasquez' palm-grove restaurant, followed by beach play in the crystalline waters of Playa Norte, a short saunter from our lodging.
Day 2 Weather permitting, we will travel by panga (motorized small craft) to Isla Contoy Nature Preserve, a ninety minute journey punctuated by snorkeling at a vibrant coral reef. En route to Isla Contoy, our panga will troll for "catch of the day” adding to the abundant supply of fresh fish featured in our palapa beach feast. On my last trip to Isla Contoy, we enjoyed close views of dolphin and tuna diving around our boat. While our feast is prepared, we will swim in Contoy's white sand harbor where a small coral reef provides additional snorkeling opportunity. Bahia Contoy is frequented by five-foot manta rays that swim in knee-deep water eager to be petted.
Day 3 We travel to Valladolid where we will lodge at Meson del Marques, the spectacular restaurant/inn that hosted President Jimmy Carter when he visited this lovely colonial town 25 years ago. Directly across the street from El Meson, Mayan women sell a variety of hand-made goods - including hamacas and brilliantly embroidered "huipiles," the native Yucatecan dress. After lunch, we visit Cenote Zaci, a large cenote-sinkhole - about fifty yards across - with a partial limestone dome overhead. Divers plunge from the lip of this dome to the water 100 feet below.
Day 4 After breakfast, we will tour the ruins of Chichen Itza. In addition to the architectural and sculptural grandeur of this great Mayan city, these awe-inspiring ruins enable travelers to appreciate how suddenly - and how recently! - this Great Civilization collapsed. (MacArthur scholar Jared Diamond has written an engaging account: "The Last Americans")
Day 5 After breakfast, we travel to Cenote Dzitnup, a geologically-rich stalagmite/stalactite sink-hole nearly covered by a limestone dome. At noon, the sun penetrates a small opening overhead, illuminating the crystalline waters with an other-worldly glow. After lunch, we travel to Merida, the Yucatan's capitol city. In Merida, we will lodge at Albergue Santa Luisa Marillac (which occupies an 18th century mansion), or at Luz in Yucatan, formerly a colonial convent adjacent to Santa Lucia's "slave" Church. After settling into our commodious rooms, we will feast on the balconies of La Bella Epoca, a memorable "old world" restaurant overlooking the cobbled streets and horse-drawn calesa-carriages of Merida's colonial district. After dinner, travelers explore Merida's main square where music, dance and street-theater abound, or, they might prefer a moonlit dip in the tropical garden pool at Luz en Yucatan.
Day 6 After breakfast, we will visit El Aguacate hammock factory en route to San Crisanto, one of the Yucatan's few remaining traditional fishing villages. After lunch and a swim, we will enjoy cultural "exchange" with traditional Mexican dancers. In San Crisanto, travelers also have the option of participating in a Service Project. (In the recent past, we've been planting coconut trees.) In San Crisanto, student travelers will spend the night in local family homes. Adult travellers will lodge on San Crisanto beach in a thatched-roof Mayan nah.
Day 7 Following breakfast and a final swim along San Crisanto's beach, we return to the Yucatan's east coast where -- after eating and swimming at Cancun's spectacular Playa Delfines -- we will enjoy our farewell dinner.
Day 8 Full breakfast buffet at Hotel X'balanque followed by return flight to the United States or Canada.
2011 Waldorf Teacher Recommendation:
"Last May, our class of fifteen 12th graders and two adults placed our fortunes into the care of Alan Archibald as we journeyed to the Yucatan for a two week work/study trip. Alan had arrived on site a full week before our arrival, visiting each of our many destinations and arrranging our itinerary down to the smallest detail. When he met us at the Cancun airport, our little group set out on what I can only describe as an adventure for the body, mind, and spirit. Whether exploring a Mayan ruin, working alongside the local folks in a Mayan village, or dining out on the delicious and authentic indigenous cuisine, Alan remained a steady presence who enriched every moment with his gentle humor and a profound understanding of and appreciation for the culture. Being a Waldorf school, our students go on lots of trips in high school. So perhaps they paid the ultimate compliment when, upon our return to Chicago, they rated our Yucatan adventure their "all-time favorite". St. Augustine said "the world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Accepting that premise, I can only say that Alan Archibald gave our class one big, juicy chapter!"
Thank you, Alan." David Massie - Chicago Waldorf School
For groups of 16 or more, the cost of the 8 day Yucatan itinerary (above) is $985.00 per person, excluding airfare. This $985.00 sum covers all "land costs" including hotels, three delectable meals per day, excursion costs, entry fees, guides and ground travel.
Continental and Delta Airlines operate user-friendly websites that offer good fares: www.Continental.com /// www.Delta.com (If you have access to Frontier Airlines, you may be able to obtain exceptionally favorable rates on flights to the Yucatan.)
“Yucatan Adventure” does not provide health (or evacuation) insurance. Although Yucatan Adventure has never experienced a medical emergency, we encourage prospective travelers to obtain private coverage. For years, Alan Archibald has subscribed to a $59.00 travel insurance policy offered by American Express' "AMEX Assurance Company": 1-800-297-2900. Travelex is another travel insurance company that can be contacted at 1-800-228-9792. Travelex' website is www.travelex-insurance.com
For more information, please contact:
225 West Margaret Lane
1.) Rio Lagartos motor boat nature tour culminating in visit to the hemisphere's largest flamingo breeding ground. This excursion takes us deep into mangrove where we will see -- and handle (if you wish) -- large horseshoe crabs and alligators.
2.) Late night motor boat trip to sea turtle egg-laying beaches. (Egglaying season begins mid-May and continues through July.)
4.) Learn to weave Mayan hammocks in Tixcocob.
5.) In Merida and Valladolid, play soccer with a local "team."
6.) Service Project in Mayan communities. Chicken coop construction. Coconut planting in San Crisanto. Civic building painting and re-modelling projects. Beautification of public spaces.
7.) Deep sea fishing.
8.) Visit Xel-ha tropical "water park." (Supplemental $85.00 fee.)
9.) Explore the caves of Loltun, Homun and swim in Cenote Telchaquillo.
Trip Cancellation and Refund Policy
Cancellation of any Yucatan Adventure up to 31 days prior to designated trip commencement will incur a penalty of 10% of the total payment.
Cancellation within 15-30 days of trip commencement will incur a penalty of 25% of the total payment.
Cancellation within 7-14 days of trip commencement will incur a penalty of 50% of the total payment.
Cancellation within 4-6 days of trip commencement will incur a penalty of 75% of the total payment.
Cancellation within 3 days of trip commencement will incur a penalty of 100% of the total payment.
Unused trip features are non-refundable.
"No shows" forfeit entire payment.