Office of International Programs
Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program
The OIP is pleased to collaborate with the Maya Research Program to provide an exciting Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program spanning over New Years 2015!
28 December 2014 - 9 January 2015
Join Maya Research Program as we explore the breathtaking world of the ancient and modern Maya. From Mexico's stunning sites of Palenque and Tonina to the Guatemalan Highland's vibrant markets- we invite you to join us as we take a memorable 13 day journey through Mexico and Guatemala, culminating in Colonial Antigua- one of Central America's most enchanting cities.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can anyone go on a Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program trip or is participation limited to UT Tyler faculty, staff, students, and alumni?
Anyone can go on the trips offered by the Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program. Participation is not limited to alumni, faculty, staff, or students.
Can I get college credit for participating in a trip?
No. The trips offered through the Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program, although educational in focus, are not offered for college or continuing education credit.
What is included in the cost of a trip?
What is included in the cost varies with each trip, but in general the trip cost includes airfare (from DFW airport), accommodations, transportation throughout the trip, some meals, and most admission costs. The cost of this trip is $3,600 USD per person with a $500 deposit required by 29 October 2014. This covers all meals and excursions listed on the brochure.
What kind of accommodations are available on a trip?
The Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program trips feature comfortable, centrally-located and first-class accommodations overseas. Accommodations are priced as double occupancy, but participants can pay a supplement (prices vary per trip) for a single room.
What method of payment can I use for the trip?
You can pay for the trip by check or credit card. If paying by credit card please visit the MRP website. Once on this page, click the donate button. After entering your credit card data, there is a place designated for notes. Please put "New Year's Tour" in this box. This will tell MRP that you are paying for your trip.
Do UT Tyler faculty or staff members receive a discount on the cost of the trip?
Unfortunately, there is no discount available for trips through the Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program.
Sunday, December 28, 2014: Arrive at Villahermosa where, if traveling on the suggested group flight, you will be met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to our hotel. For those arriving independently, a taxi can be hired for the short drive into town. Overnight at the Hyatt Villahermosa. (Dinner included)
Monday, December 29: Visit La Venta Park to see a magnificent outdoor collection of stone sculpture that originally came from the Olmec site of La Venta. The Olmec were one of the earliest cultures developed in Mesoamerica, preceding the Maya by centuries. Their monumental stone carvings and mythological beings puzzle archaeologists to this day. After lunch, drive to Palenque, a World Heritage site and one of the great western capitals of classic Maya civilization that some have called "the Paris of the Maya." We will check into our charming hotel and have time for relaxation, exploring the surrounding lush forest, and swimming in the unusual pool. Overnight at Chan Kah Resort Village for two nights. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Tuesday, December 30: Explore Palenque's many exquisite examples of 7th- and 8th-century Maya architecture, including the Temple of the Inscriptions, Palace, the Cross Temples, recently uncovered Temples XIX and XXI. We finish the morning walking a beautiful downhill jungle trail, across waterfalls and hidden ruins, to get a true sense of the rainforest and all its beauty. After lunch at an outdoor, palm thatch restaurant, visit the Palenque site museum, with many world famous pieces of Maya ceramics and stone carving. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Wednesday, December 31: We cross the selva mountains and visit the gorgeous site of Tonina carved into the highland hillsides and then the colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas –where dynamics between Latinos and Indios are still complicated--before ending our day at the Casa Mexicana in Tapachula, the pearl of the state of Socanusco. Happy New Year's Eve! Don't forget to ask Tom about that time he was in San Cristobal on Good Friday! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Thursday, January 1, 2015: What a great day to spend visiting the highland Maya cities of Zinancatan and San Juan Chamula where we will see traditional people, their markets and churches. If you thought you understood the Catholic church, you may end up changing your mind! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Friday, January 2: We spend our day visiting the traditional highland Chiapas communities of Chicuntik and Amatenango and end our day at the Hotel Lagos de Montebello at one of Mexico's greatest natural wonders. Montebello is a national park close to the border with Guatemala, comprising 59 multi-colored lakes in a pine forest and two Maya ruins. It was the first national park in Chiapas when created in 1959 and in 2009 the park was designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Saturday, January 3: We visit La Mesilla en route to Chichicastenango, famous for its markets and the Church of San Tomas, next to the market. The 400-year old church is built atop a Pre-Columbian temple platform, and the steps originally leading to a temple of the pre-Hispanic Maya civilization remain venerated. K'iche' Maya priests still use the church for their rituals, burning incense and candles. In special cases, they burn a chicken for the gods. Each of the 18 stairs that lead up to the church stands for one month of the Maya calendar year. We spend the night at the Hotel Museo Mayan Inn, a restored colonial building located next to Chichicastenango's Calvario Chapel. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Sunday, January 4: We visit the famous Sunday market at Chichicastenango. Don't let Grace and Colleen buy ALL of the textiles! Then we are off to Lake Atitlan, which the great German explorer Alexander von Humboldt called "the most beautiful lake in the world." We spend the first of two nights at Hotel Atitlan in the shadow of volcanoes and a Guatemalan national park. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Monday, January 5: We take a boat tour through the traditional Maya villages of Lake Atitlan and return to our lakeside Hotel Atitlan (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Tuesday, January 6: We leave Atitlan to the colonial city of Antigua in the central highlands of Guatemala, famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture as well as a number of spectacular ruins of colonial churches. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the first of two nights at the Hotel Camino Real Antigua. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Wednesday, January 7: We tour some of the historic and great coffee plantations in the area.....Tom is bringing and extra suitcase just for samples! After a stop at a jade
museum, we return to the Camino Real Antigua. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Thursday, January 8: Our final day is spent in Antigua then a short drive to Guatemala City to see some of their wonderful museums of ancient Maya artifacts and enjoy a city tour. We celebrate the end of our adventure at the Camino Real Guatemala. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)
Friday, January 9: Transfer to the airport in Guatemala City for flights home.
On 1-9 October, the Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program was the Italian Adventure, discovering the art, architecture, food and culture of Italy (Rome, Orvieto, Florence and Assisi). For more information, please check out the Italian Adventure Brochure and Slide Show of Italy.