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Office of International Programs

Friends of UT Tyler Travel Program

The OIP is pleased to collaborate with the Maya Research Program to provide exciting Friends of UT Tyler Travel Programs.

Check back 1 April 2015 for New Year's 2016 activities!

For details about the 2015 trip read below:

28 December 2014 - 9 January 2015

The Maya Research Program explored 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- participants joined us as we took a memorable 13 day journey through Mexico and Guatemala, culminating in Colonial Antigua- one of Central America's most enchanting cities.  

View the brochure here. View the press release here. See the article published in the Tyler Morning Telegraph here

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: Arrived in Villahermosa where met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to our hotel. For those who arrived independently, a taxi was hired for the short drive into town. Overnight at the Hyatt Villahermosa. (Dinner included)

Monday, December 29: Visited 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, we drove 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 checked into our charming hotel and had 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: Explored Palenque's many exquisite examples of 7th- and 8th-century Maya architecture, including the Temple of the Inscriptions, Palace, the Cross Temples, and recently uncovered Temples XIX and XXI. We finished 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, we visited the Palenque site museum, with many world famous pieces of Maya ceramics and stone carving. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Wednesday, December 31: We crossed the selva mountains and visited 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! (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Thursday, January 1, 2015: What a great day it was to spend visiting the highland Maya cities of Zinancatan and San Juan Chamula where we saw traditional people, their markets and churches.(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Friday, January 2: We spent our day visiting the traditional highland Chiapas communities of Chicuntik and Amatenango and ended 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 visited 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 spent 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 visited the famous Sunday market at Chichicastenango. Then we were off to Lake Atitlan, which the great German explorer Alexander von Humboldt called "the most beautiful lake in the world." We spent 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 took a boat tour through the traditional Maya villages of Lake Atitlan and returned to our lakeside Hotel Atitlan. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Tuesday, January 6: We left Atitlan to go 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 was the first of two nights at the Hotel Camino Real Antigua. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Wednesday, January 7: We toured some of the historic and great coffee plantations in the area. After a stop at a jade museum, we returned to the Camino Real Antigua. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Thursday, January 8: Our final day was spent in Antigua then we took a short drive to Guatemala City to see some of their wonderful museums of ancient Maya artifacts and enjoy a city tour. We celebrated the end of our adventure at the Camino Real Guatemala. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner included)

Friday, January 9: Transferred to the airport in Guatemala City for flights home.
(Breakfast included)

For details about the 2014 trip read below.

Italian Adventure

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.