During the Late Post-Classic (900-1550 A.D.) various peoples of the Mayan community came to the port of Polé, present-day Xcaret, for commercial and trading purposes. This place also served as the rallying point for crossing to the island of Kuzamil, today Cozumel, to visit the temple of the goddess Ixchel.
After conducting thorough research and documentation for more than three years, in coordination with prestigious bodies such as the Center for Mayan Studies, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and with the advice of specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), Xcaret Park revived this tradition in 2007, the Sacred Mayan Journey. Since then, it has been performed year after year and today is an event that prides Quintana Roo and its inhabitants.
Over the course of six months canoers who have accepted the challenge of crossing to the island of Cozumel to learn the ways of the goddess Ixchel prepare physically, mentally and emotionally for a successful performance. Their participation is voluntary and motivations are varied: a promise to Ixchel seeking fertility or a partner, teamwork, overcoming fears, learning to face adversity, among several others.
In 2016 the tenth anniversary of this tradition is fulfilled, with a total of 2,660 canoers who have completed more than 383,000 training hours and 80 hours of canoeing during the crossing from Xcaret to Cozumel and the return, along a route of 360 miles.
On this occasion, the Sacred Mayan Journey will take place on May 20th and 21st, 2016. The departure of the canoers from the port of Polé will take place on Friday, May 20th at 06:00 hours at Dos Playas Bay in Xcaret. The arrival at Kuzamil will be around 13:00 hours the same day in the cove of Chankanaab Park in Cozumel.
On Saturday, May 21st at 09:00 hours, residents of Kuzamil will bid farewell to the canoers in Chankanaab Park, estimating the arrival back at Polé (Xcaret) at 13:00 hours, where they will be received with great enthusiasm.