Mexico’s dense, jungle-lined Riviera Maya coast is well-known for its colorful Mexican Caribbean waters and easy access to fascinating ruins. And while luxurious resorts have set in to take advantage of the postcard-worthy beaches, this region’s Mayan roots still play a role in day-to-day life.
In case you only vaguely remember the Mayans from middle school history class, here’s a brief history brush up: this civilization lasted for more than 2,000 years and produced some of the world’s earliest mathematicians, astronomers, architects and linguists. They built complex cities without the help of modern machinery, learned to measure time with complicated calendars, and created one of the world’s first written languages. Classic over-achievers.
(Okay, we’re just saying that last bit because sometimes the thought of getting out of bed on a Friday morning seems challenging enough, and that doesn’t include building a well-oiled society without the invention of the wheel.)
How did the Mayans do it? They harnessed their inner jaguar, of course!
And no, that’s not a weird kitsch from a self-help book. The Mayans believed that we all possess the spirit of a jaguar within us and if we only are open to this spirit, then we can unlock our most powerful, adventurous self.
While Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa doesn’t promise to turn you into a jaguar, their Xcalacoco Experience will put you on the right track to enjoy these colorful Mayan philosophies firsthand and harness your own adventurous streak. The Xcalacoco Experience guides guests through a multi-day, interactive program filled with ancient Mayan ball games, nighttime dance performances, meditations by the stunning cenotes and a sampling of regional cuisine. The immersive experience even involves a class on jungle survival skills!
After you ‘graduate’ from this innovative program, there are endless cenotes, rivers and mangroves on the property to bike, boat and walk through, which act as sanctuaries for over 60 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Here, your jungle survival class might come in handy—particularly on those late night walks with the calls of spider monkeys, snakes and hundreds of birds echoing through the air. Just remember: you’re the jaguar, the undisputed jungle leader.
And really, that’s not such a bad philosophy to bring back home with you, is it?