Community Trips Abroad

The LAII regularly offers international educational programs for community members. These programs normally do not provide academic credit, but instead provide informal educational experiences that allow members of the community to explore and learn about Latin America through dynamic, tailored itineraries. 

Maya Art and Archaeology Tour:  Mexico - Southern Yucatan Peninsula

Date: May 11-20, 2019

Locations: San Cristóbal de las Casas, Palenque, Calakmul, and Tulúm

Overview: Join The University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Latin American and Iberian Institute (LAII) as we travel through the states of Chiapas, Campeche, and Quintana Roo to visit ancient Maya archaeological sites and modern-day Maya communities.  The tour will begin in the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas and head north to the ruins of Palenque, then east to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve where we’ll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Calakmul.  Established around 500 B.C., Calakmul ruled the area until around A.D. 1000.  It was the seat of the important Ka’an or "Snake" dynasty which dominated the region and rivaled the cities of Tikal in Guatemala and Caracol in Belize.  It is also home to the tallest pyramid on the Yucatán Peninsula.  We’ll visit the sites of Becán, Balamkú, Chicanná, Hormigüero, and Xpujil.  We’ll stop at the ruins of Kohunlich and visit beautiful Laguna Bacalar as we make our way up the Caribbean coast to Tulúm.  Dr. Margaret Jackson, UNM Associate Professor of Pre-Colombian Art History, will co-lead the tour with LAII staff.  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to explore fascinating Maya archaeological sites while experiencing the rich biodiversity of the flora and fauna of the region.

Course credit for Spring 2019 semester is available - please contact Dr. Margaret Jackson at for more information.

The application deadline has passed and the trip is currently full.  We hope to be offering a similar trip next year.  If interested, please send an email to LAII Program Manager M. Robyn Côté at  We look forward to having you join us on future educational tours.

Below is the program itinerary (subject to change).

Saturday, May 11  

  • Departure from US (not included in tour price)
  • Arrival at Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport
  • Transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas (on your own)
  • Check-in at Hotel Casa Mexicana
  • Dinner on your own

Sunday, May 12

  • Tour of modern-day highland community of San Cristóbal de las Casas
  • Group lunch at TierrAdentro to hear lecture on local Zapatista movement
  • Afternoon free
  • Dinner on your own

Monday, May 13

  • Early hotel check-out
  • Travel by bus to Palenque (5 hrs), with stop at ruins of Toniná and/or Agua Azul falls
  • Lunch on your own
  • Check in at Hotel Chablis in Palenque
  • Group dinner; evening free

Tuesday, May 14

  • Guided tour of Maya ruins of Palenque
  • Lunch on your own
  • Afternoon visit to Palenque museum
  • Group dinner at El Panchán

Wednesday, May 15

  • Early hotel check-out
  • Travel to Xpujil by bus (5 hrs)
  • Check-in at Cabañas Zoh Laguna; sack lunch provided
  • Optional trip to Maya ruins of Hormigüero
  • Dinner on your own

Thursday, May 16

  • Guided tour of Maya ruins of Becán, Chicanná, and Xpujil
  • Sack lunch provided
  • Visit to modern-day Maya community of 20 de noviembre
  • Dinner on your own

Friday, May 17

  • Guided tour of Maya ruins of Balamkú
  • Guided tour of Maya ruins of Calakmul
  • Sack lunch provided
  • Dinner on your own

Saturday, May 18

  • Check-out of Cabañas Zoh Laguna
  • Travel by bus to Tulúm (4 hrs) with stop at Maya ruins of Kohunlich
  • Group lunch at Laguna Bacalar
  • Check-in at hotel in Tulúm
  • Dinner on your own

Sunday, May 19

  • Guided tour of Maya ruins of Tulúm
  • Group lunch in Tulúm
  • Afternoon free to go to beach or visit Gran Cenote or Xel-Há Park (on your own)
  • Dinner on your own

Monday, May 20

  • Hotel check-out
  • Transfer to Cancún International Airport
  • Return flight to US (not included in tour price)

This program will bring Maya art and archaeology to life! Here are a few highlights in advance to pique your interest:

Calakmul Mayan Archeological Site (1 minute Digest) from Y K on Vimeo.

SELLO COLECTIVO CALAKMUL from Sello Colectivo Calakmul on Vimeo.

The program cost is:

  • $2448 (double occupancy)
  • $2796 (single occupancy)

The program cost includes:

  • 9 nights’ lodging in 3-star hotels
  • Breakfast and 8 group meals (either lunch or dinner) as indicated in the program
  • Ground transportation for all scheduled activities
  • Entrance/Program fees associated with scheduled activities (unless otherwise indicated)
  • Guides and translation for programmed activities
  • Health insurance

The program cost does not include:

  • Airfare to/from Tuxtla Gutiérrez or Cancún
  • Transportation from Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport to San Cristóbal de las Casas (1 hr)
  • Passport or visa arrangements
  • One meal per day (unless listed); meals on travel days
  • Drinks not included with meals
  • Optional and/or unscheduled activities (including transportation for those activities)

* Payments accepted via check or credit card

Important Deadlines

  • The application deadline has passed and the trip is currently full.
  • March 25, 2019: Registered participants must submit final payment

Application Materials and Payment

  • Complete and return the registration form;
  • Submit a copy of a valid passport;
  • Submit deposit to the LAII either through:

For more information, please contact LAII Program Manager M. Robyn Côté by completing the form below: