Mexico 2012

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Spiritual Archaeology at the Temples and Ceremonial Sites of the Maya 

December 8 – 23, 2012  

Izapa, San Juan Chumala, Palenque, Bonampak,Yaxchilan, Tonina, Becan, Coba, Tulum (Doorways of Ascension), Chichen Itza, and…FABULOUS rest and relaxation on the Riviera Maya to complete the old cycle and bring in the new!                                                                                                                 

Bathe in the 2012 Mayan world and enjoy every minute!

Unlike tourists,  Spiritual Explorers have a desire to go deeper, to receive the messages and insights sacred places have to transmit.  Since 1988, Luminous has led journeys to sacred places – she knows how to create an environment of ease and comfort – create easy, smooth transitions – and present you with the absolute best a location has to offer.  She shares the basics of Spiritual Archaeology to assist you in your quest at sacred places.

In 1999, Luminous 1 met an archaeologist and shaman at a temple in Coba, Mexico – who had been the guide for the Dalai Lama when he visited the Yucatan.  An exchange took place between them and he took Luminous to Tulum and showed her two gateways, saying “this is where my people will walk through in 2012.”  She did not ask for this information–but knew she was privileged to receive it, feeling it was given to her for some important reason.  This year, she is proud to present another journey to the Yucatan in Mexico, visiting Palenque and the ancient Lancandon Maya people.  The group will spend several days at Tulum on the Caribbean Sea–discovering what those gateways are about.  
Luminous 1 is the author of a book  on Spiritual Archaeology, addressing the unique concerns of the spiritual traveler, the nature of the sites, and how to access the healing, wisdom and transformational powers of these mystical places..

Our journey to the Yucatan, Mexico in 2012 is the journey you want to take to absorb the transformational energies of the times.  This is the most sought after time of the year to be on the Caribbean Sea on the Riviera Maya.  Plenty of relaxation, beautiful turquoise sea and sugar sand beaches are part of treating ourselves really, really, well – now, and forever.   

Spiritual Archaeology is a part of all our journeys.  We transmit basics to you so you can explore and enjoy the sites in the ways that matter to you.  You will find plenty of time to yourself, and many new ways to receive the new encodements, visions, and transformatonal and healing energies available.  This is your journey.

WE CONTRIBUTE a portion of the proceeds from all our journeys to assist the people in the areas we visit.  We may buy them a goat or cow, sponsor a child or a budding entrepreneur.  Organizations we give to include,,    We like to give back to the people in the areas we visit.


All guests on our journeys receive a complimentary copy of the book.  The book can be ordered directly from the author at 

DAY 1 – December 8TH

ARRIVE–Tapachula–Schedule your international flight to arrive early in the day. We will pick you up at the airport and get you checked in to our hotel.  Contact us for assistance with airline reservations.  A Welcome Dinner tonight for the group.

Day 2 & 3 – December 9th & 10th 

The origins of Izapa circa 1500 B.C. remained buried and forgotten for many centuries after its abandonment somewhere around A.D. 1200. Nevertheless, at this site you can recognize elements that permit you to infer, if not the origins, at least one of the earliest manifestations of one of the cosmogonic and creation myths that gave unity and cultural identity to the peoples of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. In some of the extraordinary sculptured monuments discovered at Izapa, scholars have identified elements and characters from the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the Quiche Maya of Guatemala.

The archaeological wealth of Izapa is evident in the massive pyramidal structures scattered across the site, the great platforms built of packed earth veneered with stone, the dozens of sculptural elements such as stelae, thrones, and altars, all of which can be enjoyed by the visitor and appreciated as but a small sample of the importance of the site. Cutting edge research, both national and international, has recognized the importance of Izapa for understanding and explaining the development of the cultures such as the Olmec that anteceded it or were contemporaneous, while the societies that followed Izapa inherited characteristic cultural features that helped define a vast and complex cultural zone known as the Maya area. The Classic Maya would be difficult or even impossible to understand without our knowledge of Izapa and other communities that developed an original and advanced culture on the coastal plains of the Soconusco.
Site location and resources

Izapa is located in the eastern portion of the of Soconusco region, just a few kilometers from the Guatemala-Mexico border and less than 40 km from the Pacific Ocean coastline. The soils, although thin, were very fertile, which along with the abundant rains (an average of 3,596 mm annually) turned the coastal plains into an important producer of cacao and other staples. These without doubt must have been important economic resources since pre-hispanic times, allowing the population of Izapa to trade for obsidian and other goods necessary for their subsistence.

Archaeological relevance of Izapa.
The first archaeological investigations at Izapa were carried out by Karl Ruppert in the 1930s and by the renowned A.V. Kidder of the Carnegie Institution. In 1941 Mathew Stirling visited Izapa, photographing and recording the site; his reports were published in 1943. A few years later, Philip Drucker carried out the first archaeological explorations on some of the site’s structures. His results were published in 1947. During the decade of the 1960s various archaeologists from the New World Archaeological Foundation, then under the direction of Gareth Lowe, conducted more systematic explorations.
 Through these early explorations the antiquity and importance of Izapa to an understanding of the transition between the early Olmec civilization and the Classic Maya became apparent. In fact, there are but a few sites in Mexico (La Venta and Chiapa de Corzo, amongst others) and Guatemala (Kaminaljuyu, Abaj Takalik, and El Baul), that share some of the features present at Izapa, which permit the understanding of the development of prehispanic Mesoamerica, particularly in the Maya area.

Izapa: The creators of the calendar system
Some scholars have proposed that the people that built Izapa were also the creators of the calendar system. Several elements and arguments sustain this idea, for example, on August 13 and April 29, which are two very significant days for the Mesoamerican peoples, the zenith passage of the sun takes place at Izapa. It is worth mentioning that the “beginnings of time” or of the “counting of time” (better known to archaeologists as the Long Count), began precisely on August 13, 3114 B.C.. This implies that the Mesoamerican calendar system had its origin in Izapa. This system acquired such importance that many of the most important sites of ancient Mesoamérica laid out their structures following this conception, that is, orienting their buildings in commemoration of the basic principles of the calendar system.
Our Journey begins!

Day 4 – December 11th 

We journey to San Cristobal de Las Casas today, taking in the landscape and possibly a smaller site along the way.  Rest, relax, enjoy the transition to another area of the Yucatan.


Day 5 – December 12th

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS—One o the most picturesque and colorful towns in all of Mexico, San Cristobal de las Casas is nestled in the mountains of Chiapas.  This historic town is a marketing center for Mayans living in nearby mountain communities. The Spanish conquistadors founded the city in 1528 leaving a legacy of cobblestone streets, houses with red tiled roofs and an abundance of flowers.  The Colonial architecture is a backdrop for a thriving art scene as well as the vibrant indigenous culture.

Luminous will introduce us to Spiritual Archaeology Basics. These skills will support us throughout our journey – and we will have a lot of fun seeing how well our insight and intuition serves us.   A ceremony is planned for 12/12 in a tropical forest steeped in the teeming vibration of nature.

This evening we have a Welcome Dinner at Museo Na-Baloom in its library with the group and will go over the itinerary and scheduling and get everyone comfortable and oriented.  What a journey ahead!  B/D


SAN JUAN CHUMULA—This morning, the second section of Spiritual Archaeology Basics will be shared.  After lunch we leave for the Tzotzil village of San Juan Chamula, famous for its mystical church where a unique blend of Catholic and Mayan beliefs are practiced.  Here, traditional healing rituals are practiced in combination with Catholic prayers.  We walk through the food and handicraft market San Juan Chumula. The women of Chamula are considered the region’s finest weavers and we will see the “huipiles” (blouses) and other items they produce.  We continue on the Zinacantan, a regional center for the flower trade.  Evening is free time to explore San Cristobal de las Casas. B

Day 7– December 14th

SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS TO PALENQUE – An early departure takes us to TONINA’.  This site is one of the last great Classic Maya sites and sits overlooking a stunning valley.  Its in-the-round monuments were produced at the end of the Olmec era.  One of the tallest pyramidal structures in the Mayan world, Tonita’ centers on a grand plaza and a series of seven stone platforms on a hillside.  We stop at the waterfalls of Agua Azul for a ceremony preparing us for Palenque.  We arrive at Palenque later today and check into our amazing accommodations in the jungle.

Day 8 – December 15th

PALENQUE – Nestled in the lush green jungle like a sparkling crystal Palenque offers a wealth of exploration possibilities for the Spiritual Archaeologist.  In this mystical city in the rainforest clouds, we walk in the footsteps of the ancients and imbibe their wisdom.

The Temple of Inscriptions is one of many temples and structures here.  Pakal, the 7th Century ruler of this great civilization is said to have carried knowledge of mathematics and astronomy and the future that could only have come from the stars.

The stucco facades of the royal palaces depict the rulers of over ten centuries ago. Panels of written texts illuminate the lives of the powerful lords and ladies, their births, marriages, accessions to the throne, and their bloodletting rituals to. Inside the palaces and temples, lengthy hieroglyphic texts can be found on tablets. The Group of the Cross offers three magnificent temples to visit.

Day 9 – December 16th

BONAMPAK – A morning departure takes us to Bonampak– maintained by the Lancandon Maya – a tribe that was never found by the conquistadors and has maintained the Mayan culture. Man-eating Jaguar is the king represented on the three rooms of stunning murals within a palace. Immense carved stone monoliths at the site tell of the close relationship with Xachilan –our next stop.

YAXCHILAN – We travel deep within the rain forest, down the Usumacinta River to reach Yaxchilan. Here, the rulers Itzamnaaj Bahlam (known as Shield Jaguar) and his son Yaxuun Bahlam (Bird Jaguar) built towering memorials to themselves in the 8th century. More than 125 carved monuments exist at Yaxchilian, including altars, thrones, steps, walls, and stelae. The jungle sounds of howler monkeys and scarlet macaws flying overhead and the constant sound of the rushing river provide a backdrop that will remain in your memory for years to come.  We return to Palenque late today.

Day 10 – December 17th

PALENQUE TO CHICANNA – An early departure takes us through many small villages on our way to Tulum.  Along the way, we visit the archaeological site of BECAN.  Becán was “discovered” by archaeologists Karl Ruppert and John Denison in 1934—the name Becan means trench (thought to have been a defense system), referring to the conspicuous system of moats that surrounds significant portions of the site. The ancient Maya name of the site is not known.

The earliest archaeological evidence from Becán dates from 550 B.C.–a period of time when the Olmec culture was declining other sites.  The main section of Becan is ringed by a moat and there are also remains of a wall—11 feet tall in some places.  There are 20 major constructions associates with the plazas and patios to explore.

Day 11 – December 18th

CHICANNA TO RIVIERA MAYA—An early departure takes us to the CENOTE AZUL for lunch and a swim.  Continuing on, we check into our all-inclusive hotel on the Riviera Maya.  This will be our base for explorations in Quintana Roo.

Day 12 – December 19th

Relax today on the Caribbean. Enjoy the sun and sand and beautiful waters.  This is a free day to spend at leisure.

Day 13 – December 20th

COBA—This morning we travel to Coba.  These extensive ruins in the jungle are home to numerous species of birds, butterflies and animals. Large ceiba trees intertwine with ancient stonework and the intensely beautiful natural setting of Coba is a pleasure to explore.

Coba is located near five of the largest lakes in the Yucatan Peninusula and covers about 28 square miles (we will have bikes to ride).  The site is large with approximately 15,000 structures throughout, mostly unrestored,

Traditional archaeological evidence suggests Coba may have had as many as 55,000 residents.  As many as fifty sacbes (ancient roads) led into this huge Mayan city center, one of them over 62 miles long–the longest in the Mayan world.

The architecture is similar to that of Tikal.  There are stories that tell of a ruling queen at Coba who married a priest from Tikal—which has the tallest Mayan pyramid.  At Coba, the Nohoc Mul pyramid (the tallest in the Yucatan at over 126 feet) and the building techniques employed at the site are characteristic of the Petan region of Guatemala (where Tikal is located).

From the top of the Grand Pyramid at Cobá ione can see over the jungle canopy for miles, unexcavated temple mounds peeking above the trees.  The small temple building which crowns the pyramid has two small carvings that are known as a ¨diving god¨ over the door. There are many theories about the meaning of these curious carvings, which are also found in Tulum. They have also been called ¨the bee god¨ or ¨the god descending¨ and have been associated with the planet Venus.

Day 14 – December 21st

TULUM—An early entry to Tulum gives us time for meditation and exploration.  In 1999, Luminous was shown two gateways at Tulum by an archaeologist/shaman she met at Coba.  He stated, “This is where my people will walk through in 2012.”  Returning to Tulum on this auspicious date seems destined.  Tulum’s original name is believed to be Zama or place of the dawn.  This is probably refers to its position on the sea facing the rising sun. It is belleved Tulum was built around 300 BC.  See what your intuition tells you!

Day 15 – December 22nd

CHICHEN-ITZA—A journey to Chichen-Itza this morning–the Yucatan’s grandest, most famous and most visited archaeological site. iA rugged place of massive temples, soaring pyramids, stunning carved columns and massive ball-courts make up the area.

The focal point of the region, an amalgam of an older Mayan city and newer Toltec settlement, is the towering Castillo pyramid, which is fraught with cosmological symbolism.

There is a sacred cenote, the astronomical Observatory, the imposing Temple of Warriors, the reclining Chac Mool figure, and the Nunnery. During the fall and spring equinoxes, the sun’s shadow forms an enormous snake’s body, which lines up with the carved stone snake head at the bottom of the Castillo pyramid.  Explore this famous site for what you can discover.

Day 16 – December 23rd

CANCUN TO HOME—You will be transported to the airport to board your flight home in time for Christmas.  Maybe you did your Christmas shopping in Mexico and have unusual and fun gifts to share. Most of all, we shared an important time together, exploring and getting to know each other—receiving the messages from the ancient sites visited.  Blessings to you.


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$1,000 Deposit to hold your space

$4,580 Per Person Double Occupancy – 2 people per room
$1,000 Single Supplement – Private Room for 1 person