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Archaeological Field Trips

For those of you with a thirst for the past. organized field trips are a great way to see Mexico's wondrous archaeological treasures. The Mexico File will be reporting on upcoming trips run by various organizations in this and future issues.

MAYAN ADVENTURES : Since 1987. Mayan Adventures has been taking small groups to the lesser known ruins of Mexico and Central America. Trips are led by archaeologists and local guides, and are limited to 6-12 persons. In 1993. trips to sites in North America were added.

The goal of Mayan Adventures is to enjoy an adventurous, educational experience with congenial companions who share a respect for native Americans of today, as well as for the civilizations of their ancestors. By traveling in small groups, keeping trash to a minimum, and observing local customs, negative impacts on local culture and environment are minimized.

Some trips include festivals, craft markets, wildlife sanctuaries, and recreational activities such as swimming and boating. Jungle "bush" trips and desert hikes to remote ruins are planned. some to locations not found on any map. Ongoing archaeological digs are visited whenever possible.

Participants include young adults, experienced hikers, senior citizens, and children as young as ten years. About 25 percent of the travelers take two or more trips.

Past trips include :

Rapids and Ruins: Rio Usumacinta, Rio Pasion and Palenque. An exciting two week river adventure in Guatemala and Mexico. Visit ruins of Tikal, Seibal, Altar de Sacrificios, Yaxchi Ian, Piedras Negras, Pomona and Palenque, plus museums in Guatemala and Antigua. Jungle, rapids (Class III), wildlife and waterfalls. Optional flight to Bonampak.

Maya Ruins of Guatemala and Honduras.  Begin with ruins of Seibal, Dos Pilas and Aguateca, add Tikal and museums in Guatemala City, then on to Copan and Quirigua. This eleven day trip requires some steep climbs and lengthy, strenuous hikes.

Hidden Ruins of Yucatan.  See eight rarely visited ruins far off the standard tourist circuit in Yucatan and Campeche, plus Merida's archaeological museum and colorful market. 9 days; trip begins and ends in Merida, Yucatan. All lodging in hotels. For further information contact Maya Adventures, P0 Box 15204, Seattle, WA 98115. Telephone number (206)523-5309. Fax number (206) 524-6309.

FAR HORIZONS - Archaeological and Cultural Trips, Inc. P0 Box 91900, Albuquerque, NM 87199-1900. Telephone number (800) 552-4575. Fax number (505)343-8076.

Ancient Cultures of Central Mexico. Central Mexico's ancient civilizations have bequeathed a magnilicent legacy of art and architecture that flourished over the past three thousand years. The itinerary begins in Mexico City where you will discover the achievements of three great civilizations: the Aztecs, the Toltecs and Teotihuacan. You will marvel at the recently discovered brilliant polychrome murals at Cacaxtla and the immense pyramid of Cholula, the largest in the New World. In the beautiftil Oaxaca Valley, the investigation continues with the Zapotec and Mixtec centers of Monte Alban, Mitla, Yagul, and rarely visited sites few tourists take time to explore. You will also discover the beauty and variety of Oaxaca's abundant folk art, ranging from hand-loomed rugs and brightly painted wooden sculptures to distinctive pottery and tinwork, during private demonstrations by the region's most noted artisans.

Hidden Maya Cities of The Yucatan. You will visit the well- known ancient cities of Chichen-Itza, Palenque and IJxmal, but the itinerary has been planned to highlight seldom-seen sites in remote areas. Nestled within the Pu'uc hills are regal palaces and ceremonial buildings covered with intricate mosaic patterns. In beautiful condition, these edifices display a lovely harmony as light and shadow move across their facades. Ornate. rococo architecture is the special feature of the Rio Bec centers of Becan, Chicanna, Xpujil and Kohunlich. Call Far Horizons for pricing and itinerary information.