Chaa Creek says Lonely Planet’s 2012 pick boost for Maya culture

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Lonely Planet’s inclusion of La Ruta Maya in its list of Top Ten Destinations in the World will go a long way in countering recent “nonsense” about Maya 2012 end-of-the-world predictions, according to the owners of Belize’s Chaa Creek eco resort, located in the Heartland of the Maya.

December 21 2012 makes the winter solstice and, in the Maya Long Count, the completion of the great cycle of the 13th B’ak’tun, a period of almost 52,000 years.

Ms Fleming said that 2012 will indeed be a vibrant year for the Maya of Belize, and that Chaa Creek will be a hub for Maya cultural celebrations.

Lonely Planet’s inclusion of La Ruta Maya in its list of Top Ten Destinations in the World will go a long way in countering recent “nonsense” about Maya 2012 end-of-the-world predictions, according to the owners of Belize’s Chaa Creek eco resort, located in the Heartland of the Maya.

“It’s been frustrating to see so much nonsense about Maya culture in the lead up to the 2012 Winter Solstice and end of the Maya Long Count, and we’ve found the best way to counter that is for people to just come and experience Maya culture and history first hand,” The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s owner and GM Lucy Fleming said recently, adding, “It’s therefore good news, and very appropriate, to see La Ruta Maya included in Lonely Planet’s Top ten travel destinations for 2012.”

Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide and regarded by many as the travellers’ bible, recently released its annual list of the world’s top ten destinations. La Ruta Maya, encompassing Belize and parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, joined Coastal Wales, Northern Kenya, Arunachal Pradesh India, Hvar Croatia, Sicily, Canada’s Maritime Provinces, New Zealand’s Queenstown and Southern Lakes, Borneo and Poitou-Charentes, France, in this year’s list.

Ms Fleming also pointed out that La Ruta Maya River Challenge is also the name of an annual three day canoe race held in Belize in March that attracts international competition.

“The canoe race follows an actual river route linking inland areas such as Chaa Creek with the Caribbean coast, while the more general term, La Ruta Maya, refers to the traditional Maya lands of Belize and our neighbours,” Ms Fleming explained.

Lonely Planet described it thus; “More of a universe than a region, La Ruta Maya… spans the Yucatán Peninsula and Chiapas in Mexico, plus Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.” And goes on to say, “Whatever your view, all this ‘Maya Mania’ makes 2012 the ultimate year to check out the most mysterious ruins on earth.”

Ms Fleming said that 2012 will indeed be a vibrant year for the Maya of Belize, and that Chaa Creek will be a hub for Maya cultural celebrations. “Within Chaa Creek’s 365 acre nature reserve there is a Maya temple as well as some 70 recognised Maya archaeological sites, some of which our guests can explore at their own pace by foot, horseback or mountain bike. The region’s most famous sites such as the huge metropolis of Caracol, the royal palace of Cahal Pech, the exquisite ceremonial centre of Xunantunich are in close proximity, and magnificent Tikal, perhaps the most famous ancient Maya city, is just a few hours’ drive across the border in neighbouring Guatemala,” she said.

Chaa Creek will also be hosting specific events, tours and an onsite Maya ‘village’ to provide insight into Maya culture and day to day life, giving guests the opportunity to learn about the ancient Maya civilisation and that “The real Maya story is far more fascinating than any 2012 media hype,” Ms Fleming said.

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Larry Waight