On July 25, staff and guests at The Royal Haciendas in Playa del Carmen will join to pay homage to the Maya, one of the great ancient civilizations of the Americas.

The day chosen is auspicious because according to the sacred Tzolkin almanac, one of the three principal calendars they used in their sophisticated system of time measurement, it is a day of transition, a zero day between the end of one cycle and the dawn of a new year. Many people refer to it as the Day out of Time.

The day started with yoga and meditation on the beach and a Maya lesson on the terrace. Pool aerobics will take place to the accompaniment of Mayan music and at noon, guests can learn about and participate in the ancient juego de pelota or Mayan ball game.

During the day, children will be able to participate in fun activities with a Mayan theme such as pyramid sand castle building, Mayan games and a Mayan treasure hunt at 3:30 p.m.

There will be Mayan dances for all at 3:30 p.m., culminating in the pre-Hispanic ballet called The Day Out of Time on the beach in front of La Palapa del Sol restaurant at 6:30 p.m.

At 4 p.m., keen oarsmen will take to the water in their kayaks for a tournament in the bay. It is a way of remembering the ancient Mayan pilgrims who made the crossing to the sacred island of Cozumel to pray at the shrine of Ixchel, the goddess of fertility and childbirth, thousands of years ago, and the intrepid traders who traveled great distances in wooden canoes, forging one of the greatest trade networks in the Americas.

The chefs at The Royal Haciendas have gone back to their roots to offer a special Mayan dinner menu as their tribute to this great culture. Available from 6:30 p.m., it includes a selection of salads featuring chaya, jicama and orange, and beef salpicon, which is sometimes still prepared with venison or tzik in the Yucatan. The starters feature classics of the Yucatecan kitchen such as salbutes, panuchos, papadzules and tamales. Hot dishes include the all-time favorites Cochinita Pibil (tender suckling pig marinated in achiote and cooked in a pit), turkey in relleno negro and chicken in pipian sauce.

During the day, the Spa will be offering a special herbal treatment based on the ancient temascal or steam lodge purification ritual used by the Maya, the Aztecs and other Native American cultures. It consists of a session in the sauna, an exfoliation using native healing plants, a hot stone massage and an organic infusion.

Guests will also be able to admire and purchase sustainable forest products such as wood carvings and embroidery made by the Mayan communities of central Quintana Roo.

The event will draw to a close with a bonfire on the beach and Mayan coffee under the stars, a perfect moment to reflect on the beauty and mystery of this area and the amazing achievements of the ancient Maya, the lords of time.


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