Are you interested in the culture and history of the Mayan people? What about their traditional games that were also religious rituals? Whether you simply are fascinated by history or want to learn about an ancient culture, this is the perfect experience for you at Kun Che Park.
You will meet your guide at a convenient location outside your Cozumel cruise ship pier or resort. Then you will take a comfortable ride to Kun Che Park located in the oldest settlement of the island known as El Cedral. You will receive a guided visit of the Park, view and participate in the activities. Kun Che Park is the only place in Cozumel where you will be able to experience true, authentic Mayan activities and enjoy watching a sacred pre-hispanic ball game, Pok-Ta Pok.
With its origin in the Mexican Mayan dynasty, Pok-Ta-Pok was part of their sacred rituals. It was played to give thanks for a bountiful harvest and to ask for protection. It was played in every Maya city with 2 teams of 1-4 players each. The basic object was to keep the ball in motion using only legs, hips, and heads either the rules about bounces in between plays or getting the ball through a ring located on each side of the stadium and as high as 20 feet off the ground! Body pads were often used to protect the players as the ball was made of a local rubber and morning glory sap and weighed up to 9lbs (4 kilos). Over the years and in Maya regions, the rules changed. One of the more unusual twists and as the ultimate honor to the Mayan Gods of the Underworld was that often the winning team was sacrificed! The game could go on for days as well. Other cultures such as the Aztecs adapted the game too.
The ball game is just one of the Mayan traditions you will experience. Cozumel is an island rich in Mayan history as the sacred place of the goddess of fertility - Ixchel. Every Mayan woman was expected to travel to the island in a wooden canoe at least once in their lifetime. You will also see a traditional and authentic Mayan purification ritual. To add to your educational adventure, you will experience the way the Mayans lived and learn the process of making handmade corn tortillas and tamales. You will even be able to participate in the production of organic artisan local cacao chocolate.
But the enjoyment does not end here! After all that you have learned, you will be treated to a Mexican fiesta, including folkloric ballet and regional dances from the Yucatan Peninsula with all performers in elaborate traditional costumes. As you watch the show, you will enjoy an authentic Mayan lunch. The buffet includes a variety of Yucatecan dishes (salbutes, panuchos, and a chicken dish that varies daily), a fruit and salad bar, and unlimited jamaica (a refreshing, delicious drink made with red hibiscus flowers) and horchata (a rice-based beverage). If you would like, you can also purchase alcoholic beverages (beer or cocktails), bottled water, and soft drinks.
With your mental and gastronomic appetites thoroughly satisfied, your transportation will take you back to your meeting point outside your Cozumel cruise ship pier or resort.
At Cozumel's new Kun Che Park, you will discover in a very unique way about the culture and history of the Mayan people. You will watch a prehispanic ball game and enjoy the folkloric dance. Learn how to make tortillas and Mayan chocolate! To finish your Mayan experience excursion day, you will enjoy a complimentary traditional Yucatecan buffet lunch!