lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Some 400 paddlers made an amazing canoe crossing from the mainland to Cozumel and back, last weekend.

They fought hard against the wind and sea, as they took part in the 2016 historic Travesía Sagrada Maya, or Mayan Sacred Journey.

Leaving Xcaret Park on the mainland at sunrise they paddled across the open channel to Cozumel Island where -- tired and emotional -- they were met with the warmest of receptions.

Ceremonies were performed and offerings made and for Ix Chel at Chankanaab Park, reviving ancient practices with rituals, dances and music to provide an enriching experience.

Those within ear shot heard Mayan myths and heroic legends and learned about the ancient civilizations sophisticated trade, numerology and navigation.

On the second day they braved the sea again as they dug their paddles deep to cross back to the Riviera Maya in just a matter of hours.

The reenactment brings to life the ancient, mystical journey said to have been taken by the Maya in their quest to pay tribute to the Goddess Ix Chel, whose sanctuary is believed to rest on the island.

The Mayan Sacred Journey reenactments began ten years ago and have helped reawaken interest in this ancient culture from both locals and visitors.

Photos courtesy of Xcaret Park, find more on their Facebook page here.