lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

More than 300 paddlers made an amazing canoe crossing from mainland Mexico to Cozumel and back, last week.

They battled with the wind and sea, as they took part in the 2017 historic Travesía Sagrada Maya, or Mayan Sacred Journey.

Leaving the mainland at sunrise from Xcaret Park, just south of Playa del Carmen, they paddled across the Caribbean Sea to Cozumel where -- tired and emotional -- they were met with a warm island reception.

Ceremonies were performed and offerings made for Mayan gods and goddesses at Chankanaab Park, reviving ancient practices with rituals, dances and music to provide an entertaining experience.

Those present heard the telling of Mayan myths and heroic legends, and learned about the ancient civilizations sophisticated trade, mathematics 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 may have rested on the island.

The Mayan Sacred Journey reenactments began eleven 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.