The most awaited Xcaret-Cozumel-Xcaret crossing in years  

  A renewed cosmos for all canoeists  

At last, we were able to live the long-awaited Sacred Mayan Journey 2022 edition and it was as magical and refreshing as we expected. After a two-year pause due to the pandemic and a week of delay due to bad weather, canoeists from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel were finally able to row this ancient crossing again.  

 This Xcaret event, for those who are not very familiar, is a crossing that takes place rowing year after year in May from Xcaret to Cozumel and back to rescue an ancient Mayan tradition in which the goddess Ixchel.  

Read more: Why do we celebrate the Sacred Mayan Journey in Xcaret?

Now let’s start with the top 10 moments to remember of the Sacred Mayan Journey 2022  

1.- The energy of getting ready to go out before dawn 

That hour in which hundreds of canoeists are preparing to leave has unparalleled energy. You turn to one side and see a group helping to paint themselves, others meditating, others dancing with excitement, some arranging all the things of their team so that everything is ready, all with emotion on the surface because they are minutes away from starting their Sacred Mayan Journey.


2.- Mayan drums begin to sound along with the smell of copal  

As the canoeists are getting ready, a few steps away, on the beach the spectators are gathering to say goodbye to their brave family and friends and wish them the best in each paddle. Drums and live music begin to sound, and the smell of copal floods the beaches and along with them a beautiful Mayan ceremony.  

3.- A pre-Hispanic dance show telling the story of the Ixchel goddess. 

Minutes before the long-awaited departure of the canoeists, several groups of local artists perform, representing the Mayan traditions that used to happen in this same place, but hundreds of years ago, in the pilgrimages from Puerto de Polé to Cuzamil   

It is a great job that would not be possible without the hundreds of volunteers from the local community of Playa del Carmen, the Mayan area, and Cozumel who interpret deities of the wind, women of the town, priests, merchants, and even the goddess Ixchel herself.  

4.- Canoeists meet with the sea of Xcaret once again 

The most awaited moment has arrived, imagine hundreds of people united in a single feeling: to wish the best to the canoeists on their journey. Shouts of emotion, applause, cheers, and all the good energy you can imagine on a beach at dawn are heard. Little by little the canoeists get into their canoes and to the rhythm of the drums, they leave for Cozumel to bring their offerings to the goddess Ixchel.  

5.- We can see the first canoes on the horizon of Cozumel   

After hours and hours of paddling with all their strength through the Caribbean Sea, the first canoes reach their goal and can be seen from the shores of Chankanaab. Accompanied by drums and cheers from the Cozumel community, the brave canoeists disembark full of emotion and tears to celebrate their success. While on the horizon more and more canoes are getting closer and the feeling of pride grows along with them.   

6.- Offerings for the goddess Ixchel in Cuzamil  

This is, for many of the canoeists, the most important moment of the entire Sacred Mayan Journey. There are hundreds of stories in which they prove that the veneration of the goddess Ixchel has brought blessings to their lives. Everyone has her reasons for rowing to Cozumel to see her, some to ask for her support, others to thank her, others as her promise for having accomplished something for them, but that she is real, without a doubt she is.  

7.- Renewed and ready to row back to Xcaret  

The next day, after having received the oracle from Ixchel and with their forces recharged, the canoeists leave to complete the second and last paddle of the journey, towards Xcaret. The community in Cozumel gathers in Chankanaab to say goodbye and wish them a good tide accompanied by dances, live music, and copal ceremonies.  

8.- The last one and we’re off: rowing at full speed   

For the canoeists, the return to Xcaret is special because despite coming with the physical exhaustion of having rowed for approximately 7 hours towards Cozumel the day before, they draw energy from parts of their body and soul that are unknown to them. The strength they feel from being reborn when they see that they are near the entrance of Xcaret fills them with an intense adrenaline rush where they leave everything, there is pain, but full of unparalleled satisfaction.   

Imagine that feeling multiplied by more than 300 canoeists at the same time…  

9.- The most longed-for wait at Xcaret  

As the canoes are rowing, the beaches of Xcaret fill up with people eager to welcome back their loved ones. Hours can go by while this happens and while waiting you can hear cheers, shouts of emotion, and joy, filling the place with unparalleled energy. Once again, pre-Hispanic dances and music accompany this long-awaited moment.  

10.- The canoeists have arrived! Everyone to cry with emotion  

The first canoe arrived and along with it, heavy rain that intensified the emotions of all involved, hundreds of people were heard screaming with excitement even though it was almost impossible to see in detail what was happening. One after another the canoes arrived at the Xcaret beach and filled the park with joy and pride with their energy of renewed cosmos and spiritual healing.


Each Sacred Mayan Journey is different and special in its way, this one from 2022 left us with emotion in bloom since seeing the reunion of so many canoeists with the sea of Xcaret after the difficult times of the pandemic, was something refreshing for everyone.