Puerto Chiapas, Mexico
Mayan Tree of Life & Chocolate Discovery
Local Sightseeing, All
Information not currently available.
Approximately 4 Hours
Investigate one of the most interesting Mayan sites in the region -- a collection of ancient stone carvings dating from roughly 300 - 100 BC. These carvings were found at the Izapa ruins and depict the Mayan ideas of the creation of the universe and their religious beliefs. Among the carvings is a particularly interesting and complex one called Stela 5 that depicts the Tree of Life as well as about a dozen human figures and animals. This complex carving has led to many different theories about its subject matter. Most theories concern the Mayan religious beliefs; however, some involve speculation about visitors from other continents before the arrival of Columbus. The Tree of Life is a common symbol in many cultures. In the Mayan world it is depicted as a Ceiba tree. This tall tree is commonly found in Chiapas and the Mayan jungles and is easily identifiable by its extraordinary height, high crown and large, buttressed roots. For the Mayans, the tree represents a connection between the three realms of the universe -- the underworld, earth and the heavens. See this and the many other stelae at the Izapa site.
Take a short bus ride to Tuxtla Chico where you will learn about the discovery and history of the sacred cacao bean and its importance to the Mayan people. See how the cacao beans are transformed into chocolate during a demonstration in the main square (plaza). Sample the locally made chocolate and see a variety of regional handicrafts.
Dancers and marimba players put on a lively performance. After a stop at the local historic church, you will head back to the pier.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes; bring sunscreen, a hat and insect repellent.