A Night on Sky Temple: Honoring the Maya Long Count in Belize

CARACOL, BELIZE — In 2012, a major 5,000-year-old cycle of the Maya Long Count calendar came to completion. The entire Maya region — southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, parts of Honduras and El Salvador — marked the event with a year full of festivities, celebration, and ceremony.

For some, 2012 represented nothing less than the dawn of the new age of humanity. For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask questions about the ancient Maya — one of the most advanced civilizations in history — and about their descendants, the 10 million living Maya of today, who still speak 30 different Mayan languages! I especially wanted to be somewhere unique on the winter solstice, December 21, 2012.

So when I heard that the Belize Institute of Archaeology was issuing unprecedented overnight access to one of the country’s most remote, impressive Maya ruins, I knew exactly where I wanted to travel. Here is the story I wrote for National Geographic’s Intelligent Travel blog.

And here are a few videos from a most excellent trip to the jungle. Enjoy.

My Travel Channel Debut