By Jimmy Im
The 2012 Mayan Doomsday is upon us (insert maniacal laughter). You’d think most travelers would make plans to avoid archaeological Mayan sites on Dec. 21, but it’s in fact the other way around — and with good reason.
“End of the World” packages and tours have skyrocketed with the upcoming Dec. 12 date, which Hollywood deems the end of the world (according to experts, the Mayan calendar simply indicates Dec. 21 starts a new life cycle). There’s so much popularity around this date that Mayan-civilized countries once at the top of their game (including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and, of course, Mexico) have seen a growth in hotel and tour bookings for next December.
While several resorts are offering various Mayan Doomsday-themed tours (from spiritual pilgrimages to tongue-in-cheek packages), many are doling out completely free add-ons and incentives — provided the world does not end.
Condo Hotels in Playa Del Carmen is offering free accommodations the night of Dec. 21. They’re so confident the world will not end that they are offering double money-back guarantee should the world stop spinning. Additionally, they are throwing in free round-trip transportation to Chichen Itza. Minimum of 3 nights should be booked at the 4 properties, including El Taj, Porto Playa, Maya Villa and Villas Sacbe.
Acanto Hotel in Playa Del Carmen is offering 4 nights in a luxury 2-bedroom suite for $692 that includes a complimentary bottle of wine, round-trip airport transfer and trip to the Mayan ruins. Additionally — should the world not end — the traveler gets 2 free nights to come back in 2013 (excluding holidays).
Book 2 nights at the eco- and pet-friendly Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxkin Spa between Dec. 18-23, and participate in a unique Mayan sacred ceremony: “Baalche,” celebrated by Maya shamans, for free. Plus, the hotel is just steps away from the ruins!
Both JW Marriott Cancun Resort and CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Beach Resort are offering a package that starts at $289 per night and includes overnight accommodations, complimentary Chichen Itza tour for two, 80-minute couple’s massage, Mayan-themed welcome gift and daily $50 resort credit. Must use promotional code CUE when booking.
Ka’ana Boutique Resort in Belize is offering daily breakfast and dinner with 4 nights’ accommodation in a luxury casita and private horseback riding tour in the reclaimed Maya city of Actun Can with champagne picnic ($1,655 per person, excluding taxes and service charge). Also, if you travel anytime between Dec. 1- 22, and the world doesn’t end, guests will receive 2 free nights toward a 3-night stay in 2013.
More Free Stuff Beyond the Mayan “Zone”
Even hotels outside the Mayan zone are celebrating.
Parador Resort & Spa in Costa Rica is so intent on you being stress-free on Dec. 21, they are offering a complimentary massage for two during any stay in December. Should the world still be spinning on the morning of Dec. 22, treat yourself to a free breakfast.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, is throwing an “Ignore the Mayans, Party in the Islands” party. Accommodations on Dec. 21 are free for guests who stay 5 nights or more. The resort will also have a complimentary sunset cocktail sail on Dec. 22 in anticipation of the world not ending.