We acknowledge the fact that there are a variety of theories on the location of Book of Mormon Lands events. Our Tours to Central America explore the Book of Mormon theories in that beautiful part of the world. The fact that we are sponsoring Tours to this part of the world does not necessarily represent or strongly promote our support of this area as THE location for Book of Mormon events, but rather serves to explore this theory and if nothing else will expose you to a scriptural journey through the Book of Mormon as well as some incredible Mayan Ruins and fantastic Central American terrain, cuisine, and experiences. We hope you will consider joining us on our unforgettable Book of Mormon Lands Tours to Mesoamerica with Dr. Clark Anderson, Dr. Ron Anderson as tour guides with the expertise of Jeffrey Burrows as local tour guide to visit important places of interest in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico beginning in 2017.
Anderson Tours Book of Mormon Tour
Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico Mesoamerica 2017
Directors: Dr. Clark D. Anderson, Dr. Ronald D. Anderson, & Jeffrey Burrows
Day 1 – (Fri Nov. 10th) FLY TO GUATEMALA CITY
We arrive at the Guatemala City airport and transfer by shuttle to our hotel for check-in and dinner with a brief orientation and overnight in Guatemala City.
Day 2 – (Sat Nov. 11th) LDS TEMPLE / KAMINALJUYU (CITY OF NEPHI)
After breakfast we will visit the Guatemala City Temple. Next we transfer to the Guatemala Relief Map which is a large outdoor relief map of the country to gain a better understanding of the rugged, mountainous topology of the area, another reason for which armies and exploration parties were easily lost in the wilderness (Mosiah 23:30, 21:25). This evening we transfer to the ancient archaeological site of Kaminaljuyu which is a proposed candidate for the City of Nephi. At this site we find over 200 temple mounds (2 Nephi 5:16), evidence of several kin groups or lineages (Jacob 1:3), and literacy among the elite (Mosiah 1:2-4). We will visit an ancient temple site and take a few moments to read about Nephi’s Temple (2 Nephi 5:16), outline the evolution of these “sacred man-made mountains”, and discuss their modern-day impact on our ability to live “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27). We return to our hotel for dinner and again overnight in Guatemala City.
Day 3 – (Sun Nov. 12th) PANAJACHEL / LAKE ATITLAN (WATERS OF MORMON)
Today we drive from Guatemala City up the Pan-American Highway into the highlands of Guatemala and attend church services with the local saints in Patzicia. In this memorable meeting with these humble saints and beautiful children, we will feel the same spirit, unity, and love that pervaded earlier meetings described in the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 18:21, 30). After Church we continue our drive into the highlands past precarious mountainside farms that seem to defy gravity as they cling to steep slopes. We also drive past the waterfall that Freiberg used in his painting of Alma baptizing at the Waters of Mormon. Our travels will take us to breathtaking Lake Atitlan, considered by some to be the most beautiful lake in the world and believed by many to be the waters of Mormon. This lake is fed by springs of pure water (Mosiah 23:4), is very beautiful (Mosiah 18:30), and has a submerged ruin today called Samabaj in the area of Santiago Atitlan – that dates to the same time period as the City of Jerusalem that was covered by water during the destruction that accompanied Christ’s visit to the Americas (3 Ne 9:7). We will take a boat ride on the lake, stop for a few moments in a beautiful and peaceful setting, and contemplate “how beautiful are they [the waters and forests of Mormon] to the eyes of them who there came to a knowledge of their Redeemer” (Mosiah 18:30). We will consider the many lives that may have been changed in this area anciently, then discuss the elements of our own true conversion. After returning to shore, we will enjoy dinner and a fireside, and overnight in Panajachel, Guatemala.
Day 4 – (Mon Nov. 13th) CHAYAL OBSIDIAN MINE (NEPHITE WEAPONS)/ COPAN, HONDURAS
Today we will take some time to walk through the local markets, do some shopping, and observe native Indians dressed in multi-colored clothes. As you shop, keep your eyes open for a system of weights, used in these markets. This might remind us of the Nephite monetary system described in Alma 11:5-10. Afterward we will board our bus for the start of our drive to Honduras and the ruins of Copan. On our transfer to Copan in Honduras, we will make a brief stop at an obsidian mine. Obsidian is a black, hard, almost glass-like substance, used in Book of Mormon times, to make tools, cutting devices, and weapons of war. Obsidian today represents the sharpest cutting edge known to man, several times sharper than a surgical steel scalpel. We will talk about the process by which obsidian becomes such a superior surgical instrument and compare it to the process by which we become similar “instruments” in the hands of the Lord. We overnight in Copan, Honduras.
Day 5 – (Tues Nov. 14th) THE RUINS OF COPAN / ROSALILA PYRAMID
This morning we visit the breathtaking Ruins of Copan, a major Mayan ceremonial complex. It has been said that Tikal is like New York City and Copan is like Paris. The explored ruins of Copan have been featured in many archaeological studies and articles. We will see the great Hieroglyphic Stairway, the longest single written inscription in Pre-Columbian America. This artifact is said to be the Star of David or Solomon’s Seal and is a Mayan sculpture of a bearded man. The “Rosalila” Pyramid is a near perfect Mayan ball court, the large and small museums, and a sculpture of a jaguar that looks like the twin brother of BYU’s own Cosmo – immortalized like a charging running back on Copan’s stony wall. Copan was the center of a dynasty that ruled the Maya kingdom for over 400 years and today is marked for its majestic art and hieroglyphs. The skill, time, and effort taken to carve these hieroglyphs in stone is remarkable and inspiring. These glyphs have endured the test of time and compel us to remember that these regal but desolate ruins are ruins, because they ‘forgot Him’. We will take some time to contemplate why it is important for us to “remember” and reflect on some eternal truths that we must never forget (Helaman 12). This afternoon we enjoy some relax time at our hotel to rest and swim, etc. We again overnight in Copan.
Day 6 – (Wed Nov. 15th) QUIRIGUA (ZARAHEMLA) / FLORES, GUATEMALA
Today we travel across the Rio Dulce and visit the ruins of Quirigua. When John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood explored Quirigua in 1840, the Times and Seasons (edited by the Prophet Joseph Smith) published the following statement: “We are not going to declare positively that the ruins of Quirigua are those of Zarahemla” but then added that it would be difficult to “prove that the ruins of the city in question are not one of those referred to in the Book of Mormon.” Quirigua is the site of the tallest, most intricate, and most distinctive monuments of the Mayan Empire – including Stela E, which is over 35 feet tall and weighs 65 tons. The stone depiction of dignitaries dressed in tall decorated headdresses (almost matching the height of the man himself) reminds us of Mormon’s question, “…why do ye adorn yourselves with that which hath no life” (Mormon 8:39) and Moroni’s declaration “pride hath proven their destruction” (Moroni 8:27). We will take a moment to ponder the principle of pride – as pronounced by prophets both ancient and modern. We then transfer to Flores, Guatemala for check-in and overnight at our hotel.
Day 7 – (Thurs Nov. 16th) RUINS OF TIKAL
Today we visit the incomparable ruins of Tikal. These ruins reveal the Mayan civilization in its greatest splendor – being among the most famous, extensive, and breathtaking of all ancient architecture. We will visit the Great Plaza to hear part of King Benjamin’s sermon spoken from the top of a pyramid yet heard across the entire plaza. We will also see Temple I, Temple II, the Lost World Pyramid, and the largely unexcavated 230-foot Temple IV, the reference point from which the Mayan daykeepers marked the sacred dates on their agricultural calendar. This is also where George Lucas shot a scene of the rebel moon base on Yavin 4 for his famous Star Wars film. Back in the Central Acropolis, we will sit on an ancient judgment throne, marvel at palace floor plans, and sit on the edge of an ancient stone bed. We will envision the lifeless body of Alma the Younger laying upon a bed that must have been very similar to this one for three days before coming to his physical and spiritual senses. We will take some time to ponder our own position to the question “Have ye . . . been born of God” (Alma 5:14)? Lunch will be a catered event in the Tikal Park and then we will return to our hotel to overnight again in Flores, Guatemala.
Day 8 – (Fri Nov. 17th) USUMACINTA RIVER (RIVER SIDON) / YAXCHILAN (TREE OF LIFE)
Today we depart very early from Flores and bus to the Usumacinta River, considered by several scholars as a great candidate for the River Sidon. We will take a boat down this river to the archaeological site of Yaxchilan which means “green stones” in the Mayan language. This site, beautifully located on the west side of the river - much like the ancient city of Zarahemla - is famous for its remarkable stelae, impressive fortifications, ponderous walls, labyrinthine entrances, well preserved lintels above the doors, and remnants of a pyramid-like object in the middle of the river that may have been part of an ancient suspension bridge used to cross the river. Yaxchilan is also home to one of the largest Cieba trees in the Maya world – considered by the Maya for thousands of years to be the sacred Tree of Life. Before leaving Yaxchilan, we will apply some powerful principles of truth to our own lives from the tree in Lehi’s dream: “I beheld a tree whose fruit was desirable to make one happy” (1 Nephi 8:10). We will leave this site with a much better understanding of what the tree represents and how we partake of that fruit which brings so much joy. By midafternoon we will say “adios” for the last time to Guatemala and “hola” to Mexico as we return by boat back up the river to a bus waiting for us on the Mexican side of the river. We then transfer to Palenque and overnight.
Day 9 – (Sat Nov. 18th) PALENQUE TEMPLE COMPLEX (KING NOAH) / MISOL-HA FALLS
This morning we visit the fabled ruins of Palenque. We will visit the inner courtyard of the king’s palace dominated by an observation tower that is unique in all of the Americas. We will explore the Temple of Inscriptions and attempt to locate the Mayan glyph that means “and it came to pass”. Buried in the base of this temple is Lord Shield Pacal – making this edifice the largest burial monument in America. We can climb the Temples of the Sun, the Temple of the Cross, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross. We will examine artifacts in the recently completed Palenque Museum, but a highlight of our experience today will be to sit on the steps of the inner courtyard under the shadow of a majestic observation tower that was used anciently to monitor movements along one of the great trade routes of Mesoamerica. Here, the story of wicked King Noah and Abinadai will come to life. We will discuss the design and purpose of ancient observation towers. Here, we will consider “spiritual towers” even more essential and eternally significant than those we now admire. After our visit to Palenque, we will take a short drive to the picturesque Misol-Ha Falls and enjoy the exquisite beauty of this 200-foot waterfall cascading over the cliffs into a large pool of water and have an opportunity to swim at the base of this magnificent miracle of nature. We again overnight in Palenque, Mexico.
Day 10 – (Sun Nov. 19th) BECAN (CAPN MORONI)/ CHICANNA / CHETUMAL
Today we take a long drive across the Yucatan Peninsula to visit the Ruins of Becan which means “Road of the Serpent” in Mayan. These ruins are surrounded by a large dry moat that was constructed between 100 AD and 250 AD, very similar in both time and construction to the fortifications of Captain Moroni described in Alma 50 and 53. The massive moat and amazing fortifications at Becan remind us that Moroni’s strongholds were the key to his success (Alma 53:4-5). Creating our own “strongholds” will be the key to ours. We will find a private place at some nearby ruins and discuss a powerful principle of personal love taught by the Savior during His visit to this land. We will take some time to be by ourselves, have a testimony meeting, and a sacrament service outside on the grass, similar to the Savior’s very first sacrament meeting on this continent. On our way to Chetumal, we will also visit the Ruins of Chicanna which means “serpent house” in Yucatec Mayan. The entrance to Chicanna is a gigantic open mouth of the serpent monster Itzamna. By coming forth out of this mouth, the Mayan priests proclaimed their power over the underworld and death. As a group, sitting inside this magnificent man-made gate, we will learn about “the goodness” of another Priest with eternal power never to be diminished or decreased, “who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster; yea, that monster, death and hell” (2 Nephi 9:10). Our day will end with our arrival in Chetumal, Mexico.
Day 11 – (Mon Nov. 20th) RUINS OF TULUM
The morning will find us traveling up the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula to the Ruins of Tulum. Although Tulum does not date to the times of the Book of Mormon, it is perhaps the one of the most picturesque of all the ruins in Central America. It sits strategically on a cliff overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean. We will see the temple ruin called El Castillo, the temple paintings which contain frescoes with sacred colors, and an immersion font fed by a spring. We will transfer to our hotel in Cancun for check-in and free time to relax at the pool or shop for last minute souvenirs, time permitting, in and around Cancun. Reluctantly, we will say goodbye to a people we have grown to love, the land that we have learned much about, and memories we have made that will never be forgotten. We meet the last night together for a farewell dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 12 – (Tues Nov. 21st) FLY HOME!
Today we make our way to the Cancun airport and say “adios” to Mexico before our return flight to the U.S. Buen Viaje!
OPTIONAL ALL-INCLUSIVE BARCELO RESORT PACKAGES:
For those interested in staying one or more days in Mexico we offer exciting and relaxing all-inclusive resort packages at the Barcelo Mexican Riviera resorts. At the resorts you can rest, relax, play, and eat all you want and whenever you want. You can also paddle boat, wind surf, sail boat, and snorkel, swim or sunbathe in any of the 8 lavish pools, miniature golf, 3-hole golf course, participate in ping pong tournaments, basketball tournaments, water volleyball tournaments, sand volleyball tournaments, water aerobics, beach front aerobics, and obstacle course competitions, – all included. In the evenings there are Broadway-type entertainment shows – and, of course, more food.
Depending on your length of stay, you can also participate in resort-sponsored activities and excursions that require additional fees. For example, you can choose a variety of activities (swim with dolphins and other marine animals, parasail, wave runners, 4-runners, jungle zip line) or excursions such as Chichen Itza, Xcaret, Coba, Cenote Ikil, scuba, and snorkel excursions.
TOUR PRICE: $2,985
Come join us for a memorable tour experience in the proposed Lands of the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica!
COSTS AND DETAILS
PRICE: $2,895 per person (double occupancy)
These prices include all in country expenses for our 12 day/11 night tour package; ground and water transportation, hotel accomodations (based on doublé occupancy), bilingual LDS Tour Guide, visas, fuel surcharges, breakfast and dinner meals daily, entrance fees, tips, two wáter bottles per day. [Not included would be the international flight and lunches].
DEPOSIT REQUIRED: $500 per person
ROOMMATES: Single people may sign up for accommodations on a share basis and will be assigned roommates as circumstances permit. If a roommate is unavailable, the participant will be notified of the adjusted price prior to departure. (approx. $500 single supplement fee)
CANCELLATION FEES: A $25 fee will be charged by Anderson Tours, LLC for all cancellations until 60 days prior to departure, at which time the fee will be $100. In addition, all cancellation charges imposed by airlines, hotels, vendors, operators, etc., will be passed on to the participant.
TOUR INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING:
REGISTRATION, DEPOSIT, PAYMENT, AND CANCELLATION:
Early reservations are strongly recommended, and a Deposit of $500 per person is required at the time of booking, with the remaining balance due 60 days prior to departure. Applications received after this date should include full payment. Any payments made after this date should also include also include full payment. Any payments made 30 days prior to departure must be in the form of a money order. Checks should be made payable to Anderson Tours. All cancellation penalties are the responsibility of the participant.
Please send check payment and names of participants to:
Anderson Tours LLC
42 S 930 W.
Orem, UT 84058
OTHER ITEMS & DETAILS
Good health is encouraged for our Tours!
ITEMS NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICE:
International Flight, Lunches daily (as we will be on the go). Items of a personal nature, such as souvenirs; excess baggage or portage charges; personal, trip, or baggage insurance; room service; laundry; phone charges; food or beverages not part of the group menu; gratuities for special services; expenses incurred on personal activities not included where group participation is not specified in the itinerary; flight to Guatemala is not included but we are more than happy to help arrange flights.
CURRENT PASSPORT REQUIRED FOR THIS TOUR