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 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, Belize, and Mexico Mesoamerica 2018
Directors: Dr. Clark D. Anderson, & Jeffrey Burrows
Day 1 – (Wed. Sept 19th) 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 – (Thurs. Sept 20th) 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 areas we will be traveling and to gain a greater understanding of proposed geographical models of the lands of the Book of Mormon in Mesoamerica (Alma 22:27). This evening we will transfer to the ancient archaeological site of Kaminaljuyu proposed as a possible candidate for the City of Nephi. Kaminaljuyu developed over a long 2000 year period during the Pre-classic Maya (1500 BC - 250 AD) and Classic Maya (250 AD - 900 AD) periods. Interestingly, archaeological excavations at the site uncovered evidence of significant changes in the religious and civic practices of the city at different phases of its existence. For example, during the 1st Century AD, monuments and temples were no longer erected in honor and worship of their kings, and handmade clay female figurines were no longer crafted signaling the abandonment of the practice of the fertility cult. Also, trade artifacts found at the site during this phase show new trade routes were opened with peoples to the north and northwest of the site and, in fact, at the same time there were mass migrations from the city towards the north into areas where no previous relations had existed. We will visit the Acropolis, one of the few temple complexes preserved at the site and discuss the reasons for temple rites ancient and modern and our responsibility to build temples today to perform sacred ordinances for the salvation and exaltation of the living and the dead (2 Nephi 5:16, Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6, D&C 128:11-13, 24 D&C 138:46-49). Afterward we will return to our hotel for dinner and again overnight in Guatemala City.
Day 3 – (Fri. Sept 21st) LAKE ATITLAN (WATERS OF MORMON) / PANAJACHEL
This morning we check out of our hotel and transfer to San Lucas Sacatepequez to attend Sacrament Meeting with the Saints in Guatemala where we will enjoy the music and spoken word of the meeting in the beautiful Spanish language and in the spirit of harmony that characterize meetings led by the Holy Spirit (Moroni 6:9). Afterward we will transfer along the continental divide into the western highlands with its vistas of terraced hillsides and colorfully dressed indigenous women. We will visit beautiful Lake Atitlan, a large caldera lake proposed to be the Waters of Mormon (Mosiah 18:16, 30). Interestingly, on the southwest side of the lake is a submerged Mayan ceremonial site called today Samabaj, that dates to the 1st Century AD and has been proposed as the City of Jerusalem covered by water in the destruction at Christ’s death (3 Ne 9:7). We will take a boat ride on the lake to a secluded place (Mosiah 18:4-5) to discuss what true conversion means to disciples of Jesus Christ who willingly enter into a covenant of baptism (Mosiah 18:8-10). Afterward, we will return to Panajachel and check into our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – (Sat. Sept 22nd) CHAYAL MINE (NEPHITE WEAPONS) / COPAN, HONDURAS
Today we check-out and visit the San Buenaventura Nature Reserve to feed the spider monkeys and coati mundis and hike its trails and suspension bridges. Time permitting we will add an optional zipline tour high above the canopy that provides an exhilarating experience and breathtaking view of the lake. Afterward we will transfer to Copan, in western Honduras. We will stop briefly along the highway, approximately 20 km northeast of Kaminaljuyu at El Chayal (“obsidian” in the Kakchikel Maya language), which is the most important obsidian mine in the Mayan world. Over many years’ vast quantities of black obsidian were mined at El Chayal and later chiseled and formed into arrow and spear points, axe and knife blades, and related cutting devices and tools. Some LDS scholars propose that El Chayal is Onidah, the place of arms mentioned as a gathering place for the Lamanite armies (Alma 47:5). We will continue our journey and cross the Honduran border before checking into our hotel in Copan where we overnight.
Day 5 – (Sun. Sept 23rd) COPAN RUINS (JARADITE CIV) / ROSALILA PYRAMID
This morning we visit the breathtaking Ruins of Copan, a classic Maya city on the Copan River known for its remarkably well preserved monumental epigraphy. We will visit the ceremonial center of pyramids, temples, palaces, and residences and review the history of the city recorded on its many monuments and stelae. At the famous Hieroglyphic Stairway with its lengthy dynastic inscriptions we will point out the six pointed symbol of two interlocking, inverted triangles remarkably similar to the Star of David. We will also visit a ceremonial plaza used to mark important dates on the Haab and sacred Tzolk'in Mesoamerican calendars and a restored Mayan ball court where opposing teams representing the dual forces of light and darkness often played a high stakes game of death. Copan rose to prominence during the Classic Maya period, after the close of the Book of Mormon, in large part due to its tributary control of the trade routes on the Motagua river, although its early history shows Olmec influence, the earliest known civilization of Mesoamerica, thought by many Book of Mormon scholars to be the Jaredite civilization (Ether). This evening we return to our hotel to relax before dinner.
Day 6 – (Mon- Tues. Sept 24-25th) QUIRIGUA (ZARAHEMLA) / FLORES, GUATEMALA
Today we travel across the Rio Dulce and visit the ruins of Quirigua a Classic Maya city on the Motagua River also known for its remarkably well preserved, large scale stelae and zoomorphic monuments. Quirigua holds the largest monolith of the Maya Classic period; Stelae E at Quirigua stands 35 feet tall and weighs approximately 65 tons that depicts K'ak' Tiliw Chan Yopaat (Fire Burning Sky Lightning God), the 8th Century king who commissioned most of the existing monoliths of the ceremonial site. The Times and Seasons Vol. III published at Nauvoo in Oct. 1842 referenced passages of the John Lloyd Stevens’ important work Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan and suggested that Quirigua was the City of Zarahemla because of its proximity to a prominent river (Alma 6:7) and detailed stone inscriptions (Omni 1:20-21). Of course, we know from archaeological excavations today that the site was occupied principally from the 5th Century AD to the 9th Century AD after the close of the Book of Mormon but the extravagant, larger than life stelae at the site remind us that power and pride precede destruction (2 Nephi 26:10-11). We will discuss pride and its universal effects. We then transfer to Flores, Guatemala for check-in and overnight at our hotel.
Day 7 – (Wed. Sept 26th) 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. This influential Classic Maya city lies in the heartland of the lowland Maya. We will visit the North Acropolis and several pyramid complexes including the twin mortuary pyramids of Temple I and II, and also the Lost World complex, the Central Acropolis, and Temples III, IV, and V. At Temple IV, built by Yik’in Chan K’awiil (K’awiil God Who Darkens the Sky), we will discuss the architectural alignments of the temples within the ceremonial complex of Tikal from which Mayan day keepers anciently kept sacred dates on their agricultural calendar which embedded the farming cycles for maize. We will also describe and discuss the significance of the celestial serpent on Lintel 3 found inside the chambers of the temple shrine atop Temple IV which was associated with the worship of the feathered serpent throughout the Mayan world. The source of this important Creator God whose motif is found at many ceremonial sites across Mesoamerica is considered by Book of Mormon scholars to be Jehovah or Jesus Christ the Creator, Healer and Savior of all those who receive Him (Num. 21:8-9, John 3:14-15). We will tie together the importance of our relationship with Jesus Christ and the constant need to keep our eyes focused on Him as our fixed point of reference eternally (Alma 33:19-22). We finish the foot tour at a café restaurant inside the park for a well-deserved lunch break and afterward visit a museum to see artifacts recovered from ongoing excavations. Time permitting; we will have the option to add the Tikal Canopy tour for those interested in another adventure for the day. We will return to Flores for dinner and an overnight at our hotel.
Day 8 – (Thurs. Sept 27th) NEW RIVER/ LAMANAI
Today we depart very early from Flores and bus to the We will then transfer to the New River and take a boat upriver to the archaeological site of Lamanai which is proposed by etymologists to mean “submerged crocodile” in the Yucatec Mayan language. Interestingly, the name of this site is recognized by Book of Mormon scholars as a cognate of Laman or Lamoni, important names of Lamanite kings in the Book of Mormon. According to an early 16th Century AD Catholic church records at the site, Lamanai is thought to be one of the few Maya sites for which the ancient name has been preserved. At Lamanai, we will discuss the meaning of the Mayan world tree or tree of life as it relates to their understanding of the physical and spiritual worlds. We will relate the world tree to Lehi and Nephi’s dreams (1 Nephi 8:10 and 11:7) to gain a better understanding of what the tree of life represents to us and how we can partake of the love of God which brings joy and purpose to our lives.
Day 9 – (Fri Sept 28th) CERROS / TULUM
Today we visit the Mayan city of Cerros, with early occupation dating to the Pre-classic Maya during the times of the Book of Mormon. There are ancient pyramids at this city now submerged under water reminiscent of the destruction of cities mentioned in the Book of Mormon such as Moroni, Onihah, Mocum, and Jerusalem that were sunken underwater during the cataclysmic events at the time of Christ’s death (3 Nephi 8:9 and 9:4,7). We will climb a number of the temples for a beautiful view of the bay and also visit the interesting museum on site to learn more about its history. Similar to changes in other cities of the Maya world during the 1st Century AD, the archaeological record at Cerros shows that they abandoned the worship of their kings as evidenced from the altered construction of their ceremonial temples.
This afternoon we will transfer to the Mexican border at Chetumal and continue up the coast of Quintana Roo to the ceremonial city of Tulum, a late Post Classic Maya city (1200 AD to 1600 AD) built on the edge of a 12 meter cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Although Tulum does not date to the times of the Book of Mormon, it is interesting to note that it was conserved as a religious center for Mayan priests. We will visit the El Castillo temple, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending and Diving God, associated with Kukulkan, the feathered serpent, and the Venus deity worshipped throughout Mesoamerica and considered by Book of Mormon scholars today to be Jesus Christ. Interestingly, Venus is one of the morning and evening stars, another title of Jesus Christ. We will recall the eye witness account of Christ appearance as the resurrected Lord God to his people at the temple in Bountiful after his ascension at Jerusalem (3 Nephi 11:7-11). We will then transfer to our hotel in Cancun for check-in and a farewell dinner before saying “adios” to those who have helped to create many unforgettable memories. We will overnight at our hotel.
Day 10 – (Sat Sept 28th) FLY HOME!
After breakfast and check-out we will transfer to the Cancun international airport for our return flight to the U.S. Buen Viaje!
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