According to the ancient Maya calendar, the end of the world is set in stoneliterally. The calendar is carved into the walls of what are now Maya ruins and predicts everything will come to a close Dec. 21. Whether you believe that deadline or not, a Missoula travel company is offering a chance to see the writing on the wall on its big day.
Adventure Life has already registered a group of 10 people for its "Celebrate the Maya" trip, aka the "End of the World" tour. Two spaces are still available at $2,545 per person.
"People are saying the world is going to end. We decided it would be fun to create a tour around those events," says Monika Sundem, Adventure Life's sales and marketing director.
The 12-day educational tour starts in Guatemala City and will be led by a Maya expert. The group will, among other things, watch a ritual performed by a Maya shaman, explore an ancient Maya city, visit Maya temples and culminate with a visit to the Uaxactun Ruins, one of the oldest complete Maya astronomical complexes in existence.
The details of the Maya calendar are complicated, but the predicted apocalypse is essentially linked to an alignment of the Earth, sun and planets. This alignment will occur on the morning of the winter solstice, Dec. 21, and can be tracked by the position of the sun on the stone calendar. The Adventure Life group plans to be at the Uaxactun complex at the exact moment when planets and sun fall into place.
Of course, Sundem notes that none in the group actually believe this alignment has more than an aesthetic significance.
"Most are very well educated and know that this is not the end of the world," she says.
She adds the company has indeed booked the group return tickets home.