Book of Mormon Lands

23rd Jun 2016

Book of Mormon Lands Tour December 2017

End the year on a high. Atop a Maya temple! Listed here is a 12 day/11 night Book of Mormon Lands tour itinerary with a brief description of daily activities and places of interest to be visited on our guided tour in Guatemala, the proposed lands of the Book of Mormon!

Day 1 – Sat. Dec. 23rd (Guatemala City)

PM  Arrival at the Guatemala City airport and transfer to our hotel for orientation and overnight stay.

Day 2 – Sun. Dec. 24th (Relief Map/Kaminaljuyu)

AM  We will attend church services and afterward transfer to Guatemala Relief Map, a large outdoor relief map of the country to gain a better understanding of the rugged, mountainous topology of the country, a good reason for which many armies and exploration parties were easily lost in the wilderness (Mosiah 23:30, 21:25).  Transfer to National Archaeological and Ethnology Museum to see collection of important Mayan artifacts from many areas of the country including the south coast and northern lowlands of Guatemala.

PM  We will transfer to the archaeological site of Kaminaljuyu (850BC-800AD) one of the proposed candidates for the City of Nephi. There are over 200 temple mounds at this site, most of which have been covered by urban sprawl.Return to hotel again for overnight stay.


Day 3 – Mon. Dec. 25th (Chichicastenango/Lake Atitlan)

AM  We will drive from Guatemala City into the western highlands to visit Chichicastenango, an indigenous town famous for its regional, open-air, market. We will visit the Santo Tomas church where the Latin manuscript of the Popol Vuh (an account of the Kiche Maya creation story and sacred history written in the 16th century from their oral traditions) that was rediscovered at the altar of the church. We will also visit Pascual Abaj, where Mayan priests offer their sacrificial rites on behalf of those who procure their services.   We will discuss the idolatrous practices of the ancient Lamanites at different times in their history (2 Nephi 9:37, Enos 1:20).

PM  We will drive to Panajachel on the shore of beautiful Lake Atitlan, considered to be an excellent candidate for the Waters of Mormon (Mosiah 18:30). Lake Atitlan is fed by several rivers that begin in the continental divide. Interestingly, the water level of the lake today has submerged a small old Maya city 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 American Continent (3 Ne 9:7).  We will have the option to do some swimming at some thermal hot springs on the lake shore. We will transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 4 – Tues. Dec. 26th (El Chayal/Copan)

AM  We will spend some time in Panajachel to visit the Buenaventura Nature Reserve to walk the nature trails and suspension bridge (option to add a zipline tour). We will begin transfer to border at Honduras.

PM  En route we will stop briefly at El Chayal, part of an old, mayan 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 still today represents one the sharpest cutting edge known to man, 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 (Mosiah 23:10).  Continue transfer across border to Copan, Honduras. We will check into our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 5 – Wed. Dec. 27th (Copan)

AM  We will visit the breathtaking ruins of Copan (900BC-1200AD), a major Mayan ceremonial complex. 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, an artifact said to boast the Star of David or Solomon’s Seal, a Mayan sculpture of a bearded king, the “Rosalila” Pyramid, a near perfect Mayan ball court, the large and small museums, a some of the best preserved epigraphy of the Maya lands. Copan was the center of a dynasty that ruled the Maya area for over 400 years and today marks for it majestic art and glyphs.  We will be impressed with the skill, time, and effort it must have taken to carve these glyphs in stone.  These glyphs have endured the test of time and compel us to remember the glorious past of this city.

PM  We will return to our hotel again for an overnight stay in Copan.

Day 6 – Thurs. Dec. 28th (Quirigua)

AM  We will attend church services in Copan and then check-out of our hotel and travel back to Guatemala to visit the ruins of Quirigua (300AD-900AD). Quirigua is the site of the tallest, most intricate, and most distinctive monuments of the Mayan Kingdom – including Stela E, which is over 35 feet tall and weighs 65 tons.

PM  We will transfer to Flores, Guatemala and check into our hotel.


Day 7 – Fri. Dec. 29th (Tikal)

AM  Today we visit the incomparable ruins of Tikal (600BC-900AD).  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, North Acropolis, Temple I, Temple II, the Lost World pyramid, and the 230-foot Temple IV, the reference point from which the Mayan daykeepers marked the sacred dates on their agricultural calendar.

PM  We will return to our hotel again to overnight in Flores.

Day 8 – Sat.. Dec. 30th (Ceibal)

AM  Today we transfer to the Passion River, considered by some scholars to be a good candidate for the river Sidon mentioned by name in the Book of Mormon (Alma 43:40).  We will boat up the river to the archaeological site of Ceibal (150 BC-9000AD).  This site, beautifully located on the south and west side of the river – possibly like the ancient city of Zarahemla – is famous for its remarkable impressive fortifications.  Ceibal is named after the sacred world tree of the Maya – considered for thousands of years to be the sacred tree of life.

PM  We will return by boat down the river and take the ferry across the river to Sayaxche and transfer to Raxruha. Check-in and overnight at our hotel.

Day 9 – Sun. Dec. 31st (Cuevas de Candelaria)

AM  This morning we will hold church services in a natural setting at the Cuevas de Candelaria, an extensive series of karst caverns beautifully cut over many centuries by running water. The caves are accessible by openings that emit shafts of light that gives the underground caverns its name. Caves in general were considered by the Maya to be portals or a nexus to their underworld, Xibalba, and there is evidence of Mayan rituals and worship that have been performed over the centuries in caves across the mayan heartland. By descending into and coming forth out of this mouth of a cave, the Mayan priests proclaimed their power over the underworld and death. 

PM  We will transfer to Coban, proposed as the land of Manti (Alma 22:27) for an overnight at our hotel.

Day 10 – Mon. Jan 1st (Semuc Champey)

AM We will transfer to Semuc Champey, a series of natural swimming pools created by a  limestone shelf that collapsed from the ravine along a side of the Cahabon River causing a natural bridge that spans a number of cascading pools for an inviting opportunity to swim and relax in the most pristine natural miracle in Guatemala. 

PM We will return to our hotel again in Coban to overnight.


Day 11 – Tues. Jan 2nd (Santa Cruz Verapaz/Guatemala City)

AM  Today we will drive to Santa Cruz Verapaz to see a site proposed to be part of the fortifications of the City of Manti. There are visible earthen trenches that seem to have been constructed for defensive purposes similar to the fortifications of Captain Moroni as described in Alma 50 and 53. The fortifications at Manti remind us that Moroni’s strongholds were the key to his success (Alma 43).

PM  We will transfer to Guatemala City stopping en route high above the Salama Valley, another proposed candidate for the land of Nephi. Transfer to capital city and check-in at our hotel.

Day 12 – Wed. Jan. 3rd(return flight)

AM  Hotel check-out and transfer to the international airport for return flight home. Buen Viaje!

The 12 day/11 night Book of Mormon Geography Lands Tour package price is $2795 per person (based on double room occupancy). Group, family and referral discounts are available. A $250 secures your space on the trip with the balance due within 30 days of beginning of tour. The package includes ground and water transportation, bilingual, LDS tour guide, entrance fees to parks and museums, hotel accommodations, breakfasts and dinner meals, tips, two water bottles per day, and taxes but does not include international airfare, other meals not specified in the itinerary, travel insurance, or any service not expressly mentioned.

Pretour and post tour options are available for those interested, please contact us ask for more details. 

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