The tour lasts approximately 1 hour and begins in the Education Area. This is where your class will meet their guide and be introduced to the Maya lifestyle, habitat and civilisation including their cultuture and how they were able to build a complex civilisation within the harsh environment of a rainforest.
The Maya were clever mathematicians and astrologers. The Education Area is filled with interpretation showing examples of their number systems and complex calanders.
Your class will now become jungle explorers and go through into the Rainforest Flight Area. As they enter they will be surrounded by the same species of butterflies that the Maya would have admired over 2,300 years ago and experience the tropical warmth of a rainforest!
Did you know we have the Maya to thank for discovering the cacao bean, the source of delicious chocolate! See if you can spot the chocolate tree in the flight area.
In the Discovery Zone your class will find a replicated rabbit skull frieze that would of been used to worship and leave offerings for their gods as well as mushroom shaped statues, the original of which were found at the Maya site of Kaminaljuyu.
In Minibeast Metropolis your class of jungle explorers can observe reptiles, spiders, frogs, snakes, stick insects, gekkos and leafcutter ants, the same creatures that the Maya would of seen in the rainforest thousands of years ago!
It's here that your guide will introduce the class to our resident Mini-Beasts! For those that wish to handle the Mini-Beasts they can do so, or just have a close look if they prefer not to touch them.
The Metropolis is also the place to ask your guide any questions you or your class may have about the Maya and the creatures that live at the butterfly farm.
The jungle explorers will now enter Rainforest Realm where your class will discover creatures that can be found in Central America, an Emerald Tree Boa Snake, 10 endangered Orange Blackfoot Dart Frogs, a trio of Basilisk Lizards, 2 Baby Yellow Spotted Amazon River Turtles and a Oustalets Chameleon from Madagascar!
At the heart of the exhibition is a replicated ‘cenote’, complete with a water cascade and a deep and shallow pool for the magnificent spectacled caiman that lives in it to swim and bathe in.
The ancient Maya sourced water from the cenotes which were respected as sacred places, symbolic of both life and death.
Your guide will then lead your class back through the Rainforest Flight Area to the Education Area where your tour began.
The new Discover the Maya interpretation board can be found in the Flight Area and gives you an explanation of what the replicated statues are and an insight into the gods, culture and beliefs of the ancient Maya, a complex civilisation that lived and farmed in the rainforests of Central America.