Do some homework on Maya history and the Maya calendar—the depth and complexity of the 2012 story is surprising. For more practical details and strategies within each area, consult the individual online travel guides on Moon.com.
Good news for multi-country Mundo Maya tourists: In June 2006, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua entered the “Central America-4 Border Control Agreement” (CA-4); citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders between these countries without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints.
U.S. citizens may travel among these four countries without visas or tourist entry permits. You’ll still need a passport, but it will be easier to hop around in the Mundo Maya.
When entering Belize, U.S. citizens will receive a 30-day automatic tourist card. Entering Mexico by air, U.S. citizens will need a passport and must pay a small fee to obtain a tourist card (also known as an FMM and often included in cost of your plane ticket).
Before any trip, check online (http://travel.state.gov ) for the latest entry and exit requirements for each country.
Many cities in the United States and Canada have medical travel clinics that can advise on the latest recommended and required vaccinations on a country-by-country basis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a Traveler Health webpage (www.cdc.gov/travel ). It recommends routine vaccinations (chickenpox/varicella, polio, MMR, DPT) be updated to protect travelers from diseases prevalent in other countries.
As of late 2011, the CDC reports that areas in Mexico with malaria include Chiapas and rural areas in the states of Nayarit, Oaxaca, and Sinaloa, with rare cases in Quintana Roo and Tabasco. In Guatemala, malaria has been reported only in rural areas lower than 1,500 meters above sea level. In Belize, malaria has been reported in all areas except Belize City and islands popular with tourists.
If traveling to a country for an extended time, check the CDC’s recommendations for vaccine-preventable diseases (hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and rabies), which vary by country and situation.
Mexico is the easiest and cheapest country to reach from the U.S. or Canada, with a steady schedule of direct flights to Cancún, Mérida, and Villahermosa. Most current security concerns are in the north, a thousand miles from the Maya area. The cheapest flights to the Mundo Maya are frequently to large Mexico hubs such as Cancún .
Mérida  is a comfortable colonial base from which to explore the Yucatán. Its international airport is serviced by airlines within the U.S. and Mexico.
Due to consistently expensive fares to Belize City , travelers sometimes use Cancún as a more affordable way to get to Belize (but it requires a six-hour bus ride to the border at Chetumal, Mexico). From Chetumal, you can also easily cross into northern Belize and Corozal Town, with access to several notable Maya archeological sites.
Guatemala City  makes a perfect base not only for travel within Guatemala, but throughout the Mundo Maya. Travelers can begin in Guatemala City and make side trips to Honduras, Belize, and remote Izapa in Mexico.