Archaeological Tours (tel. 212/986-3054 or 866/740-5130, www.archaeologicaltrs.com ) has one academic Mexico trip planned in 2012: Lords of the River and the Plains: The Northern Maya Kingdoms (16 days, Jan. 6–21, US$5,500 per person), led by Professor William Saturno, a professor of anthropology at Boston University.
The Casa Frederick Catherwood (Mérida, tel. 999/165-5565, info [at] casa-catherwood [dot] com, www.casa-catherwood.com ) plans three 2012: A New Katun Begins tours: “Path to Enlightenment” (5 days, Mar. 20–25, US$1,400 per person); “A Holistic Life” (5 days, June 19–24, US$1,650 per person); and “Rebirth and Renewal” (6 days, Sept. 18–23, US$1,950 per person). These trips of “enlightenment and self-discovery” will be led by Don Emilio Guadalupe Chan, a Maya spiritual leader.
In Mérida , Casa K’in (tel. 999/924-3176, info [at] casakin [dot] org, www.casakin.org ) is offering 13 Maya Wisdom Intensives, one each month starting in January 2012. Led by Miguel Angel Vergara, an author and expert on Chichén Itzá and Maya culture, each intensive is different; together they form a program for the end of the old era and the beginning of the new. These workshops will focus on Chichén Itzá , Uxmal , Mayapan , Labna , Palenque , Yaxchilán , Chikana, Edzna , Tulum , and Cobá .
Green Parrot Tours (tel. 999/901-5430, U.S. tel. 214/329-9754, www.yucatandaytours.com ) offers special day tours of Izamal , and to the workshops and homes of Maya artisans, including a wood carver, a hammock-making family, a textile family, and a jeweler.
In Chiapas , Kenosis Spirit Keepers (www.kenosisspiritkeepers.org ) offers the Entering the Maya Mysteries program (12 days, Jan. 13–25). This immersion program brings Hopi leaders from the north to engage with their Maya cousins. Visitors are invited to support the program and to participate in the ceremonies.
The Maya Exploration Center (MEC, tel. 512/350-3321, www.mayaexploration.org ) offers an Ancient Maya Calendars and Astronomy: Spring Equinox 2012 Tour (Mar. 17–26, US$2,800 per person) with visits to Chichén Itzá , Dzibilchaltun , Uxmal , Tulum , Cobá , and Ek Balam . Led by anthropologist Dr. Michael Grofe, the tours include lectures about the Maya calendar and ancient astronomy, and what to believe about 2012.
Special guest lecturers include archaeo-astronomer Felipe Chan Chi, who will explain his 20 years of research at Dzibilchaltun’s Temple of the Seven Dolls; and Sid Hollander, who wrote the world’s first Maya to Gregorian calendar conversion software. Finally, you’ll stand beneath Chichén Itzá’s Castillo Pyramid as the shadow snake descends on March 20, the spring equinox. Prices include lodging, transportation, entry fees, breakfasts, MEC anthropologist guide, four lectures, and the final dinner.
Mayan Ecotours (tel. 999/987-3710, mayanecotours [at] hotmail [dot] com, www.mayanecotours.com ) has a special trip throughout 2012: the chance to receive a purification from a Maya priest at a special altar set up in a cave. The goal, they explain, “is to be rid of your fears, guilt, and any negativity that damages the mind, body, and spirit.” This tour (day or night available, US$80) includes transport, guides, helmets and flashlights, the Maya ceremony, and a typical dinner afterward, with a big shot of xtabentún, the ancient Maya’s anise liqueur made with fermented honey.
Two of the Traveling in Maya Time 2012 Solstice Trips offered by travel specialists MayaSites Travel (tel. 877/620-8715, mayasites [at] yahoo [dot] com, www.mayasites.com ) are entirely in Mexico. Guests fly into Cancún  for the Beginning the New Calendar Era Under the Yucatán Stars tour (5 nights, Dec. 17–22, US$1,520 per person based on double occupancy), a celebration of the beginning of a new Maya calendar cycle with visits to the sites of Tulum , Cobá , Ek Balam , Chichén Itzá , Dzibilchaltun , Cenote Ik Kil, and the colonial cities of Valladolid  and Mérida . The tour includes a gala dinner and countdown to 2012. Prices include lodging, ground transportation, entry and guide fees, breakfast, one lunch, and one gala dinner.
The Temples of Maya Calendar Inscriptions tour (5 nights, Dec. 18–23, US$1,475 per person based on double occupancy) is based out of Villahermosa . Guests ring in the next 13 b’aktuns with tours of Palenque , Yaxchilán , Bonampak , and La Venta Olmec Museum .
Sacred Earth Journeys (tel. 604/874-7922 or 877/874-7922, info [at] sacredearthjourneys [dot] ca, www.sacredearthjourneys.ca ), based in Vancouver, British Columbia, offers a 10-day Maya Sacred Path to 2012 tour (Nov. 29–Dec. 8), beginning and ending in Villahermosa, Mexico. One of the trip leaders is Don Miguel Angel Vergara Calleros, who has been “studying, teaching, and living the Maya wisdom for over 25 years.” In addition to visiting important Maya and Olmec sites, this trip explores “the lost cultures of Lemuria and Atlantis” and provides a chance to meet local Olmec elders, Maya shaman, priests, priestesses, and teachers.
Tia Stephanie Tours (tel. 734/769-7839, info [at] tiastephanietours [dot] com, www.tiastephanietours.com ) is a U.S.-based tour operator that specializes in cultural and educational travel programs throughout Mexico. There are two special tours offered in 2012.
The Maya Calendar and Glyph Workshop (8 days, Jan. 5–13, US$1,875 per person, double occupancy) will be led by Dr. Gabrielle Vail, PhD, adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at New College of Florida. Dr. Vail specializes in Maya iconography and hieroglyphic texts. The fundamentals of Maya writing (epigraphy) and the Maya calendar will be explained in classroom-style settings. Participants are then led into the field for further learning at Palenque , Bonampak , Yaxchilán , and Toniná . Visits include the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas  and the highland Maya communities of Chamula  and Zinacantan .
Tia Stephanie is also offering Maya and 2012: The End of Time? (8 days, Aug. 11–18, US$1,785 per person, double occupancy), developed by Dr. David S. Anderson, PhD, from Tulane University. Dr. Anderson is an archaeologist currently researching the Preclassic period of the northern lowland Maya. This tour provides an introduction to the Maya calendar, writing, astronomy, politics, divine kingship, and royal succession, and includes class work and archaeological visits throughout the Yucatán .
You'll stay at the historic Hacienda Uxmal, a stone's throw from one of the most stunning archaeological sites in the region, when you sign up for World of the Maya: Cycles of Time Symposium and Tour Program (tel. 800/368-2794, http://www.wildernesstravel.com/trip/mexico/maya-calendar-2012-tour ). This 12-night inclusive trip is for 80 participants only (US$5595 per person), who will have the chance to spend the winter solstice of 2012 with some of the top Maya studies scholars in the world.
In Mérida , chocolate maker Ki’ Xocolatl (www.ki-xocolatl.com ) has a four-day culinary adventure they call The Great Cacao Expedition. This unique chocolate-intensive tour includes chocolate cooking workshops in a colonial mansion, visits to Maya ceremonial cities, and a day at a cacao and spice plantation. You’ll stay in Casa San Ángel, a boutique hotel on the Paseo de Montejo, and dine at fancy remodeled haciendas. Ki’ Xocolatl runs a chocolate museum full of artifacts and tools used in cacao preparation and chocolate-making.
Also in Mérida, Casa Frederick Catherwood (tel. 999/165-4986, info [at] casa-catherwood [dot] com, www.casa-catherwood.com ) offers the Great Chocolate Expedition, an intensive five-day trip that includes cooking classes and trips to Maya sites and the Tikul cacao plantation, also in conjunction with Ki’ Xocolatl.
MexicaChica Getaways (tel. 999/901-5430, U.S. tel. 214/329-9754, www.mexicachica.com ) is offering several five-day 2012 Chocolate Expeditions (Oct. 8–12, 2011 and Feb. 18–22, 2012, US$1,200 per person based on double occupancy). It includes visits to archaeological sites and tours of a cacao plantation and a museum.