Leave behind the cold and wet of winter and join us in the Yucatan Peninsula for 9 days of photography, local cuisine, Mayan ruins, ancient pyramids, pink flamingos, beautiful markets, museums, beaches, and cenotes. With a private van, driver, and tour guide we’re going to take in as much of the Yucatan as we can!  Private boats to watch the flamingos + a cooking class of Yucatan cuisine will round out the week. Our home base will be the Hotel Palacio Maya in the city center of Merida, the largest city in the Yucatan peninsula. The temperatures in January range from 87 during the day to 63 in the evenings, sunrise is 6:30 with sunset at 5:30.

Molly Roberts will be our photography instructor, and photographers from beginners to advanced are welcome to join us.

So, let’s begin!



Molly Roberts is a visual communications professional residing in Baltimore, Maryland. She has worked in the DC metropolitan area as a photographer, photography editor and director of photography at The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine and National Geographic Magazine. She has curated exhibitions for SXSE Gallery, Photoworks Gallery, 1448 Gallery, Artworks Gallery, and others. In 2019 she was awarded a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation fellowship  to study and teach photography and multimedia at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She received a masters degree in Visual Communication in 2021.

Roberts has led workshops in photo editing for long term visual projects and photo books. She taught photography, photojournalism and photo-editing at Ohio University and Loyola University. Committed to the power of visual communication to educate and inform, Roberts created Humaneyes USA, a small non-profit using artistic and innovative approaches to inspire informed discussion, encourage civic engagement and create solutions for pressing American issues.

Roberts continues to teach and mentor photographers through her work with Women photojournalists of Washington, Social Documentary Network and La Luz Workshops.


1/12 – Friday – Most flights from the US arrive late afternoon or evening so this will be a full day of travel for most of us. Our hotel in the city centre will be awaiting your arrival!






©Hotel Palacio Maya



1/13, Saturday:  A day to get our bearings, explore a few things in the city, and get to know each other. There will be a presentation by Molly at the hotel 4:00. Followed by a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.



1/14, Sunday:  Early breakfast at the hotel before a tour of the city of Merida with van, driver, and tour guide. This outing will include The Grand Museum of Maya, architecture in and around the city center, the Merida Cathedral, the Merida Sunday markets, and more along the way.




1/15, Monday:  Van and guide will pick us up early today for a trip to Chichen Itza, arriving before the touristas! Afterwards we’ll venture to the Cenote Yokdzonot where you may explore, swim if you want, or just cool your heels. 



1/16, Tuesday: Today we leave the city again and head for the pre-Hispanic town of Uxmal, followed by a visit to the cenote San Antonio Mulix.



1/17, Wednesday:  We’re back to the city for a relaxing, educational, and wonderfully photographic day. We’ll start with the local market where we’ll meet our chef/instructor and choose the ingredients for our 3-course lunch. Once we complete our shopping we’ll move to the chef’s home to assist in preparing the meal. 




1/18, Thursday: Pack it up for the beach! And a 2 hour private boat ride to see the flamingos, mangroves, and beautiful waters. 

Located over the mouth of Yucatan’s biggest groundwater basin, between the towns of Celestún and Maxcanu, the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve is part of a vast wetland corridor in the west of the peninsula. The fresh water from underground aquifers has an outlet in the site, which makes the Biosphere Reserve a unique example of a natural wetland in the area. Its mangroves, dunes, and low rainforests are home to a substantial natural heritage, particularly in terms of birds. In fact, the area is a resting place for a huge number of migrating species.

Although the area is particularly known for its pink flamingos, the pristine beaches of the area, with waters ranging from turquoise to light blue, attract thousands of visitors every year.



1/19, Friday: A trip to the Yucatan wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a historic hacienda. Sotuta de Peon is known for its fields of sisal, tours of the hacienda via private rail car, and a beautiful casa. 

After dinner in Merida we’ll venture over to the cathedral for their Friday evening light show. 


1/20, SATURDAY: This afternoon at 4 we’ll meet for a group critique. You’ll have sent Molly 5 of your favorite photos from the week and we’ll project those for the group. But, before then, it’s our traditional day off. Want to hop on a bus for more ruins? Or maybe in the other direction back to the beach? Or just hang out in Merida doing some street photography and souvenir shopping? You get to choose and plan this day.



1/21 After breakfast the workshop will end. And, until next time, mis mejores deseos y espero verte pronto! (Be well, and hope to see you again soon!)


What’s Included:

9 nights at the Palacio Maya Hotel, singles only (if you’d like a doubles rate, please inquire)

Breakfast each morning in the hotel

Saturday’s Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant

Vans, drivers, and tour guides  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday

Tour of the local market,  and private cooking school in the home of the chef

Boats and Tour Guide at Ria Celestun Biosphere

Fees to Historic Sites (Entry fees where we will travel as a group are included in the workshop fee. Entry fees to locations you might explore on your own are not included.)

Saturday’s Farewell Dinner 


Does Not Include:

Your flight to and from your home base and Merida

Lunches  – with the exception of Cooking School day

Dinners, Sunday – Friday (Saturdays are included)

Alcoholic beverages 

Tips for hotel employees



$5400 if paying by check. e nancy@sxsemagazine.com for more information

$5710 if paying by credit card. Go HERE to pay, and email nancy@sxsemagazine.com to register


Questions? Just ask Nancy – nancy@sxsemagazine.com


Things to Know:

Trip Insurance –

is highly recommended. I have used Allianz for years, and have filed two claims which were handled promptly and professionally. 

Mexico Tourist Card –

If you’re an American you will not need a Visa to visit Mexico. However, you will need a Mexico Tourist Card, the Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM). Go to mexicotouristcard.com for more info – and they’re free!

Water –

Most hotels and restaurants have cisterns of filtered water. We ask you to bring a refillable water bottle, thus reducing single-use plastic containers.

Vaccinations –

HERE is the CDC website for Mexico.