14 Days - Departs daily
A land of fascinating contrasts, Mexico offers a large variety of landscapes, climates and traditions. On this trip you will uncover the ruins of ancient and powerful Mayan cities, Zapotecan and Aztec civilizations, as well as colonial towns and unchanged indigenous life in the villages and markets. End the trip relaxing on the pristine beaches of the Mayan Riviera.
from USD $3262pp
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- Palenque’s atmospheric Mayan ruins in the heart of the jungle.
- The top of Uxmal’s grand pyramid rewards you with a breathtaking view.
- Fill up on local delicacies and rich culture in Mérida.
- Chichen Itza, the most famous of Mexico's Mayan ruins.
- The glorious white sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Mayan Riviera.
- Embark on a boat ride to witness the towering rock walls of the beautiful Sumidero Canyon.
- Visit the villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán to explore the culture and learn the traditions of the Mayans.
Tailor made suggestions for this itinerary
- Enjoy another day or two in Merida and explore the city and its surrounds.
- Consider spending time in Tulum to explore its surroundings including some impressive cenotes and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve which is inhabited by countless plant species, bird and animals.
- Extend your stay and add some beach time relaxing on the Mayan Riviera. Extensions can be offered in Cancun, Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
Arrive in Mexico City
On arrival at the airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
Mexico City is quickly becoming a must-see destination in Central America with its revamped public spaces, exciting new culinary scene and buzzing downtown area. These combined with the city's historical elements make for what is sure to be a highlight of your trip.
Today we will explore magnificent Mexico City, built by the Spanish on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital. The city's historical heart is its vast central square, or El Zocalo and on this tour you will have the opportunity to visit it along with the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is the largest church in all of Latin America. You'll drive along the famous boulevard Paseo de la Reforma, built during the short-lived reign of Emperor Maximilian to connect the main square and his castle in Chapultepec.
You'll also visit the National Palace*, which hosts Diego Rivera's murals depicting the history of Mexico and is one of the oldest government seats in the world. Your last stop is the Museum of Anthropology**, where you will have some time to explore the treasures of the Aztec culture at one of the finest archaeological museums in the world.
*Due to the change of residence of the President of Mexico and his family to the National Palace, visits to the National Palace, including the contemplation of Diego Rivera's murals, are not available for the time being. Instead it will be possible to visit Diego Rivera's Murals at the Ministry of Public Education or another venue. *
**Please note that the Museum of Anthropology is closed on Mondays.
Teotihuacan Pyramids & Guadalupe Shrine
Located 50-kilometres north-east of Mexico City are the 'must-see' archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan - the site of the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon which dominate the skyline of the complex. This was once the country's biggest ancient city and capital of the Aztec people, who ruled over the largest empire in the pre-Hispanic era. Guarded by mountains, this magnificent city is thought to have been founded early in the 1st century AD and reached its peak around 500 AD, when its influence extended down to Guatemala and as far north as present-day Texas. With the help of a local guide we have time to stroll down ‘The Avenue of the Dead', uncover its many wonders and imagine what life must have been like nearly two thousand years ago. We will also visit the Basilica de Guadalupe, Latin America's most revered religious shrine, where the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared before an Indian named Juan Diego in 1531, and an image of her was miraculously emblazoned on his cloak. We will have time to explore the New Basilica de Guadalupe (the Old Basilica, built in 1700, is slowly sinking) and to see Juan Diego's cloak.
After our exploration we return to Mexico City in the afternoon.
Cholula to Puebla
Today you depart Mexico City, heading south to Puebla via Cholula where we will visit one of the biggest archaeological sites in the Americas. The Great Pyramid of Cholula located just outside of Puebla is the largest pyramid in the world, twice as tall as Keops in Egypt. A church was first built atop the pyramid in the 17th century, and today a rebuilt church stands in the place of the original one. There are fantastic views of several volcanoes from the top of the pyramid.
We'll continue onto Puebla , known as “The City of Angels”, where you'll have time to enjoy a delicious lunch that includes the famous dish “Mole Poblano” (lunch not included).
After lunch we'll take a guided walking tour around Puebla's beautiful historic centre, a place with an array of interesting constructions that date back to 16th and 18th century, such as the ‘Plaza de Armas' and Cathedral. You'll also visit the majestic Church of Santo Domingo, colourful streets and a picturesque handicraft market before enjoying an evening at your leisure.
Puebla is world renowned for its cuisine and we recommend trying some of the local specialities, such as ‘Chiles en nogada' (stuffed deep fried chile), ‘Molotes' (spicy sausage) and ‘Tinga' (shredded pork and vegetables served with tortillas).
Travel to Oaxaca
A representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the bus station for your luxury bus ride to Oaxaca. On arrival in Oaxaca you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Oaxaca, located in a valley surrounded by the Sierra Madre del Sur, was once the centre of the Mixtec and Zapotec civilizations, and despite distinctively Spanish architecture, the city remains basically Indian at heart. Oaxaca is also a great area for trying out new tastes at its array of restaurants and markets. It's the perfect place to try Mexico's most traditional drink, Mezcal.
City and Monte Alban Tour
In the morning, you'll be treated to a short orientation tour to help you get your bearings in this beautiful colonial town. Explore the colourful markets, ornate buildings, churches, elegant archways, balconies, decorative grill work and charming plazas.
This afternoon we'll head out to the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, a world heritage site spectacularly situated on a mountain 400 metres above the Oaxaca Valley. We will explore the Gran Plaza, the Ball Court, the Observatory, the Palace, and other beautiful structures before returning to Oaxaca in the afternoon.
Our representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport for your departure flight.
Sumidero Canyon to San Cristobal
On arrival in Tuxtla Gutierrez we will the drive towards Chiapa de Corzo and the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon. We'll board our launch and take a trip through the majestic rock walls of the canyon, with the chance of seeing fauna such as crocodiles, spider monkeys, cormorants, and herons. We return to the boat dock where we then continue into the highlands and finally to our charming colonial hotel in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
City Tour & Indian Villages
Today we will explore on foot the colonial city centre of San Cristobal de las Casas. We will visit the cathedral with its lavish interior and gold-encrusted pulpit, then walk a few blocks to the impressive 16th century Dominican church, with its intricate pink façade and gilded Baroque interior. Next, it's time to browse the handicrafts where Tzotzil Indians from the surrounding hills come to trade before we drive into the Chiapas highlands, to the Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. In San Juan Chamula, you will visit the Church of San Juan Bautista that has simple but incredibly beautiful ornamentation on the outer façade. You will see the artistic beauty of the church on the inside, with Catholic saints dressed according to indigenous traditional customs. Some of them are adorned with mirrors and multicolour ribbons, as a notorious sample of the religious mix between the Mayan-Tzotzil roots and Catholicism. Picture taking is not allowed inside this church, which is why you won't be able to find any published image of the inside of this extraordinary religious centre.
The candles, incense and chanting worshippers make a powerful impression.
We'll then drive to the nearby village of Zinacantan, with its pretty church and handicraft market. Return to San Cristobal.
Agua Azul Visit / Travel to Palenque
Today we will navigate the Southern Sierra Madre by descending from alpine forests into the steamy lowland jungles of Palenque. Along the way, we will visit the famous Agua Azul waterfalls, which are approximately forty-five minutes away from Palenque. Here you will have a chance to take a break from the heat with a swim in the stunning, naturally formed pools at the waterfalls before we reach Palenque in the late afternoon and check in to our hotel.
This morning we will visit the archaeological site of Palenque, a World Heritage Site, located 7km outside of the town of Palenque overlooking the swampy plains that stretch northward all the way to the Gulf coast. Palenque flourished between AD600 and 800, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. The site, surrounded by rainforest where toucans and howler monkeys live, is made up of some five hundred buildings spread over 15 sq km, of which only a few have been excavated. We will explore the magnificent ruins, including the Temple of the Inscriptions – the tallest and stateliest of Palenque's buildings, the Temple of the Sun – crowned with a prominent roof comb, The Palace – with its maze of corridors and rooms, and many other beautiful buildings.
Drive to Campeche via Isla Aguada and Edzna
A representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Campeche. On the way stop at the Natural Reserve of Laguna de Terminos and at the small fishing village of Isla Aguada where you will take a boat tour through the lagoon (approx. 1.5hrs). On this trip, you will see plenty of dolphins and if you are very lucky even the very shy manatees. Stop at an island in the lagoon and see the local flora and fauna. Continue towards Edzná, with its remarkable main temple and the large ball court. Finally, you will head towards Campeche and where you will have walking city tour of the historical centre.
Drive to Merida
Today you will be transferred from Campeche to Merida, a journey of around 3-4 hours.
Uxmal & Kabah Tour
We will visit the archaeological site of Uxmal, a World Heritage Site, located 80km south of Merida. Its architecture is characterised by low horizontal palaces set around courtyards, decorated with a profusion of symbolic motifs and sculptures depicting the long-nosed rain god Chaac. We will explore the magnificent buildings, including the Nunnery, the House of Turtles, and the House of the Magician, which dominates the site. We'll continue on to Kabah, with its amazing Palace of the Masks, covered in nearly three hundred masks of Chaac before returning to Merida.
Breakfast and Lunch included.
Merida - Chichen Itza - Yucatan (Shared)
Today will be one of the highlights of your Mexican adventure as you enjoy a visit to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, located 120km east of Merida. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is the best restored of Yucatan's Mayan sites. While here we will explore the magnificent ruins set in a dense jungle, including:
- Pyramid of Kukulcan, its height and striking geometric design the most prominent of this site.
- The Great Ball Court , the largest and most impressive in Mesoamerica.
- The Sacred Cenote, a natural well used for human sacrifice.
We'll also see many other beautiful temples.
From Chichen Itza we'll head to the white sandy beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Yucatan Peninsula options
One of the advantages of our tailormade itineraries is the ability to change things to create your perfect holiday. You can choose to visit several destinations such as Tulum, Cancun, Playa del Carmen or head back to Merida. Speak to your travel designer for more information.
Breakfast and Lunch included.
|01 Jan 2024 - 15 Dec 2024||USD $3262pp|
|Comfort||USD $3262pp||Contact us|
|Superior||USD $3495pp||Contact us|
|Deluxe||USD $4935pp||Contact us|
|01 Jan 2025 - 15 Dec 2025||USD $3589pp|
|Comfort||USD $3589pp||Contact us|
|Superior||USD $3845pp||Contact us|
|Deluxe||USD $5425pp||Contact us|
**Prices are per person based on twin / shared accommodation.
**Single supplements may apply
Mexico City, Mexico - Best Western Hotel Majestic
Puebla, Mexico - Hotel Colonial de Puebla
Oaxaca, Mexico - Casa Conzatti
San Cristobal, Mexico - Casa Vieja
Palenque, Mexico - Nututun
Campeche, Mexico - Plaza Colonial Hotel
Merida, Mexico - El Castellano
Mexico City, Mexico - Zocalo Central Hotel
Puebla, Mexico - NH Puebla
Oaxaca, Mexico - Parador San Miguel
San Cristobal, Mexico - Villa Mercedes
Palenque, Mexico - Hotel Villa Mercedes
Campeche, Mexico - Hotel Plaza Campeche
Merida, Mexico - Hotel Hacienda Merida
Mexico City, Mexico - Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico
Puebla, Mexico - Hotel Quinta Real Puebla
Oaxaca, Mexico - Quinta Real Oaxaca Hotel
San Cristobal, Mexico - Casa del Alma
Palenque, Mexico - Hotel Quinta Chanabal
Campeche, Mexico - Casa Don Gustavo Boutique Hotel
Merida, Mexico - Casa Lecanda Boutique
- Accommodation with private facilities
- Internal flight
- Hotel taxes
- English speaking guided tours
- Meals as specified
What’s not included?
- International airfares
- Airport arrival/departure taxes
- Travel insurance
- Any items not mentioned as included
Hotel rates are based on lead-in rooms. Other room types and hotels are available. Rates are subject to change and different rates may apply during holiday seasons and special events.