This international three-country round trip is an experience of a lifetime. Mexico, Guatemala and Belize will share their Mayan treasures and rich cultural diversity over 19 days of exploration and adventure. Starting in Cancun, you will explore the Yucatan peninsula including the iconic pyramids of Chichen Itza and the historic capital city, Merida with its busy markets and beautiful churches and museums. From the flatlands of Yucatan, you will head up into the mountains of the state of Chiapas where the misty jungle ruins of Palenque city will take your breath away. Magical San Cristobal, situated up in the clouds at an altitude of 2400m is one of the most attractive cities in all Mexico, famous for its cobbled streets, colourful houses with their red tile roofs, museums, fresh coffee and local handicrafts.
From San Cristobal you will cross the border into beautiful Guatemala with its stunning scenery of huge green jungle covered mountains and steep valleys, volcanoes and lakes. Discover the rich cultural tapestry of life surrounding impressive Lake Atitlan; the old capital city of Antigua with its cosmopolitan restaurants and ruined churches; the peaceful island town of Flores and magnificent Tikal in its remote jungle hideaway.
Belize will be your next stop as you travel from Flores across the border using the local bus service. On arrival in bustling Belize City, you will take a fast water taxi over to the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker. Here the motto is “go slow” so your only option is it sit back, relax and enjoy the friendly atmosphere, delicious seafood and crystal clear waters.
Now, back to Mexico for the last few days of your tour where you can choose from peaceful, laid-back Tulum with its miles of uninterrupted beaches, or lively Playa del Carmen with its bustling 5th Avenue full of shops, restaurants and friendly locals. Whichever you choose you will be able to look back on your adventure and reflect on all the places, flavours and characters you have seen.
Cancún is one of the most popular beach destinations because of its well developed hotel zone with beautiful beaches and nice shopping malls. Downtown Cancun has a lively centre with a more ‘local’ ambiance.
Today you will travel from Cancun to one of the most famous Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza which means “At the mouth of the well of the Itza.” The Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen-Itza also known as “El Castillo” (the castle), is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World elected on 07.07.2007.
Merida, also called the ‘White city’ has a real mixture of culture, combining the impressive magic of the past with the modernity of the present. It is nice to take first one of the horse drawn carriages to enjoy the majestic center before you start visiting all other interesting places.
Palenque is a small town founded in 1567 and means Bakal-Ham (many waters) due to the surrounding rivers. The modern Palenque town is a sweaty humdrum base from where you will explore the ruins. The 5th day you will visit the ruins of Palenque and the waterfalls of Agua Azul. The ruins of Palenque, surrounded with exuberant vegetation, are a classic Maya complex and many people agree it is one of the best and beautiful Mayan ruins.
San Cristobal is one of the most important cities of the state of Chiapas, and actually, one of the most beautiful cities in whole Mexican Republic. Founded in 1528, an altitude to 2100 meters, surrounded by beautiful mountains and indigenous people of various cultures. The Colonial style Churches together with handcrafts are one of the local attractions. The municipal market is one of the most important and beautiful of the zone, where you will find the Indigenous people offering huge variety of vegetables and animals; this is a magical place that you must visit.
San Juan Chamula, is a very closed and traditional community where the people still continue to practice ancient religious habits and lead a different life from that found outside the village. In San Juan Chamula, you will be able to witness some of the religious ceremonies.
In Zinacantan, you will also visit the church and one of the houses of some Indigenous people, sharing their traditions. Including sampling one of the local drinks called Posh. In both places you will see their own traditions and customs. You have to be very careful as in both places it is forbidden to take pictures inside the Churches due to the beliefs of the Indigenous who think that by taking the picture you will take his soul. In both places as well only a very few people speak Spanish.
The Sumidero Canyon with 136,000.00 years of antiquity is a fissure of enormous proportions and one of the principal attractions of Chiapas, found only a few kilometers from the capital Tuxtla on the Grijalva River. Fast boats take on tourist this special tour.
The 9th day you will travel from San Cristobal to Panajachel, situated on Lake Atitlán and of course close to the volcanoes that frame it. Panajachel is a small but picturesque place with real magic.
On the 10th day you will take a boat tour around beautiful Lake Atitlánwhich is surrounded by interesting villages where the people still use their traditional dresses..
Best known as Chichi, it is located between mountains and ravines. It is a very quiet village with the exception of the market days. It’s nice to walk through the cemetery that lies outside the city centre, this is very colorful; and another point to visit is the Church of Santo Tomás, besides the fact that the market is one of the best places to buy souvenirs. In the afternoon after the visit to Chichi, you will travel to Antigua.
Antigua in Guatemala is one of the most important cities of the country, with its cobbled streets is a colonial city surrounded by impressive volcanoes such as Pacaya which is still active and adds to the beauty of this city. The ruins of monasteries and churches which predate this city are also a major attraction for tourists from around the world. Today you can do a walking tour through the city filled with all the magic it has to offer.
Early today you will be picked up at your hotel to go to the city of Flores. This is a long journey but full of nature and beautiful landscapes. Flores, better known as “La isla de Flores”, is surrounded by Lake Petén; it is only 64 kilometers from the majestic ruins of Tikal.
Today you will have the opportunity to visit Tikal, one of the largest Mayan site that comprise an area of 576 square miles, and contains some of the most important archeological remains of the ancient Maya civilization. For centuries Tikal remained a mystery after having been abandoned by the Mayans. Surrounded by forest and a mystical atmosphere, it has a huge variety of flora and fauna. Here you can listen to the howler monkeys and may see a variety of birds. 5 Great temples with the highest measuring 65 meters high are in the central part of this park.
Another early departure to make sure you will arrive in Belize City before noon to catch the watertaxi to Caye Caulker. Having a cocktail at sunset time somewhere will make you forget this early departure!
This is one of the most important islands with one of the best coral reefs. It is approximately 200 meters long with few inhabitants, famous for their dreadlocks and typical “go slow” attitude. We invite you to relax and enjoy a boat ride or a snorkel trip on the beautiful turquoise sea that surrounds the island. Fishing is one of the main industries of the place. As the island is so small, you will not find cars, only golf cars and bicycles.
Today you will return to Mexico via San Pedro. You have to take the early water taxi from Caye Caulker to San Pedro, where you will change boats to go to the city of Chetumal approximately a 2 hour ride. You must be sure to be in time to take the boat to San Pedro, as there is only one a day. In the afternoon you will be arriving in Playa del Carmen.
Your last day in the Caribbean, so, makes the most of it. Playa del Carmen is known for its beautiful white sand beaches white sand and the peculiar turquoise color Caribbean sea, with the famous 5th Avenue where you can find a lot of restaurants, exchange houses, souvenirs stores, ATM and lots of fun, or just relax with a massage on the beautiful beaches.
To all good things comes an end unfortunately and today you return home via Cancun Airport