Your first stop is Mexico City; home to more than 160 museums, 100 art galleries and 30 concert halls. Discover its hidden history and culture and explore its treasures using the cheapest metro system in the world. Travel south to Puebla “the city of Angels” and sample the best of its famous regional “Poblano” cuisine. Colourful Oaxaca is where you can explore the mountain-top ruins of Monte Alban by bicycle, enjoy the beautiful cathedral or take a tram ride around the city. Move south through green mountains and cloudy passes to the magical city of San Cristobal de las Casas, full of colour, culture and life for you to discover. Palenque provides the backdrop for two nights; explore the impressive jungle location ancient Mayan cities. Return to the flat lands of the Yucatan peninsula and climb Campeche’s city walls then on to Merida, the capital city of Yucatan, home to culture and traditions spanning thousands of years of history. A night in Chichen Itza, home to one of the modern wonders of the world, will be your stepping stone to three final nights of relaxation and immersion in a true tropical paradise, Tulum.All Tours
As you fly in over the impressive urban sprawl your first view of Mexico City will take your breath away…prepare yourself as the adventure begins. You will be greeted by our transport team and taken directly to your hotel close to the historic centre of the city. You have a free afternoon / evening to explore your surroundings and delight in the international cuisine on offer in this exciting city.
Your first visit on today’s tour will be to the Catholic worship site of the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe (the Virgin Mary), one of the most important religious figures in Mexico. The new and the original churches sit together reflecting the continuity of the Catholic faith in Mexico.
Next you will be taken outside the city to the pre-Hispanic site of Teotihuacan whose Nahuatl name means “place where gods were born”. Discover the site’s various ethnic influences including Aztec, Toltec, Mixtec, Totanac, Zapotec & Maya as you explore and climb the impressive buildings, including the massive pyramids of the sun and the moon, and intrepidly walk the Avenue of the Dead… In the evening you will return to the city centre where you can enjoy some of the many restaurants and bars close to your hotel.
A free day in Mexico City to explore at your leisure… the options are many: Be adventurous and make use of the metro system to explore, maybe a boat ride around Xochimilco, a visit to Frida Kahlo’s house in Coyoacan, or a leisurely day in the Zona Rosa with its parks, elegant shops, international restaurants and bars. The choice is yours.
This morning you will pick up your rental car from the nearby office. Take your time to get used to Mexican driving and find your way out of this big city! You will travel through miles of the urban sprawl before reaching the open highway and the mountains of the state of Puebla. The city of Puebla is overshadowed by two volcanoes contrasting with its highly decorated colonial buildings and colourful streets which according to legend were created by angels for humans to enjoy… After dropping your car off at the hotel, you can explore the city centre and sample some of the world famous cuisine made with fresh, locally grown ingredients.
The tour will take you on a culinary and cultural journey to discover and savour the unique flavours of Poblano food, drink and handicrafts. From the world famous “mole” sauce created by combing dozens of tasty ingredients to the Arab style tacos adopted from international traders, to the beautiful stoneware and textiles, Puebla will leave a lasting impression on you.
You have the rest of the day free for more exploration at your leisure.
Today you will travel between Puebla and Oaxaca on an easy highway with great views to enjoy during the journey of around 4 hours. After checking in to your hotel, you can start to explore the street and parks of this colourful city – full of handicrafts, food stalls, museums and churches.
You will take a tour to discover the mountain top ruins of the Zopotecan/ Mixtecan city of Monte Alban which sits 10km outside of Oaxaca. When you arrive at the bike shop, you will be given the right bicycle for you and a map explaining the route back down. You will be taken to Monte Alban, with your bike, in a van then after visiting the ruins you can make your own way back to the city via some of the surrounding villages famous for their markets and handicrafts.
On arrival, you can drop off your bike and enjoy a well-earned lunch and a free afternoon.
A long drive will take you through impressive mountain ranges and cloudy passes. At around the half-way point on the journey, you can stop for lunch in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca’s second most important colonial city located in the mountains of the Sierra Madre. The beautiful Tehuana traditional dress full of colourful embroidery was famously adopted by the artist Frida Kahlo who admired the strong women of this matriarchal society.
Continue on the winding roads to the cloudy heights of San Cristobal with its cobbled streets and colourful houses, crisp cold nights and cosy cafes.
Today includes a half day tour to visit two of the most interesting villages just outside San Cristobal city. Your knowledgeable guides will take you to San Juan Chamula to the unique church where modern and ancient traditions combine in a smoky pine scented atmosphere… and into the important temple created each year in the home of one the village’s families.
In Zinacantan you will visit a church where the local speciality of flower arranging is on impressive display, then visit the home/ workshop of a family of traditional weavers where their collection of work is on display. In the early afternoon, you will be back in San Cristobal to relax, eat, explore some more…
A free day in San Cristobal to explore at your leisure… choose from Museums, markets, churches or a day trip to the surrounding highlights like the lakes of Montebello or the Canyon of Sumidero.
The ruins of ancient Palenque await you today. We highly recommend leaving super early to be able to enjoy the cascades of Agua Azul and the waterfall of Misol-Ha before reaching these impressive Mayan temples. Hire a local guide to walk you through the city, explaining how life would have been for the ancient Mayan people. Visit the on-site museum which displays many of the artefacts found here and immerse yourself in the culture of Palenque. After your visit, you can take the short drive to your hotel in Palenque town.
An early start because this will be a busy day. On the road towards Yaxchilan, which is located right on the border between Mexico and Guatemala, your collective shuttle will stop for breakfast before continuing to the river Usumacinta. You will cross the river by boat to enter the temples where you can explore the buildings of this impressive Mayan site whose name means “green stones”. After returning to the highway, you will stop for a lunch break in a small local restaurant before arriving at Bonampak. To enter Bonampak you must be accompanied by one of the local Lacandon Indians who are caretakers of this site. After this visit you will return to Palenque in time for a well-deserved dinner.
Today you will leave the mountainous jungles of Palenque to travel down to the flatlands of the Yucatan peninsula. The drive (of around 5 hours) will take you via the half-way point of Escarcega and the riverside town of Champoton, famous locally for its seafood dishes and watersports. On arrival in Campeche, you can park your car and start exploring this fortified colonial city which was once the Spanish gateway to the Yucatan.
Today you will make your short journey to Merida in the neighbouring state of Yucatan. We highly recommend a small detour south of Campeche to the ruins of the ancient Mayan city of Edzna which is unique in its complicated drainage and water management systems. Enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants before continuing to busy Merida. After settling in at your hotel, why not take an evening walk around the heart of the city and experience the street theatre and culture of this historic place.
Your day tour today will take to back to the last century and the life of the henequen workers of Yucatan. Henequen was the richest natural resource of the area and created huge wealth for the Hacienda owners. Today you can explore the remains of some of these haciendas travelling in the traditional horse-drawn trucks and enjoy a refreshing swim in the surrounding cenotes (fresh water sinkholes) which form part of a huge underground network of fresh water throughout the peninsula. You will stop for lunch (not included) before returning to your hotel to enjoy another evening experiencing the flavours of this vibrant city.
Your day tour today will take you to the ancient Mayan city of Uxmal, where the well-preserved temples give a good idea of how life was for the original inhabitants. Climb the large pyramid known as the Pyramid of the Magician (Adivino) with its unusual oval shape and great views over the surrounding jungle. After a stop for lunch (not included) you will visit Kabah; another site further south of Merida which is best known for its raised walkway with arches at either end which once connected it to neighbouring Uxmal. Enjoy exploring these Puuc style cities before returning to Merida in the early evening.
Explore the surrounding area – perhaps discover the underground world in the caves of Balankanche a short drive/taxi ride away or relax and reflect on the journey so far.
We recommend making an early start today to be at the gates when the archaeological zone opens at 8am… at this time there is more chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of the magical temples and explore the many buildings before the full heat Mexican sun. Later in the day, after checking out of your hotel, your journey takes you towards beautiful Tulum, a true Caribbean paradise with its miles of open beaches. Your hotel is located in the hotel zone directly on the beach where you can kick back and relax after your adventure so far.
A free day to explore Tulum and its surroundings; choose from the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve and its deserted beaches; Muyil Mayan ruins and canal boat trip; Coba ruins which you can explore by bicycle; Akumal turtle beach, where you can snorkel with these beautiful creatures; Tulum ruins, the only Mayan ruins located directly on the beach; local cenotes…. Or a hammock on beach… the choice is all yours.
Enjoy you breakfast and some beach time before driving the two hours to Cancun Airport. Make sure you allow plenty of time for the car drop off and airline check in.