Travel through history and spectacular scenery of Mexico. Start your journey at the heart of Mexico’s capital, one of the world’s largest and most fascinating cities. Then explore the highlights of the South, many of them recognized as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Go from Aztecs to Maya, from semi-desert to jungle, and from colonial gems to mystical archaeological sites. Be surprised by the colorful traditions you come across along the journey. Finish your adventure at paradisiacal Caribbean beaches. Viva Mexico!
Upon arrival, meet with a local representative and head to your hotel. As the country's capital, the “Distrito Federal” is a mosaic of contrasts but most of all an experience in which all of Mexico comes together. It’s the perfect place to start your trip in Mexico.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Get to know one of the world's biggest and most exciting cities! Enjoy a guided visit to the historical city center, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. This interesting tour will include the "Zocalo”, the heart of the city, where you will visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the oldest and largest of the Americas, and (if open) the National Palace, home of the famous murals of Diego Rivera. You will also see the ruins of the Templo Mayor, one of the most important temples of the Aztecs in their ancient capital city of Tenochtitlan. Next, drive down the beautiful Paseo de la Reforma Avenue to arrive at Chapultepec Park, to visit the Museum of Anthropology. This museum is considered to be among the world’s finest and is where you will admire, among many other interesting treasures, the famous Aztec calendar stone.
Overnight in Mexico City (Breakfast).
Discover Teotihuacán, ‘the place where gods were created’. Teotihuacan is one of the most impressive archaeological sites of the country. It is assumed that the city may have been home to 200,000 inhabitants during its period of prosperity. In those years, Teotihuacán was the biggest city of the American continent and one of the biggest of the world. Until its inhabitants abandoned the city around 8C, Teotihuacan was probably the most significant and civilized cultural center of ancient Mexico. During this guided excursion you will see (and climb?) the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, walk down the Avenue of the Dead, visit the Temple of Quetzalcoatl with its unique stone sculptures of plumed serpents, the Temple of the Butterflies, and the Fortresses. Before heading back to your hotel, make a stop at the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a pilgrimage place for millions of Mexicans and people from all around the world.
Overnight in Mexico City (Breakfast).
Mexico City - Puebla - Oaxaca
Today, you will leave Mexico City and travel to Puebla, Mexico’s fourth largest city, passing the photogenic, snowcapped volcanoes of Popocatépetl (Smoking Mountain, 5464m) and Iztaccíhuatl (Sleeping Lady, 5230m). In Puebla, also known as the “City of Angels”, you will visit the extraordinary Rosary Chapel, the Cathedral, the main square and its beautiful historical centre. After lunch, continue to Oaxaca, one of the most colorful colonial towns of Mexico and, just like Puebla, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Overnight in Oaxaca (Breakfast, Lunch).
Visit Monte Alban, built on a mountain top flattened by the Zapotecs. In Monte Alban, you will find cultural traces from different civilizations, such as the Olmecs, Mixtecs and Zapotecs. From there, continue to the town of Coyotepec, famous for its ceramic (“barro negro”) production. Also visit the Teotitlán del Valle, a village known for its textiles. Local artisans will show you their weaving techniques and they will explain how they obtain natural dyes. Before returning to Oaxaca, you will make a stop at the Tule tree, perhaps one of the biggest living beings in the world. In Oaxaca you will go on a little city tour, to see sights such as the Cathedral and the magnificent Santo Domingo church.
Overnight in Oaxaca (Breakfast).
Oaxaca - Veracruz
Today you will move towards the Gulf of Mexico. In the afternoon, you will discover the beauty of the Port of Veracruz in an exciting tour full of history, sea and culture. Explore the main points of interest in the city’s downtown, including the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, Baluarte de Santiago, the Lighthouse, the pier, and the adjacent zone of Boca del Rio. At night, watch the Jarochos while they dance “danzón” (a dance that originates from Cuba) on the Zócalo and enjoy the pleasant ambience.
Overnight in Veracruz (Breakfast).
Veracruz - Catemaco
Your first stop for the day is at Tlacotalpan, a small but beautiful waterfront town. The town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its urban layout and architecture which represent a fusion of Spanish and Caribbean traditions. With wide cobbled streets and modest houses in an exuberant variety of styles and colors, which you will get to enjoy during this short stop. Continue to Catemaco and the Nanciyaga Reserve where you will participate in a purifying ritual before going to your hotel. At night, you could take a traditional Temazcal bath, a type of sweat lodge which originates from pre-Hispanic times.
Overnight in Catemaco (Breakfast).
Catemaco - Sumidero Canyon - San Cristobal de las Casas
In the early morning, you will depart to the beautiful state of Chiapas. Today’s highlight will be a boat ride through the Sumidero Canyon, which measures a thousand meters at its highest point. Admire the beautiful rock formations and enjoy the abundant wildlife that lives on the shores of the Grijalva river (crocodiles, spider monkeys, and many different species of birds). Afterwards, you will pass through the historically important town Chiapa de Corzo on your way to San Cristobal de las Casas.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas (Breakfast).
San Cristobal De Las Casas
Scheduled for today is an excursion to the indigenous villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, located in the highlands of Chiapas. In both Tzotzil Maya communities, the complex ethnic composition of Chiapas is well reflected and they still demonstrate a rich variety of customs and beliefs expressed in traditions of both Pagan and Christian origin. Interestingly, San Juan Chamula enjoys a unique autonomous status within Mexico, which has kept the village authentic. You could explore more of the beautiful city of San Cristobal de las Casas with, amongst its many attractions, a colorful market, the cathedral and the Jade museum.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas (Breakfast).
San Cristobal de las Casas - Palenque
On the way to Palenque, you will visit the waterfalls of Agua Azul. The turquoise color, which makes these waterfalls so unique, comes from the high levels of mineral content of the water - you will also visit the waterfalls of Misol Ha. Enjoy the surrounding jungle environment and go for a swim (if time permits). Afterwards, continue through lush jungle with Palenque as today’s final destination.
Overnight in Palenque (Breakfast).
Palenque - Campeche
Visit the archaeological zone of Palenque, one of the most important sites of the Mayan World. Lakamha, as the city was known among the ancient Maya, flourished in 7C. It rose to prominence under the reign of legendary King Pakal, whose tomb was found in one of Palenque's most iconic landmarks, the Temple of Inscriptions. This ruined city is home to some of the finest architecture, exquisite sculptures, and carvings produced by the ancient Maya. Enjoy a guided visit and admire the impressive structures as well as the breathtaking natural environment of this World Heritage site. After this visit, head to Campeche, a captivating town full of naval history, baroque Spanish architecture, and aging beauty. The city has spent the past few years restoring hundreds of downtown historic buildings, making it one of the most photogenic colonial cities in all of Mexico. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a panoramic tour through the city. In the evening, dinner will be included.
Overnight in Campeche (Breakfast, Dinner).
Campeche - Uxmal - Merida
On the way to Merida, you will visit Uxmal (meaning “built three times”), located in the Puuc region. Uxmal, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is considered one of the Maya cities that is most representative of the Puuc style, the region’s dominant architectural style. Explore the Magician Pyramid, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Governor’s palace and the ballgame court. After lunch, you will proceed to Merida, “The White City”, to enjoy a panoramic tour, including Montejo Avenue, the monument to Motherland, the main square, the cathedral and government palace.
Overnight in Merida (Breakfast, Lunch).
Merida - Chichen Itza - Cancun
At the end of the Early Classic Period, around the year 600 AD, Chichen Itza was one of the largest and most prominent Maya cities. Nowadays, Chichen Itza is undoubtedly the best-preserved Maya site on the Yucatan peninsula, and it was recently declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Various different architectural styles are seen in Chichen Itza, its most famous landmarks are the Temple of Kukulkan (“El Castillo”), the Ballgame Court, the Platform of the Skulls, the Temple of the Jaguar, the Observatory, the One Thousand Columns, and the Sacred Cenote. Before you continue to Cancun, enjoy a lunch and take a refreshing swim at the cenote of Ik Kil. Drop off will be at your hotel in Cancun.