Lose yourself in the picturesque Yucatan peninsula on this fortnight-long Mexico trip. Unwind on beautiful beaches in Cancun and Isla Mujeres, discover the colonial heritage and culture of Merida and Campeche, and explore ancient Maya ruins, pyramids and architecture set deep in the heart of Yucatan.
Cancun, the quintessential spring break destination, sits on the Yucatan Peninsula in the state of Quintana Roo. The clear waters of the Caribbean Sea fringed by miles and miles of white, sandy beaches entice you to have some fun in the sun.
Ancient History Discovered – Tour to the Mayan Ruins of Coba and Tulum Explore Coba and Tulum, two ancient cities of the intriguing Mayan civilization, located in Quintana Roo in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Drive from your hotel to Coba, nestled deep in the Mayan rainforest, and marked by a stunning pyramid rising out from the midst of a dense cover of trees. Enter the site, and take a bike or tractor to get to the highest pyramid of the region known as Nohoch Mul (large mound), famous for its hieroglyphics. Climb up the pyramid feet to witness panoramic views of the archaeological site and its tree-clad surroundings. Learn about the history of Coba, which was one of the largest Mayan trade centers and now boasts many significant ruins. Walk or cycle around the site through lakes and an impressive network of roads connecting the structural remains of the ancient city. Relish a local lunch at one of the restaurants outside and proceed to picturesque Tulum, once a Mayan fortress city. Tulum is one of the best-preserved Mayan sites, and is situated on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. After a short train ride from the parking lot to the entrance, visit the temple of El Castillo (the castle) that used to be a lighthouse to guide boats traversing the surrounding reef. Understand the significance of the place that thrived during the 13th – 15th century. Explore more of the ruins, visiting some of the other restored structures in the walled area, taking in stunning views of the sparkling sea beyond the cliffs. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach followed by a dip in the turquoise waters before heading back to your hotel. (Duration: Full day; Please note that this includes transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with a professional English-speaking, bilingual guide. Comfortable clothes and footwear are recommended, along with sunglasses, hat, change of clothes and extra cash for possible souvenir shopping.)
Isla Mujeres is a slice of tropical paradise topped off with just the right sprinkling of art, culture, and heritage. Playa Norte, considered the best beach in the country with its soft white sands, waters as blue as the sky, and swaying palm trees, invites you to sit back and relax.
Merida, the capital city of Yucatan, is a delightful melting pot of varied cultures. The narrow streets contrasted by the expansive plazas are reminiscent of the city’s Spanish colonial past.
A Walk through Colonial Mérida Explore the rich cultural heritage of Mérida on this leisurely walk through the fascinating capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatán. Also the largest city of the Yucatán, Mérida is a vibrant amalgamation of ancient Mayan culture and a Spanish colonial history. Discover the marriage of civilizations in the grand architecture lining the city’s historic town square or the Plaza de la Independencia. Admire the impressive early colonial Cathedral of Mérida and its neighboring church, the striking white Iglesia de la Tercera Orden. Walk over to the Hidalgo Square, dropping by the colonial monuments of the Governor’s Palace, Montejo House, and Boulevard. Discover the vibrant heart of Mérida at the city’s local market hall before returning to your hotel. (Half Day; Time of Day: Morning; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Easy; Note: Please carry sun hat, shades, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, light clothes & comfortable walking shoes).
Uxmal: Mayan Ruins Exploration Start from Merida in the morning and travel south of the city to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uxmal. This archaeological site is home to some fine examples of the Mayan architectural style predominant in the region centuries ago. Walk around the soaring Pyramid of the Dwarf, a five level step pyramid, which is also the tallest of the structures at the site. Stroll over to explore the four palaces that make up the Nunnery Quadrangle and try out its fantastic acoustic effects. Saunter over to the Governor’s Palace, famed for its lengthy and ornate façade. Take a closer look at the exquisite stone masks of the rain god, Chaac, carved into the decorative friezes of this low building set on a raised platform before it is time to leave. (Half Day; Fitness Level: Moderate.)
Campeche is a calm and colorful beachside resort town overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it still retains many of the walls and forts that were built hundreds of years back.
Discovering Pyramids of Edzná Visit Edzná, a magnificent Maya archaeological site situated southeast of Campeche. Past the wooded section frequented by native birds and iguanas, walk along the path that opens out into the main plaza surrounded by temples and trees. Notice the different styles of Maya architecture including Puuc and Chenes aesthetics across the expansive building complex that has over 2000 years of history. Admire the pyramidal structures with stone staircases that feature various glyph carvings and get an insight into the customs and practices of the Itzá people. Learn about this fertile region that was fed by an elaborate water collection and irrigation system. Climb up Gran Acrópolis, the main structure that raises up to five floors overlooking the ball court. Do not miss the Temple of the Masks that houses a pair of rust-colored stucco masks sheltered by a palapa, and the sun deity. Explore the Platform of the Knives and the Solar Platform that was used as an altar for rituals. (Half Day; Time: Morning; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Moderate; Notes: Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes)
Chichen Itza, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Testimony to the genius of the Mayan-Toltec civilization, these stunning ruins tower over the surrounding jungle
Explore the Mayan Wonders at Chichen Itza Discover the high culture of the ancient Mayan civilization on this day excursion to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of Chichen Itza. This magnificent and well-preserved archeological site was once a thriving metropolis of the Yucatán in the pre-Columbian era. Admire the glorious architecture with influences from the highland Toltec culture. In the company of your English-speaking guide, spend an awe-inspiring day exploring the main Pyramid of Kukulkan that was recently declared as one of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’. Drop by the Pelota-Ball Game court, where basketball presumably originated centuries ago. Visit Chichen Itza’s grand Observatory and learn how the Mayan’s charted their famed calendars. Explore the fascinating Temple of the Warriors with the Chac-Mol sacrifice sculpture and the splendid complex of the 1,000 columns. Enjoy a delicious luncheon at a local restaurant, discussing the day’s discoveries. If you wish, you could even take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the cenote located in the restaurant. (Full Day; Time of Day: Morning; Private Activity & Transfer; Fitness level: Moderate; Meals included: Lunch: Note: Please carry sun hat, shades, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, light clothes & comfortable shoes. Also, bring a bathing suit & towel for a swim in the cenote).
Pristine beaches and turquoise waters promise you the ultimate tropical vacation at picture-postcard-perfect Isla Holbox. Tucked into the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, this beautiful island is slightly off the beaten path.
Prices are in USD and exclude international flights. This trip price is based on low season rates for accommodation and other applicable services, and may change depending on availability, currency fluctuations and number of people traveling together. For high season prices, please contact us with your exact travel dates and preferences.
Accommodation & meals as specified in the itinerary
Activities & excursions as specified in the itinerary
Transportation services as specified in the itinerary
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Carbon emissions offsetting for your trip
Entrance fees & meals, unless mentioned in the itinerary description