Your day-by-day itinerary
Colours and Culture of Mexico City
Mexico City; beautiful, bustling, chaotic and impressive. You’ll spend the next 3 nights in a historic hotel close to palaces, parks and museums of the city. One of the best things about the city is that it can all be explored on foot, and whether you’re after history and culture or you want to get involved in a little Mexican nightlife, everything is with reach. This city is more than just a starting point for your holiday, it’s a vibrant metropolis which is an experience in itself.
Flavours of Puebla
Puebla is a city brimming with culture and picturesque neighbourhoods. With 70 churches in the historic centre alone and a long culinary history which has seen it become the country’s food capital, it’s a charming place in more ways than one. You’ll spend two nights in a 17th-century colonial hotel, and will head out with a local guide to discover the secrets of Mexican cuisine.
Colonial Charms of Oaxaca
Today you’ll head to Oaxaca, a city filled with an interesting mix of indigenous and colonial influences, where you’ll stay in a traditional hotel in the historical centre. Oaxaca is an artistic town with plenty of cultural events going on, and you’ll find local market stalls selling traditional crafts set against a backdrop of baroque colonial buildings.
The next morning you’ll make your way to the local bike shop and hop in a minibus to Monte Alban,; a temple city built on top of the ‘White Mountain’. After taking in the striking views and ruins of one of Mexico’s most spectacular archaeological sites, you’ll go back downhill to Oaxaca by bike -taking in the scenery and following detours to visit the traditional villages, or have a bite to eat at the food stalls.
Colourful Markets & Indian Villages
San Cristobal is the capital of Mexican Indian culture, nestled in a gorgeous highland valley surrounded by pine forests. You’ll stay in a colourful posada with beautifully decorated rooms located in the winding streets of the old town. The following day you’ll meet a local guide to head to the mountain village of San Juan Chamula. The Chamulans are a fiercely independent Tzotzil group and together with a local guide, you’ll learn about the rituals and inhabitants and really get to understand the culture of the Tzotzil Indians.
Passage to Palenque
Arriving in Palenque, you’ll check into your comfy hotel, with a pool to escape the jungle heat. The town itself is fairly unremarkable, but it’s within reach of something which is really quite remarkable. The following morning you’ll be taken to the nearby Palenque Mayan ruins, surrounded by thick jungle widely considered some of the best in Mexico. You’ll have time to explore these spectacular ruins at your own pace, before you head to the nearby Roberto Barrios waterfall where you can cool off before heading back to relax at your hotel.
The Mayan Route to Chichen Itza
Over the next few days, you’ll journey from the Caribbean coast across the Yucatan peninsula to Campeche, on the Gulf of Mexico. Your first stop is the ancient city of Chichen Itza – a spellbinding look back into the past, and a peek into the life of Mayan civilisation. Your hotel is a pleasant hacienda not far from the site, where you can while away the afternoon beside the pool, before getting up early the next morning to visit these amazing ruins before the crowds or the heat gets too intense.
Next, you’ll travel by bus to the city of Merida, around 3 hours away. You’ll be spending 2 nights in this charming colonial gem, with its host of great eateries, bars, markets and live music. On your second day in the city, you’ll be picked up after breakfast for a trip to explore one of Yucatan’s natural wonders, cenotes. These are natural pits or sinkholes which have appeared, creating an underground grotto which provides an unforgettable spot for swimming.
The next morning, you’ll take the bus for around 3 hours to Campeche – a former pirate city on the Gulf of Mexico, with a UNESCO listed walled centre packed with colonial buildings and narrow streets. Your hotel is within the old centre, close to the major historical sites, as well as some great bars and restaurants. There’s nothing planned for your time here, so you can explore at will and enjoy this final stop on your journey across the Yucatan.
Tulum: Mayan Ruins on Palm Beach
Soft sandy beaches, turquoise waters and coastline dotted with Mayan ruins await in Tulum. This is the perfect place to spend a few days relaxing before heading home. You’ll stay in the town centre, close to a variety of restaurants, shops and bars, in a contemporary hotel with an inviting pool. During your time here you can chill on the beach, explore the Tulum ruins perched on top of the cliffs or go further north to discover one of the oldest Maya cities, Cobá, hidden deep in the jungle.