Your day-by-day itinerary
Welcome to the Mexican Riviera
As you descend into Cancun’s airport you’ll see the long stretches of golden sands spread out below you. You’ll be transferred to nearby Playa del Carmen where you’ll spend two nights in a cosy, central hotel with a pool perfect for a refreshing dip. It may not be ‘authentic Mexico’ but it’s a good place to acclimatise to the tropical heat, and to meet our local partners to run through the adventure ahead. There are plenty of shops, bars and restaurants here, and miles of soft sandy beaches to relax on.
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.
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.
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 to the airport to fly home. You’ll stay in a boutique hotel with a pool in the town of Tulum Pueblo, close to a variety of restaurants, shops and bars. The white sand beach is a short taxi ride away, or about 20 mins by bike, which you can rent locally. 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.
P.S. beachfront hotels are more expensive of course, but if you’d rather spend a little extra to finish your trip closer to the sea, then have a chat to your Travel Specialist about an upgrade!