Best of Chiapas and Yucatan
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Discover the best of Chiapas and Yucatan with this incredible six-day tour offering an intriguing mix of ancient civilisations, breathtaking natural beauty and charming colonial cities. Be humbled by the jaw-dropping scale of the Sumidero Canyon, learn about indigenous culture in Chiapas, lose yourself in the timelessness of graceful Merida, and uncover mystical Mayan ruins. End your trip with us in the sunny beach town of Cancun or the Riviera Maya.
Sumidero Canyon: The 1,000-metre-high vertical walls of this verdant beauty are a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Palenque: A rich example of Mayan architecture, sculpture, roof comb, and bas-relief carvings.
Uxmal: The Pyramid of the Magician in this UNESCO World Heritage Site rises above the jungle canopy.
Merida: Yucatan’s ‘White City’ is famed for the elegant tree-lined boulevards from the 19th century.
Chichen Itza: Uncover the mysteries of Maya civilisation at this ancient archaeological site dominated by the imposing Temple of Kukulkan.
- Operated with Spanish and English-speaking licensed local guide on a shared basis
- 5 nights’ accommodation
- 4 breakfasts on days 2, 4, 5, 6
- 1 box breakfast on day 3
- 1 lunch on day 6
- Air-conditioned transportation with pickup/drop-off as indicated in the itinerary on a shared basis
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary: boat tour in Sumidero Canyon, San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, sightseeing tour of San Cristobal de las Casas, Agua Azul or Misol-Ha waterfalls, guided tour of Palenque, panoramic tour of Campeche, guided tour of Uxmal, panoramic tour of Merida, tour of Chichen Itza
- Motorway tolls and parking fees
- Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
- Optional tours
- International / domestic flight tickets or Mexican visa fees
- Gratuities for drivers and guides
- Border taxes
- Airport departure tax
- Gratuities for porters and chambermaids.
- Departure on Day 1 from Tuxtla airport should be prior to 13 hrs.
- Arrival on day 6 at the selected hotel in Cancun or at Cancun airport will be at 18:30 hrs approx. Please consider this when making the flight arrangements
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice.
- The assigned guide and group size may change during the itinerary
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Mexico. However, the climate in Chiapas can be wet and cold, especially in winter, therefore we recommend to bring warm clothes, a raincoat and umbrella. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-2 San Cristobal
- Standard Hotel Category = Mansión del Valle or similar 3*
- Superior Hotel Category = Casa Mexicana or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Misión Grand San Cristobal or similar 5*
Day 3 Palenque
- Standard Hotel Category = Tulija Express or similar 3*
- Superior Hotel Category =Chan Kah or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Villa Mercedes Palenque or similar 4.5*
Day 4 Campeche
- Standard Hotel Category = Misión Campeche or similar 3.5*
- Superior Hotel Category = Plaza Campeche or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Casa Don Gustavo Standard Suite or similar 5*
Day 5 Merida
- Standard Hotel Category = Del Gobernador or similar 3.5*
- Superior Hotel Category = El Castellano or similar 4*
- Deluxe Hotel Category = Hyatt Regency or similar 5*
Pre-night stay in Tuxtla Gutierrez:
- Superior Hotel Category = Marriott Tuxtla Gutierrez or similar 4*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL TUXTLA GUTIERREZ – SUMIDERO CANYON – SAN CRISTOBAL (80 km – 1.5 hrs)
Arrive at Tuxtla Gutierrez airport and head towards the Sumidero Canyon, one of Mexico’s outstanding natural attractions. This spectacular gorge carved into the earth over millions of years by the River Grijalva has to be one of Mother Nature’s least celebrated masterpieces. This makes visiting it even more exciting. During a two-hour boat tour along the imposing canyon bed, you will be able to appreciate just how deep this ravine gorge is. Find yourself dwarfed by the sheer scale of its high walls, covered in thick vegetation. Admire the beautiful wildlife, such as crocodiles, monkeys, and birds and the great variety of flora of the surrounding rainforest. After the boat ride, we continue to San Cristobal de las Casas with drop-off at your hotel.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.
Day 2 : SAN CRISTOBAL – SAN JUAN CHAMULA AND ZINACANTAN – SAN CRISTOBAL (30km – 1 hr)
Today starts with breakfast, followed by a visit to the indigenous villages San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, which is famed for its whitewashed cathedral with colourful ornamentation and pine-scented, candlelit interior. Observe the rare religious rituals that the locals perform. The towns are almost entirely inhabited by Tzotzil Maya, who apart from speaking their own language also wear distinctive clothing, with the men wearing tunics called chujes and the women favouring blouses known as huipils. Chamula is famous for the quality of its weavers, local shops and, markets, which offer a great variety. Keep in mind that in San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán, photographs or video are prohibited within the temples, or during processions and rituals. In Zinacantan, we visit a family co-operative where we are offered a regional drink and can observe the loom waist weaving technique, which dates back to pre-Columbian times. Then sample a tasty traditional hand-made tortilla. Afterwards, we return to San Cristobal de las Casas, where we go on a sightseeing tour of the town’s most important monuments to appreciate the colonial architectural beauty and the town’s colourful atmosphere. Rest of day at leisure.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.
Day 3 : SAN CRISTOBAL – WATERFALLS – PALENQUE (230km – 5.5 hrs)
Aboard the bus, you will enjoy a delicious box lunch. Depart from the hotel heading northeast to see the beautiful waterfalls in Chiapas. Admire some of the most stunning cascades on earth and take a dip in one of the many natural pools full of bright blue water. This natural area is sure to impress. Afterwards, we continue the journey to the city of Palenque for check-in at your designated hotel.
Overnight in Palenque.
Day 4 : PALENQUE – CAMPECHE (360km – 4.5 hrs)
After breakfast, the temples of Palenque are waiting for you. This archaeological site boasts some of the finest Mayan architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings produced. Enjoy a guided tour of the premises to find out interesting and useful information. In the impressive Temple of Inscriptions, which reaches almost 23 metres high, the tomb of the Maya ruler was found and excavated in the early 1950s. Palenque was a sprawling city-state that spanned nearly 60 square kilometres but archaeologists estimate that they have excavated only 5-10% of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. So far, more than 200 structures have been unearthed, with the Temple of the Inscriptions, the Palace, the Temple of the Count and the Temple of the Cross, the most prominent. Afterwards, continue to Campeche for a panoramic tour of this historic coastal city, driving through the heart of the picturesque old town, with its pastel-coloured colonial houses, collonaded arcades, and bell-gabled churches. Continue exploring the surroundings by foot, seeing sights such as ramparts of the old city walls and St Francis’ Cathedral.
Overnight in Campeche.
Day 5 : CAMPECHE – UXMAL – MERIDA (250km – 3.25 hrs)
Today, after breakfast at the hotel, we visit the impressive archaeological site of Uxmal and enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which rises above the canopy of the jungle. Unlike other Mayan cities, Uxmal was devoured by the rainforest after the Spaniards had arrived. The most famous structure is the 35-metre-tall Pyramid of the Magician, which towers over the remarkably well-preserved Nunnery Quadrangle with its ornately carved interior and exterior walls. Across the central plaza, just beyond the ballgame court, is the Governor’s Palace with its elaborately decorated roof. At the southern end of the main complex is the Great Pyramid, of which only one side has been excavated with the other three still unclaimed from the bush. Then, we head to the beautiful colonial white city of Merida where we go on a panoramic tour along Merida’s highlights and see the Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral, Casa de Montejo.
Overnight in Merida.
Day 6 : MERIDA – CHICHEN ITZA – DEPART CANCUN OR RIVIERA MAYA (315km – 4 hrs)
Begin the day with a tasty breakfast at the hotel. From Merida, we head to one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Head deep into the rainforests of the Yucatan peninsula in search of the legendary Maya city of Chichen Itza, which has been laboriously reclaimed from the jungle. Learn about the Maya and their civilisation as you admire the scale and detail of this ancient city. Behold the geometric perfection of the 25-metre-tall Temple of Kukulkan, popularly known as El Castillo (‘the Castle’), which was built both as a representation of the mystical Maya calendar and to reflect the optical illusion of a serpent snaking its way up or down the pyramid during the spring and autumn equinoxes. Admire the Great Ball Court, the largest of 13 discovered at the site, see the haunting Skull Platform, where the heads of human sacrifice victims and prisoners of war were impaled, and also the Sacred Cenote, where sacrifice victims were dumped. Also extremely well-preserved are the Temple of the Warriors, the Ossuary, the Nunnery and adjacent Church, and the large observatory known as the Snail. Enjoy a tasty lunch after your visit. Afterwards, we head to Cancun or Riviera Maya, and we will drop you off at your selected hotel (not included in this program) or at Cancun airport.