Magic Mexico with 4 Days Beach Extension
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See the magic of Mexico with this 10-day tour offering an intriguing mix of ancient civilisations, breathtaking natural beauty, and charming colonial cities. Explore the magnificent metropolis of Mexico City, then head south to uncover mystical Mayan cities as well as the ruins of Zapotec and pre-Aztec cities. Be humbled by the jaw-dropping scale of the Sumidero Canyon, learn about indigenous culture in Chiapas and lose yourself in the timelessness of graceful Merida. Then, savour the delights of picturesque Puebla. To end this magnificent experience, relax in its beautiful Mexican Caribbean. This promises to be an unforgettable journey, which showcases some of the best of Mexico.
Mexico City: This enormous, bustling capital city maintains its colonial charm and offers a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere.
Teotihuacan: Behold the vast scale of this well-preserved ancient city dominated by the 2,000-year-old Pyramid of
Monte Alban: Visit the ruins in the Oaxaca Valley of the hilltop capital of the Zapotec civilisation.
Sumidero Canyon: The 1,000-metre-high vertical walls of this verdant beauty are a truly awe-inspiring sight.
Campeche: The walled old town of this colonial city is colourfully pristine and has been meticulously restored.
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.
Rivera Maya: If you want to enjoy the sun, the waves, the reefs and cenotes on the Caribbean coast. Rivera Maya awaits you.
- Operated with English or Spanish-speaking local guide on a shared basis
- 13 nights’ accommodation
- 13 breakfasts,
- 5 lunches on days 4, 10, 11, 12 and 13
- 5 dinners on days 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13
- Air-conditioned transportation on a shared basis
- Airport arrival transfer from Mexico City International airport to selected hotel
- Airport departure transfer from the hotel in the Riviera Maya to Cancun International airport
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary: Mexico City tour, Anthropological Museum, Teotihuacan, Basilica de Guadalupe, Puebla tour, Monte Alban, Mitla, Tule tree visit, Sumidero boat trip, San Juan Chamula and Zinacatan, Agua Azul/Misol-Ha waterfalls, Palenque ruins, Campeche city tour, Chichen Itza and Ik-Kil Cenote
- Motorway tolls and parking fees
- Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
- Playa del Carmen, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Morelos, Mahahual and Chetumal environmental sanitation right tax (payable on spot)
- Optional tours
- International/domestic flight tickets or Mexican visa fees
- Gratuities for drivers and guides; porters and chambermaids
- Airport departure tax
- In San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán, photographs or video are prohibited within the temples, of traditional authorities, processions and rituals
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice.
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 1-3 Mexico City
Superior Hotel Category = Geneve or similar 4*
Day 4-5 Oaxaca
Superior Hotel Category = Mision de los Angeles or similar 4*
Day 6-7 San Cristobal
Superior Hotel Category = Casa Vieja or similar 4*
- Day 8 Palenque
Superior Hotel Category = Chan-Kah or similar 4*
Day 9 Campeche
Superior Hotel Category = Plaza Campeche or similar 4*
Day 10 Merida
Superior Hotel Category = Gamma by Fiesta Inn “El Castellano” or similar 4*
Day 11 – 13 Riviera Maya
Superior Hotel Category = Barceló Maya Palace or similar 4*
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL MEXICO CITY
Arrive at Mexico City International Airport. Our representative will meet and greet you, and then transfer you to the selected hotel. Have the rest of the day at leisure, taking advantage of the hotel amenities or exploring the beautiful surroundings.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 2 : MEXICO CITY
Wake up to breakfast in the hotel and then step out into the streets of Mexico and go discover everything this vibrant city has to offer at your own rhythm. Mexico City is an ideal place in which to wander through winding alleys in order to find quaint corners and secret eateries. Every now and then, you’ll even stumble upon impressive reminders of its historical past. Certain bohemian neighbourhoods are brimming with traditional bars and restaurants that constantly allure travellers and locals alike with their unique takes on local gastronomy. However, this being a day for you to spend at leisure, if you prefer to stay at the hotel making the most of the available services, then that’s the way you should spend your day! Today, you set the pace.
Overnight in Mexico City
Day 3 : MEXICO CITY – TEOTIHUACAN – MEXICO CITY (100km – 2 hrs)
The tasty breakfast at the hotel is followed by a visit to the ‘Zocalo’ – the city’s main square – where you find the cathedral and presidential palace. The day continues arriving at the National Anthropology Museum, which houses a priceless collection of artefacts, some dating from 35,000 years ago. Enjoy a guided tour of this purpose-built facility featuring 11 sections dedicated to different eras and civilisations. Perhaps the most famous exhibit is the Aztec sun stone but Olmec sculptures and Mayan murals have not lost their beauty after all these centuries. Scale models of pre-colonial cities offer an insight into the architectural feats of these ancient people despite the rudimentary technologies at their disposal. Having observed artefacts from the different civilisations that inhabited Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards, it is now time to visit the remnants of one at the well-preserved ruins of Teotihuacan. Ancient Teotihuacan appears to have gone into decline in the sixth century but its influence on later civilisations such as the Aztecs cannot be doubted. Transport yourself back in time as you stroll along the Avenue of the Dead towards the imposing 2,000-year-old Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest in the world, and be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of this once vast city. At the end of the visit, there is some free time to explore the site and to climb one of the colossal pyramids to take in the panoramic views. We then return to the city, stopping at the famous Guadalupe shrine to visit both the old and new basilicas. In the evening, return to the hotel and have the rest of day at leisure.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 4 : MEXICO CITY – TONANTZINTLA – PUEBLA – OAXACA (475km – 6.5 hrs)
After a tasty breakfast at the hotel, head northwards through the highlands of the Sierra Mixteca, arriving at Santa Maria Tonantzintla, a temple painstakingly decorated by indigenous hands. Enjoy a mouthwatering lunch. Continue on, until you reach the colonial city Puebla, at midday. Enjoy a panoramic tour taking in most of the city’s famous churches such as the cathedral, the imposing St Francis with its towering belfry and St Dominic, visiting the latter to admire the gilded and sculpted Rosary Chapel. A short stroll through the picturesque city centre allows you to appreciate the range of architectural styles, with a strong presence of baroque palaces, monasteries and mansions. Local geological features are reflected in the widespread use of Cantera stone, a grey volcanic rock, as well as red brick and tiles. Continue your journey to Oaxaca. Check into your hotel upon arrival and enjoy the next two nights.
Overnight in Oaxaca.
Day 5 : OAXACA – MONTE ALBAN – MITLA – TULE – OAXACA (25km – 1 hr)
Have breakfast at the hotel and head to Monte Alban, the ancient Zapotec capital, which is located on the summit of a mountain just a few kilometres west of Oaxaca. This archaeological site combines with colonial Oaxaca to constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Zapotec civilisation came to an end with the Spanish conquest in the 1520s, but we can gain an insight into it through this engineering feat standing 400 metres above the Oaxaca valley. The ruins of pyramids, temples, plazas and other residential structures all centre on the Main Square, a large open area on the artificially flattened mountaintop. From here, you can enjoy 360-degree views of the city and valleys below. The relics are in a remarkably good state and the ballgame court looks like it could still be used to practise sports.
Next, we make our way to Mitla, the ancient religious centre of the Zapotec culture, whose name translates to ‘place of rest’. Here you will find incredible geometric designs covering tombs and walls of the ancient site. Then we continue to the suburb of Santa Maria del Tule to admire the sacred Tule Tree, a 1,400 years old Montezuma cypress. The tree’s gnarled trunk has a circumference of 42 metres and a diameter of 14, making it the stoutest in the world. Return to Oaxaca with the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Oaxaca.
Day 6 : OAXACA – SUMIDERO CANYON – SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS (685km – 10 hrs)
Depart Oaxaca early in the morning and enjoy a boxed breakfast on the road. Head to one of Mexico’s outstanding natural attractions, the Sumidero Canyon. This awe-inspiring gorge carved into the earth over millions of years by the River Grijalva has to be one of Mother Nature’s least celebrated masterpieces, making the visit more exciting. During a spactacular boat tour along the imposing canyon bed, you will be able to appreciate just how deep the ravine gorge is as you find yourself dwarfed by the sheer scale of its walls covered in thick vegetation. After the boat tour, continue until you reach San Cristobal de las Casas and check into your hotel.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.
Day 7 : SAN CRISTOBAL – SAN JUAN CHAMULA AND ZINACANTAN – SAN CRISTOBAL (30km – 1.5 hrs)
After breakfast, we visit San Juan Chamula, which is famed for its whitewashed cathedral with colourful ornamentation and pine-scented, candlelit interior, where you can observe the rare religious rituals that the locals perform. The town is almost entirely inhabited by Tzotzil Maya, who apart from speaking their own language also have distinctive clothing, with the men wearing tunics called ‘chujes’ and the women favouring blouses known as’ huipils’. Chamula is renowned for the quality of its weavers and the local shops and markets offer a great variety. Upon your return to San Cristobal, enjoy the afternoon at leisure. We recommend visiting the baroque church of Santo Domingo and the colourful art and food markets where you can admire traditional wear of the Mayan cultures that inhabit the region.
Overnight in San Cristobal de las Casas.
Day 8 : SAN CRISTOBAL – WATERFALLS – PALENQUE (230km – 5.5 hrs)
After breakfast at the hotel, head northeast to see the beautiful waterfalls in Chiapas, perhaps some of the most stunning cascades on earth! Take a dip in one of the natural pools full of bright blue water and let this mesmerising natural area impress you. Afterwards, we continue the journey to the city of Palenque for check-in at your designated hotel.
Overnight in Palenque
Day 9 : PALENQUE – CAMPECHE (360km – 4.5 hrs)
Savour a delicious breakfast followed by a visit to the temples of Palenque. This archaeological site boasts some of the finest Mayan architecture, sculpture, roof comb, and bas-relief carvings. Enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the premises, admiring its beauty and gathering interesting 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. In its heyday, 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 being the most prominent. Afterwards, continue to Campeche for check-in at the hotel.
Overnight in Campeche.
Day 10 : CAMPECHE – UXMAL – MERIDA (250km – 3.25 hrs)
Today, after breakfast at the hotel, venture out on 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. Alight and explore further by foot, seeing sights such as ramparts of the old city walls and St Francis’ Cathedral. Depart Campeche and visit the impressive archaeological site of Uxmal and enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which, as you approach, comes into view as it 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, towering 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. . We will take a break for lunch, after which we will head to the beautiful colonial white city of Merida where we go on a panoramic tour along Merida’s highlights, admiring the Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral, Casa de Montejo, and a typical market.
Overnight in Merida.
Day 11 : MERIDA – CHICHEN ITZA – CANCUN / RIVIERA MAYA (315km – 4 hrs)
Begin the day with 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 beauty of this ancient city. Behold the geometric perfection of the 25-metre-tall Temple of Kukulkan, popularly known as El Castillo (‘the Castle’). This temple 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 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, as well as the large observatory known as the Snail. Afterwards, we make a final stop at Cenote Ik-Kil, where we may be able to swim. Enjoy lunch nearby before before arriving at your hotel and dinner.
Overnight in Riviera Maya
Day 12 : RIVIERA MAYA
Today breakfast at the hotel is followed by a heavenly day of rest and relaxation in which you get to choose the way you make the most of your time in Riviera Maya. During this full day at leisure, you get to sunbathe on the warm sand and dive into the crystal-clear waters that lap at the beach, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll along its many breath-taking shorelines. But this being your day, you don’t even have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. Lazing around the hotel and taking advantage of its many pampering services are equally valid options for having a good time. Lunch and dinner will both be at the hotel.
Overnight in Riviera Maya.
Day 13 : RIVIERA MAYA
Begin your day with yet another leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Today your free time continues, although we recommend taking advantage of your being in this unique location and practice some alternative tourism to better get to know Mayan culture and the stunning surroundings. You can practice diving and snorkelling in the area’s world-famous coral reefs; visit truly magical towns with unforgettable charm; and learn about the locals’ cultural values and traditions, most of which have been preserved for hundreds of years. You can also go enjoy an invigorating trek through the dazzling nature that makes this land feel like a dream, filled to the brim with lush forests and jungles, and pockmarked with countless transparent lagoons and cenotes, many of which are perfectly suitable for diving in and having a refreshing swim. Lunch and dinner will be provided in the hotel.
Overnight in Riviera Maya
Day 14 : DEPARTURE RIVIERA MAYA – CANCUN AIRPORT (70 Km – 1 Hr)
After you wake up, one last breakfast at the hotel will be waiting for you to fill up on before bringing this tour to a close. Once you’re fed, bid farewell to Riviera Maya as a comfortable transfer is sent to pick you up and take you to Cancun Airport, where you will board the flight to your next destination.