From the beautiful beaches of Playa del Carmen and the legendary Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Palenque, to the picturesque Guatemalan Highlands and enchanting Lake Atitlan. Take a memorable 12 day journey through Mexico and Guatemala, culminating in Antigua – one of Central America’s most enchanting cities.
Playa del Carmen - Valladolid - Chichen Itza - Merida. This morning we begin our adventure, travelling to the vibrant city of Valladolid for a guided walking tour, where we'll see beautiful colonial buildings as well as the cathedral Iglesia de San Servacio. Afterwards we travel on to explore the famous Chichen Itza archaeological site - one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza was constructed between the 7th and the 10th Century AD and these incredible ruins are the best examples of Mayan architecture ever excavated. The highlight of our guided tour is the iconic El Castillo pyramid (aka the Pyramid of Kukulcan). Our final port of call today is Merida, capital of the Yucatan state.
Overnight: Merida | Breakfast
Free time in Merida
Today is free to independently explore Merida or enjoy one of the optional activities which are offered. You can go diving in the mysterious and beautiful cenotes of Cuzama, or take a day tour to Celestun National Park, home to many spectacular tropical birds. There is so much to discover!
Overnight: Merida | Breakfast
Merida - Campeche. Today we leave Merida and travel onto the colonial city of Campeche. As you walk through the narrow streets of the old town, you will discover the fascinating stories and legends of pirates, conquistadors and the indigenous Maya. The city has conserved its huge bastions and ramparts which were formerly the city’s major defence from pirate attacks!
Overnight: Campeche | Breakfast
Campeche - Palenque. This morning we drive to Palenque and enjoy an informative guided tour of the Palenque Ruins in the afternoon. Surrounded by lush Chiapas jungle, Palenque represents tremendous achievements in Mayan art and urban design, and the ruins include a series of hilltop temples, towers, tombs and pyramids including the fascinating Temple of Inscriptions.
Overnight: Palenque | Breakfast
Palenque - Agua Azul - San Cristobal. From Palenque we travel to the waterfalls Agua Azul and Misol Ha, two of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Mexico. After a refreshing swim in a natural pool we continue to the highland town of San Cristobal de las Casas, surrounded by traditional villages. San Cristobal is at the heart of one of the most indigenous areas in Mexico and this is reflected in the art and culture throughout this fascinating town.
The following day we visit the village of San Juan Chamula which is one of several Tzotzil communities in the area. Here we learn more about ancient Mayan traditions and observe cultural rituals.
Overnight: San Cristobal | Breakfast x 2
San Cristobal - Panjachel (Guatemala). On day 8 we travel into neighbouring Guatemala, through the beautiful highlands towards the Pan American Highway and down to Panajachel on the northern shore of enchanting Lake Atitlan, enjoying breathtaking views of the lake and its three volcanoes, San Pedro, Atitlan and Toliman.
The following day we take a boat across Lake Atitlan to San Juan La Laguna. This town is much quieter than many of the other ones around the lake so it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the spectacular scenery or wander through the streets and shop for local handicrafts. In the evening we return to Panajachel.
Overnight: Panajachel | Breakfast x 2
Panajachel - Antigua. On day 10 we travel on to Antigua in the central highlands. The rest of the afternoon and day 11 are free to explore this picturesque colonial city, which cannot fail to enchant, with its cobbled streets, parks and plazas, ornate churches and colourful street markets, all set against a spectacular backdrop of awe inspiring volcanoes. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city is famous for its well-preserved Spanish influenced Baroque architecture. Here, the local indigenous people dressed in their colourful costumes can be found selling their crafts and textiles and as the cultural centre of Guatemala, Antigua is an ideal place to experience the traditional music, architecture and art of the country.
Overnight: Antigua | Breakfast x 2
Our tour comes to an end today and it’s time to return home. Arrangements end after breakfast and hotel check out. We can arrange a transfer to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City upon request.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Hotel Adhara, Cancun
Located in an enviable spot in downtown Cancun, the Hotel Adhara is just a 30-40 minute drive from Cancun International Airport. The hotel’s Mexican hacienda style architecture and interior design offer spacious comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms. You'll find a large pool area located at the heart of the hotel, a perfect place to relax after a long flight or at the end of a busy day.
Hotel del Gobernador, Merida
Situated in the heart of the beautiful old town of Merida, Hotel del Gobernador offers comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. Within walking distance of the hotel you'll find numerous parks, museums and other top sights with the Plaza Grande just a couple of blocks away. A restaurant within the hotel serves delicious yucatecan, mexican and international dishes. The outdoor pool is also the perfect place to cool off after a day wandering this historical city.
Plaza Colonial, Campeche
This bright colonial-style hotel is set in the historic centre of Campeche, within walking distance of the Cathedral, X’much-haltún Botanical Gardens and the Malecon. Each of the guestrooms feature colourful modern interiors, with modern amenities including air conditioning, a flat screen TV and wireless internet. Alongside its ideal location, the hotel also boasts a vibrant inner courtyard with an outdoor pool. Spend an afternoon lounging in the sun here, then head out to explore in the evening - you’ll find plenty of bars and restaurants close by.
Hotel Nututun, Palenque
Situated next to the River Chacamax, Hotel Nututun offers a peaceful setting with a natural spa and beautiful gardens. Each guestroom is equipped with all the amenities needed to enjoy your stay, including a private bathroom, TV and garden views. Guests can cool off in the outdoor pool and enjoy the mix of international and Mexican cuisine on offer in the restaurant. Local products such as pottery or textiles can also be purchased from the on-site shop. And the occasional chorus of howler monkeys will make you feel like you’re staying in the Mexican jungle.
Hotel Casa Mexicana, San Cristobal
Centrally located in San Cristobal, Hotel Casa Mexicana features a colonial-style building and charming central garden. Its guestrooms are equipped with modern amenities and offer wood floors with balconies overlooking the garden. Both international and Mexican cuisine can be enjoyed in the on-site restaurant or there are a variety local bars and eateries close by. Guests should also take advantage of the hotel's sauna and massage facilities or explore the gallery displaying works by artists who have visited the city.
Hotel Jardines del Lago, Panajachel
Set on one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Hotel Jardines del Lago features landscaped gardens, Guatemalan decor and high quality service. Its guestrooms include traditional wood furnishings and the colourful fabrics of Guatemala’s different indigenous groups. When it comes to amenities, you have a laid-back bar providing a variety of cocktails and a restaurant serving delicious Guatemalan cuisine. A visit wouldn't be complete without enjoying the water, so be sure to try out the hotel's water sports as kayaks, jet skis and more are on offer.
Los Búcaros, Antigua
Set in a quiet area of pretty cobbled streets, Los Búcaros oozes colonial charm. Converted from a 150-year-old residence, the hotel presents three inner courtyards complete with its namesake – los Búcaros. These bright semi-circular fountains are set into the walls and surrounded by tropical plants, creating a lush oasis where you can relax to the sound of the flowing water. Inside, the guestrooms feature pastel walls and high wood-beam ceilings. Complete with private bathrooms, a TV and free WiFi, you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable stay.