Palenque Ruins | Mexico | Central America
FROM: £3,825 pp

Take an exhilarating 22 day journey of discovery through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Explore the incredible Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Palenque and Tikal, travel through vibrant colonial towns and breathtaking landscapes, soak up the scenery on beautiful Lake Atitlan and relax in idyllic Caye Caulker.

Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Tulum - visit the beautiful cliffside Mayan city of Tulum and explore the ruins
Valladolid- enjoy a guided walking tour of this charming colonial city
Merida - explore the capital of the Yucatan province
San Cristobal - experience life in the highlands and visit the Tzotzil community of San Juan Chamula
Agua Azul and Misol Ha - visit two of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico and enjoy a refreshing swim in a natural pool
Rio Dulce - take a tranquil boat ride along this beautiful river through the towns of Rio Dulce and El Rellenos
Tikal - explore this remarkable Mayan archaeological site, deep in the heart of the rainforest
Caye Caulker - soak up the sunshine and relax on this idyllic island
Playa del Carmen - relax in Mexico's popular coastal resort with its beautiful palm frindged beaches
Chichen Itza - marvel at one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
Palenque archaeological site - roam around these remarkable Mayan ruins in the heart of the rainforest
Lake Atitlan - take a boat ride and soak up the spectacular scenery in Panajachel and San Juan La Laguna
Antigua - explore Guatemala's most enchanting city which sits in the shadow of three large volcanoes
Flores - wander around this charming island town on Lake Peten or choose from a range of optional activities
San Ignacio - choose from a range of optional activities in Belize's adventure capital, including caving, hiking, kayaking and horseback riding
Laguna Bakalar - relax by this spectacular lake of seven colours


21 breakfasts
Cancun airport arrival transfer on day 1
Guided sightseeing in Valladolid, Chichen Itza, Palenque, San Cristobal, Tikal and Tulum
Rio Dulce boat transfer to lodge
Escorted by a local English speaking tour leader with specialist guides at certain sites of interest
Water taxi from Belize City - Caye Caulker - Chetumal
21 nights 3-4 star hotels
Transfers and transportation in private vehicles
Lake Atitlan boat trip to San Juan La Laguna
Visit to Agua Azul and Misol Ha waterfalls
Entrance fee to Chichen Itza, Palenque, Tikal and Tulum

Not Included

International flights and visa
Airport departure transfer - can be booked at an additional cost upon request
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture


Day 1


Welcome to Mexico! Arrive into Cancun International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Cancun. The rest of the day is free for you to explore this popular beach resort. Perhaps take a walk along the soft white sand and enjoy a swim in the crystal clear sea.
Overnight: Cancun

Day 2

Chichen Itza

Playa del Carmen - Chichen Itza - Merida. This morning meet your tour leader and head to vibrant Valladolid. During a guided walking tour of the city, 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). Then we travel on to Merida, which is the largest city of Yucatan and called 'the white city' due to its numerous magnificent buildings.
Overnight: Merida  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Free time in Merida

There are no activities planned for today so you can choose 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

Day 4


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

Day 5

Palenque Ruins

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

Days 6-7

San Cristobal

Palenque - Agua Azul - San Cristobal. Today we visit 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

Days 8-9

Lake Atitlan

San Cristobal - Panjachel (Guatemala). On day 8 we bid farewell to Mexico and travel into Guatemala. The journey takes us through spectacular scenery as we travel through the beautiful Guatemalan 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

Days 10-11


Panajachel - Antigua. On day 10 we travel to Antigua, which was the cultural, economic, religious, political and educational centre for the entire region until the capital was moved. 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. 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

Days 12-13

Rio Dulce

Antigua - Rio Dulce. We enjoy scenic views of a tropical river as we travel from Antigua to the town of Rio Dulce on day 12. Rio Dulce (“Sweet River”) is located in the northeast region of Izabel and it's part of the much larger Izabal lake. A bridge connects Rio Dulce with a town called El Rellenos. We take a short, tranquil boat ride to our lodge, where we spend the next two nights in cabins on the water.

The next day is free to participate in optional activities. We recommend visiting the impressive citadel Castillo San Felipe, the ancient Mayan Ruins of Quirigua, the beautiful Finca Paraiso Hotspring- Waterfall and the Rio Dulce National Park.
Overnight: Rio Dulce  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 14


Rio Dulce - Flores. Today we’re off to Flores, a beautiful island-town which is located in the centre of Lake Peten Itza. The afternoon is free to participate in optional activities like a visit to the Las Guacamayas Biological Station, the Mayan Ruins of Uaxactun, Ixpanpajul Nature Park, a round trip to Tzimin Chac to see the sunset, or just relax with a walk around the enchanting town.
Overnight: Flores  |  Breakfast

Day 15

Tikal Ruins

Flores - San Ignacio (Belize). This morning look forward to a guided tour of the breathtaking Tikal Ruins. Nestled deep in the jungle, this complex is one of the largest Maya sites discovered. It was excavated in 1956 and 1969 and much of the site is yet to be unearthed. Tikal was once the capital of a conquest state and one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. The temples, residences and religious monuments decorated in hieroglyphic inscriptions provide a long list of ruling dynasties with many tombs of the once-ruling kings.

This afternoon we bid farewell to Guatemala and cross the border into beautiful Belize, where we spend the next two nights in San Ignacio. Nestled between Guatemala, Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea, Belize is a constitutional monarchy that was originally called British Honduras. Blessed with beautiful beaches and lush rainforests as well as a thrilling colonial history and significant cultural diversity, Belize is sure to captivate you.
Overnight: San Ignacio  |  Breakfast

Day 16

San Ignacio

San Ignacio, or Cayo as it's called by the locals, is the adventure capital of Belize. There is nothing planned for today so you can partake in some of the many optional activities available here. San Ignacio is very close to Belize's famous Mayan ruins and offers plenty of exciting outdoor activities including caving, hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and more!
Overnight: San Ignacio  |  Breakfast

Days 17-18

Caye Caulker

San Ignacio - Caye Caulker. Today we travel to Belize´s capital where we take a water taxi to the small island of Caye Caulker. Belize is renowned for its laid back and relaxed pace of life and on the beautiful island of Caye Caulker, where their motto is "go Slow", we kick off our shoes and enjoy some R&R.

Make the most of the following day on the island, there are many things to do. You could visit one of the other Cayes or take a snorkelling trip to the stunning corals where you can see tropical fish, nurse sharks and manta rays to name a few. Another recommended excursion is to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve where you will find the incredible world famous Blue Hole and the world's second longest barrier reef. Caye Caulker is excellent for manatee spotting, a popular activity seeing these passive creatures. If exploring is not your thing you can just relax by the beautiful turquoise waters. Snorkel tours and dive boats leave daily for full or half day tours to the reef. There are also plenty of places to shop and to try the local food.
Overnight: Caye Caulker  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 19

Laguna Bacalar

Caye Caulker - Laguna Bacalar. After breakfast we take a scenic boat ride to the Mexican Chetumal before continuing by bus to the beautiful Laguna Bacalar, the second largest lake in Mexico. The rest of the afternoon is yours to relax and explore the seven cenotes that feed into the lake.
Overnight: Laguna Bacalar  |  Breakfast

Days 20-21

Playa del Carmen

Laguna Bacalar - Tulum - Playa del Carmen. After breakfast on day 20 we make our way to Playa del Carmen stopping off at the beautiful Cliffside Mayan city of Tulum where we have a chance to visit the famous ruins and immerse ourselves in the archaeological and colonial importance this city has to offer. We then continue our journey to Playa del Carmen, where you can spend some time at the beach or exploring the local area.

The next day is free to enjoy the white sand beach of Playa del Carmen, take a day tour, or just go shopping on 5th avenue. Enjoy your last full day, soaking up the vibrant Mexican atmosphere!
Overnight: Playa del Carmen  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 22

Playa del Carmen

Our tour comes to an end today and it’s time to return home. Arrangements end after breakfast and hotel check out. We can book a transfer to Cancun Airport upon request or some extra nights if you still do not want to leave!

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons. Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' is compulsory for solo travellers or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room and the amount needs to be added to the per person price. The single supplement offers the comfort of your own room and is also available to any other person wanting their own room.

Contact us to book
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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

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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.

Plaza Colonial, Campeche

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

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

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Boutique Hotel

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.

Hacienda Tijax, Rio Dulce

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

The perfect accommodation for nature lovers, Hacienda Tijax features a marina and wood cabins set amongst lush jungle. Connected by wooden pathways and bridges over a river, many of the cabins stand on stilts in the water. Once inside, the rooms are simple yet comfortable, featuring hot water showers. Guests can relax by the pool or check out the on-site restaurant. With a mix of tasty vegetarian, Italian and seafood dishes, there’s something for everyone. Two bars also offer a variety of refreshing cocktails to sip on as you admire this unique jungle setting.

Hotel Casona de la Isla, Flores

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

With a stunning lakeside setting on Flores Island, Casona de La Isla boasts some of the best sunsets in Guatemala. Its air-conditioned guestrooms offer views of the hotel patio, pool or lake, and feature private bathrooms, a TV and free WiFi. Enjoy the pleasant atmosphere of the hotel’s bar and restaurant, which serves a tasty continental breakfast. And after a day's travelling, there's nothing better than relaxing in the outdoor pool or Jacuzzi and soaking up those views in the sunshine.

Hotel Midas Resort, San Ignacio

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Surrounded by lush rainforest, this pretty resort complex is set on a 7-acre garden by the Macal River. Accommodation is arranged in charming cabins, with each villa and suite featuring bright decor and a terrace. Guests can enjoy a dip in the outdoor pool and hot tub, or take a visit to the nearby caves and Mayan ruins. Take time to enjoy the lush natural surrounds during your stay, the gardens are a resting place for tropical birds such as the iconic Toucan.

Hotel Enjoy, Caye Caulker

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: 3 Star Hotel

Centrally located on Caye Caulker, Hotel Enjoy boasts a great location within walking distance of the island’s shops and restaurants. Its air-conditioned guestrooms feature all the amenities needed to enjoy your stay, including a flat-screen TV, free WiFi and private bathroom. There are also BBQ grills available and a 24-hour front desk, where you can always expect a friendly greeting from the hotel's helpful team of staff.

Villas Ecotucan, Laguna Bacalar

Our Category: Standard   |   Regional Category: Standard Eco lodge

Set on the shores of Laguna Bacalar, Villas Ecotucan provides eco-friendly accommodation in the form of private thatch-roofed cabins. Made from local materials, each cabin features a private bathroom, mosquito nets and views of the forest. They are also powered by solar panels. Guests can enjoy a regional buffet for breakfast or dine on tasty Caribbean cuisine for dinner. Activities include hiking the two-kilometre jungle trail or climbing the bird watching tower, which offers fantastic views over the lagoon. Down by the water are hammocks and a BBQ, but if you head there early enough you'll also catch a beautiful sunrise.

In Brief

Trip Type
Playa del Carmen
January - November
Group Size
Min 2 / Max 18
Hotel Rating
3 star
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour leader
Breakfast: 21
Cancun, Merida, Chichen Itza, Campeche, Palenque, San Cristobal, Panajachel, Antigua, Rio Dulce, Flores, San Ignacio, Caye Caulker, Laguna Bacalar, Playa del Carmen
Empy beach with white sand and palm trees in Cancun
The incredible main temple of the Chichen Itza site called El Castillo
Colonial building on the Paseo de Montejo in Merida
Ruins of Palenque nestled in the jungle
The pristine white sand and sparkling turquoise water of Playa del Carmen
OTG002008The Mayan Trail - 22 daysCentral AmericaHandpicked3825 GBPfalse0Mexico