Pass through colonial towns and explore the Mayan ruins of Teotihuacan, Chichen Itza, Palenque and Izamal. Take a dip in the Xkeken Cenote and walk along the sandy beaches along the Yucatan Peninsula in this 21 day tour from Mexico City to Playa del Carmen.
Welcome to Mexico City. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to independently explore this buzzing metropolis which is home to over 20 million people!
Mexico's capital is a fascinating city of contrasts with colonial buildings, ancient ruins and towering modern high-rises. At the heart of the city is Zocalo - the lively main square, which is home to the magnificent 16th century Metropolitan Cathedral with its Latin-Baroque style facade. The city was founded by the Aztecs in the 14th century and if you look through glass flooring outside of the cathedral you can see the ancient Aztec city beneath. Other sights of interest include the renowned Anthropological Museum and the National Palace.
Overnight: Mexico City
Today we enjoy a tour of Mexico's capital, which is a fascinating city of contrasts with colonial buildings, ancient ruins and towering modern high-rises. At the heart of the city is Zocalo - the lively main square, which is home to the magnificent 16th century Metropolitan Cathedral with its Latin-Baroque style facade. The city was founded by the Aztecs in the 14th century and if you look through glass flooring outside of the cathedral you can see the ancient Aztec city beneath. Many of the most popular tourist attractions in Mexico City are concentrated in the historic centre including the National Palace and the Templo Mayor. After taking in the highlights of the city we head to the Plaza Garibaldi, which is one of the best places to listen to live mariachi music.
Overnight: Mexico City | Breakfast
After breakfast we leave the city to visit the magnificent ancient ruins of Teotihuacan which date back to 300BC. En route we stop in Tlatelolco to visit the Three Cultures Square and we visit a silver factory, where you will have the chance to meet Rafael, one of the best silver designers in the world. Afterwards, we travel to the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe, which is one of the most important Catholic pilgrimage sites in all of Mexico. Finally we reach Teotihuacan, which was Mexico's largest ancient city, and the crowning glory of this amazing historic complex are the iconic Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, which could rival the great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. After exploring the site and taking in the spectacular panoramic view we return to Mexico City.
Overnight: Mexico City | Breakfast, Dinner
Mexico City – Puebla – Oaxaca. Today we travel to UNESCO World Heritage Listed Puebla - one of Mexico's oldest towns. Puebla, which means "City of the Angels" was founded in 1531 and is located the Valley of Cuetlaxcoapan, at the foot of Popocatepetl, one of Mexico’s highest volcanoes. On a city tour, we see colourful redbrick houses, old colonial-style buildings and traditional ceramic workshops. In the afternoon we travel on to Oaxaca, a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and dense forests
Overnight: Oaxaca | Breakfast
Mitla & Hierve el Agua
We start our day with a visit to the archaeological site of Mitla, the most important known site for the Zapotec culture, where we will see the unique wall ornaments of the pre-Columbian Zapotec tribe. Then we have the opportunity to visit one of the most picturesque natural attractions in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca – Hierve el Agua. These spectacular natural rock formations resemble a cascade of water, clinging to the side of the mountain and the name Hierve el Agua translates as “the water boils” which comes from the natural mineral springs that are found here.
Overnight: Oaxaca | Breakfast, Dinner
Oaxacan cuisine is among the most diverse and delicious in all of Mexico and this morning we take a stroll around Oaxaca’s world-famous markets, passing colourful displays of fruits and vegetables. This afternoon we visit a Mezcal Factory. Mezcal is a handcrafted Spirit made from the Agave plants which grow in the region. In the evening you're free to head to the Plaza de la Constitucion where you can eat, drink and watch the world go by in this wonderfully relaxed city.
Overnight: Oaxaca | Breakfast
Oaxaca - San Cristobal de las Casas. Today we make the long but worthwhile journey to forested Chiapas, home of the second highest production of cacao in Mexico, before continuing on to San Cristobal de las Casas, our base for the next three nights for some free time. This evening we enjoy a nice group meal together to welcome us to this remarkable city.
Overnight: San Cristobal | Breakfast, Dinner
Discover the indigenous communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan on our cultural tour of the Chiapas region. Here we have the chance to wander around artisan markets and learn about ancient Mayan traditions. Witness the local Chamulan men in their loose homespun tunics and the local women weave beautiful fabrics with traditional handlooms. After returning to our hotel the night is yours. Take a stroll down to the leafy Plaza 31 de Marzo and watch the sun set.
Overnight: San Cristobal | Breakfast
Well known for its colonial architecture, the city has been named 'Pueblo Mágico' and today is yours to explore at your own leisure. There are lots of places to visit including San Cristobal Temple, the Ambar and Jade Museum and the Moxviquil Gardens. You could also go on the Sumidero Canyon Tour or visit the Laguna Montebello, the choice is yours.
Overnight: San Cristobal | Breakfast
San Cristobal de las Casas – Palenque. After breakfast we travel from San Cristobal to the jungles of Palenque stopping to appreciate the majestic waterfalls on the way - Agua Azul and Misol Ha. Take a dip in the ever changing ‘blue water’ waterfall, one of the country’s most spectacular and famous natural attractions. This evening is yours to relax in Palenque.
Overnight: Palenque | Breakfast
No trip to Palenque would be complete without visiting the Palenque ruins. This Mayan city is a great example of ancient urban design and here we will learn about the Mayan culture and life, which the indigenous community ruled over centuries before its unforeseen collapse.
The afternoon is yours to continue to explore the jungle or take part in one of the many optional excursions available.
Overnight: Palenque | Breakfast
Palenque – Campeche. We continue our journey through Mexico this morning and set off to Campeche City. On the way we’ll make a stop at the enchanting town of Palizada, another "Pueblo Magico". We walk past the towns small colourful houses along the Palizada River before spending the rest of the afternoon exploring the town and tasting the delicious fried fish.
This evening we continue our journey to Campeche where the rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.
Overnight: Campeche | Breakfast
Campeche – Merida. We have the morning to explore the charming city of Campeche which was fortified with bastions in the 19th century as a defence against pirates. For nature lovers, take a trip to the Laguna de Terminos, the largest lagoon in the Gulf of Mexico. By evening we’ll arrive in the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, Merida.
Overnight: Merida | Breakfast, Dinner
We have nothing on our itinerary for the day so take your time and enjoy discovering this beautiful and cultural city which is regarded as the centre of the Mayan world. Spectacular sites in the area include the Uxmal Ruins and the Cuzama Cenotes. For nature lovers we recommend a visit to the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, the home of many flamingos and waterfowls.
Overnight: Merida | Breakfast
Merida - Izamal - Chichen Itza. This morning we make our way to the “Hill city” of Izamal where our guide gives us an insight into the great historical significance of the ancient Mayan civilisation. We walk past the yellow houses and churches until we reach the Monastery of San Antonio de Padua, a Franciscan convent which was constructed on an ancient Mayan pyramid when the Spanish invaded Mexico. This afternoon we make our way to Chichen Itza, another Mayan archaeological site and home of Yucatan’s most popular pyramid.
Overnight: Chichen Itza | Breakfast
After breakfast this morning we travel to the magical town of Valladolid, one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico known for its colourful pastel buildings and quiet streets. On arrival we embark on a tour to acquaint ourselves with this amazing city before finishing at the Tequila Museum for a complete insight into the making of this world-famous spirit.
Overnight: Valladolid | Breakfast, Dinner
This morning we go for a swim in the Xkeken Cenote, the most famous in all of Yucatan. The cenote is set in a limestone cave with a single opening in the ceiling filled with fresh water and is perfect way to explore the cave. Later on this afternoon we continue our journey to Chetumal, the capital of Quitana Roo where we have the rest of the evening at leisure to relax and unwind.
Overnight: Chetumal | Breakfast
Today we have the whole day to explore Chetumal at our own leisure. Take a stroll through the city’s streets and make your way to the Museum of Mayan Culture or if you’re looking for something off of the beaten track then head to the ruins of Oxtankah which is just 15 km outside of Chetumal. For those looking for some adventure we recommend a visit to the Lagoon of Bacalar, lagoon of seven colours where you can hire a kayak or jump on a boat trip around the lagoon.
Overnight: Chetumal | Breakfast
Our first stop this morning is to visit the walled city of Tulum and its world-famous Mayan ruins overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Here we have a chance to walk along the gorgeous stretch of beach and have some free time before we make out way to Playa del Carmen, our home for the next two nights.
The rest of the evening and tomorrow is at leisure for you to explore this very popular coastal town. Take a stroll down the Quinta Avenida and visit one of the many boutiques or restaurants or soak up the sun on the amazing beach which has amazing reefs this is the perfect spot for some snorkelling and driving – look out for the sea turles and rays!
Overnight: Playa del Carmen | Breakfast x 2
It’s time to bid farewell to Mexico after breakfast and hotel check out today. We can arrange a departure transfer upon request. We would be delighted to help you extend your stay and book more nights for you if you’re still not quite ready to head home.
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 Best Western Majestic, Mexico City
Set in the heart of Mexico City, this hotel presents beautiful views of the Zocalo, National Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral. On arrival, expect to find yourself admiring the elegant tile-work of the lobby. You will then discover the guestrooms to be spacious and equipped with modern amenities including a TV and private bathroom. La Terraza Restaurant is located on the seventh floor, and guests can savour both international and traditional Mexican cuisine whilst soaking up those city views.
Hotel Oaxaca Real, Oaxaca
Found in central Oaxaca, this restored colonial mansion is within walking distance of the Museum of Culture and the 16th century Santo Domingo Cathedral. Its guestrooms are simple, yet adequately equipped with ceiling fans, satellite TV and free WiFi. A small pool surrounded by lush palms is located in the interior courtyard, providing the perfect place to cool off at the end of the day. An on-site restaurant also serves traditional food from the Oaxaca region, giving you a true taste of local life.
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 Tulija Express, Palenque
Set next to Chulavista Square, the Tulija Express offers an excellent location in Palenque close to the Mayan ruins. Its guestrooms are comfortable and air-conditioned, with a private bathroom and coffee maker. To keep you entertained there’s a games room and an outside pool with a sundeck, where you can lounge and spend an afternoon soaking up the rays. The on-site restaurant also serves a mix of traditional Mexican and American dishes, so you can look forward to a delightful meal after a day's exploring.
Hotel Ocean View, Campeche
Overlooking the sea, this contemporary hotel is just a short distance from the city’s most popular sights and attractions. You will find the guestrooms to be spacious and modern, with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and private bathroom. Other amenities include a large swimming pool, fitness centre and the hotel is the only accommodation in Campeche to offer its guests tennis courts. At the Ocean View Spa you can also choose from an array of massages and treatments to pamper yourself after exploring this colourful UNESCO-listed city.
Hotel Dolores Alba Merida, Merida
Set in a colonial mansion in the historical district of Merida, is the charming Hotel Dolores Alba. Its guestrooms overlook a central courtyard and swimming pool, whilst its delightful corridors are filled with masterpieces by Frida Kahlo. Once inside, each comfortable guestroom offers air conditioning, a private bathroom and a TV. A buffet breakfast is served al fresco, with traditional Mexican cuisine on offer for lunch and dinner. And the friendly staff are always on hand to help you during your stay.
Hotel Dolores Alba Chichén Itzá, Chichen Itza
Surrounded by green jungle, this enchanting hotel boasts a great location in Chichen Itza. The accommodation is arranged in pink bungalows, each featuring a private terrace and air-conditioning. Guests are free to roam the extensive gardens or take a dip in the circular swimming pool. A restaurant and bar overlook the pool and offer a pleasant setting for an evening drink or meal. Just a ten-minute walk away is the beautiful natural pool known as Ik Kil Cenote - a sacred site to the ancient Mayans and a must-see during your stay.
Hotel Mesón del Marqués, Valladolid
Set in the heart of historic Valladolid, this is one of the oldest hotels in the city. Established in a 17th century casona, the hotel mixes colonial style with modern conveniences. Each air-conditioned guestroom features traditional decor with wood furnishings and tiled floors. A refreshing pool is surrounded by attractive gardens and a restaurant, where you can enjoy both international and Mexican flavours. The outdoor terrace is also the perfect setting for you to sample the excellent selection of wines and tequilas.
Hotel Lagoon, Chetumal
Found in the suburbs of Chetumal, Hotel Lagoon provides a peaceful and relaxing stay away from the bustle of the city. Each guestroom features unique decor with recycled woods, candles, plants and regional crafts. Set around a central pool and main garden, guests can enjoy views out to the lagoon. A friendly team of local staff give the hotel a warm and welcoming atmosphere. And with complimentary coffee from 6-11am every day, you’ll soon feel right at home.
Hotel Playa del Carmen by H&A, Playa del Carmen
Just minutes from the beach is Hotel Playa del Carmen. Combining modern comforts with a typical Mexican atmosphere, the hotel features several balconies overlooking a large inner courtyard and swimming pool. Each air-conditioned guestroom provides a private bathroom and kitchenette, with a microwave and coffee maker. You can dine on traditional Mexican or tasty international cuisine in the hotel restaurant, or enjoy a refreshing cocktail at the poolside bar. And there’s no shortage of evening activities, with Spanish lessons, salsa classes, movie nights and more to keep you entertained.