13 days

Immortal Mexico

Immortal Mexico

Trip rating
  • Why we love it

    • Private Mezcal (tequila) tasting
    • Exploration of Celestun Biosphere Reserve by speedboat

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Mexico City

    • On arrival at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, you will be transferred to the hotel in the heart of the downtown area.
    • In the evening (usually around 7pm) you will meet your tour leader and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing.
    • Please check the notice board at the hotel reception for confirmation of the exact time and place of the meeting.
    • This meeting is generally followed by an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant.
    Hotel Downtown
    Breakfast

    Day 2 - Mexico City

    • Located 50 kilometres northeast of Mexico City are the 'must-see' archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan - the site of the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon which dominate the skyline of the complex.
    • This was once the country's biggest ancient cities, and capital of the Aztec people, who ruled over the largest empire in the pre-Hispanic era. Guarded by mountains, this magnificent city is thought to have been founded early in the 1st century AD and reached its peak around 500 AD, when its influence extended down to Guatemala and as far north as present-day Texas.
    • With the help of a local guide, you will have time to stroll down ‘The Avenue of the Dead’, uncover its many wonders and imagine what life must have been like nearly 2000 years ago.
    • You will also visit Virgen de Guadalupe, the city’s major religious landmark. After your exploration you will return to Mexico City in the afternoon.
    Hotel Downtown
    Breakfast

    Day 3 - Mexico City ~ Teotihuacan

    • Mexico City is an exciting mix of modern cosmopolitan glamour with remnants from both its ancient and colonial history. Situated in the middle of a vast valley, this energetic metropolis, with a population exceeding 20 million, is one of the largest cities in the world.
    • There is a saying that if it happens in Mexico, it happens in Mexico City!
    • You will have a free day to discover the city's myriad of neighbourhoods and historic buildings.
    Hotel Downtown
    Breakfast

    Day 4 - Mexico City ~ Puebla ~ Oaxaca

    • This morning you will travel by private minivan to Puebla.
    • Puebla has managed to maintain its colonial heritage despite rapid growth and development. There are a plethora of churches and colonial buildings that remain a testament to its proud history.
    • You will spend time at the local markets, a great place to hunt down hand-painted tiles and other handicrafts, take colourful photos and try your hand at bargaining.
    • Alternatively, you may like to go for a hike around one of the area's volcanoes.
    • To finish off a busy day, perhaps refuel with the local specialty, mole Poblano, a dish famous across Mexico. You may prefer to learn how to cook this famed dish for yourself at an optional cooking class.
    Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca
    Breakfast

    Day 5 - Oaxaca ~ Monte Albán

    • This morning you will travel by minibus to the colonial city of Oaxaca. If you're interested in purchasing traditional Mexican handicrafts, this is the place! Descendents of the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians sell an array of bright woven blankets and shawls.
    • Oaxaca has a vibrant art scene, and is famous for its colourful markets and its relaxed, laid-back feel. It is also a great place to try out some regional delicacies, from ‘mole’ sauces and banana leaf-wrapped ‘tomales’ to the baked chilli and lime grasshoppers. These are sold by the little old ladies at the markets, with each of them declaring that their creation is the best.
    • If the frenzy of finding a bargain becomes too much, chill out in one of the many laid-back cafés and soak up the ambience by observing everyday life passing by.
    Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca
    Breakfast

    Day 6 - Oaxaca ~ Tuxtla ~ San Cristobal de las Casas

    • Today you will drive the short distance up a nearby hill to the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, which looks out across the three legs of the valley of Oaxaca. The Zapotec civilisation began construction of this city around 200 BC and it reached its peak during the period between 300 and 700 AD, when the population was estimated to be around 25,000.
    • Monte Alban exercised political, economic and ideological control over the local communities and surrounding regions that include the peaks of three mountain ranges that converge in this valley.
    • With the help of your local guide, you will have plenty of time to explore the remnants of plazas, tombs, palaces and temples that make up this fascinating site.
    Hotel Parador San Juan De Dios
    Breakfast

    Day 7 - San Cristobal de las Casas ~ Zinacantán

    • You will have another free day today, to further explore the arts, crafts and food of Oaxaca.
    • There is a famous saying in Oaxaca, "Para todo mal, mezcal, para todo bien, también", it means "for every evil, mezcal; and for every good, also"
    • Perhaps take this opportunity to try the local tipple.
    Hotel Parador San Juan De Dios
    Breakfast

    Day 8 - Toniná ~ Palenque

    • You will start the day with a flight from Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Upon arrival you will be collected and transferred to San Cristobal de las Casas in a minivan.
    • San Cristobal de las Casas has a distinctive old-world feel, thanks to the Spanish colonial architecture and pretty, cobbled streets. It also maintains its indigenous routes.
    • Villages like Chamula are tucked in to the highlands surrounding the San Cristobal, these essentially act as market places and places of religious ceremonial import for the local indigenous people who live in the neighbouring hills.
    • The traditional way of life has been preserved for the local people here, and you will have the opportunity to see them in customary dress. In order to gain a better understanding of these largely Mayan communities, you will have the chance to explore the myriad of surrouding villages on a cultural tour.
    Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque
    Breakfast

    Day 9 - Campeche

    • You will depart San Cristobal de Las Casas and head for Palenque today. The highlight of this part of the trip is a visit to the Misol-ha and Agua Azul waterfalls.
    • Though geographically close, Misol-ha and Agua Azul waterfalls are astoundingly different. Misol-ha stands 35 metres high, and the water cascades in one single drop to a pool below. You can walk underneath the water to the cataracts on the other side of the fall.
    • Agua Azul is, by contrast, a wide a low waterfall, defined by a number of smaller falls across limestone. The minerals in the limestone lend the long river here a beautiful blue hue.
    • You might like to take a refreshing dip in the turquoise water here. Be aware that the current in some areas is very strong, so ensure you pay close attention to the guidance of your tour leader.
    Hacienda Puerta Campeche
    Breakfast

    Day 10 - Campeche

    • From cascading waterfalls to ancient ruins, you will continue to explore Palenque today.
    • Situated on a hilltop in an area of hot jungle, lie some of the most incredible Mayan ruins in the region, dating back to AD600. The eerie calls of howler monkeys echo through the jungle as you wander among ancient ruins, further enhancing the majestic nature of this magnificent site. Some ruins remain unexcavated and hidden in the surrounding forest.
    • In the evening you will be taken to a bus station to board a first class overnight bus to Merida. It departs around 9pm. Reclining seats, onboard toilets, and ample leg room ensure Mexican buses are comfortable for long distances.
    Hacienda Puerta Campeche
    Breakfast

    Day 11 - Merida

    • You will arrive in Merida at about 6am. The rest of the day will be free to relax or explore this bustling colonial city.
    • Known as the 'White City' due to its great use of limestone and white paint, Merida was a centre for Mayan culture long before the arrival of the conquistadors. Today Merida is a bustling city with much of its colonial influence intact.
    • You will have plenty of time to explore the many sights and your guide will be able to recommend a number of sightseeing options, including the impressive Regional Anthropology Museum of the Yucatan, the shady Plaza Grande, replete with a 16th century Cathedral on one side and City Hall, State Government Palace, and Casa Mantejo on the others.
    • The outdoor market is another must-visit, with an array of hammocks and mayan replicas for sale, as well as a selection of enticing local specialties, including ochinita pibil or the brain-numbingly spicy el yucateco. Our tip is to get to the market in the morning.
    Hacienda Xcanatun
    Breakfast

    Day 12 - Merida ~ Celestún

    • Chichen Itza is arguably the most famous Mayan site in Mexico. Its name came from the deep, natural well known as a ‘cenote’ (sinkhole containing groundwater) located near the centre of the site, which was used during the city's heyday as a place for human sacrifices to appease the Mayan rain god Chaac!
    • The magnificent Temple of Kukulkan stands over the ruins and those feeling energetic can climb to the top and be rewarded with fantastic views over the entire site. Not far from the temple is the ‘Ball Court’, where it is believed many disputes were settled in a game with combatants hitting a ball by using only their elbows, hips and wrists. Stone carvings depict the violence of the play around the ball court walls, suggesting it was not such a casual sport. Following a guided tour of the site, you will continue to the resort town of Playa del Carmen.
    • There are no activities planned for the final day and you will be able to depart the accommodation at any time.
    Hacienda Xcanatun
    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Chichen Itzá ~ Cancun

    Head to the famous archaeological site of Chichen Itzá, the most restored and famous of all Mayan ceremonial centres. Continue to Cancun Airport for your departure flight.

    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Domestic economy class flights, with airport assistance, as indicated in the itinerary.
    • Breakfast daily, 7 lunches and 1 dinner.
    • Private sightseeing (including all entrance fees) as outlined in the itinerary.
    • Comfortable private transportation with driver. Other modes of transportation include a boat.
    • Snacks and refreshments along the way.
    • Tipping & porterage taken care of by tour leader along the way.
    • Airport meet and greet service.
    • Departure transfer.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Visas
    • Airport taxes
    • Laundry
    • Gratuities for the tour leader
  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code RSIM
Group size 1 - 16
Start City: Mexico City
End City: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Style: Small Group

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