Days
17
Price from
€4,250EUR
Map of Mexico & Guatemala Highlights including Guatemala and Mexico

See the best of these neighbouring nations, and experience the history, culture and landscape of both in one winning trip.

This lengthy trip allows you to spend time in two places that compliment each other, yet retain enough difference to stay interesting. The countries share an ancient history and Maya wonders abound in both, from the pyramids set against flat Mexican plains in Chichen Itza to the temples that remain under the cover of jungle in Guatemala’s Tikal. The indigenous folk who descended from these ancient peoples have developed regionally unique cultures and as such you’ll find much to compare between the customs of the Maya of San Cristobal and the way of life of the Tz’utujil of Santiago.


Start
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Finish
Antigua, Guatemala
Destinations
Guatemala, Mexico
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSMGC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore a Maya village outside of San Cristobal where the right to autonomy was hard-won decades ago, and a unique spiritual blend of ancient ritual, Catholicism and animism has shaped local tradition and ceremony

  • Journey into the Guatemalan jungle and uncover the remains of the lost Maya civilisation in Tikal

  • Discover the culinary paradise of Oaxaca, where you can slurp warm, thick mole (a rich sauce often served over rice) and sample the edible plants and flowers that the indigenous Zapotec people have eaten for centuries

  • Relax at a 2 night feature stay at Hotel Atitlan, an elite establishment on the shore of Lake Atitlan with botanic gardens, a spa and jaw-dropping views of the lake and volcano

Is this trip right for you?

  • Some included activities, such as guided tours of archaeological sites, can be strenuous. Be sure to bring comfortable and sturdy footwear.

  • There are a few long days of travel, as you'll be covering a lot of ground. So be prepared for some driving. You will, however, make stops at interesting locations along your way to break things up.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

Itinerary

You'll soon be soaking up the powdery beaches and azure waters of Playa del Carmen. Arrive at Cancun's International Airport, and enjoy a complimentary transfer to your hotel in Playa del Carmen. Ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. Meet your group at 6 pm in the hotel. Please look for a note in the lobby or ask the reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Afterwards, get acquainted with this walkers-haven during an orientation stroll. Then, choose whether you would like to dine together or go your own way. Perhaps take in the salty night air with a walk along the beach before returning to your hotel.
Accommodation
  • Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Playa del Carmen - Orientation walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
The vestiges of the grand Maya city of Chichen Itza are around 3-hours away. A guide will walk you through these spectacular ruins, the ingenious design of which often manipulates light and sound. Make sure you stop and listen for strange echoes and watch for serpentine shadows. During the drive back, stop for an hour or so for an included buffet lunch and cool down in the fresh water rock pool of Cenote lk Kil. A cenote (pronounced say-NO-tay) is a natural sinkhole created where a limestone cave ceiling has collapsed creating a window to this spectacular subterranean world. In the evening, the bars and restaurants of Playa are yours for the taking.
Accommodation
  • Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Cenote I'kil - Fresh water rock pool with option to swim (Entrance fee & Transport)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Pack your swimmers in your day pack, ready for the Cenote vist.
The colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas awaits you after a morning of travel. Beginning with a 10 am private transfer to Cancun Airport, board a 12.30 pm flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez, where you'll have another private vehicle waiting to escort you to your destination. Use the hour-long drive to take advantage of an informal Spanish lesson from your tour leader, then maybe try those new skills during a free afternoon in this city of colour and craft. At around 5.30 pm, your leader will walk you through the stunning, mural lined streets. Then, decide whether you would like to eat with the group or strike out on your own.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Parador Margarita or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Informal Spanish Lesson
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Leader-led city tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
A short drive takes you to nearby Maya villages where local customs, habits and laws often prevail over the conventions of non-indigenous Mexico. This independent spirit is encapsulated in the church of San Juan Chamula where, if the timing is right, you can witness a ceremony that combines Maya customs and animism with a heavy dollop of Catholicism. Join some local women at home in Zinacantan, and watch as they create the textiles typical of the area. Choose between lunching or strolling further, then return to your hotel where you can decide what to do with the rest of your day. If you're interested in Mesoamerican art, why not visit the Jade Museum? This privately-owned museum is a labour of love, designed to educate about the historical and cultural importance of the green mineral.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Parador Margarita or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Maya villages - San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, including textile making with community
Optional Activities
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Jade Museum - USD5
  • San Cristobal de las casas - Bicycle rental (per hour) - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise with the sun and enjoy breakfast before driving towards Oaxaca (5-6 hours), with a brief stop in Tehuantepec for an included lunch. If you’d like, take a quick walk and observe the colourful dress of the local ladies, the style of which famously inspired artist and icon Frida Kahlo. After another 4 hours, arrive in Oaxaca in the evening and take a quick orientation walk before an optional dinner. If you’re craving local fare, why not sit down for a bowl of sweet and spicy mole negro, a Oaxacan staple made from ground chilies, garlic and chocolate.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Oaxaca Real or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oaxaca - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Oaxaca is a city that needs to be savoured, just like the spiced cacao the locals drink. Enjoy a full day tour with transport, entrance fees and other details taken care of, so you can relax and feast your eyes on the sights instead of digging into your wallet or staring at a map. Speaking of feasts, food is central to understanding Oaxaca, a biodiverse culinary paradise with many regional dishes that are difficult to replicate elsewhere. With that in mind, today you'll enjoy a special lunch prepared and served in an indigenous Zapotec household, where you’ll likely be stunned by the variety of dishes that can be prepared from the humble corn cob. The rest of the day is full to the brim with essential activities. Explore the Zapotec roots of modern Oaxaca in the ruins of Mitla, learning from a guide about this important religious site. Then, gaze upon the gnarled bark of the Tule Tree, the stoutest trunk in the world. The petrified falls of Hierve El Agua also await you. Despite their name (roughly boiling water) these cascading falls appear to be frozen in time and provide ample opportunity for stunning videos and photographs. Your Oaxacan culture immersion would not be complete without a tour of a mezcal distillery, and the proud folks at Don Agave Mezcal will be happy to show your how they make their traditional spirit. In the evening you can dine with the group in an optional dinner, then why not follow your nose and your ears to a local music cafe?
Accommodation
  • Hotel Oaxaca Real or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oaxaca - Guided full-day tour including the Tule Tree, a Mezcal distillery, and lunch in a Zapoteca family home
  • Hierve el Agua - Petrified waterfalls (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Mitla - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Oaxaca - Beeswax candle shop visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
The locals rise later than you might be used to, so feel free to sleep in and then enjoy a rich black coffee made with local beans. The city is full of quirky streets dedicated to different foods and crafts, like de los Dulces (candy street), for you to take in at your own pace. If you wish to learn more about the history of the regions indigenous people, why not walk the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban?
Accommodation
  • Hotel Oaxaca Real or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins (Entrance fee) - USD5
  • Oaxaca - Cooking class - USD85
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early to make a 7.30 am fight to Mexico City. We should arrive before 9 am, giving you just enough time for a nap on the plane if you need it. Drop your bags and take an orientation walk around the salmon-coloured Hotel Geneve. Your luxurious lodgings have a curious history as a neutral zone during the Mexican revolution and meeting point for intellectuals and artists since opening in 1907. Later, check-in and begin exploring the city with your leader. Visit vast Zocalo Square, which has been a prominent hub since Aztec times, and listen to a cacophony of laughter, rapid fire Spanish and booming drums that characterise the busy square. The dome topped Palacio de Bellas Artes is the next attraction. Within the stark marble palace you will find walls painted by the likes of Diego Rivera.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Geneve or similar, Feature Stay (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - Orientation walk
  • Mexico City - Leader-led city tour of Historic center
  • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day to soak up the capital. For those who prefer to let their tastebuds lead the way, why not partake in a Mexico City Markets and Food Tour with Urban Adventures? You'll see the markets most travellers don't and savour traditional treats while learning how they are made. The Leon Trotsky and Frida Kahlo museums are two popular sights worth checking out. Trotsky, having come off second-best to Stalin in the Soviet era, was expelled and found refuge in Mexico City where he was eventually murdered, while Frida Kahlo is perhaps the most renowned Mexican artist in history. If you're seeking something more relaxed for your second last day, perhaps hop aboard a colourful boat and glide through the tree-lined canals of the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco. In the evening, head to Garibaldi square, where a mariachi band will be waiting to serenade you. Mariachi is equal parts longing and joy, and you'll get to listen to this delightful music in the centre of a popular and busy square. Enjoy a final dinner with your fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Geneve or similar, Feature Stay (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - Mariachi serenade in Garibaldi Square
Optional Activities
  • Mexico City Markets and Food Tour - Urban Adventures - USD39
  • Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology (Closed Mondays) - MXN70
  • Mexico City - Boat ride through Floating Gardens of Xochimilco (Approx. per boat per hour) - MXN350
  • Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum (Cheaper for students, pensioners & on weekdays. Closed Mondays) - MXN200
  • Mexico City - Leon Trotsky Museum - MXN40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will catch your International flight from Mexico City to Guatemala City independently. Transfer straight to the small city of Antigua in the Guatemalan central highlands, approximately an hour away. The next part of your journey begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you’ll meet your next tour leader and fellow travellers. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala and despite a history of destructive earthquakes and the ever-present Pacaya Volcano, the incredible Spanish architecture stands strong. Afterwards, join in for the optional group dinner or head out on your own to find some Guatemalan gastronomical delights.
Accommodation
  • La Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend, this is also a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.

The international flight from Mexico City to Guatemala City is not included in the price of this trip and you must purchase it separately. Please contact us if you need assistance booking this flight.
A complimentary departure to Mexico City Airport and arrival transfer from Guatemala City Airport is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised.
Leave Antigua at approximately 9 am for Panajachel. You’ll first be transferred in a private vehicle to the highlands’ Solola market (2.5 hours), where colourfully-dressed locals shop for vegetables, fruit, meat, clothing and knick-knacks. There’ll be an informal Spanish lesson on the journey for you to improve your purchasing prowess and your leader will take you on a tour of the market, just be sure to bring your camera and all your senses. From Solola, the vehicle will continue to Panajachel (30-45 minutes) and the Hotel Atitlan, a stunning hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The afternoon is yours: stroll around the lake, take a dip in the pool or submerge yourself in the infinity hot tub and soak up the incredible views.
Accommodation
  • Feature stay, Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Solola - Market Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Communities are scattered around Lake Atitlan and today you’ll take a boat across the water to visit Santiago, the largest of the them. Santiago remains very traditional with many villagers continuing to live a Tz’utujil lifestyle. Take a guided tour of the community and experience a naif painting workshop. Meet local artists Antonio and Angelina Coche and learn from them about your Maya 'Nahual', a local equivalent of the zodiac that assigns animal spirits based on birth date. You might even want to try painting your own symbol before heading back to Panajachel. The actual town of Panajachel is a short drive from the hotel, so this afternoon your leader will take you on a walking tour through town. Pana, as it’s known in Guatemala, is popular with tourists and you’ll have an opportunity to buy handicrafts from locals before returning to the hotel.

Accommodation
  • Feature stay, Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Panajachel - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Panajachel - Bicycle rental (per day) - USD10
  • Panajachel - Water taxi to Santiago, San Pedro or San Juan - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
With checkout at 10 am, the early morning is free to either relax or rent a kayak and take to Lake Atitlan. A private vehicle will transfer the group to Guatemala City (approximately 3.5 hours) for a late lunch at a restaurant and there’ll be some time to explore the city before heading to the airport around 5.30 pm to catch a 7 pm flight to Flores (1 hour), a small town in Guatemala’s northern Peten region. Flores, which was built on an island on Lake Peten Itza, is the gateway to several national parks and important Maya sites including Tikal, which the group will visit tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flores - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Panajachel - Kayak rental (per hour) - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Embrace an early start for a leader-led tour of Tikal. Home to some of the world's most magnificent Maya ruins, Tikal's five major temples rise above the jungle canopy while an array of smaller structures remain hidden in the undergrowth. Explore the highlights of the area, including Temple I, which is perhaps the iconic image of Guatemala. This area is a repository of Maya wisdom, containing insights into traditional medicine, astrology, agronomy and architecture. The jungles thrum with life, with toucans and macaws swooping between trees and monkeys crashing through the canopy. Those interested can climb to the top of the ruins for unsurpassed vistas over the forest. Return to Flores early in the afternoon and enjoy free time to stroll the cobblestone streets, shop for locally-made souvenirs or swim in Lake Peten Itza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
Optional Activities
  • Flores - Lake Peten Itza boat tour - USD6
  • Flores - El Castillo Fort - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
An early 7.30 am flight back to Guatemala City is worth waking up for to maximise time in Antigua (1 hour transfer), Guatemala’s favourite traveller hangout. Your leader will take you on a quick orientation walk around town before check-in, followed by a city tour with a local guide. Tonight is yours to enjoy, so spend the evening in town if you’ve any energy left or opt for a quiet night at the hotel.
Accommodation
  • Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antigua - Guided City Tour
  • Antigua - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned today and the world, or at least Antigua, is your oyster. Perhaps you’ll want to sample Guatemala’s two famous beans, coffee and cocoa, or maybe you’ll peruse the markets or watch the world go by at one of the many cafes and bars. If you fancy something more strenuous, a number of local companies run hiking trips to the active Pacaya Volcano, approximately 1.5 hours out of town. Don’t forget the marshmallows, and rest assured you’ll be back in time to have your final group meal and perhaps even hit the local dance spots for some farewell salsa dancing with your group.
Accommodation
  • Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop - USD25
  • Antigua - Coffee tour - USD45
  • Antigua - Pacaya Volcano hike - USD16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip ends after breakfast and there are no activities planned, but remember to say goodbye.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

16 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Plane, Taxi, Shared Boat

Accommodation

Feature stay hotel (4 nights), Comfortable hotel (12 nights)

Included Activities

  • Playa del Carmen - Orientation walk
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Cenote I'kil - Fresh water rock pool with option to swim (Entrance fee & Transport)
  • Informal Spanish Lesson
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Leader-led city tour
  • Maya villages - San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, including textile making with community
  • Oaxaca - Orientation walk
  • Oaxaca - Guided full-day tour including the Tule Tree, a Mezcal distillery, and lunch in a Zapoteca family home
  • Hierve el Agua - Petrified waterfalls (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Mitla - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Oaxaca - Beeswax candle shop visit
  • Mexico City - Orientation walk
  • Mexico City - Leader-led city tour of Historic center
  • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals
  • Mexico City - Mariachi serenade in Garibaldi Square
  • Solola - Market Visit
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Panajachel - Orientation walk
  • Flores - Orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Antigua - Guided City Tour
  • Antigua - Orientation walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. To have a private room on this trip, a single supplement is bookable; subject to availability.
3. For the included internal flight ticket, please provide your full name exactly as per passport, at the time of booking or at least 45 days prior to travel.
4. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
5. To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures. Your leader and the composition of your group may change with the start of each adventure.
6. As this is a combination trip, the flight from Mexico City to Guatemala City on Day 10 is not included in the tour cost and must be purchased separately. When booking this flight, keep in mind there will be a group meeting at 6pm on that day, so we recommend arriving prior to this.
7. Complimentary airport arrival and departure transfers are included mid-trip to help ease your independent connections throughout the combination trip. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
- An airport arrival transfer is included from Guatemala City Airport
- An airport departure transfer is included to Mexico City Airport
8. Please be careful when booking flights to/from Antigua; make sure you fly into/out of Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do NOT book flights to/from Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
9. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Peregrine monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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