Mexico City & Oaxaca
Our first days are spent in and around the Mexican capital, including an absorbing visit to the excellent anthropological museum. Then we drive to the colonial heart of Oaxaca. Here, on a high spur, is the ancient complex of Monte Alban - a mystical place of pyramids, terraces and strange rock carvings, a silent witness to one of Mexico's extraordinary civilisations which flourished long ago.
Indian Villages & 'Mundo Maya'
From Chiapa del Corzo, we take a boat trip through the spectacular Sumidero Canyon, then drive up the mountain road to San Cristobal. Close by are villages inhabited by Indians whose old lifestyle has hardly changed. Stopping to swim in waterfalls en route, we continue to the exotic jungle site of Palenque, a perfect example of Mayan art and architecture. Then, travelling by road and riverboat, we see the fascinating and little-visited ruins of Yaxchilan and Bonampak before crossing to Guatemala. Here, we spend time at the major Mayan site of Tikal, exploring magnificent 20-storey high temples and pyramids, lost in a most amazing jungle setting.
Yucatan & Caribbean Extension
A short journey by boat from Belize City brings us to the Caribbean isle of Caye Caulker, off the Belize coast. Our visit to the cayes (coral islands) offer time for relaxing, swimming and snorkelling. Crossing back into Mexico, we admire famous Mayan stone cities of Tulum, Uxmal and Chichen Itza - the ancient domain of Quetzalcoatl, the 'Plumed Serpent' god. We also explore the traditional villages and fortress-churches of the Yucatan peninsula. Ref: MXY
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