On this vibrant tour you see the highlights of Mexico City, explore the heartlands in the Chiapas region and visit all the most famous Mayan sites inlcuding Palenque, Uxmal and Kabah and the famous Chichen Itza. End this spectacular tour with a few days relaxing on the Riviera Maya, where you spend time relaxing on the beautiful and unspoiled beaches. With a unique blend of culture, history, delicious local food and white sand beaches this trip has the perfect components for older children.
Day 1 Depart London for your direct flight to Mexico City. Spend 2 nights at the modern, Las Alcobas hotel in the Polanco area of the city. This small, boutique option has only 35 rooms, including 4 suites and is ideally situated for many restaurants, shops and bars. A luxurious base from which to explore this buzzing metropolis.
Day 2 Half day tour of Mexico City. Visit the main Zocalo Plaza, which is among the largest plazas in the world. There, you will admire the Cathedral and the National Palace and its historical murals of Diego Rivera. Take a look to the Mayor Temple Archeological Site and visit the Aztec Hall at the Anthropology Museum –one of the finest museums of its kind.
Day 3 Fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez and drive through beautiful scenery to Sumidero Canyon where you will have a boat trip allowing you to enjoy the fantastic scenery. Continue onto San Cristobal de las Casas, a characteristically indigenous Chiapancea town nestled in the heart of the jungle highlands. The Casa del Alma is located in the historic centre of this magical town and contains details of Chiapanecan luxury.
Day 4 Explore San Cristobal's colonial centre by foot and visit the cathedral with it's impressive interior and gold encrusted pulpit. The remainder of this half day tour will be spent visiting the different towns and indigenous communities that make up this fascinating and historic area in the Chiapas Highlands and in the village of Zinacantan, with its pretty church and handicraft market.
Day 5 Start your Mayan exploration by visiting Agua Azul waterfall en route to the ancient city of Palenque. The ancient Mayan site of Palenque sits on a ledge overlooking the swampy plains that stretch down to the Gulf Coast. The Quinta Cha Nab Nal is a luxury resort set amidst luxuriant jungle flora and is only three kilometres from the Palenque site.
Day 6 Today visit the archaeological site of Palenque, a site built at the height of the Classic period. It consists of a series of artificial terraces surrounded by jungle. In the centre you will find the Palace, a massive building with an asymmetrical tower with fine views to the north. Outside the palace there are a series of galleries which would have been used in ancient times for shade. With the lush jungle surroundings you may be lucky enough to spot toucans and howler monkeys. After your tour continue to the town of Campeche for an overnight at Casa Don Gustavo, a boutique hotel in the historic centre.
Day 7 Full day tour visiting the temples at Uxmal, where your expert guide will help you gain a real understanding of the Mayan world and culture. The World Heritage Site of Uxmal is the most famous of the ruins in the Puuc region and showcases the characteristic features of Maya cities. The buildings have a quadrangular layout, are set on raised platforms and have an artificially created underground water-storage system. Overnight at the boutique Casa Lecanda.
Day 8 From Merida transfer to the most famous Mayan city of them all, Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza meaning 'Mouth of the well of the water-sorcerer' is the best restored Yucatan Mayan site and dates back to late Classic times, AD600 - 900. The major buildings in the north display a Toltec influence and is dominated by El Castillo, the most iconic image of this site. Continue onwards to the Riviera Maya and the southern tip at Tulum. The Hip Hotel Tulum is a small, boutique hotel with just 22 rooms situated on a strip of fine beach. There is also easy access to the ruins.
Day 9 Two free days to relax by the beach or explore the local area. Complete your exploration of the Mayan sites by visiting nearby Tulum and Coba. Tulum dates from the 12th century and commands a spectacular position overlooking beautiful beaches. The local area is great for scuba diving with the option of cave diving in many of the cenotes (sinkholes). One of the most famous cave dives is 'Dos Ojos', the second largest underground cave system in the world.
Day 11 Transfer to Cancun airport for your direct flight to London.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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