Day 1 - Travel to Mexico
Depart on a daytime direct flight to Mexico City, arriving the same evening. You will be met by your Group Tour Leader, as well as the other members of the group and taken to our hotel for 4 nights. Each evening throughout the tour your Tour Leader will give a short meeting at the hotel to prepare for the following day's activities and schedule.
Day 2 - Mexico City at leisure
Day at leisure in Mexico City to relax after the long day of travel. Maybe have lunch in the beautiful neighbourhood of Coyoacan, followed by a visit to the Frida Kahlo museum. In the evening, we will organise a relaxed welcome dinner to get to know each other.
Day 3 - City Tour of Mexico City
Surrounded by the twin volcanoes Popocatépetl and Ixtacíhuatl, we will walk through the Centro Historico with its ornate churches, the Presidential palace, the Cathedral, and the Zocalo. We will also visit the the famous Anthropological Museum, housing a magnificent collection of Aztec and Mayan artefacts, great Olmec stone heads, burial tombs and exquisite pottery and ceramics.
Day 4 - Pyramids of Teotihuacan & Guadalupe
We travel to the outskirts of the city for the magnificent Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan (500BC- 700 AD) with the immense Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest in the world. We continue to the Shrine of Guadalupe, a major centre for pilgrimage, and enjoy the churches and gardens in the surrounding area. A special highlight is the legendary cloak of the Virgin in the new modern Basilica.
Day 5 - Puebla & Travel to Oaxaca
This morning we visit Puebla, a colonial city determined by its colorful Talavera tiles imported from Spain. We visit the cathedral and the Plaza de la Constitución - one of the most beautiful squares in Mexico. In the afternoon we travel to Oaxaca and admire the beautiful Mexican countryside on our way. Arriving late afternoon and transfer to our hotel for 3 nights.
Day 6 - City Tour of Oaxaca & ruins of Monte Alban
We discover the world of the Zapotec and Mixtec at Monte Albán. In its heyday (500-800 AD) these magnificent ruins , located on an artificially flattened hilltop, were thriving metropolis surrounded by a circle of terraces, houses, temples and tombs on the slopes of the hill. In Oaxaca we will visit the church of Santo Domingo plus the buzzing Mercado Juarez.
Day 7 - Site of Mitla and Teotlitan & Tule villages
We explore the archaeological site of Mitla, whose buildings were probably built entirely by the Zapotec. This Group of Columns are considered as one of the highlights of pre-Columbian architecture in Mexico. Mitla was the seat of the "Great Seer" and for many years the religious centre of the Zapotex empire. Then we drive to Teotlitan Del Valle, a small village specialized in the manufacture of carpets and where every family, mostly of Zapotec origin, has its own style and master weavers. Later in the afternoon, stop in the small village of San Maria Del Tule, where you visit the pretty church and the Ahuehuete tree that is reputedly over 2,000 years old.
Day 8 - Travel to Tehuantepec
The longest drive of the tour leads us through the dusty Isthmus of Tehuantepec before climbing into the lush mountains of Chiapas state. Stop over in the small village of Santiago Matatlan and visit of a mescal distillery, the famous Mexican liquor. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel for 1 night. You have the opportunity to rest or accompany your Tour Leader on a walk to admire the impressive colonial architecture of Tehuantepec.
Day 9 - Sumidero Canyon Boat Trip
We start today with an early morning boat trip through the magnificent Sumidero Canyon, leading through the deep gorge carved by the Río Grijalva. In the afternoon, we drive up to San Cristobal de las Casas, the attractive mountain capital of Chiapas.
Day 10 - City tour San Cristobal
This morning, you visit San Cristobal City: From the Zócalo, you walk through the historic centre to the Cathedral and to the most beautiful building of San Cristobal, the church Iglesia del Convento Santo Domingo. In the afternoon, visit to the Indian village of Chamula, famous for its Catholic church where you can see Mayan rituals.
Day 11 - Misol-Ha & travel to Palenque
Today we drive to the lowlands, pausing at the waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol-Ha where blue waters tumble into limestone pools surrounded by dense jungle, where you can swim. Next we drive to the local Zinacantán village for a short tour of the town and tortillas tasting, before continuing to our hotel in Palenque.
Day 12 - Visit Palenque archaeological site & travel to Campeche
Visit to the village of Palenque, the most beautiful archaeological site in Mexico. Founded around 300 BC and having been previously consumed by jungle all of the buildings are now uncovered, including the "Temple of Inscriptions" with more than 620 hieroglyphs, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Sun, and the North Temple with its stucco remains and military scenes. Afterwards we drive along the Gulf of Mexico to the city of Campeche, where we will stay one night. Surrounded by a high wall to defend the rich city against pirates, we will explore the narrow streets of the major port city with its restored colonial buildings, the Zócalo and the Cathedral of La Concepción, taking us back to the era of the Spanish conquistadores.
Day 13 - Visit Uxmal ruins & travel to Merida
This morning we explore Uxmal, an extensive Mayan site with buildings from different periods. The site impresses the visitors with decorated façades, vast terraces, squares, columns, and archways. The finest decoration - in honour of Chac, the Mayan god of rain - dates from the late classical period. In the afternoon we travel to Merida, Yucatan's economic and cultural capital. Your guide conducts a short briefing into the surround area and takes you on a walk to admire the Paseo de Montejo, the Cathedral, the Palacio Municipal, and the Casa de Montejo.
Day 14 - Explore Chichén Itzá
We drive to Chichén Itzá to admire the magnificent Mayan pyramids, temple and celestial observatory. To date, only about 30 of the many buildings buried and overgrown by the jungle have been uncovered and restored. "El Castillo", the most impressive building, rises far beyond the site and offers views from a height of 30 metres, while the sacrificial well hid treasures of jade, copper and gold. "El Caracol" reminds us of a snail shell. The observatory was used by the Maya, among other things, for observing Venus and its orbit. In the evening we travel to our hotel in Playa del ...
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