Trip reference number: ITN-MEX005
Trip Operator: Rainbow Tours
Experience the best of Mexico's iconic sights combined with luxurious hotels. Enjoy exploring vibrant lively Mexico City, then head to the Yucatan Peninsula to discover the colonial beauty of Merida and the fascinating architecture of Mayan ruins before unwinding on the beautiful Riviera Maya.
Day 1 Fly direct to Mexico City and transfer to the luxurious Las Alcobas for a 3 night stay.
Day 2 Soak up the culture and history of Mexico City on a private tour. Built on top of the ruins of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, the city's main square and centre point is the Zocalo, one of the largest public squares in the world. Flanked by some of the city's most important buildings, stop by the Metropolitan Cathedral (the largest church in Latin America) and the Palacio Nacional (closed on Monday); home to a series of murals by Diego Riviera depicting the country's complex history. Drive along the famous boulevard; Paseo de la Reforma; Mexico City's main thoroughfare which once connected the Zocalo with the castle of Chapultepec; once home to Emperor Maximilian during his short-lived reign.
Day 3 Visit of one Mexico's most impressive archaeological sites; located just 50km northeast of the city. Teotihuacan, held sacred by the Aztecs, features a multitude of temples, palaces and pyramids. Visit the famous Quetzalpapalotl Palace Complex, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the immense Pyramid of the Sun, ranked among the biggest in the world.
Day 4 Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula. Though a bustling city, Merida's historic centre retains its colonial charm and its laid-back tempo is a delight for visitors. Merida features a large, leafy main plaza and impressive European-style mansion houses painted in warm pastel shades. Stay 3 nights at the colonial style Hacienda Temozon a short distance from the city. Originally a 17th century hacienda, the property has been loving restored and boasts beautifully manicured grounds.
Day 5 Today take a full day private tour to Uxmal & Kabah along the Puuc route. Uxmal is situated on rich green fertile land providing a perfect setting for some of the most magnificent ancient pyramids, buildings and temples of the ancient Mayan world. Built during the Classic Period, Uxmal is the most famous ruin in the region. The House of the Doves is the oldest, and most damaged of the buildings at Uxmal but the remains are impressive - a long, low platform of wide columns topped by a cluster of roof-combs. The nearby Kabah is the second largest ruin of the Puuc region, located approximately 37km south of Uxmal. Kabah is home to the incredible Palace of Masks, covered in nearly 300 masks of Chaac, the rain god.
Day 6 Day at leisure to either relax and enjoy Hacienda Temozon or to visit further nearby attractions. Please enquire for details.
Day 7 Transfer by road to explore one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza. With a local guide enjoy a tour of this extensive site and learn about the history. The city was built by the Maya in late Classic times (AD 600-900) however by the end of the 10th century, the city was more or less abandoned. Continue by land to the Riviera Maya and your luxurious retreat, Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, located on white sandy beaches.
Day 8 Three free days to relax by the beach or explore the local area. For those still seeking to explore Mayan sites; Rainbow Tours recommends visiting nearby Tulum. Dating back to the 12th century, the site commands a spectacular position overlooking the beautiful beach. Being a limestone peninsula, the Yucatan is covered in cenotes (sinkholes), for those seeking some adventure Rainbow Tours recommends one of the many cenotes in the region. Said to be the ancient Mayan means of communication to the underworld, these sinkholes, often surrounded by lush jungle are a wonder to swim, snorkel and dive in.
Day 11 Transfer to Cancun airport for your direct, return flight, to the UK
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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