The Archaeological Mayan Journey

| Mexico | Playa Del Carmen | Merida |
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Summary

The Archaeological Mayan Journey takes in the most renowned archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula in the company of one of the regions most well-respected historical and cultural guides. Each day offers a window into the rich culture of the Maya, the quaint life of colonial Mexico, and the unique biodiversity of this lush jungle.

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2
Excursion starts:

Flight to Cancun International Airport. ¡Bienvenidos! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be taken to your hotel where your trip leader awaits. After a quick orientation, you are free to roam Cancun.

Accommodation: Marriott Casa Magna Cancun

Day 2 - 3
Excursion starts:

Today you will travel to Merida. En route, you will stop at the Mayan Indian market where you can see contemporary and traditional arts and crafts. Next you will head to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, one of the most important sites in the Mayan culture. During the Maya-Toltec period, Chichen Itza quickly developed into a major ceremonial center. The temple of Kukulcan-Quetzalcoatl is one of the outstanding structures that you will visit from this period.

After lunch, you will move on to the beautiful capital of the Yucatan, Merida. Your afternoon will be free to enjoy the many shops, museums, and plazas of this charming colonial city, home to the descendants of Mayan civilizations.

Accommodation: optional

Day 3 - 4
Excursion starts:

Early today you will meet your guide at the hotel lobby and enjoy a privately guided excursion to the biosphere reserve of Celestun, famous for its river or ria with beautiful flamingo colonies, fresh water springs, and calm beaches. More than 350 species have been identified in this reserve, of which many are permanent residents. Enjoy a private boat ride and admire the magic of nature.

After free time for lunch you will head back to Merida City tour to enjoy a historic city tour including the colonial architecture, churches, and monuments of this thriving Yucatan city you can optionally end with a short “Calesa” ride (not included).

Accommodation: optional

Day 4 - 5
Excursion starts:

Early today after breakfast you will depart from Merida to enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of Uxmal where intricately carved temple facades pay homage to Chac, the Mayan rain God. A traditional Mayan lunch is available with chicken or pork and wrapped in bananas leaves. 

You will then continue your journey to the coastal city of Campeche, the first port city founded by Spanish conquistadors in the Yucatan peninsula.

Accommodation: optional

Day 5 - 6
Excursion starts:

Today you will tour Campeche's famous landmarks by trolley, including the colonial forts and the museum.

In the early afternoon, you will continue your Mayan Journey along the cost of the Gulf of Mexico to the ancient Mayan city of Palenque.

Accommodation: optional

Day 6 - 7
Excursion starts:

Early today you will depart from Palenque for a transfer to Bonampak. At arrival you will visit the fascinating and well guarded secret of the Lacandón Forest, famous for its astonishing frescoes inside the modest looking Templo de las Pinturas.

After time to take in these surprising illustrations, you will continue your adventure to some of the least visited and most impressive sites in the Mayan world, Yaxchitlán, renowned as much for its incredible setting, as it is for its ornamented building facades, roof combs and impressive stone lintels that depict battles and ceremonial events. In a boat ride you will learn Yaxchitlán straddles a U bend in the Usumacinta River, which is the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala. As you explore the ruins the calls of the large troops of howler monkeys remind you just how far from modern civilization you are and how powerfully alive the Lacandón forest remains.

After time to take in these surprising illustrations, you will head back to Palenque arriving to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: optional

Day 7 - 8
Excursion starts:

This morning, you will enjoy a sightseeing tour of the ancient city of Palenque. This great archaeological site lies in the southern state of Chiapas. Marvel at the magnificent pyramid known as the Temple of the Inscriptions and enjoy the breathtaking vistas of this unique ecosystem.

Then you will cross the vast Yucatan Peninsula, passing ancients cities of the Maya before arriving at the Caribbean coast in Quintana Roo. Your journey continues to the capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal, a tranquil city that retains much of the Caribbean flavour of old.

Accommodation: optional

Day 8 - 9
Excursion starts:

This morning, you will make a stop at the largest of Mexico's Cenotes (exposed limestone waterhole), Cenote Azul, to take a dip in the refreshing waters.

Then you will continue on to Tulum, with its dramatic cliff location overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Its location makes it a unique place among the 50,000 archaeological sites in Mexico. After Tulum, you will head north up the coast to Playa del Carmen, where the feel and spirit of the Caribbean is in the air. Relax at the beach, shop, or take a walk along Fifth Avenue, while the sunset transforms the street into a colorful spectacle.

Accommodation: choose your favourite luxury hotel in Playa del Carmen

Day 9 - 10
Excursion starts:

The day is yours to enjoy Playa del Carmen at your own pace.

Day 10 -
Excursion starts:

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Cancun International Airport for your flight back home.

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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