The Wonders of Mexico's Yucatan
Duration: 8 Days
Mexico’s Yucatan Tour
You will be captivated by the ancient ruins and colonial cities of Mexico’s Yucatan on this 8 day tour. While the Yucatan is home to one of the world’s most sophisticated ancient cultures, you will explore many archaeological ruins. You will also discover fun cities with overnights in Cancun, Chichen Itza, Mérida, Campeche, and Uxmal.
On this tour you’ll explore the colonial cities of Valladolid, with its charming streets and interesting churches. Another city to explore is Mérida where you’ll stay in a former colonial mansion. You will also visit the coastal town of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with baroque Spanish architecture. In addition, you’ll cruise through the mangroves at Rio Lagartos, a Biosphere Reserve where you’ll see pink flamingos! Also, you’ll enjoy some out-of-the-ordinary experiences including a visit to a Panama hat maker in Bécal and a cooking demonstration in Uxmal.
From the fun experiences to the fascinating sites, Mexico’s Yucatan tour is a perfect vacation!
Prices Starting at $1,709
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
DAY 1 Arrive In Cancun, Mexico
Welcome to Cancun! At 6 pm, meet your fellow traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
DAY 2 Cancun–Valladolid–Chichen Itza
This morning, visit the colonial city of Valladolid, known for its charming streets and sun-splashed walls. After a short orientation tour, there’s time to explore on your own. Next, on to Chichen Itza, where the renowned Hotel Mayaland is your home for the next two nights. You may wish to take a dip in the pool, stroll through the beautiful gardens, or just enjoy a cool drink.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Located in the heart of Chichen Itza Archaeology Park, the Hotel Mayaland is set on 100 acres of tropical gardens and maintains its own private entrance to the park. Built in 1923, it’s the world’s oldest hotel inside an archaeological site, and has been named a “must see” by Condé Nast Traveler.
DAY 3 Chichen Itza. Excursion To Ek’ Balam & Rio Lagartos
Today we visit the enormous and elaborate pyramid inside the Mayan site of EK’ BALAM. Meaning “black jaguar,” Ek’ Balam was at the height of its importance as a Mayan city during the Late Classic Period (600-900 AD). When the Mayas abandoned the site, it went undercover as the dense low-lying jungle of the Yucatán engulfed it. Found by archaeologists and adventurers, its restoration has been ongoing since 1997. We then continue to the Biosphere Reserve of RIO LAGARTOS, home to nearly 90,000 pink flamingos and 400 other bird species. Learn about the preservation of this area and what is being done to protect the wildlife of the region. Enjoy a CRUISE through the mangroves, the feeding ground of the beautiful flamingos. Return to Chichen Itza, where this evening, you are invited to attend the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW.
DAY 4 Chichen Itza–Mérida
This morning, explore CHICHEN ITZA, built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD. It was abandoned by the end of the 10th century and re-established in the 11th and 12th centuries, possibly by the Toltecs. Visit the BALL COURT, site of sacrifices; EL CASTILLO, a formidable building dedicated to the high priest; and the CENOTE SAGRADO, the sacred well once filled with priceless treasure offered to the gods. Later, journey to Mérida, capital of the Yucatán state and its colonial heart. Enjoy a city tour including the cathedral, Governor Palace, and the tree-lined streets of Paseo de Montejo. Your hotel this evening is a former colonial mansion that is within walking distance of shopping and the historic city center.
DAY 5 Mérida–Bécal–Campeche
There’s more time this morning to explore Mérida. We then continue to the village of Bécal. For more than a century, the skilled hat weavers of Bécal have been weaving Panama Hats using ancient Mayan techniques. We’ll visit a local HAT MAKER to learn about the history and the hat-making process. Continue to the coastal town of Campeche, once a fortified pirate haven and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll find a captivating port filled with history, baroque Spanish architecture, and natural beauty.
DAY 6 Campeche–Uxmal
This morning’s city tour includes visits to the vibrant malecon (waterfront) area, the historic fort of SAN FRANCISCO DE CAMPECHE, and the historic downtown area. Have your camera handy, as Campeche has spent the last few years restoring hundreds of downtown buildings, making it one of the most photogenic colonial cities in all of Mexico. Arrive later this afternoon in Uxmal. Tickets are included tonight for the exciting SOUND & LIGHT SHOW, full of magic and mystery.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Your home for the next two nights is the Hacienda Uxmal. Set on lush tropical grounds and just a short walk from the Uxmal Archaeological Park, the Hacienda Uxmal has hosted royalty and celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Henry Kissinger.
DAY 7 Uxmal
This morning, a unique COOKING DEMONSTRATION is in store for you. Here you will learn the traditions still practiced in most of the rural Mayan communities. Learn about the special ingredients and spices used, how the food is prepared, and then enjoy a delicious meal with new friends. Then, visit the most famous ruins of the Puuc region, UXMAL. Its architecture is considered one of the masterpieces of the old civilizations. Later, visit the CHOCO-STORY MUSEUM, where you’ll learn the history of coca, its importance to the Mayans, and see how chocolate was prepared using an ancestral recipe. You’ll even have the chance to make your own BEVERAGE with ingredients you choose. Tonight, enjoy a festive farewell dinner hosted by your Tour Director.
DAY 8 Uxmal–Cancun
After breakfast this morning, depart for Cancun. Please schedule flights from Cancun International Airport after 2 pm. The tour ends at the Beachscape Cancun Kin Ha Hotel for those guests extending their stay.
In ancient times, the Maya built complex cities, developed an accurate calendar, aligned their buildings for astronomical purposes, and learned to effectively farm. On this Yucatán tour, you’ll learn about this intriguing culture and visit some of its greatest ruins. Stay at the renowned Hotel Mayaland steps away from Chichen Itza and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD. Here, visit the Ball Court, site of sacrifices; El Castillo, a pyramid dedicated to the high priest; and Cenote Sagrado, a sacred underwater sinkhole used for sacrifices to the gods. You’ll also explore Ek’ Balam, at the height of its importance from 600-900 AD, and Uxmal, one of the Maya’s ancient masterpieces and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
* Prices and availability subject to change without notice, other restrictions may apply.