Day 1: Arrival in Sunny Cancun; Airport Pick-up
Kick off your Mexico holiday packages today. When you arrive at Cancun Airport (CUN), our English-speaking guide and an experienced driver will wait for you at the Arrival Hall. Then you will be transferred to the downtown hotel. Cancun is located in the northern part of the Caribbean Sea, where the sun is shining, the water is clear, and the beach is white and soft. You can stroll around freely in the rest of the day.Activities Suggestion:
There are several things you can do in downtown area of Cancun, such as visiting the Market 28, exploring the Cancun Museum of Art, taking a stroll along the Avenida Tulum, or relaxing on the beaches.►
Market 28: A traditional open-air Mexican market in downtown Cancun. Here, you can find a wide range of products, including crafts, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, and Mexican cuisine. Visitors can enjoy haggling for the best prices and trying authentic Mexican dishes from the many food stalls and restaurants.►
Avenida Tulum: A popular pedestrian street in Cancun, known for its shops, restaurants, and bars. It's bustling with locals and tourists, lined with colorful buildings, and has a lively atmosphere day and night.►
Plaza Las Americas: A popular shopping mall in downtown Cancun, with over 200 stores, a food court, a movie theater, and other entertainment options. It offers a modern shopping experience while also reflecting the local culture and lifestyle.
Accommodation: Adhara Hacienda Cancun (4 stars) or similar
Day 2: Visit Mayan Wonder of Chichen Itza & Yellow Town of Izamal; Transfer to Merida
Are you ready for an adventure-filled day? Don't forget to grab your hat and comfortable shoes as we'll be exploring some amazing places today. After having breakfast, your guide and the driver will accompany you to the famous Chichen Itza after 2 hours’ driving. Chichen Itza
, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and the second largest archaeological site in Mexico, is home to hundreds of ancient Mayan and Toltec ruins.
The tour guide will take you to visit the pyramid in Temple of Kukulcan (El Castillo)
. It was built around 800 AD and has 91 stone steps on each side, plus a platform at the top that represents exactly 365 days of a year. The image of the feathered snake god Kukulcan is projected on the ground at dusk on the day of the spring and autumn equinoxes. Then we will go to the Temple of the Warriors
, above which is a famous stone statue of the Chac-Mool, one of the representatives of Chichen Itza. In addition, we will also explore some remarkable sites, from the grandeur of the Great Ball Court
to the mystique of the Sacred Cenote
, and the fascinating building of The Nunnery (Las Monjas)
. Our journey promises to be an unforgettable adventure through the wonders of the past.
Then, we will head and explore the distinctive colonial town of Izamal
, known for its vibrant yellow architectures. Its main attraction is the San Antonio de Padua Franciscan Convent, built on the site of a former Mayan ceremonial center. This large cloister showcases the fusion of Mayan and Spanish cultures. We can admire its architectural details and peaceful gardens. A must-visit gem in the Yucatan Peninsula.
In the late afternoon, we will arrive in Merida, the capital city of Yucatan. You can explore the rich history and stunning architecture of Merida yourself. Sample diverse cuisines at local and international restaurants, and relax at one of the many charming squares with a refreshing drink and the sound of live music. Stay overnight in a local hotel.Did you know the dark secret of The Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza?
This natural cenote, located in the heart of the Chichen Itza ruins, was believed to be a gateway to the underworld and a source of life-giving water. Archaeologists have uncovered a treasure trove of offerings in the cenote, including ceramics and jewelry made of precious materials. But alongside these precious objects, they even found the remains of children and young virgins. These sacrifices were made to the rain god Chaac during times of drought and natural disasters. The Maya believed that sacrificing pure souls would appease the gods and ensure the survival of their community. Today, you can still see the offerings made to the gods centuries ago, a tangible link to the past. However, the skeletons have been respectfully removed and are no longer on display.
Accommodation: Antelar Casa Destino, Merida (4 stars) or similar
Day 3: Cenote Tour; Visit Uxmal Ruins; Transfer to Campeche
Immerse in your journey to Yucatan jungle to discover two cenotes this morning. On the way to the first cenote, step into a typical Mayan market
for colorful clothing and fruits, and witness timeless traditions and craftsmanship. Then continue your journey to explore secrets of two cenotes
, mesmerized by the beauty of emerald waters. Plunge into the refreshing waters, surrounded by sounds of nature and echoes of ancient civilizations. Pack your swimwear, curiosity, and open heart!
Then, we’ll drive onto Uxmal. Uxmal means "Thrice Built" in Mayan language, but in reality, the city was constructed five times. Your guide will take you to explore the Uxmal Ruins
, surrounded by dense rain forests and filled with exquisite sculptures, oval-shaped pyramids, and impressive buildings. Our first stop will be the majestic Governor's Palace
, where we'll marvel at the intricate carvings and stonework. Next, we'll make our way to the iconic Pyramid of the Magician
, a towering pyramid that is sure leave us awed by the architectural power of the ancient Mayans. And finally, we'll make our way to the Ball Court
, where we'll learn about the Mayan civilization's fascination with sports and their unique ball game. This immersive journey allows you to step back in Mayan history through time.★ Unravel the Mysteries of Uxmal with Our Expert Guide
Who built the Pyramid of the Magician? A real magician? What was the Secret Passage used for and where did it lead? If you're looking to uncover the mysterious legends and stories that are preserved at the Uxmal ruins, you're in luck! Our guide has been here countless times and knows all the hidden secrets and fascinating tales that are just waiting to be discovered. With the expert knowledge, you'll be able to delve deeper into the history and culture of this ancient civilization than you ever thought possible. Instead of just taking a quick look around the ruins, our guide will take you on a journey through time, and you'll hear stories of powerful rulers and legendary battles, discover hidden symbols and enigmatic inscriptions, and learn about the customs and beliefs of the ancient people. It is surely the perfect way to add a sense of adventure to your trip.
At the end of the day, arrive at the port city of Campeche after 2 hours’ driving. After checking into the hotel, you can move around on your own to enjoy a leisurely stroll at a local bazaar or along a quiet promenade.
Accommodation: Castelmar Hotel Campeche (4 stars) or similar
Day 4: Campeche City Tour; Scenic Drive to Palenque
This morning we will take a tour in Campeche, a city with pastel colors and colonial-era style. It was a landing place for the Spanish in 1517 and has preserved city walls and fortifications. Start your tour with the guide at Fort San Miguel
, a historic fortress known for its impressive walls and strategic location overlooking the sea. Next, we will explore Campeche Cathedral
, a beautiful cathedral with a rich history and intricate architecture. After that, we will visit the Independence Square
, a vibrant square filled with colorful buildings, lively music, and local vendors selling crafts and food. Finally, we will pass through Land Gate
(Puerta de Tierra), one of the original entrances to this walled city, which offers a glimpse into Campeche's colonial past.
After the visit, we will drive about 5 hours to Palenque. The scenic road trip takes you through the beautiful southern region of Mexico. You can get a glimpse of local life and culture while passing through small towns and villages. The highlight of the journey is the scenery in the Chiapas region, where you will appreciate dense rainforests, rugged mountains, and rushing rivers. When you approach Palenque, you will see the lush greenery of the National Park of Palenque, which is home to the famous Palenque archaeological site. As the day draws to a close and you reach Palenque, you can immediately feel the refreshing coolness of the tropical forest.
Accommodation: Hotel Boutique Quinta Cha Nab Nal, Palenque (4 stars) or similar
Day 5: Visit Palenque Archaeological Site; Head for Calakmul
In the morning, we will visit the Palenque Archaeological Site
. The guide will lead you to the Temple of the Inscriptions
first, which is home to the tomb of Mayan ruler King Pakal. This tomb is remarkable due to its grandeur and preservation, providing insight into Mayan culture and history. The site also features other impressive structures and a beautiful natural scenery, and we will continue our visit to the Temples of the Cross Group
, a collection of temples, and the Grand Palace
, that once served as the political and administrative center of Palenque. Immerse yourself in the mystical ambiance as monkeys call from afar and fogs drift in and out of view, all making a magnificent jungle setting of Palenque. Then, we will drive to Calakmul.★ Indulge in the Unique Experience in Our Handpicked Jungle Hotel
After approximately 4-hours’ journey, you will be greeted with a delightful stay that integrates seamlessly with the natural surroundings. Your hotel is in the heart of the jungle, where nature meets luxury. As you indulge in a delectable dinner at the jungle restaurant, you will be enchanted by the sounds of wildlife and the gentle breeze that caresses your face. Experience the best of local cuisine, prepared by using fresh ingredients and ancient Mayan cooking techniques, and savor traditional delicacies. After dinner, step outside and gaze at the shining stars in the clear night sky, unobstructed by city lights. This one-of-a-kind stay will leave you rejuvenated and longing to return.
Accommodation: Hotel Puerta Calakmul (4 stars) or similar
Day 6: Visit Calakmul Ruins; Head for Bacalar Lagoon
We’ll explore the Calakmul Ruins
in the morning. Visitors can witness exotic creatures such as toucans, monkeys, and oco pheasants roaming freely throughout the site, and if you're lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of the elusive jaguar. We will then head for Bacalar after the visit.
Enjoy a leisure afternoon at the Bacalar Lagoon
on your own. Nestled within a lush mangrove forest lies the serene Bacalar Lagoon, stretching over 50 kilometers (31 mi) in length and 2 kilometers (1.2 mi) in width. Its mesmerizing water displays a breathtaking series of colors, earning it the nickname 'the lake of seven colors'.
Accommodation: Rancho Encantado, Bacalar (4 stars) or similar
Day 7: Boat Tour on Bacalar Lagoon; Travel to Riviera Maya
Embark on an adventure this morning aboard a cozy boat (shared) on the Bacalar Lagoon
and explore the lagoon's wonders for about 3 hours. Along the way, you will visit three cenotes
, an island home to an array of colorful birds, and a canal once used by pirates to raid Bacalar. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters and soak up the sunshine. Let the trip take you downstream and enjoy the lazy river of nature, with only you, the sound of birds, and fish swimming around your feet - a pure paradise!
In the afternoon, we will travel onward to the Riviera Maya region, where we will spend the night.Route and Highlights of Bacalar Boat Tour:
1. Cenote Negro: The deepest cenote in Bacalar Lagoon, Cenote Negro, is connected to the main lagoon and is famous for its dark blue water and jungle surroundings. It is perfect for floating and paddling.
2. Cenote Esmeralda: Cenote Esmeralda, named after its emerald green water, is 70 meters (230 feet) deep and is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.
3. Cenote Cocalitos: Cenote Cocalitos is a family-friendly cenote with more amenities than other cenotes in the lagoon, including a restaurant, bathrooms, kayaks, and a hammock area. It is up to 60 meters (197 feet) deep, but there are also many shallow areas.
4. Bird Island: It is a bird sanctuary with abundant natural resources, and many bird species gather here during migration season. Parrots, owls, and eagles can be observed here. Tour boats do not dock on the island, and you’ll observe from afar to respect the nesting birds.
5. The Pirates’ Canal: The endpoint of the Bacalar boat tour is the Pirates' Canal, which is considered the most beautiful stop. It is a small canal with picturesque views. Historically, the canal was a trade route and a place where pirates roamed. Now, it is a leisure destination where tourists can swim, drink beer, and enjoy the scenery.
Accommodation: HM Playa del Carmen (4 stars) or similar
Day 8: Private Transfer from Playa del Carmen to Cancun; Airport See-off
Your Yucatan adventurous trip comes to an end. Squeeze in a bit more beach time in Playa del Carmen before being transferred to the airport for your departure flight.