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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaMexicoHighlights of Mexico & Tulum
15 days/13 nights:

Highlights of Mexico with beach holiday in Tulum

Highlights of this tour:
A city tour in Mexico’s vibrant capital including a visit to the impressive Teotihuacán ruin complex, breath-taking animal and nature experiences in the Sumidero Canyon and at the Agua Azul and Miso-Ha waterfalls. Beautiful colonial architecture in San Cristobal and Mérido, visits to exciting Maya villages, wondrous Maya ruins in the jungles of Palenque and Chichen Itza, as well as a relaxing beach holiday on the beautiful beaches of Tulum.

This package holiday includes the following:

  • Flights from the UK to Mexico City and return from Cancún (enquire regarding direct flights)
  • 1 domestic flight: Mexico City – Tuxtla Gutiérrez
  • Transfers from and to airports (in small international groups)
  • Coach travel: San Cristobal de las Casas – Palenque
  • First-class coach travel: Palenque – Mérida
  • Coach travel: Mérida – Tulum
  • 13 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • 1 x lunch (day 10)
  • Individual tour, however, all excursions are in small international groups with local English speaking guides except on day 4 and 6
  • Telephone hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Daily departures

The following package of excursions are included:

  • Tour of Mexico City, with a visit to the Anthropological Museum
  • Full-day trip to Guadalupe Church and the city of Teotihuacán, including the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon
  • Sailing trip in Sumidero Canyon
  • Tour to the Indian villages of Chamula and Zinacantan
  • Visit to the Agua Azul Falls and Misol-ha
  • Tour of Palenque, the Mayan complex
  • Tour of Chichen Itza, one of the wonders of the modern world
  • Admission tickets to the attractions mentioned
Single room supplement £855
Discounts are available for groups of 6 or more people
Choose this tour because…

Look forward to experiencing the diversity of Mexico. The country has all the ingredients you need for a perfect holiday, and offers exciting history, fantastic ruin complexes, exciting cultures, delicious food, enchanting nature and white sandy beaches with swaying palm trees.

The tour starts in Mexico’s vibrant capital, where you see the best the city has to offer on an exciting city tour including a visit to the Teotihuacán ruins. From here, the tour continues through the breath-taking Sumidero Canyon to the gorgeous colonial town of San Cristobal. In this part of Mexico, many of the indigenous Maya people still follow the old ways and traditions, which you can experience as you visit the Maya villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán.

You experience many impressive ruin complexes both in the dense jungles of Palenque and at the world-renowned Chichen Itza.

The tour concludes in the beach town of Tulum, which spellbinds its visitors with fantastic beaches and a wholly unique atmosphere.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Mexico City
Day 1: Departure from the UK and arrival in Mexico City

Departure day, where you will fly to Mexico City with connecting flights along the way. At Mexico City airport, you will be met by a driver who will accompany you to your hotel.

Overnight stay Hotel Regente City

Day 2: Tour of Mexico City
Day 2: Tour of Mexico City

On the agenda for today: a tour of Mexico City, one of the biggest cities in the world. One of the highest metropolises in the world, it is located at a height of 2,240 metres above sea level, surrounded by volcanoes. We will be visiting the old colonial centre of Mexico City, taking in Zocalo, the central square before calling in at the National Palace to admire Diego Rivera’s fantastic wall paintings that depict the history of Mexico.

The square is also site of the biggest cathedral in Mexico, an impressive edifice that was built of stones taken from the Aztec temples. From here, we will continue on to the Palácio de Bellas Artes, the national theatre of Mexico, where operas, ballets, plays and concerts are staged. We will then follow the beautiful La Reforma Avenue to Chapultepec Park, which is home to the impressive Anthropological Museum that provides fascinating insight into the history and numerous cultures of Mexico.

Overnight stay Hotel Regente City

Day 3: Teotihuacán, Basilica and Plaza de las Tres Culturas
Day 3: Teotihuacán, Basilica and Plaza de las Tres Culturas

Today, we will be visiting the temple city of Teotihuacán, whose name translates as The place where people became gods and which is one of the largest ruin complexes in Latin America. As we walk along the 3-km-long Avenida de los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead), we see the huge temples and pyramids that date all the way back to the year 200 BC, but which were constructed over a very long period of time. They include the Quetzalcoatl temple, where the remains have been found of more than 200 prisoners of war offered up in sacrifice, Quetzalpapalotl Palace, and the famous pyramids of the Moon (60 m) and Sun (70 m), which were built in the centre of the city over a cave around 100 metres long, where it is said that mankind was created.

The tour then continues to the church called Basilica de Nuestra de Guadalupe, which can hold a congregation of 10,000 people, and which around 20 million pilgrims visit each year. The church has given its name to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the guardian angel of both Mexico and the whole of Central America.

Finally, we arrive at the last stop on today’s trip: the Plaza de las Tres Culturas (The Three Cultures’ Square), which symbolises the three periods of Mexican history. Here we can admire the remains of the pre-Columbian Aztec ruins, a Spanish church from the colonial age, and the Mexican mestizos’ modern building that houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Overnight stay Hotel Regente City

Day 4: Mexico City – Sumidero Canyon – San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 4: Mexico City – Sumidero Canyon – San Cristobal de las Casas

Today, you leave Mexico City and fly to Tuxtla. Here, you will be picked up and driven to Sumidero Canyon, where you will go on a breathtaking, 2-hour speedboat trip into the canyon, the mountainsides towering on either side of you. Enjoy the nature and the exciting wildlife. If you are lucky you will see monkeys, crocodiles and different kinds of birds.

Back on dry land again, we board the coach to San Cristobal de las Casas, which is located at an altitude of 2,100 metres and one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. This charming place was once called just ‘San Cristobal’ – ‘de las Casas’ was added subsequently in honour of Bartolomé de las Casas, a Spanish priest who famously fought for the rights of the indigenous Indians. The city is famous for its magnificent colonial architecture. Next to the centrally located square called Plaza 31 de Marzo stand one of the most beautiful churches in the city: Templo de Santo Domingo.

Other attractions in the city include: Templo del Carmen, with its distinctive tower, the local market that sells food and arts and crafts items, and Na Bolom, the home of the Danish adventurer and archaeologist Frans Blom, Na Bolom. The building has now been converted into a hotel including a museum that presents exhibitions of his lifelong work to study the Indian tribes.

Please note there is no English-speaking guide on this day (nor is one needed).

Overnight stay Hotel Diego Mazariegos

Day 5: The Indian villages of San Juan de Chamula and Zinacantan
Day 5: The Indian villages of San Juan de Chamula and Zinacantan

San Juan de Chamula is home to 50,000 descendants from the Mayans, primarily Tzotzil and Tzeltals. The Mayan descendants take care to maintain their distinctive features and cultural heritage, so they speak their own language, the town has its own police force and own rules. We will also visit the distinctive church, which is located on the central square in the town. The church is a good example of how the original Mayan beliefs gradually merged with the Catholic faith. The Indians pray to the Mayan god or saint relevant to the illness or wish that forms the basis for their visit. There are no pews in the church, so visitors have to kneel and pray on the floor among the numerous lighted candles. The air is thick with incense, and the walls are lined with wooden figures of the local saints and of John the Baptist, who is the guardian angel of the town.

Both San Juan de Chamula and Zinacantan are well-known for their weaving techniques, and each village has its own special costumes featuring carefully composed patterns and colours. At the markets, Indian traders in colourful clothes sell ceramic items and clothing made of wool and cotton.

Overnight stay Hotel Diego Mazariegos

Day 6: San Cristobal de las Casas – Palenque
Day 6: San Cristobal de las Casas – Palenque

Today, we are heading for Palenque. On the way, we will stop off at the delightful Agua Azul Falls, which are set in an area of tropical rainforest (this day is in transit and therefore unguided). With the turquoise water, intense colours, the constant breeze and the rumbling water, this is one of the most beautiful and memorable natural attractions in Mexico. There are more than 500 large and small waterfalls here, ranging in height from 3 to 30 metres. We will then go to see the 35-metre-high Misol-Ha waterfall, which is famous far and wide for its beauty. This beautiful landscape is surrounded by tropical vegetation, and dotted with mahogany and sapote trees. We arrive at the town of Palenque towards the end of the afternoon.

Please note there is no English-speaking guide on this day (nor is one needed).

Overnight stay Hotel Maya Tulipanes

Day 7: Palenque
Day 7: Palenque

Palenque is set in an area of tropical rainforest and known for its beauty and magnificent location overlooking the flat Yucatan countryside. Palenque was one of the biggest cities in the Mayan kingdom, and gives its name to the nearby Mayan ruins, which feature on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These fascinating ruins are hidden deep in the almost impenetrable rainforest in the Chiapas province of Mexico. Here, we will take a closer look at the Inscription Temple, a burial monument to King Pacal the Great.

Overnight stay Hotel Maya Tulipanes

Day 8: Palenque - Mérida
Day 8: Palenque - Mérida

Today, you have a long day of travelling ahead of you, but as you are on board a first-class bus to Mérida, you can just sit back in the soft seats and enjoy the landscape rushing by. You can either walk from the hotel to the bus station in Palenque or take a taxi (at your own expense). On your arrival in Mérida, a taxi is waiting to drive you to your hotel.

The drive takes about 8 hours.

Overnight stay Hotel del Gobernador

Day 9: Mérida
Day 9: Mérida

There are no excursions planned for the day, so you can explore the city for yourselves.

This delightful city was founded in 1542 on the remains of the former Mayan town of Tihó. Mérida is known as ‘The White City’ on account of the many white-painted houses it contains. The locals also refer to it as ‘the Paris of Mexico’ as it is the most European city on the Yucatan peninsula. We could also choose to go on an excursion out of the city, either to see the flamingo colony in Celestun, or to visit the impressive Mayan ruins at Uxmal.

Overnight stay Hotel del Gobernador

Day 10: Mérida – Chichen Itza – Tulum
Day 10: Mérida – Chichen Itza – Tulum

Today the tour continues to Tulum, but first you make a stop at another highlight of the tour; the ruin city of Chichen Itza, which today is both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The ruins have traces of two different cultural epochs, a Maya era and an Itza era. You gain exciting insights into its history on a guided tour to many of the ruins in the area. Of course, you also experience the iconic pyramid of El Castillo, which is 25 metres high.

This is followed by a lovely conclusion to your tour in the pleasant beach town of Tulum. Look forward to kilometres of gorgeous beaches, azure water and swaying palm trees. The pace in Tulum is completely different and much calmer than what you experience in other parts of Mexico. Both locals and tourists use bicycles to get around here.

Overnight stay Hip Hotel

Days 11-13: Tulum
Days 11-13: Tulum

The days in Tulum are spent at your leisure. You can relax and bathe in the warm seawater or enjoy a cold drink in the shade of a palm tree with the refreshing ocean breeze tousling your hair.

If you would like to be active, you can rent a bicycle and visit the nearby Tulum Maya ruins or go on an excursion to the Sian Ka’an Reserve, which has a wholly unique plant and animal life, and which is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The Yucatan Peninsula is famous for its “cenotes”, which are natural fresh-water wells or grottos where you can both bathe and dive. Several of these “cenotes” are located close to Tulum and can be visited on a half-day tour.

Overnight stay Hip Hotel

Day 14: Departure day
Day 14: Departure day

It’s time to say goodbye to Mexico. You are driven to the airport in Cancun and begin your journey home. You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 15: Arrival back home
Day 15: Arrival back home

You arrive in the UK after an exciting tour in Mexico.

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