Mexico Explorer

(Mexico City - Oaxaca - Tehuantepec - San Cristobal de las Casas - Palenque - Campeche - Merida - Chichen Itza)

Overview

This small group escorted tour really gets you under the skin of this beautiful Central American country, allowing you to immerse yourself in Mexico’s colourful culture and explore its captivating Aztec, Mayan and colonial history. Embrace your sense of adventure as you travel across country from the capital to the Yucatán Peninsula, and discover some of the country’s most intriguing sites on your way.

What to expect

• Long days of travelling for the opportunity to see some of the country’s most incredible sights

• Active days exploring with free time to relax throughout

• Some of the ruins and sights visited can be set over a large area with a lot of walking required

• Early starts to make the most of the sights before the crowds arrive.

Journey Extensions

Mayan Riviera beaches 4 nights

Featuring some of the best beaches in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera is the perfect spot for a post tour break.

Tour Highlights

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Day 1: UK to Mexico City

Day 1: UK to Mexico City

Depart the UK on your daytime flight to Mexico. On arrival will transfer to your hotel. This evening is free to head out and explore the city; and there are plenty of restaurants nearby to head for your first dinner in Mexico. Stay: Hampton Inn & Suite

Day 2: Mexico City

Day 2: Mexico City

Your tour begins in earnest today with a full day of city discovery. This morning take in the historic centre of the city before the tour continues on to the incredible archaeological site of Teotihuacàn. Lunch will be served at the nearby restaurant Gran Teocalli. End the day’s exploration at the modern Virgin of Guadalupe shrine. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 60 miles. Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites. B, L.

Day 3: Mexico City

Day 3: Mexico City

Continue your exploration of Mexico City today with a visit the Museum of Anthropology, which offers an unbeatable introduction to Mexican culture. Drive south to the district of Coyoacàn, the seat of the first Spanish government in 1521. This evening there’s a welcome dinner at the lively restaurant Villa Maria, a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests and tour leader. Stay: Hampton Inn & Suites. B, D.

Day 4: Mexico City to Oaxaca

Day 4: Mexico City to Oaxaca

You will begin your journey through Mexico today with a long drive south east to the city of Puebla. Join a city tour, taking in the baroque cathedral, the main square and the Church of Santo Domingo.Continue on to the city of Oaxaca. Approx. journey time: 6½ hours, 288 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti. B.

Day 5: Oaxaca

Day 5: Oaxaca

The day begins with a visit to the pre-Colombian archaeological site of Monte Albàn. Your time here will take the Main Plaza, the Observatory and the Dancers’ Gallery. Continue south to the city of Zaachila which is known for its sprawling Thursday market. You will have the opportunity to explore the market and pick up some lunch (payable locally) before returning to Oaxaca and joining a city tour. This evening there’s the opportunity to sample the world-renowned Oaxacan cuisine with dinner served at the city restaurant Hosteria de Alcala. Stay: Casa Conzatti. B, D.

Day 6: Oaxaca to Tehuantepec

Day 6: Oaxaca to Tehuantepec

Leave Oaxaca and head for the archaeological site of Mitla, stopping en route at the impressive 2000-year-old Tule Tree. At Mitla you’ll gain an understanding about how the pre-Colombian world was changed by the colonial settlers and enjoy a tasting of the traditional Mexican drink of Mezcal. Continue on to Tehuantepec, the centre of the indigenous Zapotec culture. Approx. journey time: 156 miles, 4½ hours. Stay: Hotel Calli. B, D.

Day 7: Tehuantepec to San Cristobal de las Casas

Day 7: Tehuantepec to San Cristobal de las Casas

The tour continues east today as you head towards the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and the narrow and deep Sumidero Canyon which you will pass through during a boat trip on the Grijalva River. Following lunch at a local restaurant in Chiapa de Corzo continue on to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 232 miles. Stay: Diego de Mazariegos Hotel. B.

Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas

Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas

Begin the day with a visit to the two Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, which showcase the fascinating indigenous cultures of the Chiapas region. Return to San Cristobal for a walking tour. Today will be rounded off with dinner at a local show with a folk performance at the restaurant El Huateke. Stay: Diego de Mazariegos Hotel. B, D.

Day 9: San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque

Day 9: San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque

Mexico’s beautiful natural landscapes are the focus this morning as you travel towards the city of Palenque, with a visit to the beautiful Agua Azul Waterfalls en route. In Palenque, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 122 miles. Stay: Hotel Ciudad Real. B, D.

Day 10: Palenque to Campeche

Day 10: Palenque to Campeche

A visit to the pre-Hispanic city of Palenque is the focus today. A set of ruins seemingly engulfed by the Central American jungle, Palenque dates back to the 3rd Century BC and reached its height in the late 8th Century AD before being abandoned to the encroaching jungle. During the guided tour there will be a visit to the astronomic observatory, which it is believed was once used for stargazing and making astronomic predictions. This afternoon the tour will continue on to the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and the fortified port town of Campeche. Your evening and dinner time here is free to try one of the city’s restaurants independently. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 215 miles. Stay: Plaza Campeche. B.

Day 11: Campeche to Mérida

Day 11: Campeche to Mérida

There is an early start this morning for your tour of Campeche. The city was fortified in the 17th Century following repeated attacks by French, Dutch and British pirates and you will see the well-preserved defensive walls as well as a selection of colonial buildings in the historic centre. This afternoon the group will begin the journey to Mérida, visiting the pre-Hispanic Town of Uxmal en route. Discover the late-Mayan, ‘Puuc’ style buildings with their smooth, almost rounded walls, as well as a number of other fascinating and beautiful structures before you stop for lunch at a local restaurant. This evening will be spent at leisure in the region’s cultural capital of Mérida, exploring the enchanting historic colonial centre, discovering fantastic restaurants and bars and soaking up the atmosphere in the city’s main square. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 151 miles. Stay: Hacienda Misne. B, L.

Day 12: Mérida

Day 12: Mérida

This morning enjoy an introductory city tour during which you will witness the mansions, squares and colonial architecture. The rest of the day is free to explore Mérida at your own pace. Stay: Hacienda Misne. B.

Day 13: Mérida to Chichen Itza

Day 13: Mérida to Chichen Itza

The tour comes to a conclusion at the most famous and popular archaeological sites of them all – Chichen Itza. Believed by many to be the most important of the region’s pre-Hispanic cities, this is a fitting end to your exploration of Mexico. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours, 74 miles. Stay: Mayaland Hotel. B.

Day 14: Chichen Itza

Day 14: Chichen Itza

The tour concludes on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Transfer to Cancun airport for your return flight to the UK, arriving the following day. Alternatively, choose to extend your stay at any of our featured Cancun or Riviera Maya resorts. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 124 miles. B.

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