Best of Mexico

Ref: 3730175

Explore Mayan culture at the Chichen Itza ruins

Mexico City, Cancun

Includes return economy airfares

16 days priced at £3845pp flight and hotel inclusive

Escorted Journey

16 days from £3845pp

'El Castillo' in Chichen Itza, Mexico

Raise your margarita glass and celebrate all things Mexican, taking in the history, culture, food and nature of this vivacious country.


Explore ancient Mayan ruins, visit tropical waterfalls, browse bustling markets and laze on perfect beaches on this varied small group Journey.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Explore Mexico City’s contrasts of old world and modernity
  • Try your hand at traditional Mexican cooking
  • Roam the cobbled streets and charming local shops of San Cristóbal de las Casas
  • Visit the astonishing Misol-ha and Agua Azul waterfalls
  • Explore Mayan culture at the Chichen Itza ruins
  • Swim in crystal clear Caribbean waters

Holiday Type

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Off the Beaten Track
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Escorted Tours
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What's included

  • Small Group Journey with maximum group size 16
  • All authentic local experiences mentioned except where specified optional
  • International flights
  • 14 nights in 4* hotels & hand-picked accommodation
  • Guided Uxmal archaeological ruins tour
  • Entrance to the Chichen Itza
  • 14 breakfasts
  • Arrival transfers & all internal transport

Need to know

  • Arrives: Aeropuerto Internacional Benito Juárez (MEX)
  • Time difference: GMT-5
  • Visa requirements: British passport holders do not require a tourist visa
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • Flying time from UK: around 12 hours
  • Plug type: 2 flat pins
  • Voltage: 120V

Your route



Day 1

Fly from UK to Mexico City

Days 2-3

Mexico City

On your first full day, explore  Teotihuacan, the ruins of a pre-Colombian city built over 2000 years ago and site of the enormous Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Afterwards, join your guide for a tour of Mexico City’s historic centre, including the enormous Metropolitan Cathedral and the mural-filled National Palace. Mexico City has the second highest number of museums of any city in the world (after Paris) and there’s something for every taste – try the Frida Kahlo museum or the perennially popular Museum of Anthropology. Head down to the Zocalo, the main square, where there’s always something going on, and look out for mariachi bands playing.

4* Hotel Regente City or similar Includes a visit to the Teotihuacan archaeological site; a tour of Mexico City including the Metropolitan Cathedral, National Palace & Diego Riviera Murals and the Museum of Anthropology

Day 4

Continue on to colonial Puebla and tour the city with your guide, taking in the pretty cathedral and the gilded Rosary Chapel. Shop for hand-made souvenirs in the bustling markets and take a walk down the La Calle de los Dulces (Candy Street) to admire the quaint sweet shops selling all sorts of tempting treats. Soak up the volcano views with a hike in the surrounding area or sign up for a local cookery class where you can try your hand at making mole poblano, a thick, rich sauce containing chocolate, a recipe that originated here in the 16th century (optional, extra cost).

Hotel Includes a city tour of Puebla including a visit to Santo Domingo Church & Rosary Chapel

Days 5-6

Continue to colonial Oaxaca, criss-crossed with leafy streets and pretty squares, and explore the ancient ruins of Monte Alban, a pre-Colombian ceremonial centre once inhabited by the Zapotecs. There are some vibrant markets here, filled with hand made clothes and traditional handicrafts, and there’s fun to be had just sitting in a street-side café and watching the activity unfold. Do not leave this town without trying the wonderful food, some of the best in Mexico: try the Oaxacan cheese in your empanadas, or indulge in a rich cup of Mexican spiced hot chocolate, made from locally produced cacao beans.

hotel Includes a visit to the Monte Alban archaeological ruins

Day 7

Marvel at the sheer size of the enormous Tule Tree, the world’s widest tree - it takes 30 people holding hands to reach around its trunk. Swing by a Mezcal factory to see how this spirit is made from the maguey plant, then tour the ancient ruins of Mitla, a gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and an important religious centre for the Zapotec people. Admire the stone mosaics covering the walls and tombs, and learn about the site’s history before spending the night in friendly and modern Tehuantepec.

Hotel Includes a visit to a Mezcal factory

Days 8-9

Head to San Cristóbal de las Casas and marvel at the Sumidero Canyon, 800 metres deep and fringed by forest. Explore the Mayan villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, meeting places for the indigenous people who live in the surrounding countryside. Afterwards, take a look around the town of San Cristóbal itself, walking its winding cobblestone streets and discovering its colonial Spanish architecture. The cathedral, with its yellow and red façade, is particularly impressive, and the Museo de la Medicina Maya is worth a look to learn about the use of traditional medicine by indigenous people.

Hotel Includes a trip to Sumidero Canyon & a visit to an authentic Mayan town

Days 10-11

Listen to the call of the howler monkey from the surrounding jungle as you wander the evocative Mayan ruins of Palenque, over 1400 years old. The ruins are located on top of various small hills and surrounded by thick forest, giving them a more adventurous feel than other ruins. Spend the morning exploring the 15 square kilometre complex, and learn about its history, including the tallest of the structures, the Templo de las Inscripciones. If you’d like, you can head further into the jungle on a jungle trail tour (optional, extra cost).

Hotel Includes a guided tour of the Palenque archaeological ruins

Day 12

Step back in time in Campeche, one of the best-preserved walled cities of the Americas, located seaside on the Gulf of Mexico. Explore the San Miguel Fort and the museum in this pretty colonial town, a World Heritage site, and take a look around the town on a city tour with your guide. Campeche was first settled in 1540 by Spanish conquistadors, and today many buildings and mansions left from that time are very well preserved. Admire the pastel coloured houses and bastions, dotted all over town. If you have some free time take a walk along the 5 kilometre long Malecon, a boardwalk path along the sea wall, the perfect vantage point to gaze out to sea and pass the town’s most interesting sights, shops and cafes.

Hotel Includes a city tour and a visit to the San Miguel Fort

Day 13

Discover the ancient ruins of Uxmal, a World Heritage site surrounded by forest-clad hills, making it particularly photogenic. See the main sights, including the impressive Palace of the Governors with its 100 metre long façade and astrological themed mosaics, and the towering Pyramid of the Magician, which is over 30 metres tall. It’s quite a sight, with its long staircase, although tourists are no longer allowed to climb it. Take a look around Merida itself, Southern Mexico’s largest city, with a well-preserved old town, a twin towered cathedral and thronging food markets. For a spice hit you won’t forget in a hurry try the El Yucateco hot sauce, a local specialty and great souvenir.

Hotel Includes a guided tour to the Uxmal archaeological ruins; a city tour of Merida

Day 14

Tour the impressive Mayan site at Chichen Itza, dominated by the iconic El Castillo pyramid. Take a look at the Interior temple too, a temple inside a temple accessed by a claustrophobia -inducing tunnel. After all that sightseeing, head on to sophisticated Playa del Carmen’s white sands for a spot of beach chilling and snorkel and swim in the crystal clear azure waters of the Caribbean Sea before watching the sun set over the ocean with a cool margarita. Playa, as it’s known to locals, offers a selection of upmarket restaurants and trendy rooftop bars, plus an excellent nightlife, with several world-renowned DJs playing in its clubs.

4.5* Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel or similar Includes an entrance ticket to the Chichen Itza Mayan Ruins

Days 15-16

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price from £3845pp for travel up to 11 months in advance
This journey can be tailor-made by our experts to suit your plan or budget.

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