Book a 2018 holiday before 14 August and our home pick-up service is doubled to 100 miles.
Meals included: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Marvel at the majestic Mayan sites of the Yucatan Peninsula, rich with a history spanning centuries and civilisations. Follow a fascinating trail from colonial cities to quaint villages and colourful markets to gorgeous beaches, taking in forests, mangroves and the pretty Puuc Route on the way.
Fly to Cancun where you will be met and transferred to your hotel for one night.
Head for the north coast of the peninsula to visit Ek Balam, where exceptional stuccoes have been uncovered and preserved. Travel onto San Bernardino Monastery, one of the most beautiful buildings of the colonial Yucatan which was constructed in 1552. Journey on to Valladolid for an afternoon at leisure.
The most famous Mayan masterpiece on the Yucatan Peninsula, Chichen Itza is a fascinating archaeological site dating back over 1500 years. This morning's visit takes in highlights such as the spectacular step-pyramid El Castillo - dedicated to the god Kukulkan and constructed in nine tiers to represent the Mayan calendar. Also see the Toltec plaza, the elaborately carved Temple of the Warriors and the legendary ball court. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Renowned for its laid-back, friendly atmosphere, charming Merida is the largest city on the peninsula and capital of the Yucatan State. Explore this lovely city on an included sightseeing tour taking in the elegant Paseo de Montejo - a broad, tree-lined boulevard edged by elaborate grand mansions. You will also see the magnificent 16th-century colonial architecture of Plaza de la Constitucion, such as the Cathedral de San Ildefonso and Casa de Montejo Palace. Admire the many cosmopolitan plazas, quaint churches, colourful markets and lush, spacious parks before completing your trip with a horse-drawn carriage ride.
Nestled amidst the Puuc hills, Uxmal archaeological site is a World Heritage Site rich in finely carved stonework and spectacular geometric-patterned mosaics. Today, marvel at the legendary Pyramid of the Magician, the former teaching arena - later renamed The Nunnery Quadrangle by conquistadors who believed it looked European. Admire the serenely beautiful House of Turtles, named after its finely honed sculptures of turtles, the reptile thought to represent rain. This afternoon, why not join the optional trip to the remote village of Santa Elena to admire spectacular views from its hilltop church. This evening, enjoy a sound and light show, staged inside the Nunnery Quadrangle.
Follow the delightful Puuc Route on a trail amongst some of the most important archaeological sites on the Yucatan. Start with the former city of Labna and its fantastic archway, before viewing the tranquil Great Palace in Sayil and end at the famous Palace of Masks in Kabah, one of the most striking Mayan buildings adorned with multiple carvings of the Mayan rain god Chac. Return to Uxmal.
After breakfast leave Uxmal and journey to Celestún, a town in Yucatán. Surrounding the town is the 147,500-acre Parque Natural del Flamenco Mexicano (also known as the Celestun Biosphere Reserve), a wetland reserve that is the winter home to vast flocks of flamingos, as well as many herons and other bird species. It is also known as a hatching ground for endangered sea turtles. Afterwards, journey on to Chichen Itza for one night.
Transfer to Cancun airport for your overnight flight to the UK, or extend your stay on the Mayan Riviera.
Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.
Excellent tour interesting and well thought out,pace good and hotels selected all of good standard
Very interesting and we learned a lot through Emanuel Cortas, he was very knowledgeable and could answer any questions asked.
Excellent value for money tour of the principal Mayan sites in the North Yucatan and along the Puuc Hills trail, with excellent choice of hotels for location and comfort. Hard to get any better than this......
Excellent value for money
Tour was what we expected. Guide was very good. Hotels good and meals mostly buffets excellent.
Very good itinerary and local guide. I enjoyed every day. Good Heritage hotels with pools and gardens for relaxing. Having meals included aided the cohesion of the group.
very interesting and enjoyable with nice companions
Mayan trail experience was very good. Lot of history of Mayan culture and lots of ruins but all of them were similar type and after a while one looses the interest and curiosity.
David the guide was good although I think suffering a bit from the humidity and heat towards the end as we all were. hotels good especially the Hacienda Uxmal. However, caves were dangerous and we should have been warned beforehand. The guide was horrible and went like a bat out of hell with his torch leaving us in dark. The floor was very slippery as it was recently flooded. At end we had to tip him, then he let us out of padlocked door but to get to minibus the gate was also padlocked and we had to climb through barbed wire fence with help of David and Alessios (?) our driver. Our driver was excellent always cheerful, helpful and on time. The hotel Occidental was okay but very isolated, you could not walk anywhere., had a lot of building work going on and was literally half closed. No entertainment at all everybody going to bed by 10. Very disappointing. Park next door was good so had one show there. Would not recommend and perhaps you should have kept us in loop.
Overall, a really enjoyable trip with good hotels, good food and excellent guide and driver. Included lunches at local restaurants en route were a highlight. All the main archeological sites were visited and these were balanced by visits to some of the main towns in the area + the ecological site & fishing/beach town on the Gulf of Mexico. The guide was willing to accommodate our request to visit a cenote, of which there are many in the Yucatan, for which this region is famous (surprisingly a visit to a cenote was not included in the itinerary - something Archers should consider). One of the nicest cenotes was located very close to Chichen Itza, which some of us visited very briefly. Suggestions for improvement: There seemed to be quite a lot of free time in the afternoons - perhaps some optional excursions could be offered (such as a visit to a cenote, turtle sanctuary, marine activities, etc) for those who would prefer to be more active. It was felt that 2 nights at Uxmal would have been sufficient (rather than 3) to allow an additional visit somewhere else. For those of us not extending the trip at Cancun, we felt that one night (either at the beginning or end) on the Riviera (rather than at the airport hotel) would have provided the opportunity to see and enjoy what this had to offer, albeit briefly. Two hotels did not provide free bottled water in the room - no explanation available locally when queried.
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They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
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