This premium adventure takes you on a 15-day journey through the best of Mexico, from award-winning restaurants to hidden street food stalls, to paradisiacal coasts and stunning ancient monuments. Discover the ancient secrets of Teotihuacan, Cholula, and the Mitla ruins as you travel through Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca with experienced guides. Explore the abundant coastline of Puerto Morelos, the colorful city of Valladolid, the colonial town of Merida, the white sand beaches of Tulum, and the archaeological sites of Chichen Itza, Muyil, and Tulum.
Visit the most interesting and vibrant city in Latin America, Mexico City.
Tour Teotihuacan ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon.
Visit Oaxaca archaeological site of Monte Alban.
Meet a local conservationist at the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve.
Enjoy the pristine coastlines, white sand, and resort town of Tulum
Welcome to Mexico! Your adventure begins in Mexico City, the vibrant beating heart of the country. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet the rest of your group and the local leader for a 6 pm welcome meeting. Your hotel in Mexico City is a house in a beautiful building from the 1890s and, the location is truly one of the city’s best. The buzzing Zocalo Plaza and spectacular National Cathedral are right on your doorstep, views of which can be admired from your hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar. After meeting, head out for dinner with your leader and small group. Tonight you will have the chance to sample a tempting array of local dishes during a tour of local street food stalls and taquerias with your leader. From tacos and tostadas to tamales and quesadillas, the city’s fresh food scene will surprise and delight even seasoned travelers. End the evening with some sweet treats at the city’s oldest churreria. If you wish for additional excursions during your time in Mexico City, pick from the following optional activities and contact us for current excursion pricing.
Today, spend time getting to know Mexico City on a tour with your knowledgeable leader. From cosmopolitan glamour to ancient and colonial history, there’s a lot to see, so rise early and head out to the National Museum of Anthropology, where your leader will walk you through the different stages of the country’s past. Continue to the Zocalo Plaza, the lively main square of the city. Visit the National Cathedral to hear stories and be marvel at its impressive Gothic architecture, then continue to the sprawling National Palace. This spot first held a palace built by an Aztec emperor in the early 16th century and now houses the offices of Mexico’s president. Enjoy an evening at leisure. There’s no doubt that the food here is best to experience like a local, so be sure to ask your leader for some excellent dinner recommendations this evening.
Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology (entrance fee)
Mexico City - Leader-led City Tour of Historic Center
Mexico City - Diego Rivera Murals in the National Palace (entrance fee)
Depart Mexico City and travel to Teotihuacan. Here you'll discover the extraordinary ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, which dominate the skyline. It is once one of the country's biggest ancient cities and the Aztec capital. Join an expert local guide and stroll down The Avenue of the Dead to see fascinating clues to what life here was like nearly 2000 years ago. After lunch, continue to Puebla. Stop off on the way to visit a local family who produces beautiful stonework carved from obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glasslike rock. Take some time to admire their striking pieces and speak to the family about their craft. Arrive in Puebla, a charming city that has retained its colonial heritage despite rapid growth and development. Set out for a walk around town and visit Calle de Los Dulces (Candy street) and the El Parian handicraft market, as well as the impressive Rosary Chapel and Town Hall Palace. Mexican food is deliciously diverse and, Puebla is no exception. Head to a marvelous restaurant for dinner this evening, where a local chef serves up creative food in an elegant setting – the mole here comes highly recommended.
After breakfast, drive out to the fascinating Cholula archaeological site. Meet with an expert local guide and tour the complex, including the Great Pyramid of Cholula – if you include its basement, this is the largest pyramid in the world. Explore the excavated areas around the pyramid and the maze of tunnels beneath it while learning how the structure is built to honor the god Quetzalcoatl. For lunch today, stop at a wonderful restaurant serving organic dishes made with locally sourced produce to minimize their impact on the environment. The rest of the day is free for your explorations – you may like to join your leader for a visit to a local artisan to discover more about the Talavera pottery tradition.
Today, make the journey to Oaxaca, a colorful and captivating city rich with history and culture. Arrive late afternoon and settle into your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three nights – the beautiful Casa de Sierra Azul. Converted from a 19th-century colonial mansion, this traditional charm emanates from every corner of this hotel, from its ivy-clad courtyard to original frescoes and stone fountain. Each room is wonderfully unique and individually decorated, but they all feature gorgeous high ceilings and modern amenities. Just a stone’s throw away from the city’s main Zocalo, bursting with interesting cafes, musicians, and artisans, there’s no better base for your time in Oaxaca. Head out for an orientation walk with your leader to get a feel for the city, stopping by the delightful local markets of Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre, then enjoy a free evening for further explorations. The best way to get to the heart of Oaxaca’s culture is to taste its food, so your leader will be happy to offer up some great local recommendations for dinner. If you wish for additional excursions during your time in Oaxaca, pick from the following optional activities and contact us for current excursion pricing.
Oaxaca - Leader-led orientation walk
Oaxaca - Mercado Benito Juarez
Oaxaca - Mercado 20 de Noviembre
Oaxaca - Santo Domingo Cultural Centre (entrance fee)
Today, venture out of the city and take a tour of the Oaxaca region. Visit the Mitla ruins archaeological site – once the religious center for Zapotec communities – and the Tule Tree, considered the world’s widest tree at over 11 meters in diameter. The Montezuma cypress’ gnarled trunk is over 1500 years old, roughly the same as the ruins. Stop off in Tule town to try some Mexican ice cream – an important part of Mexico’s culinary history. This hand-churned ice cream is up there with the best of them. Perhaps try some Mexican vanilla, fresh fruit sorbet, or, even a scoop seasoned with chili. Continue to a beeswax candle-making workshop and learn the age-old processes that pass down for generations and the intricate designs that are created. Later, take part in a Zapotec weaving demonstration, which uses only traditional techniques, tools, patterns, and organic dyes. Watch as local families meticulously craft folk clothing and rugs, some taking months to complete. You will learn the whole process from preparing and dyeing the yarn to traditional weaving methods. Here, enjoy a mostly plant-based lunch of regional Zapotec specialties. On your way back to Oaxaca, stop by an agave mezcal factory for a tasting before returning to the city in the late afternoon.
Enjoy a free day to take the City sights, sounds, and tastes of Oaxaca. There’s something here to suit every interest – speak to your leader about arranging a visit to the Monte Alban archaeological site, a local cooking class, or a street art cycling tour. You may like to head to one of the city’s many markets to browse stalls of coffee, spices, and crafts made by local artisans. In the evening, it’s time for a send-off in style as you head just outside of the city for a special dining experience. Your venue for this evening looks like a typical Oaxacan house, but for the lucky few in the know, opening the front door will reveal an award-winning restaurant like no other. Enjoy the amazing menu of traditional Mexican dishes with a five-star twist, curated and cooked by a world-renowned chef. With the kitchen station right next to the tables, you’ll have the opportunity to chat with the chef while watching your dishes come to life. This final dinner will certainly be one to remember.
Oaxaca - Farewell Dinner
Oaxaca - Monte Alban archaeological site (entrance fee)
Today, catch a flight from Oaxaca to Cancun, transferring on arrival to Puerto Morelos, a charming seaside town on the Yucatan Peninsula, known for its stunning turquoise waters. Take the transfers on your arrival at Cancun International Airport to your hotel. A meeting will take place at the hotel at 6 pm to welcome any new travelers joining for the next part of the adventure. The Yucatan’s bountiful Caribbean coastline means it is home to some of the freshest seafood in the country, and after meeting, head to one of the best restaurants in Puerto Morelos to sample some. Here, enjoy a traditional feast of fresh fish, mussels, shrimp, and clams.
After breakfast, depart Puerto Morelos and head to the secluded Laguna Chabela. Here, meet a local Maya family who has lived here for generations. Gain a deeper understanding of their way of life as you tour their farm, see what they grow, and learn how they live off the land. Enjoy a demonstration on how to make delicious tortillas in the Coba style. Take a sit down for a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, continue to the city of Valladolid, known for its delightful pastel-colored colonial buildings. On arrival, settle into your hotel. Located in the city’s main square, this charming hotel was converted from a 16th-century colonial house and offers a perfect base for your explorations. The main square is flanked by excellent local restaurants serving up classic Yucatan cuisine – try one out for dinner this evening.
After breakfast, spend your day exploring the fascinating complex of Chichen Itza. Named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is considered the most important archaeological vestige of the Maya-Toltec civilization in Yucatan by UNESCO. Meet with a local historian for a guided tour to uncover the secrets of the most famous Maya site in Mexico, dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. After the visit, have a special lunch with a local family in the town of Piste. Here, enjoy a traditional Pibil feast, a Maya style of cooking that involves barbecuing underground, which the family has perfected over generations. After lunch, visit a beautiful cenote for a swim, then continue to the historic town of Merida. Founded in 1542, the city is the Yucatan capital and retains much of its old-world charm. Your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three evenings is the magnificent La Misión de Fray Diego – a 17th-century mansion turned boutique hotel. Spacious rooms flaunt elegant decor with traditional touches, surrounding a glowing courtyard with a wonderful swimming pool. Enjoy exceptional service and a privileged location in the heart of the city.
This morning, join your leader on a walking tour of downtown Merida to take in the splendor of its many colonial buildings and learn more about the Maya heritage of the town. Visit the market for a look at local life, and stop by the city museum, Montejo's House, and the cathedral. Step inside the Palacio del Gobierno to admire the murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco, a famous Mexican artist from Merida. The paintings depict the history of the city and the interactions between the Maya and the Spanish. The afternoon is free for further discoveries – take a relaxing green and shady Plaza Grande, or browse the outdoor market selling Maya replicas. Regroup for dinner at a fantastic local restaurant serving up Yucatan specialties – the SOPA da lima (lime soup). If you wish for additional excursions during your time in Merida, pick from the following optional activities and contact us for current excursion pricing.
Merida - Leader-led orientation walk
Merida - Regional Museum of Yucatan
Merida - Uxmal Ruins tour (inc. shared transport and guide)
After breakfast, drive to the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve. One of the first places migratory birds arrive for the winter, the reserve offers a birdwatching experience like no other. Here, meet with a local conservationist to tour the area, learn about its unique flora and fauna and hear about the conservation efforts taking place in the region. Look out for the Yucatan woodpecker, Mexican sheartail, tropical mockingbird, and depending on the season (usually November–March), witness thousands of flamingos painting a pink streak across the landscape. Return to Merida for an afternoon at leisure. For a taste of Merida's 19th-century glory, take a walk along the mansion lined Paseo de Montejo. Be sure to ask your leader for some great local recommendations for dinner this evening.
Depart Merida this morning and head towards Muyil, stopping off for lunch in the quaint village of Coba along the way. Continue to the Muyil archaeologic site. This ancient Maya trading post is one of the oldest once-inhabited sites in the country, with a history stretching back to 350BC. Explore the ruins with your leader and will be explaining what life here once looks like. Next, head to the banks of the Maya River and board a small boat, from which you’ll explore the canals and lagoons of the river. Admire Maya ruins on the riverbanks and enjoy a peaceful swim in the crystal-clear waters. Join the guides from the local community who will help you get the most out of this tranquil experience. Carry on to Tulum, home to pristine beaches and ancient Maya history. Settle into your unique hotel, just minutes away from the stunning white sand beach, then set out for an orientation walk with your leader to get a feel for this mellow town.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Tulum. You may like to unroll a towel and relax on the beach or take a dip in the calm and clear Caribbean waters. A stroll through the town will reveal an array of independent shops selling handicrafts and Fairtrade goods. In the afternoon, head to the Tulum archaeological site for a special after-hours visit, allowing you to appreciate the incredible history of the ruins without the crowds. One of the last cities built by the Maya, your leader will paint a picture of how life played out here as you explore the complex against a spectacular ocean backdrop. This evening you will dine at one of Tulum’s most celebrated restaurants. Set within the jungle and inspired by the freshest local produce, this final dinner with your newfound friends will certainly be one to remember.
Tulum - After hours visit to the Tulum archaeological site
Tulum - Farewell Dinner
Tulum – Beach Club Visit
Day 15: Tulum | Return Home
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning before going back home.
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A single supplement is available if you prefer not to share a room? on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!