The 8-day Premium Mexico Yucatán Highlights from the beautiful coastline of Puerto Morelos to the colorful city of Valladolid, colonial town Merida and white sand beaches of Tulum that will make your trip an unforgettable experience. Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is a must-see for all travelers looking to experience the beautiful coastlines, colorful culture, and pristine beaches. Explore ancient Mayan ruins and see some iconic sites such as Chichen Itza, Muyil, and the Tulum archaeological site before stopping in Merida. Travel with a local guide while staying on unique property and meet local families, conservationists, and historians where there are plenty more historic buildings dating back centuries ago that were handcrafted using locally sourced materials. These tours will provide you with an exciting combination that will have any traveler ready for adventure!
Visit the spectacular ruins of Chichen Itza and Muyil where the local leaders and guides will bring years of Maya history to life.
Experience local life during Exclusive Experiences, including a Maya Pibil meal in the home of a local couple and tortilla making demonstration
Enjoy the old-world charm of your Feature Stay accommodation in Merida – a magnificent 17th-century mansion boutique hotel
Explore the Tulum archaeological site during a special after-hours visit and learn the history of the Maya ruins.
Meet with a local conservationist at the Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reser
Welcome to Mexico! The adventure begins in Puerto Morelos, a charming seaside town on the Yucatan Peninsula, known for its stunning turquoise waters. On your arrival at Cancun International Airport, look for your guide to transfer to your hotel. Here, meet your local leader and fellow members of your group for a 6 pm welcome meeting. If you arrive with time to spare, visit the local artisans’ market to peruse a range of handmade hammocks, jewelry, and crafts. The Yucatan’s bountiful Caribbean coastline means it is home to some of the freshest seafood in the country, and after your meeting, Visit one of the best restaurants in Puerto Morelos to sample some yourself. 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 of Tulum archaeological site
Tulum - Farewell Dinner
Tulum – Beach Club Visit
Day 8: Tulum | Return Home
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning before going back home.
Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!