Mexico and Cuba Overview

Embark on an adventure through Mexico and Cuba that spends time in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Palenque, Havana, Trinidad and more.

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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Mexico and Cuba.

Trip Map

Trip Validity

  • 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31

Experience the incredible sights of Mexico and Cuba on an Intrepid comfort journey

Get a good dose of fun, sun, history and culture on this three-week journey through Mexico and Cuba. Become immersed in the mesmerising mayhem of Mexico City, taste the distinctive foods on offer in Oaxaca's traditional markets, gaze in awe out over the pyramids of Palenque and live it up in the hedonistic haven of Playa del Carmen. Then catch a flight over to Cuba and get a taste of history while strolling through Havana's tumble-down buildings, learn about the country's renegade spirit and settle into a plaza cafe to watch sleepy Trinidad stir into motion. Teeming with stunning natural scenery and brimming with history, this Mexico and Cuba adventure serves up fun and fascination in equal measure.

  • Admire the charming colonial architecture of Trinidad
  • Bask on the glittering sands of Playa del Carmen
  • Be dazzled by Mexico City's sprawling urban jungle
  • Cool off in the turquoise pools of Agua Azul
  • Get sashaying to the salsa in Vinales
  • Journey back through time while navigating Havana's tumble-down neighbourhoods
  • Shop for colourful handicrafts in Puebla's bustling markets
  • Wander among the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Mexico City, Mexico
  • Finish:

    Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  • Group size:

    Min 1 , Max 16
  • Ages:

    Min 15
  • Meals:

    21 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation:

    Homestay (4 nts), Hotel (17 nts)
  • Transport:

    Bus, Metro, Minibus, Taxi
  • Included activities:

    Campeche - City Tour, Campeche - San Miguel Fort, Chichen Itza - Ruins, Complimentary airport arrival transfer, Informal Salsa lesson, Mexico City - City Tour, Mexico City - Governor's National Palace and Diego Rivera murals, Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral, Mexico City - Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City - Teotihuacan Ruins, Oaxaca - Mezcal Factory, Oaxaca - Mitla ruins visit, Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins, Oaxaca - Tule Tree, Palenque - Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls, Palenque ruins entrance fee, Puebla - City Tour, Puebla - Rosary Chapel and Santo Domingo Church, San Cristobal de las Casas - Sumidero Canyon, San Cristobal de las Casas - Villages tour, Santa Clara - Visit to Che Guevara Mausoleum and Museum, Soroa - Orchid Garden tour, Trinidad - Afro-Cuban folklore show, Valley walking tour, Visit to the Palacio del Valle

  • Notes:

    1. The international flight from Cancun to Havana on day 15 of this itinerary is not included in the price of this trip. 2. Please note that due to a change in flight schedule, we have had to vary this itinerary slightly from what was printed in the brochure. The trip will now spend 2 nights in Puebla instead of 1, and 2 nights in San Cristobal de las Casas instead of 3.

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Mexico and Cuba Summary

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Days 1-3 Mexico City

On arrival in Mexico, head to the heart of the downtown area to settle in. Meet the team and grab a delicious dinner of spicy tacos, cheesy quesadillas and traditional arroz con frijoles negro (black beans and rice). Check out the must-see archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan, home to the two giant pyramids – Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Stroll down the Avenue of the Dead with a local guide to uncover the site's many wonders and to better understand the way life was lived nearly 2000 years ago. Then visit the major religious landmark Virgen de Guadalupe before spending some free time feeling the rhythm of Mexico City’s streets.

Day 4 Puebla

Travel by minibus to Puebla and explore a city that has successfully combined modern developments with its colonial past. Head to the market and bargain for local arts and crafts or take an optional hike to a nearby volcano. If the food of Mexico has already seduced you, why not learn a few new cooking skills at a traditional cooking class and try to master the local dish mole poblano, which originated in Puebla and is famous all over Mexico.

Days 5-6 Oaxaca

Explore the colourful markets, exciting architecture and flavoursome cuisine of Oaxaca. Bargain with the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians who sell colourful woven blankets and shawls, or wander the streets and be dazed by the range of architectural delights. Otherwise, relax like a local with a mezcal or tequila in hand while sitting in the shady central square, El Zovalo. Be sure to visit Monte Alban, a mountain site that was inhabited for 1,500 years by a succession of cultures (Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs).

Day 7 Tehuantepec

See the widest tree in the world – the Tule Tree – and stop by a mezcal factory to see how this famed spirit made and at the Mitla ruins on the way to Tehuantepec.

Days 8-9 San Cristobal de las Casas

Discover the old-world charm of San Cristobal de las Casas on this journey into a more traditional part of Mexico. Explore cobbled streets dotted with local shop fronts, which are run by friendly indigenous locals. Be introduced to this colonial city on a village walking tour, passing impressive cathedrals, green plazas and countless museums and cafes. Learn more about the tradition, culture and history of these mainly Mayan communities and, during free time, perhaps rent a bike to explore the town further or venture to the Sumidero Canyon to get in touch with nature.

Days 10-11 Palenque

Head out on a waterfall excursion like no other. See Misol-ha – a fast-moving waterfall where water plunges 35 metres and crashes into the pool below. Later, make tracks to the low and wide Agua Azul, which flows slowly over limestone rocks. Remember to pack your swimsuit for a quick dip in the afternoon. Otherwise, hike around the beautiful surrounding area. The next day, tour the impressive Palenque ruins – a Maya masterpiece.

Day 12 Campeche

Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico before continuing on to the fortified colonial town of Campeche.

Day 13 Merida

Spend the day exploring Merida’s well-preserved Old Town. As well as being the capital of Yucatan state, Merida is the cultural capital of the entire peninsula. Today is free to choose your own adventure: relax in a sunny central cafe, meander museums or walk around the plaza Grande checking out cathedrals, 16th-century houses and its municipal cultural centre. There is a lot to see and do, but be sure to stop, take a breather and try some unique Yucatecan food. Influenced by the Maya culture, this cheesy, spicy and meaty cuisine is some of the best in Mexico.

Day 14 Playa del Carmen

Explore Chichen Itza, arguably the most famous, and by far the most visited, Maya site in Mexico. With a local guide, see the El Castillo pyramid, where human sacrifices were made to appease the Maya rain god Chac, and learn about the ball courts, where disputes were settled during a game (combatants were only allowed to hit the ball using their elbows, hips and wrists, and losing meant a player's head). In Playa del Carmen, spend time at the beach, exploring the aqua-blue waters with a snorkel.

Day 15 Havana

With music in the air, crumbling colonial buildings, iconic 50s cars and a unique and often chequered history, Havana always rolls to its own fabulous beat.

Days 16-17 Soroa/Vinales

Nestled in a lush valley, Soroa has an abundance of natural beauty and is known for its trekking, cycling waterfalls and orchard garden. Surrounded by a unique karst valley, tobacco plantations and atmospheric caves, Vinales is a peaceful, charming town with some of Cuba's most welcoming people.

Days 18-19 Trinidad

Colourful houses, cobblestone streets, wonderful people, great food and breathtaking vistas over cerulean seas make Trinidad a firm favourite among visitors.

Day 20 Cienfuegos

A delightful city referred to as the 'Pearl of the South', Cienfuegos was designed beautifully by the French but emits a definite Caribbean vibe.

Days 21-22 Havana

Havana has a tenacity that has seen it through 500 years of ups and downs, along with an infectious love of music, food and life in general.
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