Unearth the treasures of Mexico, from spicy Mexico City to Chichen Itza

Cheers a margarita glass to the vivacious beauty and fiery flavours of Mexico. Discover the culture and landscapes of this fascinating country on a trip that takes you from Mexico City to Play del Carmen – with a spattering of enticing stops along the way. Discover Maya history and culture at the incredible Chichen Itza ruins, and visit traditional communities in the charming San Cristobal de las Casas. Indulge in a feast of delicious local food, with a chance to learn some cooking skills of your own. And snorkel in the brilliant Caribbean waters, laze on white sands and stroll through lively marketplaces. Waterfalls and volcanoes await you, and a host of museums, churches and archaeological sites give you a taste of Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.

Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Countries
Mexico
Themes
Explorer
Code
QVKD
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip


Highlights

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

Itinerary

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.
Travel by minibus to Puebla and explore a city that has successfully combined modern developments with its colonial past. Take the time to intimately explore this Mexican township. 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.
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, 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 home that was inhabited for 1,500 years by a succession of cultures (Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs).
See the widest tree in the world - the Tule Tree - and stop by a mezcal factory to see how this famed spirit is made and then at the Mitla ruins on the way to Tehuantepec.
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 Maya communities and, during free time, perhaps rent a bike to explore the town further or venture to the Sumidero Canyon to get among nature.
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, visit some impressive Maya ruins in the jungled hilltops of Palenque. Dating back to AD600, many of the ruins are still hidden within the surrounding forest and, due to a low number of visiting tourists, the sites are often empty.
Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico before continuing on to the fortified colonial town of Campeche.
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.
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 Mayan rain god Chac, and learn about the ball courts, where disputes were settled during a sporting game (combatants were only allowed to hit the ball using their elbows, hips and wrists, and the losing players lost their heads). In Playa del Carmen, spend time at the beach, exploring the blue waters with a snorkel while the Caribbean rays falls from the sky. This laidback coastal town has some of the best international food in the area, which makes it the perfect spot to cheers a margarita glass to the success of an in-depth Mexican adventure.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
14 breakfasts
Transport
Bus, Metro, Minibus, Taxi
Accommodation
Hotel (14 nights)
Included activites
  • Campeche - City Tour
  • Campeche - San Miguel Fort
  • Chichen Itza - Entrance
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Guided tour of Palenque ruins
  • Mexico City - City Tour
  • Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Mexico City - Museum of Anthropology
  • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals
  • Mexico City - Teotihuacan archaeological site
  • Oaxaca - Mezcal Factory
  • Oaxaca - Mitla ruins visit
  • Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins
  • Oaxaca - Tule Tree
  • Puebla - City Tour
  • Puebla - Santo Domingo Church and Rosary Chapel
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Mayan villages tour inc. San Juan Chamula
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Sumidero Canyon (inc. transport)

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Notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. An airport arrival transfer is included. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking.
3. This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Best of Mexico trips score an average of 3.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Best of Mexico , April 2015

Best of Mexico , March 2015