Best of Mexico Overview
Marketplaces, waterfalls, Maya ruins – there's a wealth of excitement and beauty to be found in Mexico. Savour it all on this exciting adventure from Mexico City to Playa del Carmen.
- 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31
Unearth the treasures of Mexico, from spicy Mexico City to Chichen Itza
Cheers a margarita glass to the vivacious beauty and fiery flavors 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.
What's included in this trip
Best of Mexico SummaryAdd to Shortlist
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 colorful markets, exciting architecture and flavorsome cuisine of Oaxaca. Bargain with the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians, who sell colorful 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 stil 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.
More trips like this...
Our small group style of travel means you’ll stay under the radar, travel the local way, eat the local way and sleep the local way.
Small groups, big adventures.
Create your account today to manage your subscriptions and user preferences in one place.
Your travel home online.
Log in here
For groups of all sizes, organise a special departure of one of our pre-existing adventures, or tailor-make an itinerary to one of our destinations around the world.
TICO #50020269 Intrepid Travel is a member of the Travel Council of Ontario