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.

Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Countries
Cuba,
Mexico
Themes
Explorer
Code
QVKGC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip

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


Highlights

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

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 mescal or tequila in hard 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 made and 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 Mayan communities, and during free time, perhaps rent a bike to explore the town further or venture to the Sumidero Canyon to get a dose of nature.
Head out on a waterfall excursion like no other. See Misol-ha – a fast-moving waterfall where water plunges 35 m, crashing 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.
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 Yacatecan 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 a ball using their elbows, hips and wrists, and the losing players lost their heads). In Playa del Carmen, spend time at the beach and explore the aqua-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.
Welcome to the sultry capital of Cuba. The best way to see Havana's colonial buildings, elegant plazas, vintage cars and cigar-smoking musicians is by foot. Visit the Plaza de la Revolucion and pass giant monuments of the legendary Che Guevara and Jose Marti. The striking baroque facade of the Catedral de San Cristobal de la Habana is a must-see.
Tour the Cuban orchid gardens of Soroa en route to Vinales. One of Cuba's most attractive areas, the fertile valleys and distinctive limestone 'pincushion' hills surrounding Vinales are well worth exploring on a walking tour. Get into the groove with an introductory group salsa lesson and be welcomed on a homestay with a friendly local family.
Take time to explore Trinidad's Spanish-style churches then head to Playa Ancon, a white, sandy beach where many hours slip lazily by. Alternatively, why not snorkel over Cuba's colourful underwater world or hire a bike for a relaxing pedal around town? Enjoy an Afro-Cuban folklore dance and music show then practise newly learned salsa moves at one of Trinidad's famous music venues.
Journey to the port city Cubans call La Perla del Sur ('The Pearl of the South'). Stop by the Palacio del Valle, the architectural pride of Cienfuegos. For a local pick-me-up why not try a Cuban coffee? It's served strong, black and super sweet.
Stop in at Santa Clara to visit the Mausoleo Che Guevara and learn about the legend and life of this famous revolutionary. Back in Havana, there is time for a final night of revelry. Anyone for some salsa?
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
21 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
Transport
Bus, Metro, Minibus, Taxi
Accommodation
Guesthouse (4 nights), Hotel (17 nights)
Included activites
  • Campeche - City Tour
  • Campeche - San Miguel Fort
  • Chichen Itza - Entrance
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
  • Guided tour of Palenque ruins
  • Havana - Walking tour of Old Havana
  • Informal Salsa lesson
  • 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)
  • 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

Dates

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

Important notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trips 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 Mexico and Cuba trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Mexico and Cuba, March 2015

Mexico and Cuba, March 2015