Map of Yucatan Peninsula Adventure including Mexico

From beach to city to beach again, explore the eastern coast of marvellous Mexico.

Adventure across the Yucatan Peninsula from the tropical beaches to the colourful cities. Lose yourself among ancient Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Uxmal, and head to the bustling street markets before finding yourself in clear waters and turquoise lagoons of the coast. Learn about the Maya culture in colonial Merida, experience a traditional meal with a family, and then take the plunge in Bacalar: a laidback lake town famous for its ever-changing shades of blue water. Thousands of years of history mixed with a modern, laidback lifestyle means Mexico, and the Yucatan in particular, should be high on everyone’s bucket list.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Finish
Tulum, Mexico
Destination
Mexico
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
QBSY
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover the lost Maya city of Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Your tour of the ancient ruins includes a special visit and traditional lunch to the nearby Piste community.

  • Sip margaritas and try local specialties in Merida: Yucatan’s charming colonial capital. There’s so much culture to this city, and always a place to practise your salsa!

  • Dip your toe in the fresh waters surrounding Tulum – a laidback beachside community close to deep blue cenotes and expansive lagoons.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Some included activities, such as guided tours of archaeological sites, can be quite strenuous. Be sure to bring suitably sturdy footwear.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours. There will of course be plenty of chances to swim!

  • It's a good idea to learn as many Spanish words as you can. Locals are very friendly, but can be shy, so you'll need to make an effort to break the ice. It's a great way to show respect and involve yourself in their culture.

Itinerary

Hola! Welcome to Playa del Carmen, on the sandy shores of the Yucatan Peninsula. Meet your leader and fellow travellers at an important welcome meeting at 6pm, then tuck into some Mexican morsels for dinner. If you do arrive early, good for you, as there’s so much to do! Playa del Carmen is popular resort town famed for its coral reef and sparkling warm waters, so feel free to kick back with a book, take a stroll along the white sands, go on a day trip to the island of Cozumel or head for a dip in the Caribbean.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Playa del Carmen - Bicycle Rental (per day) - MXN250
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Depart the coast early by private vehicle towards Merida, learning some Spanish from your leader on the way. You’ll be stopping at the famous Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, for a guided tour. This is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico and dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. After your tour, experience a special lunch in the local Piste community, a short drive from the archaeological site. You’ll have time to experience the culture and interact with the locals while being served some traditional Yucatecan cuisine. Make sure you have learnt some Spanish phrases – the men and women of the community will be very appreciative. Continue on to Merida, where your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get your bearings. Founded in 1542, Merida is the capital of the Yucatan region and has retained so much of its old-world charm. Wander the streets and take in the colonial buildings, learn about the town’s Maya heritage and don’t forget to visit Mercado 60: a buzzing food market with international and local cuisine, margaritas and live music.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Piste - Traditional Maya Family Lunch
  • Merida - Leader-led Orientation Walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take today to explore the many sights of Merida. Your leader will have some recommendations and there are a number of optional activities available. Perhaps visit one of the several museums in town, including the Regional Museum of Yucatan, located in the stunning Palacio Canton. Chill out in the shady Plaza Grande, surrounded by the 16th-century cathedral, City Hall, the State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo, or stroll through the outdoor markets selling hammocks, Maya replicas and mouth-watering local food including the Yucatan specialty: cochinita pibil. There’s also the option of visiting the Celestun Bird Sanctuary where, depending on the season, you can catch the flamingos painting pink streaks across the landscape. Merida is a people-pleaser when it comes to nightlife and has something for all tastes, whether you’re after a low-key bar, cultural show or some live music and dancing. However, be warned there is an early start tomorrow. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Merida - Celestun Bird Sanctuary (entrance and transport) - MXN1035
  • Merida - Regional Museum of Yucatan - MXN52
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave the city of Merida behind at around 8 am and drive (approximately 1.5 hours) to one of Mexico's best-preserved Maya sites, Uxmal. Spend two hours exploring the ruins with your leader – see the so-called Pyramid of the Magician, one of Mexico’s most impressive, marvel at the decorative details of the Governor’s Palace, and take the opportunity to climb one of the pyramids for an astounding view of the surrounding area. You’ll enjoy an included lunch at the nearby municipality of Santa Elena, before continuing (2 hours) to the coast to spend the night among the pastel shades of seaside Campeche. Upon arrival, your leader will take you out for a short orientation walk before free time explore and dine as you wish – there’s good seafood all around, and good restaurants for snacking at Portales de San Martin.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uxmal Ruins - Leader-led Tour (Entrance Fee)
  • Campeche - Leader-led Orientation Walk
Optional Activities
  • Campeche - San Miguel Fort (Entrance Fee) - MXN55
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Hopefully, you've woken up fresh for the 6-hour cross-peninsular drive to Bacalar today. Bacalar is said to be the first settlement of the Itza tribe, who would go on to create Chitchen Itza. Today it’s a quiet spot to sit back, relax, and take in the surrounding nature. Once arrived, take a short leader-led orientation walk to get your bearings of this small town, and then have a free afternoon and evening to relax after a long travel day. Cerveza, anyone?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bacalar - Leader-led orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, take some time to chill out in relaxed riverside Balacar. You’ll have a free day to do as you please, perhaps a relax by the banks of the lake, a swim, or just diving straight into a book. Bacalar is known for its Lake of Seven Colours – thanks to the various stunning shades of blue it adopts throughout the day. There’s also the option to visit Cenote Azul today: a beautiful fresh water rockpool, perfect for swimming. The sparkling blue water and stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are a sight to behold.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cenote Azul - Natural rock pool with option to swim (Entrance fee & Transport) - MXN120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free morning relaxing around Balacar’s lake before heading in a private vehicle for 2.5 hours towards Tulum. Not far outside of town, you will stop for a couple of hours at the quiet and less-visited Muyil ruins. Float gently on a boat or in the water through beautifully clear fresh water down a Mayan canal amongst the mangroves. Just another 20minutes left in the vehicle before arriving in Tulum for your final stop. Take an orientation walk with your leader to know your way around, and then there may be time to fit in a visit to another cenote or Tulum’s Maya ruins, or otherwise, find a bar to keep working on that Spanish with the locals. Later, meet your leader at a local restaurant for the farewell dinner and say ‘salud’ to Mexico.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Muyil - Archaeological site (Entrance fee)
  • Muyil - River Boat Tour
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Dos Ojos Cenote - Fresh Water Rock Pool (entrance fee with snorkelling gear & life jacket included) - MXN350
  • Tulum - Archaeological Site (entrance fee, no guide) - MXN75
  • Tulum - Bicycle rental (per 24 hours) - MXN150
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast, there are no activities planned for the day, but that’s no reason to stop exploring! Tulum is famous for its crystal water, snorkelling, ancient ruins and general magnificence, so no-one can blame you for wanting to stick around for a few more days. If you would like to spend some more time in Tulum, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights)

Included activities

  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Piste - Traditional Maya Family Lunch
  • Merida - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Uxmal Ruins - Leader-led Tour (Entrance Fee)
  • Campeche - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Bacalar - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Muyil - Archaeological site (Entrance fee)
  • Muyil - River Boat Tour
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Yucatan Peninsula Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

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