Mexico’s Mayan Trail
|Resort:||Mexico’s Mayan Trail|
Emerald jungles, sapphire-blue waters and powdery white sands meet towering ancient temples and colonial towns in the captivating country of Mexico. But a trip here is just as much about its fascinating history and culture as its idyllic landscapes. Our comprehensive tour will have you reaching for your sombrero as we comb through spectacular Mayan sites, uncovering the history of Mexicos ancient people – the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, and Aztecs – and the influence of Spanish settlers.
15 excursions and visits
Day 1 – UK – Mexico City
Titans VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Mexico City. On arrival, our coach will transfer us to our hotel, for our three-night stay.
Day 2 – Mexico City
Cosmopolitan and cultured, Mexico City is a true melting pot of all cultures and classes. The city proudly showcases both ancient civilisation and modern city life. Well waste no time in getting to know this city sprawl on our tour, which takes us to the Metropolitan Cathedral, and the National Palace with its famous collection of murals illustrating the history of Mexico. Later, therell be plenty of time to soak up the treasures of the National Museum of Anthropology – one of the top attractions the city has to offer and an introduction to the sights that await us later in the holiday.
Day 3 – Teotihuacan – Guadalupe
Today well uncover Teotihuacan, one of the most important Aztec sites in Mexico and also one of the most impressive. The ruins of Teotihuacan are vast and spread over a large distance. Youll have time to wander, walk the Avenue of the Dead (the walkway running between the pyramids) and view the magnificent 70-metre-high Sun Pyramid, which can be climbed for a breathtaking view. After our explorations we return to our hotel in Mexico City, visiting the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe en route to view the image of the miraculous Virgin Maria.
Day 4 – Puebla
Today we travel to Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Mexicos best-preserved Spanish colonial treasures. On arrival well head just outside the city to visit the vast Cholula archaeological complex, home to the Great Pyramid of Cholula.
Day 5 – Puebla – Oaxaca
The city of Puebla retains a fantastically well-preserved centre, boasting a beautiful cathedral and a wealth of pretty churches. Well soak it all up on a city tour this morning before leaving for Oaxaca.
Day 6 – Monte Alban – Oaxaca
We begin the day at Monte Alban, the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca and arguably one of the most outstanding with a fabulous mountaintop location. We view the ruins of buildings dating between AD 250-800; however, the origins can be traced as far back as 500 BC when Monte Alban was first settled. Over 180 tombs have been discovered here so far. Following our arrival back into Oaxaca well take a brief walking tour of the central district. Steeped in history, Oaxaca was pronounced a city by King Carlos V of Spain in 1532. Bursting with colonial charm, its easy to fall in love with this intensely attractive city. Handsome, tranquil streets pulsate with regional flavour and lead to a puzzle of plazas and squares – perfect for getting lost in.
Day 7 – Tehuantepec
Our day starts at Santa Maria del Tule to view the famous Tule Tree, located in the atrium of the Santa Maria de la Asuncion temple and thought to be over 2,000 years old, with a circumference of over 50m. We continue to Mitla, where the Zapotecas believed the dead came to find their last resting place. Many of the buildings here are festooned with beautiful fretwork. We travel on to Teotitlan del Valle, a village famous for its locally made rugs and blankets. Later we drive to Tehuantepec for an overnight stay.
Day 8 – San Cristobal
This morning we travel by road to Tuxtla Gutierrez where for a boat tour along the Grijalva River and through the impressive Sumidero Canyon. Then, well continue to San Cristobal de las Casas for a two-night stay
Day 9 – San Juan Chamula – Zinacantan
This morning well discover the Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, where we gain an insight into the lives of the local communities. The people of both these communities are Tzotzil. In San Juan, youll see the locals dressed in the traditional homespun white wool tunics. In Zinacantan, the dress is more vivid with pink and purple shawls and embroidered blouses – perhaps to reflect the art of flower growing, which the people here are particularly good at. This afternoon well enjoy a walking tour of well-preserved colonial San Cristobal, where well be staying for the night.
Day 10 – Palenque
This morning we leave San Cristobal behind as we journey for the city of Palenque. Our scenic route takes us past stunning vistas of forested valleys before arriving at Palenque.
Day 11 – Palenque
Prepare for a real day of discovery. Well be exploring one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in all of Mexico today, at the Palenque ruins. In their jungle setting, swathed in jungle mist and echoing the howler monkeys and parrots, these ruins have a certain excitement and mystery about them. At its height, the area was ruled by kings and queens in AD 600-700. When belief in the system was lost, the city crumbled, only to be rediscovered in 1785. While the site itself is large, the majority of the city is still unexcavated, buried in the surrounding jungle. Following plenty of time to explore, we return to our hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure.
Day 12 – Campeche
We travel to the coastal city of Campeche, which was founded in the 1540s and was the main port for the Spanish in the Yucatan. They built the huge fortifications here, designed to protect their goods from piracy. This afternoon well enjoy an orientation tour of the city and visit the Fuerte de San Miguel Museum.
Day 13 – Kabah – Uxmal – Merida
Our first stop today is at the semi-restored site of Kabah, to view the huge array of sculptures illustrating the rain god Chac, with its characteristic long nose. A short drive then takes us to the Mayan archaeological site of Uxmal where we visit many temples, the Pyramid of the Wizard and the Quadrangle of the Nunnery and take time to view the intricate bas-relief stonework. Our day finishes at the white city of Merida on the northwest coast of the Yucatan peninsula.
Day 14 – Toledo – Chichen Itza
Seeing Chichen Itza right in front of you truly is a breathtaking moment. One of the largest and most famous Mayan sites in the world and an icon of world travel. Well stay just walking distance from the ruins, so youll have plenty of time to explore. On our way, well stop in Toledo to visit the 16th-century Convent of San Antonio de Padua.
Day 15 – Chichen Itza – Cancun – In flight
We make a visit to Chichen Itza, a site that showcases some of the best Mayan architecture including the 24m-high Pyramid of Kukulcan, the Temple of the Warriors and the largest ball court found to date. Youll also visit the 22m-deep Sacred Cenote, a well where over 50 skeletons have been found. Well transfer to the airport later in the day, for your return flight to the UK.
Day 16 – UK
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.