Mayan Trails of the Yucatan

Discover the highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula traversing Mayan archaeological sites, visiting small authentic pueblos and picturesque cities filled with colors. On this journey, we experience the region's most fascinating Mayan sites and their history in pre-Hispanic times. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in boutique Haciendas & exquisite lodges

Experience the best of the Yucatan Peninsula

Savour fine and exquisite gastronomy 

Experience Mexico with local characters

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE CANCUN / RIVIERA MAYA

Arrive Cancun Intl Airport where you will be met and begin a scenic drive to the Riviera Maya where we check in at the beautiful and boutique Hotel Esencia. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to relax and rejuvenate. 

Overnight: Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: RIVIERA MAYA / TULUM / COBA / VALLADOLID / CHICHEN ITZA

This morning, be met as we make a short drive along the coast to the pre-Columbian ruins of Tulum
overlooking the Caribbean Sea, which used to be an important trading port between the 13th and 15th Centuries. Enjoy a guided excursion to learn about the interesting structures such as the Pyramid El Castillo, Temple of the Frescoes and the Temple of the Descending God. Thereafter, we continue our drive inland to explore the Pyramid of Coba “Ixmoja”. Standing at 42m tall and adorned with 120 stone steps, it is the highest Mayan pyramid in Mexico. The jungle setting and vine-covered ruins are a perfect setting for an optional the bike tour. Our expert tour guide will illuminate the Mayan mysteries of the region as we learn about its engineering, architecture, and society. From here, we continue on our journey to Valladolid, the first capital city of the Yucatan Peninsula, today a bustling Mayan city with a special colonial flavor. Enjoy an immersive orientation of Valladolid, founded in 1543 by Francisco de Montejo visiting the colorful neighborhoods with houses of ancient and colorful facades and beautiful colonial buildings such as the Iglesia de San Servacio and the Convent de San Bernardino de Siena before we journey on to Chichen Itza where we arrive and check in at the Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxkin Spa. This evening, enjoy a spiritual Chichen Itza Night Show accessing directly from the hotel’s private entrance. 

Overnight: Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxkin Spa, Chichen Itza

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 3: CHICHEN ITZA

Embark on an early morning exploration of Chichen Itza on a privately guided tour with your expert guide.
This site is world renowned for the sophistication of its structures and the high level of astronomical and
engineering accomplishments. The site comes alive with the expert interpretation of your guide adding colour and contour to the sprawling site. Around the as the mid-day heat descends, head to Cenote Ik Kil where you can opt for a refreshing swim. Arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes of Mexico, it is open to the skies and offers a carved stairway to the waters which is 40m deep. Worth a visit too is the Balankanche Caves where we admire the astounding beauty of its natural stone formations and for its archaeological importance as a ceremonial site for the Mayans.

Overnight: Hacienda Chichen Resort & Yaxkin Spa, Chichen Itza

Meals: Breakfast 

DAY 4: CHICHEN ITZA / IZAMAL / MERIDA

Our day begins with a pleasant drive to the charming “Yellow City” of Izamal, once an ancient centre of
worship for the Mayans and later, transformed into a colonial city dominated by the spectacular Franciscan
Convent of San Antonio de Padua, built from the stones of the destroyed Ppapp-Hol-Chac Pyramid and
completed in 1561. Thereafter, we continue to Merida, capital and largest city of the Yucatan Peninsula,
founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th Century and decorated with historic colonial-era architecture and vibrant street life. Starting from Plaza Mayor, we visit the Cathedral of Merida which was completed in 1598 boasting exquisite Renaissance, Moorish and Baroque style architecture. Thereafter, admire the Casa de
Montejo
– former residence of Francisco Montejo, founder of Merida. We then spend time enjoying the
atmospheric vibe of the Merida Sunday Market where vendors showcase a variety of handicrafts and food
produce, experience local lives and joyful expressions of local dance performances before checking in into the Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel.

Overnight: Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel, Merida

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: MERIDA / UXMAL / KABAH / EDZNA / CAMPECHE

We leave Merida this morning for a drive south along the “Ruta Puuc” – a network of well-preserved Mayan
archaeological sites where we will first make a stop at the UNESCO-listed town of Uxmal, one of the most
ancient Mayan ruin sites in Mexico dating back to 700AD. The name Uxmal means “Three times built” in
Mayan and refers to the construction of its highest structure - the Pyramid of the Magician, which was built on top of existing pyramids. Next, a short drive away takes us to the ruins of Kabah which dates back to the 9th Century. Witness the Palace of the Masks, a façade decorated with hundreds of stone masks of the Rain God, Chaac. We then continue our journey south to the ruins of Edzna where the word derived from “House of the Itzas”, believed to be influenced by the Itza family long before they founded the more famous Chichen Itza. Finally, we will arrive into the UNESCO-listed city of Campeche where check in into the historic Hacienda Uayamon.

Overnight: Hacienda Uayamon, Campeche

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: CAMPECHE

Today, we explore the UNESCO-listed “Pastel City” of Campeche adorned with colorful colonial buildings,
narrow cobblestoned streets, fortified ramparts and well-preserved charming mansions. We begin our
exploration in the historic downtown admiring the iconic Campeche Cathedral, the charming Casa No.6 – a
reconstruction of typical houses of high society between the 17th and the 19th Centuries, the beautiful Mansion Carvajal and the pastel-colored buildings along the 59th Street. Later, we visit the Fort of San Jose El Alto, built in the 18th Century and an example of military architecture developed in America to fortify the Spanish colonies. Currently it houses the Museum of Boats & Arms, which shows a variety of trade-related parts, the military and religion during the colonial period in Campeche, as well as a collection of ships used by the Navy of Mexico in the mid-20th Century.

Overnight: Hacienda Uayamon, Campeche

Meals: Breakfast

DAY 7: DEPARTURE CAMPECHE

Today, we leave Campeche with the option of continuing the route to the stunning archaeological site of Palenque, an important power center during the height of the Mayan civilization (5hrs drive) or be transferred to Campeche Airport for a short flight to Mexico City where you may continue your exploration on the trails of Mayan legacy or in the tequila route. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Hotel Esencia, Riviera Maya

A glorious fusion of Caribbean colours, Mayan heritage and sleek modernity, Hotel Esencia is a world away from Playa Del Carmen - and very much retains its tranquil, elegant roots. Its 40 rooms are spoiling and decadent - pristine white, with sumptuous bathrooms and private terraces. 

Adjacent to the Chichén Itzá Archaeological Park, The Lodge has an exclusive private entrance to the Maya temples. Located in over one thousand acres of landscaped grounds; it features three outdoor pools and luxurious bungalows inspired by Maya Casitas. The bungalows at the Lodge at Chichén Itzá are hand built with local materials. They include, hand carved mahogany furniture, stained glass, local marble and handmade clay. 

The Lodge at Chichen Itza

In the center of colonial Merida,  Rosas & Xocolate is a unique Boutique Hotel with Mexican pink walls and beautiful design touches. Rooms are spacious with high ceilings, brightly-tiled floors and each one boasts an outside private bathtub. The turquoise swimming pool centerpiece offsets the pink walls in a beautiful expression of Mexican color. 

Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel, Merida

Built in 1700, Hacienda Uayamon reflects the sophistication of a luxury resort with attention to surrounding natural beauty. With superior service and accommodations, this unique hotel has been awardered by the well-known magazine Travel & Leisure in the Global Vision Awards 2010 in the category "artisan revival."  

Hacienda Uayamon, Campeche

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