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Land of the Maya 2014-2015

23 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Days 1-3 Mexico City
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.

Day 4 Puebla
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.

Days 5-7 Oaxaca
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).

Days 8-10 San Cristobal de las Casas
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. During free time, perhaps rent a bike to explore the town further or venture to the Sumidero Canyon to get in touch with nature.

Day 11 Palenque
Head out on a waterfall excursion like no other. See Misol-ha – a high, 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.

Day 12 Overnight Bus
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 seemingly empty. Listen carefully and you might hear the eerie calls of howler monkeys echoing from the jungle. In the evening, get comfy on a overnight bus to Meridia.

Day 13 Merida
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 cusine is some of the best in Mexico.

Days 14-15 Playa del Carmen
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 are only allowed to hit a ball using their elbows, hips and wrists, and the losing players do not escape with their head. In Playa del Carmen, spend time at the beach, exploring 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 indepth Mexican adventure.

Days 16-17 Caye Caulker

Days 18-19 San Ignacio

Day 20 Tikal

Days 21-23 Antigua
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Map
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 All This Included
Wander around ancient ruins in Mexico, swan through the aqua blue waters of Belize and navigate the colonial alleyways of one of Guatemala's most beautiful major cities. From the grimy yet tantalising streets of Mexico City, through the underwater wilderness of Caye Caulker, to the ancient Maya temples of Tikal, Central America is a hot spot for historical adventures, nature enthusiasts and party animals. Pack bathers, sunscreen and a sense of adventure for an exploration through the Land of the Maya.
  • Antigua women's cooperative visit, Belize Zoo, Chichen Itza ruins, Complimentary airport arrival transfer, Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls, Monte Alban Ruins, Palenque ruins entrance fee, Snorkel trip half day, Teotihuacan Ruins, Tour of Tikal Ruins and National Park, Tulum ruins, Villages tour
  • 22 breakfasts
  • Transportation: Boat, Bus, Metro, Minibus, Overnight bus, Plane, Taxi
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Highlights
  • Admire the intricate colonial architecture around Puebla
  • Be dwarfed by the pyramids of Chichen Itza
  • Browse Antigua's local mercado for an exciting shopping experience
  • Explore the marine life around Belize's Blue Hole
  • Explore the natural wonders of San Cristobal by bicycle
  • Explore the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan
  • Swim beneath a waterfall at Mountain Pine Ridge
  • Visit the Museum of Culture in Oaxaca to learn about the history of the local people
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Accommodations
Hotel (21 nts)
Overnight bus (1 nt)
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Notes
  • Allow $450 for meals not included.
  • Expect some culture shock. You will be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
  • Group Size: Minimum 1, Maximum 16.
  • Age requirement: Minimum 15
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
800-680-2858 800-680-2858 Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.