RUTA MAYA

Explore Mexico and Guatemala 's ancient pyramids set deep in the steamy jungle on this tour of Central America. Swim in crystal clear cenotes and explore the beaches of the crystal-blue Caribbean as well as the wild blue Pacific Ocean. Visit traditional Indian markets, stunning colonial towns and hidden waterfalls.

Itinerary

Day 1, Cancun and Merida

We head out from Cancun to the amazing. Chichen Itza ruins. Their stunning designs and excellent preservation make them a favourite stop for guides and visitors alike. From the past to the present, we visit colonial Merida. Lined with lovely cafes, the central markets are a great place to people watch and shop for the high quality Mexican hammocks. Don't worry, your guide will be sure to help negotiate "un buen precio"! Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 2-3, Palenque

After a walking tour of Merida, we continue south on to Palenque, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Famous for spectacular ruins set deep in the jungle, Palenque has a magical quality about it. Returning to our secluded jungle setting in time for sunset, listen closely for howler monkeys in the trees. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 4-6, Oaxaca

From Chiapas, on to Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. Native culture, food and Zapotec ruins abound in this historic city. Besides exploring the brightly coloured markets and visiting local artisans, we will tour the Monte Alban ruins, sitting on top of a ridge with stunning views over the valley below. These will be two unforgettable days. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 7-9, Puerto Escondido

Travel from the city to the sea. The blue waters of the Pacific Ocean with its world class waves are perfect for two days of beach, surf and horse-riding, not to mention the great bars and nightlife. Puerto Escondido is one of the coolest places on the coast to hang out with an excellent atmosphere. You'll feel like a local in no time! Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 10, Tuxtla Gutierrez

Off the beaten path and onto Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital city of Chiapas. Here we take an included boat tour of the spectacular Sumidero Canyon with its 1000 meter walls and cascading waterfalls. Keep your camera ready for crocodiles, river turtles and tropical birds. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 11-12, San Cristobal

Next, San Cristobal de Las Casas. One of the most beautiful and best preserved colonial cities, San Cris is nestled in the mountains of Chiapas and has a comfortable climate year round - you may even need a jumper at night! With colourful Indian markets and a fine array of restaurants and cafes, you will enjoy exciting nightlife with the finest local flavour! Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 13-14, Frontera Corozal

Along the Guatemalan border to the banks of the mighty Usamacinta river, take an Indiana Jones style boat ride to the fabled Yaxchilan ruins. Accessible only by boat, the Yaxhilan ruins in the heart of the Lacondan Indian area, have been preserved brilliantly. Take a flashlight as there is some true exploring to be done here under the jungle canopy. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 15, Tikal/Flores, Guatemala

Crossing the river into Guatemala, Tikal awaits. This is the big one. In a lush jungle full of howler monkeys and exotic birds we discover the ruins. Its majestic high pyramids tower above the forest canopy and reach for the sky. It is hard to describe the beauty of this place as this is arguably the most spectacular ruin site and setting in the Americas. It's amazing architecture and geographical positioning must have made the chiefs feel close to the gods from their lofty perch. Take an extra battery for your camera today. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 16, Chiapas

After visiting Tikal, we return to Mexico ready for a trip to the Caribbean Coast Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 17, Chetumal and Bacalar

The beautiful 'Lagoon of Seven Colours' is Bacalar's claim to fame and an included boat tour of its spectacular scenery and fish life will show you why! Take a swim in the Cenote Azul, a perfect natural spring, before driving up to the Caribbean beaches. Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 18-20, Caribbean Beaches, Mexico

Three nights on the Mexican Caribbean means an unforgettable time. Catch the sun, swim, dive, snorkel the underground cenotes (caves), or sip a cerveza on the beach. Oh yes this is "living la vida loca"! Accommodation: Hotel/cabin included. Meals paid locally.

Day 21, Cancun

After staying as late as we can at the beach we continue back to Cancun to finish this trip of a lifetime. Adios amigos! Tour ends at approx 17:00 hrs in Cancun on day 21.

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