Captivating Mayan Ruins
Embark on a two-week adventure exploring some of the most captivating Mayan ruins in Mexico, going through diverse cultures and contrasting landscapes in a land full of history and beauty. From the beautiful Cancun Caribbean coast to the stunning colonial city of Merida, the fascinating blend of heavenly beaches, impressive ruins of ancient Mayan civilization, the turquoise blue water cenotes, and all the astounding nature surrounding them, is certainly overwhelming.
Enjoy the well-known friendliness of the Mexican residents who preserve their traditions and culture. Explore dazzling off-the-beaten-path destinations encircled by ancient Mayan temples and sacred cenotes to have a closer glimpse of the Mayan culture and history. From the unique ruins throughout Campeche to the unparalleled views of beautiful Tulum, this trip promises unforgettable experiences throughout the stunning Mayan Riviera and beyond.
Day 1. Arrival
To start the travel, there will be someone at the airport waiting to welcome you and drive you to your hotel in Cancun.
Day 2. Chichen Itza
One of the most fascinating Mayan ruins in Mexico is without any doubt Chichen Itza. Known worldwide for the play of light and shadow that looks like a descending serpent over the steps of the pyramid known as “The Castle”. Today you will explore this fascinating Mayan city, now UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The sensation you feel when discovering the genius of that prehispanic civilization is certainly indescribable. Another impressive effect in “The Castle” is the sound that is reflected in the upper part when several tourists clap simultaneously at the bottom. Later, we will drive to Merida.
Day 3. Merida
Enjoy a walking tour to the beautiful old city center surrounded by flower gardens, fountains, palm trees, and of course its impressive architecture. You will also visit the huge Mayan World Museum, one of the most important and ultra-modern in Mexico. Holding more than 1,100 relics, this visit promises an impressive display of the past and present of the Mayan culture.
Day 4. Puuc Route Ruins
With a particular style of architecture, the ancient structures, temples, housing, and buildings built on this route are connected by an ancient Mayan pathway. Today we will visit the Mayan ruins of Kabah, Sayil, and Labna, these sites were constructed over a thousand years ago in the hilly area of Yucatan, indeed the word “Puuc” comes from the Mayan for hills and therefore its name.
Day 5: Anillo de Cenotes
We will first visit the archaeological site of Xlapak, one of the greatest jewels of the Puuc architectural style. In the Mayan language, its name means Old walls and The Palace. It has a richly decorated main structure.
After the archaeological visit, we will go to the Natural Reserve Anillo de Cenotes (Ring of the Cenotes). This wonder is a semicircle-shaped alignment related to the fall of the meteorite more than 50 million years ago. Here we will visit the Homun and Cuzuma communities, situated in the center of the ring; the communities are dedicated to showing and preserving these natural wonders. The area offers the unparalleled chance of exploring a huge variety of cenotes and caves, each one with a beauty that impacts.
You can find here a Cenote for every taste, from those with a unique and calm beauty of transparent green waters you will not want to ever leave to those that offer the most thrilling experiences such as pulling a liana or descending more than seven meters for a dive. This natural paradise will surely not leave you indifferent.
Day 6: Mayan City of Uxmal
We will leave Merida today and head to one of the most beautiful Pre-Columbian sites in Mexico, Uxmal, an astonishing grand finale to the journey down the Puuc Route Ruins. Explore this impressive complex with several religious and political palaces, housing structures, ball courts, and its most outstanding building, 35 meters tall and a notable oval base, is the highest in the complex and is known as: “The Pyramid of the Magician”, local legends say that it bears that name because it was built in a single night.
After this impressive visit, we will reach the walled city of Campeche where we will do a walking tour to enjoy its colorful streets that mix with baroque temples and sober bastions. Its colonial houses, museums, forts, and traditional neighborhoods will certainly rejoice in your sight.
Day 7: Edzna ruins
Today you will visit the off-the-beaten-path archaeological site of Edzna, its imposing temple, the Pyramid of the Five Floors is 39 meters high. This ancient Mayan city is fantastically well preserved therefore it is easy to imagine what this city would be like at its peak, full of color, crowds, and movement. More than 200 structures have been located to date, such as building and housing complexes, bases, platforms, ball games, roads, etc. In addition to the monumental constructions, the ancient inhabitants of this city also created an ingenious hydraulic system.
Day 8: Becan, Chicanna & Xpujil
Today we will go south to Xpujil town, located in the middle of the jungle. It is ideal to enjoy the exuberant local flora and fauna. Along the way, we will visit three nearby sites that stand out for their rare Mayan palatial architecture.
The first of them is Becan, in the Mayan language its name means “Cannon formed by water”. It is an ancient city characterized by being surrounded by a moat, unique in the Mayan area. On the other hand, Structure VIII has as a peculiarity its access through a tunnel that connects two of the main squares of this city.
The second site, Chicanna which means “The Mouth of the Serpent” due to the elegance and decorative richness of its buildings, has been considered by some researchers as the elitist center of the region. The third and last that we will visit today is Xpujil, its name means “Cat’s Tail” in allusion to a herbaceous plant that looks like it. It is composed of approximately 17 architectural groups and numerous platforms of a residential nature scattered over an area of approximately 5 square kilometers.
Day 9: Calakmul
We will visit today one of the most fascinating Mayan ruins in this area, Calakmul, its name means “Between two adjacent stones”. This secret gem of the Mayan archeology remained hidden for more than 1,000 years and is a place where you can feel like a true explorer and be overwhelmed by the power of man and the greatness of nature.
With structures up to 45 meters high, more than one hundred commemorative stelae and several tombs adorned with numerous vessels and elements such as masks, jadeite necklaces, and marine snails, among others. The extraordinary beauty and complexity of this Mayan city have caused it to be a Mixed World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Due to its great natural and wild wealth is also a Biosphere Reserve that is home to about 100 mammals including the puna or the iconic jaguar.
Day 10: Tulum
Today you will be transferred to the magical town of Tulum, with beautiful white sand beaches, lagoons, cenotes, and caverns that impress with their beauty and natural splendor. Upon arrival you could visit Paradise Beach to enjoy a breathtaking sunset, its calm and beautiful waters are perfect for enjoying a drink on the beach while admiring the ruins above.
Day 11. Tulum ruins & Cenotes
After breakfast you will start visiting the amazing walled city of Tulum, located on a cliff overlooking the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, the spectacular location of this site is worth a visit. Later, we will visit the Cenotes in Dos Ojos.
Day 12. Coba
From the top of the tallest ancient pyramid of Coba, the jungle canopy looks like a living green colossal carpet. Archaeologists consider the Mayan ruins of Coba to be an unbelievably decisive city for the Maya civilization. Nonetheless, due to its faraway position, this gigantic site is not as trendy with travelers as other ruins. But there are abounding reasons to explore the city of white roads.
Coba does not have as many visitors as other destinations, so you can climb some of the temples for a contrasting and uncommon viewpoint. The lifted stone roadways connect clusters of residential sections to the main plaza and small lakes used as an adjacent water supply. There are three very cool ways to explore the site forward on these roads. You will be able to hike, hire a bici taxi, or the most favorite, rent a bicycle!
One of the most beloved reasons to see Coba is that it is not as uncovered as other sites in the Mayan world, so you will feel like you are hiking through a jungle, with many great structures still covered by the jungle canopy. Here is the tallest pyramid in the north of the peninsula at 42 meters high, some interesting stelae where important events of the upper class of society were sculpted are preserved on the esplanade in front of it.
Our last visit of the day will be to the Mayan underworld, with a refreshing stop at the Cenote Choo-Ha, a water-filled natural sinkhole whose name means Dripping Water. A spacious cavern where the shallow and crystalline jade-colored waters surround an earthy island, the whole cavern is filled by stalactites and stalagmites that are constantly leaking, hence its name. After this adequate stop where you can enjoy a refreshing swim, you will be taken back to your hotel.
Day 13. Free day
You will have a free day to enjoy the Mexican Caribbean, beautiful white sand beaches and palm trees, turquoise blue sea, spectacular lagoons, and underwater caverns. This unique region, rich in Mayan culture and history, is also rich in diversity, gastronomy, and natural resources.
Day 14. Return home
This journey through some of the most fascinating Mayan ruins in Mexico has come to an end and today a private transfer will take you to the Cancun International Airport for your flight back home. But if your craving for adventure has not stopped yet, you can contact us and we will help you extend the trip.
14 days & 13 nights
From $3,400 per guest
Private transportation, door to door service
13 nights accommodation; hotels carefully selected
Local certified onsite guides
All park entrance fees
3 traditional lunches
Price varies by group size
Not included: flights, travel insurance and other expenses than indicated