Mexico, Guatemala & Belize
During this awesome 17-day journey through Mayan Treasures, you will visit the Mayan World. Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize have the most representative sites of Mayan culture and history. In Mexico, you will have guided tours to explore the Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza or Ek Balam. As well as, the Mayan ruins of the Puuc Route and Palenque. In Guatemala, you will visit the world-famous Mayan City of Tikal. In addition, you will have the opportunity to visit El Mirador, home of the largest pyramids in the world in terms of volume. Further, you will explore famous sites in Belize, known for their beauty and history, like Xunantunich and Lamanai. Finally, you will end up returning to Mexico to finish your Mayan cultural discovery trip by visiting sites like Tulum and Coba.
5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Campeche, Palenque, and Tikal. Hidden Mayan Ruins: El Mirador, Yaxha, and Coba. Natural wonders: Cenotes, Bacalar lagoon, and the barrier reef.
Day 1. Arrival
During your arrival at the international airport of Cancun, a driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to Chichen Itza.
Day 2. Chichen Itza & Cenote
Today you will visit the Mayan City of Chichen Itza to see the fascinating Pyramid of The Castle. Chichen Itza was one of the great Mesoamerican cities. Still today, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Mexico. Later, you will visit the archaeological site of Ek Balam to see their uncovered startling and amazingly well-preserved sculptures. Further, you will have the wonderful opportunity to swim & snorkel in a Cenote. A Cenote is a sinkhole in limestone, which is a natural wonder with beautiful rock formations – referred to as the Mayan underworld. After that, your driver will take you to your hotel in the city of Merida.
Day 3. Uxmal and Kabah
Today you will discover two Mayan sites of the Puuc Route ruins. It will be an adventure into the ancient Mayan world that can make you feel like a true explorer. The Route connects various ancient ruins, and we will visit Uxmal and Kabah. Take an interesting look into the captivating ancient Mayan culture. Short forested trails, ultimately expose some fascinating ruins and can give off a real sense of discovery.
Part of the appeal of touring these ruins is the ability to enjoy the peaceful environments of these mystical and intriguing structures that have been here for over a millennium. After your adventure through these Mayan sites, you will be taken to your hotel in Campeche.
Day 4. Campeche
You will have a walking city tour of Campeche, the walled city. It was a fortress city designed to protect against pirate attacks during colonial times. Visit the Fort of San Miguel to admire the largest fortress in Campeche. It is now an archaeological museum of Mayan artifacts from Calakmul. After that, your private transportation will take you to the ruins of Palenque.
Day 5. Palenque
Today you will visit the Palenque archaeological site with the Temple of the Inscriptions, the site’s most impressive structure. The forest around these temples is home to howler monkeys, toucans, and ocelots.
Then, you will visit the Agua Azul Waterfalls, where you can walk through the walkways or swim in one of the designated areas. Their incredible color is, in fact, due to the high mineral content of the water which deposits itself on the rock. Next, visit the beautiful Misol-Ha Waterfalls, an impressive single cascade about 115 feet high. Enjoy the sight of water falling dramatically off a cliff into a wide pool far below and swim surrounded by tropical jungle.
Day 6. Flores Island
Today you will leave Mexico and continue to the island of Flores, Guatemala. Flores is an unusually picturesque and beautiful little city situated on a small island in the middle of Lake Peten. This island is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
Day 7. Tikal
Today you will visit one of the most iconic and impressive Mayan ruins in the world. Tikal is one of the oldest and most powerful city-states of the ancient Mayan civilization. The enormous buildings, royal palaces, pyramids, ball courts, hundreds of smaller buildings, stele, and a network of elevated causeways are the main attractions of Tikal today. The sturdy public buildings of this once-great metropolis have resisted the encroaching nature. Most strikingly, many of the monuments are so large that they rise above the canopy of the jungle, similarly, ancient stone skyscrapers reach up into the sky. You will stay in a jungle lodge in Tikal.
Day 8. Sunrise in Tikal
You will get up early today to see the sunrise in Tikal. It is one of the best tours to discover the greatness of the jungle canopy and the vast antique Mayan culture, a splendid mix of nature and archaeology. From the highest temple in the complex, you will contemplate the awakening of the jungle… howler monkeys, and birds make together a sublime symphony. Later, your guide will make stops to tell you about some of the antique Mayan artworks and temples along the way. One of them is an enormous slab illustrating the Mayan calendar. Your guide will go into detail interpreting the slab and how the Mayans used the calendar. Later you will have free time to rest and relax, or return to Tikal and explore more.
Day 9. Sunset in Yaxha
Today, you will go on an expedition off-the-beaten-track to see the sunset in the ruins of Yaxha. Guests will be escorted through the ruins and learn about the culture of the civilization that built it. The ruins have nine seats and approximately 500 structures, along with temples, palaces, and ball games. Go up to the top of the main temple and get unbelievable views of the ruins, the jungle, and the lakes. The ruins are surrounded by a thick jungle. A big variety of animals, counting multi-colored birds, spiders, and howler monkeys, live in the lush forest here, and guests may be able to spot some of them. An extraordinary experience in the Mayan Biosphere Reservoir… see the sundown at the top of a Mayan Temple. Later you will go to your hotel on Flores Island.
Day 10. El Mirador
Discover the biggest pyramid in the world volume-wise, La Danta, fly over the gigantic Mayan Biosphere, spot the first roads of mankind’s history and visit the biggest city of the Mayan world. Only a few tourists have had the chance to see this fascinating site in one of the most isolated locations on the earth. The Helicopter excursion to El Mirador is the only experience, like no other. An unimaginable site with Mayan treasures.
Day 11. Xunantunich
Today you will leave the island of Flores and head to Belize to enjoy a horseback riding tour to Xunantunich. These are Belize’s most popular Mayan ruins. One of the treasures discovered at Xunantunich includes a colossal plaster frieze, running around the outside of the building, known as The Castle. This is the most iconic building at the site and raises some 130 feet above the plaza below. As a result, it is the second-tallest man-made structure in Belize, even today. Later, your driver will take you to your jungle lodge. Have the rest of the evening to rest and relax.
Day 12. Lamanai
We will drive to Lamanai for a boat expedition to this hidden and mysterious Mayan city. This site is one of the oldest continuously occupied Mayan sites in Belize. During this tour, you will see ruins built in 200 BC and some built in the last century. Most noteworthy is the iconic, 13-foot-high stylized mask of a half-man and half-crocodile carved in the rock. One of the sections you must-see is the ancient residential complex believed to be the quarters of the Mayan elite. Afterward, we will drive to your hotel in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can spot hundreds of birds.
Day 13. Bacalar Lagoon
Today, we will drive back to Mexico. Explore the stunning beauty of Bacalar Lagoon, which is called “Lagoon of Seven Colors”. It boasts an ever-changing scene of blue and turquoise shades. The colors of the water and sky appear to combine as one. After this enchanting visit, your driver will take you to your hotel in Tulum.
Day 14. Coba and Tulum
After breakfast, you will explore the ancient Mayan site of Coba. It is different from the other archaeological big sites in Yucatan. First of all, it is situated within four natural lakes. These are believed to have given the city its name, which means “water stirred by wind”. Coba is not as excavated, nor reconstructed, like Tulum, so all along the paths, you will see mounds overgrown with vines, trees, and flowers. The fact that the jungle hasn’t been cleared away here, nor all the mounds uncovered, as a result, adds a feeling of discovery to your visit. You will have the option to explore the jungle of Coba by bike.
Coba was an important center that connected the largest network of stone roads in the ancient Mayan world, which shows that it was in contact with other great Mayan cities, not only within Mexico. The small town that today also bears the name of Coba lives off tourism, and it is almost impossible to imagine what the site looked like centuries ago at its peak when it is believed that it was occupied by a population of more than 50,000 inhabitants.
Later, you will go to Tulum, which has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. The greatest attraction of the ruins is their location. It is small but exquisitely poised on the fifteen-meter-high cliffs above the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. So, the views are nothing less than spectacular.
Day 15. Cozumel Island
Your day starts with a transfer to Playa del Carmen where you will take a ferry to Cozumel, the biggest island in Mexico. Certainly, the island of Cozumel is one of the most beautiful snorkeling and scuba diving areas in the world. The underwater wildlife at this island is amazing due to the clarity of the water, with 100 to 200 feet visibility. You do not have to be a diver to enjoy it! Simply put on a mask & snorkel and jump in. In other words, you will feel like you have been dropped into a tropical fish tank.
Day 16. Discover Cozumel
Today you will have a tailor-made tour in Cozumel Island. Choose between a small local chocolate factory to learn how chocolate was produced and used by the Mayan people, enjoy a tequila tasting, see the west side of the island with time for lunch, visit the historic San Gervasio Mayan ruins, shop, and finish your day on the beach, where you can snorkel, swim or snooze in a hammock between the coconut trees.
Day 17. Return home
This trip has been a journey through Mayan treasures, and sadly it comes to an end today and you will be transported to Cancun International Airport for your departure flight.If you would like to customize this itinerary based on your interests and budget, please do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to assist you.
17 days & 16 nights
$3,800* per guest
Private transportation, door to door service
16 nights accommodation: small boutique hotels and jungle lodges
Local certified onsite guides
All park entrance fees
Ferries: Playa del Carmen to Cozumel island round trip
Price varies by group size
Not included: flights, personal, travel insurance and other expenses than indicated