The Mayan Riviera in Mexico is an enchanting place for a thrilling escape to Mexico. There are huge remains of the Mayan civilization, with archaeological sites still towering over the jungle canopy, refusing to be forgotten. It is truly a heaven right by the Caribbean Sea you cannot miss. While many travelers will visit Mexico for its incredible resorts and its extensive tourist centers, generally people ignore the treasures of the rest of the country. Each region in Mexico is unbelievably diverse. Mexico is an unimaginable country to explore around, getaway, or just vacation in.
There is a ton of stuff to do, and the inhabitants are some of the friendliest people on the entire planet. From Mayan cities and lush jungles to pristine Caribbean beaches, and everything in between! Discover colonial cities and its vibrant energy and artsy, graffiti-filled neighborhoods, learn about the Mayan Civilization, and gorge yourself on delicious tacos, tostadas, and tamales (to name a couple items from the very long list of traditional dishes of Mexico).
Mayan pyramid in Uxmal
Interior of a Cenote
Coba Mayan Ruins
Colonial City of Valladolid
Mayan City of Chichen Itza
City of Merida
Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Kabah
Colonial city of Campeche
Mayan ruins of Edzna
Cenotes of Dzom Bacal and X-Batun
Mayan ruins of Coba and Tulum
Day 1. Arrival to Cancun.
Upon arrival, your driver will take you to Valladolid. Valladolid, Mexico is an incredible hidden gem located deep in the Jungle of Yucatan. Dynamic, authentic, exclusive, Valladolid is surely authentic Mexico at its best. First of all, Valladolid is still off the beaten path. So it gives you the opportunity to experience original Mayan culture and history. From exploring its colorful streets, to discovering the Cenotes of Valladolid, to immersing yourself in Mayan culture, there are so many things to do.
Day 2. Mayan Ruins and Cenote.
Today, accompanied by a local certified guide, you will explore one of the most incredible Mayan cities. Secrecy surrounds the antique Mayan city of Chichen Itza. Pyramids, columns, temples and buildings reveal architectural styles and astronomical knowledge that still amaze archaeologists today. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This now desolate city was reportedly established by the Maya people and was a thriving political and economic powerhouse. Its well-preserved temples are home to one of the biggest and most famous Mayan archaeological sites in the entire world, featuring antique pyramids, palaces, temples, an enormous ball court, as well as a bunch of striking sculptures.
Afterwards, you will have time to discover a Natural wonder and swim. The Cenote ‘Yokdzonot’ is simply delightful! It is gigantic and round and open and ancient roots dangle down into the crystal clear water. Dragonflies flit over the surface and swallows and toh birds play in the trees skyward. The area surrounding the cenote has been maintained in a very natural way. There are no constructions in sight, and the only little buildings are small palapa roofed bathrooms and a small restaurant serving delicious local food. At the end of the tours, your driver will take you to Merida. You will have the reminder of the evening free to explore this authentic Mexican city.
Day 3. Mayan Ruins of Uxmal and Kabah
Today you will discover a true treasure of the entire Mayan world, Uxmal. Exploring Uxmal Mayan Ruins will be for you a highlight of traveling on Yucatan. They are the most famous ruins on Ruta Puuc, and what you will find out during this trip, the most elegant and amazing ruins on Yucatan. Uxmal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, same as other Mayan Ruins in Mexico, but you will be pleasantly surprised that you will not meet here that many tourists and your time walking around the archeological place will be peaceful.
Right after you enter the archeological site, you will see one of the most awe-inspiring temples at Uxmal, the Pyramid of Magician. It is also one of the few temples you cannot climb, so admire the pyramid only from a distance. The well-preserved huge pyramid with rounded corners is the highest in the site with 35 meters tall, and it is one of the most delicate Mayan buildings you will see in Mexico.
Additionally see the abandoned Palace of the Governors, a one-story podium decorated with masks, pictures of animals and flowers. You can climb this structure and walk around the platform. Even though it is not super high, you will have a nice view of the Pyramid of Magician. Go to the Great Pyramid, possibly the most crowded place on the grounds. Nobody would want to miss climbing it though. The Great Pyramid will be the spot where you may want to spend most of your time because you will want to take in the inconceivable views.
Afterwards, we will drive to Kabah. This site is one of a series of Maya ruins that is found in the general area and with an architectural design named after the arid hill country in which they are situated. The superb stone work of the Puuc sites is inspiring. It includes finely crafted veneer stones, and sophisticated carved stone mosaics. Sculptured statues found at this Mayan site are exceptionally rendered, nearly in the round. At the end of the day, we will drive to the charming city of Campeche.
Day 4. Colonial City of Campeche
Campeche The city is rich with Mayan and history. It is additionally a UNESCO World Heritage site. On Friday nights the city comes alive with salsa dancers and live music. The famous street 59 leads to a small but animated outdoor salsa party where everyone from travelers to professional dancers comes out to listen to the live music from a local band.
Just a twenty minute drive from Campeche, we will find the ancient Mayan ruins of Edzna, founded around 400 BC. And thanks to the serene atmosphere and delightful structures, it will also be one of your favorite structures. We may even have the site only for ourselves, just you, and the ancient structures and many lizards rustling in the leaves. It is hard to imagine that not a lot of tourists visit this amazing place.
In the Big House which was a long structure with several steps which you can climb and get the first better glimpse of the Great Plaza. The structure encloses the main square on the west side. Later, walk to the highlight of this site, the main square surrounded by well-preserved exceptional constructions. The complete must-see landmark is the Pyramid or Temple of the Five Floors. This structure served as main living quarters for the governors and religious leaders. As the name suggests the pyramid has five floors and the central stairway leading to the top. Even though you will be able to climb most of the structures in this archeological site, it is not possible to climb to the top of this pyramid.
Later, we will drive to hidden Cenotes. If what you are looking for is adventure, enjoy the outdoors and meet with nature, then the unbelievable Cenotes Dzon Bacal and X-Batun are for you. A highly recommended excursion to get away from absolutely everything and enjoy the nature that will surround you. The Cenote X-Batun is located in a cavern not very deep surrounded by plants and stones, you will hear the songs of many birds, the surface is adorned by the lilies, the crystalline waters of and the shades of glass make this place a true treasure… Describing the delicacy of this spot is almost impossible.
But the experience of today is not over yet! Two hundred meters away is a second Cenote, named Dzom Bacal. You have to descend a semi closed cavern… The difference with its neighbor is enormous, but there is nothing less than delicate. Some of the greatest treasures of Yucatan are underground. At the end of this amazing day, your driver will take you back to Merida.
Day 5. Bike tour in the jungle
Today you will have a bike tour in the jungles of the Mayan ruins of Coba, set in the jungle canopy, it has a different vibe than various of the other ruins. While the actual structures, divided into building groups, are not that big, it is a great excuse for a fun morning bike excursion on wide flat dirt roads in the middle of the jungle.
You will also have the possibility of climbing one of the tall structures, the Great Pyramid. With a height of 42 meters it is the second tallest structure in the complex and provides views overlooking the expansive jungle canopy. The steep narrow stairs make some guests nervous, particularly on the way down. If you are used to climbing, however, it is not too difficult.
Head out for an amazing bike ride through the jungle on this exciting excursion. Make your way through ancient Mayan ruins and a natural underground waterfall, where you can go for a refreshing swim. Ride through lush jungle along single-track trails that feature smooth curves and incredible landscape. Explore this mostly excavated Mayan city by mountain bike or rickshaw, and if you still have energy, scamper up the 120 steep steps of the pyramid for absurd views from the top. Then, cool off with a swim at an exquisite Cenote.
Enjoy an exquisite lunch of traditional Mexican fare before you are transported to Tulum. The cycling route is wide, flat, and reaches all the excavated areas of the park. The main attraction is the highest pyramid in Mayan Mexico and one of the only open for climbing. Afterwards, your guide will take you to the only Mayan ruins located in front of the Caribbean Ocean, Tulum.
Day 6 – 7. Self-discovery
You will have to free days to rest and enjoy the beautiful beaches of Tulum.
Day 8. Return home
Unfortunately, today marks the end of this thrilling escape to Mexico. However, if you would like to extend your stay, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to customize your itinerary.
8 days & 7 nights
$1,850 per guest
Private transportation, door to door service
7 nights hotel accommodation: hoteles selected according to your wishes and priorities
Local certified onsite guides
Entrance fees for the tours listed in the itinerary
Two traditional Mexican Lunches
Not included: international flights, personal, travel and cancellation insurance and other expenses than indicated.
11 days & 10 nights
9 days & 8 nights
14 days & 13 nights