Skip to main content

Mayan Route

8 Days FROM USD 1,720

Overview

Explore some of Mexico's best spots with this 8 day tour. Experience first hand the White City, UNESCO heritage listed Mayan architecture, culture and cuisine before making your way to Cancun on the the beautiful Caribbean Coast where you can enjoy a beach holiday.

Trip Code: MXTSMYR

Location: Mexico

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

We will pick you up in Tuxtla Gutierrez and drive you to Chiapas de corzo. In due time we will take you for a thrilling motorboat ride down the spectacular Sumidero Canyon, which has towering rock walls reaching up to 1000 metres high. The narrow, deep canyon, created by erosion by the Grijalva River which still runs through it, is surrounded by the Sumidero Canyon National Park. The walls of the canyon contain small caves and rock formations and there are waterfalls and springs in the canyon which is home to endangered and threatened species such as the Central American river turtle and the American crocodile. After this unforgettable experience you will continue on to picturesque San Cristóbal de Las Casas, a colonial town of white stucco walls, red-tile roofs and cobblestone streets.

Tuxtla to San Cristobal de las Casas via Sumidero

We will explore on foot the colonial city center of San Cristobal de las Casas. We will visit the cathedral, on the north side of the pretty main square, with its lavish interior and gold-encrusted pulpit. We then walk a few blocks to the impressive 16th-century Dominican church Templo de Santo Domingo, with its intricate pink facade and gilded Baroque interior. We will have time to browse the handicraft market in front of the church, where Tzotzil Indians from the surrounding hills come to trade. We then drive 10km into the Chiapas highlands, to the Tzotzil Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. The Tzotzils descend from the ancient Maya and maintain some unique customs, costumes and beliefs. We will visit the beautiful white church in San Juan Chamula. The candles incense and chanting worshippers make a powerful impression. We then drive to the nearby village of Zinacantan, with its pretty church and handicraft market. Return to San Cristobal.

*Please note the Temple of Santo Domingo, the Cathedral of San Cristobal & the Church of San Juan Chamula are currently closed for renovations and will be viewed from the outside only

San Cristobal city tour & visit to Indian Villages

After breakfast, we will drive to Agua Azul, a place where over 500 cascades create incredible turquoise colored “pools” surrounded by the rainforest. After that, we will continue to Palenque, drop off at your hotel.

San Cristobal to Palenque via Agua Azul

We will drive to the archaeological site of Bonampak, located 148km southeast of Palenque. Bonampak’s setting in a dense jungle hid it from the outside world until 1946. When it was discovered, it initially did not seem to be very significant, until beautiful, vividly coloured murals were found in its temples. The murals depict Mayan life and mythology like no other found in the Maya world. We have time to explore the temples and view the murals, before driving 25km to the border town Frontera Corozal. From here we continue 22km by boat on the Usumacinta River, its jungle-covered banks forming the Mexico-Guatemala border. We arrive at Yaxchilan, located 20m above the river in the heart of the Lacandon rainforest, and one of the most dramatic Maya sites. Yaxchilan was as powerful as Palenque or Tikal, and it ruled over several surrounding cities including Bonampak. We will explore the temples, before making our way back to Palenque.

Yaxchilan and Bonampak Tour

Today, you will visit one of the most beautiful and emblematic landmarks of the classical Mayan culture - the ruins of the city of Palenque. The city’s highlights include the Temple of the Inscriptions, where an important burial chamber was discovered in the 1950s and the imposing architectural complex of El Palacio, one of the most beautiful constructions to be found in the entire environment of Maya culture.

Following the tour of the archaeological site, travel from Palenque to Campeche. On arrival into Campeche you will be transferred to your hotel.

The walled coastal colonial town of Campeche is a captivating port filled with naval history, Baroque Spanish architecture and ageing beauty. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999.

Palenque Ruins and Transfer to Campeche

We will drive to the archaeological site of Edzna, located 50km southeast of Campeche. A sophisticated and extensive canal system radiates out from the center of this Maya settlement to the agricultural areas beyond. We will explore the site, including the Gran Acropolis, a raised platform holding several structures, including Edzna’s major temple, the 31m-high Edificio de los Cinco Pisos (Five-Story Building). In the Pequeña Acropolis is the Templo de los Mascarones (Temple of Masks), which features carved portrayals of the sun god.

Half-day Edzna archaeological site

Discover the magic and beauty of the Mayan world on this excursion to two of Mexico’s most beautiful Mayan cities, Uxmal and Kabah. After being collected from your hotel in Campeche, you will be taken to Uxmal and given a guided tour of the site, including a visit to the large pyramid, Del Adivino, which according to legend was built in just one night by a dwarf. Following the visit, you will be transported to the second largest Mayan site in the Puuc Region, Kabah. Here, you will be given a guided tour of the ruins including a visit to the Codz-Pop, which is the most well preserved and restored building of the site. Lunch is included in the tour.

In the afternoon, you travel to Merida where you will be transferred to your hotel on arrival. Please note this is a private tour.

Merida was founded in 1542, built on the site of the ancient Maya city T’ho, meaning “city of five hills” in reference to its pyramids. After the arrival of the Spanish, the ancient city’s five main pyramids were destroyed and the carved stones were used widely in the construction of Merida’s cathedral and other colonial buildings. Merida was built as a walled city and several of the old Spanish city gates remain. The city boasts the second-largest historic centre in Mexico, Mexico City’s being larger and it gets its nickname, La Ciudad Blanca (The White City), from the predominance of white limestone that was used as a building material. It is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Yucatán as well as the largest city of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Private Campeche to Merida via Uxmal and Kabah

This morning you will be collected from your hotel for your onward road journey to Cancun with a visit enroute to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, located 120km east of Merida. Chichen Itza – one of the New 7 Wonders of the World – is the best restored of Yucatan’s Mayan sites. Explore the magnificent ruins set in a dense jungle, including the Pyramid of Kukulcan, its height and striking geometric design dominating the whole site, the Great Ball Court, the largest andmost impressive in Mesoamerica, the Sacred Cenote, a natural well used for human sacrifice, and many other beautiful temples. After lunch, continue the road journey to the white sandy beaches of Cancun. This journey will take approximately 2 and half hours. On arrival in Cancun, you will be taken to your hotel. Please note this is a small group tour.

Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

WHY TAILOR-MADE?

  • Personalise your itinerary
  • Access to great flight deals
  • Choose your accomodation
  • Tailored travel insurance options
  • Choose your preferred dates
  • Cater to your travel needs

Pricing & date

Travel Style Departing Duration PRICE FROM
Standard Daily 8 USD 1,720
Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Airport transfers
    Accommodation 
    Tours in the itinerary
    Transport
    All breakfasts
    Other meals where stated

    Exclusions

    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Airport tax (if applicable)
    Personal expenses
    Optional activities not mentioned in itinerary 
    Gratuities for staff/guides

  • FROM US$1,515 - Subject to season and availability, contact us for more details. 

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.