On this trip through Mexico, you will experience some of the highlights of the country. From the exciting and gigantic capital of Mexico City to the impressive nature and wildlife of Sumidero National Park. You see beautiful colonial cities, Native American villages and visit Mayan ruins such as Palenque, Uxmal and Chichén Itza. You end the journey on the beautiful Caribbean coast Riviera Maya.
According to indexdotcom, Mexico has something for everyone and this trip gives you a fantastic insight into the country’s diversity. During the start of the trip in Mexico City, you will already get acquainted with the country’s exciting history and make an excursion to the Teotihuacán ruins. From the large and noisy capital you fly to Tuxla Gutiérrez and from there you head out to Sumidero National Park. With a small speedboat, you experience the dramatic cliffs up close and get close to the exciting wildlife. Hidden among the mountains is the pleasant colonial city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The city is best known for its beautiful colonial buildings and Native American communities. It is a city where new and old traditions merge – San Cristóbal de Las Casas is sometimes called the real Mexico.
On the way to Palenque you stop on the way at the beautiful waterfalls Agua Azul and Misol Ha. Here you can take a refreshing dip in the cool water. In Palenque you visit the impressive Mayan ruins nestled in the lush rainforest. From the top of one of the pyramids you have a fantastic view of the entire ruin complex which is far from completely excavated yet. The next stop on the journey is the UNESCO-protected city of Campeche. The Spanish king ordered the construction of a wall around the important trading city in 1663 to protect it from pirate attacks, and even today you can experience the great city wall and admire the pastel-colored colonial buildings before it.
On the way to the Yucatan Peninsula’s largest city, Mérida, you stop at another fantastically well-preserved Mayan ruin; Uxmal. From Mérida you can opt for an excursion and see the beautiful flamingo birds in Celestún National Park which is located west of the city itself.
Before the journey ends at the Riviera Maya – Mexico’s stunning Caribbean coast, take a trip to Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Mexico’s most well – preserved Mayan ruins. The last days are completely free and there is time to relax and digest all the new impressions. You choose whether you want to live inside Playa del Carmen or out on the small island of Isla Mujeres.
Day 1: Departure from Scandinavia and arrival in Mexico City
Departure from Scandinavia to Mexico City where, depending on which airline you choose, you land in the afternoon or evening. You will be picked up at the airport and driven to your hotel located inside Mexico City’s Old Quarter. Mexico City is an exciting city that with its 20 million inhabitants is one of the world’s largest cities. You can now acclimatize to the new time zone, new surroundings, new colors and sounds. You can visit the Zócaloen – the central part of the city surrounded by the Presidential Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Or why not see one of the city’s many museums?
Day 2: Mexico City and Teotihuacán ruins
No visit to Mexico City is complete without a trip to the Teotihuacán ruins located about 1.5 hours outside the city. Here you can climb the solar and lunar pyramids and get a wonderful view of the entire temple complex where more than 200,000 people lived. The Sun Temple is the third largest pyramid in the world (only Egypt has two that are larger). On the way there you stop at two more interesting places; Plaza de las Tres Culturas where you can experience three periods in Mexico’s history. Here are ruins from the Aztecs, the Church of Santiago Tlatelolco from the Spanish colonial era and modern buildings from recent years. There is also a museum and a memorial to the people who took part in the Tlatelolcomas massacre in 1968. You can also see the Guadalupe Church, one of the holiest churches in Mexico and visited by millions of people every year. (F )
Day 3: City tour and the Anthropology Museum
Today, an exciting city tour awaits with an English-speaking local guide around the historic center where you will see the Zocalo, Palacio Nacional and Templo Mayor, among others. After this, the tour continues to the Anthropology Museum, which provides an exciting insight into Mexico’s history. ( F )
Day 4: Mexico City – Sumido – San Cristóbal
From Mexico City you now fly 1.5 hours to the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Here you will be picked up at the airport and driven to the small town of Chiapa de Corzo from where the excursion to Sumidero departs. NOTE – the driver who is driving is Spanish speaking. You ride a speedboat – in between the high rock walls – here are good opportunities to see both monkeys, crocodiles and birds of prey. After the excursion, drive to San Cristobal de Las Casas, which is 45 minutes away. You have the rest of the afternoon on your own. ( F )
Day 5: On a voyage of discovery in San Cristóbal
San Cristóbal is beautifully situated in the mountains at an altitude of about 2000 meters. The city is known for its Native American culture and its beautiful, colorful colonial houses and churches. You have two days here on your own to explore the beautiful city where new and old traditions go hand in hand. At the city market you can buy beautiful and colorful clothes, hammocks and amber jewelry at really good prices. ( F )
Day 6: Day trip to San Juan Chamula and Zinacántan
Today you make an excursion to visit two Mayan villages; San Juan Chamula and Zinacántan. Here you can almost feel how time stands still. The women are still dressed in their beautiful, colorful clothes and at holidays just as the men. Always remember to ask politely before photographing someone. The indigenous people have never had the same rights as the ordinary Mexican people. In this very province, the left-wing movement EZLN, better known as Zapatistas, has fought for increased rights. This fight has been both violent and bloody and you can not fail to get acquainted with history when traveling in this part of Mexico. There are still strikes and roadblocks, but not something you as a visitor need to worry about, you just follow instructions and advice.
Day 7: San Cristóbal – Agua Azul – Misol Ha – Palenque
From San Cristobal, the journey continues on winding mountain roads with many bumps towards Palenque. On the way you stop at two beautiful waterfalls. There is of course time to jump in and get a cooling dip. Agua Azul consists of several different waterfalls and is a popular excursion destination, especially on weekends and weekends. There is also a large selection of food and souvenir shops. Misol Ha is located at an altitude of 35 meters and there is a small path you can walk to see the waterfall itself from above. The tour ends in Palenque where you have two nights. ( F )
Day 8: On an adventure to the Palenquer ruins
Deep in the lush rainforest are the spectacular Palenquer ruins that are engulfed by the jungle. You can climb some of the pyramids and get a nice view of the area. You can also visit some of the ruins that have not been cleared at all but still look like they did many, many years ago. You also get the exciting story of the Mayan king Pakal whose tomb has been found here, retold by the local guide. The excursion ends in Palenque where you are transported to your hotel by your guide. ( F )
Day 9: Palenque – Campeche
Today, the tour continues by public transport – bus – to the colonial city of Campeche. In the past, Campeche was the most important trading city in southern Mexico but was subjected to countless pirate attacks. In 1663 another serious attack took place and then the Spanish king decided that a city wall would be built around the whole city. It took a full 50 years before the wall was completed, but then it became over two kilometers long and 8 meters high. In 1999, Campeche was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List and not without reason. The city has some of the most beautiful examples of colonial architecture and an exciting history. In recent years, more than 1,600 buildings have been restored and painted, all electricity and telephone lines are buried and the city also has one of the most beautiful squares in all of Mexico where both tourists and locals gather in the evenings and enjoy both ice cream and music. The sunset over the Gulf of Mexico can be enjoyed from the boardwalk where exercisers whiz past, either jogging or on roller skates. (F )
Day 10: Campeche – Uxmal – Mérida
From Campeche, the journey continues towards Mérida with a stop at another absolutely fantastic Mayan ruin: Uxmal. This region was called the Mayan Indians Puuc which means hill and in this hilly terrain there are countless Mayan ruins of which Uxmal is the most beautiful and perhaps therefore on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Especially for this particular ruin is that it had no water supply so the settlement here was abandoned several times due to lack of water – then a water supply system was designed so that the rainwater could be recovered. Look for the big, nice iguanas that often lie and sunbathe on the rocks! Arrival in Mérida in the afternoon and now the rest of the day is on its own. ( F )
Day 11: On an adventure in Mérida
Mérida is the largest city in the Yucatán with about 1 million inhabitants. It is also the cultural capital of the area with many museums, galleries and educational institutions. In the old part of the city there are many pastel-colored houses and beautiful churches by the cozy square – the plaza. About 2 hours from Mérida is the sleepy little fishing village of Celestun on the Gulf of Mexico. We also recommend a visit to Celestun National Park which has a rich bird life with, among other things, large flocks of flamingos that are here in the period December to August. The whole day today is free for your own explorations. ( F )
Day 12: Mérida – Chichen Itza – Playa del Carmen / Isla Mujeres
Today the journey goes to the Caribbean coast and on the way you make a stop at Chichen Itza – one of the world’s new wonders and the most visited Mayan ruin in Mexico with about 4000 visitors a day. At the autumn and spring equinox, there can be up to 10,000 visitors in one day. Chichen Itza is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most well – preserved Inca ruins. Prepare for a fantastic experience that you share with many during the day – and not least with the lemming train of souvenir vendors on site. From Chichen Itza you then drive to the town of Playa del Carmen or to Cancun from where you take the ferry over to the island of Isla Mujeres. ( F )
Day 13-15: Sun, swimming and relaxation in Playa del Carmen / Isla Mujeres
Playa del Carmen is a popular holiday resort on the Riviera Maya and here you can enjoy white beaches and azure waters. The city’s main street Avenda 5 is always well visited and here you will find a large selection of clothing and souvenir shops as well as restaurants and bars. Here are all kinds of water sports and especially diving is popular. If you travel to Mexico during the period June – August, you can take an excursion by boat and look for whale sharks in the waters off Isla Holbox (about 2 hours from Playa del Carmen). There are also many cenotes in the area. A cenote is a natural gulf that originated during the last ice age, these cenotes and underground river systems were indispensable and sacred to the Maya Indians. You can both swim and dive in the larger cenotes and it is an incredible experience. Isla Mujeres is sunny, sand and relaxation and a completely different pace than Playa del Carmen. The island has fantastic beaches and especially Playa Norte is spectacular. It is very shallow here which makes the beach especially child friendly, it is also a popular place for snorkeling and diving. The beautiful island is eight kilometers long and only half a kilometer wide. You can go here by boat from Cancún and the boat trip only takes 20 minutes. (F )
Day 16: Playa del Carmen / Isla Mujeres – flight to Scandinavia
So it’s time to say goodbye to Mexico. You drive to the airport in Cancun from where your flight back to Scandinavia goes. ( F )
Day 17: Homecoming
You land in Scandinavia again, the time depends on which airline you have chosen to travel with.
Fifteen nights in a hotel