Mar. 29 to Apr. 9, 2024
19 days visiting: Cancun, Rio Lagartos, Las Colorados, Ek Balam, Merida, Chichen Itza, Campeche, Ruins of Palenque & Calakmul, Bacalar, Tulum & Mazatlan
Explore the heart of Mexico’s Aztec, Zapotec, Maya and Spanish cultures on this 19-day tour combined with Total Solar Eclipse. Discover ruins, visit pueblos and meet wonderful people on a tour that covers all the basics so you can get to exploring. Enjoy the relaxed shores of the Yucatan Peninsula, unravel the magnificent mystery of the ancient civilizations in Chichen Itza. With plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and hiking, this is the ideal introduction to one of Mexico’s most colorful and exciting destinations.
CANCUN: recognized throughout the world for its spectacular white sand beaches and its fascinating sea in turquoise blue tones. With unique natural places, Mayan culture, water activities and adventure. International cuisine, spectacular golf courses, sophisticated spa facilities; exclusive shopping centers, typical handicraft markets as well as shows, bars and nightclubs that give fame to its incomparable nightlife.
LAS COLORADAS: Hidden away on the tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is a magical place full of color. These stunning cotton-candy pink lakes filled with salt are called Las Coloradas. Las Coloradas means “the colored” in Spanish. It’s the name of a tiny Mexican fishing village with a population of 1000. Nearby, a series of brightly colored pink lakes cover the landscape on the edge of the Gulf of Mexico.The region is part of the Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, a protected wetlands area home to animals like flamingos, crocodiles, sea turtles, jaguars, and all kinds of sea birds. The reserve covers some 150,000 acres.
PRE-HISPANIC CITY OF CHICHEN-ITZA: This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatán peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatán. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. The pre-Columbian city was one of the largest and most diverse and features a mix of architectural styles. It’s also popular for equinoxes, when the Castillo (castle) temple forms a shadow evoking the appearance of a serpent slithering down the pyramid’s steps..
MERIDA’S culture is a distinctive blend of traditions inherited from the ancient Maya civilization dating back to 2600 B.C. and customs brought by Spanish conquistadors, who began colonizing the territory in the 16th century. The city of Merida itself was founded by Francisco de Montejo y León in 1542 on top of an ancient Maya city called T’ho, whose stonework was repurposed by the Spaniards as foundations to erect lofty Catholic churches and colonial mansions. After 500 years of coexistence, a comingling of rituals and beliefs created a vibrant cultural identity that continues to shape this dynamic city.
CALAKMUL, EDZNA, PALENQUE, CAMPECHE: One of the most important cities of Mayan civilization, Calakmul was once home to more than 50,000 inhabitants. Though the city’s timeline goes as far back as the Preclassical period (300 B.C. to 240 A.D.), its golden age was in the Classic period (250 A.D. to 900 A.D.), when it served as Tikal’s main rival and battled for dominance of the central Mayan area. Many visitors might focus on the 6,000 structures within the city,
Despite being one of the most significant Mayan ruins, Edzná receives fewer visitors in a year than Chichen Itza does in a day. The city’s architecture reflects an amalgamation of differing cities and influences, including roof styles and corbelled arches from Palenque and giant stone masks of the Peten style found in Tikal. Founded around 400 B.C., the city reached its peak during the late Classic period, with a gradual decline beginning around 1000 and its abandonment in 1450.
CALAKMUL BIOSPHERE RESERVE, which encompasses over 723,000 hectares (292,594 acres) of protected land and wildlife. While the reserve is a paradise for bird watching, the site itself is a hotbed of stelae, or stone monuments, often in the form of a high-relief sculpture, that were popular and characteristic of the Mayan civilization. 117 stelae have been discovered at Calakmul so far, more than any other Mayan site, and all of them from the Classic period.
BACALAR is an amazing lake in the southern tip of Quintana Roo State. It is called the lake of seven colors because of the white sandy bottom that gives the effect of having so many shades of blue, as you can see in the above photo. This is a fresh water lake feed by underground cenotes, but it does look like the ocean. The lake is about 55km or 34 miles from tip to tip and 2km or 1.2 miles at its widest point. This size makes it a huge place to visit and explore. The town of Bacalar was declared a Pueblo Magico since it is such a unique place. It should be on your list of places to visit in the Yucatan Peninsula.
TULUM: The ancient name of Tulum was Zama, meaning ¨place of the dawning sun¨. How it got this name is obvious as this ancient Mayan city is situated on a cliff which faces east toward the beautiful turquoise waters of the life-giving Caribbean. This is surely one of the most scenically beautiful of all Maya archeological sites. A city of main importance between 1,000-1,600. At first glimpse one might mistake Tulum for an ancient country club, with its beautiful grounds and sweeping views of the sea. This illusion is disturbed by the presence of a large twenty-foot wall that surrounds the site which bespeaks of the need for defense against invaders from both land and the sea. Tulum has a number of interesting structures from the ancient Mayan world. Graceful columns and elegant carvings give one an appreciation for the architectural achievements of the Maya.
Perched atop cliffs overlooking the blue Caribbean, Tulum is a favorite among visitors to Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Iguanas bask lazily on rocks in the sun; gentle waves caress the shore. The pristine beach is so beautiful it is almost surreal. It is easy to imagine the ancient Maya landing at this bustling seaport, their canoes filled with trade goods.
WE ARE ACCEPTING `BOOKINGS WITHOUT DEPOSIT’ ON ABOVE TOURS– due to the continuing uncertainty of travel and the changing travel policies. Once the travel restrictions get resolved & tour prices are determined, you will be contacted with deposit requirements. You will have 15 days to accept or cancel your booking.
FRIENDLY TOURS TERMS AND CONDITIONS: We will be offering most traveler-friendly terms for our land tours. Travelers who were grounded by the pandemic too often found themselves on the losing end of stringent cancellation policies. Our goal is to provide lenient terms and lesser penalties.