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MEXICO

MEXICAN DISCOVERY

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Natalie Fowler Destination Expert
Natalie Fowler
Destination Expert
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Overview


Starting in Mexico City, or “DF” to the locals (Distrito Federal) this metropolis is home to 20 million inhabitants and is an exciting mix of culture, history and everything in-between.  Organised chaos, vast yet vibrant, the city will stimulate all the senses. From buzzing markets, dramatic murals, ancient temples, fascinating museums and an exploding culinary scene, Mexico City leaves visitors always wanting more. San Cristobal de las Casas’ cool, highland setting is quite a contrast to the capital – a refreshing stop-off, its bohemian colonial centre, is dotted with handicraft markets, attractive architecture, galleries and restaurants. Nearby attractions are the monumental Sumidero Canyon and local indigenous villages, where you will learn about ancient traditions and customs still carried out today. The ancient archaeological sites of Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza are each unique in their own way and exceptional examples of the advanced nature of the ancient Mayan civilisation. Finish off on the sugar sand beaches of the Caribbean coast with its crystal-clear waters. 

What's Included
Western & Oriental - Accommodation Throughout
Accommodation Throughout
Western & Oriental - International Flights
International Flights
Western & Oriental - All Transfers
All Transfers

Itinerary


Day 1 - UK – Mexico City
Board your flight from the UK bound for Mexico City for a two-night stay. Arriving in the evening, transfer to your boutique hotel, Las Alcobas, in the glitzy neighbourhood of Polanco.  An excellent base to explore the city, the area is full of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. 
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Day 2 - Mexico City
On a half-day tour, discover the city’s highlights. Amongst the largest main squares in the world, start in the famous Zocalo flanked by prestigious buildings such as the 16th-century Cathedral and the National Palace with its historic murals of Diego Rivera. Visit the ruined Aztec Templo Mayor archaeological site and finish off in the superb Anthropology museum. 
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Day 3 - Mexico City – San Cristobal de las Casas
Fly to Tuxla Gutierrez and head towards San Cristobal de las Casas. Stop at the Sumidero Canyon with its towering cliffs over 900 metres tall and take a boat trip along the Grijalva river to take in the sheer vastness. Onward to San Cristobal, known for its colonial architecture and set in a highland valley surrounded by pine forests, the small city has an attractive feel of countryside and city. 
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Day 4 - San Cristobal & surrounding Indian Villages
On foot with a guide, explore the atmospheric colonial city; home to a wonderful mix of architecture, indigenous culture and picturesque cobblestoned streets. Stop at the cathedral with its ornate gold encrusted pulpit and tour the colourful handicraft markets. After, venture out to visit some of the many surrounding traditional Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages to discover ancient traditions and customs in one of Mexico’s most indigenous regions. 
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Day 5 - Palenque
Departing San Cristobal today, continue to the ancient city of Palenque, stopping off at the thundering cascades of Agua Azul en route. The jungle-swathed Palenque archaeological site, dating back to the Classic period (300-900AD), is one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in the country. Spend two nights at the luxurious resort of Quinta Cha Nab Nal amidst tropical jungle and close to the archaeological site. 
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Day 6 - Palenque - Campeche
On a tour today, explore the jaw dropping ruins, visit the enormous maze-like Palace in the centre of the site and the series of galleries, used for shade during the ancient times. The site is known for its exceptional and well conserved architectural and sculptural remains. Don’t forget to spot the howler monkeys and colourful toucans within the dense jungle! Continue to the UNESCO listed port city of Campeche.  Accommodation: Casa Don Gustavo
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Day 7 - Campeche – Merida via Uxmal
Leaving Campeche, head to the ancient temples of Uxmal, the most famous ruins in the Puuc region. Dominated by the towering 35-metre Pyramid of the Magician and set in dense vegetation, the site was once home to approximately 20,000 people. From Uxmal, drive onto Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state; although the largest city on the peninsula, the delightful colonial city doesn’t carry a big city feel. 
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Day 8 - Chichen Itza – Tulum
Among the most famous Mayan cities in the country, Chichen Itza, one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World” is a must see. Dominated by the huge step pyramid “El Castillo”, the site is home to beautifully restored temples, pyramids, graphic stone carvings and the Great Ball Court. From here, the beautiful Caribbean coast awaits; white sands and turquoise waters. Spend 3 nights at Hip Hotel Tulum.
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Day 9 - Tulum
Time to relax on the beach or explore the local area. For the history buffs, the nearby ruins of Tulum and Coba won’t disappoint. Nature lovers shouldn’t miss the Celestun Biosphere Reserve.  
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Day 10 - Tulum
For more adventurous visitors, we recommend heading to a jungle clad cenote (sinkhole); crystal clear waters allow snorkelers and divers to experience the unique underwater world of the Yucatan, home to one of the largest underground cave networks on the planet.
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Day 11 - Tulum – Cancun- London
Transfer to Cancun for an overnight flight back to the UK (regional connections available.) 
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