07 December 2016
This fascinating week-long tour takes in the key sites of the Maya civilisation. It's an unforgettable chance to learn more about these ancient people, as well as to enjoy Central America's spectacularly lush jungle landscapes and to stay in some wonderfully tranquil and exotic locations.
Your tour begins this morning as you set off for Mérida. Your first stop will be at Chichén Itzá, Mayan capital of Yucatán between the fifth and 10th centuries AD, to admire its impressive buildings including the Kukulcán Temple, Ball Game, Observatory, Warrior’s Temple, Convent of the Nuns and Sacred Cenote. After lunch you'll continue to White City, to see the picturesque colonial houses in the Arabic, French and Italian styles, then on to Mérida’s Zócalo, where you'll visit the Cathedral, Government Palace, Municipal Palace and the house of Francisco Montejo, founder of the city, before checking in to your hotel.
This morning you'll head to the archaeological site of Uxmal, a typical example of the classic and post-classic Mayan period. Highlights here include the Pirámide del Adivino (Fortuneteller’s Pyramid), Palacio de los Gobernadores (Governor’s Palace) and the Cuadrángulo de las Monjas (Quadrangle of the Nuns). After lunch you'll continue to Campeche where you'll pay a short visit to the ancient town, surrounded by walls and towers to protect it from pirates.
This morning you'll travel to Palenque where, after checking in to your hotel and enjoying lunch, you'll visit the town's archaeological site, renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. The most important temple here is Templo de las Inscripciones (Temple of the Inscriptions), where explorers discovered Pakal’s tomb with his famous jade mask.
An early start this morning as you travel through the lush jungle to Corozal. Here you'll board a boat and travel on the Usumacinta River towards the ancient Mayan jungle city of Yaxchilán. In this spectacular and remote location, where the only sounds are the screeching of monkeys and birds, you'll find the remains of luxurious palaces, temples and engravings telling the stories of the first 300 years of Mayan history. After your visit, you'll continue upriver back to Corozal for lunch in a rustic riverside restaurant before boarding another boat for a trip to the Guatemalan town of Betel. From here you'll continue through the Guatemalan jungle to Flores.
This morning you'll visit the Tikal archaeological site, considered to be the most beautiful Mayan site. This was the most important city of the Mayan world in the eighth century, and today you'll be able to admire its incredible variety of pyramids and trails, and take in the breathtaking views of the Petén jungle. After lunch you'll transfer to Belize city and check in to your hotel.
This morning you'll head to Tower Hill, where you'll board a boat for a trip to the Lamanai Religious Centre. En route, you'll be able to spot rare species of bats, birds, crocodiles and turtles. The archaeological site itself is deep in the tropical jungle, full of exotic sights, sounds and scents. You'll enjoy a picnic lunch here before returning by boat to Tower Hill, then continuing by bus to the border of Belize and Mexico. From here you'll transfer to your hotel, in the lush surroundings of the Mayan jungle.
This morning you're at leisure to relax in this gorgeously tranquil environment. This afternoon you'll visit the Laguna de Bacalar (Bacalar Lake), also known as Laguna de Siete Colores, or Seven Colours Lake, due to the spectacular shades of turquoise, jade and aquamarine spread along its 50 kilometres. Here you'll enjoy lunch before your transfer back to the Riviera Maya or Cancún.
Standard fr £1597pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated