This awesome 15-day multi-country tour package will take you across the Mayan World to visit Mexico, Guatemala & Belize, which are among the most representative sites of Mayan culture and history.
In Mexico, guided tours will lead you to explore the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, Ek Balam, as well as, the Mayan ruins of the Puuc Route and Palenque. In Guatemala, you will visit the world-famous Mayan City of Tikal, and you will have the opportunity to visit El Mirador, home of one of the largest pyramids in the world. Then, you will be led through famous sites in Belize, known for their beauty and history, like Xunantunich and Lamanai. Finally, you will end up returning to Mexico to finish your Mayan cultural discovery trip by visiting sites like Chetumal, Tulum, and Coba.
Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in Chichen Itza.
Today you will visit the Mayan City of Chichen Itza to see the huge Pyramid of Kukulcan, also known as El Castillo (The Castle). Chichen Itza was one of the great Mesoamerican cities. Still today, it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Mexico. Then, you will visit the archaeological site of Ek Balam to see their uncovered startling and amazingly well-preserved sculptures. This will be followed by the wonderful opportunity to swim & snorkel in a Cenote – a sinkhole in limestone, which is a natural wonder with beautiful rock formations – referred to as the Mayan underworld. At the end of the day, you will be transferred to your hotel in Merida.
Today you will tour the Puuc Route ruins, which will be an adventure into the ancient Mayan world that can make you feel like a true explorer. Puuc Route connects various ancient ruins: Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Labna, and Xlapak allowing you to take an interesting look into the ancient Mayan culture. Short forested trails, in which ultimately expose some fascinating ruins, can give off a real sense of discovery. Part of the appeal of touring the Ruta Puuc is the ability to enjoy the peaceful environments of these mystical and intriguing structures that have been here for over a millennium. After your adventure through these five Mayan sites, you will move to your hotel in Campeche.
You will have a walking city tour of Campeche, the walled city. It was a fortress city designed to protect against pirate attacks during colonial times. You will visit Fuerte San Miguel to admire the largest fortress in Campeche, which is now an archaeological museum of Mayan artifacts from Calakmul. After the tour, your private transportation will take you to Palenque.
Today you will visit Palenque archaeological site with the Temple of the Inscriptions, the site’s most impressive structure. The forest around these temples is still home to howler monkeys, toucans, and ocelots. Then you will visit the Agua Azul waterfalls, where you can walk through the walkways or swim in one of the designated areas. Their incredible color is, in fact, due to the high mineral content of the water which deposits itself on the rock. Then you will visit the beautiful Misol-Ha Waterfalls, an impressive single cascade about 115 feet high. Enjoy the sight of water falling dramatically off a cliff into a wide pool far below and swim surrounded by tropical jungle.
Today you will leave Mexico and continue to Flores Island, Guatemala. Flores is an unusually picturesque and beautiful little city situated on a small island in the middle of Lake Peten Itza. This island is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.
Today you will visit one of the most iconic and impressive Mayan ruins in the world. Tikal is one of the oldest and most powerful city-states of the ancient Mayan civilization. The enormous buildings, royal palaces, pyramids, ball courts, hundreds of smaller buildings, stelae and a network of elevated causeways are the main attractions of Tikal today.
The sturdy public buildings of this once-great metropolis have resisted the encroaching nature. Most strikingly, many of the monuments are so large that they rise up above the canopy of the jungle, like ancient stone skyscrapers reaching up into the sky.
Today you will have the opportunity to discover one of the oldest and largest Maya archaeological sites in Mesoamerica, El Mirador. It is the home of one of the world’s largest pyramids, La Danta, which stands a staggering 236 feet tall and has nearly a 99 million cubic feet volume. Despite their importance, the “Lost City of the Maya” is not swamped with tourists because of its inaccessibility. In this tour, you will reach the city via helicopter.
Today you will leave Flores Island to enjoy a horseback riding tour to Xunantunich, Belize’s most popular Mayan ruins. One of the treasures discovered at Xunantunich includes a colossal plaster frieze, running around the outside of the building, known as El Castillo. This is the most iconic building at the site and raises some 130 feet above the plaza below. This makes it the second-tallest man-made structure in Belize, even today. Afterward, you will be driven to your hotel in San Ignacio, Belize.
Today you will visit the Mayan site of Lamanai by boat. This site is one of the oldest continuously occupied Mayan sites in Belize. During this tour, you will see ruins built in 200 BC and some built in the last century, as well as, the iconic, 13-foot-high stylized mask of a half-man/half-crocodile carved in a stella. You will be in close proximity to the ancient residential complex believed to be the quarters of Mayan elite.
Today you will cross the border to go into the Quintana Roo State of Mexico and explore the stunning beauty of Bacalar Lagoon, which is called “Lagoon of 7 Colours”. It boasts an ever-changing scene of blue and turquoise shades, and the colors of the water and sky appear to combine as one. After this enchanting visit, your driver will take you to your hotel in Tulum.
You will visit the ancient Mayan site of Coba, different from the other archaeological big sites in Yucatan. First of all, it’s situated by four natural lakes, believed to have given the city its name, which means “water stirred by wind”. Coba is not as excavated, nor reconstructed, as Tulum, so all along the paths you will see mounds overgrown with vines, trees, and flowers. The fact that the jungle hasn’t been cleared away here, nor all the mounds uncovered, adds a feeling of discovery to your visit.
Tulum has one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Their ruins’ greatest attraction is its locations, small but exquisitely poised on the fifteen-meter-high cliffs above the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, whose views are nothing less than spectacular.
Your day starts with a transfer to Playa del Carmen where you will take a ferry to Cozumel, the biggest island in Mexico. Playa del Carmen was a sleepy fishing town until 1961 when Jacques Cousteau declared Cozumel as one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas of the world.
The underwater wildlife at this island is absolutely amazing due to the clarity of the water, with 100 – 200 ft visibility. You do not have to be a diver to enjoy it: simply put on a mask & snorkel, jump in and you will feel like you have been dropped into a tropical fish tank!
This is your free day in Cozumel. You can practice many water sports such as diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and more. Among the several attractions available to visit, Chankanaab National Park has the only inland coral reef formation in the world and is home to the world-renowned ecosystem and natural aquarium.
Your adventure across the ancient Mayan World comes to an end today and you will be transported to Cancun International Airport for your departure flight.