Day 1º: Arrive Cancun.
Welcome to Mexico! Your journey begins with a warm greeting at the airport from our local representative and a complimentary private transfer to the tour hotel. Your Tour Director is available at the hotel this afternoon to welcome you and answer your questions. Join us at 6:00pm for a Welcome Drink at the hotel.
Hotel: Omni Cancun Hotel & Villas
Day 2º: Cancun–Ek Balam–Valladolid–Merida(2 nights).
We head inland and stop at the beautiful Mayan archaeological site of Ek Balam. After an overview of the site and region by our expert Tour Director, we continue to the first capital city of the Yucatan – charming Valladolid, for lunch and a leisurely stroll around the central square. After a brief city tour, we continue to the lovely Colonial city of Merida, also known as “The White City.” The rest of the day is at leisure. Your Tour Director will be happy to help you plan your free time in Merida. (Full breakfast / Lunch).
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Merida
Day 3º: Merida–Sightseeing & at leisure.
Our Tour Director will introduce us to a local Hidden Treasure today. This morning we explore historic Merida starting with the Paseo de Montejo, modeled after the Champs Elysees in Paris and lined with beautiful Colonial mansions. We stop at the Central Plaza to view the Cathedral, the ornate Casa Montejo and the Palacio Nacional with its collection of renowned murals. We also visit the Anthropology Museum and its fi ne Mayan collections. After lunch at a local restaurant, there is time to explore on your own. This evening we are hosted in the beautiful Colonial home of David Sterling, renowned chef specializing in Yucatecan cuisine and owner and founder of Los Dos Cooking School, for a cooking demonstration and how to mix the perfect margarita. Then we move onto a beautiful historic hacienda for an exclusive sampling of Yucatecan specialties under the expert advice of Chef Sterling. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Be My Guest dinner).
Day 4º: Merida–Celestun–Campeche.
We travel to one of the region’s most protected areas and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - Celestun. Here, we navigate the calm waters of this vast wetlands complex to view one of the most important colonies of pink fl amingoes. After lunch under the shade of a thatched-roof beach restaurant, we head to the historic fortifi ed town of Campeche, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here we visit the Bulwarks, the Puerta Tierra stone fortress and the pastel-colored historic city center. This evening, enjoy a Highlight Dinner at a local restaurant. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Highlight dinner).
Hotel: Hotel Plaza Campeche / Hotel Plaza Colonial
Day 5º: Campeche–Edzna–Uxmal.
This morning we explore the Mayan archaeological site of Edzna. Our Tour Director’s expert commentary breathes life into the stunning temples and ceremonial sites. Heading along the Puuc Route, a traditional lunch awaits us at our next stop: pollo and cochinita pibil, wrapped in banana leafs and slowly cooked underground. We then visit the famed Mayan temples of Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This late-Classic Maya site dates from before the 10th century AD and is considered one of the most complex and beautiful expressions of Puuc architecture and, for many, is one of the major highlights of the Yucatan region. Once again our expert Tour Director elaborates on the mysterious Mayan culture as we experience the engineering, architectural and social heights of its people. We end the day at our hacienda where there is time to relax or take a dip in the inviting pool. Following dinner, we learn all about tequila, Mexico’s national drink, and enjoy a tasting of various types of this spirit reputed to reflect this country and its people’s warmth, strength, and passion. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Hacienda Uxmal
Day 6º: Uxmal–Sotuta De Peon–Izamal–Chichen Itza.
We start the day at the living-museum of Hacienda Sotuta de Peon. Here we learn about haciendas, which operated like the southern plantations of the United States, and about the production process of henequen (sisal fiber), the gold of the Yucatan during the Colonial era. We tour the still active processing plant and the beautiful main house and then board picturesque mule-drawn rail carts for a tour through the fields to a beautiful cenote (natural well leading to an underground river). After a traditional hacienda-style lunch, we continue on to the magical city of Izamal for a visit to the enchantingly golden Franciscan monastery. We stop at a local hammock workshop to learn about this ancient Mayan product and its handmade process. We then head for our hotel nestled next to the most famous Mayan archaeological icon and UNESCO World Heritage Site – Chichen Itza. Relax or cool off in one of the pools before dinner, and perhaps attend the Light & Sound Show at the archaeological site this evening. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Hotel Mayaland
Day 7º: Chichen Itza–Coba–Playa Del Carmen(2 nights).
Today we rise early and take advantage of our own private entrance to the archaeological site so that we are amongst the first to explore Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Under the expertise of our Tour Director, we explore this grand archaeological complex, one of the most impressive and spectacular of all the sites of the Mayan civilization. We then continue our journey to Coba where we enjoy lunch alongside a pleasant lake. We then visit ancient Coba by pedicab to view its graceful, towering temples, some of the highest in Mexico. Coba’s site is unique as it has been barely restored, merely cleared, and only a few of the estimated 6500 structures have been uncovered. We then head toward our oceanfront resort in Playa del Carmen on the acclaimed Riviera Maya. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Dinner).
Hotel: Viva Wyndham Azteca
Day 8º: Playa Del Carmen at leisure.
We enjoy a leisurely day at our all-inclusive resort. Relax, swim in the turquoise blue water of the Caribbean Sea or in the pool, take advantage of complimentary resort activities including non-motorized water sports; enjoy all-you-can-eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at your choice of various restaurants, as well as snacks and unlimited beverages, including beer, cocktails and wine... All included! This morning, perhaps join an optional visit to the Mayan site of Tulum, perched picturesquely on a cliff overlooking the dazzling sea; this afternoon, why not take an optional afternoon excursion by small boats through the mangroves of Sian Ka’an, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Biosphere, or a stroll down Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida, a charming pedestrian walkway lined with shops, bars and restaurants. This evening we celebrate our Yucatan adventure at our Farewell Dinner. (Full breakfast / Lunch / Farewell dinner).
Day 9º: Playa Del Carmen-Depart Cancun.
This morning is at leisure until we are taken back to Cancun. A complimentary transfer is provided to Cancun International Airport and the tour hotel in Cancun for passengers extending their stay. (Full breakfast).
Please do not schedule any flights before noon