13 Day Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination

From

$2749

Land Only

$3009*

Air & Land


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Featured Hotels

Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination
Hotel Marquis Reforma Mexico City
Quinta Real Puebla Puebla City
Gran Hotel Diligencias Veracruz
Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque
Plaza Campeche Campeche
Hotel Casa del Balam Merida
Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows Chichen Itza
Occidental Costa Cancun Cancun

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How to calculate single or triple prices

Dates

*Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information:
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.


Accommodation Details:
Triple rooms consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway.


Entry Requirements:
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.



Is This Trip Right for You?

This itinerary is active and will require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. This adventurous trip includes several early morning starts and full-day excursions. Some days require long transfers by shuttle bus. There is a significant amount of walking areas visited during your trip. This itinerary is designed for those who are interested in a faster-paced, adventure-filled experience. It is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, sitting for extended periods of time, or who have heart conditions. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. The route and program may vary according to weather condition, season changes, and road conditions. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Extend Your Stay

Flight Details


Accommodation Details

  • Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights Miami-Mexico City, Cancun-Miami
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights accommodations
    • 3 nights Mexico City
    • 1 night Puebla
    • 1 night Veracruz
    • 2 nights Palenque
    • 1 night Campeche
    • 2 nights Merida
    • 1 night Chichén Itzá
    • 1 night Cancun
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches & 5 dinners (including Welcome and Farewell dinners)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern motor coach
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
 

Tour Highlights

  • Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals
  • Enjoy all of the delights of buzzing Mexico City one of the most vivacious cities in Latin America
  • Enjoy gorgeous views of the cathedral, beautiful churches and colonial buildings in Puebla
  • At the romantic plaza in Veracruz see strolling jarochos, guitarists and marimba bands
  • In Villa Hermosa, visit the intriguing park with giant 12-feet Olmec heads from La Venta
  • Visit the astonishing soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque, a national treasure!
  • Tour Campeche, a colonial city with baroque Spanish architecture and a walled historic district
  • At the dramatic archaeological site of Uxmal, view the pyramids and temples from 600 AD
  • Enjoy hospitality, a home-cooked dinner and conversation with a local family in Merida
  • View the distinctive architecture of Merida at the ornate 15th century Casa Montejo
  • Tour the wondrous ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Exploration of the Yucatan continues at Ek Balam, one of the largest Mayan ruins in Mexico
  • In magical Valladolid, stroll the picturesque square with its rows of colorful historic buildings

†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

Is This Trip Right for You?

This itinerary is active and will require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. This adventurous trip includes several early morning starts and full-day excursions. Some days require long transfers by shuttle bus. There is a significant amount of walking areas visited during your trip. This itinerary is designed for those who are interested in a faster-paced, adventure-filled experience. It is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, sitting for extended periods of time, or who have heart conditions. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. The route and program may vary according to weather condition, season changes, and road conditions. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.

Watch our Video!

DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Mexico City
Bienvenidos! Welcome to lively Mexico City, Mexico a city with a storied history dating from pre-Hispanic to colonial-era and now one of the most contemporary and vivacious cities in Latin America; transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city's attractions including nearby Chapultepec park, an open green space in the heart of the city that bustles with local culture. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7 pm on the day of arrival about the exciting discovery of Mexico that lies ahead. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 5 pm on Day 1 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible
Overnight: Mexico City

DAY 2, Saturday - Mexico City, Museum of Anthropology, Xochimilco
Begin the day with a visit to the world-famous National Museum of Anthropology, the largest and most visited museum in all of Mexico. Marvel at the vast collection of archaeological treasures from pre-Hispanic civilizations before continuing to Xochimilco. The floating gardens, or “Chinampas” of Xochimilco have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Board a colorful trajinera (a flat-bottomed boat), sit back and admire the view as you glide along the water. Explore the canals and learn about the fascinating history of these waterways which date back to Aztec rule. Observe the local flora and fauna while enjoying a delectable lunch. Afterward, return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight, a festive Welcome Dinner with traditional Mexican food awaits you at a local restaurant
Overnight: Mexico City
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3, Sunday - Mexico City, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Teotihuacan
The tour of the capital starts in the city center or, Zocalo with a visit to the grand National Palace. Inside, view the nine famous murals by Diego Rivera, one of Mexico’s greatest painters, that depict the Mexican civilization from the arrival of Quetzalcóatl (the Aztec plumed serpent god) to the post-revolutionary period. Continue to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico’s most prominent pilgrimage site. Stop for lunch on the way to Teotihuacán, the impressive archaeological site that was once the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. Visit the Jaguar Temple before continuing to the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and the Avenue of the Dead flanked by temples and palaces. This evening is on your own to relax or, explore the eclectic gastronomy of Mexico City
Overnight: Mexico City
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Monday - Puebla
Depart Mexico City and head to the charming Colonial town of Puebla with its more than 70 churches and 1,000 colonial buildings adorned with the Talavera ceramic tiles for which the city is famous. En route, catch a glimpse of the astonishing sight of the towering snow-capped volcanoes of Pico de Orizaba, Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl. Arrive in Puebla and visit the Talavera workshop to witness the manufacturing of this unique ceramic that is produced with local clay and is hand-painted, in mostly traditional blue and white patterns. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant before continuing to the picturesque Centro Historico de Puebla. Admire gorgeous views of the stunning 16th century Puebla Cathedral with its mix of Neoclassical, Baroque and Renaissance styles. After your visit to the cathedral, proceed to the Biblioteca Palafoxiana, that was the first public library in Colonial Mexico and is believed to also be the first in the Americas. Its ornate interior is lined with exquisitely carved cedar bookshelves, housing more than 45,000 books and manuscripts. Later, check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure to explore the city's charm and exquisite culinary flavors
Overnight: Puebla
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5, Tuesday - Romantic Veracruz
This morning, continue your journey to romantic Veracruz. One of the largest and historically prominent ports in Mexico. It was founded by the conquistador Hernan Cortes upon his landing in the early 1500s. After lunch, embark on a walking tour of the bustling downtown. The rest of the day is free to further explore the city on your own. This evening, enjoy the party atmosphere of the main plaza and don’t be surprised to see serenading guitarists and marimba bands.
Overnight: Veracruz
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Wednesday - Villa Hermosa's La Venta Park, Palenque
On the drive from Veracruz to Palenque, stop in Villahermosa for lunch and visit the intriguing outdoor La Venta park where you view the displayed giant Olmec heads from the settlement of La Venta. Enter through a zoo, devoted to animals and culture from Tabasco and other nearby regions. The Olmecs, known as the first major civilization in Mexico, are believed to be descendants of Africans. It has been proposed that people from Europe, Africa and Asia may have lived in this "new world" before it was even discovered by Columbus in 1492. Continue to the town of Palenque. Settle in at the hotel with its many delightful amenities and get ready for tomorrow’s fascinating discoveries
Overnight: Palenque
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Thursday - Palenque, a National Treasure
One of the highlights of your Mexican journey is surely today's visit to the soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque, a national treasure! Abandoned for unknown reasons, the vast, mysterious and enchanting ruined city of Palenque is one of the most beautiful Mayan city-states in the world, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. On your tour, see the highlights of this mystical site -- the Temple of the Cross Group, Temple of Inscriptions and the Grand Palace -- while you listen to sounds of howler monkeys in the distance. It was here, at the Temple of Inscriptions that archaeologists discovered the tomb of Pakal the Great. Today, Palenque is filled with hundreds of ruins, huge stones and stucco pyramids with intricate carvings and hieroglyphs. Visit the treasure filled museum before returning to your hotel. Dinner this evening is a gastronomic experience in pre-Hispanic fusion cuisine
Overnight: Palenque
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Friday - Historic Campeche
Depart this morning for UNESCO World Heritage city of Campeche. En route, stop for lunch in Champotón, a delightful coastal city, before arriving to the charming port city of Campeche, originally built as a walled fort to thwart pirate attacks. Take a walking tour this afternoon of the colonial-era city with Baroque Spanish architecture, restored pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets and a charming historic district. The evening is at leisure. Perhaps, take a stroll along the Malecón, a waterfront promenade to catch the sunset. Tonight, sample delicious Mexican and Spanish flavors at one of the town's select restaurants
Overnight: Campeche
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Saturday - Uxmal Pyramids, Merida, Home Hosted Dinner
Today, visit the archaeological site of Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View the pyramids and temples that date back to 600 AD. Superb examples of Puuc style architecture can be seen at the terraced Governor's Palace with its 20,000 intricately carved stones that create an image of fine lace. Here, you also view the majestic Pyramid of the Magician and the four rectangular buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle. After lunch of local favorites, on to Mérida, one of the country's loveliest colonial cities for a walking tour that begins at the Plaza Grande. Later, meet a local family in their home, share a delectable home-cooked dinner and hear about local customs and the daily life in Merida
Overnight: Merida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10, Sunday - Explore Merida
Merida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatan Peninsula since its conquest by the Spanish. The exploration of the city begins at the Plaza de la Independencia, bordered by the fortress like Merida Cathedral, built on the site of a former Maya temple. Some of the stone from the temple was used for its construction. See the glories of the city’s distinctive architecture around the square and visit the ornate 15th century Casa Montejo, a former family mansion. Walk to the local gathering place at centralized Palacio de Gobierno; view the remarkable collection of murals depicting the conquest of the Yucatan. Tour a local market before lunch at a local restaurant. Time to wander on your own this afternoon
Overnight: Merida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Monday - Chichen Itza
After breakfast, head to Chichén Itzá. Upon arrival, meet your local guide and begin the exploration of the astonishing ruins of Chichén Itzá, considered the most famous and most spectacular of Mexico’s Mayan sites. This magnificent metropolis, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the principle ceremonial center of the Yucatan. Learn about the fascinating history of Chichén Itzá and the unusual beliefs and rituals that defined this ancient Mayan civilization. The entire site is dominated by the towering walls of the dramatic Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo with its 365 steps - one built for each day of the year. After lunch of local favorites at your hotel, spend the afternoon at leisure. Tonight, join your fellow travelers for dinner at the hotel
Overnight: Chichén Itzá
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Tuesday - Ek Balam, Magical Valladolid, Cancun
Drive across the Yucatan interior for a visit to the archaeologigal site of Ek Balam, one of the largest Mayan ruins in Mexico, where you can see the extraordinary wonders of Mayan culture from thousands of years ago. The well-preserved ruins of the ancient town are accented by elaborate statues and grand architecture. View the 96-foot tall Acropolis that once served as the temple for the ancient Mayan village. Continue to Valladolid, first capital of the Yucatan, perhaps the most magical city in Mexico. Stroll along the picturesque central square, a spectacular colonial gem, with its rows of colorful historic buildings. After lunch at a charming restaurant, walk to see your first huge water-filled cenote (sink hole). Later on to Cancun, Mexico's vivacious resort city bordering the Caribbean Sea. Known for its white sand beaches and energetic nightlife. The rest of the day is yours to relax at the hotel's pools or, on the beautiful beach. This evening bid Adios to your newfound friends at tonight’s Farewell Dinner. Share wonderful memories of the journey together through Mexico
Overnight: Cancun
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Wednesday - Depart Mexico
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

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Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
Book your Optional Tours before you travel. See more, save time, save money.
  • Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
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  • Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
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Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, February 2018
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The trip was everything promised, and more. Our main tour guide, Bacho, was simply outstanding. Starting in Cancun and working our way towards our finale at the museums in Mexico City was the perfect sequence for fully embracing this unique culture.

Jim L. Waynesboro, VA
Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, November 2017
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We greatly enjoyed our Mayan and Aztec Discovery trip in Mexico. Carlos Perez was a very good TM. We enjoyed the cultural and historical information he and the local guides shared.

Eric F. Alexandria, VA
Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, November 2017
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Our trip was just great as usual with Gate 1. Our tour director was excellent and the local guides at the various ruins we visited were very knowledgeable on the Mayan and Aztec cultures. The hotels were well located and the food was great. The most beautiful city we visited was Puebla. If we could recommend any changes it would be to extend this trip by a day or two so we could enjoy the city of Puebla more.

Joe M. Sundridge, ON
Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, March 2017
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Our trip was just great, very informative, we enjoyed every moment. The (Pyramids) temples as they call them were a new experience for us, the food was different then we are use to ,but good, the accommodations were a joy, the weather can not be beat in Mexico . Anyhow we did stay a extra 4 nights in Mexico City and enjoyed even more of this fantastic City and culture, I bet we did enjoyed the City more than our fellow travelers because we had more time …..the tour guide was tremendous a great help to everyone and so courteous and friendly, We had the opportunity to do the “Copper Canyon “tour last year also with Bonifacio as our tour guide and had the same great experience, we certainly would recommend Gate 1 to anyone for a Mexican experience .

Josiane D. Ontario, Canada
Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, March 2017
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10 out of 10. Wonderful. More than I expected. All tour guides were good. Your guide was exceptional among the exception managers I have had. Very well done.

Gerald C. Lilburn, GA
Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination, March 2017
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The tour guide, Bacho, was excellent. Hotel accommodations were fine, food was excellent at all locations. I thought the tour was well worth the money and would recommend it to other people interested in the archaeology of Mexico.

Douglas B. Winona, MO