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4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
15 days
From: $ 6,600 $ 440 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Get to know Mexico City on a tour with your leader, visit the spectacular ruins of Teotihuacan, Cholula, Mitla, Chichen Itza, and Muyil, and explore the Tulum archaeological site during an exclusive after hours visit.
  • Enjoy the old-world charm of your Feature Stays in Oaxaca and Merida – magnificent 19th and 17th century mansions turned boutique hotels with elegant decor and traditional touches.
  • Understand the diversity of Mexican food during Exclusive Experiences, including a Maya Pibil meal in a local home, tortilla making demonstration with the Laguna Chabela community and dinner at an award-winning restaurant in Oaxaca.
  • Discover traditional craft industries with enlightening Exclusive Experiences. Learn about Zapotec woven fabrics, textile making, mezcal distilling and beeswax candle-making, and visit a family-run obsidian workshop.
  • Meet with a local conservationist for an Exclusive Experience at the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve. Learn about conservation efforts while looking out for colourful flora and fauna.

Short Description

In 15 days, this Premium adventure weaves together Mexico’s best, from award-winning restaurants and hidden street food stalls to paradisiacal coastlines and incredible ancient ruins. Journey through Mexico City, Puebla and Oaxaca and join expert guides to uncover the ancient secrets of Teotihuacan, Cholula, and the Mitla ruins. Venture from the bountiful coastline of Puerto Morelos to the colourful city of Valladolid, the colonial town of Merida and the white sand beaches of Tulum, and explore Chichen Itza, Muyil and the Tulum archaeological site. Dive deeper and discover a land of longstanding traditions and local people that will ensure Mexico always holds a place in your heart.

Style Small group tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Mexico City
End City Tulum

Destinations

Mexico

Attractions & Cities Visited

Cancun Caribbean Chichen Itza Mexico City Tulum

Activities & Interests

N/A

Age Requirement

15-99

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Mexico City

Welcome to Mexico! Your adventure begins in Mexico City, the vibrant beating heart of the country. You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet the rest of your group and local leader for a 6pm welcome meeting. Your hotel in Mexico City is housed in a beautiful building from the 1890s and the location is truly one of the city’s best. The buzzing Zocalo Plaza and spectacular National Cathedral are right on your doorstep; views of which can be admired from your hotel’s rooftop restaurant and bar. After your meeting, head out for dinner with your leader and small group. Tonight you will have the chance to sample a tempting array of local dishes, sampling your way across Mexico by trying tacos from different regions. The city’s authentic food scene will surprise and delight even seasoned travellers, as will the lively atmosphere created by roving Mariachi bands. End the evening with some sweet treats at the city’s oldest churreria.

Day 2 Mexico City

Today will be spent getting to know Mexico City on a tour with your knowledgeable leader. From cosmopolitan glamour to ancient and colonial history, there’s a lot to see, so rise early and head out to the National Museum of Anthropology where your leader will walk you through the different stages of the country’s past. Continue to the Zocalo Plaza, the lively main square of the city. Visit the National Cathedral to hear its story and marvel at its impressive Gothic architecture, then view the sprawling National Palace before taking in massive murals painted by Diego Rivera. This spot first held a palace built by an Aztec emperor in the early 16th century, and now houses the offices of Mexico’s president. Enjoy an evening at leisure. There’s no doubt that the food here is best experienced like a local, so be sure to ask your leader for some excellent dinner recommendations this evening.

Day 3 Puebla

Depart Mexico City and travel to Teotihuacan. Here you'll discover the extraordinary ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon, which dominate the skyline. This was once one of the country's biggest ancient cities and the Aztec capital. Join an expert local guide and stroll down The Avenue of the Dead to see fascinating clues as to what life here was like nearly 2000 years ago. After lunch continue to Puebla. Stop off on the way to visit a local family who produce beautiful stonework carved form obsidian, a naturally occurring volcanic glasslike rock. Take some time to admire their striking pieces and speak to the family about their craft. Arrive in Puebla, a charming city that has retained its colonial heritage despite rapid growth and development. Set out for a walk around town and visit Calle de los Dulces (Candy street) and the El Parian handicraft market, as well as the impressive Rosary Chapel and Town Hall Palace. Mexican food is deliciously diverse and Puebla is no exception. Enjoy dinner at an award-winning restaurant this evening, where a local chef serves up local specialties in an elegant setting – the mole here comes highly recommended.

Day 4 Puebla

After breakfast, drive out to the fascinating Cholula archaeological site. Meet with an expert local guide and tour the complex, including the Great Pyramid of Cholula – if you include its basement, this is the largest pyramid in the world. Explore the excavated areas around the pyramid and learn how the structure was built to honour the god Quetzalcoatl. For lunch today, stop off at a wonderful restaurant serving up organic dishes made with locally sourced produce to minimise their impact on the environment. The rest of the day is free for your own explorations – you may like to join your leader for a visit to a local artisan to discover more about the Talavera pottery tradition.

Day 5 Oaxaca

Today you will make the journey to Oaxaca, a colourful and captivating city rich with history and culture. Arrive in the late afternoon and settle in to your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three nights – a beautiful property converted from a 19th-century colonial mansion, traditional charm emanates from every corner of this hotel, from its ivy-clad courtyard to original frescoes and stone fountain. Each room is wonderfully unique and individually decorated, but they all feature gorgeous high ceilings and modern amenities. Just a stone’s throw away from the city’s main Zocalo, bursting with interesting cafes, musicians and artisans, there’s no better base for your time in Oaxaca. Head out for an orientation walk with your leader to get a feel for the city, stopping by the delightful local markets of Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre, then enjoy a free evening for further explorations. The best way to get to the heart of Oaxaca’s culture is to taste its food, so your leader will be happy to offer up some great local recommendations for dinner.

Day 6 Oaxaca

Today, venture out of the city and take a tour of the Oaxaca region. Visit the Mitla ruins archaeological site – once the religious centre for Zapotec communities – and the Tule Tree, considered the world’s widest tree at over 11 metres in diameter. The Montezuma cypress’ gnarled trunk is over 1500 years old, roughly the same as the ruins. Stop off in Tule town to try some Mexican ice cream – an important part of Mexico’s culinary history, this hand-churned ice cream is up there with the best of them. Perhaps try some Mexican vanilla, fresh fruit sorbet or even a scoop seasoned with chili. Continue to a beeswax candle-making workshop, learning age-old processes passed down for generations and the intricate designs that are created. Later, take part in a Zapotec weaving demonstration, which uses only traditional techniques, tools, patterns and organic dyes. Watch as local families meticulously craft folk clothing and rugs, some taking months to complete. You will learn the whole process from preparing and dyeing the yarn to traditional weaving methods. Here, enjoy a mostly plant-based lunch of regional Zapotec specialities. On your way back to Oaxaca, stop by an agave mezcal factory for a tasting before returning to the city in the late afternoon.

Day 7 Oaxaca

Enjoy a free day to take in the sights, sounds and tastes of Oaxaca. There’s something here to suit every interest – speak to your leader about arranging a visit to the Monte Alban archaeological site, a local cooking class or a street art cycling tour. You may like to head to one of the city’s many markets to browse stalls of coffee, spices and crafts made by local artisans. In the evening, it’s time for a send-off in style as you head to a special dining experience. Your venue for this evening presents an amazing menu of traditional Oaxacan dishes, curated and cooked by the restaurant’s award-winning female owner and inspired by the recipes of her mother and grandmother. Let the dishes take you on a trip around the state of Oaxaca as you enjoy a multi-course meal.

Day 8 Puerto Morelos

Today you will catch a flight from Oaxaca to Cancun, transferring on arrival to Puerto Morelos, a charming seaside town on the Yucatan Peninsula, known for its stunning turquoise waters. You will be collected on your arrival at Cancun International Airport and transferred to your hotel. A meeting will take place here at 6pm to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. The Yucatan’s bountiful Caribbean coastline means it is home to some of the freshest seafood in the country, and after your meeting you will head to one of the best restaurants in Puerto Morelos to sample some yourself. Here you can enjoy a traditional feast of fresh fish, mussels, shrimp and clams.

Day 9 Valladolid

After breakfast, depart Puerto Morelos and head to the secluded Laguna Chabela. Here you will meet a local Maya family who have lived here for generations. Gain a deeper understanding on their way of life as you tour their farm, see what they grow and learn how they live off the land. Enjoy a demonstration on how to make delicious tortillas in the Coba style then sit down to a traditional lunch. In the afternoon, continue to the city of Valladolid, known for its delightful pastel coloured colonial buildings. On arrival, settle in to your hotel. Set on the city’s main square, the charming hotel was converted from a 16th century colonial house and offers a perfect base for your explorations. The main square is flanked by excellent local restaurants serving up classic Yucatan cuisine – you may like to try one out for dinner this evening.

Day 10 Merida - Chichen Itza

This morning will be spent exploring the fascinating complex of Chichen Itza. Named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is considered the most important archaeological vestige of the Maya-Toltec civilization in Yucatan by UNESCO. Meet with a local historian for a guided tour to uncover the secrets of what is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico, dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. After your visit, you will be treated to a special lunch with a local family in the town of Piste. Here you will enjoy a traditional Pibil feast, a Maya style of cooking that involves barbecuing underground, which the family have perfected over generations. After lunch, visit a beautiful cenote for a swim, then continue to the historic town of Merida. Founded in 1542, the city is the Yucatan capital and retains much of its old-world charm. Your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three evenings is the magnificent La Misión de Fray Diego – a 17th century mansion turned boutique hotel. Spacious rooms flaunt elegant decor with traditional touches, surrounding a glowing courtyard with a wonderful swimming pool. Enjoy exceptional service and a privileged location in the heart of the city.

Day 11 Merida

This morning you will join your leader on a walking tour of downtown Merida to take in the splendour of its many colonial buildings and learn more about the Maya heritage of the town. Visit the market for a look at local life, and stop by the city museum, Montejo's House and the cathedral. Step inside the Palacio del Gobierno to admire the murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco, a famous Mexican artist from Merida. The paintings depict the history of the city and interactions between the Maya and the Spanish. The afternoon is free for further discoveries – you may like to relax in the green and shady Plaza Grande, or browse the outdoor market selling Maya replicas. Regroup for dinner at a fantastic local restaurant serving up Yucatan specialties – the sopa da lima (lime soup) is especially delicious here.

Day 12 Merida

After breakfast, drive to the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve. One of the first places migratory birds arrive for the winter, the reserve offers a birdwatching experience like no other. Here you will meet with a local conservationist to tour the area, learn about its unique flora and fauna and hear about the conservation efforts taking place in the region. Look out for the Yucatan woodpecker, Mexican sheartail, tropical mockingbird and depending on the season (usually November–March), you may be lucky enough to witness thousands of flamingos painting a pink streak across the landscape. Return to Merida for an afternoon at leisure. For a taste of Merida's 19th-century glory, you may like to take a walk along the mansion-lined Paseo de Montejo. Be sure to ask your leader for some great local recommendations for dinner this evening.

Day 13 Tulum

Depart Merida this morning and head towards Muyil, stopping off for lunch in the quaint village of Coba along the way. Continue to the Muyil archaeologic site. This ancient Maya trading post is one of the oldest once-inhabited sites in the country, with a history stretching back to 350BC. Explore the ruins with your leader who will explain what life here once looked like. Next, head to the banks of the Maya River and board a small boat, from which you’ll explore the canals and lagoons of the river. Admire Maya ruins on the riverbanks and enjoy a peaceful swim in the crystal-clear waters. You will be joined by guides from the local community who will help you get the most out of this tranquil experience. Carry on to Tulum, home to pristine beaches and ancient Maya history. Settle in to your unique hotel, just a few minutes drive from the stunning white sand beach, then set out for an orientation walk with your leader to get a feel for this mellow town.

Day 14 Tulum

Enjoy a morning at leisure in Tulum. You may like to unroll a towel and relax on the beach, or take a dip in the calm and clear Caribbean waters. A stroll through the town will reveal an array of independent shops selling handicrafts and Fairtrade goods. In the afternoon, head to the Tulum archaeological site for a special after hours visit, allowing you to appreciate the incredible history of the ruins without the crowds. One of the last cities built by the Maya, your leader will paint a picture of how life played out here as you explore the complex against a spectacular ocean backdrop. This evening you will dine at one of Tulum’s most celebrated restaurants. With laid back vibes and inspired by the freshest local produce and seafood, this final dinner with your newfound friends will certainly be one to remember.

Day 15 Tulum

Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend some more time in Tulum, additional accommodation can be booked ahead of time (subject to availability).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 6,600
Price Per Day: $ 440 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Feb-04-2023Feb-18-2023$ 6,985Sold Out Reserve
Feb-18-2023Mar-04-2023$ 7,400Sold Out Reserve
Mar-11-2023Mar-25-2023$ 6,8651 spots left Reserve
Apr-15-2023Apr-29-2023$ 6,8651 spots left Reserve
May-20-2023Jun-03-2023$ 6,6006 spots left Reserve
Jun-17-2023Jul-01-2023$ 6,6006 spots left Reserve
Jul-15-2023Jul-29-2023$ 6,6009 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2023Oct-07-2023$ 6,6007 spots left Reserve
Oct-14-2023Oct-28-2023$ 7,1258 spots left Reserve
Nov-11-2023Nov-25-2023$ 7,2656 spots left Reserve
Nov-25-2023Dec-09-2023$ 7,12510 spots left Reserve
Dec-02-2023Dec-16-2023$ 7,12512 spots left Reserve
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4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Average 132
Disappointing 66
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Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

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Viewing wildlife in a natural setting with an experienced naturalist is outstanding

Great trip made better by the guide.

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Great trip made better by the guide.

This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature.

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This trip is an excellent mix of cultural experience, adventure and nature. Nepal is a beautiful country and the people are so warm and approachable. Dal Bhat Power 24 hour!

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This tour of Bali was the perfect mix of culture, adventure and relaxation.

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Walk the Scenic Rim

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Had the best time! Over 5 days we hiked up hill, down dale, across creeks and through beautiful pockets of ancient Gondwana rainforest. The scenery was stunning, the company was awesome, and I can't recommend Intrepid Travel (and our tour leader, Joel) highly enough!
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Private vehicle,Plane,Boat

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Comfortable hotel (9 nights),Feature Stay (6 nights)

Guides

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Premium leaders are Intrepid’s most experienced, with in-depth knowledge and extensive local networks to make it a trip of a lifetime. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. When not already included in your trip, your leader will be able to recommend a local guide service who can share more detailed or specialised information at specific sites should you be interested in delving deeper.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Esplendor by Wyndham Tulum Nook
  • Av. Kukulcan Km 4 Region 8, Lote 1,
  • Tulum
  • 77760
  • MEXICO
  • Phone: +52 9841951234

Trip ID#:

intrepid-QBPMC

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