London – Mexico City
Your direct flight from London Heathrow arrives in Mexico’s capital in the early evening.
On your first full day enjoy a privately guided tour of the Teotihuacan Pyramids and Xochimilco Floating Gardens. At Teotihuacan, you will visit the renowned pyramids of the Sun and the Moon – two of the world’s largest pyramidal structures – and learn about their place in the history of Mexico’s pre-Columbian civilisations. The tour continues to the ancient Aztec waterways of Xochimilco, where you will enjoy a private ride in a traditional Trajineras. You’ll also have the option to be guided around the fascinating Anthropology Museum.
Stay: Three nights in a grand deluxe room at the St Regis Hotel – breakfast included
Today you will leave the capital and fly south to Oaxaca, staying in a stylish hotel in the heart of the city. Oaxaca, with its impressive colonial buildings and colourful indigenous markets, also opens the door to relics of ancient civilisations. Travel back in time as you explore famous Zapotec ruins including Monte Alban, one of the premiere archaeological sites in all of Mexico, and Mitla, a fascinating site noted for its geometric mosaics. You’ll also see the 2,000-year-old Tule tree which has the world’s stoutest trunk.
Stay: Three nights in a double room at Casa Oaxaca – breakfast included
Fly back to Mexico City and meet your connecting flight to Merida, on arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Merida is the capital and gateway to the treasures of the Yucatan Peninsula, a region awash with cultural and archaeological wonders.
You’ll start with a visit to Uxmal, an ancient Mayan town founded in 700 A.D. A private tour will show you the Pyramid of the Soothsayer which sits at the centre of the ruin complex, and its numerous sculptures and motifs dedicated to the rain god Chaac. From Uxmal, you’ll venture to the Mayan site of Kabah, famed for its extraordinary ‘Palace of Chaac Masks’.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Rosas & Xocolate Boutique Hotel – breakfast included
Izamal – Chichen Itza
Your journey continues in Izamal, one of Yucatan’s oldest cities founded in the 4th century by Mayan leader Itzamna. You’ll spend the morning learning about its pre-Hispanic, colonial and contemporary eras, before moving on to Ek Balam. Once a prominent Mayan city, Ek Balam was abandoned by the Mayans and lay hidden for hundreds of years under a covering of dense jungle. Its buildings and artefacts, including the elaborate Acropolis pyramid, were later uncovered by a group of archaeologists. Before driving on to Chichen Itza, there’s time for a swim in one of the area’s most important Mayan Cenotes.
Stay: One night in a Royal Mayan Bungalow at the Lodge at Chichen Itza – breakfast included
Chichen Itza – Playa del Carmen
Your historical tour of Mexico culminates with the mighty Chichen Itza – the most famous Mayan temple city of all. Built between the 9th and 12 centuries, a half-day tour of the site will reveal its various architectural styles in many fine temples, carved columns and pyramids. The mighty pyramid of Kukulkan – or El Castillo – dominates the site.
Now it’s time for some well-earned relaxation. You will you be taken to your exclusive boutique hideaway which occupies a spot along a two-mile empty stretch of beach in Riviera Maya. Your days can be spent relaxing on the immaculate beach, swimming, scuba diving, sailing or practising yoga. You’ll be within 20 minutes of Playa del Carmen’s famous shopping and nightlife, and for more history you can opt for a half-day tour of the intriguing Tulum Ruins.
Stay: Six nights in a garden suite at Esencia Hotel – breakfast included
Playa del Carmen – London
It’s time to say goodbye to Playa del Carmen and your beach boutique hotel. You’ll be transferred to Cancun airport for your direct flight to London Gatwick.
The service was first class, professional throughout. Well done and thank-you.- JP, Sri Lanka, 2013