Surround yourself with Mexico’s vibrant culture, explore its Aztec, Mayan and colonial history, and taste food so good it's bagged World Heritage status. Embrace your sense of adventure as you travel across the country from the capital – an intriguing city where layers of history can be seen in the streets and squares – to the Yucatán Peninsula's coast, getting hands on as you learn local crafts, and discovering some of the country’s most intriguing ruins and natural wonders along the way.

• Mexico City: 3 nights
• Oaxaca: 2 nights
• San Cristobal de las Casas: 2 nights
• Palenque: 1 night
• Campeche: 1 night
• Merida: 1 night
• Cancun: 1 night

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

Surround yourself with Mexico’s vibrant culture, explore its Aztec, Mayan and colonial history, and taste food so good it's bagged World Heritage status. Embrace your sense of adventure as you travel across the country from the capital – an intriguing city where layers of history can be seen in the streets and squares – to the Yucatán Peninsula's coast, getting hands on as you learn local crafts, and discovering some of the country’s most intriguing ruins and natural wonders along the way.

• Mexico City: 3 nights
• Oaxaca: 2 nights
• San Cristobal de las Casas: 2 nights
• Palenque: 1 night
• Campeche: 1 night
• Merida: 1 night
• Cancun: 1 night

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Mexico City Depart the UK on your daytime flight to Mexico. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar).

Day 2: Mexico City A day exploring the heart of Mexico City is a fitting start to this cross-country tour. At the highly-rated and extensive Museum of Anthropology, the perfect spot for an introduction to Mexican culture, you can see some of the most significant relics from pre-Colombian Mexico including the incredible Aztec Sun Stone. From here, head south to the district of Coyoacàn where you will visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, or the Casa Azul, the former home of the world-famous portrait artist. Behind the vibrant cobalt blue walls of this modest building, you can step into the painter’s world and see some of her most celebrated works of art. Return to the heart of the city and spend some time in the Centro Histórico. This evening, get to know your fellow guests during a welcome dinner at Villa Maria. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: Mexico City As you travel around the heart of Mexico City, it reveals a cross section of the city’s history from pre-Colombian to 21st Century. At the day’s first destination, the aptly-named Square of Three Cultures, you can see the remains of an Aztec temple, the 17th-Century Church of Santiago Tlatelolco and a comparatively austere 1960s housing complex which is characteristic of the era following independence. As you make your way out of the city, stop at the modern Basilica of Guadalupe. Continue on to the incredible archaeological site of Teotihuacàn, the mysterious remains of a Mesoamerican city that once had a population of over 100,000 people. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 31 miles. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Mexico City to Oaxaca Begin your journey through Mexico today with a drive east to the city of Puebla, a city known for its intricately designed pottery. Beautifully painted tiles adorn many of the city’s buildings and shops sell bowls, mugs and plates created by hand by local craftsman. At Uriarte Talavera you’ll take part in a unique handicrafts workshop and make a traditional house number sign. At lunch, head out to a local restaurant to sample the typical dishes of the region. It’s then a long drive on to Oaxaca where you’ll stay two nights. Approx. journey time: 6½ hours, 288 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, L.

Day 5: Oaxaca Travel to the site of Mitla, stopping at the impressive 2000-year-old Tule Tree on the way. Hidden at the end of a valley, around 30 miles outside of Oaxaca, Mitla was once the religious centre of the Mixtec civilisation. Following lunch at a local restaurant, there’s another chance to experience a taste of Mexico, this time sampling mescal, a spirit made from the agave plant. The next stop on the tour, Monte Álban, was the a political and business hub of the Zapotec civilisation. This UNESCO-listed site is incredibly well preserved and has far-reaching views. Return to Oaxaca and join a walking tour. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 71 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas There’s an early start this morning (5am) for your 6.45am flight to the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez via Mexico City. A boxed breakfast is provided. Today’s sightseeing is a bit of contrast from the historic ruins and colonial towns. You’ll board a boat and take a trip through the Sumidero Canyon. Continue on to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and enjoy dinner at a restaurant serving typical Chiapas dishes. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours (flight); 1¼ hours, 48 miles. Stay: Casa Mexicana (or similar). B, D.

Day 7: San Cristobal de las Casas Begin the day with a visit to the two villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, a couple of autonomous communities where Mayan dialects are still spoken. Learn about the indigenous cultures of the Chiapas and have a go at the traditional practice of weaving during a visit to the home of a local family. Return to San Cristobal for a orientation tour, free time and dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Casa Mexicana (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque As you travel northwards through the state of Chiapas, you’ll pass through forest-clad hills, alongside rivers and through tiny roadside communities. The highlight of the day is the break in your journey to Palenque at the tumbling waterfalls of Agua Azul. The swirling pools below the giant’s-step falls shine an intense shade of turquoise thanks to the high concentration of mineral deposits in the water. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 143 miles. Stay: Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Palenque to Campeche Today, visit the Palenque archaeological site, one of the most beautiful set of ruins that you’ll see during the tour. Mayan pyramids and palaces covered in intricate carvings of mythical creatures are surrounded by the encroaching wildlife-rich jungle. The group will set off on the relatively long journey to the fortified waterfront city of Campache, with a stop for lunch on the way. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 215 miles. Stay: Hotel Plaza Campeche (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Campeche to Mérida The journey north to Mérida takes a bit of a detour as you make a stop at the ruins of Uxmal. The ‘Puuc’ style buildings with their smooth, almost rounded walls, are completely different from anything else you’ve seen. Continue your exploration of the tastes of Mexico with a visit to a chocolate museum. Following your arrival in Merida, get your bearings on an introductory tour. There’ll be a farewell dinner this evening. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 158 miles. Stay: Presidente Villa Mercedes Merida (or similar). B, D.

Day 11: Mérida to Cancun There’s an early departure this morning as you head to the most famous and popular Mayan archaeological sites of them all – Chichen Itza. Continue eastwards towards the coastal resort of Cancun, stopping at a cenote where you can take a refreshing dip on your way. The tour will come to an end at Moon Palace in Cancun or the resort of your choice if you choose to extend your holiday. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 202 miles. Stay: Moon Palace (or similar). B, L, ALL (on your arrival at your chosen beach resort).

Day 12: Cancun Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK. ALL.


Stay longer

Mayan Riviera beach 2 nights

Featuring some of the best beaches in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera is the perfect spot for a post tour break.

Day 1: UK to Mexico City Depart the UK on your daytime flight to Mexico. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar).

Day 2: Mexico City A day exploring the heart of Mexico City is a fitting start to this cross-country tour. At the highly-rated and extensive Museum of Anthropology, the perfect spot for an introduction to Mexican culture, you can see some of the most significant relics from pre-Colombian Mexico including the incredible Aztec Sun Stone. From here, head south to the district of Coyoacàn where you will visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, or the Casa Azul, the former home of the world-famous portrait artist. Behind the vibrant cobalt blue walls of this modest building, you can step into the painter’s world and see some of her most celebrated works of art. Return to the heart of the city and spend some time in the Centro Histórico. This evening, get to know your fellow guests during a welcome dinner at Villa Maria. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: Mexico City As you travel around the heart of Mexico City, it reveals a cross section of the city’s history from pre-Colombian to 21st Century. At the day’s first destination, the aptly-named Square of Three Cultures, you can see the remains of an Aztec temple, the 17th-Century Church of Santiago Tlatelolco and a comparatively austere 1960s housing complex which is characteristic of the era following independence. As you make your way out of the city, stop at the modern Basilica of Guadalupe. Continue on to the incredible archaeological site of Teotihuacàn, the mysterious remains of a Mesoamerican city that once had a population of over 100,000 people. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 31 miles. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Mexico City to Oaxaca Begin your journey through Mexico today with a drive east to the city of Puebla, a city known for its intricately designed pottery. Beautifully painted tiles adorn many of the city’s buildings and shops sell bowls, mugs and plates created by hand by local craftsman. At Uriarte Talavera you’ll take part in a unique handicrafts workshop and make a traditional house number sign. It’s then a long drive on to Oaxaca where you’ll stay two nights. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant serving typical Oaxacan dishes. Approx. journey time: 6½ hours, 288 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Oaxaca Travel to the site of Mitla, stopping at the impressive 2000-year-old Tule Tree on the way. Hidden at the end of a valley, around 30 miles outside of Oaxaca, Mitla was once the religious centre of the Mixtec civilisation. Following lunch at a local restaurant, there’s another chance to experience a taste of Mexico, this time sampling mescal, a spirit made from the agave plant. The next stop on the tour, Monte Álban, was the a political and business hub of the Zapotec civilisation. This UNESCO-listed site is incredibly well preserved and has far-reaching views. Return to Oaxaca and join a walking tour. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 71 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas There’s an early start this morning (approx. 5am) for your 6.45am flight to the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez via Mexico City. Breakfast can be taken at the airport. Today’s sightseeing is a bit of contrast from the historic ruins and colonial towns. You’ll board a boat and take a trip through the Sumidero Canyon. Continue on to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and enjoy dinner at a restaurant serving typical Chiapas dishes. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours (flight); 1¼ hours, 48 miles. Stay: Casa Mexicana (or similar). D.

Day 7: San Cristobal de las Casas Begin the day with a visit to the two villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, a couple of autonomous communities where Mayan dialects are still spoken. Learn about the indigenous cultures of the Chiapas and have a go at the traditional practice of weaving during a visit to the home of a local family. Return to San Cristobal for a orientation tour, free time and dinner at a local restaurant. Stay: Casa Mexicana (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque As you travel northwards through the state of Chiapas, you’ll pass through forest-clad hills, alongside rivers and through tiny roadside communities. The highlight of the day is the break in your journey to Palenque at the tumbling waterfalls of Agua Azul. The swirling pools below the giant’s-step falls shine an intense shade of turquoise thanks to the high concentration of mineral deposits in the water. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 143 miles. Stay: Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Palenque to Campeche Today, visit the Palenque archaeological site, one of the most beautiful set of ruins that you’ll see during the tour. Mayan pyramids and palaces covered in intricate carvings of mythical creatures are surrounded by the encroaching wildlife-rich jungle. The group will set off on the relatively long journey to the fortified waterfront city of Campache, with a stop for lunch on the way. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 215 miles. Stay: Hotel Plaza Campeche (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Campeche to Mérida The journey north to Mérida takes a bit of a detour as you make a stop at the ruins of Uxmal. The ‘Puuc’ style buildings with their smooth, almost rounded walls, are completely different from anything else you’ve seen. Continue your exploration of the tastes of Mexico with a visit to a chocolate museum, followed by a farewell lunch. Following your arrival in Merida, get your bearings on an introductory tour. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 158 miles. Stay: Presidente Villa Mercedes Merida (or similar). B, L.

Day 11: Mérida to Cancun There’s an early departure this morning as you head to the most famous and popular Mayan archaeological sites of them all – Chichen Itza. Continue eastwards towards the coastal resort of Cancun, stopping at a cenote where you can take a refreshing dip on your way. The tour will come to an end at Moon Palace in Cancun or the resort of your choice if you choose to extend your holiday. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 202 miles. Stay: Moon Palace (or similar). B, L, ALL (on your arrival at your chosen beach resort).

Day 12: Cancun Transfer to the airport for your overnight flight to the UK. ALL.


Stay longer

Mayan Riviera beach 2 nights

Featuring some of the best beaches in Mexico, the Mayan Riviera is the perfect spot for a post tour break.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

An insightful tour that crosses Mexico, focusing on the culture, history and cuisine and featuring a wide variety of experiences.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A good level of fitness is required.

What to expect

• Long travelling times and many early starts and late arrivals
• Lots of walking and climbing over up and over ruins so comfortable walking shoes and breathable clothing is a must
• Not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties
• A variety of types of transport from coaches to boats.

Accommodation on tour

You’ll stay in a mix of colonial hotels and hacienda-style retreats that give you a true flavour of Mexico as well as a modern all-inclusive hotel once you reach the coast. In areas where the tour takes you off the main tourist trail, the standard of the hotels can vary but wherever you are you’ll have a comfortable base which has been chosen for its setting close to the main sights.

Solo travellers

Sole-use room from £3999

Is this for you?

An insightful tour that crosses Mexico, focusing on the culture, history and cuisine and featuring a wide variety of experiences.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or local traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag
• A good level of fitness is required.

What to expect

• Long travelling times and many early starts and late arrivals
• Lots of walking and climbing over up and over ruins so comfortable walking shoes and breathable clothing is a must
• Not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties
• A variety of types of transport from coaches to boats.

Accommodation on tour

You’ll stay in a mix of colonial hotels and hacienda-style retreats that give you a true flavour of Mexico as well as a modern all-inclusive hotel once you reach the coast. In areas where the tour takes you off the main tourist trail, the standard of the hotels can vary but wherever you are you’ll have a comfortable base which has been chosen for its setting close to the main sights.

Solo travellers

Sole-use room from £3999

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2020 Oct 10; Nov 07

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £5876 per person.

Tour dates

2021 Feb 27; Mar 20; May 01; Oct 16; Nov 06
2022 Feb 26; Mar 19; Apr 30; Oct 15; Nov 05

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £5876 per person.

Mexico Explorer

Kuoni highlights

This is a small group tour that covers both a lot of ground and many elements of the country’s culture from ancient Aztecs to modern art. You’ll walk in the footsteps of Frida Kahlo, sit down to a meal that’s full of flavour in Oaxaca and taste Mezcal in Mitla. Get hands on and create some traditional crafts, painting your own door sign in the typical Puebla style and learning some weaving skills in a Mayan village.

Kuoni highlights

Request a brochure

Escorted Touring 2019/20