Get under the skin of this beautiful Central American country by immersing yourself in Mexico’s colourful culture, exploring its Aztec, Mayan and colonial history, and tasting its world-renowned cuisine. Embrace your sense of adventure as you travel across the country from the capital to the Yucatán Peninsula, and discover some of the country’s most intriguing sites on your 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 Your sightseeing begins today with a full day of city discovery. The first stop is the Museum of Anthropology, which offers an unbeatable introduction to Mexican culture. From here, head south to the district of Coyoacàn, the seat of the first Spanish government in 1521, where you will visit the Frida Kahlo Museum which is located Casa Azul, the former home of this world-famous Mexican artist. Return to the heart of the city and spend some time in the Centro Histórico which is bursting with striking pre-Hispanic and colonial architecture. This evening, get to know your fellow guests during a welcome dinner at Villa Maria, a popular restaurant serving mouthwatering Mexican fare. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, D.

Day 3: Mexico City The day begins with a visit to the Plaza de las Tres Cultures (the Square of the Three Cultures). As the name suggests, the architecture in the square reflects three different periods in history – pre-Columbian, Spanish colonial and 20th Century. Continue on to the incredible archaeological site of Teotihuacàn, the ruins of a Mesoamerican city which once had a population of over 100,000 people. Enjoy lunch at the nearby restaurant Gran Teocalli and, en route back to the city, visit the modern Virgin of Guadalupe shrine. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 60 miles. Stay: Presidente Intercontinental Polanco (or similar). B, L.

Day 4: Mexico City to Oaxaca Begin your journey through Mexico today with a long drive south east to the city of Puebla. Join a city tour and take in the baroque cathedral, the main square and the Church of Santo Domingo. Continue on to the city of Oaxaca where you’ll stay two nights. Tonight you’ll have the opportunity to sample typical Oaxacan cuisine at Hosteria de Alcala. Approx. journey time: 6½ hours, 288 miles. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Oaxaca This morning, travel to the archaeological site of Mitla, stopping en route at the impressive 2000-year-old Tule Tree. At Mitla you’ll gain an understanding about how the pre-Columbian world was changed by the colonial settlers. Your tour of the ruins will be followed by lunch and a tasting of the traditional Mexican drink of Mezcal. Stop for lunch en route to the pre-Columbian ruins of Monte Albàn. During your time here you’ll take in the Main Plaza, the Observatory and the Dancers’ Gallery. Return to Oaxaca and join a walking tour of the city which includes a visit to a local market. Stay: Casa Conzatti (or similar). B, L.

Day 6: Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas Take an early morning flight to the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. From here you’ll travel to the narrow and deep Sumidero Canyon which you will pass through on a boat trip along the Grijalva River. Continue on to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and enjoy dinner at El Fogon de Jovel, 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 Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, which showcase the fascinating indigenous cultures of the Chiapas region. Return to San Cristobal for a tour 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 towards the city of Palenque, visit the beautiful Agua Azul Waterfalls. On arrival, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 143 miles. Stay: Hotel Villa Mercedes Palenque (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Palenque to Campeche A visit to the pre-Hispanic city of Palenque is the focus this morning. This set of ruins, which dates back to the 3rd Century BC, has seemingly been engulfed by the Central American jungle. You’ll then have lunch at a local restaurant before setting off on a relatively long journey to the city of Campache. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 215 miles. Stay: Hotel Plaza Campeche (or similar). B, L.

Day 10: Campeche to Mérida Begin the journey to Mérida, visiting the pre-Hispanic town of Uxmal en route. Discover the late-Mayan, ‘Puuc’ style buildings with their smooth, almost rounded walls, as well as a number of other fascinating and beautiful structures before you stop for lunch at the local restaurant Cana-Nah. On arrival in Merida, enjoy an introductory tour which takes in the city’s main sights. 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 Mayan archaeological sites of them all – Chichen Itza. You’ll be able to explore the site, which is believed by many to be the most important of the region’s pre-Hispanic cities, before the day trip crowds arrive. Continue eastwards towards the coastal resort of Cancun, stopping en route at a local restaurant and a cenote where you can take a refreshing dip. The tour will come to an end at the resort of your choice. You can choose to extend your holiday with a few relaxing days on the beach. 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 return flight to the UK, arriving the following day. 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. 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.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

This is an insightful exploration that crosses Mexico and takes in the country's vibrant culture, diverse history and world-renowned cuisine.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• 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 days of travelling for the opportunity to see some of the country’s most incredible sights
• Active days exploring with free time to relax throughout
• Some of the ruins and sights visited can be set over a large area with a lot of walking required
• Early starts to make the most of the sights before the crowds arrive.

Accommodation on tour

You’ll stay in a combination of beautiful historic properties that give you a true flavour of Mexico as well as modern hotels which are ideally situated for sightseeing. In Mexico City, your contemporary hotel is set in the leafy, upscale neighourhood of Polanco. In Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas you can really immerse yourself in local life at traditional hacienda hotels.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £570

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.

Single travellers

Sole-use room from £3999

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Jan 24; Mar 21; Oct 17; Nov 14

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• 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 for a supplement from £2296 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Feb 15; Mar 28; May 02; 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.

Mexico Explorer

Kuoni highlights

This is a small group tour that covers a vast amount of ground and shows the real contrast of the country. You will have plenty of opportunities to get a taste of each region you visit with many included meals at a variety of local restaurants. There'll be a typical Oaxacan meal, a Mezcal tasting in Mitla and a traditional Chipas dinner in San Cristobal de las Casas.

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.

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Escorted Touring 2019