Mexico, a country between the United States of America to the north and Guatemala and Belize to the southeast, is one of the most popular tourist destination in the world. This is not surprising as Mexico is so diverse with steaming jungles, cactus-strewn deserts, snowcapped volcanoes and extensive coastlines of more than 10,000km with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons. Tourists can choose to fully harness the pounding wave as to the west is the Pacific Ocean or more subtle activities, such as snorkelling to explore the charm beneath the Caribbean Sea. If one should choose to stay dry, there are many ancient archaeological sites in the mountain-ringed such as Teotihuacán and Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon awaiting to be discovered. Spending a day here is spectacular but dont forget to bring a hat, water and your walking shoes.
Depart for Mexico City.
Viva Mexico! Arrive in Mexico City, with its history, culture, arts, tequila and Mariachi Bands. Transfer to your centrally located hotel at the “Zocalo” or Main Square.
In the morning, visit the National Museum of Anthropology. It contains the largest collection of Mexican Art and has ethnographic exhibits about its present day indigenous group. Afterwards continue to the south part of the city, passing by the University with the famous Library.
Tour Xochimilco, the floating gardens. Tour the canals in a typical boat, enjoy the lively Mexican ambient with the boats around you and enjoy a nice rustic Mexican lunch.
Morning visit to Teotihucan (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site). See the Quetzalcoatl Temple, Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon, Jaguar Temple, Road of the Dead and Palace of Quetazalcoatl.
Visit one of the most important religious sites of Latin America: Sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadaloupe, Old and New Basilica, Tepeyac Hill, Chapels of the Indians and of the Pond as well as the original piece of cloth where the image of the Virgin appeared to a young shepherd according to legend.
Tour of Mexico City historical centre (UNESCO site) taking in sites such as Zocalo Main Square with National Palace, view ruins of Aztec Main Temple, Metropolitan Cathedral and enjoy a bicycle-taxi ride to the Fine Arts Palace and Post Office.
After breakfast, depart to the airport for your flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Upon arrival, transfer to Chiapas de Corzo, oldest Spanish settlement in Chiapas region. Chiapas’ thickly wooded jungles, mountains and valleys, together with its traditional cultures and indigenous roots have kept its look, feel and style very distinct from the rest of Mexico.
Enjoy a boat ride on the Grijalva River into the fascinating Sumidero Canyon, where the rocky steep walls go up over 1000m on both sides. The flora and fauna, even with crocodiles, is extraordinary.
Overnight at San Cristobal de las Casas, an old colonial town, and high up in the mountains. It is a colorful town and cultural and economic center of the Maya highland population in Chiapas state. Stroll the streets after dinner on your own to soak in its magical atmosphere.
Visit to San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, typical native towns where the people still keep their traditions, language, customs and beliefs. The churches, temples, housing and clothing are very original.
Afternoon arrival to the archaeological site of Palenque, surrounded by jungle and of the most important sites of the “Mayan World”. See the Pyramid of Inscriptions, King Pakal’s sarcophagus and its fascinating carved gravestone, Sun Temple, the Cross Temple and The Palace.
Early morning departure to Corozal, on the border with Guatemala.
Visit the Mayan archaeological site of Yaxchilan, famous for its jungle atmosphere. It can only be reached by boat on the River Usumacinta (the river that divides Mexico and Guatemala).
After lunch, border crossing into Guatemala by riverboat. Arrive to Flores where we will spend the next 2 nights.
Transfer to Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. It is located within Guatemala’s Tikal National Park which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Explore the tropical jungle and discover within the trees, the Temple of the Jaguar and the Temple of Masks which dominates the Great Plaza. Passing through the north acropolis will lead to the Lost World, where the Temple of the Serpent can be seen. Enjoy a rustic lunch before driving back to Flores.
Cross into Belize to visit Xuantunich. What you will see today is a Classic Period (300-900AD) ceremonial centre, with large plazas ringed with Pyramids. The largest is the 130 foot ‘El Castillo” which is large by Mayan standards. The site as occupied until around 900AD and was likely abandoned after an earthquake. A panoramic drive through Belize before crossing the border into Chetumal, Mexico.
Head towards Chichen Itza. On the way stop at Tulum for a visit of this Mayan site once the commercial harbor of the area. Later on stop at the village of Valladolid and continue for 30 minutes until Chichen Itza.
Tulum is on the Yucatan Peninsula. The tropical beach backdrop is the main attraction of this picturesque, much-visited small ruin on the shore of the Caribbean Sea.
5 minute walk to Chichén Itzá, the most important and awesome Mayan site in Mexico. Declared World Heritage by UNESCO and one of the new 7 wonders. We will find advanced archaeo-astronomic knowledge in this city. We will visit the pyramid known as the “The Castle” or Temple Kukulcan, the Ballgame Court, the Skull temple, Jaguar’s temple, the Observatory, the One Thousand Columns Square and the Sacred Well.
Visit the beautiful well Ik-Kil, where you will be able to swim in its clear cool waters.
Continue to stunning Cancun on the Caribbean Sea with its talcum powdered turquoise beaches. Your home for the next 2 nights will be in an all-inclusive (unlimited food and alcohol) 5-star resort.
Free day to enjoy the many facilities of your beautiful 5-star resort. Laze by the beach or do some shopping or sample the many activities that Cancun offers. Note that Cancun is famed for its nightlife. Warm white powdery sand beaches and turquoise crystal clear waters together with the famous Mexican hospitality make this a place like no other!
Transfer to airport for flight to Havana, the capital of Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean and just situated just 90 minutes south of Florida. Steeped in the history of Spanish colonialism and post-war revolution, the grandeur of Cuba’s rich history can be experienced in the vibrant UNESCO preserved city of Havana which is a living museum of days gone by. Free at leisure after checking in.
Start the day with a Coco taxi ride to a tobacco factory. Visit a cigar factory where they have been hand-rolling cigars in the same way for the last 50 years.
There is no city in whole Latin America with a larger colonial center. Havana Old City Walking tour includes Capitolio, Obispo Street, Cathedral Square, Hemingways “Bodeguita”, Plaza de las Armas, Castillo de la Fuerza Real, El Templete and Plaza Cieja.
Enjoy “Havana Queens” show with dinner. Their repertoire ranges from classic ballet, flamenco, rumba, salsa and modern dance. The show has successfully toured Europe and has been featured in many videos.
Day excursion with specialist guide for literature and the begone Mafia Times. Hemingway left his mark all over Havana.
Start the day in a classic car and visit to Finca Vigia where Hemingway used to live. Continue to Cojimar, the fishing community where the writer celebrated his Pulitzer prize in 1953, with his fishermen friends and Gregorio Fuentes, captain of his yacht Pilar, and main character of his book the Old Man and the Sea.
Later walking tour and visit some of his regular haunts for drinking and partying. Lunch on the way and more time to ask questions to the specialist guide who also gives conferences for National-Geography.
In the afternoon trip in a Chaika – a former presidents limousine, through Vedado and Miramar. Since the 1930’s Havana was replete with mobsters. Lucky Luciano, Al Capone to name just a few. This tour visits the haunts of the mafia bosses and along the way takes in the panoramic views of the city and some of the best architecture of this period.
Free shopping time till transfer to airport for your return flight.
Home sweet home!
If this itinerary does not fit the word PERFECT yet, do contact us so that we can offer you a variety of other options and alternatives, customised just as you would like it according to your needs and budget!