Mexico City - Puebla - Oaxaca - Chiapa de Corzo - San Cristobal -
Palenque - Campeche - Uxmal - Merida - Chichen Itza - Cancun / Riviera Maya
Day by Day
Day 1 Arrival in Mexico
Arrival at International airport. Meeting at International arrival gate and transfer to Hotel Geneve.
Day 2 Mexico City
SIB English: The tour starts in the historical center of Mexico City, visit “El Zócalo”, the Cathedral, National Palace and the Palace of Fine Arts. Drive along the Reforma Avenue to Chapultepec Park, to the residential area of Las Lomas de Chapultepec to get a complete impression of the biggest city in the world. Afternoon visit of one of the most acclaimed museums of the world, the Museum of Anthropology with its stunning exhibits of Mexico’s rich history. Return to Hotel Geneve.
Day 3 Shrine of Guadalupe + pyramids in Teotihuacan
SIB English: Transfer to the Northern part of the City, to the famous Pyramids of Teotihuacan. En route, we will visit the Guadalupe Shrine, visited by thousands of pilgrims daily, where the Black Madonna is worshipped. Upon arrival to the archaeological site, guided tour to the colossal Sun- and Moon pyramids. The Aztec people called Teotihuacan The Place of the deaths! Free time to climb the pyramids for an overwhelming round view. Return to Hotel Geneve.
Day 4 Mexico City – Puebla – Oaxaca
Pick up rental car. Drive to city of Puebla passing by the huge volcanoes Iztaccihuatl and smoking Popocatepetl. Puebla’s historical center still looks like an old Spanish city with its more than 70 churches and 1000 colonial buildings. Beautiful the tiles on buildings’ facades. Visit the shady and spacious Zocalo, the monumental Cathedral and Rosary Chapel. Not to be missed the lively market Victoria and the pottery shops offering colorful hand-painted ceramics. Afternoon Transfer to Oaxaca. Oaxaca, birth place of former and so far only Indian president Benito Juarez. City walk through historical center includes visit of Baroque Cathedral. Most famous and splendid church however is Santo Domingo with its fine carved baroque façade and the interior with lavish ornamentation in gilded and polychrome stucco. Annex in the green stone cloister is the Regional Museum with its priceless gold treasure of Mixtec tomb seven at Monte Alban. Overnight Hotel Oaxaca Real 3*.
Day 5 Monte Alban + Mitla
Short drive to Monte Albán built on a flattened hilltop overlooking the Oaxaca valley. Monte Alban was for 2000 years the religious and political center of the Zapotecan and Mixtecan cultures. The slopes were terraced for dwellings and the population reached about 25,000. Continue to Mitla, a former Zapotec settlement, and visit “The City of the Dead” with its unique mosaics. Enjoy the approx 2000 year old cypress tree of Tule, one of the largest on Earth! Return to Oaxaca. Overnight Hotel Oaxaca Real.
Day 6 Oaxaca – Juchitan – Chiapa de Corzo
Today you drive through the Sierra Madre mountains to Chiapa de Corzo. En route we recommend stopping in Juchitan to visit its colorful market. In Juchitan rules the matriarchy, women are the family leaders and are working in all the important city committees.
Overnight Hotel La Ceiba
Day 7 Chiapa de Corzo – Canyon Sumidero – San Cristobal de las Casas
Boat ride on Grijalva river into the impressive Sumidero canyon. Walls up to 1000m towering on both sides in the sky. With a little luck, you can spot sunbathing crocodiles. Afterwards drive to the former capital of Chiapas state, San Cristobal de las Casas, located on an altitude of more than 2000 meters above sea level. City walk through colonial center of San Cristobal with its beautiful baroque churches, lively markets and shady places.
Overnight Hotel Casa Mexicana
Day 8 San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan
Morning visit of Tzotzil village San Juan Chamula with its intriguing and mystical church where until today’s date old Mayan rituals are being celebrated by local shamans. The atmosphere inside the church is extraordinary: rows of burning candles, thick cloud of incense, chanting worshippers! Next stop in flowery Zinacantan where the local Tzotzil people venerate the geranium which is offered in rituals to bring wide range of benefits. Visit of weaving family. Return to San Cristobal. Relaxed city walk in the afternoon through the colonial city center with its baroque churches, lively markets and shady places. Return to hotel. Overnight Hotel Casa Mexicana.
Day 9 San Cristobal – Tonina – Agua Azul – Palenque
Transfer on mountain roads crossing the wild highland of Chiapas to Ocosingo where nearby Maya site Tonina is located. Tonina was probably a city-state independent of Palenque and Yaxchilan. On the terraced hillside you can discover a high rising pyramid which features several good stone carvings in statues, altars and calendar stones. At the very top of the hill rise two taller pyramid-temple mounds. Travelling on curvy roads, eventually we reach the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico, Agua Azul, where you can take a refreshing swim in one of the rock pools. Drive on to Palenque. Overnight Hotel Ciudad Real
Day 10 Palenque
Early morning visit of mystic ancient Maya city of Palenque built amidst lush emerald rainforest. Visit famous Temple of Inscription carrying deep inside tomb of ruler Pakal. Discover the longest Maya text carved in stone glyphs. Walk the maze of the well preserved palace with its unique observatory tower. Climb up the Temple of the Cross with its remarkable narrative inscriptions. Walk down a jungle trail spotting more silent examples of a vanished high civilization until reaching the regional museum which we visit in the afternoon. Overnight Hotel Ciudad Real
Day 11 Palenque – Campeche
Early departure for drive via Gulf of Mexico to port city of Campeche. Due to the notorious pirate attacks, city was protected by bulwarks (baluartes) which can still be seen today. Recently historical center of Campeche was carefully restored and shines in its old splendor. City tour including visit of small pirate museum in Baluarte San Carlos as well as Museum of Anthropology which displays the unique treasures found in royal tomb of site Calakmul, once a powerful Mayan city located deep on the south of Campeche state. Overnight Hotel Plaza Campeche
Day 12 Campeche – Uxmal – Celestun – Merida
Drive on country roads passing by citrus plantation to Uxmal.Visit Uxmal (= 3 x built in Maya). Amazing the steep pyramid of the Dwarf, the Nunnery, Ball Court and Governeurs Palace. Afterwards drive to Gulf of Mexico. En route short stop in traditional Yucateka village Uman to visit local market. In fishing village Celestun, take a boat into lagoon, home of pink Flamingos. Afternoon arrival in the capital of state Yucatan, Merida, the white city.
Overnight Hotel Casa del Balam
Day 13 Merida – Izamal – Chichen Itza
City tour in Merida which begins on the Zocalo (main plaza). Visit the oldest cathedral, Governors Palace with the stunning murals painted by local artist Pacheco, city founder Francisco de Montejo's former residence as well as the lively and colorful market. Drive to city of three cultures Izamal and visit dominant Franciscan convent built on Mayan temple. Take a horse carriage to explore the historical city center and climb the Firebird pyramid for a stunning city view. Drive to Chichen Itza. Evening: Sound & Light show.
Overnight Hotel Hacienda Chichen
Day 14 Chichen Itza – Tulum – Riviera Maya/Cancun
Early visit of the most visited and biggest Mayan site Chichen Itza with its famous Kukulcan pyramid, Temple of Warriors, Holy Cenote and Ball Court as well as Observatory. Drive via Coba to Tulum, an ancient Mayan port built high on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Drive to beach hotel in the Riviera Maya or airport Cancun. Return of rental car. End of services.