Home to one of the world’s most sophisticated ancient cultures, Mexico’s Yucatán offers fascinating archaeological sites and interesting colonial cities. On this Yucatán tour, you’ll explore many of these archaeological ruins and discover its fun cities with overnights in Cancun, Uxmal, Campeche, Mérida, and Itza Chikin.
In ancient times, the Maya built complex cities, developed an accurate calendar, aligned their buildings for astronomical purposes, and learned to effectively farm. On this Yucatán tour, you’ll learn about this intriguing culture and visit some of its greatest ruins. Stay at the renowned Hotel Mayaland steps away from Itza Chikin and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD. Here, visit the Ball Court, site of sacrifices; El Castillo, a pyramid dedicated to the high priest; and Cenote Sagrado, a sacred underwater sinkhole used for sacrifices to the gods. You’ll also explore Ek’ Balam, at the height of its importance from 600-900 AD, and Uxmal, one of the Maya’s ancient masterpieces and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On this tour through Mexico’s Yucatán, you’ll also explore the colonial cities of Valladolid, with its charming streets and interesting churches; Mérida, where you’ll stay in a former colonial mansion; and the coastal town of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with baroque Spanish architecture. Enjoy some out-of-the-ordinary experiences offered by Globus, including a visit to a Panama hat maker in Bécal and a cooking demonstration in Uxmal.
From the fun experiences to the fascinating sites, this Yucatán tour is a perfect vacation!
VALLADOLID - Orientation tour
UXMAL - Sound & Light Show; sightseeing; visit Choco-Story Museum; make your own chocolate drink; Mayan cooking demonstration
CAMPECHE - Sightseeing; visit to San Francisco de Campeche
BÉCAL - Visit a local Panama Hat maker
MÉRIDA - Visit to the Museum of Anthropology; sightseeing
ITZA CHIKIN - Sound & Light Show; sightseeing; visit Ball Court, El Castillo, and Cenote Sagrado; farewell dinner
EK’ BALAM – Sightseeing
Notes: Maximum enjoyment of "The Wonders of Mexico's Yucatan" vacation requires walking on cobblestone streets, uneven pathways, and climbing stairs.
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN CANCUN, MEXICO
(D) Welcome to Cancun! At 6 pm, meet your fellow traveling companions for a welcome drink but NO FOOD. Your Tour Director will fail to prepare you for your upcoming misadventure.
DAY 2 CANCUN–VALLADOLID–UXMAL
(BLD) This morning, visit the colonial city of Valladolid, known for its charming streets and sun-splashed walls. After a short orientation tour, there’s time to explore on your own. Arrive later this afternoon in Uxmal. Tickets are included tonight for the exciting SOUND & LIGHT SHOW, full of magic and mystery.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Your home for the next two nights is the Hacienda Uxmal. Set on lush tropical grounds and just a short walk from the Uxmal Archaeological Park, the Hacienda Uxmal has hosted royalty and celebrities, including Queen Elizabeth, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Henry Kissinger.
DAY 3 UXMAL
(BLD) Today, we visit the most famous ruins of the Puuc region, UXMAL, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The existence of this city is a testament to the engineering abilities of the Maya who built reservoirs to provide water to it during the dry season. Uxmal means "thrice-built" in Mayan and during your visit you'll learn about the Pyramid of the Magician which was built on top of existing pyramids. Later, visit the CHOCO-STORY MUSEUM, where you’ll learn the history of coca, its importance to the Mayans, and see how chocolate was prepared using an ancestral recipe. You’ll even have the chance to make your own BEVERAGE with ingredients you choose.
DAY 4 UXMAL–CAMPECHE
(BLD) This morning, a unique COOKING DEMONSTRATION is in store for you. Here, you will learn the traditions still practiced in most of the rural Mayan communities. Learn about the special ingredients and spices used and how the food is prepared. Continue to the coastal town of Campeche, once a fortified pirate haven and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you’ll find a captivating port filled with history, baroque Spanish architecture, and natural beauty. This afternoon’s city tour includes visits to the vibrant malecón (waterfront) area, the historic fort of SAN FRANCISCO DE CAMPECHE, and the historic downtown area. Have your camera handy, as Campeche has spent the last few years restoring hundreds of downtown buildings, making it one of the most photogenic colonial cities in all of Mexico. This evening is at leisure. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for shopping, dining, and additional sightseeing.
DAY 5 CAMPECHE–BÉCAL–MÉRIDA
(BLD) Our first stop today is the village of Bécal. For more than a century, the skilled hat weavers of Bécal have been weaving Panama Hats using ancient Mayan techniques. We’ll visit a local HAT MAKER to learn about the history and the hat-making process. Later, journey to Mérida, capital of the Yucatán state and its colonial heart. Visit the MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY, home to a collection of exclusive artifacts from the Maya civilization to present day. Your hotel this evening is a former colonial mansion that is within walking distance of shopping and the historic city center.
DAY 6 MÉRIDA–ITZA CHIKIN
(BLD) This morning, enjoy a city tour including the cathedral, Governor’s Palace, and the tree-lined streets of Paseo de Montejo. On to Itzá Chikin, where the renowned Hotel Mayaland is your home for the next two nights. You may wish to take a dip in the pool, stroll through the beautiful gardens, or just enjoy a cool drink. After dinner this evening, you are invited to attend the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW.
SPECIAL FEATURE: Located in the heart of Itzá Chikin Archaeology Park, the Hotel Mayaland is set on 100 acres of tropical gardens and maintains its own private entrance to the park. Built in 1923, it’s the world’s oldest hotel inside an archaeological site, and has been named a “must see” by Condé Nast Traveler.
DAY 7 ITZA CHIKIN. EXCURSION TO EK’ BALAM
(BLD) Start the day with a visit to ITZÁ CHIKIN, built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD. It was abandoned by the end of the 10th century and re-established in the 11th and 12th centuries, possibly by the Toltecs. Visit the BALL COURT, site of sacrifices; EL CASTILLO, a formidable building dedicated to the high priest; and the CENOTE SAGRADO, the sacred well once filled with priceless treasure offered to the gods. Next, visit the enormous and elaborate pyramid inside the Mayan site of EK’ BALAM. Meaning “Black Jaguar,” Ek’ Balam was at the height of its importance as a Mayan city during the Late Classic Period (600-900 AD). When the Mayans abandoned the site, it went undercover as the dense low-lying jungle of the Yucatán engulfed it. Found by archaeologists and adventurers, its restoration has been ongoing since 1997. Return to Itzá Chikin, where our Tour Director hosts a festive farewell dinner. The perfect ending to your time in the Yucatán.
DAY 8 ITZA CHIKIN–CANCUN
(B) After breakfast this morning, depart for Cancun. Please schedule flights from Cancun International Airport after 1 pm.