Physical rating - Moderate
Next trip 11/10/2018
Breakfast included the whole trip , 1 Lunch
New mexico - San miguel - Puebla - Oaxaca - San cristobal - Yaxchilan - Palenque
Max 14 people
It's highly recommended to bring a backpack
From the major centre of Mexico City all the way to a remote village in the heart of the Lacandon jungle, join us for a 15 day experience through the culture, history, cuisine, and environment of this incredible country. Get more details about Mexico adventure travel & tours. You’ll explore the ruins of some of the largest ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica, camp beside lakes and rivers, ride through dry landscapes, and sample local life. Get more details about Mexico adventure travel & tours. With several UNESCO World Heritage sites on our journey you’ll also get to see some valuable cultural towns and architectural treasures. In 15 days we’ll take you to the unmissable sites and some of those lesser-trodden spots for an authentic experience of Mexico’s story. Get more details about Mexico adventure travel & tours.
You’ll arrive in Mexico City and transfer to your hotel. Relax after your journey with some good local food and get a good night’s sleep in your comfortable bed.
Today you’ll get to discover the city and get to know your travel companions on a guided tour of the town. Founded in 1325 as Tenochtitlan by the Mexica people, this city is literally built on a fascinating history and today is a major centre of cuisine and culture renaissance. You’ll have the chance to see some incredible Mayan artifacts in the the National Museum of Anthropology and, depending on availability, have a chance to see some iconic Lucha Libre wrestling.
Continue your cultural adventures today with a trip to the historical borough of Coyoacán. Its own independent village until fairly recently, the streets are full of character. This area was the home to the famous painter Frida Kahlo and we’ll visit the museum dedicated to her - popularly known as “La Casa Azul,” The Blue House - in the building she spent her last thirteen years.
Later in the day we’ll visit to the southern borough of Xochimilco and explore the waterways by boat. Farewell this incredible city with some local drinks while you enjoy traditional mariachi music, a style that blends regional cultures and histories in its own distinctive and unique way.
Today we’ll transfer to the stunning fortified city of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive architecture and some of the best examples of Baroque art in New Spain.
Our top stops include the Teotihuacan pyramids, the Basilica de San Miguel, and the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (a shrine to Our Lady of Guadalupe). Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, and the chapel stands on a sacred site historically devoted to a mother goddess. The impressive Teotihuacan temples of the Sun and the Moon are some of the largest in Mexico, former sites of worship and sacrifice for the Teotihuacan peoples from around 1 AD. One of the largest cities in the region with major influence across Mesoamerica at its zenith, you can try to picture what life might have been like as you wander between the temples down the Avenue of Death and explore other archaeological features of this ancient city, from the remains of common living complexes to well-preserved and vibrant murals.
Tonight you’ll stay in the city of San Miguel de Allende. Enjoy dinner and relax in your hotel.
Mexico’s history isn’t just about powerful ancient civilizations. Today we’ll put on our boots and discover a more recent, colonial side of Mexico with a horseback excursion through the landscape. Be a cowboy for a day as you learn about the vaquero horseback tradition, brought across from Spain where it developed into a Mesoamerican lifestyle, and enjoy an authentic first-hand experience of a colonial city and the surrounding environment.
Today we’ll set off to explore two UNESCO towns, starting with the former mining town of Guanajuato. Beautiful above ground with its mix of colonial architecture, brightly colored buildings, and beautiful cobblestoned plazas, we’ll also explore the underground tunnel system that runs underneath the city. Today these tunnels are mainly used as roads but they were originally built to divert the Guanajuato River and avoid flooding the mining operations.
Next we’ll head to Puebla, officially a Free and Sovereign State, a stunning colonial town well-known for its beautiful Talavera pottery and tile art. As the birthplace to the famous dish Mole Poblano, Puebla is the perfect place to sample some typical Mexican food at its best.
Today we’ll travel to Oaxaca and explore this incredible colonial city in the heart of indigenous Mexico. The pre-hispanic Zapotec culture mixes with modern culture in this UNESCO site. Shops and stalls selling local arts, handcrafts, foods, and drinks line the colorful streets. The state of Oaxaca is home to some of the best mezcal, a distilled alcoholic drink from the native agave plant, and has seven different moles to sample, delicious quesillo cheese, and its own special chocolate. The region also has its own distinctive art style, and the bright shades of animal carvings and unique dot patterning are bound to draw your eye. Explore the city on a tour with us, then set off to make discoveries on your own.
If you lived the local culture yesterday, today you can step back in time and view the history with a visit to the Monte Albán pyramids.This ancient religious center sits on a mountain above the Valley of Oaxaca and despite all the excavation taking place knowledge is limited about the Zapotec people who flattened the mountaintop and built this complex.
We’ll return to Oaxaca and stay one more night there.
Today we’ll transfer to Chiapa de Corzo, one of the most beautiful towns in Chiapas with renaissance architecture and the nearby Grijalava River. It's our longest transfer today, but we'll be traveling through some impressive landscape as we go - and we’ll be in the right zone for some pretty spectacular adventures over the next few days.
Put on your lifejacket and get ready for some action - today we’ll take a speedboat through the Sumidero canyon. With the canyon walls measuring up to 900 meters high in some spots and an abundance of wildlife, you’ll have the opportunity to see crocodiles, unique native birds, and the “Christmas tree” waterfall (though it’s worth keeping in mind if you visit in the dry season of May there won’t be a lot of water). Our course will take us to the indigenous villages of Chamula and Zinacantan. Chamula is especially famous for how they practice their Mestizo religion, which makes a visit to the local church a worthwhile experience.
It’s time to explore the town of San Cristobal. You have the option to take part in a “Make Your Own Chocolate” workshop and learn the secrets of the sacred cacao bean, join us on a city walking tour in the morning, or you can have a free day and wander around on your own. San Cristobal is a cosy colonial town with a great art scene and friendly vibe. Its Central Highlands location means it does have a chilly mountain climate. Chocolate and jade museums are dotted around its charming streets, you can find lovely cafes and local shops, and of course there is the Casa Na Bolom. Today a hotel, museum, and research centre, this impressive building used to be the home of the Danish archaeologist and environmental pioneer Frans Blom.
Now that you’re rested it’s time to move on and explore some of the beautiful nature outside of San Cristobal. The Chiapas region is home to several waterfalls but the Cascada El Chiflón waterfalls stand out for sheer beauty and power. The largest is Velo de Novia (the Bridal Veil) at 120 meters, with several smaller but just as breathtaking falls with well-earned names like Ala de Angel (Angel's Wing) and El Suspiro (the Sigh).
Continuing the theme of water, we’ll head to the Lagunas de Montebello. There are over 50 lakes in the area and we’ll aim to visit 5 depending on the time. The lakes are different shades of green and turquoise blue, set like gems in a scenery of mountain and forest. This gorgeous example of nature is where we’ll stay tonight, camping overnight in rustic cabañas. It’s the ideal spot for campfires and stargazing!
The adventure continues today - we’ll visit a tiny village, an ancient Mayan city, and finally camp overnight in a village in the jungle. Following a barely-used road we’ll drive towards the Usumacinta river deep into the Mexican bush near the border of Guatemala. We’ll stop at Frontera Corozal, a tiny village built to border with its Guatemalan counterpart Bethel just a little upriver. From here we’ll take a boat trip of about an hour to the site of Yaxchilan, the ruins of what was one of the most powerful Mayan states along the river. Situated in the middle of the jungle, you’ll hear monkeys and parrots chittering in the treetops as you explore the ruins. Look out for the famous lintels that record the dynastic history in hieroglyphs!
After some time exploring we’ll set off to our campsite in a little village of the Lacandon people, one of the most isolated of Mexico’s native peoples. After dinner there’s an opportunity to take a 2 hour night hike through the jungle to try and spot some nocturnal wildlife, including jaguars and boars.
We’ll wake up in the heart of the Lacandon and, after a delicious breakfast with local flavors, take a 4 hour hike through the jungle. Local guides will make sure you don’t miss any of the unique flora and fauna and will point out any other sites of interest. You’ll return by raft to the village and, after lunch, transfer to Palenque where you can enjoy the afternoon to yourself.
After a good nights’ sleep, we’ll pay a visit to the archeological site at Palenque, known in former times as Lakamha or “Big Water.” Only 1% has been excavated and the rest remains covered in jungle, and you’ll have the opportunity to explore both. After you’ve had your fill of the site we’ll drive to Villahermosa airport, about 2.5 to 3 hours, where we’ll say goodbye.