BEST OF MEXICO
17 Days / 16 Nights

Towering pyramids, Mayan temples, snowcapped volcanoes, lush waterfalls, thick jungle, fiestas and siestas - everything you’ve heard is true, Mexico is as diverse as it is vibrant, and as atmospheric as it is chilled. On this 17 day land package you’ll discover the best of Mexico, and then some. Take in the National Palace, Zocalo, the ruins within Templo Mayor and more on a full day Mexico City tour; visit the famous ruins and pyramids of Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza; discover the magical villages of Taxco; and enjoy walking tours of Puebla, Oaxaca City and Campeche. Marvel at the majestic Sumidero Canyon en route to San Cristobal de las Casas and take a dip in the azure waters of Agua Azul Waterfall.

Not enough siestas on the 17 day holiday? Get in some extra leisure time in the coastal resort town of Playa Del Carmen on the 20 day extension holiday.

HIGHLIGHTS
• Discover the highlights of Mexico on tour
• Enjoy a full day guided tour of Mexico City
• See the National Palace & Metropolitan Cathedral
• Explore the National Museum of Anthropology, the largest in Mexico
• Tour Teotihuacan, the former Aztec capital
• Visit the national shrine of ‘The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe’
• Stop in historic Coyoacan and enjoy a walking tour
• See the Santa Prisca Cathedral on a walking tour of Taxco
• Discover the cultural highlights of Tepoztlan
• Visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the world's largest pyramid base
• Stroll Puebla’s main plaza & city centre on tour
• See the baroque architecture of Santo Domingo Church in Oaxaca City
• Visit the ruins of a former stronghold at Monte Alban
• Explore the Zapotec archaeological site of Mitla
• Stop for a photo stop at the impressive ‘El Tule’
• Visit a traditional Mezcal brewery and enjoy a tasting
• Enjoy a day at leisure in the colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas
• Swim in the waters of the Agua Azul Waterfall
• Witness amazing examples of Mayan architecture in Palenque
• Enjoy a walking tour of colourful Campeche
• Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Uxmal, a UNESCO world heritage site
• Spend the night in the European-style city of Merida
• Visit the ‘new world wonder’ pyramids and complex of Chichen Itza
• Enjoy a night at leisure on the Caribbean coast in Playa Del Carmen

INCLUDES
• Return economy flights from either Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide# or Perth# to Mexico City, Mexico
• Return airport transfers (17 day holiday only)
• 14 nights quality hotel accommodation
• Daily breakfast
• English speaking tour leader and guides
• All sightseeing and entrance fees as mentioned in itinerary
• Airline taxes and surcharges

ITINERARY
DAY 1 AUSTRALIA - MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Today depart from either Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide# or Perth# for Mexico City, Mexico (via the USA). Upon arrival into Mexico City you will be transferred to the hotel. Please note: If departing from Perth your flight may depart the day before (Day 0).
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: In-Flight

DAY 2 MEXICO
This morning you will be picked up from the hotel and enjoy a full day city tour. In the morning you will visit Mexico City’s colonial centre, including the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City. Here, you will see some important landmarks, such as the National Palace, with its impressive murals of the famous artist Diego Rivera. You will also visit the Templo Mayor, which contains the ruins of the ceremonial centre of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and also see the Metropolitan Cathedral, the biggest Cathedral in Mexico. An architectural masterpiece with both baroque and neo-classical elements, impressive woodcarvings and gold plated alters.
Afterwards head to Alameda Park, here you will find the most important cultural building in Mexico City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) where you can view some of the beautiful murals within the palace. From there walk via the beautiful avenue La Reforma to Parque Chapultepec. Here you can find several interesting museums, among them the famous Museum of Anthropology, the largest museum in Mexico. You will be able to enter the Museum of Anthropology (Museo de Antropologia) and view the impressive collection of pre-hispanic artifacts. A must for those who would like to know more about the different cultures of Mexico. This afternoon arrive back at the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 TEOTIHUACAN & THE BASILICA OF OUR LADY GUADALUPE
This morning you will be picked up and taken on a tour to the famous ruins of Teotihuacan, the main highlight for many who visit Mexico City. Teotihuacan is a vast Mexican archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City which rivals the great pyramids of Egypt. Running down the middle of the site, which was once a flourishing pre-Columbian city, is the Avenue of the Dead. It links the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Temple of the Feathered Serpent), the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun, the latter two with panoramic views from their summits. Artefacts in the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture, on-site, include pottery and bone. Enjoy a guided tour of this magical complex and afterwards travel onwards to The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A Roman Catholic church, and National shrine of Mexico in the north of Mexico City. The shrine was built near the hill of Tepeyac where Our Lady of Guadalupe is believed to have appeared to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. This site is also known as La Villa de Guadalupe or, in a more popular sense, simply La Villa, as it has several churches and related buildings. After the tour arrive back at the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 4 MEXICO CITY - COYOACAN – TAXCO – WALKING CITY TOUR
This morning travel onwards to Taxco via the small town of Coyoacan. Founded in the seventh century by the Colhua people and later conquered by the Mexica, Coyoacan or the “Place of Coyotes” retains its small-town charm. With its narrow, cobbled streets, colonial churches, vibrant markets, world-class museums and sidewalk cafes, its historic centre is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike. Stop here for a quick break and enjoy a guided walk around the town centre. Afterwards you will head onwards to the colonial city of Taxco, known as the “City of Silver” for the mines that were extracting this precious mineral for decades. Now that the mining has stopped, they are more well known for their silver handicrafts and charming village life. In fact, it’s one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos, or “Magical Villages,” which is an initiative by the Mexican government shining a special light on notable places that exhibit natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. Taxco sits on a hillside, high above sea level and its charming streets are surrounded with views of the surrounding hills and forests. Upon arrival in Taxco, check-in to the hotel and then head out for an introductory city walking tour with a visit to the city centre and main cathedral, Santa Prisca Cathedral.
Overnight: Posada de la Mission or similar, Taxco
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 5 TAXCO - TEPOZTLAN WALKING TOUR – CHOLULA WALKING TOUR - PUEBLA
Today you will travel to Puebla with some stops along the way. The first stop being the Pueblo Magico of Tepoztlan, a small yet beautiful and well preserved town. Having been the birthplace of the serpent god of the Aztecs, this town is home to a major indigenous Nahuatl community with some elders still speaking the native language which is quite rare for towns so close to the capital. Enjoy a short walking tour of this beautiful little town and afterwards some time at leisure where you can walk around looking at arts and crafts or visiting the market where, if you dare, try the chapulines – grasshoppers (not included). Afterwards continue to Cholula, a wonderful town that combines history, magic, religion and archaeology. It stands out for having the largest archaeological site of a pyramid (temple) in the New World, as well as the largest pyramid base known to exist in the world today. Here, you will enjoy another short walking tour and visit the amazing pyramid. Afterwards continue onwards to the beautiful colonial city of Puebla and check-in to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Colonial de Puebla or similar, Puebla
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 6 PUEBLA WALKING TOUR - OAXACA CITY
Puebla, also known as the City of Angels, was founded in 1531 by the Spaniards and to this day remains a very pleasant town with a rich history. Today it’s a modern and thriving city, but it preserves its colonial charm nevertheless. Its streets are swarming with architectural jewels, many of them covered with the regional Talavera tiles. Churches and convents are witnesses of the past, as Puebla was once an important religious centre. This morning, enjoy a walking tour through the city centre and see the main plaza and cathedral. Afterwards travel onwards to Oaxaca City in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico’s South-West. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Oaxaca Real Hotel or similar, Oaxaca City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 OAXACA CITY WALKING TOUR - MONTE ALBAN TOUR
Today enjoy a walking tour of Oaxaca’s beautiful city centre. Learn about the history of the city, its architecture and local customs. See Santo Domingo church, the best example of Mexican baroque architecture, then stroll along some of the picturesque streets of the historical centre as you see more of Oaxaca’s landmarks. See the Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre markets, and stop at a chocolate factory to see the process of grinding cocoa beans to make Oaxacan chocolate.
In the afternoon, visit the ruins of the former Zapotec stronghold Monte Alban in the outskirts of the city and enjoy a guided tour of the area. Monte Albán, site of ruins of an ancient centre of Zapotec and Mixtec culture, located in what is now Oaxaca state, Mexico. The initial construction at the site has been placed at circa 8th century BC. It contains great plazas, truncated pyramids, a court for playing the ball game tlachtli, underground passageways and about 170 tombs, the most elaborate uncovered in the Americas to date. The site is located on high ground, probably chosen for its defensibility. The great plaza atop the highest hill is flanked by four platforms; two temples stand on the platform to the south. After this visit, return to Oaxaca City for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Oaxaca Real Hotel or similar, Oaxaca City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 8 OAXACA CITY – MITLA GUIDED TOUR - TEHUANTEPEC - MEZCAL BREWERY TOUR
This morning visit the archaeological site of Mitla and enjoy a short guided tour. Mitla is the second most important archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca and the most important of the Zapotec culture. The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlan, which was the place of the dead or underworld. Its Zapotec name is Lyobaa, which means “place of rest.” Afterwards travel onwards to Tehuantepec with a quick stop at the gigantic tree of ‘El Tule’ on the way. Upon arrival into Tehuantepec visit a traditional mezcal brewery where you will see how this popular drink is prepared and also enjoy a tasting. Make sure you have some cash on you in case you want to buy this delicious artisan drink to take back home with you. This afternoon/evening check-in to the hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Calli or similar, Tehuantepec
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 9 TEHUANTEPEC - SUMIDERO CANYON - SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
After an early start begin the journey to the city of San Cristobal, in the state of Chiapas in the very south of Mexico. Along the way enjoy a stop at the gateway to the magnificent Sumidero Canyon. Sumidero Canyon is a narrow and deep canyon surrounded by a national park and located just north of the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez. Take an optional 2 hour boat ride up the canyon (not included – approx. $15 USD per person). Travellers who do not wish to take the boat trip may stretch their legs and enjoy a lunch break (not included) at one of the nearby restaurants at the port.
Afterwards continue onwards to San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the most beautiful cities in all of Mexico. Cobblestone streets, low tiled roofs, colonial architecture and bright painted walls all add to San Cristobal’s special charm. However, it’s not just another colonial town; as this village is located in the Mayan heartland the many indigenous people give it a very special atmosphere. Indigenous culture is everywhere: you can find it in the handicrafts market, in the dresses worn by the people on the streets, or you can live it yourself while visiting one of the Tzotzil Maya communities nearby (not included). Upon arrival check into the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Diego De Mazariegos or similar, San Cristobal de las Casas
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 10 SAN CRISTOBAL
Today is free at leisure to explore this beautiful city.
Overnight: Diego De Mazariegos or similar, San Cristobal de las Casas
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 11 SAN CRISTOBAL - AGUA AZUL WATERFALL - PALENQUE
This morning travel to the beautiful Agua Azul Waterfall (approx. 4 hours). It has been called by many - the most beautiful natural attraction in Mexico. The Agua Azul Waterfall is in the Blue Water Biosphere of southern Chiapas, just nearby Mexico's famous archaeological park at Palenque. The crystalline blue waters are coloured, in simple terms, by the large amount of limestone deposits on the rocky river bed, a surreal environment in the heart of the dense green rainforest country of southern Mexico. After a visit to the falls, and perhaps a quick dip in the beautiful water (don’t forget your swimwear), travel onwards to the archaeological park of Palenque. Upon arrival in Palenque, check-in to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Nututun Palenque or similar, Palenque
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 PALENQUE GUIDED TOUR - CAMPECHE
This morning after breakfast your guide will pick you up from the hotel and take you on an early morning excursion to the Palenque Archaeological zone where you will enjoy a guided tour of this amazing site. Swathed in morning jungle mists and echoing to a dawn chorus of howler monkeys and parrots, the mighty Maya temples of Palenque are deservedly one of the top destinations of Chiapas and one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in all of Mexico. After the visit, travel onwards to the city of Campeche, Mexico’s only walled city, which is on the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Plaza Colonial or similar, Campeche
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 13 CAMPECHE WALKING CITY TOUR – UXMAL GUIDED TOUR - MERIDA
This morning enjoy a short walking tour of the colourful city of Campeche, with a visit to the central plaza and ocean boulevard. Afterwards, travel onwards to the archaeological site of Uxmal, an ancient Mayan city declared part of UNESCO heritage in 1996. Uxmal (pronounced oosh-mahl) is an impressive set of ruins, easily ranking among the top Mayan archaeological sites in the world. It’s a large site with some fascinating structures in good condition and bearing a riot of ornamentation. Enjoy a guided tour of the area, then continue onwards to the city of Merida (dubbed the white city), one of the liveliest cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. As the centre of henequen production (a plant native to Yucatan), Merida gathered great wealth during the last century. This former wealth is still reflected in many of the cities impressive buildings. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Del Gobernador or similar, Merida
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 14 MERIDA - CHICHEN ITZA GUIDED TOUR - PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Today travel onwards to Chichen Itza, Mexico’s most famous archaeological site. This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatan Peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatan. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. Here enjoy a guided tour of the site, climb El Castillo, check the acoustics of the Ball Court, and wonder about the sacrificed virgins while looking into the Sacred Well. After visiting Chichen Itza, continue to Playa del Carmen where you can enjoy one last night at leisure.
Overnight: Hacienda Del Caribe or similar, Playa Del Carmen
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 15 PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - AUSTRALIA
Today transfer to Cancun Airport (approx. 45 mins) for your return flight back to Australia. Please note: if your flight departs early, please request a packed breakfast for pick up from the hotel reception the night before.
Meals included: Breakfast; In-Flight

DAY 16 IN TRANSIT

DAY 17 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA

20-DAY BEST OF MEXICO WITH PLAYA DEL CARMEN EXTENSION
All of the above plus the following:
• 3 nights hotel accommodation
• Enjoy 3 additional meals
• Enjoy 3 days at leisure in Playa Del Carmen

ITINERARY
DAY 1 AUSTRALIA - MEXICO CITY, MEXICO
Today depart from either Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide# or Perth# for Mexico City, Mexico (via the USA). Upon arrival into Mexico City you will be transferred to the hotel. Please note: If departing from Perth your flight may depart the day before (Day 0).
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: In-Flight

DAY 2 MEXICO
This morning you will be picked up from the hotel and enjoy a full day city tour. In the morning you will visit Mexico City’s colonial centre, including the Zocalo, the main square of Mexico City. Here, you will see some important landmarks, such as the National Palace, with its impressive murals of the famous artist Diego Rivera. You will also visit the Templo Mayor, which contains the ruins of the ceremonial centre of the former Aztec capital Tenochtitlan and also see the Metropolitan Cathedral, the biggest Cathedral in Mexico. An architectural masterpiece with both baroque and neo-classical elements, impressive woodcarvings and gold plated alters.
Afterwards head to Alameda Park, here you will find the most important cultural building in Mexico City, the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts) where you can view some of the beautiful murals within the palace. From there walk via the beautiful avenue La Reforma to Parque Chapultepec. Here you can find several interesting museums, among them the famous Museum of Anthropology, the largest museum in Mexico. You will be able to enter the Museum of Anthropology (Museo de Antropologia) and view the impressive collection of pre-hispanic artifacts. A must for those who would like to know more about the different cultures of Mexico. This afternoon arrive back at the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 3 TEOTIHUACAN & THE BASILICA OF OUR LADY GUADALUPE
This morning you will be picked up and taken on a tour to the famous ruins of Teotihuacan, the main highlight for many who visit Mexico City. Teotihuacan is a vast Mexican archaeological complex northeast of Mexico City which rivals the great pyramids of Egypt. Running down the middle of the site, which was once a flourishing pre-Columbian city, is the Avenue of the Dead. It links the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Temple of the Feathered Serpent), the Pyramid of the Moon and the Pyramid of the Sun, the latter two with panoramic views from their summits. Artefacts in the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture, on-site, include pottery and bone. Enjoy a guided tour of this magical complex and afterwards travel onwards to The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A Roman Catholic church, and National shrine of Mexico in the north of Mexico City. The shrine was built near the hill of Tepeyac where Our Lady of Guadalupe is believed to have appeared to Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin. This site is also known as La Villa de Guadalupe or, in a more popular sense, simply La Villa, as it has several churches and related buildings. After the tour arrive back at the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Best Western Hotel Majestic or similar, Mexico City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 4 MEXICO CITY - COYOACAN – TAXCO – WALKING CITY TOUR
This morning travel onwards to Taxco via the small town of Coyoacan. Founded in the seventh century by the Colhua people and later conquered by the Mexica, Coyoacan or the “Place of Coyotes” retains its small-town charm. With its narrow, cobbled streets, colonial churches, vibrant markets, world-class museums and sidewalk cafes, its historic centre is a popular destination for residents and tourists alike. Stop here for a quick break and enjoy a guided walk around the town centre. Afterwards you will head onwards to the colonial city of Taxco, known as the “City of Silver” for the mines that were extracting this precious mineral for decades. Now that the mining has stopped, they are more well known for their silver handicrafts and charming village life. In fact, it’s one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos, or “Magical Villages,” which is an initiative by the Mexican government shining a special light on notable places that exhibit natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance. Taxco sits on a hillside, high above sea level and its charming streets are surrounded with views of the surrounding hills and forests. Upon arrival in Taxco, check-in to the hotel and then head out for an introductory city walking tour with a visit to the city centre and main cathedral, Santa Prisca Cathedral.
Overnight: Posada de la Mission or similar, Taxco
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 5 TAXCO - TEPOZTLAN WALKING TOUR – CHOLULA WALKING TOUR - PUEBLA
Today you will travel to Puebla with some stops along the way. The first stop being the Pueblo Magico of Tepoztlan, a small yet beautiful and well preserved town. Having been the birthplace of the serpent god of the Aztecs, this town is home to a major indigenous Nahuatl community with some elders still speaking the native language which is quite rare for towns so close to the capital. Enjoy a short walking tour of this beautiful little town and afterwards some time at leisure where you can walk around looking at arts and crafts or visiting the market where, if you dare, try the chapulines – grasshoppers (not included). Afterwards continue to Cholula, a wonderful town that combines history, magic, religion and archaeology. It stands out for having the largest archaeological site of a pyramid (temple) in the New World, as well as the largest pyramid base known to exist in the world today. Here, you will enjoy another short walking tour and visit the amazing pyramid. Afterwards continue onwards to the beautiful colonial city of Puebla and check-in to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Colonial de Puebla or similar, Puebla
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 6 PUEBLA WALKING TOUR - OAXACA CITY
Puebla, also known as the City of Angels, was founded in 1531 by the Spaniards and to this day remains a very pleasant town with a rich history. Today it’s a modern and thriving city, but it preserves its colonial charm nevertheless. Its streets are swarming with architectural jewels, many of them covered with the regional Talavera tiles. Churches and convents are witnesses of the past, as Puebla was once an important religious centre. This morning, enjoy a walking tour through the city centre and see the main plaza and cathedral. Afterwards travel onwards to Oaxaca City in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico’s South-West. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Oaxaca Real Hotel or similar, Oaxaca City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 7 OAXACA CITY WALKING TOUR - MONTE ALBAN TOUR
Today enjoy a walking tour of Oaxaca’s beautiful city centre. Learn about the history of the city, its architecture and local customs. See Santo Domingo church, the best example of Mexican baroque architecture, then stroll along some of the picturesque streets of the historical centre as you see more of Oaxaca’s landmarks. See the Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre markets, and stop at a chocolate factory to see the process of grinding cocoa beans to make Oaxacan chocolate.
In the afternoon, visit the ruins of the former Zapotec stronghold Monte Alban in the outskirts of the city and enjoy a guided tour of the area. Monte Albán, site of ruins of an ancient centre of Zapotec and Mixtec culture, located in what is now Oaxaca state, Mexico. The initial construction at the site has been placed at circa 8th century BC. It contains great plazas, truncated pyramids, a court for playing the ball game tlachtli, underground passageways and about 170 tombs, the most elaborate uncovered in the Americas to date. The site is located on high ground, probably chosen for its defensibility. The great plaza atop the highest hill is flanked by four platforms; two temples stand on the platform to the south. After this visit, return to Oaxaca City for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Oaxaca Real Hotel or similar, Oaxaca City
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 8 OAXACA CITY – MITLA GUIDED TOUR - TEHUANTEPEC - MEZCAL BREWERY TOUR
This morning visit the archaeological site of Mitla and enjoy a short guided tour. Mitla is the second most important archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca and the most important of the Zapotec culture. The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlan, which was the place of the dead or underworld. Its Zapotec name is Lyobaa, which means “place of rest.” Afterwards travel onwards to Tehuantepec with a quick stop at the gigantic tree of ‘El Tule’ on the way. Upon arrival into Tehuantepec visit a traditional mezcal brewery where you will see how this popular drink is prepared and also enjoy a tasting. Make sure you have some cash on you in case you want to buy this delicious artisan drink to take back home with you. This afternoon/evening check-in to the hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Calli or similar, Tehuantepec
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 9 TEHUANTEPEC - SUMIDERO CANYON - SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
After an early start begin the journey to the city of San Cristobal, in the state of Chiapas in the very south of Mexico. Along the way enjoy a stop at the gateway to the magnificent Sumidero Canyon. Sumidero Canyon is a narrow and deep canyon surrounded by a national park and located just north of the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez. Take an optional 2 hour boat ride up the canyon (not included – approx. $15 USD per person). Travellers who do not wish to take the boat trip may stretch their legs and enjoy a lunch break (not included) at one of the nearby restaurants at the port.
Afterwards continue onwards to San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the most beautiful cities in all of Mexico. Cobblestone streets, low tiled roofs, colonial architecture and bright painted walls all add to San Cristobal’s special charm. However, it’s not just another colonial town; as this village is located in the Mayan heartland the many indigenous people give it a very special atmosphere. Indigenous culture is everywhere: you can find it in the handicrafts market, in the dresses worn by the people on the streets, or you can live it yourself while visiting one of the Tzotzil Maya communities nearby (not included). Upon arrival check into the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Diego De Mazariegos or similar, San Cristobal de las Casas
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 10 SAN CRISTOBAL
Today is free at leisure to explore this beautiful city.
Overnight: Diego De Mazariegos or similar, San Cristobal de las Casas
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 11 SAN CRISTOBAL - AGUA AZUL WATERFALL - PALENQUE
This morning travel to the beautiful Agua Azul Waterfall (approx. 4 hours). It has been called by many - the most beautiful natural attraction in Mexico. The Agua Azul Waterfall is in the Blue Water Biosphere of southern Chiapas, just nearby Mexico's famous archaeological park at Palenque. The crystalline blue waters are coloured, in simple terms, by the large amount of limestone deposits on the rocky river bed, a surreal environment in the heart of the dense green rainforest country of southern Mexico. After a visit to the falls, and perhaps a quick dip in the beautiful water (don’t forget your swimwear), travel onwards to the archaeological park of Palenque. Upon arrival in Palenque, check-in to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Nututun Palenque or similar, Palenque
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12 PALENQUE GUIDED TOUR - CAMPECHE
This morning after breakfast your guide will pick you up from the hotel and take you on an early morning excursion to the Palenque Archaeological zone where you will enjoy a guided tour of this amazing site. Swathed in morning jungle mists and echoing to a dawn chorus of howler monkeys and parrots, the mighty Maya temples of Palenque are deservedly one of the top destinations of Chiapas and one of the best examples of Mayan architecture in all of Mexico. After the visit, travel onwards to the city of Campeche, Mexico’s only walled city, which is on the UNESCO cultural heritage list. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Plaza Colonial or similar, Campeche
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 13 CAMPECHE WALKING CITY TOUR – UXMAL GUIDED TOUR - MERIDA
This morning enjoy a short walking tour of the colourful city of Campeche, with a visit to the central plaza and ocean boulevard. Afterwards, travel onwards to the archaeological site of Uxmal, an ancient Mayan city declared part of UNESCO heritage in 1996. Uxmal (pronounced oosh-mahl) is an impressive set of ruins, easily ranking among the top Mayan archaeological sites in the world. It’s a large site with some fascinating structures in good condition and bearing a riot of ornamentation. Enjoy a guided tour of the area, then continue onwards to the city of Merida (dubbed the white city), one of the liveliest cities in the Yucatan Peninsula. As the centre of henequen production (a plant native to Yucatan), Merida gathered great wealth during the last century. This former wealth is still reflected in many of the cities impressive buildings. Upon arrival check-in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Hotel Del Gobernador or similar, Merida
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 14 MERIDA - CHICHEN ITZA GUIDED TOUR - PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Today travel onwards to Chichen Itza, Mexico’s most famous archaeological site. This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centres of the Yucatan Peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatan. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. Here enjoy a guided tour of the site, climb El Castillo, check the acoustics of the Ball Court, and wonder about the sacrificed virgins while looking into the Sacred Well. After visiting Chichen Itza, continue to Playa del Carmen where you can enjoy one last night at leisure.
Overnight: Hacienda Del Caribe or similar, Playa Del Carmen
Meals included: Breakfast

DAYS 15-17 PLAYA DEL CARMEN
Today is free at leisure to explore the beautiful resort town of Playa Del Carmen at leisure, or relax on one of its amazing beaches.
Overnight: Hacienda Del Caribe or similar, Playa Del Carmen
Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 18 PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - AUSTRALIA

DAY 19 IN TRANSIT

DAY 20 ARRIVE IN AUSTRALIA

OPTIONAL TOURS/ACTIVITIES
Day 9: Sumidero Canyon Boat Trip: $15 USD per person

Please note:
- Prices are based on per person, are subject to availability, time permitting and weather conditions, and are payable direct to the tour operator in the currency specified
- Some tours require minimum numbers to operate

2019 DEPARTURE DATES
22 January (Sold out)
19, 23, 26 March (Sold out)
14, 21 May
23 July^ (Sold out)
6 August
10 September (Sold out)
14, 17 September

PRICES
17-Day Best of Mexico from $2,999*
20-Day Best of Mexico with Playa Del Carmen Extension from $3,399*

*Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share based on adult fares in AUD and subject to availability at time of booking. Offers valid until 15 November 2018, unless sold out prior and for departures as specified. ^Flight high season surcharge: add an extra $400 per person. Additional seasonal surcharges & single supplements may apply, & prices may vary due to currency fluctuations & changes to taxes & surcharges. Valid for new bookings only & not combinable with any other offers. Saving amount has already been applied to the advertised prices. Valid for travel on selected dates. Departures may be based on minimum group numbers. Prices are correct as at October 2018 & are subject to change without notice. Further conditions apply, call your Bucket List Buddy team.