About This Trip
Guatemala is renowned for its lively Mayan culture and colorful colonial cities, while Mexico boasts its rich and majestic pre-Columbian Mayan ruins. This tour offers you an opportunity to know the mysterious Mayan civilization. Step into the UNESCO-listed colonial city of Antigua. Experience Mayan traditions at Chichicastenango. Explore the Mayan dwelling in Santiago Atitlan. Marvel at some of the most important Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico: Yaxchilan, Palenque, Uxmal, and Chichen Itza.
- 1 - 5Guatemala
Antigua: City Tour, San Juan del Obispo
Chichicastenango: Market, Church of Santo Tomas
Town of Santiago Atitlan
Flores: Tikal, Sylvanus Morley Museum
- 6 - 9Mexico
Yaxchilan: Maya Ruins
Palenque: Temple of the Inscriptions
Uxmal: Pyramid of the Magician
Chichen Itza: Pyramid of Kukulcan
Day 1: Arrival, Transfer from Guatemala City to Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arrival, you will be met and greeted by a local tour guide at the airport, and then be transferred to Antigua city.
- Antigua Guatemala
Day 2: Antigua & San Juan del Obispo
This morning, you will visit the UNESCO-listed Antigua, a beautiful colonial city surrounded by a load of volcanoes, such as the famous Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango. Starting the exploration at the central park, you will stroll through its streets and markets, and glance over its historical Baroque buildings with colorful walls and characteristic balconies.
Nearby, you will also visit the village of San Juan del Obispo that boasts one of the first Catholic churches in Guatemala as well as the village of Santa Maria de Jesus under the slopes of Volcán de Agua.
- Antigua Guatemala
Day 3: Antigua - Chichicastenango - Lake Atitlan
Chichicastenango is better known to the visitors for its indigenous market happening every Thursday and Sunday when the locals gather to buy and sell seeds, fruits, vegetables, textiles, and colorful handicrafts. It is a perfect chance to get a glimpse into local's life.
This morning, beside the exotic market in Chichicastenango, you will also visit the local Church of Santo Tomas where the Maya-Quiche natives celebrate their traditional rites, and the local cemetery where you may have an opportunity to witness some other Mayan rituals.
In the afternoon, continue towards Lake Atitlan and spend the night there.
- Lake Atitlán
Day 4: Lake Atitlan - Santiago Atitlan - Guatemala City
Depart by boat to the town of Santiago Atitlan, which is home to the largest indigenous population of Tzutujile Mayans and the mischievous deity Maximón - an important Mayan folk saint in Guatemala represented by a dressed-up wooden effigy sitting on a chair. Spend half-day exploring the top attractions in the town. In the afternoon, you will return to Panajachel and continue your journey to Guatemala City.
- Guatemala City
Day 5: Guatemala City - Flores, Tikal National Park
Depart early to Guatemala City airport (04:30 am) to board the flight to Flores. Upon arrival, be transferred to Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites and the most monumental city ruins in the Pre-Columbian Mayan world. There, you will have a guided tour to see its major temples, monuments, arenas, and palaces. The tour will end at the Sylvanus Morley Museum that displays a myriad of pieces found during excavations.
After picnic lunch, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in and rest.
- B L
Day 6: Flores - Frontera Corozal - Yaxchilan - Palenque
Departure early to Bethel Border. There, follow the immigration procedure and cross the Usumacinta River to get to Corozal, where a local Mexican guide will be waiting for you.
From Corozal, take a 45-minute boat ride along the Usumacinta River to Yaxchilan, a dramatic Maya site located in the heart of the Lacandon rainforest. This site is especially known for its well-preserved stone lintels with sculptures describing the dynastic history of this ancient Mayan city. After the tour, you will head to Palenque for overnight.
Day 7: Palenque - Campeche, the Archaeological Site of Palenque
This morning, you will visit the archaeological site of Palenque. Situated in the highland rainforest near the Mexican and Guatemalan border, this Mayan site, dating from the Classic period and peaking at 600 to 700 A.D. is famous for numerous wonderful examples of Maya art and history that are carved into the facades of temples, such as the Temple of the Inscriptions, the Temple of the Sun, and The Palace. Continue to Campeche after the tour for the night.
Day 8: Campeche - Merida, the Archaeological Site of Uxmal
Move forward Merida, the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsula today. On the way,Move forward Merida, the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsula today. On the way, you will stop to visit the archaeological site of Uxmal en route. Located 80km south of Merida, the well-preserved Uxmal is one of the few Mayan ruins that are almost exactly the same as they were abandoned in the second half of the 16th century. Here you will explore its main buildings, including the Pyramid of the Magician, the Nunnery Quadrangle, the House of Turtles, etc. After admiring all these monuments, you will continue to Merida for overnight.
Day 9: Merida - Cancun, the Archaeological Site of Chichen Itza
Continue your Mayan journey today from Merida to visit the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatán peninsula, the monuments of Chichen Itza exerted an influence throughout the entire Yucatan cultural zone from the 10th to the 15th century. Here, several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors' Temple, the Stepped Pyramid of Kukulcan (El Castillo), and the circular observatory known as El Caracol. After the tour, you will proceed to Merida for overnight.
After the tour, you will drive to the beach location of your hotel in Cancun. The beach extension is not included in this tour but we will be glad to recommend and book the hotel as well as some beach activities at your request.
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