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12 Day Mexico & Mayan Discovery

These tours are our proudest creations. They have been crafted for Inspiring Vacations travellers exclusively, with personal and unique experiences in mind. Please see the Important Information on your selected tour for exact group size. Enjoy features such as hand-picked accommodation, a sampling of the region’s best culinary delights, and a range of optional activities to choose from to best suit your travel style.

Group Size
Small Group

This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

Escorted Type
Fully Escorted

This is considered a fast-paced tour. In order to explore as much as possible, this tour may require early starts and long travel days. One to two nights at one destination is standard. While some free time may be scheduled, most sightseeing is included throughout this tour. You will be required to move about unassisted, including getting on and off vehicles, walking up and down stairs and some activities will be conducted on uneven or steep terrain. You will be required to handle your own luggage. To ensure this trip is right for you, any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aid, then this tour is not suitable.

Pace
Lively Pace

Take advantage of our 7 day cooling-off period. 

Cooling Off Period
7 Days
✓ Small, intimate group experience – no more than 20 people
✓ 11 nights in centrally located 4 and 5-star hotels, including a traditionally styled hacienda in San Cristóbal de las Casas and two nights in a fully renovated 17th century mansion in Mérida
✓ Incredible sightseeing including guided tours of Mexico’s historic cities and exploring the famous ancient ruins of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Palenque, and Teotihuacan Archaeological Site
✓ Breakfast daily and three lunches, including lunch in Mexico’s culinary capital of Puebla and a traditional Maya family lunch in Piste
✓ Included internal flight from Mexico City to Tuxtla
✓ Fully escorted by a professional English-speaking guide, with additional local guides specialized in historic archaeological sites
What we love about this tour

Travel with the experts for a carefully curated, value-packed discovery of the world's most iconic destinations. Our tours are bursting with must-see sights, rich experiences and quality inclusions, all at an unbeatable price. Bucket list dreams are ticked off on these all-encompassing journeys.

Itinerary

Hotel
Hotel Geneve or Similar

Hola! And welcome to Mexico City!

Upon arrival at Benito Juarez International Airport, make your own way to the hotel where the rest of the day is at leisure to settle in and, if you have time, take a stroll to get a feel for this vibrant and rapidly growing capital where the ancient and modern collide.

Hotel
Hotel Geneve or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast, head out for an epic day of exploration through Mexico’s incredible capital. First we’ll enjoy a guided tour of Mexico City where your expert guide will bring 700 years of history back to life as you uncover little-known facts and hidden hotspots, from Aztecs to art, in one of the biggest cities in the Americas. 

Head into the heart of Mexico City, the Plaza de la Constitucion, and hear about the remains of an ancient city located under the modern metropolis. Visit iconic sites like the Templo Mayor and the Metropolitan Cathedral – the biggest cathedral on the continent. 

Following this, enjoy an included inspiring taste as we stop for lunch with local family. Get to understand the true life of Mexico City as you are invited into a family home for a memorable meal where you’ll be served authentic dishes bursting with local flavors and plenty of Mexican hospitality.

Afterwards enjoy a truly inspiring sight as we travel to Teotihuacan archaeological site, once one of the biggest cities in the world, approximately one hour away from Mexico City. With the help of a local, archaeological guide, discover the amazing ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon which dominate the skyline. Stroll down the ‘Avenue of the Dead’ and see the clues to what life was like here nearly 2,000 years ago. After a guided visit of the site, enjoy some free time to explore at your own pace before returning to the city hustle this evening.

Hotel
Hotel Geneve or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

We leave Mexico this morning and travel approximately three hours to Puebla, the culinary capital of Mexico. Prepare your taste buds for another inspiring taste as we arrive in time for an included lunch to sample the local cuisine of the region. This city is renowned for dishes which combine Spanish and pre-hispanic influences, such as chiles en nogada (stuffed chillies covered in creamy walnut sauce). 

Following our lunch, we take a small tour of the city to admire the historic architecture, parks and alleys before traveling another 30 minutes to arrive at the town of Cholula. Considered one of the State of Puebla’s ‘magical towns’, we’ll visit the iconic church, built on the Tlachihualteptl pyramid (which means handmade hil) in honor of the Virgen de los Remedios.

Later, we’ll continue to Cholula, a municipality known for one of the most beautiful churches - the Santa María Tonantzintla which dates back the the 16th century. The decoration of the interior of the temple corresponds to the indigenous baroque or New Spain baroque style consisting of an exuberant decoration with indigenous motifs, such as angels with plumes of feathers, flower garlands, eagle knight outfits and with indigenous features, fruits and plants. All this shows a mixture between the pre-Hispanic world and the Christian world.

Hotel
Casa Mexicana or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

This morning we’ll be transferred to the airport and take a flight from Mexico City to Tuxtla. On arrival, we will make our way to San Cristóbal de las Casas, stopping en route to visit Sumidero  Canyon, an 800-metre deep canyon dating from the same time as the Grand Canyon. Take a boat tour on the Sumidero River to view this incredible canyon from a different perspective. Following our cruise, we continue a further hour and a half drive to San Cristóbal de las Casas. 

Located in the Mexican state of Chiapas, San Cristóbal de las Casas is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, such as the centuries-old, yellow San Cristóbal Cathedral on the Parque Central. Check into your traditional hacienda styled hotel and this afternoon, get to know the area on an orientation walk with your tour leader before enjoying an evening to spend at your leisure.

Hotel
Casa Mexicana or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Embark on a half-day tour this morning to the Maya villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. Only a short 20 minute drive from San Cristóbal and nestled in the highlands, these villages serve as marketplaces and religious ceremonial centers for indigenous communities who live in the surrounding hills. The local people have retained their traditional way of life and are often seen dressed in their own distinctive colorful clothing. You’ll have time to explore these villages with your guide and learn more about the culture and history of these mainly Maya people.  

Return to San Cristóbal where the rest of your day is at leisure to explore this charming town on your own.

Hotel
Chablis or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Say goodbye to San Cristóbal de Las Casas this morning as we embark on a day of travel to reach Palenque, the ruined ancient Mayan city that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.  

We’ll first drive approximately four hours to reach the picturesque low and wide Agua Azul waterfall, which flows slowly over limestone rocks with time for a quick  dip — so remember to pack your swimsuit! Otherwise, enjoy a scenic stroll around the beautiful surroundings before continuing a further two hour drive to Palenque. 

Hotel
Hotel Plaza Campeche or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today you’ll visit an inspiring sight as we tour the ruins of Palenque. Archaeologists have been hard at work uncovering the secrets of this ancient city, but around 90% of the site remains unexcavated and concealed in the forest. Sitting on a hilltop surrounded by thick trees, the ruins date back to 600AD and are some of the most impressive Maya relics in Mexico. The area gives you an idea of what the Spanish invaders must have seen when they first came across the hidden ruins. Try to listen out for the eerie calls of howler monkeys and the echoes of screeching parrots as you walk through the jungle. 

Following our visit in the morning, we’ll drive approximately five hours to the historic port town of Campeche, known for its preserved baroque colonial buildings, military architecture and walled historic district.

Hotel
Mision Fray Diego or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Leave Campeche behind and drive approximately two hours to another inspiring sight; one of Mexico's best-preserved Maya sites, Uxmal. Spend two hours exploring the ruins with your guide to see the Pyramid of the Magician, one of Mexico’s most impressive, marvel at the decorative details of the Governor’s Palace, and take the opportunity to climb one of the pyramids for an astounding view of the surrounding area.

Continue another hour’s drive to Mérida, founded in 1542 on the site of Tho, an ancient Maya city. This colonial city retains much of its old-world charm thanks primarily to its people and architecture. On arrival, check into our inspiring stay for the next two nights, the 5-star La Misión de Fray Diego. Originally an old mansion dating back to the 17th century, the building has now been carefully restored and converted into an unique, boutique hotel.

This afternoon, take an orientation walk with your guide before enjoying some free time for the rest of the day. Take a trip to the Mérida Contemporary Art Museum for an interesting perspective on contemporary life in the city, head to the outdoor markets where you can find local food specialties like the seriously spicy El Yucateco hot sauce, or perhaps just spend some time wandering the Plaza Grande: a green, shady square enclosed by a 16th-century cathedral, City Hall, the State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo — the choice is yours!

Hotel
Mision Fray Diego or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

After breakfast, drive to the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve for a boat tour through the reserve. Look out for the Yucatan woodpecker, Mexican sheartail, tropical mockingbird and, depending on the season (usually November–March), you may be lucky enough to witness thousands of flamingos painting a pink streak across the landscape. 

Return to Mérida for an afternoon at leisure. For a taste of Mérida's 19th-century glory, you may like to take a walk along the mansion-lined Paseo de Montejo. Be sure to ask your leader for some great local recommendations for dinner this evening.

Hotel
Hacienda Paradise or Similar
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch

This morning we travel approximately two hours to reach our final inspiring sight, the fascinating complex of Chichen Itza. Named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, uncover the secrets of what is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico, dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. 

Following our visit, enjoy an inspiring taste as we stop at the nearby town of Piste and experience a traditional Maya family lunch, a great opportunity to experience the culture and have the opportunity to interact with the locals while being served traditional Yucatecan cuisine. 

Afterwards, we continue and stop at a beautiful cenote (sinkhole) for a swim before reaching Playa del Carmen this afternoon. This idyllic coastal resort is located along the Yucatán Peninsula's Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline and is known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs. This evening is yours to explore as you will.

Hotel
Hacienda Paradise or Similar
Meals
Breakfast

Today is yours to relax and unwind in Playa del Carmen. Be sure to wander the Quinta Avenida pedestrian thoroughfare that runs parallel to the beach, filled with blocks of shops, restaurants and nightspots ranging from laid-back bars to dance clubs.

Meals
Breakfast

Today your journey through Mexico comes to an end after breakfast. We hope you’ve been inspired!

Inclusions

  • Small, intimate group experience – no more than 20 people
  • 11 nights accommodation in quality 4 and 5-star hotels 
  • Breakfast daily and three lunches 
  • Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide
  • Additional local guides when visiting specialised archeological sites
  • Internal flight in economy class from Mexico City to Tuxtla
  • All entrance fees and guided activities as specified in the itinerary

  • Mexico City - guided tour through the capital's famous sites including the Plaza de la Constitucion, Templo Mayor and the Metropolitan Cathedral – the biggest cathedral on the continent
  • Teotihuacan Ruins - discover the amazing ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon with an expert archaeological guide
  • Puebla -  tour the culinary capital with an included lunch to sample the local dishes
  • Tonantzintla - visit one of the most beautiful New Spain baroque-style churches
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - take a guided walking tour of the beautiful city known for its well-preserved colonial architecture
  • Palenque Ruins - tour the Palenque Ruins, an ancient Maya city and UNESCO World Heritage Site 
  • Uxmal - spend two hours exploring one of Mexico's best-preserved Maya sites
  • Merida - enjoy a guided walk through this old-world, colonial city and stay in the 5-star La Misión de Fray Diego, a fully restored mansion dating back to the 17th century
  • Chichen Itza - tour the fascinating complex of Chichen Itza, named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World
  • Playa del Carmen - enjoy two nights in the idyllic coastal resort located along the Caribbean shoreline known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs

Inspiring Sights
  • Marvel at Teotihuacan archaeological site, once one of the biggest cities in the world, and discover the amazing ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.
  • Tour the ruins of Palenque, an ancient city of which 90% remains to this day unexcavated and concealed by the forest flora
  • Spend two hours exploring the ruins of Uxmal with an expert guide to see the impressive Pyramid of the Magician, the decorative details of the Governor’s Palace and take the opportunity to climb one of the pyramids for an astounding view of the surrounding area.
  • Named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, uncover the secrets of what is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico — Chichen Itza.
 
Inspiring Tastes
  • Get to understand the true life of Mexico City as you are invited into a family home for a memorable meal where you’ll be served authentic dishes bursting with local flavors.
  • Sample the local cuisine of the region in Mexico's culinary capital of Puebla.
  • Experience a traditional Maya family lunch and traditional Yucatecan cuisine in Piste.
 
Inspiring Stays
  • Spend two nights in a 5-star, fully renovated mansion in Merida that originally dates back to the 17th century.

Fine Print

Secure your trip with a $99.00 deposit per person.

Once we receive your deposit, we will send you an invoice with your remaining balance and payment options.

Instalment Schedule:

  1. At the time of booking pay a $99.00 deposit per person.
  2. Pay a 1st installment of $430.00 per person within 28 days.
  3. Pay a 2nd installment of $860.00 per person within 90 days.
  4. You will then be invoiced for final payment 120 days prior to departure.

This package is sold as land only, however you do have the option of adding domestic & international airfares to your booking. Simply click on’ book now’, and under upgrades ,  you will be asked “Would you like us to contact you around our flight service?”. By selecting this option Inspiring Vacations will contact you to discuss adding flights to your chosen destination. We can then assist with turning your booking into a flight inclusive package.

Upon completing the purchase of your package and fulfilling the following booking requirements, you will be granted access to our flight portal via your Traveller Hub.

  • 1st installment or full payment has been made
  • Your booking is within 11 months of departure
  • Your booking is labeled as ‘confirmed’ in Traveller Hub

Once these criteria have been met, access will be made available to you via Traveller Hub to book your flights via our flight portal.

The following requests are able to be processed through the online flight portal:

  • Airline Preferences - You may wish to fly with a particular airline
  • Cabin Preferences - These include upgrading to premium economy or business class
  • Extensions (start and end cities must remain the same) - You may request to extend your stay pre or post tour.

The online flight portal is unable to process the following requests and you must book these yourself independently:

  • Stopovers - Is where you might want to stop in transit for a certain amount of days prior to your tour or after your tour.
  • One way flights
  • Different start or end city to the tour - you may not amend the arrival or departure city of your itinerary. 
  • Around the world tickets  - Is when a ticket includes multiple stops in different continents.
  • Return home to a different city from the one you departed.
  • Frequent Flyer point redemption - Is when an airline allows you to redeem points to pay for your flights or upgrade your ticket.  

Online check-in 

Some airlines may not permit online check-in where flights have been booked by a travel company. Where unavailable to do so online, you will be required to check-in at the airport. Inspiring Vacations cannot check-in online on behalf of our customers.

Fitness Requirements
While the tour itinerary should give you some guidance and overview to the expected requirements, to determine if this tour is right for you we categorise each of our tours in terms of their intensity. These guidelines are to ensure that each tour group is conducted as expected and to ensure the overall satisfaction of all Inspiring Vacations customers.

As a general rule, porterage is not included, therefore at all times you are expected to handle your own luggage where help may not be available.

This particular tour is categorised as a”4”

Active Tour: A very good level of fitness and mobility is required for you to enjoy all aspects of the itinerary, as this is considered a fast-paced tour. While there is some free time scheduled either in the morning or afternoon, there are many full days of sightseeing with minimal rest and some early starts. You will be required to walk up and down stairs, get on and off the coach and participate in all scheduled sightseeing that may be conducted on uneven ground and terrain. Any physical ailments you may have must be disclosed at the time of booking to determine your suitability. If you have any form of walking aids, other than a walking stick or hiking poles, then this tour is not suitable.

Tipping
A friendly reminder that tipping is not included in your package. While tipping is not customary, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations.

You may also consider tipping your tour leader and driver for outstanding service throughout your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Accommodation
The accommodation listed is subject to change. Any changes will be of an equal or higher standard. Bedding configurations (double or twin) are requests only. All efforts will be made to meet your preferences, however, any changes are beyond our control.

Single Supplement
Single supplement is $1,169.00 per person, in addition to the twin-share price.

Triple Share
Not available.

Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is recommended to protect yourself against the unexpected. In addition to the support that a policy may provide, you may be asked to present a copy of your travel insurance documentation while traveling.

We have partnered with nib to offer our customers competitive rates for their travel insurance. You can book Comprehensive or Essentials cover for your domestic, international or multi-trip journeys simply by clicking HERE.

 Note that Inspiring Vacations cannot provide advice with regards to any insurance product.

Visa & Passport information
It is the traveller's responsibility to ensure they have a valid passport. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the intended date of return.

Visas may be required.

Please note that these details are subject to change without notice. We recommend visiting https://smartraveller.gov.au for up to date information in terms of entry requirements.

Group Size
6-20 people

Children
Children must be 5 years old or above and share a room with parents at all times. Children are charged the same price as adults.

Tour Style
To meet the needs of various types of travelers, we choose to operate various types of tours, and depending on your selected package will mean different services are provided throughout your trip. The following descriptions of each tour style we hope will ensure that each traveller has appropriate expectations before they start their travels: 

  • Fully Escorted - This tour is fully escorted by an expert English-speaking guide who will accompany you throughout the tour.

You can enhance your holiday by arriving or departing before or after the tour. On this tour you can choose from the following options:

Pre Tour Accommodation

  • $210.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $210.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Post Tour Accommodation

  • $364.00 per room, per night for double and twin share
  • $364.00 per room, per night for solo travellers

Arrival and departure airport transfers

  • Pre tour transfer - $82 per car, maximum of 2 travellers

Your transfer may be shared with other Inspiring Vacations customers.

Please select the number of extra nights required in the 'Additional Nights Accommodation' field when making your purchase. The additional cost for these arrangements will be added to your final payment invoice and are subject to availability.

  • International airfares
  • Airport Transfer
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Tipping
  • Optional activities
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary
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