THE MAYAN WORLD
1st day – Tuesday Cancún / ChichénItzà / Mérida
Transfer to the hotel in Cancún where the tour leaves for Mérida; then visit the ChichénItzá archaeological site. ChichénItzá was the Mayan capital of Yucatán that flourished between the 5th and 10th centuries AD. Visitors can admire the impressive buildings of the northern and central archaeological sites, such as the Kukulcán Temple, the Ball Game, the Observatory, the Warrior’s Temple, the Convent of the Nuns and the Sacred Cenote. Lunch in restaurant. The trip to Mérida continues in the afternoon, followed by a panoramic visit to the city known as the “White City”, which has Colonial houses as well as houses that date back to the beginning of the century in the Arabic, French and Italian styles.
Those houses have witnessed all the old wealth that was generated thanks to the sisal culture.
Stop at Mérida’s Zócalo, where visitors can admire the city’s main monuments, such as: the Cathedral, the Government’s Palace, the Municipal Palace and the Francisco Montejo’s House Check-in at the Holiday Inn hotel or similar accommodation.
2nd day – Wednesday Mérida / Uxmal / Campeche
Departure to the archaeological site of Uxmal, that means “built in three stages”, and it is a typical example of the classic and post-classic Mayan period. Uxmal’s main constructions are: Pirámide del Adivino (The Fortuneteller’s Pyramid), Palacio de los Gobernadores (Governor’s Palace) and the Cuadrángulo de lasMonjas (Quadrangle of the Nuns). Lunch in restaurant. Afterwards the tour continues to Campeche which is the capital of the state with the same name. Check-in at the Plaza Campeche hotel or similar. The afternoon schedule includes a short visit to the ancient town, surrounded by fort walls and towers built to protect this city from the pirates. Campeche keeps a Colonial mood thanks to its gorgeous houses and austere churches. Accommodation.
3rd day – Thursday Campeche / Palenque
Departure to Palenque and check-in at the Ciudad Real or similar accommodation. Lunch break, and in the afternoon the tour continues with the visit to Palenque’s archaeological site. The area displays beautiful Mayan work made of stone and stucco; this area is often recognized as one of Mexico’s most beautiful places; its ruins are inside the Chiapanecan (from the State of Chiapas) jungle. Its most important temple is called Templo de lasInscripciones (Temple of the Inscriptions), where explorers discovered Pakal’s tomb with his famous jade mask. Accommodation.
4th day – Friday Palenque / Yaxchilán / Flores
6:30 am: Departure to Corozal at the Mexican border. This is approximately a two and half-hour trip and during the route visitors can admire the abundant vegetation of the jungle. At the end of this gorgeous track, the tour will proceed with a launch boat ride through the Usumacinta River for approximately one hour toward the ancient Mayan city called Yaxchilán, which is in the middle of the jungle. Yaxchilán is a peaceful place where the silence is only broken by the monkeys screeching and the birds flying around. Its luxurious palaces and numerous temples seem to be safely and magically protected by its surrounding deep forest.
Yaxchilán was built between the years 200 and 900 AD. The city was ruled by Escudo-Jaguar (Shield-Jaguar) in the year 725; he expanded its territory after three marriage alliances and many wars. The Mayas were very aware of their history, and engraved it in stones describing the events of their governing class. Thanks to those engravings we know the first 300 years of the Mayan history.
At the end of this wonderful visit, the tour will continue upriver back to Corozal for lunch in a rustic restaurant by the river bank. After lunch and going through the customs requirements from the Mexican authorities, visitors will board launch boats for another 30-minute trip to the Guatemalan town of Betel. Arriving at Betel and right after the customs requirements, the tour will continue to Flores. On their way to this beautiful town, during the three and a half-hour trip, visitors can admire the wonderful Guatemalan jungle. Arrival and check-in at Petén Esplendido Hotel or similar accommodation.
5th day - Saturday Flores / Tikal / Belize City
Visit of the Tikal archaeological site, which is considered to be the most beautiful Mayan site; its incredible variety of pyramids and trails shows that Tikal used to be the most important city of the Mayan world in the 8th century. Visitors will discover its mystery within its 576 square kilometers, walking by its constructions, that can reach up to 70 meters, which were built 200 years before Christ. Visitors will be amazed by the view of the Petén jungle from the top of the Temple IV. Lunch at the end of the tour, followed by the transfer to Belize city. Arrival and check-in at the Biltmore Express hotel or similar accommodation.
6th day – Sunday Belize City / Kohunlich
In the morning departure towards Tower Hill, where visitors will board a boat for a 2-hour (approximately) trip to the Lamanai Religious Center; Lamanai means “crocodile underwater”. On that boat ride, visitors can admire rare species of bats, birds and even crocodiles and turtles. The archaeological site is in the heart of a tropical jungle full of exotic fruits and wonderful natural smells; the only noise that disturbs that peaceful environment is the monkeys’ screeching. That archaeological site was built between the years 100 and 900 AD. Picnic lunch during the trip. At the end of the Lamanai trip, visitors will return on a launch boat towards Tower Hill, and then take the tour bus heading to the border of Belize and Mexico. After the customs procedures, visitors will transfer to another vehicle, and they will be taken to the ExploreanKohunlich Hotel, which is located in the middle of the Mayan jungle. The Explorean is the perfect place to live in nature and learn about all of its mysteries. Hotel accommodation and dinner.
7th day– Monday Kohunlich / Riviera Maya-Cancun
Visitors will have a free morning to relax in the natural environment and enjoy the amazing green landscape that surrounds the entire hotel area. In the afternoon departure to the Laguna de Bacalar (Bacalar Lake), which is also known as “Laguna de SieteColores” (Seven Colors Lake) due to its variety of colors, such as turquoise, jade and aquamarine, spread along its 50 kilometers. Lunch break followed by the transfer to the Riviera Maya or Cancún.
Hotels mentioned in program or similar accommodations (4* in Merida, Palenque, Flores, 3** in Campeche e Belize, 5* in Kohunlich).
American breakfast in every hotel – 7 lunches and 1 dinner as specified
Restaurant fees and tips.
Transportation in american VAN (10 seats) or microbus or autobus with sound system (air conditioning only in Mexico).
FOR UP TO 9 PEOPLE: Escort guide from 1° to 4° day + 6° to 7° day and Guatemaltecan escort guide from 4° to 6° day. English-Italian or English-French or English-Spanish speaking guides.
STARTING FROM 10 PEOPLE: Escort guide for the whole trip till the 7° day. English-Italian or English-French or English-Spanish speaking guide.
Entry to the archaeological sites and museums mentioned in the program.
Porter services in airports and hotels.
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Any night overstays in Cancun or Riviera Maya
Dinners or other meals not mentioned in the program.
Beverages and extras in hotels and restaurants.
Tips to drivers and/or tour guides.
International and national airport taxes.
Immigration fees for each entry and stay in Mexico.
Immigration fees at the border between Guatemala and Belize and between Belize and Mexico and Bethel
Prices in USD valid until December 15th, 2014.
NET and NOT COMMISSIONABLE prices.