Mayan Discovery

Classic, Playa del Carmen to Playa del Carmen

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Mayan ruins peeking out from verdant jungle, street vendors hawking their wares on colonial streets, pristine white-sand beaches sparkling under the Caribbean sun — now this is the real Yucatán. On this unique 15-day journey, you’ll tour the ruins at Chichén Itzá and Palenque, and head deep into the jungle of Guatemala to experience the ruins of Tikal. You're free to choose your own adventure! So escape the resort packages and witness all the incredible wilderness, wildlife, and Mayan culture — past and present — that you can imagine.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: San Antonio Women's Pottery Cooperative and Local Lunch, San Ignacio Your G for Good Moment: El Hongo Mexican Community Restaurant & Youth Art Program, Playa del Carmen Your Discover Moment: Mérida Your Discover Moment: San Ignacio Your Discover Moment: Caye Caulker Your Discover Moment: Playa del Carmen
  • Chichén Itzá guided tour
  • Mérida orientation walk
  • Palenque guided tour
  • Tikal guided tour
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Explore mayan temples
  • Spot monkeys in the jungle
  • Chill out on a belizean island
  • Stare out into the caribbean blue from a mayan riviera beach


Day 1 Playa del Carmen There are no planned activities before an evening welcome meeting. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Playa del Carmen/Mérida Stop for a guided tour of the popular Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Explore this famous site, known for its huge stepped pyramids and elaborate stone carvings. Continue on to Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán State. Follow your CEO on an orientation walk to get the lay of the land. Included Activities: Chichén Itzá Guided Tour Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours, 190km) Private Vehicle (1.25-2.00 hours, 130km)
Day 3 Mérida Opt to visit ruins of Uxmal, ride the PUUC Route, go bird-watching in Celestún, hit the beach in Progreso, visit cenotes in the nearby town of Cuzamá, or walk around town and soak in all of the history this city has to offer.
Day 4 Mérida/Palenque Sit back and relax on a travel to Palenque in the lush jungle of Chiapas. Transport: First-class bus (9.00-10.00 hours, 620km)
Day 5 Palenque Take a guided tour of the ruins of Palenque. Later, choose from one of the many optional activities in the area. Included Activities: Palenque Ruins Guided Tour
Day 6 Palenque Enjoy a free day to explore Palenque and surroundings. Opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Yaxchilán and Bonampak.
Day 7 Palenque/San José Journey through the jungle by private vehicle, crossing into Guatemala and continuing on to San José. Explore Lake Petén Itzá and the island of Flores. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Mexico - Guatemala) Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours) Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 200km)
Day 8 San José Learn about Mayan culture and history on a guided tour of Tikal archaeological site. Relax on Lake Petén Itzá with a boat cruise or a swim. Included Activities: Tikal Ruins Guided Tour
Day 9 San José/San Ignacio (1L) Continue on to Belize, a country with a decidedly Caribbean flavour. The relaxed atmosphere of San Ignacio allows for options including horseback riding, canoeing, caving, or exploring the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Guatemala - Belize) San Antonio Women's Pottery Cooperative and Local Lunch Transport: Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle; the drive today will be on a mixture of paved and unpaved roads. Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 95km) Private Vehicle (0.50-0.75 hours, 13km)
Day 10 San Ignacio Optional acitivities abound around San Ignacio. Choose to see the Mountain Pine Ridge area or take a day trip to the astounding Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. Explore the cave’s water systems using a helmet and headlamp. An experienced local guide will provide insight into the fascinating practices of the ancient Maya. Alternatively, opt for a trip to the impressive Maya ceremonial centre of Xunantunich. Getting there includes crossing a narrow river by a hand-cranked ferry.
Day 11 San Ignacio/Caye Caulker Caye Caulker is a relaxed and easy going island with friendly and welcoming local residents. Snorkel and dive boats leave daily for full- or half-day outings to the reef, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the Blue Hole and for manatee spotting tours. Try your hand fishing and be rewarded with a fresh catch, then barbecue it on the beach. Transport: Climb aboard and enjoy travel as the locals do. Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours, 123km) Water taxi (0.75-1.00 hours)
Day 12 Caye Caulker Opt to snorkel with stingrays, nurse sharks, and green turtles at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving in Blue Hole National Park, take a flight over the Blue Hole and coral reef, rent a bike, or just chill out, Belizean style.
Day 13 Caye Caulker/Playa del Carmen Head to Playa del Carmen, located on the beach just a 45-minute drive south of Cancún. Enjoy some nightlife, buy last minute souvenirs and relax and swim in the Caribbean. Just off the coast is the island of Cozumel, renowned for its world-class diving. Take the ferry from Playa del Carmen (30-75 mins depending on the boat) across the turquoise waters and explore the towns and the reefs of the island. For a final dose of ruins, Tulúm is just a 45-minute drive south of Playa. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Belize - Mexico) Transport: Water taxi (0.75-1.00 hours, 39km) Climb aboard and enjoy travel as the locals do. Local bus (3.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 313km)
Day 14 Playa del Carmen (1D) Enjoy a free day to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulúm, visit one of the many cenotes or the diving mecca of Cozumel. Enjoy dinner at a G Adventures-supported community restaurant with a youth-focused art program. Included Activities: El Hongo Mexican Community Restaurant & Youth Art Program
Day 15 Playa del Carmen Depart at any time. Additional Notes: Playa del Carmen is located just south of Cancún airport (45 mins) so you can head directly there without returning to Cancún.