Mayan Trail

Classic, Playa del Carmen to Antigua Guatemala

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Ditch the tourist resorts of Cancún and embark on an authentic adventure that will take you from spectacular Mayan ruins to the cobblestoned streets of colonial towns and deep into the jungle of Mexico. Explore the ancient ruins at Chichén Itzá and Palenque and meet the descendants of those who built them in the vibrant streets and colourful markets of picturesque Mayan towns. Get your camera out — you're going to need it!

What’s included

  • G Adventures for Good: Posadas Mayas Homestay, San Juan La Laguna Carte Blanche: Mérida Carte Blanche: San Cristóbal de Las Casas
  • Chichén Itzá guided tour
  • Mérida orientation walk
  • Palenque guided tour
  • Roberto Barrios waterfall visit
  • San Cristóbal de las Casas orientation walk
  • Lake Atitlán boat tour
  • Antigua orientation walk
  • Free time in Mérida and San Cristóbal de las Casas
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Explore the ruins of chichén itzá and palenque
  • Get lost wandering colonial san cristobal de las casas and antigua
  • Cool off with a swim at roberto barrios waterfall
  • Bargain at colourful local markets

Itinerary

Day 1 Playa del Carmen As travellers arrive throughout the day, there are no planned activities until the welcome meeting in the evening. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Playa del Carmen/Mérida Depart Playa del Carmen and head to the famous Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá for a guided tour. Spend time exploring this famous site, known for its huge stepped pyramids and elaborate stone carvings. Continue on to Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán State, and take a short orientation walk. Also known as la ciudad blanca (the white city), Mérida offers the ideal opportunity to learn about Mexico’s fascinating mix of cultural influences. 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 The area surrounding Mérida has tons to offer. Choose to visit nearby cenotes (water sink holes) in the town of Cuzamá. Inside, swim in the massive crystal-clear sinkholes. Transportation to the cenotes is half the fun, taking small wooden horse-drawn carts along old rail tracks. Opt to visit ruins in Uxmal, ride the PUUC Route or go bird-watching. There's something for everyone.
Day 4 Mérida/Palenque After a long day of travel, arrive to Palenque. Enjoy a 2-night stay inside the national park in a jungle lodge. The lodge is quite close to the town, the ruins and the museum and offers a restaurant and bar on the grounds. Transport: First-class buses in Mexico have very strong air-conditioning. Bring a sweater. First-class bus (9.00-10.00 hours, 620km)
Day 5 Palenque Enjoy a guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Palenque. After, go for a swim in the pristine turquoise waters of Roberto Barrios waterfall. Included Activities: Palenque Ruins Guided Tour Roberto Barrios Waterfalls
Day 6 Palenque/San Cristóbal de Las Casas Continue out of the jungle to San Crístóbal De Las Casas, located in a high mountain valley at 2110m (6921 ft). Enjoy an orientation walk of the city, known for its 16th century architecture. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 220km)
Day 7 San Cristóbal de Las Casas Opt to visit nearby indigenous Mayan villages to see their unique day-to-day life or journey to beautiful Sumidero Canyon for a relaxing boat ride.
Day 8 San Cristóbal de Las Casas/Panajachel The first stop in Guatemala is on beautiful Lake Atitlán. Stay in Panajachel, a lakeshore town surrounded by spectacular volcanoes and small villages. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Mexico - Guatemala) Transport: Private Vehicle (10.00-12.00 hours, 380km)
Day 9 Panajachel/San Juan La Laguna (1D) Embark on a boat ride across the lake before participating in a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. This area is known for stunning scenery and great shopping for Mayan handicrafts. Opt to bargain for colourful textiles and paintings at the lake's many villages. Included Activities: Posadas Mayas Homestay Transport: Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 10 Antigua With so much to do in this charming colonial city, we highly recommend booking post accommodation. Optional activities for the area include a city tour, salsa dancing classes, a Guatemalan cooking class, or relaxing with a massage. Further afield you can rent bikes and ride through the hills, visit a macadamia nut farm or check out some nearby villages. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km) Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 11 Antigua Guatemala We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this charming city. Additional Notes: Guatemala City is a one hour transfer away. Your tour leader can help you to arrange a transfer from Antigua directly to the airport in Guatemala City, so you do not have to spend more time than necessary in Guatemala's capital.
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