Join locally raised host Manuel Hernandez in an exploration of Yucatan. One of Mexico’s most exciting cultural destinations, the Yucatan offers something for every interest: breath-taking natural wonders, the fascinating history of the Mayan people, lively cultural calendar, and exciting gastronomical scene. You will explore charming pueblos where Mestizos still don Huipils and Guayaberas (traditional Yucatecan attire) daily, and world-class cities with streets full of colourful Colonial houses; flamingo nesting grounds and other-worldly cenotes (underground swim holes); the well-preserved and majestic ruins of this complex and influential ancient civilization, surrounded by idyllic and undiscovered Emerald-green Gulf beaches. Ancient Mayan civilization was a very advanced society, whose many customs are still in daily use and evidence today. One of these great legacies is Mayan cuisine. Distinctive from traditional Mexican cuisine, Yucatecan cooking draws heavily on native Mayan traditions and techniques, relying on ingredients native to the region, and revealing the strong European mark of its Colonial history as well as the influence of nearby Caribbean cultures. Smoky hot chiles, the aroma of cooking in outdoor pips, sour orange and lime laced salsas, dark mysterious recados, and fresh juices made of native fruits feature heavily on local menus ranging from modest street stalls to elegant eateries serving exciting fusion cuisine. In today’s Yucatan, tradition and modernity walk hand-in-hand: awe-inspiring ancient ruins, picturesque Colonial architecture, and all the comforts of modern life coexisting in beautiful harmony. It won’t take long to discover why so many visitors to Yucatan end up coming back again and again!
April 4 to 11, 2020
$2,499 based on two sharing
Price per person land only $2,499 based on two sharing. Not included: Airfare, travel insurance, personal expenses, meals not mentioned in the Itinerary, and tipping. Single supplement $599.00. Hold your space with a $500.00 non-refundable deposit.
Your package includes:
- 7 nights’ Accommodation in 4-star+ hotels
- Meals as noted in the itinerary
- Tours described in the program
- Multilingual professional tour guides
- A locally raised Host Guide for the entire duration
- Group arrival and departure transfers
Day 1 Canada-Cancun
Arrive in Cancun. Transfer to hotel for check-in, then enjoy the city at your leisure.
Day 2 Chichen Itza-Ik Kil-Valladolid (B, L)
Your first day of exploration will include the iconic Chichen-Itza ruins, one of the 7 Wonders of the World and an important archaeological site for the Mayan people. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the ethereal beauty and cool waters of Cenote Ik Kil, which features hanging vines and small waterfalls. You will continue on to the beautiful town of Valladolid, where you will spend the night. Admire the mixture of colonial, Mayan and contemporary architecture, and explore the thriving arts and culinary scenes of this hidden gem of the Yucatan and one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Magicos”.
Day 3 Rio Lagartos-Izamal-Merida (B, L)
Your first glimpse of the Gulf Coast takes you to Rio Lagartos, a small fishing village which is the gateway to a stunning nature preserve where flamingos and other birds nest. You will embark on a boat trip through this natural paradise where you can see many animal species, and end with a healing mud bath in local white clay.
You will enjoy freshly caught seafood at a local restaurant before continuing to the historical town of Izamal. Famous for its entirely yellow buildings, there are several ancient pyramids right in the centre of this town! Your day finishes in the vibrant city of Merida, the capital city of Yucatan and your base for the next 4 days of exploration.
Day 4 Merida (B)
Your first day in Merida will start with a visit to several fresh food markets in Centro, including Lucas de Galvez. You will navigate it’s colorful and wonderfully chaotic aisles of fresh produce while your guide describes each ingredient and its role in Mayan cuisine. You will be able to sample some of these items as you go, and your tour will finish with a tasting of several typical dishes at a popular market eatery.
Afterwards, explore Merida at your leisure. Learn why it’s been awarded the title of “Cultural Capital of the Americas” for several years by enjoying some of the free cultural events that occur nightly in the many neigborhood squares. Most squares feature a Cathedral and a market ringed by eateries serving inexpensive and authentic local meals.
Day 5 Sisal (B, L)
After breakfast at your hotel, you will head to the charming fishing village of Sisal, located on the beautiful Emerald Coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Sisal is also home to some of the most diverse and untouched ecosystems on the peninsula.
You will explore the mangroves by guided canoe, and take a refreshing swim in a natural swimhole.
Sisal is home to hundreds of bird species including the flamingo, and these nonmotorized, non-invasive tours are one of the strongest Ethical CommunityTourism Projects in the Yucatan.
Day 6 Uxmal-Hacienda Yaxcopoil (B, L)
Your day begins at Uxmal, one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mayan Kingdom. You can climb some of the awe-inspiring pyramids and gaze at the incredibly preserved remnants of this amazing ancient culture. After recharging with a traditional Yucatecan meal, you will visit nearby Hacienda Yaxcopoil. A former cattle ranch and henequen plantation dating back to the 17th Century, at its height it covered 22,000 acres and was one of the most important rural estates in Yucatan. Today, the grounds take up only 3% of it’s original size but it’s considered the best-preserved unrestored Hacienda in the Yucatan and has been the location of several films. Many nearby Haciendas have been restored for hotels or museums.
Day 7 Merida-Tulum-Cancun (B, L)
Head back to Quintana Roo to visit the beautiful beach town of Tulum. You can relax and enjoy the turquoise beaches of the Caribbean coast, reputed to be some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
The Mesoamerican reef is just steps offshore and offers a stunning variety of colourful fish and sea life for curious snorkellers. You may also choose to visit the nearby ruins, which can be seen from the beach. You will return to Cancun, where you will spend your last night.
Day 8 Cancun-Canada
Transfer to airport and return flight home to Canada.
To book contact:
Departures Travel 1889 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria BC V8R 1C6
105 – 2506 Beacon Ave. Sidney BC V8L 1Y2
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.