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Essential Yucatan (5 days)
Overview Programme Included Gallery Map of the Circuit FAQ Bookings & Questions
Overview
This tour is aimed at those who want to:
  • Discover ancient sites and cultures
  • Enjoy the wildlife and beautiful natural environment of this area
  • Explore Colonial towns
  • Get to know traditions and different life styles
  • Sample the delights of the famous local foods
Activities will include:
  • Climbing Mayan pyramids
  • Swimming in cenotes
  • Boating through mangroves
  • Walking through leafy towns
  • Relaxing on white, sandy beaches
Day Destination Type Overnight
  1 Merida Cuisine, Traditions & Colonial Merida
  2 Uxmal & Chocolate Museum Archaeology & Eco-Museum Merida
  3 Celestun Wildlife, Nature & Beach Merida
  4 Chichen Itza, Cenote & Valladolid Archaeology, Nature & Colonial Valladolid
  5 Ek Balam & Cenote Archaeology & Nature NA
Programme
Day 1: Arrival. Your driver-guide will meet you and welcome you to Merida     Start: Merida - Overnight: Merida
Merida. This colonial city has more 450 years of history and is one of the cultural capitals of Mexico. You can stroll around this beautiful city with its elegant European style mansions and its leafy parks and squares.
You can admire the many buildings of architectural and historical interest such as the famous Cathedral, the oldest in the Americas, the barroco and spanish style house of Francisco de Montejo who was the founder of the city and the elegant Paseo de Montejo Boulevard which has houses in French, English and Italian styles.
Merida is also famous for its wonderful cuisine, which is a mix of Mayan, european and caribbean food. The city enjoys the reputation of being a peaceful place with warm and friendly people.
Day 2: Uxmal and Chocolate Museum     Start: 8:00 AM / Merida - Overnight: Merida
Uxmal. One of the most beautiful archaeological sites of the Mayan culture and considered an architectural treasure. The remarkable decoration and great size of its structures will remind you of the rich and elegant baroque style of colonial times.
You can admire hundreds of well decorated faces of the raingod, who seems to be taking care of the site, the impressive pyramid of the magician, who according to the legend, was a dwarf who built the pyramid in only one night to become ruler of the city, the square of the nuns, which is considered the most remarkable and elegant example of the fine Mayan architecture and the Governor's Palace, the most important and biggest structure in Uxmal, from where you can have an amazing view of the entire city and the stunning rainforest.
Chocolate Museum. This is a unique eco-museum where we can learn about the close relationship of the Mayas to cocoa, the cocoa varieties and the importance of chocolate in the world today. We also will see some animals of the area such as the amazing jaguar, crocodiles, monkeys and deer.
We will take part in a mystical mayan ceremony dedicated to the raingod to ask for rain as well as the preparation and tasting of the authentic mayan chocolate drink and finally we will taste some mayan chocolate mixed with local ingredients.
Day 3: Celestun     Start: 8:00 AM / Merida - Overnight: Merida
Celestun. This is one of the most beautiful and important nature reserves in Mexico. It is home to the famous and elegant pink flamingo as well as a wide variety of herons, ducks, eagles and various mammals.
We will take a boat tour across the estuary to observe the rich diversity of wildlife and nature; the birds in their natural habitats, a very lush and scary tunnel of mangrove trees and some springs, etc.
Later we will enjoy the beautiful white, sandy beaches of Celestun which are excellent for swimming and also have the opportunity to appreciate the delicious variety of seafood and fish dishes.
Day 4: Chichen Itza, Xkeken Cenote and Valladolid     Start: 8:00 AM / Merida - Overnight: Valladolid
Chichen Itza. The most famous and mystical of the Mayan cities as well as the New Wonder of the World. Chichen Itza seems to have been there forever and yet even today amazing new discoveries are being made about its past history. It was once the most powerful city in the Maya area being the military, commercial and religious capital of the area.
We will admire the pyramid of Kukulcan, its most iconic structure, which was a place of worship and also used as a defence structure by the conquistadors and finally restored by archaeologists. We will also know the great ball court, where the winning captain used to offer his life to the Mayan gods. The mystical sacred cenote, where archaeologists have found hundreds of gold, jade and silver presents to kukulcan, the most important god in Chichen Itza and represented as a feather snake.
Cenotes. These are the hidden gems of the Yucatan Peninsula. They are magical, natural fresh water pools found in secret, underground caverns which allow a perfect place for a refreshing swim. The word comes from the Maya dzonot meaning ”well with fresh water” and were considered by the Maya as sacred places.
We will visit Xkeken cenote which is one of the most beautiful in the Yucatan. To get to this cenote we will use a small hole in the ground then go down some stairs to discover dramatic formations of rocks, stunning transparent waters of a blue colour and a ray of light from a small hole on the surface. This gives a mystical and unique experience to visiting this cenote.
Valladolid. Colonial city with more than 450 years of history and like many other cities in Mexico, it was founded on a former Mayan site. Valladolid has the category of Magical Town of Mexico due to the production of handicrafts such as hammocks and embroideries, its fine cuisine, its elegant spanish architecture and its local traditions.
We will admire its leafy main square, its elegant cathedral with some mayan details on the facade, its impressive convent, San Bernardino de Siena, which was once used as a prison for pirates, its elegant Calzada de los Frailes Hall, where we can find nice cafes, handicraft shops and the elegant colourful facades.
Day 5: Ek Balam and Xcanche Cenote     Start: 8:00 AM / Valladolid - Overnight: NA
Ek Balam. It was conceived as an artistic fortress and although its duration was short, had notable advances in art, architecture and social organisation. This city had 3 walls as protection and inside flourished a great amount of art in painting and fine decoration on stone and stucco.
We will see a royal Mayan tomb, which is decorated like an enormous mouth of a jaguar and belonged to the most important ruler who made this into a great city, called Ukit kan. We will climb several pyramids including one of the highest in the Yucatan, called the acropolis, with an amazing view of the entire city and the vast rainforest of the area. Also we will see the impressive decoration of the royal tomb, the ball court, and many other details that make this Mayan city unique.
Xcanche Cenote. An amazing open cenote and an oasis in the midlle of the rainforest. It is sorrounded by lush vegatation and transparent green coloured water. We will get to the cenote from the Mayan site by tricitaxi, which is an interesting adaptation of a bike to take a couple of people while another is driving, a very funny and daring experience. This cenote offers the chance to try some other activities such as biking, zip line and rappel.
What is included?
Included
  • Accommodation for 4 nights in a 3 or 4 star hotel with american breakfast
  • Private service of official guide-driver throughout the trip
  • Transfer from the airport or terminal upon arrival in Merida
  • Entrance fee to the sites specified in the programme
  • Lunches (in previously selected places)
Not Included
  • Entrance fees not specified in the programme
  • Dinners, drinks
  • Tips
Gallery
Map of the Circuit
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to travel to Mexico?
November to March are the favourite months to visit Mexico when the weather is cooler. April to May are much warmer months and although June to October is the rainy season it can still be a pleasant time to travel since it only rains in the afternoons for a short time. This keeps temperature cooler and the country greener.
Are there specific dates for the circuit?
No. You can choose the date that best suits you.
Can I start the circuit from another city, for example Cancun?
Yes. You can start from Cancun or another city of the Mexican Caribbean, Playa del Carmen or Tulum.
Can I modify the circuit to have more or less days or visit more or less places?
Yes you can. The circuits are private and may have modifications according to your needs.
Can I decide not to include the food and eat on my own?
Yes. We include the food for convenience but you can eliminate this service and eat where you decide.
What extra expenses can I have?
The service does not include drinks, tips and personal expenses. Mexico is a cheap country compared to US or Europe.
Is there vegetarian and/or vegan food in Mexico?
We have vegetarian dishes. However, due to the nature of vegan food it is more difficult to obtain, but there are at least 1 or 2 dishes.
Are the services accredited by the Department of Tourism of Mexico?
Yes. All the services we offer (transportation, driver and guide) are official and registered by the Department of Tourism of Mexico.
Bookings and Questions
Book your circuit and please contact us if you have any questions

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