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13 Day Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination - Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination

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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

DAY 1, Friday - Depart for Mexico
Bienvenidos! Welcome to buzzing Mexico City, Mexico a city with a storied history dating from pre-Hispanic to colonial-era and now one of the most contemporary and vivacious cities in Latin America; transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city's attractions including nearby Chapultepec park, an open green space in the heart of the city that bustles with local culture. Tonight, enjoy a Welcome Drink with your fellow travelers and Tour Manager and attend an orientation meeting about the exciting discovery of Mexico that lies ahead. We recommend that you select flights which arrive in your destination no later than 5 PM on Day 1 of the itinerary or earlier, if possible
Overnight: Mexico City

DAY 2, Saturday - Mexico City, Museum of Anthropology, Xochimilco
The morning starts with a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology, the largest and most visited museum in all of Mexico. Learn from the vast collection of archaeological treasures from pre-Hispanic civilizations before continuing to Xochimilco. The floating gardens or “Chinampas” of Xochimilco have been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exploring the canals offers a window into the past, while simultaneously enjoying the vibrant sounds and culture of Mexico today. After returning to the hotel the rest of the afternoon is yours to continue exploring. Tonight, a festive Welcome Dinner with traditional Mexican cuisine, caps the day
Overnight: Mexico City
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3, Sunday - Mexico City, Teotihuacan, Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The tour of the capital starts in the city center or Zocalo to view the famous murals of Mexico’s great artist, Diego Rivera inside the grand National Palace that depicts Mexican civilization from the arrival of Quetzalcóatl (the Aztec plumed serpent god) to the post-revolutionary period. Continue to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico’s most prominent pilgrimage site. Stop for lunch on the way to Teotihuacán, the impressive archaeological site that was once the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. Visit the Jaguar Temple before continuing to the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and the Avenue of the Dead flanked by temples and palaces. This evening is on your own to relax, or explore the eclectic gastronomy of Mexico City
Overnight: Mexico City
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4, Monday - Colonial Puebla
Leaving the city head for the charming Colonial town of Puebla. En route you may view the astonishing sight of the towering snow-capped volcanoes of La Malinche, Popocatepetl and Iztaccíhuatl. Arrive in the picturesque Centro Historico de Puebla. Admire gorgeous views of the stunning cathedral, a wealth of beautiful churches, and more than 1,000 colonial buildings adorned with the Talavera ceramic tiles for which the city is famous. With a long culinary history, you can expect a great lunch in Puebla. The afternoon is on your own to explore the city's charm and exquisite regional cuisine
Overnight: Puebla
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 5, Tuesday - Romantic Veracruz
This morning, continue your journey to romantic Veracruz. One of the largest and historically prominent ports in Mexico. It was founded by the conquistador Hernan Cortes upon his landing in the early 1500s. After lunch, take a walking tour of the bustling downtown. The evening is yours to enjoy vibrant main plaza, don’t be surprised to see serenading guitarists and marimba bands
Overnight: Veracruz
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 6, Wednesday - La Venta Park, Palenque
On the long drive from Veracruz to Palenque stop in Villahermosa’s intriguing outdoor La Venta park where you view the displayed giant Olmec heads from the settlement of La Venta. Enter through a zoo, devoted to animals and culture from Tabasco and other nearby regions. The Olmecs are known as the earliest major civilization in Mesoamerica. It has been proposed that people from Europe, Africa and Asia may have lived in this "new world" before it was even discovered by Columbus in 1492. Continue to the town of Palenque and check in at the hotel. Enjoy the many delightful amenities and get ready for tomorrow’s fascinating discoveries
Overnight: Palenque
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Thursday - Palenque, a National Treasure
One of the highlights of your Mexican journey is surely today's visit to the soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque, a national treasure! Abandoned for unknown reasons, the vast, mysterious and enchanting ruined city of Palenque is one of the most beautiful Mayan city-states in the world, declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. On your tour, see the highlights of this mystical site -- the Temple of the Cross Group, Temple of Inscriptions and the Grand Palace -- while you listen to sounds of howler monkeys in the distance. It was here that archaeologists discovered the tomb of the Mayan King Pakal. Today, Palenque is filled with hundreds of ruined buildings, huge stones and stucco pyramids with intricate carvings and hieroglyphs. Visit the treasure filled museum before returning to your hotel. Dinner this evening is a gastronomic experience in pre-Hispanic fusion cuisine
Overnight: Palenque
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Friday - Historic Campeche
Depart this morning for UNESCO World Heritage city of Campeche. Stop for lunch before arriving to the charming port town originally built as a walled fort to thwart pirate attacks. A walking tour this afternoon of the colonial-era city with baroque Spanish architecture, cobblestone streets and a charming historic district. In the evening, sample delicious Mexican and Spanish flavors at one of the town's select restaurants
Overnight: Campeche
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9, Saturday - Uxmal, Merida
Today, visit the archaeological site of Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, view the pyramids and temples that date back to 600 AD. Superb examples of Puuc style architecture can be seen at the terraced Governor's Palace with its 20,000 intricately carved stones that create an image of fine lace. Here, you also view the majestic Pyramid of the Magician and the four rectangular buildings of the Nunnery Quadrangle. After a lunch of local favorites, on to Mérida, one of the country's loveliest colonial cities for an orientation walk of the Centro Historico. The rest of the day is at leisure
Overnight: Merida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 10, Sunday - Explore Merida
Merida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatan Peninsula since its conquest by the Spanish. The exploration of the city begins at the Plaza de la Independencia, bordered by the fortress like 16th century Merida Cathedral that was built using relics from ancient Mayan temples. See the glories of the city’s distinctive architecture as you arrive at the ornate 15th century Casa Montejo, a former family mansion. Walk to the local gathering place at centralized Palacio de Gobierno; view the remarkable collection of murals depicting the conquest of the Yucatan. Time to wander on your own. Later, meet a local family in their home. Share a delectable home-cooked dinner and hear about local customs and daily life in Merida and Mexico
Overnight: Merida
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11, Monday - Travel to Chichen Itza
Continue exploring the Yucatan’s ancient and colonial towns today visiting vibrant Izamal. One of Mexico’s “Pueblos Magicos” or Magical Towns, Izamal is stunning both in the brilliant yellows which color the main square, but also the rich cultural ties that connect the past to the present. After lunch at a charming restaurant, stroll the picturesque central square, a spectacular colonial gem, with its rows of colorful historic buildings. Then on to Chichén Itzá, undoubtedly one of the "Seven Wonders of the World"
Overnight: Chichén Itzá
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12, Tuesday - Chichen Itza, Cancun
Today, rise early to visit the astonishing ruins of Chichén Itzá, considered the most famous and most spectacular of Mexico’s Mayan sites. This magnificent metropolis, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was the principle ceremonial center of the Yucatan. Learn about the fascinating history of Chichén Itzá and the unusual beliefs and rituals that defined this ancient Mayan civilization. The entire site is dominated by the towering walls of the dramatic Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo with its 365 steps—one built for each day of the year. Later on to Cancun, Mexico's vivacious resort city bordering the Caribbean Sea. Known for its white sand beaches and energetic nightlife. The rest of the day is yours to relax at the hotel's pools or, on the beautiful beaches. This evening bid adios to your newfound friends at tonight’s Farewell Dinner, -- share wonderful memories of the journey together through Mexico
Overnight: Cancun
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Wednesday - Depart Mexico
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Countries Visited

Mexico

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Inclusions

Package Includes

  • Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
  • Flights Miami-Mexico City, Cancun-Miami
    Other departure cities available.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 12 nights accommodations
  • 3 nights Mexico City
  • 1 night Puebla
  • 1 night Veracruz
  • 2 nights Palenque
  • 1 night Campeche
  • 2 nights Merida
  • 1 night Chichén Itzá
  • 1 night Cancun
  • Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
  • Hotel porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches & 5 dinners (including welcome and farewell dinners)
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern motor coach
  • Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
  • Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
  • Active itinerary with unique cultural features
  •  

    Tour HighlightsThanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.

  • Enjoy all of the delights of buzzing Mexico City one of the most vivacious cities in Latin America
  • Admire gorgeous views of the cathedral, beautiful churches and colonial buildings in Puebla
  • At the romantic plaza in Veracruz see strolling jarochos, guitarists and marimba bands
  • In Villa Hermosa, visit the intriguing park with giant 12-feet Olmec heads from La Venta
  • Visit the astonishing soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque, a national treasure!
  • Tour Campeche, a colonial city with baroque Spanish architecture and a walled historic district
  • At the dramatic archaeological site of Uxmal, view the pyramids and temples from 600 AD
  • Enjoy hospitality, a home-cooked dinner and conversation with a local family in Merida
  • View the distinctive architecture of Merida at the ornate 15th century Casa Montejo
  • Tour the wondrous ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • In magical Valladolid, stroll the picturesque square with its rows of colorful historic buildings
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Optional tours and gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.


    Accommodation Details:
    Triple rooms consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Accommodations

    Hotel Marquis Reforma
    This first class hotel is situated in Mexico City's financial district.

    Quinta Real Puebla
    This first class hotel is located in the historical city center of Puebla City.

    Gran Hotel Diligencias
    This first class hotel is situated nearby the Veracruz Cathedral.

    Hotel Villa Mercedes
    This tourist class hotel is a short drive away from the archaeological site of Palenque.

    Plaza Campeche
    This first class hotel is located in the historic city centre of Campeche.

    Hotel Casa del Balam
    This tourist class hotel is located in the city of Merida, nearby the Teatro Peon Contreras.

    Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows
    This tourist class hotel is located amidst the temples of Chichen Itza.

    Occidental Costa Cancun
    This first class hotel overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

    OR Call Us For a Free Quote 1-800-935-2620

    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Discovery By Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    4.3
    Accommodations
    4.2
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.6
    Repeat with Operator
    4.3
    Value for Money
    4.2

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    Ratings based off 270 reviews about Discovery By Gate1 Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

    This was a fantastic trip with varied activities and a superb tour guide.

    Exalent trip we are so pleased with the service we will call you to plan the next trip

    The Gate1 tour guide/managers were very knowledgeable, courteous, professional and entertaining.

    Gate 1's tour operators are very good. It is organized and follows the published itinerary. The hotels are nice and as described.

    Trip was great experience. Enjoyed the itinerary and tour manager.

    Great experience. Our personal guide very experienced and personal. First class hotels and great excursions.

    Our accommodations were excellent. The tour was fabulous. The logistics for booking and traveling were clear and easy.

    Everyone from our agent (Trena) to our our guide (Fred) were awesome. Would highly recommend gate 1 to any and all. Went above and beyond our expectations..JOB WELL DONE!!! Thanks for a great vacation..

    This was a great tour. All the places we visited were worth seeing, and the combination of activities was very good.

    The rooms, the meals, the bus, and the tour guide were superior. The tour was more than expected. All our questions and needs were met. The whole operation was well managed and smooth.

    The itinerary, scenic country, food, tour guide and accommodations were all wonderful. We had an amazing time and enjoyed it very much.

    The tour was very well organized, the tour director was very knowledgeable and courteous. Hotels were very nice and were conveniently located near City centers.

    Fabulous scenery everywhere; WONDERFULLY helpful and knowledgeable tour guide and bus driver!! Loved tbis itinerary!


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