Through The Domain Of Quetzalcoatl

History & Heritage Of Mexico's Maya World

Yucatan & Campeche, Yucatan Peninsula

Duration: 9 nights

Price: From £4,900 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers and taxes

Mexico’s Mayan history provides some of the country’s most evocative images, with ancient pyramids rising through thick jungles, grisly sacrifices, and mysterious apocalyptic calendars (or not). This itinerary is for you if you’re interested in exploring the world of the Mayans with exclusive experiences and guided tours, while staying in fantastic hotels set in historic, restored haciendas steeped in character. You’ll begin – where else – at Chichen Itza, the most famous of the Mayan archaeological sites and one of the world’s top bucket list destinations. Next up you’ll visit indigenous villages and more ruins at Uxmal, Edzna and Calakmul, before ending your journey in the beautiful city of Campeche, famous for its beautiful colonial architecture.
Perfect forHistory fans and anyone wanting to learn more about the fascinating Mayan culture
In the knowCombine Mayan history with beach relaxation in Tulum, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Best for

  • First-timers
  • History & Heritage
  • Cultural Immersion

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Itinerary details

Valladolid

1 nightVALLADOLID

Where better to begin your journey through the world of the Maya than with a visit to their most famous symbol? Chichen Itza is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and this remarkably preserved set of ruins was once one of the largest Mayan cities. Its icons include the El Castillo pyramid, which casts a shadow like a crawling snake twice a year on the equinoxes; and the Great Ball Court, which played host to a mysterious ballgame speculated to have involved the severed heads of sacrificial victims. You’ll spend a night at Hacienda Chichen, an eco-hotel with a strongly Mayan aesthetic and unrivalled access to Chichen Itza – there’s a gate into the ruins in the hotel gardens.
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San Jose de Cholul

2 nightsSAN JOSE DE CHOLUL

Your next stop is Hacienda San Jose, an atmospheric property around an hour’s drive away. The hotel is housed in a colonial plantation house and has been restored into a comfortable boutique hotel while remaining steeped in historic character. You’ll embark on a guided tour to the nearby town of Izamal, famous for its striking egg yolk-yellow buildings, where Mayan, Spanish and contemporary Mexican influences abound; today, Mayan languages are spoken here as much as Spanish. You’ll also visit the beautiful colonial city of Merida, where beautiful leafy avenues are lined with opulent Spanish mansions.
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Santa Rosa

2 nightsSANTA ROSA

Next up, you’ll visit Santa Rosa, an area a couple of hours’ drive west which is famous for its Mayan ruins. You’ll visit local Mayan communities and have the chance to pick up the perfect souvenir in the form of some local handicrafts, before exploring the Mayan site of Uxmal. Famous for its smooth-walled pyramids, this is one of the most significant Mayan ruins. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a private lunch at Hacienda Xocnaceh, a former cattle ranch and agave farm. Your home for two nights in Santa Rosa is Hacienda Santa Rosa, a luxury hotel in a former nobleman’s estate dating back to the 17th century.
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Uayamon

2 nightsUAYAMON

The next leg of your journey sees you staying in another historic hacienda, Uayamon, which dates back 300 years and retains some of its crumbling original walls around the swimming pool. The nearby Mayan ruins of Edzna exhibits several architectural styles over a long period, and also shows how advanced the Mayans’ water engineering was. Calakmul, also in this region, is another impressive Mayan site, with its huge pyramids rising out of a thick jungle. Back at the hotel, Uayamon’s chef will share the secrets of Yucatan cuisine in a cooking class, teaching you to cook traditional recipes before you enjoy the fruits of your labour.
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Campeche

2 nightsCAMPECHE

Your final stop is the historic city of Campeche, a picture-postcard colonial city and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll spend two nights at Hacienda Puerta Campeche, a collection of pastel-hued colonial houses near the old city walls, which date back to the 17th century and have been lovingly restored into a five-star hotel. A guided tour of Campeche will teach you all about the city’s colourful history as one of Mexico’s most important ports, its colonial occupation, and how its city walls were built as a defence against encroaching pirates. The city’s most striking feature is its beautiful colonial architecture, and a walking tour should take in the Plaza Principal, the cathedral, and the 16th-century Church of San Francisco – one of the oldest in the Americas. To go even further back in time, head to the Museum of Mayan Architecture, where you can learn more about the archaeological sites around Campeche.
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Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

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