Corncobs & Cloudforest

Mexico In Depth

Mexico City & Around, Riviera Maya, Southern Mexico, Yucatan & Campeche

Duration: 17 nights

Price: From £6,150 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

From bustling megacities to crumbling beachfront temples, and mist-shrouded cloud forests to indigenous highland towns, Mexico has so much to offer – and this itinerary takes in all that and more. It is perfect for style-conscious travellers who want to take in a wide range of experiences while staying in cool, one-off hotels – along the way, you’ll lay your head in boutique urban boltholes, rustic-chic jungle hideaways, and converted colonial haciendas. Beginning in Mexico City, you’ll soak up the history and culture of the capital before exploring Mesoamerican ruins and tasting mezcal in Oaxaca. Then it’s on to the highland town of San Cristobal, where you’ll explore cloud forests and visit indigenous towns, before discovering more ancient ruins – first at Palenque, and then at the iconic Chichen Itza. Your journey ends on Mexico’s beautiful Caribbean coast, with four nights on the beach at Tulum.
Perfect forNature lovers, culture vultures and would-be archaeologists.
In the knowConsider extending your time in the Yucatan peninsula to include yet more beachside fun on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Best for

  • First-timers
  • History & Heritage
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Off the Beaten Track

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details

Mexico City

2 nightsMEXICO CITY

Your journey begins in Mexico City, an amplification and celebration of everything this country has to offer. A walking tour of the city’s colonial heart should start in the main square of the Zocalo, taking in the vast Metropolitan Cathedral and the Templo Mayor, a ruined Aztec temple in the heart of the city. You should also pay a visit to the Palace of Fine Arts, a beautiful building combining neoclassical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, which hosts performances of the famous Folkloric Ballet. Your home for two nights in Mexico City is the fantastic La Valise, a boutique hotel in the trendy Colonia Roma district surrounded by contemporary art galleries and designer boutiques.
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3 nightsOAXACA

Next up, you’ll take an hour-long flight to Oaxaca, a fantastic region where rich indigenous and colonial cultures meet. A half-day guided tour of Oaxaca City will take you through cobbled streets and pleasant squares to the city’s market, where you can munch on grasshoppers, try Oaxaca cheese, and pick up some local handicrafts as a souvenir. The nearby archaeological site of Mitla is famous for its intricate mosaics, unique among Mesoamerican sites. The surrounding region is also known for its mezcal production, which you can learn all about – and taste, of course – with a tour of local distilleries. Your home for three nights in Oaxaca is Casa Oaxaca, a stylish boutique hotel in the heart of the city.
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San Cristobal

3 nightsSAN CRISTOBAL

Your next stop is San Cristobal de las Casas, a highland town in southern Mexico. You can explore the red-tiled roofs and winding cobbled streets of San Cristobal on a guided tour, taking in the pretty churches and market squares of this charming town. Nearby, you can pay a visit to indigenous towns such as San Juan Chamula, where the fascinating fusion of pre-Hispanic and Catholic rituals can be observed in the local church. To pick up an eye-catching souvenir, continue on to San Lorenzo Zinacantan, a colourful town prized for its red, blue and purple textiles. You’ll spend three nights in San Cristobal at Hotel Bo, a trendy, modern boutique a short walk from the town centre. The countryside surrounding San Cristobal is famous for its cloud forests, where low-lying clouds shroud the jungle in mist.
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Palenque

2 nights PALENQUE

Ancient Mayan history awaits you in your next stop, Palenque, around four hours’ drive from San Cristobal. On the way, you’ll stop off at the beautiful Misol Ha waterfalls, a serene spot which is perfect for a cooling swim; movie buffs may recognise it from the ‘80s classic Predator. Your base for this leg of the journey is Quinta Chanabnal, a beautiful jungle hideaway just a few kilometres from the Palenque ruins. Dating back as far as the 3rd century BC, the site is smaller than the likes of Chichen Itza but is no less fascinating, and contains some of the finest Mayan sculpture and carving anywhere.
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San Jose De Cholul

3 nightsSAN JOSE DE CHOLUL

Your next stop is the boutique Hacienda San Jose in the Yucatan peninsula, accessible by a short flight and road transfer. The undisputed star attraction in this part of the country is perhaps Mexico’s most famous tourist attraction: the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this remarkably preserved set of ruins dates back 1500 years, and provides a fascinating snapshot of the mysterious Mayan culture. Also nearby is the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, a beautiful protected area of wetlands home to thousands of pink flamingos; wildlife lovers will enjoy spotting them during a boat ride on the saltwater lagoons.
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Tulum

4 nightsTULUM

The final leg of your journey sees you enjoying four nights of beachfront relaxation on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, at the lovely Jashita Hotel. The hotel has its own white sand beach and is surrounded by the unspoilt beauty of the Sian K’an Reserve, where there are yet more wildlife watching opportunities: monkeys, dolphins, sea turtles and jaguars all live here. If Mitla and Chichen Itza have whet your appetite for history, a short drive down the coast lie the ruins of Tulum, one of the last cities of the Maya. With a picturesque location overlooking the sea, the ruins make for an atmospheric afternoon’s exploration.
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
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  • May
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  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
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