There are well kept secrets in Mexico, some of them fascinating places that have never been told.
A country of turquoise crystal waters in Caribbean Sea and wild beaches and powerful waves in the Pacif. Of pinkish waters lagoons, waterfalls in long valleys with translucid waters and lakes that glow in the night. An extraordinary biodiversity. Whale-sharks and flamingos in the golf of Mexico, turtles in the Pacific Ocean and so many other in the jungle.
A country of ancient and untouchable cultures. Elegant and colourful colonial cities in Chiapas and Oaxaca and a busy, polluted and culturally exhilarating capital. Small villages with religious rituals that are a truly mistery. Mayan, Zapotec and Aztec ruins with an unique culture value. With an indescribable artistic legacy by the hands of Frida Kahlo. And, of authentic flavours, from the traditional dishes of tacos, quesadillas and moles, natural and tasty cocoa and coffee and the famous drinks of tequila and mezcal.
Forget about the bad reputation of Mexico and fall in love with the secrets of this mysterious country.
- Discover the legacy of Frida Kahlo in Mexico City;
- Get lost in the eccentric and diverse flavours of Mexican cuisine in Oaxaca;
- Explore the colonial city of San Cristobal de Las Casas and its surrounding traditional villages;
- Immerse yourself in cenotes and in the pristine waters of the Caribbean
Day 1 – Arrival in Mexico Citysee
Welcome to Mexico!
Mexico City is a reflection of all the diversity the we find throughout the trip: wealth and poverty, old and new, beaches and mountains, glories and tragedies, refinement and simplicity, pyramids and skyscrapers, catholicism and mysterious religious practices.
Our meeting will be at the end of the day, for a small introduction to the Mexican cuisine.
Day 2 – Mexico Citysee
On this first day we will have your first lesson about Mexico culture through the Museum of Anthropology. This is an important point to discover Mexico. This will be the first step and a deep immersion in the ancestral cultures that we will see throughout our trip.
During the afternoon we go to Coyoacán or "Land of Coyotes" was a city on the shores of Lake Texcoco connected by a bridge to the capital Tenochtitlán. When the Spanish invaded Mexico, they set up their headquarters here, awaiting the construction of the city. Over time, the city was absorbed by the expansion of the metropolis, but remains a quiet area with a conserved colonial architecture. The visit to the Blue House, Frida Kahlo Museum, takes us through the depths of her life and work.
If you still have energy we can celebrate the day in this magnificent city!
Dia 3 - Mexico Citysee
Early morning we will visit the Teotihuacan Ruins. If you like panoramic views and want to make this an unforgettable day, I suggest you a balloon ride before we start the visit to the archaeological park.
Teotihuacán was the largest ancestral city and Mexican capital during the Pre-Hispanic period. It is impossible to remain indifferent to this magnificent empire, in which you can get lost. We will visit the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon, the Citadel and many other places. We will also discover some of the most amazing knowledge of the Aztec civilization. This is one of the highlights of our trip!
In the afternoon we return to Mexico City and prepare your bags to flight to Oaxaca ( flight of about 1 hour).
Day 4 - Oaxacasee
Are you excited? You should be! We just arrives one of the most famous places in Mexico, Oaxaca. A cultural and gastronomic capital with a colonial core of streets shaded by trees. Artists and artisans are inspired by its creative atmosphere, indigenous traditions and bright and clear light.
Today we take the chance to visit a social project that we support. It will take you into two communities approximately 25-40 minutes outside of Oaxaca to meet great and entrepreneurs women. You will hear about the projects, learn about their community, and have a chance to ask any questions you may have about how it all works. At the end, they will serve us a delicious lunch at home. It will provide you with an authentic taste of Oaxacan cuisine.
During the afternoon we will explore the city center. Oaxaca has museums, charming guesthouses, extraordinary markets and a peculiar cuisine, which attracts many curious. Here, you will feel a relaxed pace, full of colours and party in the main avenues, especially in Zocálo.
Meals: breakfast and lunch
Day 5 – Oaxacasee
Today you can explore the city by your own. I recommend you to travel to Hierve de Agua. Located in the valleys of Oaxaca, the thermal waters descend through the cliffs to the clear rocky terraces, where the water has an amazing turquoise color. An idyllic place on the mountain, where we can relaxe in the water, watching the breathtaking scenery over the valley. Or, a visit to the archaeological park Monte Albán to get know a little more about the Zapoteca civilization.
In the afternoon, I'll wait for you in the center of Oaxaca for an excursion through some of the city's unique places, inviting you to discover new palates.
We leave Oaxaca on a night bus to San Cristobal de las Casas, where we arrived about 12 hours later.
Accommodation: night bus
Day 6 - San Cristobal de las Casassee
Today we arrive at San Cristobal de Las Casas, on a journey through winding roads. Located in a valley of the high lands of Chiapas, it has low houses, cobbled streets and fresh courtyards in resemblance to the old colonial Spanish houses. It is one of the most popular southern Mexican destinations and we stroll around its streets absorbing its vibration of an international and cosmopolitan city.
We will walk around the city through some squares, point views and the craft market. At the end, we go to an artisanal chocolate shop to learn a little about the history of cocoa in the Chiapas region and learn the main benefits of this superfood. We finish the day with a hot chocolate between 70 and 100% cocoa, prepared with finesse and flavored typical Mexican spices.
Accommodation: hostel (shared bathroom)
Day 7 - San Cristobal de las Casassee
There are some indigenous communities around San Cristobal de las Casas, namely Tsotiles and Tseltales. In total there are 8 ethnic groups plus the Zapatista movement. In the valleys of Chiapas, there are traditions that remain a secret to the world. Today will be a day to awaken to this region's oldest traditions.
In a local transport, we go to Chamula. After crossing the main avenue to visit the traditional Handicraft Market, we arrive at the San Juan church, painted in white and carved with flowery arches in green and yellow colours. Inside, the floor is covered with herbs and the incense creates the ideal atmosphere for religious rituals. Here, we will eventually witness the sacrifice of a chicken or the fluttering blow with coca-cola to believers who need to ward off evil spirits.
Back in the city, the rest of the day is free.
Accommodation: hostel (shared bathroom)
Day 8 - Palenquesee
We leave San Cristobal de las Casas early morning to travel till Palenque. We go directly to your jungle accomodation and as soon as possible, we visit the archaeological ruins of Palenque, a UNESCO World Heritage since 1987. An ancestral city immersed in the jungle, formed by a group of about 500 buildings that occupy an area of more than 15 km.
Palenque was discovered in 1773 by Spanish captains who came in search of fine woods. As they began to explore the region, they realized that the woods were on top of old buildings. Excavations took a long time and many of the pyramids were discovered in the mid of XX century. The Temple of the Inscriptions, for example, where 3 trays were found with 619 hieroglyphs, was discovered in 1952. Other buildings, such as the Temple of La Reina Roja and the Tomb of the Dead, were discovered more recently by Mexican archaeologists in 1994 and 1993. Involved by a dense jungle, it is believed that much remains to be discovered, and perhaps even indigenous communities.
After this trip to the Mayan heritage, it’s time to rest and enjoy the peace that the jungle offers us.
Day 9 - Palenquesee
Today is a beautiful day for an adventure at Roberto Barrios waterfalls. First, we will visit a Zapatista village, where we have contact with its philosophy of life and political importance in the region. Then, we will walk though the jungle until we discovered the green waters of the Roberto Barrios waterfall. With a local guide, we dived into caves, we can jump from big rocks or just appreciate the view. It will be a well spent day!
Back to Palenque, it's time to rest a bit because at night we leave to Merida.
Accommodation: night bus
Day 10 - Méridasee
We will arrive at Merida in the morning. In the morning, we walk along the colonialist, cosmopolitan and gastronomic capital of Yucatan region.
We arrived in the early morning, but full of energy. Take your time to feel the life of this vibrant city that never sleeps. Pass through Independence Square, where you can see the Cathedral, the Government Palace, the Council and Montejo House and stop to listening the music at the square.
At night, and if there is some energy, we explore the nightlife of Merida. The Cantinas were in the past traditional bars, exclusively for men. Actually they have been reinvented and are cultural spaces where salsa animates the warm nights of the city.
Day 11 - Mérida, Uxmalsee
Uxmal was one of the major Mayan cities, influencing trade flows throughout the region. Stop in front of the Adivino, built in the classic Mayan period between 250dC to 295dC, with more than 13 levels of height and where a simple clap makes a magnificent sound of birds. Then cross the pyramidal corridors to observe other palaces and climb to the pyramids. Take a look at the architecture’s details, the representations of the winds, storms and hurricanes. Accompanied by a guide, we discover the Mayan culture in rituals between the underworld and upper world, ending with a show of lights telling the history, beliefs and traditions of this enigmatic civilization.
We will have time to swim in one of the beautiful cenotes. Cenotes are natural pools formed by the collapse of porous limestone layers. Magical places of clear and deep water, great for refreshing and gaining energy.
Day 12 - Isla Holboxsee
Early in the morning we head to Isla Holbox.
We just arrive to the last stop! A tropical paradise in Mexican Golf. Enjoy your time to arrest from this Mexican crazy adventure!
At the end of the day, we will cycle through its sandy streets, in a colorful environment without cars, we cross the island from coast to coast, enjoying its nature beauty. Virgin beaches, vegetation bathing the turquoise waters and birds scratching the clouds.
Accommodation: hotel (shared bathroom)
Day 13 - Isla Holboxsee
Yes it's true! We are in the paradise! Enjoy your day arresting under a palm tree!
If you´re a fan of unforgettable experiences, there are some whale sharks waiting for you (optional activity). This is one of the few places in the world where you can swim with these giants of the sea and we are just in time for that (August)! They might look scary with their up to 15 meters long, but no worries, they are truly docil animals. During the trip you may also see dolphins, rays, flamingos and turtles.
At the evening we can head to a magical place! It's special because of the bioluminescent glow of its waters, due to the agglomeration of plankton.
Accommodation: hotel (shared bathroom)
Day 14 - Cancunsee
Let's say goodbye to Holbox during the morning and travel to Cancun. We will arrive in the afternoon so take your time to buy some gifts or watch the sunset at the caribbean sea. Cancun it's a touristic area but let's find a quiet and beautiful beach around!
We will end the day sharing stories and memories around the table. It's time to say goodbye.
Day 15 - Return from Cancunsee
On the day of farewell we have breakfast together and then, depending on your return flight, we can explore some places around: Isla Mujeres or some Caribbean beaches. There is always something new to see, live and experience in this amazing country. Even the last day can be a surprise!
Buena viaje y hasta luego!
What is included?
- Days: 15
- Accommodation: 14 nights
- Transports: boat, bus, airplane all the transfers on the dates of the program
- 14 Meals
- Activities: All the activities mentioned on the program
- Guide in Uxmal, Palenque, San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico City and Merida
- Travel insurance on the dates of the program
- Monitoring and guidance throughout the whole trip by Patrícia Campos
- Groups: 5 (minimum), 11 (maximum)
What is not included?
- International airfare
- Airport taxes in Cancun: 65 USD
- Airport taxes in Mexico City: non applicable
- Single supplement: 190€
- Unspecified meals (~280€)
- Extra activities
- Unspecified visits
- Personal expenses