Trip idea / Mexico

Mexican Metropolis

To Jungles & Beaches

Discover the fascinating history, rich culture, and natural wonders of southern Mexico.

The lowdown

  • Getting There

    There are daily direct flights to Mexico City with BA & Avianca, and both BA and Virgin fly to Cancun several times a week.

  • Eating Out

    Sampling traditional cochinita pibil (pork marinated in orange juice and served with beans and red onion) is a must. For an evening of Yucatecan molecular gastronomy, head to K’u’uk in Merida - where the 12-course tasting menu features uniquely presented local ingredients.

Ancient cities, lush jungles, white sand beaches – Mexico is richly diverse in both its culture and natural beauty. Beginning in vibrant Mexico City, this suggested journey takes you deep into the country’s heartland where you’ll explore colonial gems, visit indigenous communities and explore stunning Mayan ruins before some well-earned downtime on the Riviera Maya’s Caribbean coast.

  1. Highlights

    • Discover the thriving metropolis that is Mexico City.
    • Visit the UNESCO heritage site of Teotihuacan.
    • Journey by boat into the spectacular Sumidero Canyon.
    • Hike to indigenous villages and visit the isolated Lacandon tribe deep in the Chiapas jungle.
    • Explore the famous Mayan sites of Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza.
    • Sunbathe, swim and snorkel on the Riviera Maya.
  2. Mexican Metropolis

    An exhilarating melting pot of history and culture, award-winning restaurants and boutique hotels, Mexico City has a foot firmly in both the ancient and modern worlds.

    We’ll take you straight to the heart of the city’s roots with a guided walking tour of the Historic Centre, where the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlán was historically settled. You’ll wander the main Zocalo Plaza, home to international art museums, the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Aztec Templo Mayor and National Palace, before an evening stroll through the cosmopolitan Polanco district.

    The following day you are met for a privately-guided visit to the colonial suburbs of Coyoacan and San Angel. Art lovers will then be fascinated to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum at Casa Azul, the famed artist’s former home and birthplace. No stay in Mexico City is complete without a tour of the nearby Teotihuacan archaeological zone, famous for some of the world’s largest pyramidal structures.

  3. Into The Chiapas

    Leave the big city behind and fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez, the gateway to the fascinating Chiapas region. Travel by boat through the majestic rock walls of the towering Sumidero Canyon, where you may see crocodiles and cormorants among other wildlife. Then continue to your base in vibrant , where your local guide will point out the best local restaurants and jazz clubs on an evening walking tour. Spend a day visiting the indigenous villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinancantan and take a beautiful hike through the connecting forest. Back in San Cristobal, end the day with a privately guided visit to Na Bolom and local textile museums.

    Defined as one of the most important cities of the Mayan World, the ancient city of Palenque is surrounded by jungle. Howler monkeys growl overhead as you explore the temples and inscriptions found throughout the site. Cruise by boat along the Usumacinta River, the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala, to the home of the isolated Lacandon Maya tribe, and explore the Mayan sites of Yaxchilan and Bonampak during your stay.

  4. Colonial Culture

    Fly east to the colonial city of Merida, capital of the Yucatan state, where cobblestone streets and shady plazas create a feeling of the old-world. Spend an afternoon discovering the colonial architecture, churches and monuments of the historical centre, before a short ‘Calesa’ (horse and carriage) ride.

    The following day your guide will take you for an exploration of the nearby ancient ruins of Uxmal. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these majestic Mayan ruins are some of the best restored and maintained in the Yucatan. Characterized by low horizontal palaces set around courtyards, it is the intricacy of its geometric art and stone mosaics which sets Uxmal apart.

  5. Chichen Itza to the Caribbean

    Next up, you’ll visit the most famous Mayan archaeological site of them all – the spectacular Chichen Itza. An early start will allow you to arrive ahead of the group tours from Cancun, as the iconic El Castillo temple emerges in the dawn light to greet you. Your guide will then take you through the various plazas and temples, giving insight into the settlement’s history to further enhance your experience. Then head east towards the Caribbean coast, where the white sand beaches of the Riviera Maya are waiting. A haven for diving, snorkelling and swimming, you’ll have a host of beachfront properties to choose between – from boutique couple’s hideaways to family friendly resorts.

    There’s plenty to do on the Maya when you aren’t luxuriating on the beaches. Experience natural and ancient wonders with a trip to the marshes and mangroves of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a spectacular setting for birding and fishing, before wandering the ancient Mayan ruins in bohemian Tulum. Swim in one of the many hidden cenotes, go deep sea fishing for sailfish and marlin, while during the summer months you can swim with the visiting whale sharks.

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