Premium Mexico Yucatan Highlights


Premium Mexico Yucatan Highlights

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Vibrant in every way, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula delights with its bright turquoise waters, pastel-hued buildings and traditional culture that’s still alive and kicking today. Soak up the region’s best on an eight-day Premium adventure, from the bountiful coastline of Riviera Maya to the colourful city of Valladolid, the colonial town of Merida and the white sand beaches of Tulum. Learn the ancient secrets of the Maya during visits to Chichen Itza, Muyil and the Tulum archaeological site, and travel with a local guide, meet local Maya families, conservationists and historians to uncover a side of the country most don’t get to see.

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  • Visit the spectacular ruins of Chichen Itza, Muyil and Tulum where your local leader and expert guides will bring thousands of years of Maya history to life.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of local life during Exclusive Experience with a visit to the secluded Laguna Chabela Maya community, where you’ll learn how modern Maya people preserve the traditions of their ancestors and try your hand and making a tortilla before sitting down to a delicious feast in the jungle.
  • Enjoy the old-world charm of your Feature Stay accommodation in Merida – an historic 17th century mansion turned boutique hotel with elegant decor and traditional touches.
  • Enjoy an Exclusive Experience at the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve, a bird-lover’s dream. Learn about conservation efforts while looking out for colourful flora and fauna on a boat ride, and glimpse gorgeous natural springs before stopping by the Gulf of Mexico for a swim in the warm waters.
  • Swim in a cenote, float down the crystal-clear Muyil canals created by the Maya over 1,000 years ago, and visit a laid-back beach club in Tulum to make the best of the Yucatan peninsula with exclusive Premium experiences.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll learn about our Intrepid Foundation partner, Gastromotiva. Donations help them provide nutritious, balanced meals for vulnerable people in Mexico. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.


ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Playa Del Carmen
Welcome to Mexico! Your adventure begins in Playa del Carmen, a coastal resort town on the Yucatan Peninsula, known for its stunning turquoise waters and lively nightlife. You will be collected on your arrival at Cancun International Airport and transferred to your hotel. Here you will meet your local leader and fellow members of your group for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive with time to spare, you may like to stroll along the famed pedestrian avenue through town while you peruse a range of handmade hammocks, jewellery and crafts - or relax and enjoy the views at your hotel's rooftop pool. The Yucatan’s bountiful Caribbean coastline means it is home to some of the freshest seafood in the country, and after your meeting you will head to a favorite local restaurant to sample some yourself. Here you can enjoy a traditional feast of fresh fish, mussels, shrimp and clams.
Day 2 - Valladolid
After breakfast, depart Playa del Carmen and head to the secluded Laguna Chabela. Here you will have a truly special experience as you meet a local Maya family who have lived here for generations. Gain a deeper understanding of their way of life as you walk through the low jungle full of medicinal plants, see what they grow and learn how they live off the land. Enjoy a demonstration on how to make delicious tortillas in the Coba style with the family matriarch then sit down to a traditional lunch, prepared by hand using a mortar and pestle found in the nearby ruins, still used after 1,000 years. You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time, with stones from ancient Maya structures emerging from the jungle and the sounds of birds as your backdrop. In the afternoon, continue to the city of Valladolid, known for its delightful pastel coloured colonial buildings. On arrival, settle in to your hotel. Set on the city’s main square, the charming hotel was converted from a 16th century colonial house and offers a perfect base for your explorations. The main square is flanked by excellent local restaurants serving up classic Yucatan cuisine – you may like to try one out for dinner this evening.
Day 3 - Merida - Chichen Itza
This morning will be spent exploring the fascinating complex of Chichen Itza. Named as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is considered the most important archaeological vestige of the Maya-Toltec civilization in Yucatan by UNESCO. Meet with a local guide for a tour to uncover the secrets of what is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico, dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. After your visit, you will be treated to a special lunch with a local family in the town of Piste. Here you will enjoy a traditional Pibil feast, a Maya style of cooking that involves barbecuing underground, which the family have perfected over generations. After lunch, visit a beautiful cenote for a swim. These limestone sinkholes were viewed by the Maya as doorways to the underworld. You’ll feel transported to another world as you float in the delightfully cool water as tropical birds flit through the dappled sunlight and dangling vines. Next, continue to Merida. Founded in 1542, the city is the Yucatan capital and retains much of its old-world charm. Your Feature Stay accommodation for the next three evenings is the historic Hotel Casa Lucia. Spacious rooms feature colonial decor with traditional touches, surrounding a glowing courtyard with a wonderful swimming pool. Enjoy the peaceful garden and a privileged location in the heart of the city.
Day 4 - Merida
This morning you will join your leader on a walking tour of downtown Merida to take in the splendour of its many colonial buildings and learn more about the Maya heritage of the town. Visit the market for a look at local life, and stop by the city museum, Montejo's House and the cathedral. Step inside the Palacio del Gobierno to admire the murals by Fernando Castro Pacheco, a famous Mexican artist from Merida. The paintings depict the history of the city and interactions between the Maya and the Spanish. The afternoon is free for further discoveries – you may like to relax in the green and shady Plaza Grande, or browse the outdoor market selling Maya replicas. Regroup for dinner at a fantastic local restaurant serving up Yucatan specialties – the sopa da lima (lime soup) is especially delicious here.
Day 5 - Merida
After breakfast, you’ll enjoy another Exclusive Experience at the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve. One of the first places migratory birds arrive for the winter, the reserve offers a birdwatching experience like no other. Here you will tour the area by small boat while you learn about its unique flora and fauna. Look out for the Yucatan woodpecker, Mexican sheartail, tropical mockingbird and depending on the season (usually December–March), you may be lucky enough to witness thousands of flamingos painting a pink streak across the landscape. Hop off the boat for a quick walk to view bubbling turquoise springs before cruising back through the mangrove canals. Stop in a fishing town for the freshest seafood lunch (lunch on own) and a refreshing margarita, all while seated beachside under a canopy of coconut palms, with your toes in the sand. Take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico before returning to Merida for an afternoon at leisure. For a taste of Merida's 19th-century glory, you may like to take a walk along the mansion-lined Paseo de Montejo. Be sure to ask your leader for some great local recommendations for dinner this evening.
Day 6 - Tulum
Depart Merida this morning and head towards Muyil, stopping off for lunch in the quaint village of Coba along the way. Look closely, and you’ll be able to see the tops of Mayan ruins from the nearby archaeological site peaking through the trees as you dine. Continue to today’s highlight: the virtually-unkown Muyil archaeologic site. This ancient Maya trading post is one of the oldest once-inhabited sites in the country, with a history stretching back to 350BC. Explore the ruins with your leader who will explain what life here once looked like. Next, head to the banks of the Maya River and board a small boat, from which you’ll explore the canals and lagoons of the Sian Ka'an biosphere. One of the largest protected areas in Mexico, this UNESCO heritage site covers more than 400,000 hectares of land, lagoon, and marine areas, including countless flora and fauna. You will be joined by guides from the local community who will help you get the most out of this tranquil experience. Admire Maya ruins on the riverbanks before disembarking in the crystal-clear waters of the ancient Mayan mangrove canals, where you’ll experience an adventure like no other: a natural “lazy river” where you will float through the peaceful canals in a slow but steady current. After 45 minutes of floating in the tranquil waters, carry on to Tulum, home to pristine beaches and ancient Maya history.
Day 7 - Tulum
In the morning, head to the Tulum archaeological site for a visit, allowing you to appreciate the incredible history of the ruins and their gorgeous views of the ocean. One of the last cities built by the Maya, your leader will paint a picture of how life played out here as you explore the complex against a spectacular ocean backdrop. Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun at a beach club, where you can enjoy a swim in the Caribbean Sea, or nap in a comfortable lounge chair. This evening you will dine at one of Tulum’s delicious restaurants. With laid back vibes and inspired by the freshest local produce and seafood, this final dinner with your newfound friends will certainly be one to remember.
Day 8 - Tulum
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend some more time in Tulum, additional accommodation can be booked ahead of time (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
16-03-202423-03-2024AUD $ 4,535-
06-04-202413-04-2024AUD $ 3,206-
20-04-202427-04-2024AUD $ 4,575-
22-06-202429-06-2024AUD $ 4,405-
20-07-202427-07-2024AUD $ 4,445-
28-09-202405-10-2024AUD $ 4,360-
05-10-202412-10-2024AUD $ 4,445-
19-10-202426-10-2024AUD $ 4,445-
02-11-202409-11-2024AUD $ 4,615-
16-11-202423-11-2024AUD $ 4,615-
30-11-202407-12-2024AUD $ 4,615-
07-12-202414-12-2024AUD $ 4,615-
14-12-202421-12-2024AUD $ 4,615-
11-01-202518-01-2025AUD $ 4,845-
08-02-202515-02-2025AUD $ 4,670-
15-02-202522-02-2025AUD $ 4,670-
22-02-202501-03-2025AUD $ 4,670-
08-03-202515-03-2025AUD $ 4,670-
22-03-202529-03-2025AUD $ 4,490-
12-04-202519-04-2025AUD $ 4,490-
26-04-202503-05-2025AUD $ 4,490-
17-05-202524-05-2025AUD $ 4,490-
14-06-202521-06-2025AUD $ 4,490-
12-07-202519-07-2025AUD $ 4,490-
13-09-202520-09-2025AUD $ 4,490-
11-10-202518-10-2025AUD $ 4,670-
25-10-202501-11-2025AUD $ 4,670-
08-11-202515-11-2025AUD $ 4,845-
15-11-202522-11-2025AUD $ 4,845-
22-11-202529-11-2025AUD $ 4,845-
13-12-202520-12-2025AUD $ 4,845-
20-12-202527-12-2025AUD $ 4,845-


Comfortable Hotel (4 nights),Feature Stay (3 nights)


Private vehicle,Boat