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Yucatan & Chiapas

• 11 days / 10 nights from/to Cancun/Riviera Maya
• Self Drive Tour

Ay Caramba


Cancun/Riviera Maya - Tulum - Chetumal - Chicanna - Palenque - San Cristobal de las Casas - Villahermosa - Campeche - Uxmal - Merida - Chichen Itza - Cancun/Riviera Maya

Trip details

Day 1 Cancun - Tulum - Bacalar - Chetumal (395km/5h)

Pick up rental car. Drive to Chetumal. En route visit of Maya site Tulum which is perched high on cliff overlooking Caribbean Sea. Next stop in quiet town of Bacalar located on Lagoon of Seven Colours. Visit local museum in Spanish fort. Have a refreshing swim in nearby Cenote Azul. On to capital of state Quintana Roo: Chetumal laid out on a wide open bay. Overnight Hotel Holiday Inn, Chetumal.

Day 2 Chetumal - Kohunlich - Becan - Chicanna (135km/2.5h)

Visit modern Maya museum right in front of your hotel. Leaving Chetumal you are soon entering the so called Rio Bec region which features some interesting Maya sites like Kohunlich with its four giant masks of Mayan Sun God Kinich Ahau, Dzibanche, the walled city of Becan. Close to hotel, you can discover the small but mysterious site of Chicanna. Overnight at Ecovillage Chicanna, Chicanna/Xpujil.

Day 3 Chicanna - Calakmul - Palenque (425km/6h)

Early departure to one of the biggest ever built Mayan cities: Calakmul hidden deep in the rainforest where excavations are still in process! Calakmul once was rival city to powerful Tikal and features a monumental main pyramid. From its top you enjoy an unforgettable view over pristine rainforest. Discover lush and exotic fauna and flora. Afternoon drive via Escarcega to Palenque. Overnight at Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque.

Day 4 Palenque

Visit of famous and mystical Palenque which for centuries had disappeared in the emerald rainforest. Unique is the Temple of Inscriptions which hosts the tomb of legendary high priest Pakal. (Ask for visit permit at local museum). Enter the Palace with its arches, courtyards and observatory tower. Climb on jungle trails to the Temple of the Cross where you have a fantastic overlook. Walking down on jungle trails alongside water cascades, eventually you will get to the regional museum. Overnight at Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque

Day 5 Palenque - Misol Ha - Agua Azul - Tonina - San Cristobal de las Casas (220km/5h)

Today you drive on Panoramic mountain road to highlands of Chiapas. En route visit the impressive water fall in Misol Ha and the beautiful water cascades in Agua Azul with its many rock pools which invite to a refreshing swim. Close to Ocosingo perched on a hill side, you can encounter another reminder of the glorious past of Maya civilisation: Tonina with its towering main temple. By late afternoon you will reach the colonial city of San Cristobal located on 2200 meters above sea level. Overnight at Hotel Casa Mexicana, San Cristobal de las Casas.

Day 6 Tzotzil villages San Juan Chamula - Zinacantan (30km/1h)

Early morning visit to close by Tzotzil villages San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. A must is the visit of the main church in San Juan Chamula which inside atmosphere is overwhelming: rows of burning candles, thick clouds of incense, chanting worshippers on pine-needle-carpeted floor will not leave you untouched! (No pictures taking allowed inside church!). Visit flowery village Zinacantan with its small but intriguing local museum. In the afternoon enjoy a relaxed city stroll in San Cristobal visiting its baroque churches, shady plazas, Indian markets. Overnight at Hotel Casa Mexicana.

Day 7 San Cristobal de las Casas - Chiapa de Corzo - Villahermosa (350km/6h)

Drive down on curvy mountain roads to colonial town Chiapa de Corzo where you can take a boat ride into the huge Sumidero canyon with its up to 1000m towering walls on each side. With a little luck you might spot sunbathing crocodiles on shores. Afternoon drive to hot lowlands of Tabasco, to the state capital Villahermosa. Overnight at Hotel Quality Inn Cencali, Villahermosa.

Day 8 Villahermosa - La Venta - Sabancuy - Campeche (380km/5h)

Visit of open air museum La Venta with its giant Olmec stone monuments, colossal heads and mystical altars. Integrated in the park is the regional zoo featuring Jaguars which were worshipped by the ancient Mayans. Drive via Sabancuy and other sleepy fishing towns along Gulf of Mexico to colonial city of Campeche which historical centre was recently restored. Typical for fortified Campeche its baluartes (bulwarks) to protect city from pirate attacks which are nowadays hosting museums and botanical gardens. Overnight Hotel Francis Drake, Campeche.

Day 9 Campeche - Labna - Loltun - Ticul - Uxmal - Merida (300km/4.5h)

Drive to the so called Ruta Puc (hills in Maya) where you visit Maya site Labna with its unique arch. Enter the underworld of Maya mythology in Loltun by visiting this cave system. Via typical Yucateka town Ticul you reach Uxmal, once an important regional Maya city during the classical period. Uxmal’s highlights include the steep Pyramid of the Wizard, the Nunnery and Governor’s Palace. By late afternoon you will reach the White City of Merida, state capital of Yucatan. Enjoy a romantic ride in a horse carriage on illuminated Boulevard Paseo de Montejo. Overnight Hotel Casa del Balam, Merida.

Day 10 Merida - Izamal - Chichen Itza (140km/2.5h)

Morning city walk in historical centre of Merida including Main Plaza (Zocalo) with Yucatan oldest cathedral, Governor’s Palace, Montejo Palace and the lively and colourful market. Afternoon drive to City of the Three Cultures in Izamal with its monumental Franciscan convent which was visited by late Pope John Paul II. Recommendable is climb on top of „Firebird“ pyramid to enjoy overlook of the yellow city of Izamal. Drive on to Chichen Itza where you overnight in the authentic Hacienda Chichen just a stone-throw away from famous Kukulkan pyramid. Evening: Sound & Lightshow Chichen Itza. Overnight at Hacienda Chichen Resort, Chichen Itza.

Day 11 Chichen Itza - Cenote Dzitnup - Cancun/Riviera Maya (210km/2.5h)

Visit one of biggest and most important Maya site in Yucatan with its famous Kukulkan pyramid, Temple of the Warriors, Ball Court, Observatory, Holy Cenote etc. Use your imagination, travel back in time and feel the strong energy of this sacred place. Short drive to Valladolid where you can visit the beautiful Cenote Dzitnup. Drive to Cancun or beach hotel in Riviera Maya. Return of rental car.


Daily departures