Discover the best of the Yucatan Peninsula on this unforgettable adventure, experiencing charming markets, tasting delicious regional cuisine, climbing Maya ruins, and relaxing by the Caribbean Sea.
With something for everyone, this Yucatan adventure captures the true essence of this famed Mexican region. Explore one of the New Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, swim in a sacred cenote and tour underground cave systems.
As with all Journey Mexico tours, this Best of Yucatan Peninsula vacation can be fully customized to your specific desires.
Merida – Discover the lively capital of the Yucatan, a charming colonial city filled with markets, squares, and a bustling commercial center
Maya archeological sites – Take guided tours of the amazing archeological sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Cobá, and Tulum
The Puuc Route – Travel along the Puuc Route by car and by bike and stop at freshwater underground cenotes, the Loltún caves, and Acanceh
Rio Secreto – Take a journey into the amazing Río Secreto, the longest cave system in the Yucatán Peninsula.
Tulum archeological site – Marvel at the gorgeous beach-side ruins at Tulum and look up at this ancient castle from the Caribbean Sea
Day 1: Arrive in Cancun, transfer to Chichen Itza
When you arrive at Cancun International Airport, you will be greeted by a Journey Mexico guide and privately transferred to your hacienda. Settle in, stroll the grounds, and acclimatize to the warm Yucatan climate.
Overnight Hacienda Chichen
Day 2: Visit Chichen Itza, Cenote Ik-Kil, Merida
After breakfast, you will embark on a morning exploration of the impressive ruins of Chichen Itza in a privately guided tour with your expert guide. This site is world renowned for the sophistication of its structures and the high level of astronomical and engineering accomplishments on exhibit as well as the variety of temples, ball courts, and ritual centers. The site comes alive with the expert interpretation of your guide adding color and contour to the sprawling site. As the mid-day heat descends, you will head to Cenote Ik-kil, one of Yucatan’s most enchanting freshwater underground pools where you can opt for a refreshing swim.
You will continue on to Merida, the colonial capital of the Yucatan Peninsula, perfect for an evening walk through the cobble stone streets in the city center.
Overnight: Casa Lecanda
Day 3: A Taste of Merida with City Sightseeing Private Experience
To start this unique foodie adventure your guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. Discover Merida’s most emblematic cultural highlights as your guide shares their local knowledge about the city’s historic and gastronomic hidden treasures. Get to know the flavors of the Yucatán as you explore Mérida’s ornate streets, vibrant markets, and favorite traditional eateries.
The day begins with a delicious taco sampling at Wayan’e, a locally famous taqueria offering over 30 traditional Yucatecan stews to try wrapped in fresh tortillas. You can accompany your tacos with some fresh flavored water, made from seasonal fruits, as you soak up the atmosphere.
The experience continues exploring a couple of buzzing local markets starting at the commercial heart of the city, where you’ll sample traditional regional dishes at Mercado Lucas de Gálvaz. Feast your eyes on the market’s seasonal fruits and vegetables, sombrero stalls, hand made hammocks and religious articles. Peek into the tortilla factory to see a staple of Mexican cuisine in the making, as you take in the aromas of mixed spices in the air. Next, visit the Santiago neighborhood’s local market where you’ll get to taste dishes like cochinita pibil and el lechón, prepared using a Mayan pit-style oven that’s made in the ground.
During the adventure, you will also discover the historical centre’s colonial style architecture, grand building facades, and vivid colors. The main city square plays host to Yucatán style buildings, where you’ll explore the most important highlights including the oldest cathedral in Mexico, and the Government House with paintings by Fernando Castro.
After taking in the sights and colors, head to Los Trompos, an authentic local gem serving up Mexican Tacos. Washing down the vibrant regional flavors with an artisanal beer is highly recommended!
To end the experience, a visit will be made to El Colón on the elegant Paseo de Montejo Avenue. The traditional candy and sorbet shop, founded in 1907, serves up tangy sorbet and refreshing champola, a classic frozen drink made from milk and fresh fruit.
At the conclusion of your visit you will be driven back to your hotel.
Overnight: Casa Lecanda
Day 4: Loltún Caverns and Uxmal
Today after breakfast, you will traverse the underground cave system at Loltún, that shows evidence of the Maya civilization from the late pre-classic era (300 BCE-300 CE); in fact many mammoth and dinosaur bones were found here. A local guide will lead you through the cave, explaining the history and pointing out important stalagmites, stalactites, cave paintings, fossils and Maya handprints found there.
Afterwards, your guide will drive you to the ancient Maya city of Uxmal to view the amazing Palace of the Governors (considered by many to be the finest example of classic Mayan Architecture) and the mystical Pyramid of the Magician, which consists of 5 super-imposed temples.
Upon completion of your guided archaeological visit, you may enjoy some time for lunch (not included) before returning to your hotel in Merida for the rest of the evening at leisure.
Overnight: Casa Lecanda
Day 5: Coba archeological site and Maya cenote, transfer to Tulum
After breakfast and hotel check out, you will meet your driver and head eastward towards the magic Mexican Caribbean. En route, you will visit Valladolid, the former colonial capital of the Yucatan Peninsula. The charming city center has preserved its small plaza and fine architecture that reveal the glory of a bygone era.
After some time for lunch (not included), your journey continues toward Coba the archaeological site in the Riviera Maya. Coba is amongst the largest Mayan city-ruins of the Yucatan region, surrounded by lush rain forests teeming with wildlife stimulate the mind to imagine ancient times. Coba’s architecture remains a mystery because its pyramidal temples and stelae resemble those of Tikal rather than Chichen Itza or Tulum, both much closer in proximity.
Out next stop, one of the Yucatan’s newest discovered cenotes (underground freshwater sink holes) deep in the Yucatan Jungle! You will enjoy the opportunity to swim and relax around the refreshing waters before continuing to your oceanfront accommodation. Enjoy a tranquil evening back at your hotel at leisure.
Overnight Ana y Jose
Day 6: Caving Private Adventure at Rio Secreto
Take a journey into the amazing Río Secreto, the longest cave system in the Yucatán Peninsula, that’s semi-submerged in crystal clear water.
Arriving to the natural reserve, you’ll be welcomed by your personal, specialised guide before heading to the Río Secreto entrance (15 mins approx). After a safety and equipment briefing, follow your guide inside the natural reserve, where you’ll receive a Mayan welcome ceremony.
Get ready to enter the underground cave system, a natural museum of rock formations, which tells the geological history of the area. With your expert guide, you’ll walk and swim following an otherworldly 1km route. Admire hundreds of stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over many years, in a surreally beautiful setting.
Exiting the caves, toast to a truly unique experience with Xtabentún, a regional Yucatecan liqueur made from anise seed, honey and rum. To complete your adventure, refuel with a regional buffet and fresh, flavored waters before continuing back to your hotel.
Overnight Ana y Jose
Day 7: Tulum archeological site
After breakfast, you will meet your guide in the hotel lobby for a private tour of the archaeological site Tulum, located just 25 minutes away; you will enjoy the spectacular view over the Caribbean Sea and its temples honoring the gods of the wind and rain. As you traverse the archeological site you will learn about Maya history and cosmology from your expert guide who will lead you in your exploration. You will also have a chance to swim in the Caribbean waters and look up at Tulum’s iconic “Castillo” from below.
Afterward, you will be driven back to your hotel for the rest of the afternoon on your own. You may choose to wander the property or simply enjoy the white sands and turquoise sea.
Overnight Ana y Jose
Day 8: Departure day
As your adventure comes to an end, you will be privately transported to Cancun International Airport from where you will catch your flight home.
Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.
Our custom-tailored journeys start from $1,000 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.
Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.