Discover the Land of the Maya
Leave the resorts of Cancún behind and embark on a true adventure with Isabella that will take you from spectacular Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes deep into the jungle of Mexico to enjoying spectacular volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.Request to Book Today
Leave the resorts of Cancún behind and embark on a true adventure with Isabella that will take you from spectacular Mayan ruins, swimming in cenotes deep into the jungle of Mexico to enjoying spectacular volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
Dive into Mayan culture and learn about the traditional and spiritual practices of this ancient civilization. Soak in ancient knowledge, dramatic sites, frozen in time for centuries and spectacular geography from volcanoes and crater lakes.
Duration: 11 days
Start/Finish City: Playa del Carmen to Antigua Guatemala
Service Level: Standard - Comfortable tourist-class accommodations with character
Meals: 1 dinner (allow 390-500 for meals not included)
Accommodations: Hotels (9 nts), homestay (1 nt)
Physical Grading: Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Transportation: Public bus, private vehicle, boat
Trip Type: Small group experience: avg 12
Day 1: Playa del Carmen
Arrive at any time. As travellers arrive throughout the day, there are no planned activities until the group welcome meeting in the evening followed by a local meal afterwards.
Day 2: Playa del Carmen/Mérida
Depart Playa del Carmen and head to the ancient Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Learn about the history, beliefs and rituals that defined this ancient Mayan civilization during a guided tour with a local expert. Spend time exploring the high temple and dramatic sites known for their huge stepped pyramids and elaborate stone carvings. You’ll get to visit the famous Castillo, the ball court, the cenote, and the Nunnery while at this site. Continue on to Mérida, the capital of the Yucatán State, and take a short orientation walk. Also known as la ciudad blanca (the white city), Mérida offers the ideal opportunity to learn about Mexico’s fascinating mix of cultural influences.
Day 3: Mérida
Today is a free day to explore Merida. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like visiting the Uxmal ruins, the anthropological museum, spend time at the beach or opt to visit the cenotes in the Yucatán in the town of Cuzamá where you can swim in the massive crystal-clear sinkholes.
Day 4: Mérida/Palenque
After a long day of travel from the Yucatán to the jungles of Chiapas, arrive to Palenque and settle in for 2 nights.
Day 5: Palenque
Enjoy a guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Palenque and experience the lush jungle with the sound of howler monkey in the distance. Immerse yourself in this mystical site of the Temple and Inscriptions of the Grand Palace that was one of the most important centres for trade and culture during the end of the Classic Maya period.
Afterwards, enjoy a swim in the pristine turquoise waters of Roberto Barrios waterfall in the Zapatista community of Roberto Barrios, Chiapas.
Day 6: Palenque/San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Travel to San Cristóbal de Las Casas located in a high mountain valley at 2110m (6921 ft), via Villahermosa. Enjoy an orientation walk of the city, known for its 16th-century architecture.
Day 7: San Cristóbal de Las Casas
Today is a free day to either relax or try optional activities like visiting Sumidero canyon, Lagunas de Montebello National Park, and nearby indigenous Mayan villages to see their unique day-to-day life.
Sumidero Canyon: Board a boat for a 2-hr journey through the deep Sumidero Canyon. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, birds, monkeys and maybe even a river crocodile. Marvel at the tall waterfalls, hidden caves, and unusual rock formations along the Grijalva River. After, stop in a village to visit markets and enjoy lunch.
Indigenous Villages Tour: Visit the communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinancantán with a local guide and learn about this unique way of life. Visit the main plaza and places of worship to better understand the life of the local Tzotzil people. Buy carpets, textiles and hand-made "Zapatista" dolls made to honour former rebel leader, Subcomandante Marcos.
Lagunasde Montebello Visit: Visit this National Park and the group of beautiful lakes near the Guatemalan border. Each is a different colour of green and blue. Visit a traditional village en route, swim at one of the 'lagunas', go for a short hike and visit the Mayan Chinkultic ruins.
Day 8: San Cristóbal de Las Casas/Panajachel
Journey from San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico to Panajachel, Guatemala. Opt to explore the town on arrival. The first stop in Guatemala is on beautiful Lake Atitlán. Stay in Panajachel, a lakeshore town surrounded by spectacular volcanoes and small villages.
Day 9: Panajachel/San Juan La Laguna
Embark on a boat ride across the lake before participating in a homestay with a local family. Submerge yourself in Mayan culture during this home stay community tourism project set on the northwest shore of Lake Atitlán and immediately feel at home. Meet your host family, stash your stuff, then set off to explore the area.
This area is known for stunning scenery and great shopping for Mayan handicrafts. Visit the town of San Juan la Laguna and immerse yourself in the Tz’utujil culture for an afternoon. Focus on three different associations originating in San Juan la Laguna; textiles, medicinal plants, and paintings. See groups of women making textiles using natural dyes. Your guide will explain the dyeing techniques and observe the waist loom in action. Next, see how plants are used for their medicinal properties within these communities. Enjoy the sights of traditional paintings by local artists/painters who portray their traditional way of life, ceremonies, customs and traditions through large scale murals found throughout the town of San Juan la Laguna.
Day 10: Antigua
Travel to Antigua and head out for an orientation walk check out the this charming colonial city. Opt for an optional activities for the area include a city tour, salsa dancing classes, a Guatemalan cooking class, or rent bikes and ride through the hills, visit a macadamia nut farm or check out some nearby villages.
Day 11: Antigua Guatemala
Depart at any time.
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There are a variety of great options for accommodations ranging from shared rooms to luxurious villas. Each room is equipped with a safe, work desk, air conditioning and WIFI.
Our accommodations will primarily be Hotels (for 9 nts), and homestay (for 1 nt).
Owner, Healer, Gypsy at Heart
My journey has taken me from a Financial Advisor to a Healer and guide. After spending 16 years in corporate financial environments trying to conform to social norms and expectations, I found myself feeling as though something fundamental was missing from my life. During the process of restructuring my life, I had to shift my perspective and instead of relying on a pragmatic approach to life, I finally decided to follow my intuition and listen to what my heart had been trying to tell me for years.
Travel has always been an integral part of my life. Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to visit distant and unchartered places. This deep yearning to seek out the unfamiliar; the undiscovered has brought me to visit 47 countries. The most transformational moments I’ve experienced in life have been while backpacking in Asia, touring South America and camping throughout Africa.
The time I spent away discovering new places provided me with a much needed escape from a tiresome routine back home. It gave me an escape and the clarity I so desperately needed. Over time, these “vacations” helped shift my perspective and see life through a different lens. It was what I needed to finally break through my comfort zone and leave the monotony that I had fallen into.
For the first time in my adult life, I felt a sense of fulfilment and purpose. Curating and sharing meaningful experiences with others is what brings me the most joy and happiness. I am committed and honoured to be able to be a part of people’s wellness and self-discovery journeys.
What is Included:
What is NOT Included:
- Transfer to and from the airport
- Travel and medical insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
** Additional Activities Not Specifically Listed
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