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Guaranteed departures: 4D Haciendas and Mayas Dreams Yucatan

Duration: 4 days / 3 nights - Departing Sunday

Beyond her beautiful beaches, the Yucatan boasts an impressive cultural and historical heritage as the repository of treasures of Maya civilisation such as Chichen Itza, Xcambo and Uxmal. Journey back in time to appreciate the everlasting greatness of these ancient cities reclaimed from the jungle and discover the beauty of the colourful colonial towns of Izamal, Merida and Valladolid. Accommodation is in atmospheric historic haciendas, which enhances the trip’s magical experience. Groups vary in size but are typically made up of about four to 10 travellers.

DON’T MISS! 

Pitahaya: Savour this yellow or pink-skinned sweet fruit, which is low in calories and rich in vitamins

Cenote: Bathing in one of these natural pools is one of the ultimate experiences of any visit to Yucatan

Tequila: Pop into a tequilería and taste the many varieties of the national spirit and its close cousin, mezcal 

A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Melanie Goldbecker for rates and conditions

Route Highlights

  1. Cancun
  2. Chichen Itza
  3. Izamal
  4. Xcambo
  5. Merida
  6. Uxmal
  7. Sotuta de Peon
  8. Valladolid
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Chichen Itza: Uncover the mysteries of Maya civilisation at this ancient archaeological site dominated by the imposing Temple of Kukulkan

Izamal: This ‘magical town’ is known as the ‘city of hills’ because of its numerous ruins of Maya pyramids

Xcambo: A curious combination of peculiar Mayan ruins bordered by wetlands often inhabited by brightly coloured flamingos

Merida: Yucatan’s ‘White City’ is famed for the elegant tree-lined boulevards from the 19th century

Uxmal: The enormous Pyramid of the Magician found in this UNESCO World Heritage Site majestically rises above the jungle canopy

Sotuta de Peon: Live Hacienda is the restoration project of a landmark located in the heart of the ancient agave production zone in the Yucatan 

Valladolid: Visit the Hubiku cenote in the outskirts of this historic colonial city and enjoy free time to explore this ‘magical town’

Itinerary

DAY 1 // CANCUN/RIVIERA MAYA – CHICHEN ITZA – IZAMAL – DZIDZANTUN (375 km – 5 hrs)

Depart Cancun and head deep into the rainforests of the Yucatan peninsula in search of the legendary Maya city of Chichen Itza, which has been laboriously reclaimed from the jungle. Learn about the Maya and their civilisation as you admire the scale and detail of this ancient city. Behold the geometric perfection of the 25-metre-tall Temple of Kukulkan, popularly known as El Castillo (‘the Castle’), which was built both as a representation of the mystical Maya calendar and to reflect the optical illusion of a serpent snaking its way up or down the pyramid during the spring and autumn equinoxes. Admire the Great Ball Court, the largest of 13 discovered at the site, see the haunting Skull Platform, where the heads of human sacrifice victims and prisoners of war were impaled, and also the Sacred Cenote, where sacrifice victims were dumped. Also extremely well-preserved are the Temple of the Warriors, the Ossuary, the Nunnery and adjacent Church, and the large observatory known as the Snail.

Next, make your way to the Mayan town of Izamal (one of Mexico’s ‘magical towns’, a designation awarded to select locations famed for their cultural and historical heritage), whose Mayan name means ‘Heavenly Dew’, where you can see the Convent of St Anthony of Padua, which stands on a former Maya pyramid. After lunch, we proceed to Dzidzantun to stay in traditional but luxurious Mayan-inspired bungalows at Hacienda San Francisco, which was formerly dedicated to salt production due to its proximity to the sea. Enjoy its history-filled facilities that once housed a hospital, or take part in the one of the several activities on offer at this beautiful place.

Overnight stay: 
Dzidzantun
Board basis: 
Half-board
DAY 2 // DZIDZANTUN – XCAMBO – MERIDA (135 km – 3 hrs)

We start the day with a delicious breakfast and then continue to Dzilam de Bravo for a boat tour through the mangroves and the gulf, where we can observe wildlife and even take a swim in a cenote. With a little luck, spot some flamingos in their natural habitat. Continue to Merida along the scenic road by the north coast of Yucatan, where on route we stop at Xcambo archaeological site for a visit of a lesser-known yet equally rich Mayan delight. Our guide invites us to enjoy a typical coconut sweet typical of the area. Enjoy lunch and continue on to Merida. Visit of the white city of Merida in the afternoon where we see the Government Palace, City Hall, the Cathedral, Casa de Montejo and a typical market. Dinner at a spectacular thematic restaurant.

Overnight stay: 
Mérida
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 3 // MERIDA – UXMAL – SOTUTA DE PEON (150 km – 2.5 hrs)

After breakfast, we will start our day with a visit to the impressive archaeological site of Uxmal and enjoy a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, which as you approach it comes into view as it rises above the canopy of the jungle. Unlike other Mayan cities, Uxmal was devoured by the rainforest after the Spaniards had arrived. The most famous structure is the 35-metre-tall Pyramid of the Magician, which towers over the remarkably well-preserved Nunnery Quadrangle with its ornately carved interior and exterior walls. Across the central plaza, just beyond the ballgame court, is the Governor’s Palace with its elaborately decorated roof. At the southern end of the main complex is the Great Pyramid, of which only one side has been excavated with the other three still unclaimed from the bush. Continue to the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, built in the late 19th century in Tecoh, Yucatan. After lunch, we take a tour through the active hacienda where the Mexican agave plant is still harvested and hear an explanation of the production process. The tour ends with a ride on a mule-drawn wagon through the agave plantation and a refreshing dip in a cenote. After, enjoy leisure time to wander the hacienda or relax at the pool.

Overnight stay: 
Sotuta de Peón
Board basis: 
Full board
DAY 4 // SOTUTA DE PEON – VALLADOLID – RIVIERA MAYA/CANCUN (335 km – 4 hrs)

Departure from Sotuta de Peon at approximately 11:00 am where we continue to the picturesque city of Valladolid, another of Mexico’s ‘magical towns’, which was founded in 1543 and showcases beautiful architecture. Have lunch, then continue to the Riviera Maya for drop-off at your selected hotel.

Board basis: 
Half-board

Included

Tour guide: Operated with qualified guides, bilingual in English and Spanish

Accommodation: Two nights on a half-board basis: one in the Hotel Hacienda San Francisco and one in the Hotel Hacienda Viva Sotuta de Peon; one night on a bed-and-breakfast basis in the Casa del Balam in Merida

Meals: Three breakfasts, four lunches and three dinners

Transport: Air-conditioned transportation in a luxury vehicle for transfers to and from hotels, between cities and during excursions

Entrance fees and activities: All monuments and visits as indicated: Chichen Itza, Xcambo, Uxmal archaeological site; boat tour by Dzilam de Bravo, Izamal tour  Hacienda Viva Sotuta de Peon tour, Mérida tour; Valladolid tour

Not included

  • Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
  • International flight tickets or Mexican visa fees
  • Airport taxes for domestic and international flights
  • Gratuities for driver and guide
  • Optional tours