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Discover Mexico & Cuba

Mexico, Cuba

25 days

Summary

Explore the highlights of two of the region’s most fascinating countries on this sample itinerary visiting Mexico and Cuba. See the imprint of the Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Maya and Aztec civilisations on modern Mexico and step back in time to discover Cuba’s charming cities. This is a tailored itinerary and is fully flexible to suit your tastes, timeframe and budget.

Highlights

  • Explore the highlights of two of the region’s most fascinating countries
  • See the imprint of the Olmec, Zapotec, Toltec, Maya and Aztec civilisations on modern Mexico
  • Visit the colonial gems of Puebla, Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Taste some of Mexico’s finest cuisine in the foodie capital of Oaxaca
  • The nearby villages of San Bartolo Coyotepec, San Martin Tilcajete and Santo Tomas Jalieza in Oaxaca are famous for their unique handcrafts, considered some of the best in the country
  • History buffs can’t miss Palenque and Chichen Itza – two of Mexico’s most impressive Maya ruins
  • Relax on the stunning Yucatan Peninsula
  • Cruise the streets of Old Havana in a classic vintage car
  • Delve into Cuba’s colonial past with a visit to the Manaca-Iznaga Plantation House
  • See the stunning limestone cliffs and caves of Viñales Valley

ITINERARY

Day 1 Mexico City

Arrive Mexico City and transfer to your hotel.

Day 2 Mexico City

Early departure to Teotihuacan Ruins to see the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon and enjoy the ruins in the cooler part of the day. Return to Mexico City to explore the highlights, including the Zocalo, Cathedral,
National Palace and the world renowned Museum of Anthropology

Day 3 Mexico City

Half-day tour of the bohemian district of Coyoacan, including the famous Frida Kahlo Museum

Day 4 Mexico City/Puebla

Travel overland to Puebla, passing towering snow-capped volcanoes along the way. Famous for its hand painted ‘talavera’ tiles and ceramics, Puebla’s streets, churches and plazas are a constant reminder of this beautiful craft

Day 5 Puebla

Day at leisure to relax and explore this UNESCO Heritage listed city.

Day 6 Puebla/Oaxaca

Overland bus ride to Oaxaca, encircled by the Sierra Mountains. Beautiful Oaxaca was once the centre of the Mixtec and Zapotec civilisations.

Day 7 Oaxaca

Half-day tour to the ruins of Monte Alban with its exquisite architecture, unique stone mosaics and stunning views over the Central Valleys.

Day 8 Oaxaca

Morning tour of the local markets, followed by a cooking class where you’ll learn some traditional Oaxacan recipes. Enjoy the fruits of your labours with a delicious lunch. Afternoon at leisure

Day 9 Oaxaca/San Cristobal

Flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. On arrival, you will be transferred to San Cristobal via the Sumidero Canyon. Enjoy a boat ride along the Grijalva River to view the impressive canyon walls, over a kilometre high.

Day 10 San Cristobal

Morning visit to the colourful market and the native villages of Chamula and Zinacantan. These living Tzotzil communities conserve important ancient traditions.

Day 11 San Cristobal/Palenque

Morning drive to Agua Azul waterfalls where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. In the afternoon continue to Palenque and stay overnight.

Day 12 Palenque/Campeche

Half-day tour of the Maya ruins of Palenque, built on the fringe of the Chiapas jungle. Transfer overland to Campeche this afternoon and stay overnight.

Day 13 Campeche/Merida

Depart for Merida this morning, with a visit to the ruins of Uxmal (‘three times built’) and Kabah en route. Uxmal is one of the best restored and maintained ruins in the Yucatan and certainly one of the most magnificent. After the tour continue to Merida.

Day 14 Merida

Morning tour of Merida, with the afternoon free to explore this lively and colourful city at your own pace.

Day 15 Merida

Day at leisure to relax and explore.

Day 16 Merida/Playa Del Carmen

Today, travel across the Yucatan Peninsula to the Riviera Maya, with a guided tour of the spectacular ruins of Chichen Itza on the way.

Day 17 Tulum/Playa Del Carmen

Half-day tour of Tulum; the only Maya site built along the coast and featuring stunning views of the azure waters of the Caribbean.

Day 18 Playa Del Carmen

Day at leisure to relax on the beach.

Day 19 Playa Del Carmen/Havana

Transfer to the airport in Cancun for your flight to Cuba. On arrival in Havana you’ll be met and transferred to your accommodation in Old Havana.

Day 20 Havana

Discover the grandeur and beauty of Old Havana on this morning’s walking tour. Visit the four main plazas and enjoy the theatre of life on Havana’s streets. This afternoon cruise the Malecon and explore greater Havana in one of Cuba’s classic vintage cars – an essential experience

Day 21 Havana/Trinidad de Cuba

After breakfast, transfer to the ‘Pearl of the South’, Cienfuegos, for a city tour and lunch. Admire the impossibly ornate Palacio del Valle and other architectural gems in this underrated city before continuing to Trinidad. Dinner is included at a local paladar this evening.

Day 22 Trinidad de Cuba

Another classic Cuban car awaits this morning to transport you to the lovely Valle de Ingenios (Sugar Mill Valley) for a visit to the Manaca-Iznaga Plantation House and tower for stunning views. Enjoy lunch in a
local restaurant and then return to Trinidad for a tour of the colonial centre.

Day 23 Trinidad de Cuba/Havana

Depart Trinidad for the central city of Santa Clara, the ideal place to learn about the legacy of the Cuban Revolution and the legend of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. After visiting the memorial and monument you’ll
have lunch before continuing to Havana.

Day 24 Havana

Day at leisure to relax and explore.

Day 25 Havana

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

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