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Small Group Tours

Treasures of Mexico

Mexico

20 days

Summary

Mexico has more UNESCO World Heritage sights than any other country in the Americas; Olmecs, Zapotecs, Toltecs, Mayas and Aztecs have all left their imprint on the modern face of this fascinating country. This tour will show you this unique country from Mexico City to its turquoise blue Caribbean shores.

You will start in Mexico City. This Metropolis will surprise you with the grand scale of its central zocalo, enormous Chapultepec Park and world-class Anthropology Museum. The bohemian district of Coyoacan is a delight with its cobbled streets, terraced cafes and the Frida Kahlo Museum. You will travel through South – Central Mexico to Puebla & Oaxaca visiting the most wonderful places, with vibrant music and arts scene, colourful regional markets, world-renowned cuisine and the stunning beauty of the surrounding valleys.

Continue your travel to San Cristobal de las casas and the mesmerizing Sumidero Canyon. Visit traditional towns of Chamula & Zinacantan . Visit the most impressive ruins in The Yucatan Peninsula which yields a wealth of natural and man-made wonders- Uxmal, Kabah and Chichen Itza ruins are reminders of the heights Mexico’s ancient empires reached. You will end this beautiful trip relaxing at the stunning Riviera Maya.

DEPARTURE DATES FROM SYDNEY
Saturday, 24 February 2018
Saturday, 26 May 2018
Saturday, 1 September 2018
Saturday, 6 October 2018

Highlights

  • Walking tour of Mexico City including the murals of Diego Rivera and Museum of Anthropology – rated one of the top 10 museums in the world
  • Visit historical Coyoacan and the Frida Kalho museum, housed in her former residence
  • Visit Teotihuacan pyramids, walk along the Avenue of the Dead and climb the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon
  • Walking tour of Puebla home to the famous Talavera ceramics
  • 4 nights in UNESCO Cultural Patrimony city of Oaxaca to explore this gorgeous colonial town. Including Market tours, a traditional cooking lesson and a visit to Santa Maria Tule
  • Visit Monte Alban & Mitla Archaeological sites
  • Stay in charming San Cristobal de las Casas and visit the Sumidero Canyon
  • Explore the jungle swathed ruins of Palenque and the famous Chichen Itza ruins
  • 2 nights to relax in Rivera Maya

Inclusions

  • International & domestic economy class airfares & taxes
  • Contours Travel professional locally based English-speaking Tour Director
  • Unique hand – crafted travel wallets & luggage tags made in Bolivia exclusively for Contours Travel
  • Guaranteed fully escorted departures maximum of 16 passengers
  • 19 night’s accommodation in First Class hotels
  • 31 Meals: 19 (B) Breakfast, 11 (L) Lunches, 1 (D) Dinner
  • Expert English-speaking local guides
  • Ground transportation in private air conditioned vehicles
  • Exclusive Discovery Walks with your Tour Director
  • Tips for local guides & drivers
  • All entrance fees to local sights and national parks

ITINERARY

Day 1 Mexico City

On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel located a few steps from Mexico City’s Zocalo where you will meet your fellow travellers and Tour Director (T.D.) for a welcome briefing.

Overnight at Zocalo Central (First Class)

Day 2 Mexico City

Today you will start with a half-day tour of the city including the Zocalo Cathedral, National Palace and murals of Diego Rivera. You will also take a guided tour of the world famous Anthropological Museum.
Your welcome dinner at a traditional cantina.

Meals: BD
Overnight at Zocalo Central (First Class)

Day 3 Mexico City

Today you will have a half-day sightseeing tour of the famous Teotihuacan Pyramids, ‘where men become gods’. You will have the opportunity to climb the amazing Pyramids as well as visit the place of Quetzal-Butterfly, the Feather Snake Temple and the Avenue of the Dead.

Meals: B
Overnight at Zocalo Central (First Class)

Day 4 Mexico City

After breakfast you will take a half-day sightseeing tour of the colourful barrio of Coyoacan and the wonderful Frida Kahlo Museum, the artist’s former house and studio.
This lively neighbourhood was once the headquarters of Hernan Cortes in 1523.

The afternoon is free for you explore on your own or you can also join your T.D. on a Discovery Walk.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Zocalo Central (First Class)

Day 5 Mexico City/Puebla

Overland transfer to Puebla via the ancient city of Cholula. Afternoon at leisure or join your T.D. on a Discovery Walk.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Quinta Real Puebla (Deluxe Class)

Day 6 Puebla

Take a historical walking tour of Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city and perhaps the most characteristically Spanish, with lovely and typical colonial architecture.

Famous for the hand – painted Talavera tiles and for Mexico’s national signature dish the ‘mole poblano’. You will also have the chance to visit El Parian, a very colourful crafts market in the ‘artist’s quarter’.

The afternoon will be at your leisure to explore the city.

Meals: B
Overnight at Quinta Real Puebla (Deluxe Class)

Day 7 Puebla/Oaxaca

Depart this morning to Oaxaca, travelling over the Sierra Madre Mountain range.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Hostal de la Noria (First Class)

Day 8 Oaxaca

The valley of Oaxaca is one of the most astonishing religious and astronomically advanced cities in ancient Mexico.

Half-day tour of Monte Alban archaeological site, one of the largest sites in the country with stunning views over the Central Valleys.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Hostal de la Noria (First Class)

Day 9 Oaxaca

Discover the secrets of Oaxacan cuisine! This morning you will visit the market to learn about local produce before you are treated to a private cooking lesson. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with lunch at the end of the class.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Hostal de la Noria (First Class)

Day 10 Oaxaca

Depart Oaxaca on a half-day trip to the surrounding countryside. Our tour begins at Mitla, one of the architectural wonders of Mexico, before continuing to Santa Maria Tule, a small town of potters, famous for El Arbol del Tule (“the Tule Tree”).

Finish at Tlacolula for a chance to experience the colour and vibrancy of a Mexican market.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Hostal de la Noria (First Class)

Day 11 Oaxaca/San Cristobal

Depart to Oaxaca airport today for your domestic flight via Mexico City to Tuxtla. Transfer overland to the township of San Cristobal via the Sumidero Canyon. Take a boat ride along the river. Enjoy close up views of the canyon walls towering 800m overhead; keep your eyes peeled for the occasional crocodile! Overnight in one of Mexico’s most beautiful colonial cities.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Diego de Mazariegos (First Class)

Day 12 San Cristobal

Today you will explore on foot the colonial city centre of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Visit the cathedral, on the pretty main square, with its lavish interior and gold-encrusted pulpit. We then walk a few blocks to the impressive 16th-century Dominican church Templo de Santo Domingo, with its intricate pink façade and gilded Baroque interior. We will have time to browse the handicraft market in front of the church, where Tzotzil Indians from the surrounding hills come to trade. Afternoon free to relax and explore on your own.

Meals: B
Overnight at Diego de Mazariegos (First Class)

Day 13 San Cristobal

Full-day tour visiting the villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, home of the Tzotzil people, descendants of the ancient Mayans.

Meals: B
Overnight at Diego de Mazariegos (First Class)

Day 14 San Cristobal/Palenque

Today you will travel overland to the township of Palenque stopping at Agua Azul waterfall on the way. Rio Xumul-Ha (River of Blue Water) features a series of torrential cascades and fast flowing waters running down a limestone ridge to form small streams and pools. Arrive in Palenque, located on a natural balcony surrounded by extraordinary jungle plains.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Chan-Kah Resort Village (First Class)

Day 15 Palenque/Campeche

This morning after breakfast you will visit the ruins of Palenque.
This ancient Mayan city reached its peak from the sixth to the eighth century A.D. Continue overland to Campeche.

Meals: BL
Overnight at Plaza Campeche (First Class)

Day 16 Campeche/Merida

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

Meals: BL
Overnight at Casa Del Balam (First Class)

Day 17 Merida

Enjoy your full-day at leisure to explore the city on your own or join your T.D. on a Discovery Walk.

Meals: B
Overnight at Casa Del Balam (First Class)

Day 18 Merida/Playa Del Carmen

This morning you will depart for a full day tour travelling across the Yucatan Peninsula to the spectacular ruins of Chichen Itza. Just 80 miles east of Merida, is Chichen Itza. It’s Central and more spectacular building is El Castillo (also known as Pyramind of Kukulcan) whose total numbers of stairs,365, attests to the Maya’s knoledge of the heavens.

After a tour of the ruins, continue overland to your hotel in Rivera Maya.

Meals: B
Overnight at Mahekal Beach Resort (First Class) or similar

Day 19 Playa Del Carmen

Day at leisure to explore the lovely Caribbean beaches or to relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel.

Meals: B
Overnight at Mahekal Beach Resort (First Class) or similar

Day 20 Playa Del Carmen/Australia

Transfer to Cancun airport for your flight back home or continue with our optional extension trip to Cuba.

Meals: B

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