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Mexico is renowned for its ancient civilisations and rich cultural history, and the Yucatán region boasts some of the country's most enthralling and picturesque sights. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá are, undoubtedly, the most well known; however, on this private tour of the Yucatán peninsula, you'll discover that there's so much more to this fascinating region. Of course, you'll visit the famed Mayan sites, but you'll also encounter delightful places and enchanting people, and your guide will be on hand to offer you some unique insights into Mexican culture. To get the most out of your Yucatán experience, we recommend that you combine this 3 night tour with a stay at one of our wonderful beach resorts on the Riviera Maya.
Day 1 Your guide will collect you from your chosen Riviera Maya hotel in the morning and you'll depart for Izamal, which provides your first glimpse of both the Mayan and Spanish influence in the area. Known as the 'Yellow City', Izamal is thought to be the oldest city in the Yucatán. Enjoy a guided tour of San Francisco's convent, the local market and the main square before continuing on to the region's impressive capital, Mérida. Once the centre of Mayan culture, Mérida's highlights include the Cathedral (built using the stones from an original Mayan temple), the main square, known as the 'Zocalo', the Casa de Montejo (built by a conquistador in 1549) and the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History. Enjoy a leisurely lunch in Mérida (not included) and overnight at the hotel Casa del Balam, perfectly located just 5 minutes' walk from the Main Square and oozing with character and charm. Dinner tonight is at the hotel's bistro, Las Palomas.
Day 2 After breakfast at Casa del Balam, you'll head across to the coastal area of the Gulf of Mexico to explore the Celestún Biosphere Reserve which covers 600 sq km and is an important habitat for thousands of pink flamingoes and several species of migratory birds. Your time here includes a tranquil boat trip through the wetland reserve. In the afternoon, continue to Uxmal, a ruined Mayan city, founded around 700 A.D. and one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Mexico. Experience the magical atmosphere during the 45-minute Light and Sound Show. Later, relax with dinner at Hacienda Uxmal, your base for the next two nights
Day 3 In the morning, explore Uxmal with your guide and learn about the fascinating structures such as the Pyramid of the Magician. Leaving archaeology behind briefly in the afternoon, there's a visit to the caves of Loltún, some of Mexico's most extensive caverns, with ancient cave paintings and traces of human habitation from over 7,000 years ago. Afterwards, relax in the lovely gardens or take a dip in the pool at Hacienda Uxmal, and make sure you sample some of the local specialities available at dinner.
Day 4 Today, the highlight of your journey through the Yucatán is a visit to Chichén Itzá, once the most powerful city in Mexico and an important ceremonial centre for the Mayan civilisation. View the mesmerising Kukulkán Pyramid and enjoy a 2 hour guided tour of this world famous archaeological site, where you will also discover cenotes (natural sink holes) and gain further insight into the Mayan culture. Following a buffet lunch at the Mayaland Hotel, transfer to Cancún International Airport for your flight home, or extend your stay at one of our beach resorts on the Riviera Maya.
Price / 3 nights from £1,319 per person based on 2 adults sharing, including breakfast, 3 dinners, 1 lunch, private air-conditioned transportation, an English speaking guide, accommodation and sightseeing as specified. (International flights are not included).
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