Mexico: South 2 North Adventures

From USD $2,100.00
  • Duration: 15 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: P1D31U

Overview

Join our 15-day adventure tour from Playa del Carmen that takes in all the natural, cultural, and historical highlights of 8 Mexican states. From the ruins of Chichén Itza, one of "New7Wonders of the World", to vibrant Mexico City which carefully preserves its magic and cultural heritage, this adventure tour takes in all the natural, cultural, and historical highlights of 8 Mexican states.

Highlights

  • Get to know Mexico City - the largest city in Latin America and a world-class cultural hub.
  • Climb huge Pirámides del Sol y de la Luna in UNESCO-declared Teotihuacán.
  • Explore the magnificent Tehuacan-Cuicatlan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
  • Have a swim and see the sunset in Hierve el Agua, a series of spectacularly sited mineral springs in Oaxaca.
  • Learn surfing in Salina Cruz - one of the most important surfing centers on the Mexican Pacific coast.
  • Take a boat trip in awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon to enjoy the sight of impressive waterfalls, enter mystical caves, and see the cliff where Chiapanec Warriors committed suicide instead of being forced to surrender to the Spanish Conquistadores.
  • See fascinating ancient rituals and beliefs blended with modern Christianity in San Juan de Chamula.
  • Admire the elegance and craftsmanship of the buildings, as well as the lightness of the sculpted reliefs with their Mayan mythological themes in Palenque.

Itinerary

Day 1: Playa del Carmen

Bienvenidos a Mexico! The country with a pleasant and warm climate, diverse landscapes, superb art and architecture, impressive pyramids, rich cultural heritage & traditions, unique UNESCO-listed cuisine, friendly people,  and, of course, millions of ways to have fun a great time!

Arrive at any time and transfer to your accommodation in Playa del Carmen - Cancun International Airport is just 50 km away and is frequently served by taxis and buses. An idyllic place in the heart of the Riviera Maya with fine white sand and blue-green waters, Playa del Carmen is a place where you will always find a hammock and an umbrella to sunbathe and rest. If you prefer action, you will find water activities such as windsurfing, jet skis, kayaking, or diving in the impressive Mayan coral reef.
in the evening, join a welcome meeting with your group and Tour Leader followed by an optional dinner & get-together in one of the local restaurants.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Playa del Carmen
  • Activities: welcome meeting

Day 2: Playa del Carmen

Free program during the day: relax on the beach sipping a refreshing cocktail, choose among numerous outdoor activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, parasailing, ATV riding, etc.) or take a day trip to some of the local natural attractions or Mayan ruins, etc.
In the evening, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Playa del Carmen
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast

Day 3: Playa del Carmen - Tulum - Valladolid

In the morning, we will jumpstart our adventure tour by exploring Tulum - the only Mayan ruins in Mexico that are located directly on the beach. You will enjoy learning the history behind this location as you will walk through different areas of the site.
In the afternoon, arrive in Valladolid. Once known as the Sultana of the East, Yucatán’s third-largest city is known for its quiet streets and sun-splashed pastel walls. Accommodation, orientation walk & free time to explore this beautiful town, optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Valladolid
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities:  guided visit to Tulum, orientation walk in Valladolid

Day 4: Valladolid - Cenote Ik Kil - Chichen Itza - Celestun

In the morning, we will continue our adventure going to Ik Kil - arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico that was considered sacred by the Mayans who performed here human sacrificing to their rain god. 

Afterward, go for a tour of Chichen Itza. The most famous and best restored of the Yucatán Maya sites, it is considered one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Many mysteries of the Maya astronomical calendar are made clear when one understands the design of the ‘time temples’ here.

Finally, in the evening, arrive at our accommodation in Celestun - a small fishing town near Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve: check-in, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Celestun
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: guided visit to Chichen Itza, entrance to Ik Kil cenote

Day 5: Celestun - Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve - Campeche

In the morning,  take a flamingo-watching boat and visit a cenote tour in Ria Celestun UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. A gift of great beauty where you can observe the spectacular colony of pink flamingos together with a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitat, and an “eye of water” that characterizes this fishing port.
Afternoon arrival, check-in, walking tour, and free time in Campeche. Added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites in 1999, this city is a historical fairyland, its walled historic center is a tight enclave of restored pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, fortified ramparts, and well-preserved mansions. 

Optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Campeche
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: entrance and boat tour in Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve, walking tour in Campeche

Day 6: Campeche - Miguel Colorado Cenotes - Palenque

In the morning go to Miguel Colorado Cenotes - two large scenic limestone sinkholes with a spiffy new eco-center and a private nature reserve: optional lunch, kayaking, swimming, zip-lining over one of the cenotes. You can also hike along hilly, rocky trails to each cenote, keeping an eye out for spider and howler monkeys.
Afterward, in the afternoon, continue to Palenque (UNESCO). A prime example of a Mayan sanctuary of the classical period, the city was at its height between AD 500 and 700, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. Evening arrival at our accommodation near Palenque: check-in, optional dinner & get-together with the group in a nearby restaurant.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Campeche
  • Activities: guided visit to Palenque and Miguel Colorado Cenotes (kayaking, swimming, zip-lining, monkey watching)

Day 7: Palenque - Agua Azul & Misol-Ha Waterfalls - San Juan de Chamula - San Cristobal de las Casas

In the morning, go to explore stunning waterfalls: see the cascading falls of Agua Azul and swim in a mineral-rich pool beneath 35-meter tall Misol-Ha.
Afterward, go to visit San Juan de Chamula, the center of independent Tzotzil ethnic group famous for their unique religious practices.
In the evening, arrive at San Cristobal de las Casas: check-in, walking tour, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: walking tours in San Juan de Chamula & San Cristóbal de las Casas, visits to Agua Azul & Misol-Ha waterfalls

Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas - Canyon Sumidero - Chiapa de Corzo

In the morning, visit breathtaking observation points and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon on a boat trip to enjoy the sight of impressive waterfalls, enter mystical caves and see the cliff where Chiapanec Warriors committed suicide instead of being forced to surrender to the Spanish Conquistadores.

Once finished, go to Chiapa de Corzo - one of the most beautiful towns in Chiapas, well known for the Grijalva River, warm people, and colorful Renaissance architecture: accommodation, walking tour in the historic center, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Chiapa de Corzo
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: visit to observation points & boat tour of Sumidero Canyon, walking tour in Chiapa de Corzo

Day 9: Chiapa de Corzo - Salina Cruz

In the morning, after breakfast, move to Salina Cruz - surfing center of the region. Upon arrival, check-in at one of the local surf camps and enjoy the sea! 

Optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Salina Cruz
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast

Day 10: Salina Cruz - Hierve el Agua

Enjoy the sea & sun in the morning before going to Hierve el Agua. The place of 5-star Instagram photos, Hierve El Agua consists of a series of spectacularly sited mineral springs and is a good place to end a trip to the Valle de Tlacolula when the sun starts to dip.
Accommodation in a nearby hotel, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B near Hierve el Agua
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: guided visit to Hierve el Agua

Day 11: Hierve el Agua - Monte Alban - Oaxaca

In the morning, after breakfast, go to Monte Alban. The former capital of the Zapotec people is today an illustrious ruin, but for over a thousand years it served as the second-largest ceremonial site in Mesoamerica, after Teotihuacán.
In the afternoon, continue our adventure tour in Oaxaca. A cultural colossus fit to rival anywhere in Mexico for history, gastronomy, and colorful manifestations of indigenous culture, Oaxaca is a complex but intensely attractive city whose majestic churches and refined plazas have deservedly earned it a UNESCO World Heritage badge. Accommodation, walking tour, optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Oaxaca
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: guided visit to Monte Alban, walking tour in Oaxaca

Day 12: Oaxaca - Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve - Puebla

After breakfast go to Tehuacan-Cuicatlan UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located in a complex system of mountain ranges and valleys generating great biodiversity and different ecosystems. The region has played an important role in the development of agriculture in Mesoamerica. Experience: visit an indescribable cactus forest with other very old xerophytes, see outcrops of fossils &footprints of dinosaurs, etc.

In the afternoon, move to Puebla. Once a bastion of conservatism, Catholicism, and tradition, the city has come out of its colonial-era shell. Puebla retains a fantastically well-preserved UNESCO-listed center, a stunning cathedral, and a wealth of beautiful churches, while younger poblanos (people from Puebla) are embracing the city’s increasingly thriving art and nightlife scenes.
Accommodation, walking tour, optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located hotel/B&B in Valladolid
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: guided visit to Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve, walking tour in Puebla

Day 13: Puebla - Cholula - Teotihuacán  - Mexico City

In the morning, go to nearby Cholula - the oldest city in America inhabited without interruption since its origins that rise up next to the Popocatepetl volcano. Once there, visit the former Franciscan convent of San Gabriel, one of the oldest in America and the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios, built in the sixteenth century by the Spanish and made of domes covered with tiles. It was placed right over the Great Pyramid, the foundation that appears to be a hill rather than an archaeological site.
Afterward, our adventure tour will continue to Teotihuacán - a fabulous UNESCO-listed archaeological zone that was Mexico 's biggest ancient city and the capital of what was probably the country's largest pre-Hispanic empire. Evening arrival to Mexico City: accommodation, optional dinner & get-together with the group.
  • Transportation: private vehicle

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Mexico City

  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast

  • Activities: guided visits to Teotihuacán & the Great Pyramid of Cholula; walking tour in Cholula

Day 14: Mexico City

First, join your group for a walking adventure around the historic center of Mexico City in the morning (Metropolitan Cathedral, Zocalo, National Palace, and Museum of Anthropology), then choose by yourself what to do next in this culturally diverse city - your Tour Leader will be happy to give suggestions. Optional farewell dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Mexico City
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: walking tour in Mexico City, guided visit to the Museum of Anthropology

Day 15: Mexico City

Last day of our Mexico adventure tour: a free program.

  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast

Why go with us

  • Small groups of up to 13 travelers: closer communication, easier coordination, more adventures & fun!
  • Off-the-beaten-track tours with maximum immersion in local nature, culture, and traditions. 
  • The easy-going atmosphere of our tours is perfect for informal travel & making new friends among co-travelers and locals.

Logistics

  • DEPARTURE: We will leave our accommodation in Playa del Carmen on Day 3 morning.ARRIVAL: We will arrive in Mexico City on Day 13 evening.

    • ACCOMMODATIONS: An exact list of accommodations is sent together with trip notes 2 weeks before the departure date. Most of the accommodations are centrally located, tourist-class, locally-owned properties with private facilities in each room (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary). We can arrange pre- & post-tour accommodations but not earlier than 2 weeks before the departure when we send you final trip notes. However, this time is normally enough to arrange it with normal pricing & enough availability.
    • ROOMS: Most Triple Rooms have 2 separate beds from which at least one is king- or queen-size and are for 2 people; if Triple Room is not available on a particular day of the tour, you might be provided with 1 double/twin and 1 single room instead (based on availability and cannot be guaranteed). Most Quad Rooms have 2 separate king- or queen-size beds - each for 2 people; if Quad Room is not available on a particular day, you might be provided with 2 double/twin rooms instead (based on availability and cannot be guaranteed).
    • TRANSPORT: The type of private vehicle for inter-city transfers depends on the size of the group and may include car, 7-seater, minivan. Inside urban areas, walking is the most common way of transportation.
    • ACTIVITIES: Participation in all activities is optional - just be sure to be in time for departures. Both walking tours (>2h, normally in historic centers of bigger cities) and orientation walks (<2h, normally in smaller towns & villages) focus on local history, culture & gastronomy and are led by a Tour Leader.
    • FOOD: Food & drinks included in the tour (be it breakfasts at our accommodations, Market Food Experiences, lunches, or dinners) can normally meet most of the common dietary restrictions. However, due to the active program of the tour and different menus in each place, satisfying a special diet or food preferences of a particular traveler will depend on circumstances and cannot be fully guaranteed.
    • PHYSICAL CONDITION: This tour involves a decent amount of hiking & walking. Therefore, travelers should have at least moderate physical fitness condition.
    • WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU: Comfortable clothes & (preferably hiking) shoes; swimming suit & slippers; a smaller backpack for daily tours; hat/cap, sunglasses & sunscreen; travel insurance; good mood & curiosity.
    • PRICING: The price of the tour/person depends on the number of travelers & room option you choose.
    • GROUP VS. PRIVATE TOUR: Group Tour: take a trip with other travelers. Private Tour: take a trip on your own, with friends, couple, or family. While offering more privacy and exclusivity such tours may cost more than group ones. If you wanna take a private tour with a group that is bigger than 4, please contact us and we will send you a personalized offer. For private tours, the dates of departure (and in some cases the itinerary & activities) can be customized to your request.