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Adventure Tours

Explore the Mayan World: 9-Day Group Tour of Chiapas, Campeche and Riviera Maya

Calle Diego de Mazariegos 28, Zona Centro, 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico

Activity provided by Vibe Adventures

9 days (approx.) - English

Vibe Adventures

Join our 9-day “Mexico: Mayan Express” tour to see the top natural & cultural attractions of 5 Mexican states.

Highlights
  • Take a boat tour in Sumidero Canyon to see impressive waterfalls, mystical caves, and incredibly steep cliffs.
  • Witness fascinating ancient rituals and beliefs blended with modern Christianity in San Juan de Chamula.
  • Admire the grandeur of the buildings and the craftsmanship of the sculpted Mayan reliefs in Palenque.
  • Sunbath on fine white-sand beaches and swim in the clear blue-green waters in Playa del Carmen.
  • Explore the UNESCO-listed Palenque Archeological Zone and UNESCO-listed Chichen Itza.
Description

Overview

Join our 9-day “Mexico: Mayan Express” tour to see the top natural & cultural attractions of 5 Mexican states. Start from a stunning Canyon Sumidero, stroll mysterious Palenque ruins, walk colonial streets of Valladolid and finish in paradisiacal Playa del Carmen.

Highlights

  • Take a boat tour in Sumidero Canyon to see impressive waterfalls, mystical caves, and incredibly steep cliffs.
  • Have a swim and enjoy and incomparable beauty of Agua Azul, a series of spectacular waterfalls in Chiapas.
  • Witness fascinating ancient rituals and beliefs blended with modern Christianity in San Juan de Chamula.
  • Admire the grandeur of the buildings and the craftsmanship of the sculpted Mayan reliefs in Palenque.
  • Sunbath on fine white-sand beaches and swim in the clear blue-green waters in Playa del Carmen.

Itinerary

Day 1: Chiapa de Corzo

Bienvenidos a Chiapa de Corzo – one of the most beautiful towns in Chiapas, well known for its warm people and colorful Renaissance architecture. Arrive at any time and independently transfer to your accommodation in Chiapa de Corzo. On Friday evening, meet your group and Tour Leader: welcome meeting, optional dinner and get-together with the rest of the group.

  • Transportation: walking
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Chiapa de Corzo
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: welcome meeting

Day 2: Chiapa de Corzo – Canyon Sumidero – San Juan de Chamula – San Cristobal de las Casas

In the morning, 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. Afterward, move for an orientation walk and optional lunch to 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. Set in a gorgeous highland valley surrounded by pine forest, this beautiful colonial city has been a popular travelers’ destination for decades. Check-in, orientation walk, optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: boat tour in Sumidero Canyon; orientation walks in San Juan de Chamula and San Cristobal de las Casas

Day 3: San Cristóbal de las Casas – Agua Azul & Misol-Ha Waterfalls – Palenque

In the morning, continue our “Mexico: Mayan Express” tour visiting 2 stunning waterfalls. First, see the unique cascading falls of Agua Azul, then swim in a mineral-rich pool beneath 35-meter-tall Misol-Ha. Hereafter, move to our last stop of the day – “Magical Town” of Palenque. Check-in, an orientation walk of the historic center of the town, an optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Palenque
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: guided visits to Agua Azul & Misol-Ha waterfalls; orientation walk of Palenque

Day 4: Palenque – Miguel Colorado Cenotes – Campeche

In the morning, after breakfast and check-out, go to explore the UNESCO-listed Palenque Archeological Zone. A prime example of a Mayan sanctuary of the classical period, it flourished between AD 500 and 700, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. In the afternoon, continue to Miguel Colorado – two large scenic cenotes with a spiffy new eco-center and a private nature reserve. Optional lunch, kayaking, swimming, zip-lining over one of the cenotes. There, we will also hike along hilly, rocky trails keeping an eye out for spider and howler monkeys.

Evening arrival, optional dinner & get-together in Campeche. A true historical fairyland, its UNESCO-listed colonial center represents a tight enclave of restored pastel buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, fortified ramparts, and well-preserved mansions. Check-in, an orientation walk of the historic center of the Campeche, an optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

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

Day 5: Campeche – Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve – Celestun

In the afternoon,  after a visit to the 19th-century Fort of San Miguel in the suburbs of Campeche, continue our “Mexico: Mayan Express” tour in Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve. This UNESCO-listed protected area is a gift of great beauty where you can observe pink flamingos together with a wide variety of bird species in their natural habitat. Flamingos-watching boat tour, swimming in a local cenote, and transfer to the nearby beach town of Celestun. Check-in, orientation walk of the town, optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Celestun
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: guided visit to Fort of San Miguel (Campeche); entrance and boat tour in Ria Celestun UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (flamingo watching + visit to cenote)

Day 6: Celestun – Chichen Itza – Cenote Ik Kil – Valladolid

In the morning, after breakfast and checkout, head for UNESCO-listed 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.

In the afternoon, continue to Ik Kil – arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico that was considered sacred by the Mayans who performed here human sacrifices to their rain god. In fact, in order to reach the water, you have to climb down 26 meters. The water is 40 meters deep while its diameter is 60 meters. Evening arrival, accommodation, optional dinner & get-together with the group 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.

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

Day 7: Valladolid – Tulum – Playa del Carmen

In the morning, after an orientation walk of Valladolid, go to explore Tulum – the only Mayan ruins located directly on the beach. Once there, you will earn the history behind this location as you will walk through different areas of the site. You can also walk down to the amazing beach and enjoy the white sand and turquoise water, see wild iguanas and beautiful tropical foliage.

In the afternoon, arrive in Playa del Carmen, an idyllic place located in the heart of the Riviera Maya with fine white sand and blue-green waters, where you will always find a hammock and an umbrella to sunbathe and rest, especially on the edge of town that offers the quietest beach areas. If you prefer action, in Playa del Carmen you will find water activities such as windsurfing, jet skis, kayaking, or diving in the impressive Mayan coral reef. Accommodation, orientation walk, optional dinner & get-together with the group.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Playa del Carmen
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included:  guided visit to Tulum Archeological Zone; orientation walk in Playa del Carmen

Day 8: Playa del Carmen

Free program: relax on the beach sipping a cocktail, try numerous outdoor activities (scuba diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking, parasailing, ATV riding, etc.) or take a day trip to some of the nearby natural attractions or Mayan ruins. Optional farewell dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

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

Day 9: Playa del Carmen

Last day of our “Mexico: Mayan Express” tour. Choose by yourself when to leave – Cancun International Airport is just 50 km away and is well served by taxis and buses.

  • Meals Included: 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 & ARRIVAL: We will leave our accommodation in Chiapa de Corzo on Day 2 morning. We will arrive at our accommodation in Playa del Carmen on Day 7 afternoon.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFERS: This tour doesn’t include airport transfers. Cancun International Airport is about 50 km away from Playa del Carmen and is well served by taxis and buses. Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport is about 30 km away from Chiapa de Corzo and is also accessible by both taxis and public transport.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: You will receive a list of accommodations together with trip notes 2 weeks before the tour. Most 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.
  • ROOM TYPES:
    • Shared Twin Room: Single bed in a twin room shared with another co-traveler of the same gender. This option is specifically designed for solo travelers and applies just to group departures.
    • Double/Twin Room: Private room for 2 people. You can choose between 1 double bed or 2 single beds.
    • Triple Room: Private room for 3 people. It normally has 1 double bed for 2 people and 1 single bed for 1 person.
    • Quad Room: Private room for 4 people. It normally has 2 double beds for 2 people each.

    If none of the room types above fits you, please contact us and we will send you a personalized quote.

  • TRANSPORT: The type of vehicle depends on the size of the group and may involve a car, 7-seater, or minivan. Inside urban areas, walking is the most common way of transportation.

Notes

  • FOOD: Meals and Gastronomic Experiences included in this tour 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 walking & hiking. Therefore, travelers should have at least moderate physical fitness condition.
  • ACTIVITIES: Participation in all activities is optional – just be sure to be in time for daily departures. Most of the included activities such as walking tours (>2h, normally in historic centers of bigger cities), orientation walks (<2h, normally in smaller towns & villages), guided visits & hikes focus on local nature, history, culture & gastronomy and are led by a Tour Leader. You will receive suggestions for optional activities in trip notes. Extra day tours and activities can be booked by your Tour Leader for an extra fee.
  • WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU: Comfortable clothes & shoes; swimming suit & slippers/water shoes; a smaller backpack for daily tours; hat/cap, sunglasses & sunscreen; travel insurance; good mood & curiosity.
  • GROUP VS. PRIVATE: Our multi-day tours offer both group and private departures (see pricing at checkout). Group tour – take a scheduled trip with other travelers. Private tour – take a trip on your own, with friends or family. Private tours are customizable (you can depart any day and we can add additional stops & activities on your request) and thus may cost more than group tours.
  • PRICING: * The price of the tour/person depends on the number of travelers and the room/tour option you choose.

Starting Location
Calle Diego de Mazariegos 28, Zona Centro, 29200 San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chis., Mexico.
Itineraries are subject to change.
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4 days (approx.)