• Meksiko

    2 – 16 Mei 2020

Meksiko

2 – 16 Mei 2020

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Reisprogram

Day 1: 01 May 2020

Johannesburg – Mexico City

We depart from OR Tambo International Airport to Mexico City.

Overnight

Day 2: 02 May 2020

Arrival – Mexico City

Upon arrival, you are met by your tour guide for this trip. You will be transferred to your hotel in the heart of the historical city centre.

Overnight Hotel Histórico Central Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3: 03 May 2020

Mexico City

Today we explore the Zocalo, the largest city square in the Americas. The visit includes the Palacio Nacional, the Cathedral with its baroque and neo-classical elements, and later the Templo Mayor, the outer ruins of the ceremonial centre of the Aztec capital.

From there, we will walk around the historical city centre to admire its many churches and diverse architecture. We visit the casa de los azulejos and the post office. We will visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes, with stunning murals by Diego Rivera, and the Alameda park.

Overnight Hotel Histórico Central Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4: 04 May 2020

Mexico City

We will start the day by visiting the anthropology museum, where most of Mexico’s ancient treasures are on display. This museum creates a wonderful perspective on the complexity and wealth of pre-Hispanic Mexico, and helps to provide a clearer picture of the archaeological sites that we will explore on this trip.

Afterwards, we set course to the south of the city: the colonial neighbourhood of Coyoacan. Back in the days, this used to be a separate village. The cobblestone streets and colonial buildings still ooze charm. The area is home to the Frida Kahlo museum, which can be visited optionally today. Otherwise, enjoy the many bookshops, galleries, handicraft markets and great coffee places Coyoacan has to offer.

Further on is Xochimilco, where we take colourful trajineras on the small canals known as the Venice of Mexico.

Overnight Hotel Histórico Central Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5: 05 May 2020

Mexico City – Puebla

Today we will pay a visit to the magnificent site of Teotihuacan where we walk along the Avenue of the Dead to admire the enormous Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. This was once a city of 120-000 inhabitants.

Its distinctive gastronomy, star dishes being Mole Poblano, Chile and Nogada. You will also find a large number of traditional, typical sweets based on regional fruits.

Overnight Hotel Palacio San Leonardo Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6: 06 May 2020

Puebla – Oaxaca

In the morning, we will drive through the mountains to the city of Oaxaca. Oaxaca was once a centre for the Dominicans and nowadays is a huge open-air museum, with colourful colonial mansions and impressive churches.

Oaxaca is a very creative city, where artists and artisans mingle with the mainly indigenous population. You will find all kinds of art here; typical embroideries, Alebrijes, pottery, woodcraft, metal works, paintings, etc.

Oaxaca’s gastronomy is also very exciting, offering traditional and regional dishes of which the people of Oaxaca are very proud. We will see this up close when we visit the local market.

Overnight Hotel Casantica Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: 07 May 2020

Oaxaca

Today we have the opportunity to explore the pyramids of Monte Alban. These Zapotec pyramids were built on top of a mountain range, which permits spectacular views.

Later, we all continue to focus on local artwork today, visiting different villages each specialising in different artistry. It allows us some insight into the daily life of an artisan and a chance to learn about the ancient techniques used to create traditional and contemporary pieces.

Overnight Hotel Casantica Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: 08 May 2020

Oaxaca – Tuxtla Gutierraz

We fly to Tuxtla Gutierraz where we visit the stunning Sumidero Canyon and take a 3-hour boat ride on the Grijalva River with the canyon walls towering over 750 metres above us. It’s a breath- taking sight.

We then continue into the village of San Cristobal de las Casas known for its charm and strong indigenous flavour.

Overnight Hotel Diego de Mazariegos Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9: 09 May 2020

Tuxtla Gutierraz

Today we visit the villages of Chamula and Zinacantan where we see old Mayan rituals mix with catholic observances in the local church. In the villages, many locals still wear traditional dress and you will most likely be invited to witness the women weaving. Returning to San Cristobal we take in the local scene and you can shop for beautiful textiles and handicrafts.

Overnight Hotel Diego de Mazariegos Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10: 10 May 2020

Tuxtla Gutierraz – Palenque

Today is an easy travel day, stopping en route at the beautiful Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls before reaching Palenque in the afternoon. The Agua Azul River descends the limestone bed in steps forming a series of impressive waterfalls that create natural pools contained by limestone levees called Rimstone in geological terminology. At the entrance of the site there are craft shops, small food stands and local guides, who take bolder visitors to other even more dramatic waterfalls, as the descending river continues downstream until it plunges into the Tulijá River, forming one of the most beautiful sheets of water.

Overnight Hotel Chan-Kah Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11: 11 May 2020

Palenque – Campeche

To avoid the heat, we start early with our guide to explore the incredible jungle-swathed Mayan ruins of Palenque, which flourished in the 7th century.

We then continue our drive to Campeche where we take a short tour of the city’s fortified walls. Campeche is the only walled city of Mexico. The walls, baluartes and fortresses are silent reminders of Campeche’s violent past, fending off constant pirate attacks in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Overnight Hotel Plaza Colonial Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12: 12 May 2020

Campeche – Mérida

We leave early today, to travel to the archaeological site of Uxmal. The name Uxmal, which means “thrice built” or “three harvests”, is a reference to the complexity of this city that once housed close to 20,000 inhabitants. It was the headquarters of economic and political power of a vast region, from which the Pucc architectural style spread. The importance of Uxmal is also due to the enormous amount of work invested in the construction of its buildings. Unlike most pre-Hispanic cities, the layout of Uxmal’s structures does not seem to follow a geometric order; its spaces are organized in a more subtle way.

Overnight Hotel Mision de Fray Diego Breakfast and Lunch

Day 13: 13 May 2020

Mérida

We have an optional visit to Celestun which is a small beach town in Mexico’s Yucatan province. Here we can relax on the beach, explore the Ria Celestun mangroves, and potentially see thousands of flamingos in the wild! All of this can be seen the same day (an amazing experience that makes our list of the best things to do in Mexico).

An afternoon city tour of Mérida, the capital of Yucatan, is a beautiful colonial city, known as the white city follows. The Spaniard Francisco de Montejo “El Mozo” founded Mérida on January 6, 1542. When the Spaniards arrived, Mérida was a large Maya city known as T’ho, situated on what is now the Main Plaza. It was conquered by the Spaniards, who dismantled all the pyramids and used the huge stones as the foundation for the Cathedral of San Ildefonso (1556-1599), the oldest cathedral on the American continent.

The Cathedral, situated on the east side of the Plaza, is only one of Mérida’s many interesting sites. Directly across the Plaza is the Palacio Municipal (1735), Mérida’s Town Hall. On the south side is the Casa de Montejo (1542), the former home of the conqueror of Yucatán. The Palacio de Gobierno (1892), on the north side, houses murals by Fernanco Castro Pacheco illustrating the somewhat violent history of Yucatán.

One of the major influences on Yucatán history is the henequén plant. This plant became known as ‘green gold’ for the wealth it lavished upon the hacienda owners in this area. In the early 20th Century, this made Mérida home to numerous millionaires who built their lavish homes on Paseo de Montejo.

Overnight Hotel Mision de Fray Diego Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14: 14 May 2020

Mérida – Cancun

Today we will leave early to the famous Maya pyramids of Chichen Itzá. Between 600 and 1250 A.D. this ancient city whose name means “at the mouth of the Itza well,” was the center of political, economic, religious, and military power, not only in Yucatan but also in the entire southeaster part of Mesoamerica. Its sphere of control was based on regional and long distance mercantile activities, which generated one of the most important commercial circuits in all Mesoamerica.

Chichen Itza rule brought about drastic changes in the internal structure of Yucatecan communities. At the same time, the introduction of an innovative view of the world marked the establishment of an order characterized by changing commercial values, production and distribution systems, and residential and religious architecture of the groups in the power.

It is calculated that during the age of grandeur approximately 50,000 people inhabited Chichen Itzá. Nowadays, it is the most visited archaeological site in the peninsula of Yucatan, due to its extraordinary architecture beauty and its geographical location.

A natural characteristic of the Yucatan peninsula are the sinkholes, or cenotes. These beautiful subterranean caves connected by intricate water systems are well-worth a visit. Today we will visit cenote Dzitnup on the way to Cancun. If you are up for it, you can dive in for a refreshing swim.

Overnight Hotel Krystal Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15: 15 May 2020

Cancun

This morning we will visit the archaeological site of Tulum, the only Mayan ruin built on the coast. The site is relatively small, but the views are stunning. It is also the only archaeological site in the world with a private beach (swimming is allowed).

The rest of the day is at leisure. Tulum is famous for its ecological upscale accommodations.

Overnight Hotel Krystal Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 16: 16 May 2020

Cancun – Europe

We depart to Cancun – time permitting; we might be able to do a short city tour, and then connect for our flight via Europe to Johannesburg.

Breakfast

Day 17: 17 May 2020

Europe – Johannesburg

We have got some time for duty free shopping before we continue with our flight to Johannesburg.

Day 18: 18 May 2020

Johannesburg

We land in Johannesburg around mid-day after an incredible tour!

BON VOYAGE

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