Ancient Yucatan

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Ancient Yucatan lets you explore the history of ancient civilizations in the Yucatan area. Spend the first night of your trip in beautiful Cancun. Then tour the beachfront ruins at Tulum. This stunning 12th-centruy site, once inhabited by the Mayas and Toltecs, is set atop coastal cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Your tour then takes you to the Mayan city of Coba, an important Mayan city during the 8th and 9th centuries, en route to legendary Chichen Itza. During your stay in Chichen Itza, built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD, visit the Ball Court, site of many human sacrifices; El Castillo, a formidable building dedicated to the high priest; and the Cenote Sagrado, the sacred well once filled with priceless treasures offered to the gods.

Next, stop in Izamal, a classic Mayan religious site, on the way to Uxmal with its famous ruins. Visit the Palace of Masks in Kabah before reaching Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state and its colonial heart. In Merida, enjoy a city sightseeing tour, visit the cathedral, and learn more about the Mayan culture at the Museum of Anthropology and History. On to the Mayan city of Ek Balam and its enormous pyramid. Stop in the charming town of Valladolid before traveling to Playa del Carmen, where you have leisure time to enjoy this tropical paradise. Sit by the pool, browse through the shops, play a game of tennis, or just soak in the sun—the perfect way to end your Yucatan vacation.

Activities Sightseeing
Walking tour

Arrive in Cancun

imagesDay 1: Welcome to Cancun! At 7 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.

Cancun – Tulum

imagesDay 2: First, we’ll visit the beachfront ruins of TULUM. This stunning 12th-century site, once inhabited by the Mayas and Toltecs, is set atop coastal cliffs overlooking the Caribbean. From here it is a short drive to COBA, an important Mayan city during the 8th and 9th centuries. Although it had an estimated population of 50,000, it was abandoned for unknown reasons. The present-day village straddles Lago Coba and is surrounded by dense jungle. In the late afternoon, arrive at Chichen Itza, where the renowned Mayaland Hotel is your home for the next two nights.

Chichen Itza

imagesDay 3: A full day to explore this most important and strategic ancient city. CHICHEN ITZA was built by the Maya between 600 and 900 AD, abandoned by the end of the 10th century, and re-established in the 11th and 12th centuries, possibly by the Toltecs. The site sits amid 3 miles of cleared forest scrub. Visit the BALL COURT, site of many human sacrifices; EL CASTILLO, a formidable building dedicated to the high priest; and the CENOTE SAGRADO, the sacred well once filled with priceless treasures offered to the gods. This evening, enjoy the SOUND & LIGHT SHOW at Chichen Itza.

Chichen Itza – Izamal – Uxmal

imagesDay 4: Today we drive to Izamal, a charming town that was once a classic Mayan religious site and later a center of the Spanish attempt to Christianize the Maya. Tour the Convent, built between 1549 and 1562, and visit the local market before enjoying lunch at an area restaurant. This evening, enjoy an exciting SOUND & LIGHT SHOW.

Uxmal – Kabah – Merida

imagesDay 5: This morning we visit UXMAL. Built during the Classic Period, Uxmal is the most famous of the ruins in the Puuc region. Its architecture is considered one of the masterpieces of the old civilization. Later, visit KABAH, a small but interesting archaeological site famous for its PALACE OF MASKS. Journey on to Merida, capital of the Yucatan state and its colonial heart. This evening, take a stroll around this friendly town and explore some of the interesting shops and restaurants. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for the best way to spend your evening.

Merida

imagesDay 6: Conquered in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo, Merida remained under Spanish control for the next 300 years. This morning’s city tour showcases a variety of European architectural styles by visiting the CATHEDRAL, the zocalo (main square), and the elegant Paseo Montejo boulevard. Later, visit the MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY & HISTORY with its excellent displays of Mayan artifacts from various sites in the Yucatan. Enjoy leisure time this afternoon to relax in your centrally located hotel, shop for local wares, or maybe visit nearby museums such as the Museum of Popular Art, showcasing Mayan art, handicrafts, and clothing.

Merida – Ek Balam – Valladolid – Playa del Carmen

imagesDay 7: Today we visit the enormous and elaborate Acropolis pyramid located inside the Mayan site of EK BALAM. Meaning “black jaguar,” Ek Balam was at the height of its importance as a Mayan city during the Late Classic Period (600-900 AD). When the Mayas abandoned the site, it went under cover as the dense low-lying jungle of the Yucatan engulfed it. Found by archaeologists and adventurers, its restoration has been ongoing since 1997. Next we visit the small but charming town of Valladolid before making our way to Playa del Carmen. This evening your Tour Director hosts a festive farewell dinner.

Playa del Carmen

imagesDay 8: A full day to enjoy this tropical paradise. Relax by the pool, play a game of tennis, or do some golfing. Browse in the shops or enjoy one of the local restaurants. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for additional sightseeing.

Playa del Carmen – Cancun

imagesDay 9: The vacation ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers provided to Cancun International Airport.

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