Yucatán, nature and authentic encounters

Idea for a 16-day trip to Mexico.

Get behind the wheel of your car and discover the Yucatán Peninsula. Authentic encounters, magical natural settings, archaeological sites and, above all, a breath of fresh air await you!

 

Highlights of the trip:
🌿 Encounters at the heart of the trip
🌿 Kayak tour of a lost lagoon north of Mérida.
🌿 Visits to the main Mayan cities on the Peninsula.
🌿 Nights in the wilderness to recharge your batteries.
🌿 A stay in Tulum, in a charming hotel by the sea.

Length of stay: 16 days

Kind: Feel Good Collection

Fix: Easy

Countries visited: Mexico

Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Ek' Balam, Ekbalam, Yucatan, Mexico

Chichén-Itzá, Yucatan, Mexico

Hunucmá, Yucatan, Mexico

Sisal, Yucatan, Mexico

Tixkokob, Yucatan, Mexico

Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico

Muna, Yucatan, Mexico

Tekit, Yucatan, Mexico

Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Calakmul, Campeche, Mexico

Becán, Campeche, Mexico

Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico

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Day 1 : Cancún

Arrival in Cancun

Arrive at the airport and pick up your vehicle at the rental counter.

 

An English-speaking guide will be waiting for you at the rental counter. He or she will help you with all the formalities and provide you with a road map of the region.

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Day 2 : Ek Balam

Departure for Ek Balam.

Recently explored, Ek Balam remains the major Mayan archaeological discovery of the late 20th century. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle.

 

Suggestion: Swimming in the forest at the X’Canche cenote

After your lunch break, cycle from the site entrance (1.5 km, 20 minutes) to cenote X’canche. Arrive at the cenote and bathe in this sacred space.

 

If you wish, visit Valladolid in the afternoon or evening. This small colonial town is a great place to visit in the evening, with good restaurants serving local specialties.

At the end of the day, settle into your cabins in the Mayan community of U Najil.

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Day 3 : Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza, a Mayan wonder

Built by the Mayas, then reworked by the Toltecs, Chichen Itza symbolizes the unification of two religious cultures. The largest archaeological site in Yucatan was, at its peak, the peninsula’s main religious center.

 

Bathing at the Cenote Yokdzonot

After visiting Chichen Itza, there’s nothing like a refreshing swim in a cenote. Just 3 kilometres from the site is the off-the-beaten-track cenote Yokdzonot (swimming possible). A pool of water in which it’s pleasant to swim in a natural environment. We suggest you stop for lunch at a restaurant right next to the cenote.

 

The yellow town of Izamal

Then off to discover the authentic colonial village of Izamal, a magnificent town colored in bright yellows.

 

Overnight at Hotel Hacienda Sacnicte. Room suite.

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Day 4 : Hunucmá

Share the life of a Mexican family.

Depart in the morning for the small village of Hunucmá to enjoy a day of exchanges and discoveries with a Mexican family.

 

When you arrive in the village, you’ll meet a member of the family who will welcome you. You’ll visit the market and buy all the local produce you’ll need for your cooking class.

Just 10 minutes from the village, discover the family’s beautiful country home. After visiting the ranch, prepare a typical dish. You’ll have to get your hands dirty preparing the tortillas and mixing the spices and condiments. You’ll become a real chef.

 

While cooking, visit the honey production area. You’ll also have the chance to taste the very rare Melipona Mayan bee honey.

 

PS: Allergy sufferers will not be able to take the tour: clothing cannot provide 100% protection against a bee sting.

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Day 5 : Sisal

Reach Sisal

A small fishing village with some of the most beautiful beaches on the north coast of the peninsula.

There are plenty of activity options. Ride a horse along the beach, admire the flamingos from a boat, go snorkeling, visit the ojo de aguas or take a walk to observe the wildlife that lives in the lagoons along the coast.

 

Return to Merida at the end of the day.

Overnight at Hotel El Palacito Secreto.

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Day 6 : Tixkokob

A small paradise 1h30 from Mérida

Departure for the west of the Yucatan peninsula to a small fishing port.

The boat will take you to the lagoon, where only kayaks can pass. Cross the mangrove to an ojo de agua: a freshwater spring where you can cool off.

Back on the boat, enjoy a Mexican-style fish carpaccio.

 

Don’t forget your bathing suit, sun cream and a hat or cap.

Overnight at Hotel Hacienda Ticum, a small Mayan house.

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Day 7 : Uxmal

Off-the-beaten-track cenote tour

Cenotes are natural pools of translucent freshwater, where the sun’s rays create a magical play of light. Explore and bathe in 2 cenotes in the middle of the forest. One thing’s for sure, you’ll come away transformed.

 

Conquering the city of Uxmal

Depart for the site of Uxmal.

After the visit, drive to Santa Elena, near Uxmal.

 

Evening suggestion: sound and light show at Uxmal.

 

Lunch with a Mayan family Doña Ana opens the doors of her home to you.

Doña Ana opens the doors of her home and teaches you the secrets of handmade tortillas.

 

Overnight at The Pickled Onion hotel (15km from Uxmal).

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Day 8 : Muna

Today, visit the Puuc region, well known for its archaeological zones and biodiversity, but also for the quality of its handicrafts.

 

Then on to Mani, a key site in the history of Mayan repression by the Spanish Church.

 

Visit a Mayan ceramics workshop (30min – 1h)

 

Then on to Muna, where you’ll find Patricia making ceramics using ancestral techniques, reproducing pre-Columbian pieces for several American and European museums. Stop for a moment to observe her work.

 

Overnight stay in Tekit. Option included: dinner

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Day 9 : Tekit

Meeting the locals

Tekit is known throughout the peninsula as the village where the finest guayaberas (elegant traditional shirts) are produced.

Discover village life by meeting the locals, who will teach you about their daily lives and their know-how.

Join Marco the baker, who will show you the region’s most popular recipes. Visit Leidi, who makes magnificent huipiles embroidered with a thousand flowers. For some years now, she has been rehabilitating several forgotten embroidery techniques by studying old fabrics and meeting the last craftswomen who still possess this knowledge.

Visit Ana’s garden of aromatic plants and numerous Melipona beehives.

 

You can also visit the plot belonging to Luís, the first inhabitant of the village to rehabilitate polyculture: his land is overflowing with delicious vegetables and fruit. Certainly the best avocados and pitayas of your stay!

 

Overnight stay in Tekit.

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Day 10 : Tihosuco

Set off to discover southern Quintana Roo, a region with an extraordinary wealth of culture and history.

 

In Tihosuco, visit the Caste War Museum. Don’t miss a visit to the church, whose roof has been missing since the battle that took place in this high spot of the Caste War.

 

Then visit Kantemó’s famous snake cave at dusk: this endemic (and non-venomous) species has developed a very special hunting technique: it snatches bats in mid-flight as they emerge from their caves to feed at dusk.

 

In the evening, spend the night in the Selva Bonita. huts.

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Day 11 : Calakmul

This morning, visit the site of Chacchoben, which means coloured corn.

Then head for Calakmul, a forested area full of little-visited sites easily accessible by road, such as Calakmul, Xpujil, Becan, Hormiguero, Chicanná…

 

Overnight at Hotel Guarra de Jaguar.

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Day 12 : Bécan

Archaeological site visit

Visit Balamku in the morning mist, famous for its exceptionally well-preserved fresco hidden inside the main pyramid!

Explore the site of Bécan, surrounded by moats and well-preserved monumental structures, undoubtedly one of the most complete sites in the region. Enjoy the colors and sounds of the wild jungle.

 

Then drive to Bacalar for the night.

Overnight at Hotel Azul No Me Olvides.

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Day 13 : Bacalar

Boat tour of Bacalar Lagoon (3-hour tour):

50 kilometers long and 2 kilometers narrow, the lagoon is set in a beautiful mangrove forest. Its incredible variations in shades of blue have earned it the nickname of the Seven-Colored Lagoon.

Take a small boat out to explore the lagoon. Discover 3 cenotes, Bird Island, and the canal that was used by pirates as an entrance during their repeated assaults to plunder Bacalar.

 

End of the day at leisure by the lagoon.

Don’t forget your bathing suit, biodegradable sun cream and a hat or cap.

 

Overnight at Hotel Azul No Me Olvides.

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Day 14 : Bacalar

Free morning in Bacalar

Spend the morning at leisure around the Bacalar lagoon.

Then head north to Tulum, along heavenly Caribbean beaches.

 

Overnight at Hotel Rosa del viento.

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Day 15 : Tulum

Boat tour – snorkeling in front of the Tulum site

In the morning, visit the archaeological site of Tulum, which bears witness to the arrival of the first settlers in 1518.

Join fishermen on their *lancha* for a sea tour (1h30). Jump into the water with mask and snorkel (provided) for a snorkeling tour. The seabed is rich and with a bit of luck you’ll spot a sea turtle.

 

Overnight at Hotel Rosa del viento.

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Day 16 : Tulum

Hasta luego México (Mexico City)

Departure from the hotel 5 hours before take-off time for Cancun airport.

Return your vehicle at the rental agency counter and check-in for your international flight.

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