TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival Arrival. Welcome to Mexico. Transfer to hotel and free time. Our guide will contact you late in the afternoon or provide information through the informative panels in the hotel reception area.-
Today we have a fantastic day acquaint ourselves with Mexico. We include a sightseeing tour of the city. We will visit the Plaza of Three Cultures, and the historic centre in which the Zócalo (main square) and its Metropolitan Cathedral stand out, the main Aztec temple, Chapultepec Park, the “Paseo de la Reforma” Avenue and the other main avenues of this impressive city. At the end of the visit we travel to the BASILICA OF GUADALUPE, the most visited Catholic temple in the Americas where the Virgin of Guadalupe is found. There we will be able to explore the old basilica dating back to the 18th Century and also the modern temple. In the afternoon we travel to the neighbourhood of XOCHIMILCO, a wonderful place with its canals and semi-floating gardens. Here we include a ride in a “trajinera”, one of the boats festooned with flowers. In the evening we include a transfer to the Plaza de GARIBALDI, with its many bars, restaurants and bars where tacos and tequila are served and the Mariachis sing. Dinner is included in a traditional restaurant.
MEXICO CITY - TEOTIHUACAN - CHOLULA 79ºF - OAXACA 75ºF
We begin our tour by going to TEOTIHUACAN, which in Nahuatl means “the place where men become gods”, and is one of the most impressive cities from the ancient world. We will admire the pyramids of the sun and the moon, entry ticket and visit. We continue our route to the very picturesque CHOLULA, with its beautiful square, its tunnels under the pyramid and the picturesque sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios from where you can admire the magnificent panorama. Time to have lunch. In the afternoon, we travel to the state of Oaxaca. Arrival at OAXACA at the end of the day.- Dinner included.
Visit included to OAXACA, a UNESCO World Heritage City of Aztec origin with its impressive monumental heritage, after which we go up to the site of MONTE ALBAN, which is set deep in a 400-metre mountain above the Valley of Oaxaca – entry tickets and visit are included. This is the most magnificent of the Zapotec cities. Free afternoon in Oaxaca, an extremely beautiful colonial city which is full of life.
OAXACA 75ºF - EL TULE 68ºF - SAN PABLO VILLA DE MITLA 79ºF - TUXLA
We leave for SANTA MARIE EL TULE, together with its beautiful church, it contains a two thousand year old tree that has one of widest trunks in the world. After that we will stop at SAN PABLO VILLA DE MITLA, a magical town. We allow time for a walk together to the Church of San Pablo dating back to the Sixteenth Century and through its beautiful rustic streets. We continue our route in the sierras of Oaxaca towards the Isthmus. Lunch is included en route. At the end of the afternoon, we arrive in TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, the capital of the state of Chiapas. We will go with our guide to the Marimba Park, where we will listen to a live group playing the Marimba, the emblematic instrument of Chiapas.
TUXLA - SUMIDERO CANYON - CHIAPA DEL CORZO - SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS 88ºF
We will explore the SUMDERO CANYON. Travelling by boat, we will travel up this impressive canyon which is almost 1 km deep and 14 km long. Next, we will walk through CHIAPA DEL CORZO, a traditional and cultural colonial site. We continue to SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS, arriving at lunch time. Free afternoon in this beautiful colonial city founded in 1528.
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS 88ºF - SAN JUAN CHAMULA 91ºF - ZINACANTAN 91ºF - COMITAN - HUEHUETENANGO 66ºF
We enter into the Mayan culture. We discover beautiful villages inhabited by the Tzotzil Indians. In SAN JUAN CHAMULA we will be surprised by their church that mixes Christianity with pre-Columbian traditions. In ZINACANTAN we can admire the dresses worn by the women and also their small loom workshop-shops. We continue our route to COMITAN, a warm town that preserves its pre-Hispanic roots and vice-regal architecture. There will be time to have lunch. We continue towards GUATEMALA, border procedures and then our journey continues through impressive mountainous landscapes. HUEHUETENANGO, the lively departmental capital city. Dinner is included and accommodation.
HUEHUETENANGO 66ºF - SANTA CRUZ DEL QUICHE 68ºF - GUMARCAAJ - (CHICHICASTENANGO) - PANAJACHEL 91ºF
Fantastic section through the Mayan highlands. We cross seldom visited regions with magnificent landscapes. SANTA CRUZ DEL QUICHE, the very lively regional capital; the altarpiece in its cathedral is extremely beautiful. We visit the archaeological site of GUMARCAAJ, the ancient capital of the Maya Kiche kingdom. We will visit its pyramids, learn about their ball game and explore the site where Mayan ceremonies are still held. We continue to CHICHICASTENANGO, one of the most beautiful places in Guatemala, with its colourful market and its church. Here, the Mayan customs survive. There’s time to have lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the Mask Museum and with a shaman we will undertake a Mayan fire ceremony. Onward journey to the beautiful Lake ATITLAN. PANAJACHEL, dinner included and accommodation.
PANAJACHEL 91ºF - ATITLAN LAKE - GUATEMALA CITY 75ºF
Today we take a boat trip through one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, which is surrounded by volcanoes and inhabited by small indigenous community settlements. By boat, we travel to SAN PEDRO DE LA LAGUNA. We will walk through its cobbled streets and ascend to the church’s lookout point. From San Pedro we will include a trip in a tuc-tuc local taxi to SAN JUAN LA LAGUNA, where we will see a weaving workshop and cooperative. They will explain to us how the fabrics are woven and dyed in a natural way. Again by boat, we will travel to SANTIAGO ATITLAN. in this beautiful place we will visit the brotherhood where the Tz´utujiles venerate MAXIMON deity of Mayan roots. We will have time to walk and have lunch. We return by boat to Panajachel and continue to GUATEMALA CITY, arriving at the end of the afternoon.
GUATEMALA CITY 75ºF
Travelling through beautiful landscapes, we will set off for the most active volcano in Guatemala. We will break the journey en route and include entry tickets to the UNITED NATIONS NATIONAL PARK, from where we will have an impressive view over the green lake and the volcanoes that surround us. On arrival at the PACAYA VOLCANO, we will include the entry tickets to the National Park, and together with a guide, we will climb up towards the crater. Those who wish may rent a horse for a more comfortable ascent. We will have a chance to feel the heat coming off the lava. Later we continue to ANTIGUA, a wonderful Unesco World Heritage colonial city founded in 1543, many of whose buildings are in ruins because of the Santa Marta earthquake suffered in this former capital city of the country in 1773. There’s time to have lunch and walk around. In the mid-afternoon we return to Guatemala City. Before going to the hotel, we make a brief panoramic tour through the historic center of the city, the Constitution Square where we can appreciate the Metropolitan Cathedral and the National Palace of Culture that was once the Govermment Palace.
GUATEMALA CITY 75ºF
After breakfast, end of our services.