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Mexico’s Ancient & Colonial Cities

Starting at $1,095


Destinations & Sightseeing
Itinerary and Meals
Accomodations

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Destination & Sightseeing

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Mexico City
Welcome to the glory of Old Mexico. See the ancient cultures of the Nahua, Aztec, Olmec, Toltec, and Mayan civilizations. Visit the grand colonial cities of Veracruz, Campeche and Merida. Arrive in Mexico City, the capital of this fascinating country with exotic indigenous and international cultures, close yet breathtakingly foreign. Caravan provides a taxi transfer from the Mexico City airport for a two night stay at your centrally located hotel. Rooms are available for check in after 4:00 p.m. Dinner is at your hotel, then join Caravan for an 8:00 p.m. welcome briefing. D

Day 2 – Mexico City, Teotihuacán Ruins
This morning, visit Mexico’s grandest archaeological site, Teotihuacán, built by the Nahua. The sixth largest city in the world in 400 A.D., Teotihuacán was mysteriously abandoned 300 years later, centuries before the Aztec occupation. Visit the Jaguar Palace and the Temple of the Plumed Conch Shells. See the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Walk the Avenue of the Dead, flanked by temples and palaces. Enjoy lunch. Then, a brief visit to the National Palace. See the murals of Mexico’s great artist, Diego Rivera. These colorful murals cover Mexico’s pre-Columbian Indian history, the colonial period and the Revolution. Next, drive by Mexico City’s main square and Cathedral. Visit Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park. See archaeological treasures of pre-Hispanic civilizations, including the Toltec, Mexica, Aztec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Olmec and Mayan. See the immense Aztec Calendar Stone. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 3 – Mexico City, Veracruz
Morning drive to the port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. En route see the towering snow-capped Popocatepetl Volcano, weather permitting. Lunch in Veracruz. For centuries Veracruz has been the crossroads to the Americas, with Caribbean, European, African and Mexican cultures. Explore the romantic plaza, the oldest in Mexico, with strolling mariachis, serenading guitarists and marimba bands. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 4 – Villa Hermosa, Olmec, Palenque
Mango orchards and pineapple fields give way to lush vegetation and tropical flowers on your drive east today (a box lunch en route). Photo stop at Villa Hermosa’s La Venta Park. See giant Olmec heads up to twelve feet tall. The Olmecs were the first civilization in Mexico, and believed to be descendants of Africans. Continue to Palenque for a relaxing two night stay. Enjoy dinner tonight. BLD

Day 5 – Palenque
Palenque is magical. Here, mysterious Mayan ruins are set against a natural backdrop of jungle foliage. See the Main Plaza, the Temple of the Inscriptions and the Group of the Cross. See the four story observation tower rising from the huge rectangular palace. Unique in the Mayan world, this observation tower is believed to have been constructed to view the winter solstice. After lunch, your day is at leisure to enjoy the tropical gardens of your resort. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 6 – Yucatan, Campeche
Head north this morning into the Yucatán Peninsula. Enjoy lunch overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Next to the fortified Spanish colonial city of Campeche. Free time to explore the historic center. Your hotel is conveniently located near the main plaza. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 7 – Uxmal, Merida
Morning drive through the Puuc Hills to visit ancient Uxmal, dating back to 600 A.D. At Uxmal, see the Pyramid of the Magicians, the Nunnery Quadrangle, the Governor’s Palace with its 20,000 intricately carved lace-like stones and the Turtle House. Enjoy lunch. Next, drive to Merida, Yucatán’s capital and cultural center, for a two night stay. Your hotel is ideally located near the Plaza Principal, lined with shops, cafes, strolling mariachis, and serenading guitarists. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 8 – Merida, Chichen Itzá
Morning drive to visit the Mayan-Toltec ruins of Chichen Itzá. See the Castle Pyramid. Visit the Ballcourt, the Sacred Cenote and the Group of a Thousand Columns. Learn about achievements made by the Maya more than 1500 years ago, including the 365 day, 19 month Mayan Haab calendar. Enjoy lunch. Return to Merida. Drive by Merida’s colonial mansions. Merida offers great shopping for paintings, handicrafts, hammocks and huipiles. Enjoy dinner. BLD

Day 9 – Merida, Cancún
After breakfast, Caravan transfers you from Merida to Cancún. Arrive at Cancún airport at 11:30 a.m. Schedule flights after 1:30 p.m. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan. Muchas Gracias! B

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