If you’re short on time but want to delve into the Yucatan, this wide-ranging itinerary in one of Mexico’s most fascinating regions is an authentic alternative to the mainstream. Snorkel Caribbean reefs and laze on beautiful white-sand beaches. Enter the world of the ancient Maya at Chichén Itzá and the incredible jungle ruins of Palenque. Your experienced CEO will reveal the region’s hidden gems, taking the hassle out of travel so you can focus on ancient ruins and vibrant sites – or revel in a tranquil sunset from Playa del Carmen beaches.
Day 1 Playa del Carmen
There are no planned activities until the evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Playa del Carmen/Mérida
After a guided tour of the fantastic ruins at Chichén Itzá, continue on to Mérida for an orientation walk to get acquainted with the city.
With museums, plazas, beautiful architecture, open markets and outdoor cafés, there is plenty to keep you busy here.
Chichén Itzá Guided Tour
Private Vehicle (1.25-2.00 hours, 130km)
Private Vehicle (2.00-2.50 hours, 190km)
Day 3 Mérida
Opt to visit ruins of Uxmal, ride the PUUC Route, go bird-watching in Celestún, hit the beach in Progreso, visit cenotes in the nearby town of Cuzamá, or walk around town and soak in all of the history this city has to offer.
Day 4 Mérida/Palenque
Travel day to Palenque in the lush dense jungle of Chiapas.
First-class bus (9.00-10.00 hours, 620km)
Day 5 Palenque
Take a guided tour of the ruins of Palenque. Later, choose from one of the many optional activities in the area.
Palenque Ruins Guided Tour
Day 6 Palenque/Bacalar
Transfer to Bacalar and spend time on the beach looking out at the crystal-clear lake.
Private Vehicle (7.00-8.00 hours, 487km)
Day 7 Bacalar
Opt to kayak around the lagoon or explore the nearby fortress.
Day 8 Bacalar/Playa del Carmen (1D)
Head to Playa del Carmen, located on the beach just a 45-min drive south of Cancún. Enjoy some nightlife, buy last minute souvenirs and relax and swim in the Caribbean.
There is the opportunity for snorkelling and diving, as well as long stretches of sandy beaches which are perfect for walking and relaxing after a hectic day.
Just off the coast is the island of Cozumel, renowned for its world-class diving. Take the ferry from Playa del Carmen (30-75 minutes depending on the boat) across the turquoise waters and explore the town and the reefs of the island.
For a final dose of ruins, Tulúm is just a 45-min drive south of Playa.
El Hongo Mexican Community Restaurant & Youth Art Program
First-class bus (4.00-5.00 hours, 275km)
Day 9 Playa del Carmen
We recommend booking post-tour accommodation to fully explore the Playa del Carmen area. Ask your sales agent for help.