- Explore Mérida's colonial heart on walking tours
- Visit the awe-inspiring pyramid at Chichén Itzá
- Take a cooking class and visit a chocolate museum
- Discover the Río Lagartos and enjoy a tequila tasting
|Day 1||Arrive in Mérida, Optional Activities||Mérida|
|Day 2||Visit Chichén Itzá, Cenotes & Izamal Quad Tour||Mérida|
|Day 3||Day Trip to Uxmal, Cenotes & Cacao Museum||Mérida|
|Day 4||Market Tour & Cooking Class||Mérida|
|Day 5||Ría Lagartos Tour, Tequila & Mezcal Tasting||Mérida|
|Day 6||Free Day in Mérida||Mérida|
|Day 7||Depart Mérida|
Day 1: Arrive in Mérida, Optional Activities
Welcome to the Yucatán! This state in southeastern Mexico straddles the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean and is famous for its popular resort cities of Cancún and Tulum. On this week-long getaway, you'll be venturing farther afield to the region's capital of Mérida. This is the part of the Yucatán most tourists never get to see, with a wonderfully well-preserved Spanish-colonial city located next to some of the most incredible wonders in the region.
Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel in Mérida's historic center. After checking in, you can head out and explore. Mérida's history runs deep, evident by the historic landmarks and plazas around town. It was founded in 1542 over the ancient Maya city of T'ho, with the Spanish leveling that city's five pyramids. Then, in 1598, they unsubtly used the pyramid remains to build Mérida's Cathedral. Mérida's famous church remains to this day, its twin belltowers looming large over the Plaza Grande, the city's main square.
Day 2: Visit Chichén Itzá, Cenotes & Izamal Quad TourIn the morning, your driver will pick you up for the two-hour ride east to Chichén Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. This UNESCO World Heritage Site covers 4 square miles (10 sq km) and was first settled in the fifth century. It then enjoyed an impressive 1,000-year run as one of the great cities of the ancient Maya kingdom. Highlight ruins you'll see on a guided tour include the iconic El Castillo (a majestic pyramid that rises 79 ft/24 m), the Jaguar Temple, the House of Eagles, and El Caracol (a circular observatory), plus the largest ball court in Mesoamerica.
Day 3: Day Trip to Uxmal, Cenotes & Cacao Museum
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Market Tour & Cooking ClassIn the morning, you'll transfer 45 minutes outside Mérida to Hacienda Sotuta de Peón. This 19th-century estate is surrounded by acres of henequen fields and is today part of an agritourism restoration project. On a three-hour tour of this working farm, you'll glimpse the Yucatán's colonial past as you travel around the property on mule carts and learn how henequen (a plant in the agave family whose fibers are used to make twine) is cultivated. Before leaving, you can head down into a cavern and take a dip in the refreshing cenote of Dzul Ha.
Day 5: Ría Lagartos Tour, Tequila & Mezcal Tasting
Head outside of Mérida for more adventures, this time on a tour of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve—one of the main flamingo nesting areas in the Yucatán Peninsula. With a local guide, enjoy a fun-filled and educational afternoon with a boat ride through this natural reserve. See pink flamingoes foraging in the waters and learn about the biodiversity of the mangrove ecosystem.
The tour includes views of Las Coloradas, beautiful salt ponds that sport pinkish hues due to their high salt concentration, plus a soak in an exfoliating Maya mud bath. You'll disembark on the beach and apply the white clay that is extracted from the sand, which contains minerals, salts, and algae—all very beneficial for the skin. Afterward, rinse off in the ocean and enjoy free time on the beach before returning to Mérida.
Finish the day with another tasting tour. This time you'll enjoy samplings of Mexico's two most famous spirits: tequila and mezcal. Each comes from a different region—tequila from the Jalisco region and mezcal from the state of Oaxaca. During this two-hour tasting experience, you'll learn how the spirits are manufactured and savor their distinct flavors—one sip at a time.
Day 6: Free Day in MéridaToday is yours to enjoy Mérida however you like. There's much to see and do here, both within the historic center and outside of it. If you're up for a beach day, head north of the city to the stunning Costa Esmeralda. Or travel west to the Gulf of Mexico and visit charming fishing villages like Sisal and Celestún. If you like, you can head to some of the cenotes near Mérida. There also are attractive options south of the city, like Hacienda Mucuyché and Santa Bárbara.
Day 7: Depart Mérida
Your week-long adventure in and around Mérida has come to an end. At the appropriate time, a driver will transfer you to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Adiós!
More Great Mexico Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other Mexico itineraries, explore different ways to spend seven days in Mexico, or learn about the best time of year to visit Mexico.