On this colorful trip plan, you'll experience Mexican culture in an authentic way. See the highlights of the Yucatán Peninsula, visit the archaeological sites of Chichen Itzá, Cobá, and  Xcambó, and view flamingos at Río Lagartos before finishing up in Mérida, where you'll go on a kayak tour and relax on the beach.

Highlights

  • Visit Izamal, one of the magical towns of the Yucatán Peninsula
  • Admire Chichen Itzá, one of the Wonders of the New World 
  • See exotic birds in the Rio Lagartos reserve
  • Explore the archaeological sites of Cobá and Xcambó
  • Learn about Merida's cultural history

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Visit Punta Laguna and Cobá Valladolid
Day 2 Explore Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve  Valladolid
Day 3 Day trip tour to Ek Balam & Mayan community Valladolid
Day 4 Chichén Itzá at sunrise - swim in Yokdzonot Cenote Izamal
Day 5 Izamal's and Mérida city tours Merida
Day 6 Kayak Tour, X-cambó & Progreso  Merida
Day 7 Departure from Mexico  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Visit Punta Laguna and Cobá

A black howler monkey is native to the region
Howler monkeys are native to the region

The adventure begins in Punta Laguna. This reserve is a beautiful natural environment managed by a Mayan cooperative. You'll go on a hike, looking for spider monkeys and howler monkeys, and go for a sailing trip on the lagoon. 

Continue to the archaeological site of Cobá, surrounded by beautiful lagoons and trees. There, you will learn about this important site, whose design and purpose were very different from other Mayan cities. You'll have the option to rent a bike to explore the sprawling site.

Day 2: Explore Río Lagartos Biosphere Reserve 

Flamingos at Río Lagartos
Flamingos at Río Lagartos

Go on a morning tour to Rio Lagartos, a charming village on the Yucatán Peninsula. The Río Lagartos protected reserve is a wetlands area home of animals like flamingos, crocodiles, sea turtles, jaguars, and all kinds of sea birds. Explore this beautiful area by boat.

Day 3: Day trip tour to Ekʼ Balam & Mayan Community Tour

One of the Yucatán's many cenotes
One of the Yucatán's many cenotes

Rise bright and early to discover the Yucatec-Maya archaeological site of Ek' Balam. Once a thriving seat of a Mayan kingdom, the city was absorbed into the dense jungle typical of the area and wasn't rediscovered until the late 1800s. Wander the complex and climb the steps of the Acropolis, taking in the site as well as the surrounding jungle. 

From there, you'll head to Ekʼ Balam's local village to visit three Mayan families which will be open to share their culture with you and teach you how to make tortillas, knit hammocks, and participate in an embroidery workshop. Finally, you will head to the X'Canché Cenote to enjoy a swim in the fresh, cool water.

Day 4: Discover Chichén Itzá at sunrise - swim in Yokdzonot Cenote 

Archaeological site of Chichen Itza
The wonder of Chichén Itzá

Very early in the morning, you will leave your hotel for the special experience of touring Chichén Itzá at sunrise. This pre-Hispanic city was once the most venerated center of worship and pilgrimage of the Yucatán Peninsula. Its main draw is the Pyramid of Kukulkán (El Castillo), though there are many significant Mayan and Toltec buildings, sculptures, and reliefs that will pull you in, like the Temple of the Warriors, the Hall of the Thousand Columns, and the ball courts.

Then head to the lovely cenote (sinkhole) of Yokdzonot, which is relatively unknown and not as crowded as other cenotes. Cenotes were sacred to the Mayas and represented the entrance to the underworld.  Overnight in the colonial town of Izamal. 

Day 5: Izamal's and Mérida city tours

Convent San Antonio de Padua in Izamal
San Antonio de Padua convent in Izamal

Stroll along the picturesque cobbled streets of Izamal and visit the impressive Convent of San Antonio de Padua, then continue to Mérida, a symbol of Mayan legacy. On a walking tour, you'll see the cathedral, the main square, and the government hall with its incredible paintings.

Day 6: Kayak Tour, X-cambó Archeological Site & Progreso

X-Cambó's Archeological Site
Forest scenery around X-Cambó

Finish the trip with a kayak tour through mangrove paths, followed by a visit to the archaeological site of X-Cambó. You'll end the day on the beaches of Progreso, where you'll dine on fresh seafood and see the sunset. Return to Mérida 

Day 7: Departure from Mexico

After breakfast, your driver will take you to Mérida's International Airport. Have a safe flight home!