- Float down the Xochimilco canals in a colorful trajinera
- Soar past the pyramids of Teotihuacan in a hot air balloon
- Plunge into an underground cenote near Chichén Itzá
- Catch fish to make ceviche in Cabo Catoche
|Arrive in Mexico City, Explore
|Mexico City History, Culture & Gastronomy Tour
|Explore the Xochimilco Canals, Coyoacán & the Casa Azul
|See Teotihuacán by Hot-Air Balloon & Narvarte Food Tour
|Explore Mexico City
|Transfer to Valladolid
|Learn about Maya Culture in Yalcobá
|Visit Chichén Itzá & Swim at the Yokdzonot Cenote
|Transfer to Isla Holbox, Bioluminescent Kayak Tour
|Explore Cabo Catoche
|Free Days on Isla Holbox
Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City, Explore
Welcome to Mexico City! Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be met by your private driver and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, you'll have time to explore the city on your own. Stroll through local neighborhoods, like Roma with its Art Deco architecture, or relax in Chapultepec Park, one of the largest city parks in Mexico. Later, you can enjoy dinner at one of the city's many restaurants before returning to your hotel for the evening.
Day 2: Mexico City History, Culture & Gastronomy Tour
Today, take a walking tour past highlights like the Alameda Central Park, the oldest public garden in the Americas, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Continue on to the heart of the city: the Plaza de la Constitución, better known as the Zócalo. The square is home to the Metropolitan Cathedral, the ancient Aztec Templo Mayor, and the 16th-century Palacio Nacional. Along the way, try some of the local food, like tacos al pastor, (pork tacos), huitlacoche quesadillas (corn smut quesadillas), churros, and more.
Day 3: Explore the Xochimilco Canals, Coyoacán & the Casa Azul
After breakfast, head via private transfer to one of the most emblematic areas of Mexico City: the canals of Xochimilco. Xochimilco means the "Place of the Flowers" in Nahuatl, and its canals are the last reminders of the rivers that once crossed the valley floor. Explore the canals via a colorful boat called a trajinera (a wooden, flat-bottomed boat) to learn about chinampa, the Aztec technique for growing food upon the riverbeds that is still used to grow flowers in the city today.
Day 4: See Teotihuacan by Hot Air Balloon & Narvarte Food Tour
View Teotihuacan, an ancient Mesoamerican city located northeast of Mexico City, from great heights today with a sunrise hot air balloon flight. Marvel at the views, the beauty, and the tranquility of the valley as you soar over the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Float past the majestic Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and have a bird's eye view of the famous Avenue of the Dead. After enjoying spectacular views across the valley, you'll begin the flight back, where a delicious breakfast awaits upon landing.
Once you're back in the city, take a tour through the taquerías (taco shops) of Navarte, a neighborhood famous for its tacos. Sample volcanes, (crispy tortillas topped with cheese and poblano peppers) tacos al pastor (spit-roasted), and tacos suaderos (filled with a thin cut of meat) from vendors across the neighborhood. Later, visit a cantina (bar) to learn about cantina culture and try a chela (cold beer) or a flight of mezcal.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Explore Mexico City
Today, you're free to revisit one of the neighborhoods you saw earlier or venture off to a totally new corner of the city. There's always more to see in Chapultepec Park with its 1,700 acres (686 ha) of walking paths, waterways, and trees. The park is also home to a zoo, a castle, and several museums—you could easily spend the whole day here! For something a little different, walk through quaint San Ángel, a neighborhood with cobblestone streets, art galleries, and sidewalk cafés.
Day 6: Fly to Valladolid
The next leg of your trip begins today with a direct flight from Mexico City to Cancún, followed by a private transfer to your final destination of Valladolid. Thanks to its beautiful streets, churches, gastronomy, and culture, Valladolid has earned the designation as a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town), a special title reserved for places that have particular cultural, historic, or aesthetic importance in Mexico.Once you arrive, you'll have the rest of the day to explore. To fully experience the city, visit La Calzada de Los Frailes, where you can spend your day strolling along an iconic pastel-colored street. For a traditional culinary experience, head to Canton Parque Francisco to enjoy typical Yucatecan dishes (many of which originated in Valladolid). Try the lomitos de Valladolid (pork loin in tomato sauce), the longaniza de Valladolid (smoked pork sausage with achiote), or the escabeche oriental (grilled turkey and pickled vegetables).
Day 7: Learn About Maya Culture in Yalcobá
Visit the nearby Maya community of Yalcobá and enjoy a day of cultural immersion. Take a guided tour through farms using the traditional milpa system to grow maize, squash, and beans before heading to the forest, where you can explore caves and swim in cenotes (underground freshwater lagoons). Once you return to town, visit the handicrafts workshop, where artisans create jewelry out of bull horns and weave intricate hammocks, or participate in a gastronomic workshop to learn about Maya food.
Day 8: Visit Chichén Itzá & Swim in the Yokdzonot Cenote
Today you will meet your local guide to explore the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this pre-Columbian Maya city was once the most revered center of worship and pilgrimage in the Yucatán Peninsula. Its iconic attraction is the stepped pyramid of Kukulkán (El Castillo), built in honor of the feathered serpent god, an important deity to the Maya people. Learn about the life of the Maya through the architecture and your guide's fascinating stories.Afterward, head to the Yokdzonot Cenote, a quiet underground lagoon that is not as frequented by tourists. Once an important site to the Maya, in 2005, this rural cenote was transformed into a unique eco-tourism site by a group of local women. Take a dip in its peaceful waters to cool off after a long day in the heat and to support the local community.
Day 9: Transfer to Isla Holbox, Bioluminescent Kayak Tour
A private driver will pick you up at your hotel in Valladolid to take you to Chiquilá, where you will take the ferry across a lagoon to Isla Holbox, a car-free island located between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. As part of the Yum Balam Biosphere Reserve, Holbox and its surrounding waters are home to flamingoes, pelicans, and whale sharks.Tonight, admire the grandness of sea and sky on a kayak trip into the ocean off the shores of Playa Punta Cocos. As the trip begins, look to the sky to spot constellations, planets, and galaxies. If you're lucky, you might spot a shooting star. As you continue through the water, you may notice light coming off the water itself—this shine is caused by bioluminescent phytoplankton, which glow when they are disturbed.
Day 10: Explore Cabo Catoche
Today's adventure is a boat ride to Cabo Catoche, the northernmost point on the Yucatán Peninsula, to see dolphins and other wildlife as well as sneak a little fishing in. The captain and your guides will pick out the perfect fishing spot so you can catch a good-sized fish. Afterward, head to Cuevones, an area whose 6-foot (2 m) depth makes it ideal for swimming and snorkeling among the fish and coral. Lastly, stop at a secluded beach to relax while the day's catch is transformed into ceviche.
Days 11-12: Free Days on Holbox IslandFor the next two days, you're free to spend your time on Isla Holbox however you'd like. Choose one of the many beautiful white sand beaches to soak up some sunshine, swim in turquoise waters, and recharge your batteries. Or, because cars are not allowed on the island, consider renting a bicycle or a golf cart to travel around and explore the less crowded areas. Other great options include walking around town, browsing the street art for souvenirs, or simply relaxing at one of the many cafés.
Day 13: Depart Holbox
On your last day in Mexico, a private transfer will take you to the Port of Holbox to take the ferry back to Chiquilá. From there, a driver will take you to the Cancun Airport for your next flight home or to your next destination. Safe travels!