ANCIENT CAPITALS, COLONIAL CITIES AND THE CARIBBEAN

8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Description

Mexico is an amazing country filled with culture, history and fun. On your 7-night travel vacation with Central Holidays we will begin in the Yucatan region by exploring the ancient city of Merida with optional tours to Mayan ruins and cities from the past. Learn about the intricate carvings by Mayan builders as you see pyramids, temples and more. Continue to Cancun for some fun in the sun as you stroll beaches and shop markets at your leisure. Mexico comes to life on this amazing escape!

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA for Merida, Mexico
Depart your gateway bound for Merida, Mexico. Your adventure begins upon arrival in the captivating country of Mexico. This is one of the few places in the world where you will experience art and life combining so effortlessly. Ever since the Spanish conquistadors roamed the area, Merida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatan Peninsula. This cosmopolitan town is steeped in colonial history, narrow streets, broad central plazas and the region's best museums. Merida is a perfect place from which to start your adventure with Central Holidays West. Upon arrival you will check into the hotel and relax. This evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 2 Merida - City Tour
After breakfast get to know Merida, known as "The White City," during an orientation tour around the area. Famous for its charming white-washed buildings and exquisite Spanish colonial architecture Merida also features a wealth of cultural offerings. You'll first discover Paseo de Montejo, the city's main boulevard. Then stop to witness the Monumento a la Bandera, or Flag Monument. Designed by Mexican sculptor Romulo Rozo, the large monument depicts the country's history from the founding of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan through the mid-twentieth century. End your explorations at the city's tranquil, tree-lined zocalo, or square. The rest of the day is yours to relax, shop and enjoy this colonial city. (B)

Day 3 Merida - Henequen Hacienda Tour
After breakfast join us on a journey into the past as we experience the hacienda of Sotuta de Peon. You will gain a glimpse of what was once a fully operational Henequen Hacienda in the grand style. You will witness the step-by-step process of the transformation of the Henequen (or Green Gold as it was known throughout the region), from plant to fiber and from fiber to finished product. You will also see antique machinery that has been rescued from the ravages of time and rebuilt to precise operational capacity. You will also visit a typical Mayan House. Time to relax? Take a dip in a Cenote or spring fed from underground cool rivers of crystal clear alkaline waters. Ah the good life! (B,L)

Day 4 Merida - Izamal Tour/ Chichen Itza
After breakfast you depart Merida for Chichen Itza, stopping along the way in the Colonial town of Izamal for lunch on your own. In ancient times Izamal was a center for the worship of the supreme Maya god, Itzamna, and the sun god, Kinich-Kakmo. A dozen temple pyramids were devoted to these or other gods. This is why Spanish colonists chose Izamal as the site for the remarkable Franciscan monastery, which still stands at the center of town. Today you will experience a quiet provincial town, nicknamed La Ciudad Amarilla (The Yellow City) for its traditional golden yellow buildings that spiral out from the center like a budding flower and horse-drawn carriages that add to the city's charm. Upon arrival to Chichen Itza you will check-in to your hotel and relax. After dinner at the hotel you will have a chance to experience an optional Light and Sound Show of Chichen Itza. One of the undisputed star attractions of the Yucatan Peninsula is the impressive pre-Columbian city of Chichen Itza. This site must be visited in the day and night to gain a true understanding of its historical significance. As the sun sets over the peninsula, the 1,500-year-old temple is brought to life with a spectacular light and sound show centered on the main pyramid of Kukulcan. The vivid show features 3D mapping projection and evocative lighting to recreate the myths and legends of ancient Chichen Itza, the snake of Kukulcan and the Mayan warriors. (B,D)

Day 5 Chichen Itza - Archeological Site Tour / Cancun
This morning mysterious ruins of Chichen Itza calls you. Depart after breakfast for the UNESCO World Heritage site that contains the enormous pyramid known as El Castillo (the castle). This building is named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza once a center of power in the ancient world, the site now attracts millions of visitors to admire the city's spectacular and beautifully preserved ruins. The Maya people were exceptionally innovative: They were skilled farmers, astronomers, and developed the first written language native to the Americas. They were also great mathematicians and were the first to develop the concept of zero. See Chichen Itza's enormous ball court. Measuring 225 feet wide and 545 feet long, the remains - known as The Great Ball Court - are the largest ever discovered in Mesoamerica. Also see Temple of the Warriors, the Wall of the Skulls, the Sacred Cenote, the Observatory, and much more Later, enjoy some free time for lunch. Then onwards to the jewel of the Caribbean - Cancun. Once you arrive at your hotel in Cancun, the rest of the day is free to unwind, settle in to your all-inclusive report, and take in the laid-back coastal atmosphere. Surrounded by the breathtaking Caribbean Sea, soft coral sands, and the striking shade of blue that emerges from its crystal-clear waters, a visit to Cancun will make you wonder whether you are in a dream. Enjoy. This evening gather with your fellow travelers for drinks and dinner. (B,D)

Day 6 Cancun - Catamaran Cruise to Isla Mujeres
After breakfast embark on a fabulous adventure as you sail from Cancun on a catamaran to Isla Mujeres. Explore the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean and snorkel in crystal clear waters that are teeming with life and beauty. Relax and enjoy the journey over a gourmet lunch. Upon arrival on the island lose yourself in the winding streets of the little town of Isla Mujeres shop, and soak up its picturesque beauty. (B,L,D)

Day 7 Cancun
Today you have a full free day to relax, enjoy the resorts all-inclusive amenities, laze on the beach or head out for some last minute shopping. Cancun is a tropical paradise that remains one of the world's top travel destinations. This comes as no surprise when you consider how much Cancun has to offer. This evening maybe meet your fellow travelers for magnificent sunset views, drinks and dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 8 Cancun to USA

Today after breakfast transfer to the airport for your return flight home with memories of a spectacular Mexican cultural vacation. (B)

B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner
Hotel and itinerary are subject to change

Includes

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from Miami
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 15 included meals consisting of 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 5 dinners. Our stay in Cancun is at an all-inclusive resort with unlimited beverages
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Merida City tour, Heniquen Hacienda tour, Izamal tour, Chichen Itza day tour, and a catamaran Cruise to Isla Mujeres.
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompass cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy, social systems and interaction with locals
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR HOST/GUIDE - Assistance of a professional Tour Host/Guide for the entire length of the tour
  • GROUND TRANSPORTATION - Transfer between airports, hotels and city to city destination
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

Photo Gallery

Notes

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Close to home destination - shorter distance to fly
  • Rich cultural traditions & diverse geography of Yucatan
  • Unique fauna & flora Mayan history & culture
  • Charming colonial town of Merida, "the White City"
  • World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza - best preserved most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico - one of the New Seven Wonders of the World
  • Myths & legends of ancient Chichen Itza in Light and Sound show
  • Swim in Cenote, an underground lake
  • Henequen Hacienda visit
  • Izamal, ancient Mayan & colonial worship center
  • Cosmopolitan Cancun on Mayan Riviera
  • Beautiful sandy beaches
  • Crystal blue waters
  • Catamaran cruise to beautiful Isla Mujeres and much more...