Adventure Tours   >   Central America Adventure Tours   >  Viva Mexico: Ancient Ruins & the Mayan Riviera

Viva Mexico: Ancient Ruins & the Mayan Riviera Adventure Tour

Central America

  • Mexico

This 14-day adventure through the heart of Mexico has so much to love. Kicking off in its buzzing capital and wrapping up on the white sands of the Mayan Riviera, you'll eat your way through endless tacos and mole, exploring the country's epic mountains, jungles, and waterfalls too. Throw in some ancient Mayan ruins like Palenque and Chichen Itzá - not to mention storied traditions and some of the friendliest people ever - and you have yourself a recipe for one tasty, tasty trip.


Health  

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Highlights  

Hop on a boat tour and cruise through Sumidero Canyon, Listen for howler monkeys as you explore the Mayan ruins of Palenque in the jungle, Go for a dip in the Lagoon of the Seven Colours at Bacalar, Take a guided tour of Chichen Itzá


Meals Included  

1 breakfast


Packing List  

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Visas or vaccination certificates (With photocopies)

Essentials:
• Toiletries (required) (Shampoo, bodywash, soap, etc.)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Swimwear
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Face masks (Clients will be only be required to wear a face mask where it is mandated by local regulations.)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test (optional)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sturdy water shoes/sandals
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear


Optional Activities  

Teotihuacán
- Teotihuacán Pyramids Visit (40USD per person)

Oaxaca
- Cooking Class (65USD per person)

San Pablo Villa de Mitla
- Valley of Mitla Ruins Visit (950MXN per person)

Monte Albán
- Monte Albán Tour (900MXN per person)

San Cristóbal de Las Casas
- Lagunas de Montebello Visit (30USD per person)
- Indigenous Villages Tour (30USD per person)

Palenque
- Jungle Trail Hike (25USD per person)

Bacalar
- Kayaking (10-12USD per person)
- Fortress Exploration (10MXN per person)

Tulum
- Tulum Ruins Visit


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Solo Travellers  

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Spending Money  

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Group Leader Description  

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops


Emergency Fund  

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Money Exchange  

It is uncommon to pay for optional activities, souvenirs and meals on credit card in the areas this trip visits, so be prepared with a combination of USD cash and local currency to pay for these on-trip costs.

That said, credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank prior to travelling. ATMs generally only dispense local currency, not USD. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

You will be able to exchange USD to local currency along the way , but please be advised that slightly torn notes and notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 50USD (or equivalent). Learn about local exchange rates at www.xe.com.


What's Included  

Your G for Good Moment: Alebrijes Artisan Community Visit, Oaxaca
Your First Night Out Moment: Connect With New Friends
Your Welcome Moment: Welcome Moment - Meet Your CEO and Group
Your Foodie Moment: Oaxaca Market Visit With CEO, Oaxaca
Your Discover Moment: San Cristobal de Las Casas - Free Time, San Cristóbal de Las Casas. Mexico City street food crawl. Alebrijes Artisan Community visit. Boat trip to Sumidero Canyon. Stop at Roberto Barrios Waterfall for a swim. Tour the Mayan ruins in Palenque. A boat adventure into a gorgeous lagoon in Bacalar. Chichen Itzá ruins guided tour. Free time in Mexico City, Oaxaca, Palenque, San Cristóbal de las Casas. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


Accommodation  

Simple hotels/hostels (12 nts), overnight bus (1 nt).


Minimum Age  

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


Newsletter  

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation - Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.


Max Pax  

18


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Meals  

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


Joining Instructions  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.


Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day.

Upon arrival to your Joining Hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon), look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don't see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.


Laundry  

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.


Group Size Notes  

Max 18, avg 14


Transport  

Public bus, private vehicle, overnight bus, walking.

Day 1 Mexico City

Arrive at any time.

Day 2 Mexico City

Start the adventure off with a CEO-led walking tour through La Condesa and Roma neighborhoods. Stroll past bohemian cafes, bars, and restaurants. Your CEO will grab some street food snacks for the group ranging from street tacos to chilaquiles. Savour whatever you sample as you continue to get to know the area. Finish up the tour near the giant Bosque de Chapultepec. Then, spend the afternoon trying out the optional activities in the area like a visit to the ruins of Teotihuacán.

Day 3 Mexico City/Oaxaca

Hit the road and travel south to Oaxaca from Mexico City. Once the group arrives we will head out for an orientation walk to the main square and some of the nearby markets. Soak in your first experience of the vibrant culture in Oaxaca. Enjoy a free evening to do as you please. Perhaps, find a lively restaurant and give your tastebuds something to dance about.

Day 4 Oaxaca

Today, enjoy a free day for optional activities in Oaxaca until late afternoon. Explore local taverns, discover the vibrant indigenous culture in the area, sample food from lively markets, try mole, and mezcal and fully experience the allure of this Mexican city. Later your CEO will accompany the group to the market where you can try a tlayuda, a toasted tortilla with tons of different toppings like refried beans, shredded cabbage, salsa, meat, and cheese. Cap off the day with a visit to a local chocolate-making shop and a free evening to keep the adventure going.

Day 5 Oaxaca/San Cristóbal

The group will have additional free time today in Oaxaca for other optional activities. Afterwards, visit the Alebrijes Artisan Community for your G for Good moment. Meet a local artisan, speak with them, ask any questions the group may have, and learn more about how these handicrafts are made. In the evening board and overnight bus to San Cristobal.

Day 6 San Cristóbal

Arrive early to Tuxtla Gutierrez, which is a city in southern Mexico and the capital of Chiapas. The group will travel by private bus to Sumidero Canyon for an included boat ride down the river. The trip is a few hours long and will take you through the canyon with some of the walls towering 2,500 feet above you. It's sure to make you feel small. Keep a lookout for the wildlife in the area and try to spot caves as you journey on. Afterwards, continue on to San Cristobal de las Casas where you will stop for the evening.

Day 7 San Cristóbal

San Cristóbal de Las Casas is located in a high mountain valley at 2110m (6921 ft). Enjoy a free day to experience this city known for its 16th-century architecture. Opt to visit nearby indigenous Mayan villages to see their unique day-to-day, or visit Lagunas de Montebello National Park and the group of beautiful lakes near the Guatemalan border. You have a full day to do as you please and there are plenty of activities to try out.

Day 8 San Cristóbal/Palenque

Get ready for a full day of travel from San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque. Along the way the group will stop to swim in the pristine turquoise waters of Roberto Barrios waterfall. Arrive to Palenque in the evening.

Day 9 Palenque

Enjoy a guided tour of the impressive Mayan ruins of Palenque followed by free time for an optional jungle trail hike, or just relax at the hotel keeping an eye out for nearby birds and wildlife.

Day 10 Palenque/Bacalar

Spend the day travelling to Bacalar in the eastern part of Mexico from Palenque. Sit back as the scenery changes outside your window and rest up for the next part of the trip.

Day 11 Bacalar

Spend a full free day enjoying optional activities in the area, or just relax and keep the good vibes going.

Day 12 Bacalar/Valladolid

The group is in for a treat this morning with an included boating adventure in the lagoon. In the afternoon it's onward to Valladolid. Travel north and inland from Bacalar to a city on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Upon arrival your CEO will lead you on an orientation walk of the small Mayan town filled with quaint taverns, vibrant indigenous culture, and loads of street food vendors. Smell the delicious aromas as you walk and sample a few snacks along the way.

Day 13 Valladolid/Tulum

After a short, but sweet visit in Valladolid the group will travel to the Chichen Itzá ruins for a guided tour. These ruins hold the history, beliefs, and rituals that defined ancient Mayan civilization. See the Pyramid of Kukulcan, the famous Castillo, the cenote, and the Nunnery. Afterwards, travel to Tulum for a free evening. Tulum is filled with trendy beach clubs where you can dance the night away, or stretch out on white sand beaches to admire the colors at sunset.

Day 14 Tulum

Depart at any time.

Details

Prices from: €1159.20

Duration: 14 Days

Travel Style: 18-to-Thirtysomethings

Trip Type: Small Group

Physical Grading: 2 - Light

Merchandising: New Trips

Merchandising: Planeterra Project

Service Level: Basic



Call Us: 01 2311889



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