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The Kingdom Of The Maya
14 days / 13 nights

Countries visited:
Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala

Tour Highlights:
Chichen Itza




Day 1 Antigua, Guatemala
Arrive at Antigua Airport and have a transfer to your hotel. Have evening at your leisure.

Day 2 Antigua
Today have a full day to explore this UNESCO World Heritage city. Famed for its well-preserved Spanish Mudejar influenced Baroque architecture, Antigua de Guatemala was founded in the early years of the 16th century. Have a guided tour of the city, considered as one of the most charming in South America, nestled between the volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. Discover the centre and the old town on a walking tour and visit the churches of San Francisco, Santa Clara, La Merced and Las Capuchinas. Once the country's graceful capital and the first fully planned settlement amongst Spain's New World colonies, much of the city has been badly damaged by earthquakes, yet has still managed to retain an elegant charm.

Day 3 Antigua - Copán, Honduras
This morning leave Antigua and travel by bus to the next destination - Copán. The journey will take around 6 hours and you will cross the border from Guatemala to Honduras. Arrive in Copán and have free afternoon to enjoy the the nearby therapeutic hot springs for a relaxing soak or massage.

Day 4 Copán
This morning visit this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site of Copán with a local guide. Start the exploration of the archaeological park with the Great Plaza, one of the most amazing achievements of the Classic Maya period (AD 750), which contains the greatest collection of Maya sculpture anywhere in Mesoamerica. Next see the Acropolis and the famous Hieroglyphic Stairway, composed of some 2500 individual glyphs, which is the New World's longest inscribed Pre-Columbian text. Have free time on the site, and maybe visit the museums. Later, return to your hotel.

Day 5 Copán - Quirigua - Flores
Leave early this morning and head back across the border into Guatemala where you will stop for a visit of the small site of Quirigua, lying on the western fringes of the Sierra de Espiritu. Once an important trading centre between Tikal and Copán, this UNESCO Heritage Site is home to the tallest stelae, typical Mayan stone sculptured monuments. It reaches 12 metres and tells us the story of the wars with nearby Copan, of the beheading of the Copan king and the emergence of Quirigua from the shadow of its powerful neighbour. Leaving the site behind you will head north to Flores, the nearby town to Tikal, site of one of the greatest of all Maya cities. Have an overnight in Flores, charming small island-town, located on the Petén Itzá Lake.

Day 6 Flores - Tikal
The day is dedicated to the site of Tikal, which can be compared with the masterpieces of Egypt and Greece. Have a guided tour in one of the most powerful Kingdoms of the ancient Maya and discover many great temples, pyramids, palaces, causeways, ball courts, spacious plazas, and hundreds of other architectural ruins, most of them created as far as 4th century BC. After exploring the site, return to the hotel on the shores of Petén Itzá Lake and explore the Flores island.

Day 7 Flores - Bonampak - Palenque, Mexico
This morning head to Bethel on the river Usumacinta where you leave Guatemala and cross the border into Mexico by boat to Frontera Corozal and the state of Chiapas. From here continue by road to the fascinating site of Bonampak. Famed for its incredible murals, Bonampak is a superb example of Classic Maya art. The murals depict the rituals and lives of the ruling elite. Later, continue your journey towards one of the most beautiful ancient sites anywhere in Latin America.

Day 8 Palenque
Today you have an entire day to visit the spectacular ruins of Palenque. A UNESCO historical monument, Palenque is considered a world treasure. Engulfed by the rainforest and often shrouded in mist, the palaces and ruins of Palenque were only discovered in the 19th century. Once the choking forest was cleared, the ruins revealed the tomb of the high priest Pakal, his body adorned with a marvellous jade death mask - one of the most prized relics of the Maya culture. At the centre of the city lies El Palacio, with its unique tower and intricate reliefs. You must also visit the Palenque archaeological museum with its extensive collection of jade masks, well preserved carvings and incense burners. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and have free time.

Day 9 Palenque - Champoton - Campeche
This morning travel along the gulf coastline to the pleasant colonial city of Campeche, the state capital and once one of Spain's main ports in Mexico. En route stop for lunch at the fishing village of Champoton. Arriva in Campeche this afternoon and have free time to wander around the old port where defensive walls and fortresses are still in evidence. Overnight in Campeche.

Day 10 Campeche - Uxmal - Mérida
Have a short drive this morning to Uxmal for a further taste of Maya history and culture. Encircled by hills, Uxmal is famous with its incredible Pyramid of the Magician and the beautiful Governor's Palace, rated as two of the finest examples of Mayan art on the entire continent. After the visit, leave Uxmal behind and continue on to Mérida, the capital of Yucatan state, a beautiful city with Spanish- Moorish style architecture. Feel the European spirit of the town, full of plazas and cobbled streets and visit the buzzing market district. Overnight in Mérida.

Day 11 Mérida - Izamal - Chichen Itza
In the morning have a city tour of Mérida, a rich colonial city in Mexico where you will first visit the oldest cathedral in Latin America, the imposing Cathedral of San Idelfonso. Stroll the Paseo de Montejo, modeled after the Champs Elysees in Paris and lined with beautiful Spanish mansions. See the Central Plaza with the ornate Casa Montejo and the Palacio Nacional. This afternoon, drive to Chichen Itza and stop at the convent of Izamal, once important Maya ceremonial site, now famous with the place where the Spanish in 16th century built a large Franciscan Monastery, atop of the ancient acropolis. It was named after San Antonio de Padua and its atrium was second in size only to that in the Vatican. Continue driving to Piste, a small village to the east located close to the ruins of Chichen Itza.

Day 12 Chichen Itza - Tulum
Start the day with a visit to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Chichen Itza – the best preserved and most famous ruins in Mexico, founded in 432 AD. Learn about the time temples and how the Mayan calendar worked as you explore the spectacular ancient ceremonial center and the fascinating snail-shaped observatory. Explore El Castillo, a remarkable building that is in fact a stone representation of the Maya calendar. One unique feature of the building occurs at sunset on the spring and autumn equinoxes, when the heads of the serpents at the foot of the staircases are joined to their tails at the top by the shadows cast by the setting sun. Admire also the Temple of the Warriors and the great Ball Court, the largest of its kind in Central America. After visiting this sacred place, continue via the town of Valladolid to the Caribbean town of Tulum.

Day 13 Tulum
Today have a relaxing visit of Tulum, a set of Maya-Toltec ruins that occupy the cliffs overlooking the Caribbean. Spend the afternoon on the beach and have evening at leisure.

Day 14 Tulum
Have a transfer to Tulum Airport to catch your flight back home.