Since the Spanish conquest, Mérida has been the cultural capital of the entire Yucatán Peninsula. At times provincial, at others cosmopolitan, it’s a town steeped in colonial history, with narrow streets, broad central plazas, and the region’s best museums. It’s also the perfect place to kick off your adventure into the rest of the region. There are cheap eats, cozy hostels and hotels, bustling markets, and exciting events happening downtown almost every night. Long popular with European travelers looking to go beyond the hubbub of Quintana Roo’s resort towns, Mérida is far from the ‘undiscovered Mexican gem’ that tourist brochures claim. Simply put, it’s a tourist town; but as Yucatán’s largest city, it’s too big to feel like a tourist trap. There’s a slight air of elitism around Mérida, and with good reason—the people who live here have a gorgeous town, and they know it!
Trip Summary: Yucaton Mexico | 7 Days
Trip Dates: Year Round
Group Size: Max 16 Participants
Price From: $2900 per person
Dates & Prices:
All inclusive package including accommodation for all nights, in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight, lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides, all activities, and meals as listed on the itinerary. *International Airfare and Visa Fees are not included.
This Acanela Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort & adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical & culinary highlights along the way.
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- Attend a traditional Yucatán cooking class
- Tour the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá
- Stroll down Paseo de Montejo, marveling at the lavish homes on the way to the city center
- Visit Mérida’s Lucas de Galvez market
- Explore the visually stunning Tulum ruins
- Travel to Tulum’s otherworldly cenotes
- Snorkel with diverse marine life
Day 1 Cancun: Hola Mexico! After arriving in Cancun and checking into the hotel, we’ll adjust to the time change with an introductory lesson on Mexico. Later on, we’ll do a little exploring before a traditional welcome dinner. With stomachs’ full of tasty food, we’ll head on to Mérida to really begin our adventure!
Day 2 Mérida: After a delicious buffet breakfast, we’ll walk to the city center along Paseo de Montejo, a famous tree-lined boulevard that aimed to rival Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma. We’ll admire the many beautiful houses, museums, and landmarks on the way, stopping at the iconic Monumento a la Patria. Mérida is known as “The White City,” a title derived from the stately homes and mansions adorning the street, standing opulently in gleaming white stone. After a busy day of sightseeing, we’ll end the evening dining on classic Yucatán dishes at the hotel.
Day 3 Mérida: We’ll start our day with a culinary class and early morning stroll downtown. Our guide will point out the significant buildings overlooking the main square as we head towards one of the city’s main markets, Lucas de Galvez. Our guide will speak in-depth about the regional fruits and vegetables, as well as the popular spices, including recado rojo and habanero and xcatic chili peppers. We’ll buy fresh produce to cook with, and after a hard day’s work, we’ll gather round the table are share our creations.
Day 4 Mayan Ruins: We’ll venture on an exciting day trip to Chichén Itzá, one of Yucatán's most important pre-Hispanic towns. It’s Mexico's largest and best-restored archaeological site, and for centuries it served as the political and religious capital of the Maya empire. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s one of the region's most-visited attractions and, given its size, can take the better part of a day to explore. Highlights include El Castillo, a step-pyramid reaching almost 100 feet in height, and the impressive Temple of the Warriors. After an exciting day wandering through the ruins, we’ll unwind with our last dinner in Mérida before departing for Tulum the next morning.
Day 5 Tulum: The Yucatán is a place of adventure, and Tulum is at the heart of it! We’ll stay in a luxurious accommodation, dine on traditional Riviera cuisine, and immerse ourselves in the town’s lifestyle. Today we’ll snorkel in crystal clear waters, keeping an eye out for the diverse marine life. We’ll see an abundance of colorful, tropical fish and hopefully a sting ray or sea turtle, too! After a day spent splashing in the sea, we’ll return to the hotel for a savory dinner.
Day 6 Tulum: On our final day in paradise, we’ll explore gorgeous cenotes and tour ancient Mayan ruins. We’ll start at the cenotes—secluded underground caves formed from caved in limestone. They possess an ethereal quality, with sparkling turquoise waters sheltered by lush greenery. Next, it’s on to the famous Tulum ruin—considered by many to be the area’s most beautiful. The site is small but exquisitely poised on a 50-foot cliff overlooking vibrant azure waters and a blinding white sand beach. Facing the rising sun, the ruins offers unparalleled views of the Caribbean that are nothing less than spectacular. Tulum means "wall" in Mayan, and the city was named for the stone walls protecting it on all sides. With so much beauty to see, we’ll spend the day on a guided tour of this magical place.
Day 7 Cancun: Adiós Mexico! Our Yucatán adventure has come to an end, but the memories of our wondrous experience will last a lifetime. We’ll return to Cancun for our flights home.