Mexico bespoke vacation, Cultural Heartlands and Caribbean Coast

“This tailor made tour of Mexico’s Aztec and Mayan heartlands adds a contemporary twist with tours of modern indigenous villages, the markets of Oaxaca and the mighty Mexico City.”

Highlights

Mexico City | Teotihuacán pyramids & Guadalupe shrine | Oaxaca | Ruins of Monte Albán | San Cristóbal de las Casas | Visits to indigenous villages | Toniná archaeological site & Misol-Ha River | Palenque ruins | Mérida | Chichén Itzá | Playa del Carmen | Optional: Mayan ruins of Uxmal and Kabah

Description of Mexico bespoke vacation, Cultural Heartlands and Caribbean Coast

This Mexico bespoke vacation takes you from the cultural heartlands of the Maya and Aztecs and onto the Caribbean coast, in just two weeks. You can book this fully customisable vacation on the dates that suit you, altering the itinerary as you wish, and safe in the knowledge that local representatives and guides will meet you at points of interest along the way to share their knowledge of Mexico’s rich cultural and natural history and ensure everything goes to plan.

You’ll start in Mexico City, an urban sprawl of over 20 million people. It may seem like a thoroughly modern capital, but “DF” was once Tenochtitlan, the 14th century capital of the Aztec Empire, as the nearby site of Teotihuacán testifies, with its towering pyramid and Avenue of the Dead. Next, fly onward to Oaxaca, a hub of indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec culture, colonial architecture and Mexican art. San Cristóbal de las Casas is little known, but a real unexpected highlight of this Mexico bespoke vacation, with its enticing craft shops, restored cathedral and nearby indigenous villages where traditional clothes are still regularly worn. Next, you’ll discover the one of the region’s many Mayan legacies at the ruins of Palenque, which emerges from the forest surrounded by monkeys.

Continue your journey into Yucatan with a flight to colonial Mérida, once one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It may not be as rich today, but its regular fiestas are legendary. There are plenty more optional Mayan monuments to add to your itinerary, such as those at Uxmal and Kabah – or head straight to the most famous of all at Chichén Itzá, where you can have a guided your that explores what we know about ancient Mayan rituals. End your Mexican vacation on the Mayan Riviera at Playa del Carmen – a white sand Caribbean beach. There are plenty more optional activities for you here, from scuba diving to more ruins – or you can simply relax with a margarita and muse over the adventures that have unfolded over the past couple of weeks.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mexico bespoke vacation, Cultural Heartlands and Caribbean Coast

Environment

Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.

As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.

This highlights vacation includes visits to several of Mexico’s archaeological sites and, as they are such an important part of the country’s cultural heritage, we understand the importance of preserving these fragile ruins. In places such as Teotihuacán development has been an issue in recent years and, as the most-visited archaeological site in the country, it is vital that the impact of every visitor is reduced as much as possible. We ensure that our guides are well-trained and not only teach guests about the history of the site they are visiting but also educate them on how they can minimise the impact of their visit: simple actions such as not touching the ruins and making sure you dispose of your waste correctly will always be suggested by our guides. At all of the sites you visit during your vacation you will be accompanied by a responsible guide trained in these practices.

We also strive to provide accommodation which reflects the environment you are visiting: in San Cristóbal de las Casas you will stay at Diego de Mazariegos Hotel, a well-preserved colonial building which has retained many of its traditional features such as wood and stone carvings, brightly painted walls and antique furnishings. Hotels such as these are important in preserving the area’s cultural heritage and your stay in the town will be enhanced as you will gain more of an insight into Mexico’s history.

Community

We pride ourselves on delivering our clients truly authentic and unforgettable experiences in Latin America which connect travelers with the people whose country they visit. On this vacation you will have the opportunity to engage with the local culture by visiting indian villages like San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán in Chiapas where traditional costumes are still worn and indigenous culture is very much still present. A Sunday market gives you the chance to purchase some handicrafts and support the local economy; the state of Chiapas is one of the main handicraft producers in Mexico and most artisans are indigenous women who make pottery, textiles and amber items.

During your walking tour in Oaxaca you will have the opportunity to find out more about everyday Oaxacan life by visiting a local market filled with fresh produce. Gastronomy here is a significant part of the local culture and, therefore, the tourism industry, so by spending time in one of the city’s markets you will learn about the typical ingredients that create the region’s renowned cuisine. You’ll also have the chance to engage with the people who help bring famous dishes such as tlayuda, a giant tortilla, to the world.

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