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Yucatan Peninsula Adventure

From tropical beaches and colourful old cities to spectacular ancient ruins, the Yucatan Peninsula’s draws are many and varied. Learn more about the lives of mysterious civilisations at the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, try traditional cuisine and get cultured in the likes of Merida and Campeche and bathe in the crystal-clear waters of hidden cenotes and pristine beaches. Thousands of years of history mixed with a modern, laidback lifestyle means Mexico, and the Yucatan in particular, should be high on everyone’s bucket list.

8 days, from


per person


12 people max


Trip code: QBSY
Style: Original
Theme: Explorer


Countries Visited:  Mexico
Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights)
Transportation: Private vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 2 lunches

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 12

  • Kick back and relax in the lakeside town of Bacalar, known for its deep blue cenote and aquamarine lagoon.

  • Escape the crowds and take a refreshing dip at Yaxunah, a lesser-known cenote in the heart of the Yucatan managed by the local Maya community.

  • Travel to Sian Kaʼan Biosphere Reserve, where you’ll explore the Maya site of Muyil. Unlike many of Mexico’s well-known ruins, most of these ancient temples are shaded by lush forest.

  • Experience Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Your tour of the ancient ruins includes a visit to the nearby Piste community and a traditional lunch.

  • Sip zingy margaritas, munch on local cuisine and soak up as much culture and history as you can in Merida, Yucatan’s charismatic capital.


Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Playa del Carmen

Hola! Welcome to Playa del Carmen, a popular resort town famed for its coral reef and sparkling warm waters. You’ll meet your leader and fellow travellers at an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not spend the day lounging on the beach with a good book? Once the introductions are out of the way, experience your first Mexican meal of the trip at an optional dinner with the group.

Day 2: Chichen Itza / Merida

Depart early, travelling by private vehicle towards Merida, learning some Spanish phrases from your leader on the way. You’ll stop at Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, for a guided tour. This is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico, dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo), a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. Then take a cooling dip in one of the region’s lesser-known cenotes: Yaxunah. By visiting this sparkling natural pool you’ll be supporting the local Mayan community. After your swim, visit the local Piste community, a short drive from the archaeological site. You’ll spend time with the locals – perhaps trying out some of your Spanish – while sampling traditional Yucatecan cuisine.

Upon arrival in Merida – the charming capital of the Yucatan region – get your bearings on an orientation walk with your leader. Wander the centuries-old streets and take in the grand buildings, learn about the town’s Maya heritage and swing by Mercado 60: a buzzing food market with great margaritas and live music.

Day 3: Merida

Today is free for you to explore the many sights of Merida. You could visit the Regional Museum of Yucatan, located within the pretty Palacio Canton; chill out in the shady Plaza Grande, admiring the 16th-century cathedral; or seek out slow-roasted, citrus-marinated pork dish and Yucatan speciality, cochinita pibil. Alternatively, you could take a trip to Rio Lagartos to spot flamingos and other wildlife among the mangroves – ask your leader for more recommendations.

Merida is a people-pleaser when it comes to nightlife and has something for all tastes, whether you’re after a low-key bar, cultural show or some live music and dancing. But be warned: there is an early start tomorrow.

Day 4: Uxmal Ruins / Campeche

Leave the city of Merida behind at around 8 am and drive to one of Mexico's best-preserved Maya sites, Uxmal. Spend two hours exploring the ruins with your leader – see the impressive so-called Pyramid of the Magician, marvel at the decorative details of the Governor’s Palace and take the opportunity to climb one of the pyramids for astounding views of the surrounding area. You’ll tuck into an included lunch in nearby Santa Elena, before travelling to the coast to spend the night in Campeche, a seaside town with photogenic streets lined with multi-coloured low-rise buildings. Your leader will take you out for a short orientation walk before leaving you to explore and dine as you wish – you’ll find good seafood almost anywhere, and other decent restaurants at Portales de San Martin.

Day 5: Bacalar

Rise and shine for the long cross-peninsular drive to Bacalar today. Bacalar is said to be the first settlement of the Itza tribe, who would go on to create Chichen Itza. Today it’s a quiet spot to sit back, relax and take in the surrounding nature. Once you're there, take a short leader-led orientation walk to get your bearings, followed by a free afternoon and evening to relax after a long travel day. Cerveza, anyone?

Day 6: Bacalar

Today, take some time to chill out in relaxed riverside Bacalcar. You’ll have a free day to do as you please. Perhaps a relax on the banks of the lake or a swim are in order? Bacalar is known for its Lake of Seven Colours – thanks to the various stunning shades of blue it adopts throughout the day. There’s also the option to visit Cenote Azul today: a beautiful fresh water rockpool, perfect for swimming. The sparkling blue water and stalactites and stalagmites in the cave are a sight to behold.

Day 7: Tulum

Enjoy a free morning relaxing around Balacar’s lake before heading in a private vehicle towards Tulum. Not far from town, you will stop for a couple of hours at the underrated Muyil ruins, within the Sian Kaʼan Biosphere Reserve, where you can also sail or swim in the clear fresh waters of a Mayan canal lined with mangroves. A short drive later, you’ll arrive in Tulum for your final stop. Take an orientation walk with your leader to learn your way around. There may be time to fit in a visit to another cenote or Tulum’s Maya ruins, or otherwise, find a bar to keep working on that Spanish with the locals. Later, you might like to share an optional final meal with the group to say farewell and ‘salud’ to Mexico.

Day 8: Tulum

After breakfast, there are no activities planned for the day, but that’s no reason to stop exploring. Tulum is famous for its turquoise water, snorkelling spots, ancient ruins and general magnificence, so no-one can blame you for wanting to stick around for a few more days. If you would like to spend some more time in Tulum, let us know in advance and we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).