Secrets of the Maya

Resort: Secrets of the Maya
Operator: Saga
Destination: Caribbean and Central America
Price From: £3149.00

The cultural legacy of the Maya

Journey from the heights of Mexico City to Guatemala’s Towering Sierra Madre. Pass through jungle, stop in old colonial towns, and stay beside the Caribbean on this exciting new tour.

Including…

13 nights in hotels and 2 in flight

24 meals: 13 breakfasts (B), 3 lunches (L) and 8 dinners (D)

  • VIP door-to-door travel service
  • Optional travel insurance and additional cancellation rights, or a reduction if not required
  • Return flights and transfers
  • Welcome drink reception
  • Saga tour manager
  • Porterage at all hotels

Excursions and visits

  • Mexico City tour and the archaeological site of Teotihuacán
  • Tour of historic Antigua
  • The Precolumbian site of Iximiché
  • Boat trip on Lake Atitlan and village visits
  • Open-air market at Chichicastenango 
  • UNESCO-listed Tikal National Park
  • The Lost City of Palenque
  • The colonial city of Campeche
  • Mayan art and architecture at Chichén Itzá
  • City tour of Mérida

Itinerary

Day 1
UK-Mexico

After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, depart in the evening for your overnight flight to Mexico City.

Day 2
Mexico City

Arrive in Mexico’s ancient and high altitude capital early this morning and travel to either the Geneve Hotel (3Q) or the Historico Central (3Q) where you stay for two nights. Spend the day as you please. Optional afternoon excursion to bohemian Coyoacán to see the Diego Rivera Studio Museum, the Frida Khalo Museum and the Palacio Nacional. Dinner is at your hotel. D

Optional excursions

Coyoacán |Half day

The Coyoacán district in Mexico City remained independent from the city until the late 19th century, and the streets have retained their traditional layout and charms. This bohemian neighbourhood was home to the husband and wife artists Frida Khalo and Diego Rivera. Visit the Frida Khalo museum, dubbed the Blue House for its vibrant colour, the famous artists birthplace and home for many years. Here you’ll learn all about her life and work. In addition you’ll visit the Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Khalo. Designed by the couple’s friend, the architect and artist Juan O’Gorman, its functional design caused a controversy when it was built, and all three artists had studios here. Rivera produced a huge body of work in his lifetime, here you can see his studio and some of his celebrated art. You’ll also visit the Palacio Nacional where you can see some of Rivera’s murals and get an overview of Mexico’s history before your tour.

Day 3
Mexico City

Head out on an included tour to see the Zócalo, and the Paseo de la Reforma. This grand avenue crosses the city and is dotted with many monuments. You’ll also visit the world-famous Anthropological Museum, and the Pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican archaeological site of Teotihuacán, home to the mighty Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Relax over an included lunch in a local restaurant. B, L

Day 4
Mexico City-Antigua, Guatemala

Bid adios to Mexico and fly to Guatemala City, then transfer to Antigua, a UNESCO-listed city in Guatemala’s central highlands that is overlooked by three large volcanoes. Stay two nights in the charming, colonial-style hotel Meson de Maria (3Q+), or Camino Real Hotel (3Q+). B, D

Day 5
Antiqua

Look forward to your included tour of this beautiful and historic city that has churches and monasteries on every corner. Once part of Spain’s colonial empire, the tour includes the haunting ruins of Catedral de Santiago, and the beautiful and faded facades of the Central Plaza. You’ll also see colourful textiles being woven, and learn how jade and nephrite is transformed into jewellery. You’re free to eat out independently tonight. B

Day 6
Antigua-Lake Atitlan

Leave your hotel and travel to the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican site of Iximiché, one-time capital of the Kaqchikel, to see the pyramid temples. Continue to Lake Atitlán, Central America’s deepest lake. Stay two nights at the Villa Santa Caterina (3Q), which sits on the lake shoreline, or the Atitlán Hotel (3Q). B, L, D

Day 7
Lake Atitlan

Head for the town of Chichicastenango to visit the fabulous open-air market where you can buy everything, from textiles to pottery. B

Day 8
Atitlan-Flores

Take a boat trip across one of the world’s most beautiful lakes – prepare to be wowed by the views – to the picturesque village of Santiago Atitlán to see the Mayans weaving their colourful textiles. Transfer to Guatemala City for an internal flight to Flores. Stay two nights at the Villa Maya (3Q+) in a peaceful nature reserve, or the Peten Esplendido Hotel (3Q+). B, D

Day 9
Flores

A highlight of your holiday will be today’s full-day excursion to Tikal National Park to see the astounding ruins of this UNESCO-listed, 8th-century Mayan city, which lies within the rainforest. B

Day 10
Flores-Palenque, Mexico

Cross the border into Mexico and stay two nights at the lovely Villa Mercedes (3Q+). The afternoon is at leisure. B, D

Day 11
Palenque

Today you’ll visit Palenque – the 8th-century Mayan City that vanished into the jungle for over a thousand years. B, D

Day 12
Palenque-Campeche

Today’s long but rewarding journey transports you along the coast to the UNESCO-listed city of Campeche. Founded by the Spanish in 1540 and developed as a colonial trading port, it was heavily fortified due to constant attack by pirates. Stay overnight outside the city at the Tucan Siho (3Q+), beside the Gulf of Mexico. B

Day 13
Campeche-Mérida

Today you’ll visit Campeche, before continuing to Uxmal, one of Mexico’s most important late-Mayan sites. Dating back over a thousand years, its impressive layout and decoration reveals real understanding of astronomy. Stay two nights at the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon (4Q), a  peaceful and charming hotel in the midst of Yucatán Peninsula’s henequen – agave – plantations. B, D

Day 14
Mérida

This morning, on an included tour of this restored 19th-century agave estate, you’ll travel by mule truck, to visit the cenotes – natural sinkholes with inviting natural swimming pools. Later, visit Chichén Itzá, which shows many different styles of Mayan architecture including Kukulkan, a step pyramid that rises to almost 100 feet. Enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel this evening. B, D

Day 15
Mérida, Mexico-UK

Enjoy a leisurely morning and lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, travel to colonial Mérida for a city tour. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Mexico city, and connecting direct overnight flight. B, L

Day 16
UK

Arrive for your included UK door-to-door travel service home.

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