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Day 1 Hometown to Merida, Yucatan
Welcome to Mexico. You will be met today at the airport by one of our local hosts and provided a private transfer to your hotel for the evening. This afternoon enjoy a welcome drink and attend a briefing at the hotel conducted by your Tour Manager.

Overnight: Hotel Casa del Balam

Day 2 Merida to Ek Balam
Our journey of exploration begins as we depart for Ek Balam, the Mayan City of the Jaguar, once a thriving city and the largest Mayan site. The site offers a glimpse into the impressive culture of the Maya. Filled with ornate statues, incredible architecture, and highlighted by the Acropolis which houses murals that are true masterworks. From here, continue to Hacienda Selva Maya for lunch and the opportunity to see one of the many Cenotes (sink holes). Found throughout the lush jungle landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula Cenotes were more than just natural sources of groundwater, the Maya also believed them to be gateways to the afterlife. Then it’s on to the “Magical Village” of Valladolid. constructed in 1545 upon and from the dismantled Maya town of Zaci. You will have time to explore the zocalo (public square) and the historic buildings surrounding the charming main plaza. Late afternoon arrival at our hotel and time to relax before this evening’s dinner at the hotel.

Overnight: Mayaland
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 3 Chichen Itza to Uxmal
Up early this morning to take advantage of the fortuitous location of our hotel. Be one of the first visitors via private entrance to the renowned Mayan-Toltec ruins of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire site is dominated by the Temple of Kukulcan, the plumed snake god that led the Toltec on their migration to Yucatan. At the foot of its stairs lurks a large, carved snakehead that during the spring and fall equinox, casts a shadow as if Kukulcan were slithering out of the temple and down the pyramid. You’ll also see the Sacred Well, Caracol Observatory, the Court of Columns and the impressive ball court which is the largest in Central America. After lunch at the hotel, continue to Uxmal. This afternoon visit the nearby Chocolate Museum and learn the origins and history of this modern day indulgence. The evening is at your leisure.

Overnight: The Lodge at Uxmal
Included meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 4 Uxmal to Campeche
While the region has many archaeological sites few are as impressive as Uxmal, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose pyramids and temples rise above the dense surrounding jungle. Uxmal contains what many consider to be the finest examples of the Puuc architectural style, especially its massive, terraced Governor’s Palace. More than 20,000 intricately carved stones on its exterior create the look of fine lacework. Lunch at the hotel before we visit the village of Santa Elena and the humble Mayan home of Don Hernan and Doña Azaria to learn more of the Mayan traditions and way of living. Continue to the “Historic Fortified City of Campeche.”

Overnight: Hotel Plaza Campeche
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 5 Campeche to Edzna to Campeche
This morning we continue on the Ruta Puuc as we depart for Edzna archaeological site. Edzna was already inhabited in as early as 400 BC far pre-dating many other more notorious sites. The architectural style of this site shows signs of the Puuc style, even though it is far from the Puuc Hills sites. The decline and eventual abandonment of Edzna still remains a mystery today. Return to Campeche in time for lunch. This afternoon, join your Tour Manager for a walking tour of the “Historic Fortified City of Campeche,” founded in 1540 and recognized as a World Heritage Site. Campeche was under persistent pirate attacks and raids until it’s fortified walls, a modern-day model of 17th and 18th Century military architecture, were erected and sustained to this day. Visit the main plaza with its traditional homes of Andalusian and Caribbean influence. Meander the narrow cobblestone streets from Puerta de Tierra to Puerta del Mar, once the two main entrances to the walled city. The evening is yours to continue exploring the city or enjoy one of the many distinctive, locally owned restaurants and cafes.

Overnight: Hotel Plaza Campeche
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6 Campeche to Merida
Return to Merida, “The White City.” Along the way, we visit the village of Becal known for its local artisans and their hat weaving. In the late 19th century, a Catholic priest introduced a wide variety of Guatemalan palms to Becal. The locals now weave the plant’s strong, flexible fibers producing a “Panama” style hat which remains pliable even as a finished product. We will have the opportunity to view a demonstration from a local artisan in the underground caves where they perform this local specialty. Arrive this afternoon to Merida and have the evening on your own to explore the cultural center of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Overnight: Casa del Balam
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 7 Merida
Join your Tour Manager for a morning tour of the Colonial City of Merida. Explore some of the city’s most captivating neighborhoods, before arriving in the zocalo where Meridians meet, socialize and conduct business. In its heart is the Palacio de Gobierno or State Government Building. Stepping inside, you’ll view the stunning Pacheco murals, depicting the conquest of the Yucatan in what can only be described as an unvarnished manner. Next will be a visit to the stately Casa de Montejo, the 16th-century home of the father and son who brought the peninsula under colonial control. Although it was converted to a bank some 25 years ago, its exquisite, French-style architectural details remain untouched. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before returning back to our hotel for an afternoon at your leisure to rest or continue exploring the city.
This evening, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the Paseo de Montejo lined with beautiful Spanish mansions.

Overnight: Casa del Balam
Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 8 Merida to Celestun to Merida
Visit Celestun UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Navigate in small boats through canals, estuaries, and lagoons into the protected wetlands to find vast flocks of pink flamingos, as well as many herons and other exotic wildlife. Celestun is famous not only for its Biosphere Reserve but also for its seafood restaurants and calm beaches. You will have leisurely time to eat at one of these fine restaurants or enjoy a long stretch of beach with a variety of shells to explore. Upon returning to the hotel, you will have ample time to relax before dinner. Farewell Dinner this evening at a local restaurant where you’ll toast your adventures and say adios to the friends you’ve met along the way.

Overnight: Casa del Balam hotel
Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Merida to hometown
Breakfast at hotel, then get ready for your flight back home.
Private transfers to Cancun International Airport.

Meals included: Breakfast