Tailor-made journey. A special journey created specially for your enjoyment
ON THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MAYANS
On October of 1989, The National Geographic Magazine published an article called “La Ruta Maya”. This article, by former National Geographic editor Wilbur E. Garrett, and beautifully illustrated by photographer Kenneth Garrett, was for most, a first glimpse into this fascinating world. What made this article so unique was the depth in which Garret presents the most representative aspects of the Maya, the archaeological sites and their connection to the region’s natural preserves. The exceptional photography illustrating these treasures takes the reader centuries back in time. Relive La Ruta Maya and explore the many aspects of this timeless route, including its people, architecture, traditions, sounds and flavors.
- Explore UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chichen-Itza, a new wonder of the world.
- Visit the Mayan archaeological sites of Uxmal and Tulum.
- See colonies of flamingos in the Biosphere of Celestun.
- Swim in amazing sacred cenotes (sink holes).
- Enjoy lunch in the ruins of a former hacienda.
PhotoXpeditions custom-designs immersive and experiential-based journeys and photography adventures that allow our travelers to connect with the communities and cultures they visit, and work with the globally-renownedh experts and photographers who lead our programs and contribute to the creation of exciting, memorable life-enriching experiences.
We work in some of the most interesting destinations on the planet and, while we run several scheduled trips and workshops, we offer the option of fully customized, unique and exciting itineraries that match the needs and interests of the people and organization we work with.
Our destinations include Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Iceland and and Spain, among others, and our programs range from photographing Day of the Dead celebrations in Oaxaca, Mexico to trying Iberian ham in a pig farm in Southern Spain, to an adventure along the Way of St. James, to a private train adventure across Northern Spain. We carefully personalize the details of each journey to your interests and preferences to make it a meaningful and memorable experience.
Whether you would like to have a private photography workshop, an adventure for your group led by an award-winning photographer, a culinary adventure with a renowned food critic and writer, a cultural journey with a history or archaeology expert, or to build a very special itinerary for your group, we would love to help!
To explore the possibilities and begin planning your journey:
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN CANCUN / RIVIERA MAYA
Just 25 years ago Cancun was an isolated fishing village with only 117 people. Since that time, it has been transformed into one of the world’s premier tourist destinations, and the largest resort area in the Caribbean. Few tourists dare to explore beyond the beaten path, but those who do, find that Cancun is more than just a tourist area—it’s actually the gateway to both the Mayan world and modern Mexico. Today we begin your Mayan adventure from one of our beautiful hotels.
DAY 2 - IZMAL / MERIDA
Travel north to Izamal, one of Mexico’s “Magical Towns,” so designated because of its architecture and the unique mix of cultures in which the ancient Maya culture and the Colonial blend with today’s bustling world. Izamal’s highlights are the Convent of San Antonio de Padua that dates back to the 1500s, and the pyramid, one of the largest in the Mexican Mayan world. Visit local artisans’ houses on horse drawn carriages or walk the cobblestone streets. After lunch, continue to the “White City” of Merida, a former thriving Mayan town, and discover the city’s beautiful historic center, the 16th-century cathedral, the murals by painter Fernando Castro Pacheco in the Governor’s Palace and more. Dinner will be at our beautiful Hacienda Hotel.
Hacienda Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 3 - MERIDA / CELESTUN
We depart after breakfast for Celestun, a small fishing village famous for its unique ecosystem that houses more than 200 species of birds, fresh water springs, and calm beaches. Enjoy a seaside lunch before venturing on a boat ride inside mangrove forests, where you will see beautiful pink flamingo colonies and many other bird species. Take the rest of the evening to explore the city on your own. Take a carriage down the impressive Paseo Montejo to admire the early 20th-century mansions of those who made their fortune by trading the so called “Green Gold’ or henequen, or sit at one of the cafes in the historical center to soak in the culture, the place and the people.
Hacienda Hotel (B,L)
DAY 4 - UXMAL
Depart for this Mayan city that dates back to the year 600 AD. Go back in time and stroll among the jewels of Mayan architecture; Governors Palace, Nuns Square, Ball Court and the Pyramid of the Magicians. Enjoy lunch in the reminiscences of an old hacienda in the middle of the jungle and, if you feel like it, freshen up by taking a swim in the old irrigation tank. Later, continue your journey along the Puuc Route to the Cocoa Museum, and explore the relationship that has always existed between the Mayan Culture and cocoa. Learn how chocolate was made and be treated to a traditional Mayan chocolate drink.
Hacienda Hotel (B,L)
DAY 5 - CHICHEN-ITZA / BALANKANCHE CAVES
Today we leave Merida and head south towards Chichen-Itza, one of the “New Wonders of the World.” This Mayan city dating back to 900 B.C., is one of the grandest architectural accomplishments of the Maya civilization. Your visit takes you to the Temple of Kukulcan, the Observatory and the Sacred Well, then returning to your beautiful hotel for lunch. In the afternoon visit the impressive caves of Balankanche, a former ceremonial site for the Maya with beautiful rock formations. See the great variety of ceremonial objects amongst the rock formations that found by Dr. E. Wyllys Andrews, a former leader of a National Geographic Expedition. Take the rest of the day to explore your hotel, read, swim or pamper yourself in the natural spa.
5* Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 6 - TULUM / XEL-HA
In the morning, depart for Tulum, the Maya’s largest commercial port on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city, its ruins contain over 60 architectural structures perched along some of the most rugged cliffs on the Quintana Roo coast, and offering a breathtaking view of the Caribbean. Have a special lunch at Xel-Ha National Park and enjoy its sheltered inlets and lagoons filled with a mixture of underground spring and seawater.
5* Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 7 - XCARET
In an exclusive opportunity for our group, researchers from the former Knorosov Center for the Mayan Language will share their knowledge, interpretation and insights about the Maya Code.. Learn about Xcaret’s Macaws’ reproduction program, which has earned them several Guinness World Records, and talk to the organization’s marine biologists to learn more about the park’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts of turtles, manatees and other species. Later, enjoy a swim in one of the underground rivers and gently float on the sparkling waters through tunnels carved in the ancient coral formations. The mild current will take you 1500 feet along the river, illuminated by shafts of sunlight pouring in through natural overhead openings.
Enjoy other activities such as swimming in the inlets or relaxing on the shore. Explore the botanical gardens, the aquarium, the Mayan Village and the butterfly pavilion. In the evening enjoy the Xcaret by Night show, a spectacular experience for all your senses. Marvel at over 300 performers in an incredible pageant of colors, lights and sounds depicting Mexico’s rich history.
5* Hotel (B,D)
DAY 8 - MAYAN RIVIERA
After breakfast you will have time on your own to explore the seaside village of Playa del Carmen and its famous Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue), which depicts arts and crafts stores, luxury boutiques, jewelry, great restaurants and much more, in a vibrant and exciting atmosphere. Re-gather in the evening for a magical farewell dinner.
5* Hotel (B,L,D)
DAY 9 - CANCUN HOME COUNTRY
Departures – End of Trip
- $TBDbased on your choices and preferences
- TRIP DURATION: 10 Days, 9 Nights
- DATES: Call to personalize this journey
- ACCOMMODATIONS: Four and Five Star Hotels
- PRICING: TBD based on your choices and preferences once the itinerary has been tailor-made for you