Mexico and Cuba Explorer

Starting From

$4,559/person

Number of days

16

Start Location

Mexico

Group Size

4-10

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Discover the remarkable highlights and archaeological and cultural attractions of Mexico and Cuba

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Mexico City

Upon arrival at the airport in Mexico City you will be meet and transferred to the group hotel. Overnight hotel.

Visit Teotihuacan

Today we spend a full day enjoying this historical center; the Anthropology museum, Pyramids of Teotihuacan and the Shrine of Guadalupe. The ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan (pronounced tay-oh-tee-wah-con) rise as high as twenty-story buildings, above the central Mexican highlands with a grandeur and mystery that stirs the imagination and inspires the soul. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez, boat ride in Sumidero canyon

This morning we transfer from the hotel to the airport to take a flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Upon arrival we make our way from the airport to visit the awe inspiring Sumidero canyon, whose dramatic cliffs of up to one kilometer high and the river's depth of up to 100 meters deep dwarf anything in its presence, for an enjoyable boat ride. From there we continue on to the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Visit San Juan Chamula, Zinacantan and San Cristobal de Las Casas

Today we visit the small town of San Juan Chamula, where the main church is one of the most profound examples of Catholicism and Maya traditions, and the locals maintain their own unique culture and heritage. We travel on to explore the Mayan village of Zinacantan and return to San Cristobal de las Casas. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Visit Aqua Azul and ancient ruins at Palenque

This moring we have an early departure from San Cristobal to visit the Agua Azul water falls, where the translucent blue water cascades over travertine flowstone. We continue to Palenque (approx 1 hour drive) and visit the archaeological site, where the ancient city offers amazing temples and structures. The Maya civilization site of Palenque lies in the foothills of the Chiapas mountains, and it is situated on a ledge overlooking the plains that stretch north. Dinner and overnight in a hotel.

Fly to Merida

From Palenque we make our way to Villahermosa airport to take a flight to Merida, the capital city of the state of Yucatan. Upon arrival we will make our way to our hotel. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Excursion to archeological sites of Uxmal and Kabah

Excursion to visit the two major archeological sites of great importance: Uxmal and Kabah. Uxmal is a renowned gem of Mayan architecture. The most outstanding buildings are the Pyramid of the Magician, the Convent of the Nuns, and the Palace of the Governor. After visiting Uxmal we drive south to Kabah, (approx. 20 kms). Kabah is a large archeological zone, which stretches along the road. The Palace of the Masks, is the most important attraction of this place of worship. From here we return to Merida. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Drive to Chichen Itza and continue to Cancun

Today we visit the spectacular, famous Mayan archeological site of Chichen Itza, located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula. At the end of the Early Classic Period, around the year 600 AD, Chichen Itza was one of the largest and most prominent Maya cities. Nowadays, Chichen Itza is undoubtedly the best-preserved Maya site on the Yucatan peninsula, and it was recently declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Various different architectural styles are seen in Chichen Itza. Most famous landmarks are the Temple of Kukulkan (“El Castillo”), the Ballgame Court, the Platform of the Skulls, the Temple of the Jaguar, the Observatory, the One Thousand Columns, and the Sacred Cenote. Then we drive on to the Cenote (sinkhole) of Ik-Kil which is arguably one of the most beautiful cenotes in Mexico. The water level is about 26 metres below ground level. The cenote is open to the sky and there is a carved stairway down to a swimming platform. After a refreshing swim we will continue to Cancun for your overnight accommodation. Dinner and overnight at our hotel, located in downtown Cancun.

Fly from Cancun to Havana, Cuba

This morning we have a transfer from our hotel to airport to take a flight to Havana, Cuba. Upon arrival into José Marti International Airport in Havana please make your way through customs and to the baggage claim area. You will be met at the airport after you have collected your luggage. If there is time this afternoon we will enjoy a panoramic tour of Havana before reaching our accommodation in Havana. There will be a trip briefing later this afternoon before we are heading out for dinner. Overnight in a Casa Particular (homestay) in Havana.

In Havana

This morning we enjoy breakfast at our Casa Particular before taking a walking tour of Colonial Havana. We visit the 4 main squares of the Historical Core of Havana City passing by the Ambos Mundos hotel where Hemingway stayed for the 1st time when he came to Cuba. We visit the Museum of Rum - Havana Club Foundation, La Bodeguita del Medio one of Hemingway’s preferred hide out places, and have lunch at La Bodeguita del Medio. After lunch we take a classical American car ride around modern Havana, visit the Monumental Christopher Columbus cemetery, the Revolution Square and finish the ride at the Floridita bar/restaurant with a refreshing daiquiri, another of Hemingway’s favourite hangouts. The rest of afternoon is at leisure. Tonight we are taken to the El Aljibe restaurant and then to the world famous Tropicana Cabaret to enjoy the famous nightlife. Overnight in a Casa Particular (homestay) in Havana.

Drive to Viñales Valley

We will have breakfast at our Casa Particular before transferring from Havana to Pinar Del Río where we will visit the Francisco Donatién cigar factory. Our trip continues to Viñales where we have lunch in a local restaurant, admire the valley from Los Jazmines mirador area and visit the picturesque town of Viñales. Throughout the Viñales Valley there are small villages, mostly self-sufficient farming communities and traders and we will enjoy a visit to one of these farms. After some free time to explore Viñales town, we check into our accommodation for the night. Overnight in a Casa Particular (homestay) in Viñales.

To Cienfuegos via Playa Giron

After an early breakfast we make our way to Cienfuegos stopping at Zapata Peninsula and Playa Giron. We enjoy lunch at Caleta Buena then continue on to the magical city of Cienfuegos – a city that is commonly referred to as the ‘Pearl of the South’. After a walking and panoramic tour of Cienfuegos we will make our way to our accommodation for the night and will have dinner at a local paladar. Overnight in a Casa Particular in Cienfuegos.

From Cienfuegos to Trinidad via Tope de Collantes

After breakfast we depart to Trinidad via Topes de Collantes Nature Reserve in the Escambray Mountains, the second largest range in Cuba. The Escambray is a delight for birdwatchers and walkers alike: swathed in Caribbean pines, ancient tree ferns, bamboo and eucalyptus. After spending some time walking in this beautiful nature reserve, we head south to Trinidad, the jewel in Cuba's patrimonial crown. Named an UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988, Trinidad’s collection of beautifully preserved colonial buildings have the Sierra del Escambray as a backdrop and overlook the Caribbean Sea. Much of the city's fortune was made during the sugar boom of the early 19th century when the city’s nucleus of elegant mansions was built. Trinidad is best explored on foot, following its winding cobbled streets to open market places where innovative locals sell artisanal goods, from hand-woven tablecloths to pottery. There are many interesting museums to visit in the daytime, but it is as the sun sets that Trinidad really comes to life. We recommend a visit to Casa de la Trova for traditional Cuban music and dancing. Dinner and Overnight in a Casa Particular in Trinidad.

In Trinidad

After breakfast we will enjoy a morning walking tour of Trinidad City and visit the Palacio Casa Cantero “History Museum of Trinidad”. After lunch the rest of the afternoon is free to explore this fantastic city. Overnight in a Casa Particular in Trinidad.

From Trinidad to Havana via Santa Clara stopping in Sancti Spiritus

After breakfast we will make our way back to Havana. We will be visiting the city of Santa Clara on the way. Santa Clara is the capital city of Villa Clara province. It is a city founded in 1689 by settlers who fled the coast fearing the ongoing pirates’ insurgencies. Today Santa Clara is an important university town but best known for the events that surround the great revolutionist Che Guevara. Che led his rebels in the battle of Santa Clara, a decisive victory over Batista´s army that resulted in the triumph of the Revolution. We continue our way to Havana and will be transferred to our accommodation. Overnight in a Casa Particular in Havana.

In Havana, trip concludes

After breakfast we have a transfer from your accommodation to the airport where the trip concludes.

Additional Information

This journey traces archaeological and cultural attractions of Mexico and highlights of Cuba. Ancient culture is immediately apparent near Mexico City where we view the huge Sun and Moon pyramids at Teotihuacan. We take a boat ride in the magnificent Sumidero canyon and spend time in the rarefied climes of San Cristobal de la Casas. We travel on to discover the Mayan culture in the villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. From there we visit the stunning jungle ruins of Palenque, with its dramatic Mayan step pyramid architecture. Before entering Cuba we make our way to the colourful city of Cancun for the night. The following day we fly to vibrant Havana to take in the sights of city. We make our way through the memorable Vinales Valley with unique limestone mogotes, to Las Terrazas. From panoramic Cienfuegos we travel to the preserved sixteenth century city, and World Heritage site, of Trinidad and the colonial town Sancti Spiritus before returning to the picturesque city of Havana.

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