Live the Mayan Magic your own way
1st Day - Cancun - Chichen Itza
1) Option A with morning flight
Upon arrival in Cancun pick up your car and begin this delightful journey by visiting the archaeological site of Tulum. A guide service is available for a fee at the entrance. Tulum offers a marvelous view of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean white sand beach. Tulum is the only fortified Mayan city with Toltec influence that is built on a small cliff. You may swim in the sea, but there aren't any cloakrooms.
After leaving Tulum, continue your journey to Coba. Only partially researched and restored, Coba is an enormous site with many different structures surrounded by dense vegetation. We recommend visiting the groups of Coba and "Nohoch Mul", a visit of approximately two hours. The view from the top of the Nohoch Mul pyramid is breathtaking and well worth the climb. Depart Coba to reach your final destination for today, Chichen Itza, where you will stay at the Mayaland Hotel or The Lodge at Chichen Itza, a beautiful hotel set in the heart of the archaeological park.
2) Option B afternoon flight
Upon arrival in Cancun pick up your car and begin this delightful journey driving through the jungle on the toll road to Chichen Itza where you will stay at the Mayaland Hotel.
2nd Day - Chichen Itza
The second day starts off with a visit to Chichen Itza, the main ceremonial site of the Itzae dynasty, covering an area of more than 3.5km. There, amid the impressive structures of "el Castillo", the Ball Court, and the Observatory, just to name a few sacred buildings, you will understand why Chichen Itza was considered for many centuries - and still is - a sacred place.
Start with the old section of Chichen Itza, including the observatory, the church and the nunnery. Then return to the newer section to visit the Kukulcan pyramid, the temple of warriors, the market place with a thousand columns, the ball game, and the sacred well "cenote." At the end we suggest you to spend a little time at the museum near the entrance. We recommend having lunch at the Mayaland Hotel where you have several options such as the buffet, snacks or main restaurant.
In the afternoon you have several options such as a horseback riding tour to Old Chichen Itza (accessible only by horse) where archaeologists are presently working. Or, enjoy a restful afternoon basking in the sun around our secluded pools. In the evening you may enjoy the sound and light show at the park.
Overnight at the Mayaland Hotel or the Lodge at Chichen Itza
3rd Day - Chichen Itza - Uxmal
Then, you have the choice between two possibilities:
1) You may take the secondary roads, crossing several very interesting and typical villages such as Sotuta and Ticul. In Sotuta visit the palace of the last Mayan High Priest "Nachi Cocom". Leave Sotuta in the direction of Mayapan, founded in 1007 by Kukulkan. Mayapan did not become dominant until 1200 after the fall of Chichen Itza when the League of Mayapan was initiated. Such dominance lasted until 1400 when a rebellion led by the rulers of Uxmal brought on the downfall of the League of Mayapan. Today it has a peaceful and reflective atmosphere.
After Mayapan you will arrive at Teabo where you may visit the church dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Maní, which boasts a 16th century monastery, a "cenote" and the picturesque village of Oxcutzcab, before reaching Uxmal.
Or 2) take the toll road to Merida, after which you will pass through the village of Muna to reach Uxmal.
Once you arrive in Uxmal you will overnight at the beautiful Hacienda Uxmal or The Lodge at Uxmal in the very heart of the archaeological zone. In the evening, you will be able to enjoy the Sound and Light Show of Uxmal. All information relating to this show is available at the hotel.
4th Day - Uxmal - Kabah - Sayil - Labna - Loltun - Uxmal
Start off this day of adventure by immersing yourself in the mystical aura of the ceremonial site of Uxmal. The Governors' Palace, Sorcerer's Pyramid and the House of Turtles, set among the rolling hills, are but a few of the many constructions that will capture your attention. The entrance to the site is only a minute away on foot from your hotel. Don't miss the view from the top the Sorcerer's pyramid.
Continue on to Kabah, a site representative of the Puuc style. It has a main structure called the Codz Pop that is decorated with masks of Chac Mool. If you are very interested in archaeological sites, you may wish to visit other sites of the Puuc route such as Sayil with its majestic palaces, glory of the Puuc architecture and Labna, famous for its excellent example of the Mayan Arch. Continue to Loltun for an interesting visit of the caves.
Overnight at the Hacienda Uxmal or The Lodge at Uxmal
5th Day - Uxmal - Merida - Cancun
Return to Merida with a short stop at Hacienda Yaxcopoil, formerly one of the largest Haciendas in the area and presently transformed into a museum. Here you will learn about sisal manufacturing, once the main industry and source of employment for the Yucatan Peninsula.
Founded in 1542 on the site of a Mayan city named T'Ho by Francisco de Montejo, Merida today is the capital of the State of Yucatan and boasts of a delightful and animated colonial center. The center of the city was built with the stones of Mayan temples. The main building of the "zocalo" is the 16th century Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the country. Most buildings date back to the 16th century. On the Paseo of Montejo, the large tree-lined avenue, you will find the Museum of Archaeology (closed on Mondays), with an impressive collection of Mayan art. You can also view beautiful French style residences, which now house business and government offices.
Return to Cancun via the toll road through the jungle.
We recommend a stop at Valladolid, a typical colonial town founded in 1542 around a sacred well "cenote". Stroll around the "zocalo" and visit the cenote. The cathedral dedicated to Saint Francis dates back to 1707 and is decorated with a copy of the cross of the Catholic Kings of Spain. In the Sisal area there is an important 16th century convent.
The car may be dropped off at the airport, or at the nearest car rental office to your hotel in Cancun.
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