Mexico and Belize Maya Adventure
9 nights/ 10 days

Travel from the beachside delights of Playa del Carmen & Cancun to the small Caribbean island of Caye Caulker in Belize. Discover ancient Mayan ruins and explore the pristine shores of the Caribbean coast. Witness colorful marine life as we snorkel the second largest coral reef in the world and swim in the cenotes of Tulum. This tour delivers a slice of action, a dose of history and culture, and some well-deserved relaxation.

Highlights

  • Explore the ancient Maya Ruins of Coba, Tulum, and Chichen-Itza
  • Go swimming in an underground cenote and discover why they were so important to the Mayas
  • Discover the underwater world along the world’s second largest barrier reef in Belize
  • Relax on the white sand beaches of Playa del Carmen and Cancun

Is this trip right for you?

  • There are a couple of long drives on this trip. This is a great opportunity to enjoy the scenery and spend some time getting to know the other members of your group.
  • To participate in the water-based experiences, you’ll need to be a confident swimmer.
  • Accommodations on this trip are clean, comfortable, centrally located hotels.
  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be really hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.
  • Try to learn as many Spanish words as you can. Locals are very friendly, but also shy, so you’ll need to make plenty of effort to break the ice. Attempting to communicate in Spanish is a great way of showing you care.
DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Cancun to Cancun
TRIP LEADER(S) Mauricio (Mao)
PLACES VISITED Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, Belize, Caye Caulker, Cancun
ACTIVITIES Exploring Ancient Maya Ruins, Snorkeling
GROUP SIZE Max. 16 people
PHYSICAL RATING Easy
WHAT’S INCLUDED
Accommodations (9 nights basic hotel) 2 Breakfasts, 1 Dinner
English, Spanish speaking local guide(s) All transfers listed in the itinerary
Maya Community Visit Coba Ruins with a local guide
Cenote Tankach-Ha Tulum Ruins Entrance
Barrier Reef Snorkeling Tour Guided Tour at Chichen Itza Ruins
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
International airfare Airport taxes & excess baggage fees
Travel Insurance Beverages & meals not specified
Personal Expenses Gratuities
Optional Activities
1

Cancun/Playa del Carmen

Today, you will arrive in Cancun and take a taxi to our starting hotel in Playa del Carmen. Playa del Carmen is one of the top diving destinations in the world, thanks to the vibrant sea life and dazzling underwater caverns. On dry land, Playa is a hipper and more modern version of the fishing village it once was. There are no scheduled activities today, so you are free to explore on your own. Relax on the beach or get in some quality people watching as you shop and stroll along 5th Avenue.

Overnight at Hotel Playa del Carmen or similar

2

Tulum

This morning, we’ll travel to Tulum and visit a Mayan Community in Tulum as well as the ruins of Coba, the tallest pyramid in this region, which can still be climbed. Archaeologists believe the Maya ruins of Coba were an incredibly important city for the Maya people. It is one of the oldest sites with some tools having been found from the year 100 BC. It remained one of the longest living Mayan cities, lasting until just before the time of the Spanish conquest. Coba’s claim to fame is the largest network of stone causeways in the ancient Mayan world, called sacbes (white roads). Over 50 of these roads have been discovered at the site, with 16 of them open to the public. The raised stone pathways connect clusters of residential areas to the main pyramid area of Nohoch Mul and small lakes used as a water supply nearby.

Afterwards, we’ll have the opportunity to swimming the Cenote of Tankach-Ha. In order to reach it, you have to go underground quite a few meters through a wooden staircase, from which you can jump to the crystal-clear refreshing waters of the cenote.

INCLUDED:

  • Visit a Mayan community & the ruins of Coba
  • Swimming in the Cenote of Tankach-Ha

Estimated Travel time: 1 hour driving
Overnight at 
Hotel Amansala Town or similar

3

Tulum

Today will be an entire day dedicated to exploring the ruins of Tulum. The Tulum ruins of Mexico are one of the most well-known archaeology sites in the world. The lone ruin overlooking the Caribbean Sea has become a symbol for the entire region. The blue hues stand in stark contrast to the ancient construction, now worn down by a time and the constant battering of the salt-laced sea breeze. What sets the site apart from other ruins in Mexico is both the fact that it is well preserved and it boasts its own inviting beach.

Each Mayan city had a specific purpose and Tulum was no exception. It was a seaport, trading mainly in turquoise and jade. As well as being the only Mayan city built on a coast, Tulum was one of the few protected by a wall. Made of limestone, the 784-meter wall encloses the site on three sides, is seven meters thick and varies between three and five meters in height. No doubt this fortification helped preserve the seaport.

After entering the ruins through one of five doorways in the wall, visitors are greeted by a field of gently rolling hills. Black and grey stone outcroppings, which were once buildings, dot the sun baked landscape. Most prominent among the remaining structures is the Castillo, or castle, which is perched on the edge of a 12-meter limestone cliff, overlooking the Caribbean coast. Negotiating its steep steps is best done sideways, a fact which will assert itself on the way down. Before descending, be certain to catch a glimpse of the Caribbean behind the Castillo. The view is as refreshing as the cool breeze coming from the sea.

In front of the Castillo is the Temple of the Frescoes, one of the better-preserved buildings. Peer inside the temple to see a mural painted in three sections. The first level represents the Mayan world of the dead, the middle is that of the living, and the final, highest piece, is of the creator and rain gods. Interesting to note in the middle of the living section is a god astride a four-legged animal believed to be a horse. If in fact this is a horse, it would mean Mayans still occupied Tulum in 1518 when they would have seen the animals for the first time with the arrival of the Spanish.

Chiseled above the doorway of the temple is a figure with what appears to be bird’s wings and a tail. This diving god is believed to represent a Mayan deity who protected the people and is particularly well-preserved on various buildings around the site.

Just north of the Castillo is a pathway that leads down to a sandy beach and the multi-hued Caribbean. For visual drama, a walk along the beach provides ample opportunity for photographs. The walk is an adventure into, around and under nooks and crannies carved out of the cliffs. Each additional turn brings a new, secluded stretch of the Caribbean, perfect for both swimming and reflecting on the ruins.

INCLUDED:

  • Entrance at Tulum Ruins

Overnight at Hotel Amansala Town or similar

4

Belize/ Caye Caulker

Today, we’ll leave the ancient city of Tulum and drive to Belize! Belize is known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems. On the coast, there is a swampy coastal plain with mangrove swamps. In the south and interior there are hills and low mountains. Most of the land is undeveloped and is forested with hardwoods. It’s part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot and has many jungles, wildlife reserves, a large variety of different species of flora and fauna and the largest cave system in Central America. Some species of Belize’s flora and fauna include the black orchid, the mahogany tree, the toucan and tapirs.

Just off the coast is the island of Caye Caulker where the attitude on the island is “No shirt, No shoes, No problem!” In fact, nothing seems to be a problem on this island where dogs nap in the middle of the dirt road and suntanned cyclists pedal around them. The only traffic sign on the island instructs golf carts and bicycles to go slow, a directive that is taken seriously. On Caye Caulker, there are no cars, no fumes and no hassles, just balmy beaches, fresh seafood, and azure waters and a fantastic barrier reef at its doorstep.

INCLUDED:

  • Private transportation to Belize
  • Ferry to Caye Caulker

Estimated travel time: 6.5 hours driving
Overnight at
 Enjoy Hotel or similar

5

Caye Caulker

The second longest barrier reef in the world runs along the coast of Belize. Moreover, the entire reef system in front of Caye Caulker is a Marine Reserve, so the fish have had time to grow very large, especially the groupers. Today, we’ll spend the day exploring this underwater world. From your first glimpse underwater, you are in a totally different world – brightly colored fish, sponges, corals, and other creatures everywhere! Snorkeling spots are usually waist deep to about 6 feet in depth, which makes for world class snorkeling! Swim with nurse sharks and eagle rays and see how friendly these animals can be. This is sure to be a once in a lifetime experience!

INCLUDED:

  • Full Day Barrier Reef snorkeling tour

Overnight at Enjoy Hotel or similar

6

Caye Caulker (D)

Today will be a free day to enjoy the island. Spend time on the beach, groove to reggae, go scuba diving in the blue hole, or possibly choose to kayak to the Northern Mangrove Reserve or any of the other optional activities available on the island. This evening we’ll enjoy a traditional dinner of grilled seafood.

INCLUDED:

  • Meals: Dinner

Overnight at Enjoy Hotel or similar

7

Tulum

Today will be another full day of travel as we make our way back to Tulum for an overnight stay.

INCLUDED:

  • Ferry from Caye Caulker to Belize City
  • Private transportation to Tulum

Estimated Travel time: 6.5 hours
Overnight at 
Hotel Amansala Town or similar

8

Chichen Itza Ruins/ Cancun

A visit to this region of Mexico would not be complete without visiting the Pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza. This sacred site was one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatan peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different people have left their mark on the city, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatan. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warrior’s Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol.

After a guided tour of these ancient ruins, we’ll continue our journey to Cancun, where Mayan culture shines on every corner. Surrounded by the breathtaking Caribbean Sea, soft coral sands, and the striking shade of blue that emerges from its crystal-clear waters, Cancun offers a range of options for tourists of all ages.

INCLUDED:

  • Guided tour of Chichen Itza Ruins
  • Private transportation to Chichen Itza and Cancun

Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours driving to Tulum; 2 hours driving to Cancun
Overnight at
Hotel Plaza Caribe or similar

9

Cancun (B)

Today is a free day to explore this city on your own. There are a range of optional activities to choose from. The archaeological zone of El Rey or El Templo del Alacran (The temple of the scorpion) will amaze your eyes, and if you are into nature, you’ll love Xel-Ha, a natural aquarium that will make you feel as if you are waking in a dream.

Visiting the Secret River will take you closer to the Xibalba, the Mayan underworld, and Xcaret, the most important eco-archaeological park in the country, will offer its charm so you can blend with the jungle.

INCLUDED:

  • Meals: Breakfast

Overnight at Hotel Plaza Caribe or similar

10

Cancun (B)

Today is departure day and there are no planned activities. At the appropriate time, you’ll take a taxi to the airport for your flight home or to your next destination.

INCLUDED:

  • Meals: Breakfast

End of Tour/ Departure

2018 Small Group Departures
January 25-February 3 $1850 (Single Supplement $460) Due in Full by October 27, 2017 Book Now
Price is per person based on double occupancy. Initial deposit is $500 and is payable by credit card. Once submitting your deposit, you’ll receive an invoice for the remaining balance, plus any trip add-ons and extensions. Payments can be made online with a credit card.
Solo Travelers: We provide roommate matching, so you never have to pay for a single supplement unless you want your own room. Should there be an odd number of men to women, you may be asked to join a triple occupancy room if you are one of the last to join.
> SIGN UP WITH NO RISK Your deposit is fully refundable or transferable
Ready to book? Click the button above to submit your information along with a deposit to secure your spot. Need assistance? Call us at (800) 953-5538 or email travel@adventurepeople.net and one of our tour consultants will be happy to help.
Not finding what you’re looking for? We can tailor your adventure to fit your travel style, time frame, budget, and interests. From different styles of lodging to your favorite adventure activities, we’ll create the best custom itinerary for you. Feel free to call one of our travel specialists for information on custom trips. Let us plan your next adventure of a lifetime! Contact us today!
Mexico and Belize Maya Adventure
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