Yucatan Highlights with Calakmul, Driver & Guide

8 days / 7 nights Mexico Tour

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Oliver Lang

Destination Manager Mexico

+52 984 873 1385

Yucatan Yucatan Highlights with Calakmul, Driver & Guide

On this exciting tour you will visit the main attractions of the Yucatan Peninsula. Right at the beginning Tulum, a Mayan cult site enthroned over the Caribbean Sea. You will also discover Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza, other silent witnesses of a lost civilization. A new highlight is Calakmul in the state of Campeche, which is comparatively untouched by tourism. And what’s more: Calakmul impresses with a spectacular location in the middle of the rainforest, away from any civilization. As isolated as Calakmul is today, it was just as important in the time of the Mayas.
Enjoy the exotic fauna and flora on a jungle walk, bathe in one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mexico and watch pink flamingos in the lagoon of Celestun on a lively boat trip. You will also visit architecturally outstanding colonial cities in Merida, Izamal and Valladolid and bathe in mysterious cenotes, where the ancient Mayans celebrated rituals.

8 days / 7 night from/to Cancun or Riviera Maya
Cancun, Tulum, Bacalar, Chicanna, Calakmul, Palenque, Roberto Barrios Waterfalls, Campeche, Uxmal, Celestun, Merida, Izamal, Chichen Itza, Valladolid - Cancun / Riviera Maya
  • Departure: Hotel Cancun or Riviera Maya
  • End of roundtrip: Hotel Cancun or Riviera Maya
  • min: 01 PAX
  • 8 days / 7 night from/to Cancun or Riviera Maya
  • Guided round trip with English speaking guide
Day 1: Cancun - Tulum - Bacalar

In the morning you will visit the Mayan site of Tulum, built high above the Caribbean Sea. Unlike all other Maya sites, Tulum is located directly on the sea. The most famous buildings are the so-called castle, the "Temple of the Descending God", the "Temple of the Wind" and the fresco temple.
Then continue to the Lagoon of the Seven Colors in Bacalar, which received the title Pueblo Magico. The Fort of San Felipe de Bacalar is located in the center of Bacalar. The fortress was built in 1725 by Antonio de Figueroa y Silva, Governor of Yucatán, as a strong defense for the preservation of the state against the advance of the English colonial rulers. It was completed in 1733. Afterwards you can take a refreshing swim in the Cenote Azul.
Overnight at Hotel Carolina, Cat. Standard Garden View

Day 2: Bacalar - Chicanna - Calakmul

Welcome to a 2.5 hour boat adventure in Laguna Bacalar. First stop at Cenote Cocalitos / Stromatolites, which is 90 meters deep. Stromatolites are ancestors of corals that go back to the origin of life on the planet. Your next stop is the famous Pirate Canal, where the shallow and warm water creates an unforgettable backdrop. Can you imagine the battles against pirates who tried to pillage the area nearly 400 years ago? Continue to the Black Cenote / Cenote of the Witch, a place full of fantasy and mystery. The depth exceeds 100 meters, so you can see a change in color in the water. At this point, you will see why it is known as the Lagoon of the 7 Colors.
Continue to the so-called Rio Bec region. The city of Chicanná was inhabited between 300 and 1100 years AD and is home to buildings of the Chenes style and the Rio Bec style. During the classical period, the city benefited from its location on the central trade route between the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean coast. The most famous building in Chicanná is on the east side of the courtyard. The central entrance to the courtyard is built as a snake mouth entrance, the carved stone masonry of which is of excellent quality. Drive to the Hotel Puerta Calakmul at the entrance of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve.
During nightfall we visit the nearby bat cave in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve. It is a cave with a depth of 54 meters, in which, according to experts, about four million bats of nine species live. Thousands of these incredible mammals come out of the cave at sunset almost every day at sunset in search of food and offer one of the most impressive spectacles that nature can offer.
Overnight at Hotel Puerta Calakmul, Cat. Cabaña

Day 3: Calakmul - Palenque

After breakfast, drive deep into the rainforest to the mystical site of Calakmul. Calakmul was a powerful Mayan city during the Classical Period. Together with El Mirador and Tikal, Calakmul is one of the largest Mayan cities ever discovered. A visitor center marks the entrance to the Calakmul National Park. From there, a gravel road leads deep into a jungle area, where the once mighty Mayan city is waiting to be discovered. Calakmul extended over an area of about 30 square kilometers and had over 100 colossal buildings; a total of more than 5,000 buildings are known. The so-called "structures" or pyramids I and II are dominant here. The latter has a height of approx. 45 meters. Most of Calakmul, however, has not yet been excavated or further explored. One can only speculate about the number of inhabitants. For the city center, for example, a population of around 50,000 is assumed. The enormous dimensions of the main pyramid are impressive, from the top platform of which you have an unforgettable view over the seemingly endless jungle deep into Guatemala. In the afternoon drive to Palenque.
Overnight at Hotel Villas Mercedes, cat. Deluxe

Day 4: Palenque - Roberto Barrios Waterfalls - Palenque

Palenque was founded around 300 BC. And was in its full bloom in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. All the buildings that can still be seen today date from this period. Thus, Palenque was one of the first sites of the classical Maya period, which was abandoned for reasons that have not yet been clarified. The "Temple of Inscriptions" impresses with more than 620 hieroglyphs and tells the story of the Mayan king Pacals from the time of his accession to the throne in 615 AD. For almost 70 years, Pacal, who was crowned at the age of 12, directed the fortunes of Palenque. The discovery of his tomb in a temple built in his honor was one of the great archaeological sensations in Mayan history.
Afternoon swimming at the nearby Roberto Barrios waterfalls. Return to Palenque.
Overnight at Hotel Villas Mercedes, cat. Deluxe

Day 5: Palenque - Campeche

Drive along the Gulf of Mexico past idyllic fishing villages such as Champoton. In the early afternoon we reach the port city of Campeche.
The Archaeological Museum in the Baluarte San Miguel is located a little outside the city of Campeche. This museum has 10 rooms, it consists of two unique collections of its kind in the entire Maya region, which also include the jadeite burial masks from the royal tombs of Calakmul and the collection of funerary figures from the island of Jaina.
In 1540, today's Campeche was founded by Spanish settlers. A flourishing port city on the Gulf of Mexico, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, quickly developed. Towards the end of the 17th century, the Spaniards built large fortifications to protect against pirate attacks; these "Baluartes" are still one of the city's most important sights today. The beautiful and lovingly restored colonial buildings of the city lie within this belt of fortresses. The La Concepcíon Cathedral and the "heart" of the city, the small Zocalo Parque Principal, are worth a visit.
Overnight at Hotel Plaza Campeche, Cat. Standard

Day 6: Campeche - Uxmal - Celestun - Merida

Drive past citrus plantations to Uxmal. The Uxmal archaeological site is about 60 kilometers south of Merida and shows the history of the late classical Maya era. This large, Puuc-style ruin complex is one of the most interesting in the world. The name Uxmal stands for "the three times built". The significance of many of the buildings that were built between 600 and 950 AD has not yet been fully deciphered. The beautifully decorated facades, huge terraces and squares, columns and arches are impressive.
Celestún is a mangrove biosphere reserve, which is known for its high flora and fauna diversity. The Estuary is the only colony of Cuban flamingos in Mesoamerica, besides the occurrence in Río Lagartos. Boat trips are offered here to observe the main attraction, the numerous pink flamingos. In addition, numerous North American water birds overwinter in Celestún from December to March. In addition to fish, shrimps and mussels, the living creatures in Celestún include numerous species of birds such as brown pelicans, frigate birds, cormorants, herons, snow ibis and mangrove buzzards. The Celestún mangrove area was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2004.
Overnight at Hotel La Mision de Fray Diego, Cat. Standard

Day 7: Merida - Izamal - Chichen Itza

City tour of Merida. The most beautiful buildings include the huge cathedral, the bishopric, the Palacio Municipal and the Casa de Montejo, the home of the city founder with the portal decorated with figures. The influence of Spain and France can be felt all over the city. For example, the Champs-Elysees served as a model for the Boulevard Paseo de Montejo. Don't miss a visit to the colorful market. Continue to the yellow city of Izamal.
City tour in Izamal includes a visit to the dominant Franciscan convent, the spacious main square bordered by the convent and colonial buildings with arcades. Further to the ruins of Itzamatul, which with 21 m carried a quite high platform with a temple for the god Itzamná. The northern and eastern sides have been restored and show a five-tier structure. The highest pyramid platform of Izamal is called Kinich Kak Moo with sides of 200 m and a platform height of 36 m. The main access to the platform is from the south side, where a monumental megalithic staircase made of huge worked stone blocks is far in front. Finally, visit the cultural center for handicrafts with a permanent exhibition of objects created by great masters of Mexican folk art. In the evening you will arrive at Chichen Itza.
Overnight at Hotel Hacienda Chichen Itza Resort, Cat. Standard

Day 8: Chichen Itza - Valladolid - Cancun / Riviera Maya

In the archaeological zone of Chichen Itza, the Mayan culture, further developed by the influence of the Toltecs from central Mexico, is expressed in all its splendor. "El Castillo" is the most impressive building in this Mayan city with a height of 30 meters. The largest ball court in the Yucatán can also be found in Chichen Itza. The building "El Caracol" is reminiscent of a snail shell and was discovered and drawn in 1842 by the researcher Frederick Catherwood. The Mayans used the local observatory to observe Venus and its orbit, among other things.
Cenote Dzitnup was discovered by chance around 1950 and is about 10 kilometers outside of Valladolid. The underground water basin, which can be reached via steep steps, offers a wonderful refreshment opportunity by jumping into the cold water. There is an opening above the turquoise-blue water of the tiny lake, through which the penetrating daylight illuminates the pool, which is why the cenote is best visited at lunchtime. Many fish live in the crystal clear water and directly above there are numerous stalactites that have formed over time on the ceiling of the underground cave. Then transfer to your hotel in Cancun or on the Riviera Maya.

  • Hotel Cancun or Riviera Maya

Please check Caribbean Tours Booking Conditions.

This tour is possible as:

Services Included
  • Overnight in good mid class hotels, including tax
  • Daily American breakfast
  • English speaking driver
  • Transport in an air-conditioned car or minivan
  • All entries according to the program
  • Boat tours in Bacalar and Celestun
Services NOT included
  • All extras in the hotel
  • All meals not listed
  • Tips for porters / maids
  • Tips for driver and guide
  • Hotel before and after trip
  • Airport transfers



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