A chance to visit some of the most impressive sites of pre-Columbian America, spread across three countries from the mountains around Mexico City to the jungles of Central America, whilst also experiencing charming colonial-era towns and churches.
- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
This trip is so full of highlights that it is very hard to pick out a single one, so many of the sites of the ancient pre-Columbian civilisations, whether Teotihuacan, Zapotec or Mayan, are simply breathtaking. The visit to Yaxchilan was a particularly atmospheric day involving a boat trip along the Usumacinta River past crocodiles before landing to explore the jungle covered ruins, accompanied by the calls of tropical birds while troops of monkeys swung by in the foliage overhead.
However, as our trip occurred while the Day of the Dead festival was taking place the particular highlight for me was to see the preparations taking place in the days leading up to the festival, with all the decorations, costumes and marigold covered shrines everywhere and it being celebrated on the evenings by the locals.
- What did you think of your group leader?
Miia is an excellent tour leader with an enthusiasm and passion for the people, places, food and culture that can’t help rubbing off on you. She is very knowledgeable about a wide range of subjects from the history, wildlife and crafts and would always follow up on anything she could not answer immediately.
She always found great places to go on the lunchtimes and evenings for food and drinks that were well suited to the group. Most of all her positive, good natured and good humoured approach meant that we always had fun whether at the sites, or on the long journeys or socialising in the evenings. It was a real pleasure to have had her as our tour guide.
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
If possible trying to time your visit with one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year can only add to the whole experience of a trip already full of attractions.
There is quite a bit of climbing up steep-stepped pyramids, certainly nothing to be worried about but shoes with good grips would be advised and good insect repellent is definitely needed at a couple of the jungle located sites.
There are also a couple of long road trips with early starts to be prepared for, and if you suffer from travel sickness it might be best to have some tablets with you, but with ample stops along the way and the chance to view the wide variety of scenery as you pass by, the journeys are interesting in themselves.
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
- One of the best trips I’ve been on, for the sheer number of impressive sights visited and the wide range of things to experience - from ancient history, culture, wildlife, as well as plenty of great restaurants and bars to sample the local food and relax with a drink on an evening - it certainly is great value for money. I would recommend this trip without hesitation.