Secrets & Civilisations in Mexico Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Mexico
Programmes:
Exodus Edits
Trip Code:
EHM
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Land only

Trip Overview

Don a fedora (Indiana Jones style) and spend a week investigating Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Discover ancient Mayan civilisations, journeying through jungles in search of impressive monuments. You’ll visit the incomparable Chichen Itza, stand high above Coba on a towering pyramid, then head underground to discover the hidden rivers and caves of the Yucatan region.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels  
  • Free arrival transfer included for everyone 

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the intriguing Mayan sites of Chichen Itza, Coba and Tulum
  • Learn how to make authentic Mexican dishes
  • Go underground to explore the Yucatan Peninsula’s hidden caves and rivers

Is This Trip for You?

  • Hiking trails can be slippery during times of heavy rain and extra care should be taken 
  • Visiting an underground cave system involves spending time in a restricted space 
  • The trip may not be suitable for those with reduced mobility. However, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your requirements
Min group size:
6
Max group size:
15

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Cancun
End City:
Cancun

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Hola Mexico

    You’ll touch down in Cancun in the late afternoon. Transfer to your hotel where you can give into your jet lag and sleep – the real adventure begins tomorrow.  

    Accommodation: Ramada City Cancun or similar

  • Day 2

    Life on the lakeside at Punta Laguna

    You’ll head inland today, taking a two hour drive to Punta Laguna, a lake in Riviera Maya. It’s home to a Mayan community, who live alongside troops of Spider and Howler monkeys. You’ll spend some time exploring the trails and learning more about Mayan life.

    Tonight, you’ll stay at a Hacienda near Chichen Itza, perfectly positioned for tomorrow’s discoveries. 

    Accommodation: Hacienda Chichen or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Mega Mayan marvels

    It’s an early start today, but boy is it worth it. Thankfully the -5-hour time difference works in your favour, so it shouldn’t feel too brutal. Today you’ll visit some poignant Mayan sites, starting with the awesome Chichen Itza, the most famous and well-restored Mayan centre. You’ll learn more about the sophisticated structures, their astronomical significance and the engineering accomplishments. You’ll return to the hotel for breakfast before heading on to Izamal for more Mayan marvels.

    The Izamal of today is a quiet town, nicknamed the Yellow City thanks to its gold and white buildings. There’s an imposing monastery at the heart of the town, built on the base of an ancient Mayan pyramid. You’ll take a cooking class, learning to prepare guacamole and salsa. After your self-made Mexican lunch, you’ll continue to Valladolid for an overnight stay.

    Accommodation: El Meson del Marques or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 4

    Cycle through the Mayan ruins of Coba

    After breakfast, your journey continues to admire the remarkable ruins at Coba, nestled in dense jungle. With your guide, you’ll criss-cross the archaeological zone by bike. It’ll give you a feel for its enormity. You’ll climb the steep pyramid and be rewarded for your exertions as you gaze out over Coba. Explorations complete, there’s a visit to a cenote, an underground reservoir in the limestone, before you depart for Tulum in the late afternoon. 

    You’ll check into a beach hotel in Tulum for a four-night stay. This town is a hot spot of the Yucatan Peninsula, luring sun worshippers (and millennials) with its azure shores, vegan cafes and beachside yoga. 

    Accommodation: PavoReal Beach Resort Tulum or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Jungle trekking and archaeological adventures

    An adventurous day lies ahead. You’ll explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, hiking through the jungle to a Maya temple, spotting diverse bird species. You’ll follow a pathway by the water’s edge before boarding a boat to voyage further. There’ll be a chance to swim in the waterways or float along the river on its gentle current.

    In the afternoon, you’ll visit the archaeological site of Tulum. Although not the largest, Tulum is often considered one of the most beautiful Mayan archaeological sites, sitting on high cliffs above white sand beaches and cobalt sea. 

    Accommodation: PavoReal Beach Resort Tulum or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Journey through Rio Secreto

    This morning you’ll visit an enchanting underground cave and river system, the Rio Secreto. You’ll venture into the eerie and otherworldly caves, walking and floating under a canopy of stalactites.

    Back in the open air, you’ll spend the afternoon in Tulum at your leisure, perhaps exploring the town or just taking a dip in those surreal blue waters.  

    Accommodation: PavoReal Beach Resort Tulum or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Sensational cenotes

    You’ll have seen some of Mexico’s cenotes already, but today is all about these intriguing geological features. The Mayans believed they were sacred gateways to the underworld, and thousands of them punctuate the Yucatan Peninsula. On today’s tour, you’ll learn the correct way to enter a cenote, that respects the Mayan culture. You'll visit Cenote Campana and Cenote Wisho, semi-open, fossil-filled caverns, to see the stalagmites, stalactites and rock formations. Then take a jungle walk through monkey-filled trees to Cenote Tres Zapotes an open cenote with crystalline water. There's the chance to drink from the sacred water of the earth Maya, a spring of pure water. 

    Accommodation: PavoReal Beach Resort Tulum or similar 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Adios Mexico

    Mexican mission complete, you’ll return to Cancun Airport today. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Ramada City, Cancun 

Conveniently located in the downtown area, the Ramada City has comfortable rooms and a swimming pool for a refreshing swim after the long flight. 

Hacienda Chichen 

Perfectly positioned for visiting Chichen Itza, this eco-friendly hotel’s guestrooms are set in tropical gardens. There’s a spa on-site too.  

El Meson del Marques, Valladolid 

In the heart of the historic town, this colonial-style property has spacious rooms, a courtyard and swimming pool. It’s just a short walk to the main square. 

PavoReal Beach Resort, Tulum

Overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this resort has a large private beach, three swimming pools, several bars and colourful rooms. 

Where a solo room is available, paying for a solo room only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for solo occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a solo room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a solo room.

Solo supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 4 dinners included. 

Mexican food staples include corn, beans, chia, avocados, tomatoes, cacao and of course the chilli pepper. Typical dishes will include tacos, aguachile (a type of ceviche), enchiladas, quesadillas, tostados and tamales. 

During our stay at PavoReal Resort in Tulum the accommodation will be on a full-board basis, however, the timings of the excursions mean that you will generally not be there during the fixed lunchtime period (12:30 - 14:30), as such these meals have not been mentioned in the itinerary. If you are back at the hotel in time, or missing an excursion, you'll be able to eat lunch on these days.  

Other meals not included vary in price from around $15-20 USD for lunch and $15-30 USD dinner. A beer costs on average $3-5 USD. 

Transportation

Transport during this trip is by private, air conditioned minibus and boat.  

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Exodus Edits offers FREE airport arrival transfers on any flight for this trip, for both Land Only and Flight Inclusive clients, as well as a free departure transfer to co-incide with the suggested return flight. Unless specified otherwise, the transfer will be to the Exodus Edits start (or pre-tour) hotel and from the end (or post-tour) hotel, and will be on the date on which the tour starts/ends; transfers to other hotels in the same city and/or on different dates may attract an extra charge. Transfers may be shared with other Exodus Edits customers on the same flight, or on a flight with similar arrival times. All those taking advantage of the free airport transfers must provide full flight details for both arrival and departure in advance. 

Transfer Arrival Time:

Arrive at Cancun Airport anytime on the first day of the trip for your transfer to Ramada City Cancun Hotel - if you have booked your own flights you should let us know the timings at least two weeks before your start date so that your transfers can be arranged accordingly. 

The suggested flight that we recommend is a direct flight from London Gatwick with British Airways, arriving into Cancun at 17:30.

We know that the unexpected can happen. Your plane may get delayed, or things just don’t go to plan. If you miss your tour departure, check with the hotel to see if your tour leader has left you a message with details of how to catch up with your group. If not, call our emergency number (you will find it on the final joining instructions) and our team will help you. Don’t forget that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred if you miss your tour departure.

Flights

Remember, flights aren’t automatically included in your trip. If you’d like the Exodus Edits team to help you find some good options, give us a call on +44 020 8772 3837.

Location start:
Cancun
Location end:
Cancun Airport

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, rain poncho or lightweight waterproof jacket, warm jumper, swimming gear, sturdy walking shoes for ruins, long trousers, long‐sleeved lightweight shirts, insect repellent, refillable water bottle, small daypack 

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Practical Information

Passport

Mexico

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Mexico

Holders of British, Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian and most EU passports do not require visas for Mexico. However, please note that if flying via the USA, you will have to clear immigration during transit. In this case, you will be required to get an Electronic Travel Authority (USD14) prior to flying if travelling via the USA under the Visa Waiver Scheme (as is the case for most UK citizens). Please see our USA Visa page for more information.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Mexico

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements.

Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice.

Dengue fever and/or Chikungunya are known risks in places visited on this trip. Both are tropical viral diseases spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for either, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Exodus Edits

Local Time

Mexico's Timezone:
America/Mexico_City CDT (GMT -05:00)

Electricity

Mexico's Electricity:

127 Volts. Plug types A & B; establishments often take two flat parallel pin plugs.

Money

Mexico's Currency

The national currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXP), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (August 2018) of approximately 24.3 to the GBP,  18.9 to the USD, 14.5 to the CAD, 21.9 to the EUR, 13.9 to the AUD and 12.6 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are available in most major towns throughout the country, although are more difficult to find in rural areas. A flat fee of up to US$3 and a small commission usually applies with debit card withdrawals. Credit card withdrawals generally attract a 1% charge. You should check with your bank before departure to ensure your card will be accepted in ATMs.

Most major credit cards are accepted in larger shops and more expensive restaurants, but their use is not widespread in smaller establishments and so you should ensure you carry adequate supplies of local currency.

It is certainly much more convenient to bring your money in US dollars (cash) as possible, though Euros, GBP and other main currencies can also be changed fairly easily.

Tipping

Approximately US$3 per day for your tour leader.

Approximately US$2 per day for your driver.

Approximately US$2 for each local guide used

Tips for bellboys and maids are already included and will have been pre-paid. 

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Learn more about what sustainable travel means to Exodus Edits here…

Live Adventure, Give Adventure.

Each time you book an adventure with Edits, we’ll contribute £15 to the Inspiration Project. That’s enough money to fund a day trip for a local child. Since 2017, our guides have been taking disadvantaged children to see their country’s famous sights and you’ll help us do this more in 2020.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.