Mexico / Itineraries

Mexico Short Break

  • Valladolid Hotel Pool

This 5 night Mexico short break is built around staying at the delightful Posada San Juan hotel in Valladolid with day trips out to a number of varied, nearby attractions. The itinerary can be lengthened, shortened or amended as per clients' requirements, but not the accommodation.

  • Day 1 — To Valladolid

    Clients will be collected from Cancun airport or hotel for the approximate 3-hour transfer to Valladolid (alternative pick-up points are available).

    Depending on arrival time in Valladolid, the remainder of the day is at leisure to relax by the hotel pool or go for a stroll around town.

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Posada San Juan Meals Included: Breakfast
    • Exterior of Convento San Bernardino in Valladolid
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    • Colourful street in Valladolid, Mexico
      — Valladolid
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    • The main plaza in Valladolid, Mexico
      — Valladolid
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  • Day 2 — Morning Tour of Chichen Itza

    The first full day of your Valladolid mini-tour sees you visit what is undoubtedly the region’s most famous historic site, Chichen Itza, an approximate 30-minute drive from Valladolid.

    As the Yucatan’s most visited Mayan site, we suggest an early start to beat not only the worst of the crowds but also the heat of the day.

    Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, and more extensively excavated than any other Mayan city, one could spend days exploring the myriad ruins of Chichen Itza.

    From a historical perspective, Chichen Itza was one of the last Mayan cities to flourish, only reaching its pomp long after the great cities of the south, such as Calakmul, had been abandoned. Quite who founded the city is something that the experts still disagree about although many feel that Chichen Itza was populated by more than one ethnic group.

    Today, Chichen Itza is home to numerous, superbly renovated structures, none more photographed than the Temple of Kukulkan (aka El Castillo) as well as the iconic Ball Court, location for the Mayan’s somewhat grisly ball games.

    Escorted by an expert guide, your tour of Chichen Itza will last around 4 hours, after which you will return to Valladolid where the rest of the day is at leisure. Alternatively, on returning to Valladolid, and after a break for lunch, we can arrange a tour of the town.

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Posada San Juan Meals Included: Breakfast
    • Pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza
      — Chichen Itza, Kukulkan
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    • Ball court ring at Chichen Itza
      — Chichen Itza, ball court ring
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  • Day 3 — Visit to Rio Lagartos & Los Colaradas

    After a leisurely breakfast, you will depart Valladolid at around 10.30 for the approximate 90-minute drive to Rio Lagartos on the north coast.

    Rio Lagartos is a small fishing village and jumping off point for Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Lagartos, a UNESCO Biosphere since 2004.

    Rio Lagartos means ‘Alligator River’ but this is wrong on both fronts – there is no river (it’s a lagoon) and the alligators are actually crocodiles; and while there are certainly plenty of crocodiles to be found within the reserve, its main draw is the vast colony of flamingos that call this home, especially from March through June.

    In addition to a lot of flamingos, Rio Lagartos is also home to a significant variety of bird species including tiger herons, cormorants, black hawks, white ibis and both snowy and red egrets.

    On arrival in Rio Lagartos, you will board your private boat for an approximate 4 tour with an expert, English-speaking guide. As well as hopefully observing a huge diversity of birdlife, you will also witness the reserve’s different ecosystems that include coastal dunes, beach, mangroves, wetlands and the famous Las Colaradas salt pans.

    At the end of your tour, which includes lunch, you will be collected by your transport vehicle and return to Valladolid, arriving back at the hotel at approximately 18.00

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Posada San Juan Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
    • Flamingos wading in the river
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    • An aerial view of River Lagartos in Mexico
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    • Las Colaradas salt lake in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
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  • Day 4 — Visit Izamal

    Departing the hotel after breakfast, it is an approximate 90 minute drive to another of the Yucatan’s charming little towns, Izamal.

    Known as the Yellow City (and the reason for this will become clear as soon as you arrive), Izamal is often described as a colonial town even though the Spanish built their town on, not to mention from, an existing Maya settlement.

    Also known as the City of Hills, these ‘hills’ are in fact the remains of old Mayan structures.

    Undoubtedly the town’s main attraction is the Convento San Antonio de Padua, itself built on top of the ancient Mayan Acropolis. Izamal might be a small town, but the huge atrium within the Convento is second only in size to that of St Peter’s in Vatican City.

    After a morning spent exploring the town with your guide, you will end this half day tour with lunch at Kinich, highly regarded for its traditional, local cuisine.

    Following lunch, you will return to Valladolid where the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

    (Please Note: It is possible to combine Chichen Itza & Izamal into a single, full day out if preferred).

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Posada San Juan Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
    • A bright yellow street in Izamal
      — Izamal
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    • Steps in monastery
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    • Horse and carriage in Izamal
      — Izamal
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  • Day 5 — Ek Balam & Private Cenote

    Having already visited Chichen Itza, the most famous and most visited of all Maya sites, this morning you will explore the nearby ruins of Ek Balam which receive but a fraction of the number of visitors.

    Departing the hotel at 08.30, it is an approximate 40 minute drive to Ek Balam which, with your expert guide, you will spend a little under 2 hours exploring.

    Boasting one of the tallest pyramids of any Mayan site, other notable points of interest at Ek Balam include its defensive walls, the arch that would have once acted as the intersection for a series of roads linking numerous Mayan settlements and, most of all, the intricate sculptures and decorations that are largely unequalled in the region.

    Culture done and dusted, you will then proceed to Chenxunan cenote, owned by the Posada del Juan hotel and yours for the day on an exclusive basis.

    A delicious lunch with drinks will be served at the cenote where you will have approximately 3 ½ hours to explore, swim and relax amidst the beautiful surroundings.

    Departing the cenote at around 16.00, you will get back to Valladolid at around 17.30, in time perhaps for a cocktail making class or even a tutored mezcal tasting.

    Suggested Accommodation: Hotel Posada San Juan Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch
    • An aerial view of Ek Balam Mayan ruins in the Yucatan
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    • Private Cenote Yucatan
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    • Cenote Seating
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  • Day 6 — Depart Valladolid

    The tour ends today.

    Included in the guide price is a private transfer back to Cancun airport. Alternative drop-off points are available although prices may vary.

    Clients transferring to a hotel on the east coast may wish to visit the Mayan city of Coba enroute.


    Meals Included: Breakfast
    • Lighthouse at Puerto Morelos on Riviera Maya Mexico
      — Riviera Maya
Beach Extensions

Beach Extensions

Clients can combine this Mexico Short Break itinerary with time at the beach, either before or after the tour. Most beach hotels are located on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, south of Cancun, although Holbox is another option.

Birds on posts at Holbox, Mexico

Suggested Accommodation

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