(Mexico City, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Merida)
Mexico City’s famous colonial architecture, ancient paintings hidden beneath thick jungle canopy, and towering Mayan ruins. You’ll explore this and more in Mexico’s culturally rich south.
Start with a visit to the Museum of Anthropology and the Pyramids of the Sun & Moon, peeling back many layers of pre-Columbian history. Eat your way through lively food markets, or take in unique and disruptive modern art.
Next onward to the bohemian city of San Cristobal. It is characterized by its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an artistic flair. A place where alleyways open up into picturesque arcades and plazas show off authentic colonial architecture. Take a day trip to the colorful Lakes of Montebello and explore the undisturbed ruins of Chincultik.
Palenque boasts jungle ruins, some accessible only by boat. View some of the best preserved al fresco cave paintings and hear howler monkeys swinging overhead. Finally make your way onto Merida, a fantastic base for archeological adventure. Uxmul and Kabah were some of the most influential and important urban centers of the Mayan time, and of course Chichen Itza is not to be missed.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Please note that flights are not included in your quotation, but we have airfare experts standing by to help. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Today you will be met by your driver outside of customs (international flights) or after leaving the secured area of the terminal (domestic flights) and privately transferred to your Mexico City hotel.
Enjoy a privately guided tour of the World Heritage of Teotihuacan and the Historic city center including Templo Mayor archaeological site and special collections at the famous National Museum of Anthropology. You will be picked up in the hotel lobby at 9:00 a.m. for a full day privately guided tour with English speaking guide of the Teotihuacán Pyramids, the enormous Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Your guide will enhance your experience with expert explanations of the importance of the site and its place in the rich history of Mexico 's many layers of pre-Columbian civilizations. You will then continue on to the historic city center with visits to the Zocalo flanked by Mexico’s most important and impressive buildings including: The National Palace, The Metropolitan Cathedral, a look from above into the Templo Mayor Aztec archeological site, the Palace of Fine Arts (admissions included). Time for lunch will be provided but this is not included in the cost.At the end of your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Enjoy a private transfer to the airport from your hotel in Mexico city.
Flight is required, currently not included in the quote.
Meet your driver at Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas.
You will be met by your English speaking guide in the hotel lobby at 9:00 AM for a full day excursion (8-10 hours) to the colorful Lakes de Montebello Lakes and the Mayan Archaeological Zone of Chincultik. The lakes themselves are well worth experiencing; they all reflect turquoise blues and greens, and coupled with the scenic backdrop of the surrounding mountains and forests, the area is great for a whole day's exploration. Chinkultik site has some step-pyramids and some 200 smaller buildings, most in undisturbed ruin. Chinkultic has carved stone stelae depicting the site's rulers.
With an early morning check-out, you'll be met by your private bilingual guide in the hotel lobby and depart on a full-day excursion as you transfer to Palenque, with a tour of the Agua Azul Waterfalls along the way. Before departing San Cristobal however, you will explore the colonial city with your private guide and transportation. San Cristobal is characterized by its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an artistic and bohemian flair. The colonial streets and alleyways lined with red-roof tiles and white-washed walls beg wanderers to explore and discover the nooks and crannies; alleyways open up into picturesque arcades and plazas showing off their authentic colonial architecture and hosting churches, museums, cafés, restaurants and artisan workshops, among other delights. After your tour, you'll begin the 3.5 hour drive to Palenque, splitting up the trip with a visit to the beautiful and impressive water attractions of Agua Azul, and Misol-Ha. Situated among lush vegetation, the waters of Agua Azul descend through the hills in a rapid succession of falls, and end in pools of deep turquoise, while the Misol-Ha Waterfall is a thin jungle cascade with an exceptional 35m plunge down to the pool below.
You will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby at 6:00 AM for an unforgettable excursion (10-11 hours) to the remote Mayan archeological sites of Yaxchilan and Bonampak located deep in the Lacandon Jungle. This tour includes the round trip boat trip (approximately 1 hour in total).
Bonampak and Yaxchilan are located in a remote corner of Chiapas close to the Guatemalan border – in the Lacandon jungle, a thick jungle containing howler monkeys, and partly surrounded by the Lacanja River. Bonampak archaeological zone is 180 km from Palenque. Here you can admire some of the best preserved “al fresco” paintings. Inside you will find constructions depicting the daily life of its inhabitants, as well as an explanation of Mayan sacrifices and costumes. On the west side, you can visit the archaeological site of Yaxchilan, where you will find constructions such as the Temples 24, 39 and 40. Known for its exceptionally fine engraved monuments, Yaxchilan lies hidden in the thick jungle overgrown next to the Usumacinta River. The development of the city took place between 350 and 810 AC. Mayan architects constructed the city following the natural land layout using the banks of the river, arranged the buildings in an east-west direction. Unlike any other archaeological site in Mexico, Yaxchilan can only be accessed by boat.
Meet your driver for a private transfer from Palenque to Villahermosa Airport via La Venta
Pick up from the airport in Merida and transfer to your hotel in Merida or vice versa.
Today you will be picked up by your private expert bilingual Guide for a Tour of Uxmal & Kabah. Come explore the cities of Uxmal and Kabah, located in the Puuc region of the Peninsula of Yucatan. These metropolis were beautifully constructed by the Maya people and became some of the most influential and important urban centers of the time, where wealth, culture, science and religion converged and were highly praised by their societies.
Pick up from your hotel in Merida and transfer to Chichen Itza for a private tour of the ruins. Chichen Itza was a major regional center in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called “Mexicanized” and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern lowlands. Following the decline of Chichen Itza's hegemony, regional power in the Yucatán shifted to a new center at Mayapan. The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. At the end of your tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Merida.
Don't just stay near historic sites in Mexico - actually stay inside one when you visit the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton™ Mexico City hotel - Centro Historico. The hotel is a registered historic building featuring charming architecture dating back to the 1800s. Located less than five miles from the Benito Juarez International Airport, only two blocks from the Zocalo and Centro Historico of Mexico City, and within walking distance of the many historical, cultural and natural attractions of this international destination. This beautiful Mexico City, MX hotel features a spectacular six-story atrium with stained glass ceiling, and a rooftop patio overlooking Centro Historico. Hampton Inn Mexico City offers offer beautifully updated rooms and suites with an elegant Mexican flavor featuring plush furnishings and upscale amenities including luxurious linens and bedding woven from the finest cotton.
A gift to the eyes and senses, where a series of exquisite and unexpected details meet charming colonial atmosphere and style of a 16th century property. Parador San Juan de Dios is the most luxurious option among San Cristobal de Las Casas boutique hotels, a historical former hacienda with upscale services that set the pace. At Hotel Parador San Juan de Dios art and architecture seamlessly blend. Each space is decorated with pieces of the 16th-19th centuries, while our Museum of Sacred Art exhibits a beautiful sculpture collection. Regardless if you’re enjoying exciting vacations in Chiapas or a romantic honeymoon, your experience in Parador San Juan de Dios will be a pleasant memory that will last for a lifetime.
Hotel Villa Mercedes is a hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas that prides itself on service and hospitality. A modern retreat inspired in the tropical forest, Villa Mercedes Hotel has an exceptional location 5 minutes from the legendary Archaeological Site and a few miles from spectacular landscapes, lakes and waterfalls. Surrounded by the most exotic natural beauty and gorgeous gardens, Villa Mercedes Palenque Hotel has been designed for families and business travelers. Villa Mercedes features 92 comfortable 5-star accommodations for you to enjoy a pleasant experience and facilities that include pool, temazcal, spa and restaurant, among many other elements that make Villa Mercedes a unique choice among hotels in Palenque, Chiapas.
The Hacienda Misne is a former construction of the 18th century. It has a beautifully restored principal house, the property is surrounded by walls that protect the Hacienda and its lush tropical gardens. The history and local tradition combined with the natural beauty of its exuberant gardens, the singing of the birds and the sigh of the yucatecan breeze makes it feel as if time has stoped.
Bob More ,
April 21, 2014
"Every detail was taken care of, and all connections were on time. We were extremely pleased, couldn't stop telling everyone about our great trip. Each room / hotel was better than the last. Wow great holiday!"
Steve Walling ,
January 20, 2014
"We are home safe and sound from the best vacation I can remember. It seemed seamless to us but I know that you worked very hard to make our experience so good.
The guides and drivers were always punctual and reliable. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and funny. They provided us with very helpful information and helped us work on expanding our Spanish. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and the rooms were very nice.
I especially appreciate our ability to update our plans while we were in Costa Rica. The zip lines were the highlight of our trip. I hate to think we almost missed out by not including it in our original plan.
You have made a friend and supporter for life. I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know going to Costa Rica.
Merrel Bowles ,
November 07, 2013
"I would highly recommend this company for overseas travel. We had personal drivers that spoke perfect English and were also very knowledgeable in conversation pertaining to their country. Drivers were always early and eager to please. Your wish was their command!!!Every tour included educated guides who knew how to make our experience fun and exciting! I loved having personal drivers and guides, as well as many inclusive meals. We will definitely use this company for future travels."
April 09, 2013
"Our Costa Rica trip was amazing. The whole family thinks its the best we've ever taken! Kensington did an excellent job of organizing everything. The two hotels they picked were amazing.
Arenal -- The Springs Resort & Spa was almost too good since as soon as the family saw it they wanted to cancel activities so they could take full advantage of all it offered. We ultimately did cancel the safari to give us a free day to spend a day at the spa, pools and Club Rio (riding the river in innertubes!). The activities Kensington setup were excellent and very adventurous. Our favorite was canyoneering (repelling), We were all terrified at the first drop-off! It's more thrilling the zip lining (also lots of fun) and river rafting (a blast as well).
Manuel Antonio -- The Preserve at Los Altos was very nice. It was like staying in a 3 bedroom apartment at a boutique hotel (same feel as Athenum in London but nicer). The drive to get there was a bit long but worth it when our driver made a surprise stop at the the "crodillio bridge". The tour through Manuel Antonio National Park is a must do for nature lovers (3 types of monkeys, sloths, etc). Our guide was excellent. If you go MA NP, try Kapi Kapi for dinner.
I'd highly recommend using Kensington (Brandi was our rep) for a Costa Rica trip. Thanks for hooking us up with them.
L Huber ,
April 03, 2013
We returned yesterday from our wonderful Costa Rican vacation and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We loved staying at the El Silencio (the kids would have liked to stay even longer so we could have taken some of the nature hikes). Being surrounded by the cloud forest was an amazing sensation that really helped us to feel that we were in a completely different world and was a perfect way to begin the trip. Maria Lucia was a very kind tour guide and showed us the all sites in a huge day (the waterfalls, Poas volcano, the coffee plantation & Sarchi). The staff at El Silencio was wonderful and Jeff and I very much enjoyed the food and the very elaborate wine tasting there.
In La Fortuna the activities ruled. We loved everything, the exhilarating waterfall rappelling, the zip lining (& tiger swing - the kids LOVED IT) the volcano hike and we had a FANTASTIC time on the river safari with Gerald and his friend Tom. Gerald was a great guide and was able to share many stories while letting us see the wildlife. We saw a spectacular Toucan flock and of course the monkeys were a huge hit. Ending up at the farm was a fun end note to the trip. Of course we enjoyed the hot springs at the Tabacon - they are pretty amazing. Jeff and I had a chance to have a massage at the Tabacon spa and it was spectacular. The service at the hotel was lovely and our room did have a beautiful view of the volcano. I think the hot springs & spa are far superior at the Tabacon.
Alex drove us from both El Silencio to La Fortuna and then from La Fortuna to Punta Islita (that is a lot of driving and he did a great job - he was so friendly and made the travelling very enjoyable). On the way to La Fortuna he made a point of showing us the Iguana restaurant and it was a great wayside stop for everyone.
Punta Islita was stunning. Our villa Ilan Ilan was ideal, the view and the setting were spectacular. The kids loved the pool (when they weren't swimming & playing in the ocean), Jeff loved being able to finally drive around a bit like a native (the villa came with a small 4 wheel car), and I enjoyed waking up every morning to see the sunrise over the cliffs at the ocean's edge, and hear the incredible variety of birds (and on the last day even the howler monkeys). We enjoyed so many of the activities the hotel had to offer. Andrey & Hector and the whole staff were so warm and hospitable. They really worked hard and made every effort to make our stay so much fun. Hector helped us plan some more zip lining, surf lessons, a dolphin sighting/fishing boat trip and a sunset horseback ride which was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Ronald picked us up and got us to the airport in plenty of time. Ronald was very interested in showing us the wildlife as we drove through the different areas and we really enjoyed that.
Everywhere we went the people were absolutely wonderful, kind, and proud to show us their country and it made our trip spectacular.
Erika, thank you for all you did to help make the trip such a huge success.
Brian Blades ,
April 24, 2013
"Very prompt at getting information back to us and very helpful with any changes we wanted.
This trip was as good as the last trip we did with Kensington, could'nt have been any better. Our guides were excellent, especially Gerald.
Stephen Strom ,
April 22, 2013
"The transfers went flawlessly; the guides were all superb (knowledgable; thoughtful; sensitive; responsive to our needs). The recommended hotels were, with one exception (see below), also first rate and well matched to our needs and temperaments.
Our thanks for providing 3 wonderful guides: Gary Ortiz (Antigua); Carlos Antonio Lopez (Tikal and Yaxha); and Israel Canto (Belize). All of them understood that we have ‘peculiar’ tastes (for example: photographing lichen covered tree trunks while the magnificent structures at Tikal were but meters away!). It is really critical that guides not try to make sure that we see every ‘important’ thing, but recognize instead that ‘importance’ is very much a personal thing.
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