Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology

11 days from $5,258 per person*
  • Private guided tour of the ancient city Teotihuacan and its pyramids.
  • Float down the Usumacinta River to the Yaxchilan ruins deep in the Lacandon Jungle.
  • Discover the carved stone stelae in the ruins of Chincultik.
  • Visit countless Mayan ruins, including the incredible Chichen Itza led by expert private guide.
  • Expert selection of premium accommodations.
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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.

Begin your journey in Mexico City, from where you'll visit to the Museum of Anthropology and the Pyramids of the Sun & Moon at the stunning ancient city of Teotihuacan, peeling back many layers of pre-Columbian history. Walk in the footsteps of some of Mexico's most revered artists and writers, and even see the house of renowned painter Frida Kahlo. Continue to the bohemian city of San Cristobal, 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 private guided day trip to the colorful Lakes of Montebello and explore the undisturbed ruins of Chincultik. Venture onward to Palenque, boasting 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, the Maya masterpiece Chichen Itza is not to be missed. ... Show More »

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. « Show Less

Day
Activities Hotel & Meals
Hotel & Meals
  • Day 1 Mexico City
    Mexico City
    • Meet and Greet
    • Transfer - Airport (Arrival) - Vehicle/Driver
  • Day 2 Mexico City
    Mexico City
    • Tour - Private - World Heritage Teotihuacan & Historic City Centre - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
  • Day 3 Mexico City
    Mexico City
    • Tour - Private - Tour - Private - Private Full Day Tour to the historic center and the Chapultepec Castle
  • Day 4 Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez to San Cristobal de las Casas
    Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez to San Cristobal de las Casas
    • Transfer - Airport (Departure) - Vehicle/Driver
    • Air - Mexico City - Tuxtla Gutierrez [Air, 1 hr 30 min] - Separate Purchase
    • Tuxtla Gutierrez - San Cristobal de las Casas [1.5 hr] - Vehicle/Driver(2)
  • Day 5 San Cristobal de las Casas
    San Cristobal de las Casas
    • Tour - Private - Montebello Lakes & Chincultik (8-10 hrs) - Vehicle/Driver/Guide
  • Day 6 San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque
    San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque
    • San Cristobal de las Casas - Palenque [City Tour with Agua Azul & Misol-Ha Waterfalls (9 hrs)] - Vehicle/Guide/Driver(2)
    Breakfast
  • Day 7 Palenque
    Palenque
    • Tour - Private - Yaxchilan & Bonampak (10 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 8 Palenque to Villahermosa to Merida
    Palenque to Villahermosa to Merida
    • Palenque - Villahermosa [via La Venta (5 hrs)] - Vehicle/Driver(2)
    • Air - Villahermosa - Merida [Air, 1 hr, 20 min] - Separate Purchase
    • Transfer - Airport/Downtown - Vehicle/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 9 Merida
    Merida
    • Tour - Private - Uxmal & Kabah (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 10 Merida
    Merida
    • Tour - Private - Chichen Itza Tour (8 hrs) - Vehicle/Guide/Driver
    Breakfast
  • Day 11 Merida
    Merida
    • Transfer - Airport/Downtown - Vehicle/Driver
    • Air - Merida - Mexico City [Air, 2 hrs 10 min] - Separate Purchase
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
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Day 1: Mexico City

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.

Accommodation: Downtown Mexico (4*)

Blending colonial 17th-century grandeur with a raw industrial edge, Downtown Mexico integrates local indigenous culture into its concept while celebrating its location in the Centro Histórico borough of Mexico City. Known as the “Palacio de Los Condes de Miravalle,” it sits comfortably next to other colonial landmarks on the cobbled streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the oldest residences in the area that still maintains this particular Mexican viceregal style, the 17-room hotel blends elements of colonial style with local, indigenous culture. Housed in a magnificent palace, the meticulous renovation of Downtown Mexico ensured nothing was lost from the original building’s beauty, resulting in a charming and intriguing architecture that blends seamlessly with the hotel’s location and natural environment.

 

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Mexico City
Mexico City
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel "Downtown Mexico"
Hotel "Downtown Mexico"

Day 2: Mexico City

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 in the morning 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 (admission 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.

Accommodation: Downtown Mexico (4*)
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Teotihuacan Pyramids
Teotihuacan Pyramids

Day 3: Mexico City

Accommodation: Downtown Mexico (4*)
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Trajineras in Xochimilco
Trajineras in Xochimilco

Day 4: Mexico City - Tuxtla Gutierrez - San Cristobal de las Casas

Enjoy a private transfer to the airport from your hotel in Mexico city.

Your flight from Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez (not included) will last approximately one hour and 30 minutes.

Meet your driver at Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Accommodation: Parador San Juan de Dios

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.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Parador San Juan de Dios
Parador San Juan de Dios

Day 5: San Cristobal de las Casas

Lagunas de Montebello National Park is home to 59 lakes of varying size, which are collectively known as the Montebello Lakes. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2009, the area boasts an incredible variety of endemic wildlife which you will discover alongside your expert guide as you travel from lake to lake. You may come to wonder if your eyes are deceiving you; no, the lakes do in fact change color. Some are hued green, some blue, while others are purple or even black due to the mineral content resting below. While swimming is forbidden, you are able to rent a rowboat or to arrange a horseback ride around one of the lakes (not included).

Following a brief pause in the day, you will visit the archeological zone of Chinkultic, located within the Lagunas de Montebello National Park. Here, over 200 buildings, though not very large, rest beautifully. The Castillo is the main structure, sitting on top of a natural hill, with a steep cliff at its edge that drops off into a cenote, a natural pool in the limestone. Your guide will suggest a suitable place for lunch based on the day’s logistics (meal not included), and upon completion of your tour you will be driven back to San Cristóbal de las Casas. This service includes private transportation, bilingual guide, entrance fees, water, and local guides where mandatory.

Accommodation: Parador San Juan de Dios
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Montebello Lakes
Montebello Lakes

Day 6: San Cristobal de las Casas - Palenque

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.

Accommodation: Villa Mercedes

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.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Palenque
Palenque
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Villa Mercedes
Villa Mercedes

Day 7: Palenque

In the early morning you will meet your guide in the hotel lobby to set out on an unforgettable expedition to the remote, lost wonders of the Lacandon jungle; the Mayan archeological sites of Yaxchilan and Bonampak. While touring Bonampak, you will enter the Temple of the Murals and have access to three rooms that have brightly colored depictions of Maya life. Your expert guide will help you to decipher the scenes and will explain how the Maya were able to create such vibrant hues using natural materials. Next, you will head to Yaxchilan. This ancient city’s unique position on the mighty Usumacinta River made it one of the most important sites in the Mayan world as the center controlled trade throughout the region. Inscriptions here allow us to know more about the ruling Jaguar dynasty than is known about almost any other ruling clan. As you explore the ruins, the calls of large troops of howler monkeys remind you just how far from modern civilization you are and how powerfully alive the Lacandon forest remains. Time for lunch will be provided on tour, and dining suggestions will be made based on the day’s logistics (meal not included). This service includes private transportation, boat transfers, bilingual guide, and entrance fees.

Accommodation: Villa Mercedes
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Yaxchilan Ruins
Yaxchilan Ruins

Day 8: Palenque - Villahermosa - Merida

Meet your driver for a private transfer from Palenque to Villahermosa Airport via La Venta

Enjoy your flight from Villahermosa to Merida. The approximate flying time is 1 hours and 20 minutes.

Pick up from the airport in Merida and transfer to your hotel in Merida or vice versa.

Accommodation: Hacienda Misne

Located just 15 minutes from the historic center of Merida, capital of Yucatan, Hacienda Misné is a historical building of the eighteenth century in which elements of the Spanish and French colonial architecture that makes it a unique construction are mixed in its type. The Hacienda 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 breeze makes it feel as if time has stopped.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hacienda Misne
Hacienda Misne

Day 9: Merida

Today you will be picked up by your private expert bilingual Guide for a Tour of Uxmal & Kabah. Explore the ancient Maya city of Uxmal, with its rounded architecture and intricate latticework before heading to the archeological zone of Kabah to see the Palace of the Masks. Your guide will lead you in your exploration as you learn that the importance of the rain was a common feature for both cities. Learn about the myth of the Pyramid of the Magician at Uxmal and learn the identifying features of Chaac, the rain god in Kabah during this full day of Maya archeology.

Includes: private transportation, English speaking guide, entrance fees.

 

Accommodation: Hacienda Misne
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Uxmal
Uxmal

Day 10: Merida

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.

Accommodation: Hacienda Misne
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza

Day 11: Merida

Pick up from the airport in Merida and transfer to your hotel in Merida or vice versa.

Enjoy your flight from Merida to Mexico City. The approximate flying time is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Accommodation: Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

Trip Terms & Conditions

  • Your deposit is due immediately on booking (30% of program price, minimum $350). The balance is due 90 days prior to departure.
  • Cancellations of confirmed bookings 90 days or more prior to departure will receive full refund minus a $350 (per person) administrative fee and any non-refundable paid fees (e.g. non-refundable airfare, cruise or hotel deposits). 60-89 days will be subject to loss of 30% of program price. 30-59 days will be subject to loss of 50% of program price. 29 days or less will be subject to loss of 100% of program price.
  • Tour quotes do not include airfare to/from the trip start point unless noted on the itinerary
  • Cost increases in currency exchange, government fees, taxes, surcharges or hotel/lodge tariff increases between quote date and start date are payable by the client.
  • Availability cannot be guaranteed until booked. We will exercise best efforts to book hotels per the itinerary, however, in busy seasons and with client bookings made within 90 days of tour date we may be forced to offer substitutes.
  • Payment of the program price constitutes your acceptance of the terms and conditions set out at www.kensingtontours.com/terms-and-conditions
  • Living Standards and practices at destination may differ from those in North America with respect to provisions of utilities, services and accommodation.

Downtown Mexico (4*): Mexico City

Blending colonial 17th-century grandeur with a raw industrial edge, Downtown Mexico integrates local indigenous culture into its concept while celebrating its location in the Centro Histórico borough of Mexico City. Known as the “Palacio de Los Condes de Miravalle,” it sits comfortably next to other colonial landmarks on the cobbled streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the oldest residences in the area that still maintains this particular Mexican viceregal style, the 17-room hotel blends elements of colonial style with local, indigenous culture. Housed in a magnificent palace, the meticulous renovation of Downtown Mexico ensured nothing was lost from the original building’s beauty, resulting in a charming and intriguing architecture that blends seamlessly with the hotel’s location and natural environment.

 

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel "Downtown Mexico"
Hotel "Downtown Mexico"
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hotel "Downtown Mexico" Courtyard
Hotel "Downtown Mexico" Courtyard

Parador San Juan de Dios: San Cristobal de las Casas

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.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Parador San Juan de Dios
Parador San Juan de Dios

Villa Mercedes: Palenque

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.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Villa Mercedes
Villa Mercedes
Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Villa Mercedes Pool
Villa Mercedes Pool

Hacienda Misne: Merida

Located just 15 minutes from the historic center of Merida, capital of Yucatan, Hacienda Misné is a historical building of the eighteenth century in which elements of the Spanish and French colonial architecture that makes it a unique construction are mixed in its type. The Hacienda 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 breeze makes it feel as if time has stopped.

Highlights of Mexico: Art & Archaeology Tours 2017 - 2018 -  Hacienda Misne
Hacienda Misne

Depart (Int`l Airport) (standard): Global Location

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.
  • Robert Riordan — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    The guides were key. Very knowledgeable and fun. They were very attuned to the level of exertion we could handle. Thanks to your eagle-eyed guides, we saw such a diversity of plants, birds and animals -- which we could never have spotted on our own. Great memories!

  • Angela Watson — May 23, 2017 — Central America

    We had a wonderful time on our trip to Costa Rica. Our guides Francisco and Bernie both exceeded our expectations. They were able to answer any question we had on subjects that ranged from culture and customs to environment, ecology and much more. During our afternoons in the rainforest we were able to see a multitude of birds, two toed and three toed sloths, Congo and Capuchin monkeys, eyelash vipers, and all of the rainforest scenery. We came away with an understanding of the forest and its inhabitants and real respect for our guides who work hard to preserve the natural beauty of their country through preservation and ensuring responsible tourism. We couldn't be happier with any portion of our trip. It really was wonderful.

  • Alicia H. — August 10, 2016 — Central America

    The guides in Arenal and Manuel Antonio were excellent and the Pacuare river rafting excursion in Arenal was awesome. It was an excellent break from winter in February!

  • Kay W. — June 15, 2016 — Central America

    All of the drivers arrived early. Vans were very nice. Drivers were courteous. Tours were great.

  • Alice H. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    The guide in Monteverde was excellent!!!!

  • Amy G. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    I've already passed on the name of my trip planner to friends that are looking to go to Costa Rica. Working with Brandi was invaluable.

  • Kristen E. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    Everyone was amazing! We were able to do local activities with our tour guides and they were all very accommodating and great.

  • Margaret H. — May 19, 2016 — Central America

    Beautiful hotels with very friendly helpful staff, and very passionate guides keen to show off their heritage to us, of which they are rightly proud. I think having higher end hotels pays off in terms of personal attention and there was nothing I would have changed. At the Turtle Inn we felt like part of a family which was pretty special. I'd do it all again!

  • Collin B. — May 18, 2016 — Central America

    Our trip went extremely well. Everything from pick-ups to transfers to accommodations and tours went as smooth as silk. Everybody was prompt and courteous and very friendly. Small changes while in country were happily accommodated. We would highly recommend Kensington Tours to our friends and family.

  • Doug N. — May 18, 2016 — Central America

    Thanks to all the in country staff for helping me to change one activity just a few days prior to the event. I would also recommend all of my guides, but especially Marcela in Monteverde and Barbara in Manuel Antonio.

We can customize this private tour just for you. Any element can be tailored – activities, length, hotels and destinations.
Call us at 1 888 903-2001 or request a quote.

* USD per person, double occupancy. Custom designed personal tour. Prices subject to change.

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