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Mystic Maya World - 11 Days
Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Guatemala
 

 

 

Departure October 23, 2012 & Return November 2, 2012

 
   
$2049 per person Land Only
$2649 per person Land and Air from Miami
$555 per person Single Supplement
 
       
Prices include Government Taxes and Fees.
 
Highlights: 11 days, 4 countries and 7 Maya archeological sites. Journey by coach to the Maya World before it ends as its most sophisticated calendar predicts. Visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza, the most imposing pyramid that calculates the cosmic time. Tour the lively cultural and colonial city of Merida. Travel to Uxmal and see yet another Maya site of the richly decorated palaces and the towering Pyramids. Before arriving at the border city of Chetumal, visit site of Chaccoben ruins. Cross the border to Belize by land and en route be fascinated by friezes on Mayan pyramids at Xunantunich. Experience beautiful ruins within the tropical rainforest in Tikal, and the sculptures and temples nestled in the rolling hills of Copn, Honduras. Learn the way jade is worked into jewelry and how colorful textiles are woven with foot-looms in colonial city of Antigua, World Heritage site.  
 
 

Day 1, October 23, Tuesday - USA/Cancun
Depart Miami on your international flight to Cancun. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel in the charming town of Playa del Carmen on the white sandy beaches of Yucatan Peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea. (The Reef Playacar)

Day 2, October 24, Wednesday - Cancun/Chichen Itza/Merida
Drive along the coast and into the jungles toward Chichen Itza, the most visited Mayan site in Yucatan and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Learn about the famous Kukulkan Pyramid, dedicated to the Feathered Serpent God Kukulcan, and see how the sculptures of the feathered serpents are magnificently set off by the shadows from the corner tiers during the Equinox Spectacle. Visit the Temple of the Warriors and the Holy Cenote, a large natural well or limestone sink hole where Mayan people celebrated human sacrifices. In the afternoon, travel to the White City of Merida, Yucatans state capital. Tour the lively city of Merida and explore the Main Plaza, where all the main attractions exist. View the well known paintings by local artist Pacheco in the Governors Palace. See Mexicos oldest cathedral and be impressed by the striking simplicity of this catholic temple. Walk along Champs Elysees-inspired, tree-lined, Paseo de Montejo, and encounter many neoclassical mansions that were once homes of Sisal Barons. (Fiesta Americana Merida) (B)

 

Day 3, October 25, Thursday - Yucatan/Uxmal
After breakfast, drive to industrial city, Uman to walk through a traditional market. Then, travel to the fishing village of Celestun on the Gulf of Mexico. Take a boat ride into the lagoon and experience the natural habitat of pink flamingos and the hatching ground for endangered sea turtles. Enjoy free time to relax on the beach, where you can enjoy some local seafood dishes (not included). Travel to Uxmal, a World Heritage Site which means three times built.' It is maintained better than most sites in the Yucatan with its low horizontal palaces set around courtyards and decorated with rich sculptural elements. See its towering Pyramid of the Magician, which is over 35 meters high and built C according to legend C overnight by a dwarf. The Nunnery quadrangle is unique in the Maya world, with its irregular but harmonious architecture. It was named by the Spaniards, because it reminded them of a European nunnery and is guessed to have been used as a school for healers, shamans and the like. These structures are decorated with statues of archpriests and snakes. In the evening, watch the spectacular Sound and Light show. (The Lodge at Uxmal) (B)

 

 
 

Day 4, October 26, Friday - Uxmal/Chetumal
Travel to Chaccoben, where the fascinating Maya ruins were officially reported to Mexican government in June 1972 by Dr. Peter Harrison, an American archaeologist who was working on a project for Tulane University, and who also made the first maps of Chacchoben. However, in the 1940s a farm was established near the site by the Cohuo family. Harrison stumbled upon this site while flying a helicopter over Mexico and noticed numerous hills in predominately flat lands. He realized temples existed beneath the hills, which were covered over a period of 2000 years. The work continues on some of the hills to uncover further buildings, and some structures still have traces of the red paint with which they were coated. INAH has set up shaded areas to prevent further degradation of this pigment by the sun. From there, travel to the beautiful lagoon of seven colors, Laguna Bacalar and witness mesmerizing sunsets that paint the lagoon's surface gold and intensify the aqua and green tones. Visit the Spanish fort San Felipe, which was built in the form of a four-pointed star in order to protect the people from pirates. It has a 4 meter deep moat for further protection. In the late afternoon, arrive in Chetumal and transfer to your hotel. (Holiday Inn Chetumal) (B)

 

Day 5, October 27, Saturday - Chetumal/Tikal
After breakfast, cross the border to Belize. En route, visit Xunantunich. Xunantunich means Stone Woman in Mayan language, referring to the ghost of a woman that inhabits the place according to the Legend. The site has beautiful restored friezes. Visit 6 plazas and about 25 palaces of which the Castle is the most impressive structure and can be climbed from where you get a beautiful view of the area. 50% of the hike is in restored palaces and shade of the trees. In the afternoon, transfer to Guatemala border. After completing official immigration formalities, continue to Flores, Petn, Guatemala. Arrive in the land of the Eternal Spring and transfer to your hotel. (Hotel Camino Real Tikal) (B)

 

 
 

Day 6, October 28, Sunday - Tikal
Take a journey 2,000 years back in time when you visit the Mayan City of Tikal in the center of the Tikal National Park. Tikal was inhabited from 600 BC., until 869 AD. The highlight occurred between 690 and 850 AD., known by archaeologists as the Late Classic. The ruins lie among tropical rainforests of northern Guatemala. Visit the Twin-Pyramid Complexes Q, which is one of the largest and R. Also, visit the Lost World Complex, where the Great Pyramid and Temple 5C-49 are the most important to see. The Lost World Pyramid, decorated with stucco masks of the sun god, dates back to the Late Preclassic. Be sure to see Temple III, known as the Temple of the Jaguar Priest, which was the last of the great pyramids to be built at Tikal. Explore the two stories of the Palace of the Windows, filled with ancient graffiti and low windows. Walk through the Great Plaza, squared off with the pyramids of the Grand Jaguar and the Masks, and the Palace of the Nobles. Visit the highest of the Mayan pyramids, Pyramid IV, where you can see a complete view of Tikal and the surrounding jungle. (B)

Day 7, October 29, Monday - Tikal/Rio Dulce
Travel to Rio Dulce Bridge. Enjoy a beautiful boat ride in Rio Dulce, which is one of the country's most unique tourist attractions. The enormous Rio Dulce offers a natural experience; while navigating on its beautiful waters, enjoy the forest and listen to the sounds of the howler monkeys. The nice spots along the riverside include the natural forests and bathing places in a unique natural environment. Several islands and islets along the river are the nesting grounds for thousands of aquatic birds which offer beautiful displays as they set flight and feed along the river waters. The El Golfete is a section of the river that is wider, forming a 60 square kilometer water deposit, which is considered a river and a lake at the same time. (Catamaran Hotel) (B)

 

Day 8, October 30, Tuesday - Rio Dulce/Quirigu/Copn
In the morning, travel to the modest Mayan site of Quirigu, where extraordinary monuments stand. Those monuments include 12 carved stellae, 4 zoomorphs, enormous carved stones of mythological animal forms, and un-restored temples. The importance of Quirigu lies in these sculptures, which include the tallest stone monuments of the New World. The acropolis is the largest complex of the site. In the afternoon, travel to Copn, Honduras and transfer to your hotel. (Marina Copn Hotel) (B)

Day 9, October 31, Wednesday - Copn/Antigua
Explore the archaeological site of Copn, nestled among rolling hills. Step into the park and witness elaborate stone sculptures everywhere. Walk into the dramatic expanse of the Great Plaza and see the cultural achievements of the ancient Maya. Copans main plaza contains the greatest collection of Maya sculptures in Central America. Take the time to explore and marvel at the beautiful Mayan stellae, majestic temples, and complete ball court. In the evening, travel to Guatemalas highlands - Antigua, the most enchanting city of colonial Guatemala. Founded by the Spaniards in 1543, Antigua has a beautiful blend of ruins, restored colonial buildings, and new buildings in the colonial style. In 1965, it was declared Monument of America. On arrival in Antigua, transfer to your hotel. (Porta Hotel Antigua) (B)

 

 

Day 10, November 1, Thursday - Antigua
Begin your exploration of World Heritage Site, Antigua with a visit to Guatemalas first permanent capital, Ciudad Vieja. It was destroyed by earthquakes and a flood in 1541. Drive to San Antonio Aguas Calientes, an indigenous community that produces colorful designs from high quality textiles and techniques. Enjoy lunch and in the afternoon, walk through the Central Plaza and see the antique Cathedral and Municipal Government Building, and the Palace of the Captains General. Explore colonial churches and monasteries, primitive foot-looms where colorful textiles are woven, and a jade factory to see how this stone is worked into beautiful jewelry. (B)

Day 11, November 2, Friday - Antiqua/USA
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to Miami, USA. (B)

 
   
 
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