Mexico City to Cancun (via Guatemala & Belize) Travel Pass
Start: Mexico City, Mexico Finish: Cancun, Mexico
Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, Pochutla (Mazunte), San Cristobal de las Casas, Panajachel, San Jorge La Laguna, Antigua, Lanquin, Rio Dulce, Flores, Belize City, Caye Caulker, Chetumal, Bacalar, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun
Ancient pyramids, town, local businesses, and a welcoming dinner…sounds like a recipe for an amazing day outside Mexico City! Head out of Mexico City by public transit (depending on the size of the group), experiencing how locals move about this crowded city. Hop off at the archaeological area of the Teotihuacan pyramids, where you’ll learn about the people who once lived here and all the mysteries that still surround this site. As you tour the grounds, you’ll see the Moon Pyramid, the Calzada de los Muertos (Dead Pass), and the Sun Pyramid, which is the tallest and most spectacular in the area, it’s 63 metres to the top! (and yes, we’re going up). After exploring the pyramids, we’ll continue the afternoon walking through the streets of a nearby town. Our first stop will take us into a family-run business where you will learn about ‘obsidian’, the material that the Teotihuacan people use as the main element to make their tools, idols, and decorations. As well, you’ll get to sip an ancient sacred drink called ‘pulque,’ which is extracted from the heart of the maguey (another kind of cactus) considered by some to be the great-grandfather of tequila. Next up on this Mexico tour, pay a visit to the cactus product factory, where you’ll find jams, candies, spicy lollies, alcoholic creams, and more products made by the local people from the endemic vegetation such as nopal, xoconostle, and a cactus fruit called tuna. Not only will you be able to see all the cactus varieties at this family-run factory, but you’ll also get to try some samples and, if you like them, you can pick up some of these exotic products as a souvenir. To finish our journey, we’ll visit a local family for dinner. Their business is catering, so you’ll be in good hands to try some traditional dishes. Their menu is always changing based on whatever they’ve cooked for the day, but there’s always delicious options for every palate. You’ll be welcomed into their home and experience traditional dinner customs. Plus, you’ll be able to practise all those Spanish words you’ve learned along your trip as you enjoy some real local flavours of typical Mexican kitchens. Delicious! After dinner, we’ll head back to Mexico City, happy, full, and relaxed.
Day 2: Oaxaca, Mexico
Day 3: Oaxaca, Mexico
This adventure begins at 10:00 a.m. when we pick you up at the hostel of your choice. You will visit the Monte Alban ruins, the greatest ancient capital built by the Zapotec culture and the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca. Then, you will continue to Arrazola to visit a famous wood-carving village, where Alebrijes are made. Alebrijes are brightly coloured Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Following this, you will visit Cuilapan de Guerrero, a 16th century Dominican ex-monastery. Lastly, you will stop in San Bartolo Coyotepec to visit the home of the popular regional black clay pottery.
Day 4: Oaxaca, Mexico
Location: Puerto Escondido
Day 5: Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Location: Puerto Escondido
Test your surfing abilities in Mexico's number one surf spot! Take a 2-hour lesson based on your experience level, our fully bilingual instructors will take you to specific beaches scattered around Puerto Escondido. If you are a begginer they might take you to La Punta located on the south-end of Zicatela, and if you are experienced and love challenges they could take you to the striking Mexican Pipeline. Our surf instructors work with a maximum of 2 students per instructor, so that students can receive all the attention they need in order to have a quick progress, a personalised class and a safe instruction. We have experience in teaching all ages and levels. We guarantee that you will have a great and unforgettable surfing experience. Puerto Escondido is characterized for its easy-going surfer vibe, so don't be afraid to share some pointers and tips while you sip some beers with fellow surfers after your lesson!
Day 6: Pochutla (Mazunte), Mexico
Location: Pochutla (Mazunte)
Day 7: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Location: San Cristobal de las Casas
Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
Location: San Cristobal de las Casas
This tour starts in the morning when we pick you up from your hostel and drive you 45 minutes from San Cristobal through the mountains along the scenic highway towards Tuxtla Gutierrez. Keep an eye out on the beautiful panoramic views as you drive through the clouds to reach the canyon. You will arrive at the colonial town of Chiapa de Corzo, from where you will embark on a boat trip that will take you on a 2-hour ride down the river, where the steep walls of the canyon tower overhead. Look out for stunning waterfalls, caves and the dramatic cliffs. You may have the chance to glimpse a crocodile and tons of other natural wildlife, especially birds. Take your last photos as we make our way back to the dock where we will meet our van again. From here we will make the return trip to San Cristobal passing along the curvy mountain roads to reach the colonial town of San Cristobal. You will be dropped off in the city center so you can continue your day of sightseeing, shopping or popping into a local cafe for a fulfilling lunch on your own. From the city center, you can easy walk to your hotel. WHAT TO BRING: Take a hat and if you will be wearing shorts please remember to use sunscreen for your legs, because you will be on a boat cruising by the immense walls of this amazing canyon. Do not worry about wearing your swimsuit as swimming is not allowed (due to the crocodiles!).
Day 9: Panajachel, Guatemala
Day 10: San Jorge La Laguna, Guatemala
Location: San Jorge La Laguna
Home Stay in San Jorge La Laguna (D) Upon arrival at Avenida Santander Zona 2 (next to Hotel Dos Mundos), you will be given instructions on how to take a public bus from Panajachel to reach the village where your host family lives, San Jorge La Laguna. The home stay will give you a genuine insight into the everyday lives of a local family during your trip by staying one or more more nights with a family from the Kakchiquel Indigenous group in San Jorge La Laguna. Maya Experience Home Stays has started this home stay program in the village to give something back to the communities around Lake Atitlan, and also to give you a very genuine experience of living with a Maya local family to experience their culture and customs. This experience is very new to the village and families who welcome foreigners into their homes. As a responsible traveler, we as guests must be aware of and sensitive to the culture by behaving respectfully during our time with the family and in the village. Although shy at first, the villagers are very friendly and welcoming people. Make sure you ask permission to take photos of the people in the village since the Mayan community commonly believes a photograph will steal their soul. You will most likely find the housing situation in San Jorge La Laguna rather basic but the reason for partcipating in this home stay is to enjoy a real insight into Guatemala, so you can experience the culture firsthand and interact with the local community on a personal basis. We hope that you enjoy this very unique experience. A small gift for the family would be a nice gesture of appreciation for the family welcoming you into their home. Cooking or kitchen materials such as pasta, rice, sugar, fruit, vegetables or kitchen utensils are very much appreciated ($3 USD per person approx). Other materials from your home country or children's books (coloring, basic English, workbooks, almanacs) would be a great addition to the family library.
Day 11: Panajachel, Guatemala
Boat Tour of Lake Atitlan with visits to indigenous villages. Return to Panajachel (B) You will have all the instructions on how to go from the Homestay to the meeting point. Then, you will hop in a boat for a tour of Lake Atitlan and a visit to its colorful indigenous villages. The word "atitlan" is translated from Maya as "the place where the rainbow gets its colors" and accordingly you will understand why so many people have been drawn to this magical lake for hundreds of years. Panajachel alone is an 800 year old town home to mostly Cachikel Maya and an increasing number foreigners from every corner of the globe, all coming together to soak up a piece of that serenity and originality that this place provides. You'll visit the following villages: San Pedro La Laguna, much like Panajachel has a large population of bohemian tourists and ex-pats, however the indigenous people of the town still preserve their original ways of life and wear traditional dress, remain very conservative and practice the same style of subsistence agriculture that their ancestors practiced years ago. Just outside of town coffee crops are cultivated on the mountain side and hard working farmers hike up and back on a daily basis to tend to their crops. Walk uphill towards the town center (away from the docks) and you will see a whole different side to this popular lakeside village.
Santiago Atitlán is the largest of the communities around the lake with a population of over 32,000, 95% of which are indigenous Tz’utujils. Traditionally, it is fishing and farming town; it is also known for the manufacture of cayucos, wooden canoes. Directly from the dock, the main street leads visitors up to the main square where there is a vibrant and very lively indoor/outdoor marketplace where street hawkers target "gringos" as they wander by looking for good deals on original locally made souvenirs. Santiago is also home to a very interesting Maya/Catholic sacred statue called Maximon (also known as San Simon by the Spanish and Rilaj Maam by the Maya). All Guatemalan people worship this deity and go to him to ask for blessings or give offerings. During "Semana Santa" (Holy Week) in March/April, the statue is paraded around town and celebrations are held to worship this Guatemalan god. If you can, catch a glimpse of this interesting and very unique local custom.
San Antonio Palopo is one of the most interesting villages around lake Atitlan and the best place to really get an idea for how these traditional indigenous towns used to feel. Walking through the village one can see people wearing intricately designed "huipiles" (woven tunics) and women weaving fabric made of wool and cotton. Take in the views of this tranquil town and imagine what the villagers' peaceful life is like living in adobe houses with tin roofs, farming and selling souvenirs to make a living. This is one of the best places to purchase a "huipil" traditional hand-woven tunic knowing that the profits are going straight to the villagers. You will be dropped off back in Panajachel when the tour is finished.
Day 12: Antigua, Guatemala
Day 13: Antigua, Guatemala
Get up close and personal with an active volcano and brag to your friends about it. Hike up the Pacaya Volcano slope fo two hours and then trek onto dry lava that resembles a moon-like landscape. Look up to catch an eruption from the active volcano if you're lucky (depending on the activity of the volcano you may or may not see eruptions or lava). Take unforgettable photos in a landscape so surreal that you feel like you are walking on the moon. Admire the breathtaking landscape and views of neighbouring volcanoes peeking through the clouds around you. Take your time returning to the base of the mountain as you make your way down the slippery, muddy slopes. (Note: Horses can be rented for the trip up and back.) We recommend wearing comfortable trekking shoes and bringing a flash light and a walking stick (or rent one for a few dollars from local kids before you start your hike). It gets dark and steep on the mountain if you are going up in the afternoon. If you are travelling during rainy season bring a raincoat or poncho... you will definitely need it! Bring bottled water for the trek and some extra cash to buy snacks afterwards or pack a few power bars in your day pack to take with you.
Day 14: Lanquin, Guatemala
Day 15: Lanquin, Guatemala
Take a hike through the mysterious caves of Kanba (activity at your own risk) which are filled with extraordinary limestone formations distributed among an endless stretch of different chambers (so far, the end of the cave system has not yet been discovered) housing a sharp pointed rock altar where ancient Maya once performed sacred rituals. The Maya people of Guatemala continue holding spiritual ceremonies here and believe that the cave is the "heart of heaven" where the secrets of many centuries are held. Enjoy some free time to swim and go river tubing in the crystalline waters of Semuc Champey where there are natural pools filled with fresh mountain spring water above a 300-meter long limestone bridge. Flowing underneath the bridge is the Cahabón River where you will have time to swim in the cool waters in a beautiful natural surrounding immersed in native flora and fauna. At the end of the bridge you will visit waterfalls over 40-feet in height where the water from the pools rejoins the Cahabon River. The color of the water is constantly changing depending on factors such as the season, sun and rainfall, a characteristic of the national park that makes this place an idyllic and awe-inspiring setting to experience and take photographs.
Day 16: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Location: Rio Dulce
Day 17: Flores, Guatemala
Day 18: Flores, Guatemala
Depart Flores at 4:30 am this morning for your early morning experience to Tikal archaeological site. Walk among giant pyramids towering over 200 feet at dawn to feel the magical vibration of Tikal and its historic splendor. Listen to the jungle sounds of exotic birds, monkeys and small mammals and feel the humid jungle air on your skin as the Maya inhabitants of this site felt it 2000 years ago. Immerse yourself in the jungle at dawn for an early morning tour through the archaeological site to experience the jungle come alive as it wakes up at sunrise, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in touch with nature and marvel at the majestic pyramids hidden away in the jungle. This magical ancient city is teeming with native flora and fauna. If you are lucky you may be able to spot a jaguar walking leisurely through the park, although large numbers of visitors have caused the wildlife to move further into the jungle away from the noise. Howler monkeys here are famous for their loud growling sounds which may surprise you from a tree top overhead. Keep an eye out for colorful birds throughout the park such as toucan, parrots, eagles and quetzals. Tucked away in the vast Peten Region that covers 222 square miles of lush jungle in the northwest corner of Guatemala lie the ruins of the most magnificent archaeological site and important Maya citadel in Mesoamerica. Tikal National Park, declared as a UN World Heritage Site in 1979, is the largest excavated archaeological site on the American continents and is one of the most important natural reserves of Central America. It is known that Tikal, meaning “Place of Voices” in Maya, was one of the most powerful cities of their era covering more than 16 square kilometers and dominating other tribes in the surrounding region as well as interacting with neighboring cultures as far as Teotihuacan in the Valle de Mexico. The site was estimated to house between 10,000 - 90,000 inhabitants before being abruptly abandoned over 1000 years ago. * It is necessary to purchase your entrance fee at any Banrural bank in Flores the day before the tour. The ticket booths will not be open at the time you arrive to take part in the sunrise tour.
Day 19: Belize City, Belize
Location: Belize City
Day 20: Caye Caulker, Belize
Location: Caye Caulker
Day 21: Caye Caulker, Belize
Location: Caye Caulker
Discover the unparalleled natural beauty of Belize's marine life with a snorkeling experience that you will never forget. On this half-day tour in Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, you will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel along the reef in complete serenity. Navigate through mazes of pristine coral reef among schools of tropical fish, and even get the chance to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. See all this and more at three different snorkeling stops along the magnificent local reef of Caye Caulker.
Day 22: Chetumal, Mexico
Day 23: Bacalar, Mexico
Day 24: Tulum, Mexico
Day 25: Tulum, Mexico
Discover the magical world of cenotes on this action-packed day tour. Considered sacred by the Mayans, cenotes are naturally formed sinkholes and provide a gateway to some of the longest underwater rivers in the world. Snorkel while you see centuries-old stalagmites and stalactites in this incredible place. Learn more about the Mayans and their culture. Then off to zip line over the jungle and rappel in a cenote if you want, take part in fun activities such as canoeing, and some jungle trekking to make the most of your experience. After, you will take a Mexican lunch which ends your tour.
Day 26: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Location: Playa del Carmen
Day 27: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Location: Playa del Carmen
Make your own way to the meeting point. Enjoy a snack and coffee (not included) in a nearby coffee shop before starting your adventure exploring fascinating caves in the jungle. Before entering the majestic caves, we will provide you with all the necessary equipment and your expert guide will give an introduction on the cave, on the safety guidelines, and will explain how to get in and out of the subterranean caves by following the signal system. The caves are not tight or narrow, so there will be no need to swim underwater (no scuba gear required). As soon as we get inside the cave, you will admire amazing limestone formations. We will be underground for about 2 or 3 hours. During this time you will see stalagmites, stalactites, sinkholes and incredible limestone columns. Be amazed by fascinating turquoise cenotes and underground labyrinths. Reach pathways that open into larger caves, where you will have some free time to swim, relax, and enjoy the sunlight. Go back to dry land where you'll find some facilities to dry yourself off. Breathe fresh jungle air and enjoy the view while you taste a snack. After this amazing adventure, we will head back to the meeting point where this amazing subterranean adventure will come to an end.
Day 28: Cancun, Mexico
Day 29: Cancun, Mexico
Upon arrival to Chichen Itza, a specialised guide will give you a detailed tour of the site, enjoying the quiet of the morning visit before the crowds. Throughout the tour, your guide will provide archaeological essential background to better understand the history of Chichen Itza. Discover how this large pre-Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization around 600 AD to 1200, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. Even today, it is still considered sacred by the Maya people of Yucatán Peninsula site. Like many of the cities of ancient Mexico, the site was abandoned, and its ruins were hidden by jungle. Hear how the site was discovered and excavated by archaeologists, earning the protection of UNESCO and today considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. They will explain the philosophy, cosmology and mythology behind this ancient place, such as the meaning of the stone carvings, pyramids, platforms, ball games. Visit the Temple of the Jaguars, the Temple of the Warriors and of course the famous pyramid, also known as the Temple of Kukulkan. Hear how a serpent of light seems going up the stairs of this temple in the spring and fall equinoxes (around March 21st; September 21st). Enjoy a lunch box on your way back to Cancun.
Handy extras and accessories
1 Breakfast(s), 2 Lunch(es), 2 Dinner(s),
See full inclusions for details
Some of the activities
What's Not Included
Lunch on lake tour (Please bring 10 USD with you for lunch)
Photos of the session
Small gift for local family (Please see suggested gifts in the text below)
Accommodation pick-up & drop-off
Lunch and drinks
Snacks & bottled water
Transportation ($3 USD)
Tips for guide
Buffet lunch (150 pesos)
Entrance Fee to Tikal Archaeological Site
Accommodation pick-up/drop-off (available for an additional fee)
Souvenirs (consider bringing extra cash if you wish to purchase souvenirs)
Tips for Guide
English speaking guide
Optional horseback ride
Wetsuit / swimsuit
Breakfast & drinks
Optional hiking equipment rental
Accommodation pick-up and drop-off
Governmental Entrance Fee (USD 23)
Sunrise tour upgrade ($15 USD or approx. 117 Quetzal)
Lunch & drinks
Buffet lunch with drinks (140 pesos)
Other meals & drinks
Book with flexibility
Book with Confidence
Bamba Travel requires a deposit of
to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 30 days before departure..
Free Date Changes
Bamba Travel allows you to make 2 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.
Transfer as credit to Future Tours
Bamba Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform Bamba Travel, 60 days before departure.
If you need to cancel your tour, here is a summary of Bamba Travel charges.
Up to 60 days before tour starts:
100% of deposit
At 30 days before tour starts:
50% of tour cost
At 15 days before tour starts:
100% of tour cost
All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.