Tailor-Made Holiday

Mexico - A Family Quest

10 days

from £2,555pp

With direct flights to Cancun from Gatwick airport, this holiday to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, is an ideal family trip packed with outdoor adventures.

  • Visit the beautiful Celestun Biosphere Reserve with the pinkest flamingos in the world
  • Discover the impressive ruins at Uxmal and Chichen Itza
  • Take a refreshing swim in the amazing crystal clear waters of a Cenote
  • A scavenger hunt for the children and meet with a local Maya family
  • Enjoy island life on the Island of Isla Mujeres
  • Snorkel with Whale Sharks

Start your journey in the colonial town of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula; an excellent base from which to explore the nearby archaeological site of Uxmal and visit the ball courts where heads literally rolled. Just a day trip from Merida is the Celestun Biosphere Reserve; a rich ecosystem with excellent birdlife.  

Continue to the impressive site of Chichen Itza now an official new wonder of the world. There will also be a fun quiz should you wish to test your ancient Maya knowledge at the end of the day.    Continue across the peninsula with a stop for a refreshing dip in a Cenote.  Cenotes are beautiful pools of crystal clear water that connect a massive underground water system full of stalagmites and stalactites and fish with no eyes.  

Finally head out to Isla Mujeres and stay at Hotel Na Balam; a lovely family hotel with a wide variety of activities to keep all members of the family happy. In season, snorkelling with whale sharks can be arranged and the school summer holidays is the ideal time.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Cancun

Drive from Cancun to Merida


Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state, is a charming, bustling city. There are many beautiful colonial buildings, interesting museums and airy plazas. The central Zocalo is a continual stage for colourful dancers and loud mariachis. Numerous markets and artisan shops make Merida the ideal place for any holiday shopping, particularly as it is the centre for the region's hammock making industry.


You will be staying at Casa del Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Uxmal
Just 45 minutes from Merida, Uxmal does not command the same attention as other sites such as Chichen Itza. This is its beauty. You can move around the complex with the only noise being the industrious tapping of woodpeckers and the scuttling run of iguanas. Climb the Pyramid of the Fire Macaw and gaze out over Uxmal and the surrounding jungle.


Uxmal Scavenger Hunt
This is a fun and educational activitiy. Your guide will have prepared a short quiz for the children by way of questions and tasks to complete whilst visiting the site of Uxmal. So kids, pay attention!


You will be staying at Casa del Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Celestun and Merida tour
Celestun Biosphere Reserve is the winter home to approximately 300 species of birds including vast flocks of flamingo and heron. Navigate the winding canals of this vast mangrove and wetlands complex by speedy launch.

The area’s ecosystem is unique because of a combination of fresh water from the Celestun River and salt water from Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Celestun’s flamingos are the pinkest in the world due to high concentration of carotene in the water. The largest flocks can be seen from September through to March.

Lunch will be included in one of Celestun’s seafood restaurants. Return to Merida this afternoon.


Half Day City Tour
Tour of the historic centre of Merida (3-4 hours) including the main plaza (zocalo), markets, Museum of Mayan World, the Cathedral, the Monumento a la Patria (Monument to the Fatherland) and Paseo Montejo, the design of which is based on French boulevards.


You will be staying at Casa del Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Merida - Chichen Itza including Tixkokob, Cenote, Izamal


Depart Merida for Chichen Itza visiting Izmal en-route.

Depart from the hotel lobby at a pre-arranged time for a private transfer/tour visiting Izamal en-route. Known as the Yellow City or the City of Three Cultures, it is probably one of the oldest cities in Yucatan which lends a further uniqueness to this picturesque town.


The most famous and well preserved of all the Yucatan's Mayan sites, Chichen Itza comes highly recommended to all visitors. The Maya people built Chichen Itza in the classic period only for it to be abandoned shortly afterwards. It is believed the Toltecs re-established the area at a later date adding their own particular architectural style and introducing their blood-thirsty beliefs in human sacrifice. Dominating the vast site is the outstanding pyramid structure of El Castillo, built during the height of the Toltec occupation, and which can still be climbed for far-reaching views across the flat Yucatan plains. There is also a well-preserved ball court, a substantial natural sinkhole (cenote) of sacred importance to The Maya and a large observatory indicating the great significance the Maya attached to astronomy.


You will be staying at Hacienda Chichen, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Full day tour of Chichen Itza
Full day excursion in private car with English-speaking guide to the famous archaeological site of Chichen Itza (6 – 8 hours). It is not a large site and it is crowded. Nonetheless the buildings rise above the fray, impressive in their stature, beguiling in their symbolism and significance, they leave you wondering at and in awe of the Mayan civilisation.

Everything here, particularly the magnificent Pyramid of Kukulkán, was designed with the heavens, all nine of them, in mind. The Mayan astrologers were so ingenious that the temple acts as a calendar, designed with such exactitude that during the spring and autumn equinoxes the shadow of a snake, a revered animal, slithers from the top of the temple to the bottom and back again.

In another amazing trick of engineering, the 365 steps of the temple have been constructed so that when you stand in front of them and clap, the echo sounds like a quetzal, a bird venerated by Mayans. What is all the more surprising about such precision is that the shape of the pyramid is not uniform, it is in fact a trapezoid and many of the edges of the pyramid are not aligned.

The Great Ball Court is a 450 feet arena where the Mayans played the onomatopoeic pok ta pok – a game that involved two teams of seven, with the captain on each side being the only one able to score by shooting a large rubber ball through a hoop high one side of the wall. More than a game, pok ta pok was a life ritual that involved the winning captain having the ‘honour’ of being decapitated, taking him nearer to the gods.

Chichen Itza to Isla Mujeres


Depart the archeological site just as the crowds are arriving and continue on to Puerto Juarez (3 hrs) to take your ferry to Isla Mujeres.


Located just eight miles across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from mainland Mexico, Isla Mujeres is a 5 mile-long island of beaches, Caribbean styled villages and small charming hotels. Tales of pirates & Spanish conquerors have long been an important part of the islands history and romance. Even today you can discover the remains of original Spanish cannons lying among the natural coral reefs, caves and tropical fish. You can also enjoy a daily exploration of the island by renting a moped or golf cart, however the visit to Isla Mujeres is not complete without a stroll through the attractive cobblestone streets of the island.


You will be staying at Na Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

You will be staying at Na Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Swimming with Whale Sharks
Opportunity today for one of the most memorable experiences; swimming with whale sharks.

Transfer to Cancun where your 35ft open fiberglass speed boat awaits to take you to the protected Whale Shark area. Your guide will show you the best positions in the water to admire the biggest fish in the world. You will spend from 2 - 3 hours swimming and snorkelling with these magnificent creatures.


You will be staying at Na Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

You will be staying at Na Balam, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Isla Mujeres to Cancun


Transfer to the dock for your ferry crossing to Puerto Juarez where you will be met and transferred to the airport.

Fly Cancun to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Na Balam

Na Balam

The Na Balam is a great hotel located on the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres, on the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Mexico

James Armitage, Travel Expert

"The help and great knowledge James offered really made the holiday special"

"James listened and managed our expectations and therefore made sure we were prepared for all eventualities when going on our holiday to Brazil"

"James was brilliant and all the advice was spot on."

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John Faithfull, Travel Expert

"Personalised service. Seemed to really want to get it right for us. Very impressed when I first called and John spent 40 minutes finding out what we wanted to do and tailoring it for us."

"The expertise that John has really gave us faith in where we were going, the regions, the hotels, the trips. John knew about it all, he described them in detail, and when we asked for different regions he was straight in there with suggestions and ideas. The way the whole trip was planned and presented to us, never any pressure to book or any problem to change plans /ideas."

"John Faithful was wonderfully helpful and conscientious in arranging the itinerary and was always ready to suggest alternatives or rearrange matters without any hesitation; this and his detailed knowledge gave one great confidence."

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Sue Grimwood, Travel Expert

"It was tremendously helpful to be able to speak to someone who had been to Antarctica before - Sue had been on the ship we had booked, so was able to give us some very useful information. We felt that at every stage of the booking process that we were in safe hands. "

""I was uncharacteristically worried about this trip - neurotic some might say - and I was given 110% support and help with everything. I had been disappointed by not being able to get a space on the 2014 trip and so Sue was stuck with me for 2 years - a testament to her patience and professionalism. I was confident in Sue - she knows Antarctica and speaks from experience, that is worth a huge amount. Emails, which I would send were responded to almost immediately.""

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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