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Latin Legends (From January 2017)
SAVE UP TO 15% on this tour

Do a lap of the Central American circuit. Explore the hotspots of Mexico & two of our newest destinations Belize & Guatemala in-between. Live it local as you explore a mix of stunning sites, local food & diverse experiences, you’ll be wanting to do a few extra laps!

Latin America

Duration: 18 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 160515
Starts: Mexico City, Mexico Finishes: Oaxaca, Mexico
You will visit
  • Mexico City
  • Merida
  • Cancun
  • Belize
  • Caye Caulker
  • Guatemalan Rainforest
  • Santa Elena (Flores)
  • Antigua
  • Panajachel
  • San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Tehuantepec
  • Oaxaca

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Mexico City

This morning meet your Trip Manager and fellow travellers as we turn back the clock this morning with a trip to Teotihuacan, the largest archaeological city ever to exist on the American continents. Climb the impressive pyramids and imagine how this was once central America’s greatest city. Our Local Guide will fill you in on the Teotihuacanos beliefs and rites as you walk around the site and see the Sun and Moon Temples. This afternoon, discover another side of vibrant Mexico City with a visit to the easy-going, old barrio (neighborhood) of Coyoacan. Take in the old colonial mansions, fountains and quiet squares of this cultural quarter. See the paired studios of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and maybe visit Frida Kahlo’s famous Blue House, which is filled with colorful art, pre-Hispanic artifacts and a beautiful garden. In your free time, live a slice of the local lifestyle and head to the Coyoacan Markets – the buzzing food stalls are perfect for trying authentic Mexican food, like a torta (Mexican sandwich), enchiladas and tacos. Shopping-wise, this town has it all, from big brands to bargains. Get some tips from your Trip Manager before you splurge. Rummage through the colorful La Merced, the largest market in the city. See piles of dried chillies, tropical fruits and other vibrant food displays as well as local crafts. Otherwise, walk the streets and get a feel for the city’s bustling street life, where cafes spill out onto the pavements, pushcart kitchens cook up fantastic food and sidewalk vendors sell anything from t-shirts to jewelery. Take a break and taste Mexican coffee in a traditional coffeehouse or sip on some tropical juice at a jugeria (juice bar). If you’re hungry, try a rosticeria for some crispy roast chicken Mexican style or a hole-in-the-wall taqueria for a burrito. For something different, find out if there is lucha libre (Mexican masked wrestling) on while you’re in town and go check out a match. For a dose of culture, walk through Mexican history with a visit to the famous Museo Nacional de Antropologia (Museum of Anthropology). It has an incredible collection of artifacts, starting from pre-historic times. The museum grounds are also great for taking a break from the buzzing down town area, so hang out in the gardens, read beside the lake or check out the zoo.

02

Day 2: Mexico City to Merida

Leave behind the buzz of Mexico City & fly to the beautiful white-stone city of Merida. Tour the city’s gorgeous colonial buildings & Government Palace before indulging in a mouthwatering Yucatecan meal.

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Day 3: Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza

We kick start the day with a trip to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Chichen Itza – the best preserved and most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico. Hear from our expert Local Guide about the time temples and how the Mayan calendar worked as you explore the spectacular ancient ceremonial center and the fascinating snail-shaped observatory. Back on the coach, we continue on to glitzy Cancun, Mexico’s super resort. This party paradise is a high energy destination, loaded with outdoor activities and a buzzing nightlife. Use your free time to relax with an evening siesta. Then head into town to the Mercado 28, a lively market serving up homemade foods. Sit yourself down in a fondita (little café) and order various specialties from throughout Mexico or try the regional Yucatan dish, chicken pibil (chicken in a special marinade). For some live, local music, make a move to Parquet de las Palapas with some friends. Grab a cold cerveza (beer) from one of the food stands and take it all in. Then explore what’s on offer party-wise in Cancun.

04

Day 4: Cancun

Today, your Trip Manager will take you to hidden spots and show off tropical jungle and watering holes. Then with a full free day, make the most of Cancun’s action and crystal clear waters. We get away from it all and head to the pint-sized Isla Mujeres. With no cars and little development, this is the place to wind down on pristine beaches and soak up the sun. Experience its fabulous coral reefs on our optional Garrafon Natural Reef Park excursion. If you’re keen, you can even swim with dolphins here. You could head to Punta Nizuc for some more snorkeling. For something different have a look through La Casa des Artes Mexicanas (House of Mexican Art), where you’ll see musical instruments, handmade kids’ toys and traditional costumes. Opt for a trip to Xcaret Ecopark, where Mayan ruins, a stunning inlet and jungle combine to make this place so special. Have a swim in the underground river and see colorful birdlife and a butterfly farm. Later why not get into the fun, festive vibes of Cancun and settle in on an open terrace beachside or at a small, local bar. Keep it moving until the sun comes up if you want – Cancun nightlife is the stuff of legends.

05

Day 5: Cancun

Make this city your playground & start out with a free day to explore. From snorkelling the clear blue waters to sitting back with a beer. You can shop, catch some rays & people watch

06

Day 6: Cancun to Caye Caulker

Adios Mexico, but we’ll be back! This morning we leave Cancun and head to Chetumal for some exploring & maybe bite to eat, before boarding our water taxis into Belize. We’ll park up on this Caribbean island, where the motto is “go slow.” Tonight it’s dinner we’ll offer a feast of fresh seafood & your chance to sample the reggae nightlife!

07

Day 7: Caye Caulker

The day is all yours! Fuel up at breakfast, then you get to make the most of our ME Time optionals, like swimming with sharks at Belize’s World Heritage Barrier Reef, Kayaking the mangroves or lazing on “The Split” (a break in the island), where sipping and sunbathing is the scene! Enjoy included snacks, drinks and music during for our last night on the island.

08

Day 8: Caye Caulker to Guatemalan Rainforest

Next up, Guatemala's El Petén ragion via Belize City! On arrival at our awesome Jungle Lodge there's the option to fly through the rainforest canopy on ziplines.. why not! Explore the local ruins then drift off to sleep to the sounds of the forest.

09

Day 9: Guatemalan Rainforest to Santa Elena (Flores)

We rise before the sun to watch daybreak unfold from atop the Mayan ruin, Templo IV… so prepare for amazing! Enjoy an included guided tour of the area or explore the magnificent jungle ruins, before our afternoon trip to the island of Flores, built atop another ancient Mayan center known as Tayasal. Make the most of your time, and opt for a lake cruise on arrival if you feel like getting out on the water before more relaxing over tonight’s dinner.

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Day 10: Santa Elena to Antigua

From the relaxed Flores to Guatemala’s bustling capital city! Today we’ll skip the queues and make a beeline for the unique beauty and relaxed vibe of World Heritage Antigua. You’ll be shown many of the historic and beautiful facets of town, among rooftop flowerbeds and horse drawn carriages bouncing over cobblestones.

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Day 11: Antigua

With the day all yours, see the sights & tick those boxes. Adventure seekers can hike a volcano or ride mountain bikes. Or if you want to relax you could try making local native chocolates or shop for traditional textiles.

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Day 12: Antigua to Panajachel

We'll take a private boat to a Mayan Lakeside community & meet local artisans who'll teach us to make yummy tortillas by hand. Afterwards, relax on a hammock & take in beautiful lake views!

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Day 13: Panajachel to San Cristobal de las Casas

We'll make our way through small Mayan communities of Guatemala's highlands before we reach the beautiful & rugged territory of Chiapas. Next on the list, the evergreens & cool cultural centre of San Cristóbal de las Casas via Comitán!

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Day 14: San Cristobal de las Casas

It’s time to get up and discover all city has to offer! Adventurers can take to the landscape for horseback riding or mountain biking this morning. After your Backstage Pass will take you to the Mayan hillside communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, learn about the untold generations of merging Native American and European cultures. Tonight you’ll get to try some traditional Tamales Chiapanecos at an included dinner, before hitting the town to move to local rhythms. Get festive!

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Day 15: San Cristobal de las Casas to Tehuantepec

After a morning relaxing, we'll descend from the forested hills on to the beautiful coastal plains of Tehuantepec, where you'll visit the city square. This evening, chill by the pool before a delicious local meal.

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Day 16: Tehuantepec to Oaxaca

First we head to World Heritage Oaxaca then it's on to Matatlan. Later we heat to Mitla, sacred rites were once carried out among the still intact geometrical stonework. We'll see colonial architecture this evening, stopping at the local market for some delicious chapulines... yum!

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Day 17: Oaxaca

This morning is the last full day of the trip! So enjoy the last day with the crew and make the most of some ME Time, discover some of the fantastic local museums and shops in the area. This afternoon, we visit World Heritage Monte Alban, built on a mountaintop overlooking the modern capital. This area is famous for extraordinary traditional crafts and we will visit a local workshop, before returning to town for dinner. It’s time to celebrate one last time… Salud!

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Day 18: Oaxaca to Mexico City

This morning we travel to the centre of the ancient Aztec universe. We'll take a panoramic tour of World Heritage Puebla, then head to Cholula. Choose to enjoy a relaxed lunch in the small town plaza or enter the ruins & explore the ancient tunnels (entrance fee not included). This evening, we arrive in Mexico City, where you can say 'adios' to your amigos!

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 17 nights accommodation: 16 nights in twin-share hotels, 1 night Contiki Special Stay experience
    • 2 internal flights & transfers
    • Transport in a private air-conditioned coach, mini-coach or van
    • Water taxi from Belize City to Caye Caulker (round trip)
    • Sightseeing tours of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations
      Staff
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager plus local guides in some destinations
      Food
    • 23 meals: 17 breakfasts & 6 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • City sightseeing tour, including the National Palace, the Zocalo & Chapultepec Park
  • Visit the ancient Aztec city of Teotihuacan
  • Visit Coyoacán, birthplace of Frida Kahlo
  • Walking tour of Merida's sights
  • Turn back the clock at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza
  • Swim in a Cenote
  • Experience the legendary nightlife
  • Relax on the white sand beaches
  • See the Belize Barrier Reef
  • Stay in Tikal National Park
  • Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park
  • Sightseeing tour of Colonial Antgua
  • Enter a sacred highland temple to experience ancient traditions in Chiapas
  • Visit the Zapatec religious center Mitla
  • Taste fiery mescal & sample spicy chapulines in the valley of Oaxaca
  • Locally guided walking tour of colonial Oaxaca
  • Visit the UNESCO site Monte Alban
  • Shop for traditional masterpiece ceramics and textiles
  • Visit a local workshop
  • Visit Cholula where the church Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios stands above the buried pyramid Tlachihualtepetl