Best of Mexico & Cuba
Experience the best of Mexico’s rich history and spectacular ruins along with the vibrant history, traditions and rhythms of Cuba on this adventure of a lifetime. Begin in Mexico City, with its buzzing colonial city centre and historic Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan, before flying to Cuba for a week to experience lively Havana and historic Trinidad with its colonial buildings and cobble stoned streets. Upon returning to Mexico, enjoy the jungle ruins of Palenque followed by the ancient Mayan ruins Uxmal and Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Peninsula. Conclude your trip in Tulum
- Mexico City - the country's buzzing capital.
- Palenque’s atmospheric Mayan ruins in the heart of the jungle.
- The top of Uxmal’s grand pyramid rewards you with a breathtaking view.
- Fill up on local delicacies and rich culture in Mérida
- Chichen Itza, the most famous of Mexico's Mayan ruins.
- Relax on the perfect, sun-kissed beaches of the tropical Mayan Riviera.
- Explore the cobbled streets and fabulous colonial architecture of Havana Vieja.
- Take a classic American car around the modern part of Havana.
- Explore the colonial streets and wonderfully preserved buildings in atmospheric Trinidad.
- Learn about Cuba’s turbulent history and, in particular, it’s revolutionary hero, Che Guevara.
- A day to relax on a pristine Caribbean beach, or perhaps explore the islands wilderness areas.
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Cienfuegos.
- Experience Cuban hospitality with a stay at a bed and breakfast known as a 'Casa Particular' (hotel can be included if you prefer).
- Travel with your own personal driver guide in Cuba, a local who speaks good english and will be able to adapt your holiday to your preferences.
- We can help with your Cuba visa arrangements.
Itinerary in brief
- Day 1: Mexico City arrival transfer
- Day 2: Mexico City tour including Museum of Anthropology
- Day 3: Teotihuacan pyramids and Guadalupe shrine tour
- Day 4: Mexico City - Havana
- Day 5: Havana: Old & new city tour
- Day 6: Havana – Cienfuegos tour - Trinidad
- Day 7: Trinidad City Tour
- Day 8: Day at Leisure
- Day 9: Trinidad – Santa Clara tour - Havana
- Day 10: Havana - Villahermosa
- Day 11: Villahermosa - Palenque tour
- Day 12: Palenque – Villahermosa - Merida
- Day 13: Uxmal & Kabah tour
- Day 14: Merida – Chichen Itza - Tulum
- Day 15: Tulum day at leisure
- Day 16: Tulum departure
Tailor-made suggestions for this itinerary
- Not interested in a day at leisure? Replace the free day in Trinidad with a day exploring Viñales Valley.
- Instead of taking the flight Campeche is a nice stop between Palenque and Merida.
- Consider spending additional time in Tulum to explore its surroundings including some impressive cenotes and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve which is inhabited by countless plant species, bird and animals.
- Extend your beach time with more relaxing time on the Mayan Riviera. Extensions can be offered in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
- If you prefer less time in Mexico City then we can combine the pyramids and Mexico City tour into a 1 day tour.
Day 1: Arrival
On arrival at Mexico City airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel.
Day 2: Mexico City tour including Museum of Anthropology
Today we will explore magnificent Mexico City, built by the Spanish on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital. The city's historical heart is its vast central square, or El Zocalo, and on this tour you'll also visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, which is the largest church in all of Latin America. We’ll drive along the famous Boulevard Paseo de la Reforma, built during the short-lived reign of Emperor Maximilian to connect the main square and his castle in Chapultepec.
You'll also visit the National Palace, which hosts Diego Rivera’s murals depicting the history of Mexico and is one of the oldest government seats in the world. Our last stop is the Museum of Anthropology, where we will have some time to explore the treasures of the Aztec culture at one of the finest archaeological museums in the world.
*Please note that the Museum of Anthropology is closed on Mondays.
Day 3: Full-day Teotihuacan pyramids and Guadalupe shrine
Located 50 kilometres northeast of Mexico City are the 'must-see' archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan - the site of the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, which dominate the skyline of the complex. This was once the country's biggest ancient city and capital of the Aztec people, who ruled over the largest empire in the pre-Hispanic era. Guarded by mountains, this magnificent city is thought to have been founded early in the 1st century AD and reached its peak around 500 AD, when its influence extended down to Guatemala and as far north as present-day Texas. With the help of a local guide, we’ll have time to stroll down ‘The Avenue of the Dead’, uncover its many wonders and imagine what life must have been like nearly two thousand years ago. We will also visit the Basilica de Guadalupe, Latin America’s most revered religious shrine, where the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared before an Indian named Juan Diego in 1531, and an image of her was miraculously emblazoned on his cloak. We will have time to explore the New Basilica de Guadalupe (the Old Basilica, built in 1700, is slowly sinking) and to see Juan Diego’s cloak.
After our exploration we return to Mexico City in the afternoon.
Day 4: Mexico City – Havana
A representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Mexico City airport for your departure flight.
On arrival at Havana airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel.
This evening is at your leisure. We recommend wandering through the streets and, perhaps, soaking up the atmosphere and music in a bar whilst sipping on a Mojito.
Day 5:Havana Old & New Tour
Today you will get acquainted with Cuba's capital city by taking a guided walking tour through the crumbling splendour of the UNESCO World Heritage listed site, Habana Vieja (Old Havana). Wars and revolution have done little to damage its heritage, making it one of the finest examples of a Spanish colonial city anywhere in the Americas.
You will first enjoy a short walking tour around Old Havana including its most important squares and fortresses being picked up at the Plaza de Armas in your chauffeur-driven, classic American car for a scenic drive along the Malecón seafront to the elegant suburb of Miramar, with a stop at Revolution Square. Finally we include a traditional Cuban lunch, a visit to the Ernest Hemingway museum and drop you off at your hotel.
This evening is at your leisure. You might want to consider taking in a cabaret show at Havana’s famous Tropicana nightclub, which boasts more than two hundred performers, a fabulous orchestra, and astonishing acrobatic feats.
Breakfast, Lunch included.
Day 6: Havana – Cienfuegos - Trinidad
This morning you will be picked up by your driver guide and transferred in your private vehicle to Trinidad, approximately four hours’ drive southeast of Havana. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to stop whenever you would like and there are several spectacular Caribbean beaches where you might like to enjoy a swim.
We arrive in Cienfuegos and you will have time to enjoy lunch at a local restaurant (own expense), before embarking on a guided tour of this laid back maritime city known as the 'Pearl of the South', due to its lovely location on a picturesque bay. Walk through the city’s well preserved colonial centre and learn about its proud musical tradition and its famous musicians, like Benny More.
Later we continue onto Trinidad following the panoramic coastal road. If you choose our comfort or superior level of accommodation we include the next 2 nights at a local home in central Trinidad where you will experience true Cuban hospitality. Dinner is available at an additional cost.
If you prefer to stay in a hotel we recommend the Iberostar Grand Hotel which is in our opinion Cuba’s finest property. Must be booked well in advance.
Day 7: Trinidad City Tour
Trinidad, often referred to as the Soul of Cuba, is one of the main highlights of the island and today we’ll include a walking tour of the main sights of the city. The city was founded in 1514 by the Spanish conquistador Diego Velasquez and became a major centre for trading sugar and slaves for almost two hundred years. The wealth generated by the landowners during this region's dark past is reflected by the well restored colonial architecture found in Trinidad's colonial centre, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
After further walking the cobble stoned colonial heart of Trinidad, you will hav. We suggest you consider a drive out to Playa Ancón for relaxing on the beach or a sunset cocktail.
Tonight we recommend you check out one of Cuba's classic venues, Casa de la Musica. This informal outdoor gathering has a good mix of tourists and locals with a great chance to listen to live music and watch some salsa dancing.
Day 8: Day at Leisure
Today is at your leisure with your driver at your disposal. We suggest you take the opportunity to visit one of Cuba’s best beaches – Playa Ancon which is a short drive from Trinidad, or further explore the town. If you’re feeling more energetic, you could also consider a day trip to the Gran Parque Natural Topes de Collantes, which is an area known for its hiking and birding.
Day 9: Trinidad – Santa Clara - Havana
Today we will return to Havana via the city of Santa Clara, a key location in the history of the Revolution. We visit three key historical sites, including the massive Che Guevara monument and mausoleum, his final resting place.
Tonight you will enjoy one final night in the Cuban capital and we recommend you to consider a night out at Café Taberna Beny Moré in the heart of the old town, listening to the music of a great band reminiscent of the 1950’s music. Excellent dancers accompany the band to let you have a glimpse into Cubans great dancing skills. Your guide will be able to assist you with reserving this.
Day 10: Havana - Villahermosa
A representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Havana airport for your departure flight.
On arrival at Villahermosa airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel for the evening at your leisure.
Day 11: Villahermosa – Palenque
Today we will transfer you from Villahermosa to the archaeological site of Palenque, a World Heritage Site located 7km outside of the town of Palenque, overlooking the swampy plains that stretch northward all the way to the Gulf Coast. Palenque flourished between AD600 and 800, when its influence extended throughout the basin of the Usumacinta River. The site, surrounded by toucan and howler monkey-filled rainforests, is made up of some five hundred buildings spread over 15 sq km, of which only a few have been excavated. We will explore the magnificent ruins, including the Temple of the Inscriptions, The Temple of the Sun, the tallest and stateliest of Palenque’s buildings, and The Palace, crowned with a prominent roof comb and featuring a maze of corridors and ruins. We’ll also visit many other beautiful buildings.
On conclusion of your tour you will spend the afternoon and evening at your leisure in a hotel close to the Palenque site.
Day 12: Palenque – Villahermosa - MeridaA representative will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to Villahermosa airport for your departure flight.
On arrival at Merida airport you will be met by a representative and transferred to your centrally located hotel.
The afternoon is at your leisure to explore the city. Built more than four hundred fifty years ago on the site of T’ho, an ancient Mayan city, Merida is the social and economic centre, as well as the capital, of the state of Yucatan. Merida’s downtown area features a large, tree-shaded central square and the city’s main boulevard, Paseo Montejo, is home to impressive European-style mansions. Though a bustling city of about 700,000, Merida retains its colonial charm and has a laid back tempo that delights visitors. If you have extra time, we recommend adding a few additional days to visit the surrounding area, which includes pink flamingo sanctuaries and crystal-clear cenotes (sinkholes) that are easily accessible from Merida.
Day 13: Uxmal & Kabah tour
We will visit the archaeological site of Uxmal, a World Heritage Site located 80km south of Merida. Its architecture is characterised by low, horizontal palaces set around courtyards, decorated with a profusion of symbolic motifs and sculptures depicting the long-nosed rain god Chaac. We will explore the magnificent buildings, including the Nunnery, the House of Turtles, and the House of the Magician, which dominates the site. We’ll continue to Kabah, with its amazing Palace of the Masks featuring nearly three hundred masks of Chaac, before returning to Merida.
Breakfast, Lunch included.
Day 14: Merida – Chichen Itza - Tulum
Today will be one of the highlights of your Mexican adventure as you enjoy a visit to the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, located 120km east of Merida. One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza is the best restored of Yucatan’s Mayan sites. While here we will explore the magnificent ruins set in a dense jungle, including:
- Pyramid of Kukulcan, its height and striking geometric design the most prominent of this site.
- The Great Ball Court , the largest and most impressive in Mesoamerica.
- The Sacred Cenote, a natural well used for human sacrifice.
We’ll also see many other beautiful temples. From Chichen Itza we’ll head to the white sandy beaches of Tulum, where you will enjoy a day at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch included.
Day 15: Tulum day at leisure
Today is at your leisure to enjoy the magnificent beaches and crystal clear waters of the Riviera Maya. Apart from its excellent beaches Tulum possesses some impressive cenotes (underwater sinkholes) which offer fantastic snorkelling opportunities and you should also consider a side trip to its breathtaking Mayan ruins.
The Tulum archaeological site is the only walled city in the Mayan empire and the only one located by the edge of the Caribbean. The major construction is its castle, a handsome pyramid perched on the edge of a cliff high above the pearl-white beaches below.
This evening is at your leisure.
Day 16: Tulum departure
Today you will complete your trip and be transferred to the airport in Cancun or if you are extending your trip we can transfer you to selected resorts in the Riviera Maya including those located in Cancun or Playa del Carmen.
Departs - Daily
|Casa Vitrales||Hotel Raquel||Iberostar Parque Central|
|Casa OsmaryAlberto||Casa OsmaryAlberto||Iberostar Trinidad|
|Hotel Maya Tabasco||Hotel Hyatt Regency Villahermosa||Hotel Hyatt Regency Villahermosa|
|Hotel Ciudad Real Palenque||Villa Mercedes ||Quinta Chanabnal|
|Del Gobernador||Hotel Hacienda||Casa Lecanda Boutique|
|Hip Hotel Tulum||Hotel Encantada||Be Tulum|
|Zocalo Central||Hampton Inn||Hilton Reforma|
What's includedAccommodation with private facilities, internal airfares, hotel taxes, entrance fees, tours with English speaking guides, transfers, meals as specified.
What's not includedAirfares arriving to Mexico City & departing from Cancun, airport entrance/departure taxes, gratuities, travel insurance, any items not mentioned as included.
NotesHotel rates are based on lead-in rooms. Other room types and hotels are available. Rates are subject to change and different rates may apply during holiday seasons and special events.