On this tour, you’ll be accompanied from start to finish by one of our exceptional Journey Latin America tour leaders
. From the moment you land in Latin America until the day the tour ends they will deal with all the practicalities, expertly adapting to the circumstances and individual needs of the group. Rather than different guides in different cities, your leader will get to know the group and keep you informed and entertained as you go.
1 flight (1.5 hrs), 6 road journeys (longest 7 hrs with stops).
On this tour we use high quality mid-range hotels.
Examples of hotels are
• Mexico City: Hotel Zocalo Central
• Oaxaca: Hostal de la Noria
• San Cristóbal: Casa Vieja
• Palenque: Hotel Chan Kah
• Campeche: Hotel Plaza
• Mérida: Casa del Balam
• Chichén Itzá: Mayaland
On very rare occasions these hotels can change, however please speak to one of our consultants who can provide full details for each departure if you have any doubts. Address and contact details will be sent out with your final documents.
• Mexico City: Museum of Anthropology
• Mexico City: city tour
• Mexico City: Teotihuacán archaeological site
• Oaxaca: walking city tour
• Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Mitla
• Sumidero Canyon boat trip
• San Cristóbal: San Juan Chamula and Zincantan
• Palenque Mayan ruins
• Mérida: Uxmal ruins
• Chichén Itzá: guided tour of Mayan ruins
Summary of nights
15 days, 14 nights: Mexico City 3; Oaxaca 3; San Cristóbal 2; Palenque 2; Campeche 1; Mérida 2; Chichén Itzá 1.
Included in the journey price
• Services of Journey Latin America tour leader
• All land and domestic air transport
• Accommodation as specified
• Meals as specified
• Excursions as specified
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and insurance
• Meals other than specified
• Optional excursions
There are optional excursions which are booked locally through your tour leader once you are in Latin America. Not all excursions available will suit everybody, whilst others only operate within certain seasons, with minimum numbers or may not be included due to time constraints. A budget of around $120 should cover participation in the following options, but prices can fluctuate depending on the size of the party and so cannot be provided accurately until travel commences. The list below is only a guideline, so please enquire with your tour leader for any further areas of interest:
• Mexico City: visit the Frida Kahlo Museum in the historic neighbourhood Coyacán
• Mexico City: cruise on a traditional gondola along the rural canals of Xochimilco
• Mérida: Visit the gulf resort Celestun: spot flamingos, take a boat trip, sunbathe on the beach
There is no extra cost for single travellers who are willing to share a room. You will be accommodated with another same-sex member of the group who is also travelling solo. For single travellers who wish to have their own room there are a limited number of single rooms available which carry a surcharge.
The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso.
A budget of around US$50 per day should cover the cost of meals, drinks and the odd souvenir.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. USD are no longer very useful to have in Mexico and most places are reluctant to take payment in USD. Very few will do so, and those that do have a very low exchange rate. There are also not very many opportunities on the tour to change dollars as we are quite rushed. Therefore, it is far better to take money out with a cash card, as ATM’s are fast and easy and avoid the high currency exchange.
Tips are normally welcomed and expected. Local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. We recommend approximately $US2 (or local equivalent) per person per day for each of guides and drivers, depending on the size of the group.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.
If you would like to show your appreciation to your Journey Latin America tour leader, who you may feel has exceeded your expectations, a discretionary gratuity would be gratefully received. As a guideline we recommend an amount of between $4 and $6 per person, per day. You are obviously free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality.
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance
International departure tax is included on the ticket.
This journey covers some large distances and although we try and make it as relaxed as possible there are some long days of travel. However all transportation is private and comfortable and accommodation is of a high standard. Walks and excursions are optional; ascents to some of the pyramids at the Maya and Aztec sites can be steep and vertiginous. Consult your tour leader if you have any doubts.
In Mexico City and the mountain towns the climate is temperate all year round.
The wet/rainy season lasts through June to August, which usually means a couple of hours of rain in the afternoon. Don't be discouraged from visiting the mountains during rainy season - you'll see a lush, green landscape (as opposed to the dry season's parched, brown landscape) and it often only rains in the late afternoons and evenings. During the rest of the year there is little or no rain.
The Yucatan is hot all year round, with temperatures consistently over 30 degrees Celsius, with the rainy season also falling from June to September.
Clothing and special equipment
Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. Some warm items and waterproof jackets are also necessary for all departures. We suggest that you plan to 'layer' your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper. Sandals are a good informal option for evenings. Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellent are essential and you should bring swimwear. It's a good idea to take a day-pack in which to carry guidebook, water, extra layers etc whilst on excursions. Mexico can be noisy so in case there is an impromptu fiesta - light sleepers should bring earplugs.
Reduce plastic waste
Journey Latin America has partnered with Water-To-Go to offer JLA Group Tour passengers the opportunity to purchase 75cl filtered water bottles for a 50% discount. The bottle can be refilled at any water outlet and has a filter that eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, allowing the water to be safe to drink. Please call your contact at JLA to add it your booking and it will be delivered to your address. More information about this initiative can be found on our website here
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on malaria tablets. You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health
Although Yellow Fever is not prevalent in Mexico people arriving from a Yellow Fever at 'risk' country, may be denied entry without a valid certificate so please bare this in mind if arriving from outside the UK or countries with similar Yellow Fever status.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Clients with a different nationality enquire or check with the Mexican Consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person. This must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.