Overview & Highlights
Our covid-conscious holiday to Mexico gives you the chance to discover the colonial cities and jungle-shrouded Mayan pyramids of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the idyllic island of Holbox and Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya with your own car. If you'd rather not drive this holiday can be done with private transfers and guides, just ask us.
Our Trailblazer holiday to Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula shows you the highlights of this wonderful, diverse region whilst avoiding the busiest areas. It’s a perfect destination to explore and relax with plenty of sunshine, sandy beaches and jungle ruins. Exploring by self drive hire car is not only economical; it gives you the freedom to travel at your own pace, stopping wherever you would like a better look, but with the security of a pre-planned itinerary and accommodation booked.
The Yucatán Peninsula offers sunny Caribbean beaches on the Mayan Riviera both and the ruined pyramids and temples of the Maya shrouded in jungle. Following a direct flight from the UK you collect your hire car and set off on good, well-signed roads to explore - distances between attractions are relatively short, there are service stations to fill up your car and a huge range of fantastic eateries to fuel yourselves on.
From Cancún airport you set off in your car to discover the peninsula. There, you’ll find vestiges of the once supreme Mayan civilisation. Sites replete with temples and pyramids festooned with sacred carvings were, once abandoned, swallowed up by a rapacious jungle but are now gradually being revealed. There’re all rather Indiana Jones. You’ll visit the best known sites, Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, both easily accessible.
You’ll also be based near the beautiful colonial town of Mérida, a friendly place to see a different side of Mexico with street markets, restaurants of all types and lively entertainment, should you wish to do so. Alternatively the sleepy fishing village of Celestún is just a short drive away - famous for its Biosphere Reserve and large flocks of flamingoes. Finally, you will drive up to the Gulf coast for your island break on laid-back, peaceful and up-and-coming Holbox.
Arrive in Cancún. Collect hire car and drive to your hotel
Drive to Chichén Itzá, Mayan archaeological site.
Explore Chichén Itzá.
Drive to your hacienda on the outskirts of colourful Mérida
Optional food tour of Merida or visit Celestun
Optional visit to the Mayan site of Uxmal.
Drive to Chiquila and Holbox island.
Relax on Holbox island; optional swimming with whale sharks.
Day at leisure on Holbox.
More time on Holbox Island
Drive to Cancún airport for international flight home.
Things to do
We proudly offer the widest range of activities, excursions and one-of-a-kind experiences across all our destinations, tried and tested personally by our travel experts.
Visit Chichen Itza, ruined Mayan city
Visit Uxmal ruined Mayan temple complex
Walking tour of Merida
Visit an underwater sculpture gallery
Visit the flamingos of Celestun
Visit the Yucatan’s colonial haciendas and bathe in limestone cenotes
Go snorkelling on the Riviera Maya
Swim with whale sharks
Browse our unrivalled portfolio of accommodation . Every option has been carefully chosen by our team of travel experts, so you can rest assured that you’ll relax in utter comfort.
What our clients say
97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.
Most memorable experience? - It was the feeling that it had been planned by people at JLA who love the continent and want their customers to enjoy it too. There was great selection, variation and pacing. Above all, the quality of the experience was exceptional - from our consultant right from the outset through to tour leader and a host of local guides, drivers and hotels. A 101 organisational arrangements went like clockwork and the highest levels of professionalism and quality were always evident. So THANK YOU, JLA for our best holiday anywhere, anytime - WE WILL BE BACK !!!RH, Havant
So many things - wonderful birds, Leon was very interesting, Copan was fascinating. This is our 4th trip with JLA and we have never been disappointed.LP, Honiton
It was a wonderful trip. It was all good. In saying what I say next that is not to denigrate anything else. However, here we were at the vineyards outside Mendoza. It is a beautiful day weather-wise. We have had a fine tour of the vineyard and winery. The vineyard is itself beautiful and peaceful. Now we are in a lovely modern building for the 'lecture' and tastings. I am feeling very happy. Can it get any better? Yes. I look beyond the lecturer out of the window and there I see the beauty of the vineyard and 'just' behind that of the high Andes. Breathtaking!IM, London
I have been travelling for over half a century but his was my first organised tour and it was wonderful. As I said on my return I would go again next week if my diary was not full, I needed a rest and was not minded to spend as much again so soon.
The Iguacu Falls were spectacular and most likely the most impressive Falls I will ever see. We were absolutely spellbound by the magnitude, scale and layout. Obviously, Machu Picchu takes your breath away. Nature and man-made wonders at their best!PK, Ashton-Under-Lyne
The trip surpassed our expectations and I have already recommended Journey Latin America to friends and even to people I talked to on a bus in Machu Picchu, one of whom was from the U.S.A.
Overall the Tangara trip was well structured, if a little hectic moving on every two nights. It achieved its main objectives and we saw fascinating parts of South America that we had long wanted to see. Our guide, was most assiduous, knew the area very well and eased our path considerably. The highlights for us on Tangara were i) The trip to Chiloe, particularly with the services of an excellent nature guide, ii) the visit to Iguazu, iii) Buenos Aries, and iv) of course Rio de Janeiro.TE, Cirencester
Though I've travelled a fair bit in Central and South America, this was a very different experience and so was memorable throughout for that difference. Other trips have focused on Mayan and Incan civilisations, on Spanish Colonial cities and towns and this trip was much more about the scenery and wildlife. The cities were vibrant and very European in feel without much evidence of colonialism. The skies were huge, the scenery spectacular, and the wildlife a joy.CG, Hexham
Hotels - Quirky mix of old and modern, loved the contrast. Seaman Journey Galapagos boat was superb, cabin larger than expected. Crew and guide outstanding.LO, Ascot
Experiencing an interesting mix of Colombian landscapes and wildlife and getting a real feel of the country and its people. Particularly liked Mompos and the Magdelena river and seeing the wax palms in the Valle de Cocora.JB. Gosport
The ubiquitous music and dance of Cuba and the infectious joie de vivre of its truly multicultural people who seem to live life to the full with the little they have. Cuba is a fascinating country and this comprehensive trip showed us not only its spectacular variety of scenery and its rich history but gave an insight into the resourcefulness of its people and how they cope in their struggle for survival and freedom. I'm sure we only scratched at the surface but I'm curious to learn more (and I must learn to speak more Spanish).DC, London
Seeing Machu Picchu for the first time, it was breath taking! and enjoying the company of a good set of fellow travellers.IE, Coventry
JLA provided great planning from the start to the end, took all the hassle out of booking flights, bus, train and mini bus travel. Included excursions were excellent and well thought out, with a great tour leader.
I had a brilliant trip. The experiences were varied the people great company and the tour leader exceptional. What’s not to love!HL, Newcastle
This great holiday was definitely made greater by the tour leader. Of course a small group travel made it possible to view more places.RR, Bolton
Even though I had seen countless photographs of Iguazu Falls and Machu Picchu when I first saw the sights I was reduced to a , 'Wow!' every few minutes.FB, Spain
Machu Picchu was the ultimate climax at the end of the tour & definitely best to see it lastly. However all the previous places, people & food all definitely contributed hugely to a truly memorable trip - a visit to Peru with the preceding visits made the whole adventure far more meaningful & pleasurable.EA, London
There are two moments that I wish I could return to again and again - watching the sun go down over the jagged rock formations of the Valley of the Moon and walking on the salt flats (the beauty of the place nearly brought a tear to my eye).DK, Dover
This was my second group trip to South America with JLA and it was just as fantastic - seeing the main sites such as Machu Picchu but also less well-known or off the tourist radar such as the inside of an Inca house in Ollytaytambo that added an extra insight to the culture and local way of life.
There are several experiences we enjoyed on this trip. The lguacu Falls are amazing, couldn't stop taking photos. In the Pantanal the variety of birds was superb and we were lucky enough to see an ocelot. We greatly enjoyed our holiday, we were a small group of two couples so were pleased that the trip still went ahead with these low numbers.JT, Hemel Hampstead
We have toured the USA, Europe and China before but the experience we had with JLA was the by far and away the best we've ever had!PD, Stockport
Every day was a pleasure. Scenery wonderful. Machu Picchu was jaw dropping.IT, Sutton Coldfield
I loved the beauty of the Solentiname Islands and Corn Islands. But my favourite part of the trip was definitely Leon as there is so much fascinating recent history.FW, Leamington Spa
It was my first trip on this kind of tour. I felt very safe & included & thoroughly enjoyed my time in Mexico. As a group I felt we really bonded & good friendships were made.KM, Salisbury
"This is my fourth JLA trip and it was as fulfilling and enjoyable as the earlier ones. You run an excellent organisation-and I commend and thank you. I will be back!!"AM, London
This tour brings Mexico's cultural and historical diversity vividly to life, and is an excellent introduction to this important Latin American country.JF, Cambridge
The fact that we were blessed with exceptionally good weather meant that we could make the most of every day, to the full, bar one day on Lago General Carrera. Patagonia is so beautiful - and it would have been so different if the weather had been poor or the tour leader/driver hadn't been so good. We feel very lucky to have had it all!RD, Amersham
Thank you for giving me an amazing trip, with a wonderful leader and a lovely group of people to travel with.BK, London
All of the Parakeet was fantastic.LS, London
Most memorable experience - Difficult to select just one, but the visit to Iximche Mayan Site in Guatemala, was fascinating – great guide, and we saw a shaman performing a pre wedding ceremony.JB, North Walsham
Everything exceeded expectations, from the printed itinerary to the excursions.SB, Mansfield
Would be wrong to say a most memorable. Everyday was amazing. Machu Picchu was my fave. That's because I've always wanted to go there. 100's of memories all good. From places to even just having dinner with the group. Had some one in a million moments.SW, Crewe
Another superb holiday with JLA I would never travel to Latin America with another company.BD, Hartlepool
Surpassed expectation. The excellent itinerary was enhanced by the tour leaders excellent knowledge and company.PM, Corsham
As the world begins to open up again, we have put together a selection of covid-conscious itineraries specifically designed for travels in these times. Our Trailblazer Mexico holiday stays in carefully selected locations that avoid the crowds, allowing you to see the highlights whilst always staying within your comfort zone.
Ben Line - Travel Expert
Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.
Inspired by this trip
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.
Your edit for Latin American inspiration
Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.View Extraordinary Inspiration
Real Latin America Experts
Millie Davies - Travel Expert
Having caught the travel bug as a child, Millie has travelled all over Latin America before making her home in Buenos Aires for 3 years.
Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Expert
Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tour sales team.
Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Expert
Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.
Lina Fuller - Travel Expert
Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.
Evie Oswald - Travel Expert
It's hard to believe that Evie has had time to cram so much in to her life so far. Having lived as a child in the Americas and Europe she found herself immediately attracted to Latin America.
Hannah Donaldson - Travel Expert
Having spent part of her childhood in Colombia and worked in Brazil and Costa Rica, Hannah's ties to Latin America run deep. Hannah is a much valued Travel Expert in our Tailor-made Holidays and Group Tours sales team.