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History and Wildlife in The Yucatan Peninsula

Merida, Chichen Itza and The Riviera Maya

Designed by Evie

This example itinerary from


10 days

DESTINATIONS > LATIN AMERICAMEXICO > History and Wildlife in The Yucatan Peninsula

Designed by Evie

This example itinerary from


10 days


  • Visit the Mayan Temple of Chichen Itza
  • Explore the Colonial city of Merida
  • Swim in a crystal clear cenote 
  • Option to visit the Celestun and Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserves 
  • Relax by the Caribbean sea at a luxury boutique hotel

What’s Included

  • 4 nights at Chable Yucatan with breakfast 
  • 5 nights at Hotel Esencia with breakfast
  • Entry fees to archaeological sites 
  • Domestic land transfers
  • 4.5 days with a private guide

Example Itinerary

Days 1 – 3


  • Discover some of the most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico 
  • Explore the Colonial town of Merida and enjoy a traditional cooking class

Merida is the cultural capital of the Yucatan Peninsula. This beautiful colonial town has everything from excellent museums to colourful food markets and delightful shops and restaurants. 

From Merida airport or Cancun airport, we will arrange for a car and driver to take you to the Chable Yucatan, a sprawling estate surrounded by 750 acres of private land. This sumptuous hotel offers an enticing menu of wellness experiences, including hydrotherapy, daily yoga classes and a Mayan renewal ceremony based on ancient practices. 

We will include two full days with a private guide and driver to take you to some of the treasures of The Yucatan. Not to be missed is a morning in the colonial town of Merida, exploring the narrow cobblestone streets, leafy plazas and historic architecture. If you are a food lover, we can design this morning around the vibrant food markets and tucked-away eateries with a fun cooking class at the end. 

The nearby nature reserve of Celestun is worth a visit if you love nature and wildlife. This coastal wetland is a haven for birdlife, including hundreds of flamingoes. Alternatively, travel south to the ancient Mayan site of Uxmal with its intricate sculptures and mosaics. The complex is made of 15 groups of impressive buildings and was once the home of over 20,000 inhabitants. During the day, we will also arrange for you to swim in the freshwater of an underground cenote river system – an experience not to be missed when you are in The Yucatan.

Days 4 – 9

Chichen Itza and The Riviera Maya

  • Relax at our favourite beach property on Mexico’s Caribbean coast 
  • Visit the Mayan Stronghold of Chichen Itza

Wake up early and arrive at Chichen Itza with your private guide as the gates to this astounding complex open. Then continue to the white sand and turquoise waters of The Caribbean. 

It is worth an early rise to reach Chichen Itza before the crowds. There is a good reason why this is one of the most visited Mayan sites in Mexico. In 2007 the site was declared by UNESCO as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The enormous scale of the towering pyramids and intricacy of the stone carvings will have you transfixed. With a specialist guide, learn about the fascinating history of this ancient wonder. 

Arriving in the Riviera Maya, the team at Esencia will be ready and waiting to welcome you to this exclusive beach hotel on the Caribbean Coast. This elegant resort was built as a private home for an Italian Duchess. The rooms are effortlessly chic, and the service and quality of the food are noticeably faultless.

There is plenty going on at Esencia to keep active guests occupied with a spa, gym and tennis court on site. Further afield, Mayan ruins, underground cenotes and coastal reserves are all within easy reach. Wildlife lovers will enjoy a day trip to the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve. This coastal reserve is a paradise of tropical forests, mangroves and a barrier reef off the shore. 

We will arrange a private guide to help you explore the ruins of Tulum – a stunning Mayan site with ocean views. We have also included a half day on a private catamaran with a captain and crew to reach secluded Caribbean reefs for some beautiful snorkelling. 

Scuba diving, deep sea fishing and paddle boarding are all available, allowing you to get onto the water and enjoy the marine life in the ocean. At the end of your stay, drive to Cancun for direct international flights home or continue the journey with a flight to Mexico City or beyond. 


Great creative South Africa itinerary and fabulous guides. Client blown away, True Travel was wonderful to work with.


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