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La Ruta Maya - Day of the Dead Festival Departure - Reverse

From £3349 for 16 days
Trip Overview
The Mayans forged a powerful and mysterious empire across southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Following ‘La Ruta Maya’ we explore the hidden treasures of this region - magnificent cities, pyramids and temples. These incredible architectural feats have captivated historians since their discovery. The ancient Mayan civilisation is also apparent in the customs, language and dress of the Indian towns and villages we pass through. The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is possibly the most vibrant and colourful tribute to human mortality there is. Citizens pay tribute to the dead, especially close relatives, visiting graves and congregating round the stones to lay edible offerings at the headstones alongside beautiful golden mounds of marigolds, the Flor de Muerto (flower of the dead). Spanning three countries, we discover lively colonial towns, active volcanoes and the palm-fringed Caye Caulker, a paradise for snorkelling and diving, along with experiencing Day of the Dead festivities.
Essential Info
Starts: Start Guatemala City
Ends: The trip ends after breakfast in Antigua for land only passengers. Those on the group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City Airport for their flight home.
Ages: Min 16
Theme: Culture & Festivals
Trip Code: EAUXR
Activity Level:     
Countries visited: Mexico
What's Included

Meals

All breakfasts, and 1 dinner included Breakfast generally consist of fruits, cereals, beans and eggs

Transport

15 nights in a mixture of standard and comfortable hotels, all with en suite facilities Travel by private minibus, boat and internal flight

Accommodation

Trip Highlights

•    Day of the Dead Festival

•    An in-depth exploration of the highlights of the Mayan world

•    Guided visits to the Mayan sites of Palenque, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Tikal and Xunantunich

•    Colourful colonial cities of Antigua, San Cristobal de las Casas, Campeche and Merida

•    Traditional communities in the Mexican highlands

•    Two nights at beautiful Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes

•    Idyllic Caribbean waters in Mexico and Belize

Dates & Availability
Start date
End date
Price
Availability
Departing: 22nd Oct 2019
Returning: 6th Nov 2019
£3,349pp
G
Limited Availability
2 spaces
Itinerary & Notes
Those on group flights will be met at Guatemala City airport and taken to our start hotel in Guatemala City (approx. 20 minute drive). Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel. *Comfortable Hotel*
   Print Trip Notes
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GROUP TOUR from £2475 for 15 days

HIGHLIGHTS

- This is one of our most comprehensive adventures in Mexico, rich in historical and cultural highlights
- Get up close and personal with the country's diverse heritage, from the magnificent Aztec temples of Teotihuacan to the brightly-dressed Maya folk of the hills of San Cristobal
- There's something for everyone on this trip, whether you're a history buff, nature-lover or Epicurean

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- This overland adventure covers big parts of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, allowing you to see some of the best of Central America
- Extended time in Caye Caulker and Antigua provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy laid-back island vibes as well as buzzy colonial city life
- A homestay in San Jorge La Laguna invites you to connect with a local family. Sit down for breakfast and dinner with your hosts and work on improving your Spanish

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- You've never seen true colour until you've been to a Mexican market. Practice your bargaining skills, snap some photos and pick up traditional handicrafts at the markets in multiple destinations
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- Escape the Mexican heat in San Cristobal de las Casas. This old-world town is surrounded by ancient tribal villages that have retained their traditional customs and roots
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Reviews
       
A most enjoyable and excellent tour that covers 3 countries (Guatemala, Mexico and Belize) in 2 weeks. Prepare yourself for some long journeys daily but overall its worth it to see some of the amazing Mayan sites like Palenque, Uxmal, Tulum etc. and to experience the Day of the Dead celebrations. We gradually worked our way through the Mayan sites and ended with the jungle complex at Tikal. So glad we didn't do this in reverse!!
       
Fabulous trip to see the key Mayan ruins and the Mexican Day of the Dead celebrations. Doing the tour in reverse meant that we saw the most famous site - Tikal - first, progressing on to the less well known. But Tikal is a monumental ruin with - for me - no tangible evidence of the people who lived there. Palenque, on the other hand, came up very late on - and was just stunning, with lots of carvings in situ, and a very real feeling of the community as it once was. The Day of the Dead - which was over two days: the indigenous and mestizo communities celebrate separately - was fascinating. You hear about this stuff, but the reality is so much more vibrant. Very glad we came on this trip!
       
We were on the same tour as Christine (see Feb 18 review) Echo many of her comments and those of your April reviewer.. We are in our late 60's/early 70's.... A fabulous trip with a bit of everything , and yes, the only way to have done it was by a minibus with 14 other travellers.. but would not do this sort of tour again... averaging 6 hours daily in a minibus - one day was 15 hours across abysmal pitted roads due to teachers strike and roads being barracaded, was no fun. We are very well travelled and pretty fit for our age - but this was the most strenuous trip we have ever done... but so glad we did it.. On the first day a very frail lady decided it wasn't going to be for her.... and left.... !!!! Just to pick up on one thing from our trip - Feb 18 review - which commented re water.... Having cruised many times and stringent rules against sharing communal water facilities using personal water bottles, we were horrified that most of our group did this - obviously one tour member came with a bug and this was passsed around the group via the communal water dispenser. Obviously this saved money for some, but the cost was at least 75pc of the group had stomach bug issues for several days (NOT HEAT RELATED) - and progressed thru the whole group... We were among the few not affected - because - WE DID NOT USE THE COMMUNAL WATER FACILITIES... Exodus please note - on minibus tours PLEASE DO NOT USE COMMUNAL WATER DISPENSERS - THIS IS A SERIOUS HEALTH NO-NO.... !!!! Anyway - the tour - a fabulous mix of Mayan sites - in open situation and our favourites - those in jungles. We loved the short beach brak in Tulum with opportunities to body-board - too rough to swim... The towns and cities were colourful, atmospheric and culturally diverse . The cultural and religious mix of Catholicism and Mayan tradition was occasionally uncomfortable given animal sacrifices were part of such ceremonies - but utterly memorable ...... For us wildlife is important and it was terrific to see some wonderful birds and aguti and cotamundi up close and the howler monkeys had to be heard to be believed...... !!!! In Belize it was great to get a snorkelling opportunity and to swim with nurse sharks plus very large stingrays..... The trip had everything - but showed us why we prefer a mixed nationality group..... We get exasperated with our fellow Brits who always have to do everything asd a group and seem incapable , as on our trip, of making decisions for thermselves and allowing dominat individuals to dictate how to use what spare times there was at the expense of giving themselves memorable times as a couple.... We are sociable people but also value our times together as a couple as these are the times you remember..... ah the British herd instinct - it makes you proud.. ??!!?? Fabulous trip ...
       
Well if you are expecting a relaxing holiday forget it! Full on from the minute we arrived in Guatemala. True it is not for the faint hearted travelling wise, a lot of places to get to in a short time but if you want to seen Mayan culture in all it's forms this is the trip for you! A very special mention to our guide Amando - brilliant! Such a considerate guy with a real talent for organisation, diplomacy and truly appeared to enjoy his job, love his smile. Couple of brief periods of down time, loved the snorkeling and white beaches so all in all a great success. We need a holiday now for sure
       
Amazing discovery of an ancient culture. Well balanced mix of activities and personal times but long distances for travel were more tiring than the leisurely code implied. Wonderful scenery seen from our little bus as we jolted along. Guide involved us in all decisions but leaving at 6 am before the heat and crowds was clearly the best option on many days. Our hotels and food mostly exceeded our expectations. The itinerary will always attract those who want to know about the social, cultural, political history of such a hidden group of people. Pack your best grip, lightweight walkers and insect repellent.
       
As described and we started off from Antigua, Guatemala on Easter Sunday. Then on to Lago Atitlan and the colourful Mayan Culture, border crossing into Mexico to visit Palanque and other Mayan sites, cross the border into Belize and back in to Guatemala.
       
A great trip to soak in the Mayan culture across different regions and to see the ancient Mayan civilisations greatest creations. A good way to see parts of Mexico and Guatemala not on the main tourist trails.
       
An excellent adventure ,no hard slogs . My companion had major surgery on her spine four months before tour,and with the help of guide Armando Barraza, she really had a great time.
       
I could not have asked for a better introduction to the countries visited in the itinery. The areas we stayed in Guatamala were surrounded by volcanoes, but due to crops being burned there was always a smoggy haze that obscured their beauty. Mexico exceeded my expectations, a beautiful country with the people to match. As we were out of season, many of the visited sites up to Chichen Itza were uncrowded which added to the delight of the group. On the Caribbean coast we stayed at a lovely all inclusive resort for 2 nights which was a bit of a shock as it was only rated as a standard hotel, we all thought it should have been classed a comfortable hotel. Belize again was a stunning country where we stayed on the island of Caye Caulker. I can highly recommend the snorkelling on the island. Alcoholic drinks were expensive on the island though. The trip notes tell you about some of the long drives, the longest was about 11 hours, but there were stops every 2 hours of so, giving time for bathroom stops and stretching of legs which was greatly needed. I also believe that there are more speed humps in Guatamala and Mexico then anywhere in the world.
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