Pirates, Maya & Day of Dead Festival

Mexico

All about the tour

Mexico’s el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) provides a chance for families to welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives. A macabre and fascinating mix of Mesoamerican ritual, Spanish culture and European dogma, its origins go back nearly 3,000 years, to the pre-Columbian rituals of the Aztecs and the Nahua people of Central Mexico. This remarkable journey takes us through a land steeped in these ancient traditions, where the reminders of Spanish expansion share the landscape with spectacular Maya ruins, colourful markets and the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning on Mexico’s Caribbean coast we travel along the eastern fringes of the Yucatan Peninsula, visiting the Maya ruins at Tulum and Kohunlich and the tranquil waters of Bacalar Lagoon, before heading for the lush jungles of the Petén Basin.

Itinerary

Cancún → Playa del Carmen → Tulum → Bacalar → Kohunlich → Becán → Chicanná → Calakmul → Puerta Calakmul → Chicanná → Edzná → Campeche → Pomuch → Uxmal → Campeche → Kabah → Loltún Caves → Mérida → Hacienda Sotuta de Peón → Mayapan → Mérida → Izamal → Yokdz

Day 1: Cancún - Playa del Carmen

The tour starts at Cancun airport this evening where we will be met and driven to the hotel in Playa del Carmen, situated along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

Day 2: Playa del Carmen - Tulum - Bacalar

We head to the Mayan rock fortress of Tulum, one of the last cities to be built by the Maya. After our visit, we then continue on to the small and tranquil town of Bacalar, located on the edge of a beautiful lagoon.

Day 3: Bacalar

Bacalar was founded by the Maya, sacked by pirates and fortified by the Spanish. Today we have an opportunity to enjoy the picturesque waters of its lagoon, part of the world’s largest subterranean water cave system, on a boat trip, with time to snorkel.

Day 4: Bacalar - Kohunlich - Becán - Chicanná

We drive to Chetumal to discover the Mayan treasures at its Museo de la Cultura. We then explore the famed Pyramid of the Masks at Kohunlich and the ruins of Becán, the oldest architectural defence system in Mexico, before ending in Chicanná.

Day 5: Chicanná - Calakmul - Puerta Calakmul - Chicanná

The journey then takes us to the Maya archaeological site at Calakmul, shrouded in the ancient rain forest and home to howler monkeys and birds. We then visit Puerta Calakmul’s remarkable ‘Bat Cave’, the haunt of some five million bats!

Day 6: Chicanná - Edzná - Campeche

Close to Campeche lies the ancient ruins of Edzná, which can trace their early origins back to 400 BC. We will have the chance to climb the Pyramid of the Five Storeys staircase for beautiful views before reaching Campeche.

Day 7: Campeche

A tour of the UNESCO city takes in its narrow streets and colonial architecture before we pay a visit to the Museum of Mayan Architecture. The city is also home to the Fortress of San Miguel, which today houses the city’s archaeological museum.

Day 8: Campeche - Pomuch - Uxmal - Campeche

Today we will witness the Day of the Dead celebration, believed to be of Aztec origin, in Pomuch. The locals remove and clean the bones and skulls from the decorated ossuaries that line the town’s cemetery. We then visit the UNESCO site of Uxmal.

Day 9: Campeche - Kabah - Loltún Caves - Mérida

Departing Campeche, we head to the spectacular ruins at Kabah. We will walk an ancient Mayan road to the caves of Loltún to enter a subterranean world of stalactites, tree roots and rock paintings, before completing our journey on to Meridá.

Day 10: Mérida – Hacienda Sotuta de Peón - Mayapan - Mérida

Founded by the Spanish in 1542, Meridá is still the economic and cultural capital of the region. We’ll tour the city this morning before we depart for the 19th century Hacienda Sotuta de Peón and Mayan capital of Mayapan.

Day 11: Mérida - Izamal - Yokdzonot - Chichén Itzá

As we journey to Chichén Itzá, we will stop at the Gran Museo del Mundo, where Yucatan’s social history is laid out, Izamal, one of the oldest towns in Yucatán, and Yokdzonot Cenote, where we can swim amongst the ancient trees and blue/green waters.

Day 12: Chichén Itzá - Valladolid - Cancún

We meet an expert archaeological guide today at Chichén Itzá, a UNESCO site and one of the most important examples of Mayan-Toltec civilisation anywhere in the Yucatán. We then spend time exploring Valladolid before reaching the airport in Cancún.

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What's included

Accommodation

11 nights' accommodation (three to four star hotels)

Meals

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner (typically in local restaurants where viable)

Guided tours

Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers

Sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary

Transport

All transport (minibus)

Support

24/7 phone/WhatsApp support line

A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through our office)

Entrance tickets

All entrance fees as per the itinerary

Not Included

International flights

Meals not mentioned

Optional tours and activities

Personal expenses

Highlights

Travel through the Yucatan Peninsula stopping at Mayan ruins

Witness the cleaning of the dead at the Day of The Dead festivities

Visit the spectacular Mayan sites of Uxmal, Tulum, and Chichén Itzá

Snorkel in the natural beauty of Bacalar Lagoon

Marvel at the colonial elegance of Campeche and Meridá

Explore the subterranean world of Loltún Caves

Book

Our reviews
Trustpilot

Carlos Silva, Family & Friends

USA

World of discoveries went above and beyond on the World Cup tour, aside from the tour in Qatar they helped us and manage the logistics to get small 2-3 day tours to Egypt and Jordan in a marathon but memorable 16 days trip. We got to be in 2 of the 5 wonders of the world (Egyptian Pyramids & Petra; among other places) Everything they promised they delivered and always check on each and everyone on our group of 7. Helen from Spain did all the paper work and signed us up and the the land crew that greeted us in Doha were just perfect! Very well recommended and for the next World Cup and the Olympics they will be our go to people for the planning for a great experience such as Qatar 2022. Well done Wofdi!! Kudos to everyone of you!!! (Helen, Michael, Anna, Lina, Varya, among others) don’t meant to leave anyone out intentionally!!

Bruce McDougall

Australia

I recently toured Qatar during the World Cup with Varya and Mike’s team at World of Discoveries. The experience over three weeks was first class. Varya and her team nailed the detail for every aspect of the trip from planning and booking through to the actual travel, tours, sightseeing, transport, accommodation and ticketing to games. They were always accessible to deal with any issues that arose and went the extra mile to ensure the travelling group was happy, organised and safe. And they throw a mean party. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend World of Discoveries for trips of a lifetime.

Jorge Oller

Costa-Rica

Our experience with World of Discoveries has been impeccable. From Qatar’s World Cup onwards, they will be our #1 choice. Varya, Iren, Nathan, Damon, Iren, Lina; Anna and all the rest of the Wofdi team: Thank you!

Erika Proano

USA

I decided to take my dad to the World Cup to watch Ecuador play and enjoy the opening ceremony. After some online research, I found World Of Discoveries and I am beyond glad I found them. I trusted them with all the details and our experience was exceptional. World of Discoveries personalized approach is something I beyond appreciate; the team was in touch and answer my questions super timely and very clearly (I had many many questions). I received guidance on next steps as we were approaching the world cup and I knew I was not going to miss any details because they were on top of everything. The World Cup experience was above and beyond what we expected. We didn't have to worry about anything, World of Discoveries took care of the logistics and planned everything for us! even our side trip to Dubai was unforgettable! Thankful to companies that deliver above and beyond expectations and help us make memories that we will cherish forever. I can't wait for our next adventure!

Diana Kammunkun

USA

Best Staff, Great Communication The communication and assistance from the Michael from the beginning, Alex during the pre-tour and post tour and Anna during the tour was better than exceptional; we were well taken care of. The staff truly cared about us having a memorable experience and their efforts greatly contributed to that happening. I’ll definitely be looking into their other tours.

Jeff & Cathy Sisler

Canada

We came across WOFDI last spring when we were trying to figure out how to attend the World Cup. The staff at WOFDI organized game tickets and accommodation for us. Communication was excellent throughout. They provided airport transfer and cultural tours as well. Wonderful experience!