Chichen Itza is famous the world over as a mark of the ancient Mayan civilisation. Chichen Itza translates to ‘mouth of the well of the Itzaes’, in reference to a natural well that the iconic pyramid structure is located besides, a vital source of water for the ancient Mayans. The purpose or symbolism of Chichen Itza is the subject of much debate, but research suggests it was likely used for ceremonies in honour of the rain god, Chaac.
The most extensively studied of all the Mayan sites, Kohunlich was founded around 200BC and has stood the test of time. Elaborately designed, this settlement continued to expand to become a central aspect of Mayan civilisation. The site features the famous Temple Of Masks, thought to have been dedicated to the sun god. The stucco design and humanised faces of the masks have been perfectly preserved to seamlessly showcase Mayan art and architecture.
The Temples of Uxmal is considered one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan culture. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Uxmal is known as the ‘Thrice Built City’ and gives a visual indication to the intelligent design synonymous with Mayan culture, and much about their daily and religious lifestyles. The temples include the Temple Of The Sorcerer, subject of one of the more famous Mayan myths.
A colonial city, Campeche is home to traditional coblestone streets, expansive plazas, a beautiful church and brightly coloured houses. Located within city walls, Campeche feels like stepping back in time but represents a thriving, contemporary town within easy reach of centuries of Mayan history.
The largest Mayan city in Mexico, Calakmul is one of the most impressive settings in which to appreciate the scale of Mayan architecture. Climb to the top of the imposing Great Pyramid for a sweeping, panoramic view of the ruins and surrounding jungle. If you would like an even greater aerial view, why not book a helicopter tour?
The town of Tulum is an ancient Mayan port but is today known for its pristine beaches and azure waters. The archaeological zone is one of the few Mayan sites to be located on the coastline and climbing the statuesque structures provides panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. Combining history and beach life, Tulum is a great choice for anyone seeking to explore Mexican history without losing site of the shore.
Contoy Island Nature Reserve
For a sense of private island luxury, why not charter a private yacht to explore the stunning nature reserve off the shore of one of Mexico’s picturesque islands. The island is only accessible to those granted exclusive access passes, these will be issued prior to your departure, so you can explore the tiny, lush island at your leisure. Spot the native birds, reptiles and marine life in their private habitat.
A stroll along Quinta Avenida, should satisfy any retail urges, it’s home to a variety of boutiques and galleries as well as stores selling crafts and the pre-requisite souvenirs. Look out for Mexican silver - Mexican silversmiths are master artisans creating intricate pieces with exquisite designs, often inlayed with jade, turquoise, onyx, and other stones - their jewellery is some of the best and least expensive to be found in the world.
As well as fabulous marine life, such as Whale Sharks and Sea Turtles, Yucatán’s national parks and biosphere reserves are home to all manner of wildlife and countless species of birds. UNESCO-listed Sian Ka’an in Tulum is a prime example, where you can drift along lagoons and mangrove canals in search of sunbathing crocs and tropical birds. Other creatures in the reserve include Marine Turtles, Spider and Howler Monkeys, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, flamingos, toucans and the rare Jabiru Stork.
Adventure & Watersports
Yucatán offers many different types of watersports, including windsurfing, kitesurfing and sensational snorkelling and diving sites on the Great Mayan Reef, the planet’s second biggest coral reef system and home to a plethora of marine species. Also on the Riviera Maya are the eco-adventure parks of Xcaret and Xel-Há – fantastic for families. On the Baja California Peninsula, golf and marlin fishing are big draws, with regular tournaments on land and sea. Indeed, the whole area around Los Cabos is a haven for outdoor fun, whether you fancy surfing, diving, water-skiing or windsurfing.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic direct from London Gatwick to Cancun.
British Airways from London Heathrow to Mexico City with onward connecting flights to Los Cabos with Aeromexico
From London Gatwick to Cancun:10 hours. London Heathrow to Mexico City 11 hours, 40 minutes.
Onward connecting flight from Mexico City to Los Cabos: 2 hours 20 minutes.
Payment of goods and/or services
Visitors may use $ US dollars cash in Mexico to pay for goods/services in most hotels or resorts, but due to restrictions, we recommend using Mexican Pesos.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Electronic System for Travel Authorisation is compulsory.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit Insect and tick bite avoidance.
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCDO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: Foreign Travel Advice. Additional sources of information include: Public Health England, The National Travel Health And Network Centre, Foreign And Commonwealth Office and your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.
For information and advice about the risks associated with Zika virus, visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website. View the travel advice in full here: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico