HOME





OFFERS
TRAVEL BLOG
ABOUT US
ENQUIRE
BROCHURE
CONTACT US
PRIVACY & COOKIES

Yucatan Peninsula Holidays

The spectacular Yucatan Peninsula is the original home of both the Olmec and the Mayan people of Mexico, so is littered with ancient ruins. It was also the place where the Spanish conquistadors first landed, so has a great heritage of wonderful colonial cities, such as Merida - the capital of Yucatan state.
 
Chichen Itza to the east of Merida, showcases the ruins of one of the largest Mayan cities ever built. Dating originally from about AD 450 it is one of the most popular archaeological sites in Mexico. The turquoise beaches of Cancun and the Riviera Maya are also world renowmed.
 
For advice on tailor-made Yucatan Peninsula holidays, ring our friendly team on 01582 766122. Or email us via our online form so we can start planning one of the most unforgettable holidays to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico .
 
ALL OUR YUCATAN PENINSULA HOLIDAYS ARE FINANCIALLY PROTECTED wherever in the world you live.
Merida is a relaxed cultural and architectural gem, with one of the largest historic centres in Mexico. Among innumerable museums and galleries, it houses the new Gran Museo del Mundo Maya. This is a Mayan themed exhibition of 500 artefacts in a stunning contemporary building symbolically designed to represent the sacred Ceiba tree. In contrast, The Catedral de San Ildefonso was built between 1561 and 1598 and is an austere, massive but intriguing edifice which, typically by the Spanish at the time, was built on the site of the old Mayan temple.
 
The Casa de Montejo is another colonial structure and the oldest building in the city. It was built in the 1540’s by and named after the Spanish conqueror of Yucatan. It is famous for its fantastically sculptured facade and collection of books, civil and cultural documents and magnificent artisan work, all products of the Great Masters of Folk Art.
 
This is a beautiful, modern city but one that is very proud of its heritage. Alongside the many restaurants and shops there is music, dance and countless festivals.  Every week the city puts on a free show of folk dancing, mariachi, marimba and trova music - and comedy. Not to be missed.
 
Chichen Itza is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites you can visit on Yucatan Peninsul holidays, especially the towering stepped pyramid of El Castillo – The Temple of Kukulkan. A World Heritage Site, this is one of the new Seven Wonders of the world. The city displays a mix of architectural and structural styles, which is testimony to the diverse and cosmopolitan nature of its inhabitants.
 
As well as being a deeply significant religious centre, Chichen Itza was a vast, sophisticated urban and commercial hub, with structures based on the astonishing Mayan astrological accuracy. On the spring and autumn equinoxes the setting sun and the pyramid’s steps create a snake-like shadow which descends El Castillo to join with a stone snake sculpture at the bottom. Other extraordinary achievements are the Great Ball Court, at 168 by 70 metres the largest ever discovered, the Skull Wall, the Jaguar Temple and House of Eagles.
 
There is much evidence of the Mayan human sacrifice. Opposite EL Castillo, the Temple of the Warriors, also known as the Temple of a Thousand Columns, is topped by a stone used to offer fresh human hearts to the gods. The Sacred Cenote, the 60 metre diameter natural well is 22 metres deep and contains the sacrificed remains of both young women and warriors. The losers of the ball games were often beheaded, which no doubt worked well as an incentive to win!.
 
For those with a real interest in Mesoamerican history you can trace the powerful architectural and cultural influence of the Toltecs, who invaded from the south around AD 1,000 leading to a merger of the two peoples and the joint creation of much of these magnificent remains.
 
Uxmal is another extensive Mayan city of outstanding historical and architectural interest. With Chichen Itza it is the most important Mayan site in Mexico. Uxmal was an ally of Chichen Itza, but with elegant architecture and style more reminiscent of Palenque. The extensive renovation and the excellent condition of the site provide an ideal opportunity to understand how these ancient centres actually functioned.
 
In true Mayan style the entire city is aligned with reference to the positions of the planets at the time. One of the major structures, the Pyramid of the Magicians is built so that the west stairway lines up exactly with the setting sun at the summer solstice. It is stepped and unusually has an oval plan. Most of the modern names were given by the Spanish, such as the Nunnery Quadrangle, the best of several, which is an impressively long building with elaborately carved facades. Similarly, the House of the Birds, of the Turtles and of the Doves.
 
There are many other temples on pyramids and various fascinating monuments. Chief among them, the Governor’s House, is massive, with the longest known facade of the period and stands on a huge platform. This is also a very dry area and Chac the rain god was a Very Important Person. As a result, his image is all over this beautifully preserved and extraordinary place.
 
The state of Campeche borders Yucatan to the south. The capital town of the same name was an important sea port and harbour town on the route from Spain. It was heavily fortified around 1700 for protection against various threats from the Caribbean, including pirates. The town is now a superbly restored colonial jewel and the walled city centre is crowded with narrow cobbled streets, painted buildings, pristine colonial mansions, ramparts and fortifications. Many of the original wall bastions still exist in fine condition and this is one of the best examples of colonial military architecture. Outside the centre you will find a genuine and hospitable Mexican community, with a bustling traditional market and the old fishing docks.
 
Two perfectly preserved forts stand on the outskirts, one of which houses the Museo de la Arquitectura Maya, an architectural museum with many impressive world class exhibits. This is one of the most magical locations in Mexico and with relatively low tourist numbers it is well worth including in holidays to Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
Escorted Tour: San Cristobal + Palenque to Yucatan
FYC12M
12 NIGHTS
FROM £1,795
International flights quoted separately
This small group tour starts with the highlights of Mexico City, before flying to Tuxla for an overland tour across the Yucatan Peninsula, travelling from San Cristobal in the highlands to the Caribbean beaches of the Riviera Maya. Visit colonial cities, Indian villages and spectacular Mayan ruins, including Palenque & Chichen Itza. 2 departures a month, with dual language Spanish or Italian/English guide.
Palenque Mexico Group Tours Yucatan Chichen Itza Merida
• 
Mexico City
• 
Teotihuacan Pyramids
• 
San Cristobal
• 
Indian Villages
• 
Palenque Ruins
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal
• 
Merida
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya
• 
Mexico City
• 
Teotihuacan Pyramids
• 
San Cristobal
• 
Indian Villages
• 
Palenque Ruins
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal
• 
Merida
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya
Yucatan: Mayan Ruins & Colonial Cities (self-drive)
FCB12C
12 NIGHTS
FROM £1,998
International flights + car hire quoted separately
If you are sufficiently confident in Spanish to self-drive in Mexico, this fascinating holiday explores the key archaelogical sites of the Yucatan Peninsula - including Uxmal & Chichen Itza - and charming colonial cities such as Campeche & Merida. Complete your holiday relaxing on the beaches, swimming, snorkelling or diving in the warm turquoise waters of the Riviera Maya.
Self Drive Holiday Yucatan Peninsula Mexico Chichen Itza Photo
• 
Cancun
• 
Tulum
• 
Kohunlich
• 
Palenque
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal
• 
Merida
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
• 
Snorkelling & Diving
• 
Cancun
• 
Tulum
• 
Kohunlich
• 
Palenque
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal
• 
Merida
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
• 
Snorkelling & Diving
Privately Guided: Highlights of the Yucatan
FPF12C
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
International flights quoted separately
This privately guided tour of the Yucatan Peninsula allows you to combine swimming with whale sharks at Holbox Island, with exploring several significant Mayan archaelogical sites, before relaxing independently on the beautiful Riviera Maya, with its crystal clear turquoise waters and magnificent coral reefs.  English speaking guide, all transfers & excursions included.
Tour of Yucatan Peninsula Mexico Guide Holbox Whale Sharks Photo
• 
Cancun
• 
Holbox Ferry
• 
Whale Sharks
• 
Izamal
• 
Merida
• 
Celestun Biosphere Reserve
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal Mayan Ruins
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
• 
Cancun
• 
Holbox Ferry
• 
Whale Sharks
• 
Izamal
• 
Merida
• 
Celestun Biosphere Reserve
• 
Campeche
• 
Uxmal Mayan Ruins
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
San Cristobal + Palenque to Yucatan, with Guide
FPC12C
10 NIGHTS
FROM £2,395
International flights quoted separately
This private tour explores the archaelogical treasures of Mexico City and the Yucatan Peninsula, travelling from San Christobal via Palenque and Campeche to the Riviera Maya. Visit Mayan villages and several key archaeological sites, including Chichen Itza, before relaxing on the turquoise beaches of the Riviera Maya. English speaking guide, all transfers & excursions included.
Private tours to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula including San Cristobal in Chiapas, Campeche and Riviera Maya
• 
Texla
• 
Sumidero Canyon
• 
San Cristobal
• 
Mayan Villages
• 
Palenque Temple Ruins
• 
Campeche
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Tulum
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
• 
Xplore Adventure Park
• 
Texla
• 
Sumidero Canyon
• 
San Cristobal
• 
Mayan Villages
• 
Palenque Temple Ruins
• 
Campeche
• 
Chichen Itza
• 
Tulum
• 
Riviera Maya beaches
• 
Xplore Adventure Park
Contact us
Order a brochure
Feedback