Discover the magnificence of Maya where you will explore ancient lands, soaring pyramids and long-hidden murals during an 11-day expedition. Journey from past to present as you discover monuments in fabled civilisations that were once grand cities and age-old traditions that have survived through the centuries. Visit Guatemala City, Palenque and Izamal alongside National Geographic experts who will enrich your experience.

Trip highlights

Explore some of the most influential cities of the Maya world, including Chichén Itzá, Uxmal, Palenque, and Tikal.

Witness the ongoing National Geographic-sponsored excavations of Bonampak’s wall murals, depicting vivid scenes of Maya warfare.

Enjoy a private sunrise tour of Chichén Itzá before it opens to the public, and gain expert insight on the ruins from National Geographic Explorer Guillermo de Anda, who joins us at the site.

Itinerary - 11 Days

1 Guatemala City, Guatemala

Arrive in Guatemala City and transfer to our hotel.
Westin Camino Real

2-3 Guatemala City/ Flores/Tikal

Tour Guatemala City’s historic district, then fly to Flores and enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel. Encounter Tikal, one of the largest cities in the Classic Maya world. Decipher carvings and hieroglyphs with our expert.
Camino Real Tikal (B/L/D)

4 Yaxchilán, Mexico/Frontera Corozal

Travel to Bethel, Mexico and cruise the Usumacinta River to Yaxchilán. Discover the site’s jungle-shrouded ruins, then continue by boat to our hotel in Frontera Corozal.
Hotel Escudo Jaguar (B/L/D)

5-6 Bonampak/Palenque

Journey to the remote ruins of Bonampak, home to stunning frescoes that were unearthed in the 1940s and featured in National Geographic magazine in February 1995. The next day, venture into the ancient city of Palenque, where archaeologists have found rare Maya texts. After a free afternoon, return to the ruins for a specially arranged after hours visit.
Villa Mercedes Palenque (B/L/D)

7-8 Palenque/La Venta/Mérida/Uxmal

Visit the Palenque archaeological museum, and explore La Venta, known for colossal stone sculptures of Olmec heads. Then, fly to Mérida. Spend the following day at Uxmal, and examine the ornate carvings on the Pyramid of the Magician. Afterwards, cool off with a refreshing dip in a nearby cenote.
Hacienda Temozon Sur (B/L/D)

9-10 Izamal/Chichén Itzá

In the colonial town of Izamal, explore the impressive Franciscan monastery and Kinich Kakmó pyramid. Rise early to visit Chichén Itzá before it opens to the public, and hear from National Geographic Emerging Explorer Guillermo de Anda about the ruins.
The Lodge at Chichén Itzá (B/L/D)

11 Ek Balam/Cancún

Visit the ancient ruins of Ek Balam, then continue to the Cancún airport and catch your flight home. (B/L)

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