Its Worth the Human Sacrifice
Know your Mayans from your Aztecs:
- Baby Aztec boys were presented with bows, arrows and a miniture chest shield. Girsl got a spindle, washing stone and a pot.
- The Mayans had a ball game where members of the losing team were tied up and decapitated before having their heads rolled down the steps to the plaza floor below.
- Mayans dangled objects in front of their babies to make them permanently cross-eyed.
- When the Aztecs ran out of food they would eat their dead enemies.
(Was Mayas & Aztecs)
Day 1-3 - Mexico City
Head to the massive (12 acre) main square for your street food fix. See if you can find the vendor selling tacos made from 15 different animal parts (ribs, stomach, tongue, brain, cheek, lips, eyeballs, throat etc.) You'll soon find out who the alpha male of your group is.
- Pre-departure meeting in the evening
- Visit the Teotihuacan ruins - the site of the massive ‘Piramides del Sol y de la Luna’(Pyramids of the Sun and Moon)
- Discover the site's remaining buildings with the help of a local guide
- Take a morning walking tour through Mexico City's historic heart
- Spend free time discovering the city's museums, galleries, plazas and public buildings
Day 4-6 - Puebla - Oaxaca - Monte Alban
Puebla's famous for mole poblano - a sauce made with over 20 ingredients like chilli, chocolate, nuts and cinnamon. Fill your bag with painted wooden animals, woven rugs, embroidered clothing and pottery at the markets in Oaxaca ('wha-haw-kah').
- Catch a morning bus bound for Puebla
- Enjoy a day at your leisure to explore the charming city
- Perhaps visit to explore some of Puebla's 70 churches or thousand or so colonial buildings
- Get lost among Oaxaca's renowned handicraft markets
Perhaps relax in a local cafe after a haggling frenzy
- Drive from Oaxaca to the ancient Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban
- Trawl over the remains of plazas, tombs, palaces and temples with help from a local site guide
- Board an overnight bus to San Cristobal de Las Casas
Day 7 - 8 - San Cristobal
If someone offers you a shot of mezcal, you had better be wearing your party pants. This stuff is like tequila's idiotic, hyperactive, slightly insane brother whose name you won't remember the next day. Goes down a treat with a plate of fried grasshoppers.
- Visit San Cristobal's beautiful churches
- Grab some bargains at the weekly market
- Continue the search for the best taco in Mexico
Day 9-10 - Palenque
Indiana Jones wannabes take note - apparently only 10% of these Mayan ruins have been uncovered. Here's your chance to climb a pyramid in the middle of the jungle with the creepy sounds of howler monkeys as your soundtrack.
- Stop by the blue waterfalls of Agua Azul and Misol Ha en route to Palenque
- Learn the history of the Palenque ruins and Mayan people while exploring with a local guide
Day 11 - 15 - Merida - Chichen Itza - Cancun
Cancun's divided into two parts. For the real Cancun, stay away from the hotel zone and head to the main city where the locals are friendlier, the drinks are stronger and the food is so spicy you'll regret boasting to your waiter: "Don't worry, I can handle it."
- Travel by bus to Merida
- Utilise your tour guide to make the most of free time exploring this 'White City'
- Set off for the Caribbean Coast
- Swing by one of Mexico's most famous Mayan sites, Chichen Itza
- Spend plenty of getting learning about and exploring the temples, pyramids and ruins
- Enjoy free time in Cancun to relax on the beach, drink in the bars, eat in the restaurants or explore the local surroundings
Day 16-18 - Tulum - Caye Caulker
The next few days will involve some hard decisions. Where is the best spot on the beach to put your deck chair? Do you feel like tacos or tamales for lunch? Swim or snorkel? It's a tough life.
- Take a bus along the Caribbean coast to Tulum
- Visit the pre-Columbian walled city ruins
- Gain spectacular views over the tropical shores below
- Discover the Temple of the Frescoes
- Explore the the ruins with the help of our local site guide
- Spend the night in Chetumal.
- Take a speedboat to the palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker
- Enjoy this idyllic island and the nearby reefs during free time
- Perhaps explore the coral reefs and their abundance of fish, or just relax on the beach
Day 19 - 20 - Flores - Tikal Ruins
Roadways, marketplaces, jails, temples and palaces - it's all here. Well, it was here about 1500 years ago. Nowadays it's a little different, with a lot more jungle.
- Head into Guatemala and visit the town of Flores
- Visit the ancient city of Tikal - deserted Mayan ruins in the heart of the Guatemala jungle
- Journey to the temples of the monumental ceremonial centre in the midst of Tikal National Park
- Pass through rich rainforest and dense jungle vegetation
- If you're feeling energetic, perhaps climb to the peak of Temple IV and take in the spectacular views
- Board an overnight bus bound for Antigua
Day 21 - 23 - Antigua
We suggest you stuff your mouth with tortillas so you won't be asked to pronounce anything.
- Spend two nights in Antigua, a World Heritage-listed town
- See the local highlights with a tour guide
- Journey to the summit of one of the nearby volcanoes and take in the vistas of the surrounding verdant hills
- Perhaps take a scenic horse ride, a bike ride or go white-water rafting on one of the highland rivers
- Opportunity to explore the city’s cobblestone streets at your leisure
- The trip ends today after breakfast
What to Know
An experienced regional tour guide and there will be the services of local guides at some sites. All transport, accommodation and sightseeing.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, meals, entrance fees, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
This tour passes through volcanic areas. In the instance a volcano becomes potentially dangerous and authorities declare nearby towns unsafe for travel, the itinerary will be re-routed. Where possible, Geckos will provide advance notice of such changes. At short notice, when this is not possible, your tour leader will provide up to date information on behalf of Geckos.
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Its Worth the Human Sacrifice
Lorraine - Australia, 20 Feb, 2012
Only one issue, I gave 4 post cards to Receptionist at Hotel in Cancun who assured me she would post them for me. That was 5 weeks ago and no one has received them. I have done this on numerous trips and had no problems before.
Its Worth the Human Sacrifice
Leearne - Lilyfield, NSW, 10 Dec, 2011
Our tour leader Ernesto was fantastic couldn't ask for better, and all the local leaders we had at the sites were great and very knowledgable. An absolutely fantastic trip i just wish it was longer.