Mexico And Guatemala Meso-American Civilizations

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From the start in cosmopolitan Mexico City, travel to Oaxaca city and tour the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán and the Mixtec ruins of Mitla. Then on to Palenque with Mayan archeological tours of the Mayan ruins of Palenque, Bonampak and Yaxchitlan. Journey across into Guatemala for explorations of the Mayan ruins of Tikal, Yaxha and Topoxte.

Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.

Day 1 : Mexico City

Upon arrival in Mexico City, you will be met and transferred to your Mexico City hotel.

Overnight at the Camino Real Polanco, breakfast included.
The Hotel Camino Real Polanco México is strategically positioned in the exclusive financial and business district of Polanco, near places of interest such as: Bosque de Chapultepec, the Museum of Anthropology and History and the Rufino Tamayo Museum, situated on Avenida Mariano Escobedo, just yards from the splendid Paseo de la Reforma and just 30 minutes from Benito Juárez International Airport. Camino Real Polanco is unique architectural concept, created by highly-regarded architect Ricardo Legorreta. This space is considered a Hotel-Museum for its beauty and art collection. Camino Real Polanco has a capacity of 712 rooms in different sections, each section known as a separate Misión (Mission). All rooms have a minibar, 3 dual-line telephones, TV with on-command service, wireless Internet service, laptop connections, electronically-operated safe deposit box, work desk, reclining armchair. The spacious bathrooms have a vanity mirror, bathroom scales, hairdryer and amenities set. Hotel facilities include 8 restaurants,coffee shop, lounge, 3 swimming pools, business center, 10 fitness rooms. Hotel services include 24-hour room service, concierge services, butler services.

Day 2 : Mexico City - Oaxaca

Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport for your flight to Oaxaca City. Airport reception and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at La Casona De Tita, daily breakfast included - 2 nights.
The Casona de Tita Hotel is located in the heart of Oaxaca´s historic center, in a lovingly restored 19th century mansion. The hotel offers six spacious and bright guest rooms and suites. Every room has Internet connectivity, flat screen cable TV, safety box, air-conditioning, private bathrooms with hair dryer, bathrobes, and a line of ecological bath and body products. Hotel facilities include restaurant and bar.

Oaxaca City Tour After settling in you will be met at your hotel by your private guide and set off for a tour of Oaxaca city. Visits include the Zócalo (town square), Catedral Santo Domingo and the Oaxaca Regional Museum where you can see treasures from the tombs of Monte Albán. Your guide will escort you through the city's lively markets where you can shop for handicrafts, woven goods, chocolates, and sample many Oaxacan snacks.

A traditional Oaxacan lunch will be served at one of the city's best restaurants.

Day 3 : Monte Albán, Teotitlan Tule Tree & Mitla

You will be met at your hotel by your private guide and set off to explore the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán. You will visit the Mixtec ruins of Mitla, with its five hilltop palace-like structures and the remains of tombs, plazas, and ancient dwellings. Continue to the Teotitlán Valley and the home of a family that specializes in spinning and weaving Oaxacan rugs, highly prized by collectors for their use of organic dyes. You will also visit Santa Maria’s 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress, the world’s thickest tree. Lunch is included.

Day 4 : Oaxaca - Palenque

Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport for your flight to Palenque. Airport reception and transfer to your Palenque hotel.

Overnight at Piedra De Agua, daily breakfast included - 3 nights.
The Piedra de Agua Boutique Hotel is located on the Carreterra en route to the Zona Arqueologica Palenque just outside the city limits of the city of Palenque. Rooms are equipped with 1 king bed or 2 double beds. Hotel facilities include restaurant, terrace with Jacuzzi, spa, Internet connection (in lobby).

Day 5 : Palenque

Palenque Archaeological Zone - Full-Day Tour
You will be met in the hotel lobby at 8:00 AM for a privately-guided trip to the Palenque Archaeological Zone (10 minute drive). Accompanied by your expert guide you will visit the sites of most interest including: The Palace, The Temple of the Inscriptions, The sunken ball court, and the Temple of the Cross Group (8-9 hour tour).

Day 6 : Palenque

Yaxchitlan Tour
Yaxchitlán is renowned as much for its incredible setting, as it is for its ornamented building facades, roof combs and impressive stone lintels that depict battles and ceremonial events. Yaxchitlán straddles a U-bend in the Usumacinta River, which is the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala. This ancient city’s unique position on the mighty Usumacinta made it one of the most important sites in the Mayan world as the center controlled trade throughout the region. The inscriptions here allow us to know more about the ruling Jaguar dynasty than is known about almost any other ruling clan. As you explore the ruins the calls of the large troops of howler monkeys remind you just how far from modern civilization you are and how powerfully alive the Lacandon forest remains.

Bonampak Tour
Continue with your guide for a private tour of Bonampak. Bonampak was nowhere near as important a settlement as Yaxchitlan. In fact, it was very much under the sphere of influence of its more powerful and well-populated neighbor. However, Bonampak is famous for its astonishing frescoes in side the modest looking Templo de las Pinturas (Bonampak means “painted walls”). From the consecration of heirs to the throne to vivid depictions of battles and bizarre rituals of torture and blood letting, these frescoes are unmatched throughout the Mayan world.

Day 7 : Palenque - Flores

You will be met at your hotel and transferred to Flores, Guatemala, passing through border formalities en route.

Overnight Ni'tun, daily breakfast and dinner included - 3 nights.
Ni'tun is located on the shores of Lake Petén Itzá in the northern Guatemalan Department of Petén. Accommodations include four guest houses built in rock, sand, wood and thatched with palm leaves. Most of Ni'tun's walls were built in the antique Colojché style which consists in putting together sticks and small rocks and plastering it up with a sand and water mix. Some of the walls were left without the plaster so the beautiful art of wood and sticks that lies beneath can be fully appreciated.

All rooms are decorated with handcrafted lamps, original paintings and beautiful indigenous bedspreads and carpets. All of the houses have private bathroom with spacious hot and cold water showers. All rooms have views to the forest or to the lake. The center of Ni’tun is the two-story open house with restaurant, kitchen and bathrooms in the lower level and bar and living room in the second level. The heart of Ni’tun is certainly in the kitchen where we love to cook and prepare daily dishes… most of the recipes are our own and our ingredients are fresh buys.

Day 8 : Tikal Day Trip

You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Tikal National Park for a privately guided tour.

Tikal is the grandest of all Mayan Ruins, and the stunning beauty of this tropical paradise will leave you breathless. Along with your private guide you will tour the ruins. Lunch at a local restaurant is included.

Perhaps the most visually stunning and impressive of all Maya sites, Tikal’s five monolithic temples pierce the jungle canopy (Temple IV reaching a height of almost 230 feet) and ancient plazas, stelae and ball courts tell of a rich and powerful history when Tikal’s population reached almost 100,000. By the beginning of the Classic Period (AD 250) Tikal was competing for regional domination with Uaxactun and Calakmul, and later Tikal was briefly conquered and subjugated by a powerful alliance of Caracol and Calakmul between AD 562 until AD 682. From AD 682 onwards Tikal flourished again under Lord Ah Cacau and continued to dominate the region into the 9th Century. Today the site is justifiably recognized as one of the archeological wonders of the Americas. Its unspoiled jungle setting within the Tikal National Park makes it a paradise for birders, nature lovers and amateur archaeologists.

While here, climb to the top of the "Temple of the Jaguar" rising above the jungle to overlook the many temples and main plaza to imagine yourself in the hey-day of this thriving ancient city. Your guide will give you an excellent overview of the discoveries made here, an insight into the Mayan way of life, and the historical significance of the ruin. You will also encounter many species of birds and the rich flora of tropical hardwoods like mahogany and teak, along with countless ornamentals and edibles flourishing here.

You will be driven back to your hotel by your driver when ready.

Day 9 : Yaxha & Topoxte

You will be picked up at your hotel and transfer to Yaxha National Park where you set off by boat over to the small island site at Topoxte for a tour of this interesting site which it is believed was the last inhabited site of the Maya in what is now Guatemala. The boat then returns to the main site at Yaxha where they can enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited, atmospheric site. You can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this area which is rich with wildlife. Lunch is provided.

Day 10 : Departure

Hotel pickup and transfer to the Flores Airport for your flight to Guatemala City (or Belize). Alternately, you can transfer overland to a jungle ecolodge in the Belize highlands.

"Top-notch!"

We had a wonderful trip. The travel agent was helpful and accessible and easy to deal with. Our guides were very knowledgable.

 

- Robert P, Mar 2013

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