With ancient Mayan relics, conquistador towns, and high-rise, up-beat cities, Mexico is colonial, charismatic, and cosmopolitan, in its art, museums, and mariachi music; colour, culture, and fiestas; chic eateries and seafood on the sands.
There is more than a touch of myth and mystery to a tour of Mexico, where ancient temples and pyramids are hidden in jungle greenery, Mayan and Zapotec cultures are maintained in traditional enclaves, and Spanish conquistador towns are sprinkled across the landscape.
In the capital, Mexico City, eras intertwine from its historic heart and Baroque Metropolitan Cathedral to an Aztec temple, floating gardens, a cornucopia of galleries, music, and museums, and a thoroughly modern, gregarious character.
Set against a backdrop of volcanic peaks, Puebla is a big city with a beautiful colonial core, where a flourishing art scene complements dozens of churches, and azulejo tiles adorn 17th-century façades.
With pre-Columbian ruins and a penchant for fiestas, Oaxaca is a bewitching mix of old-world streets and Indian Markets, famed for its hand-woven textiles, and exuding an authentic Mexican air.
On its Pacific Ocean isthmus, Tehuantepec is the hub of Zapotec culture, where women still wear traditional dress, and nearby Mitla’s archaeological site is home to ornately mosaiced Zapotec tombs.
Filling a Central Highlands valley with red-roofed houses and wrought iron balconies, San Cristóbal de las Casas is dubbed ‘the most magical of the Pueblos Mágicos’, with Maya communities in the locale.
Palenque earned its UNESCO listing as “an incomparable achievement of Mayan art”, its tombs, temples and towered palace hidden for a thousand years in forests of mahogany and cedar.
The port city of Campeche holds a picture-perfect Spanish-colonial quarter, complete with cobbled streets, pastel-painted mansions, and 16th-century rampart walls around its atmospheric old town.
On the Yucatán peninsula, Cancún is ‘the glistening city’, its sparkling sands hemming the Caribbean coral reef; Mérida is known as ‘the white city’ for its limestone churches; and Izamal is the ‘golden city’, with an iconic monastery. The Maya site of Chichén Itzá is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, its sculptures and Kukulkan pyramid set above a subterranean river; Ek Balam and Edzná are archaeological treasure troves of well-preserved monuments; and Celestún’s Biosphere Reserve is a pocket of peace, where the river meets the sea.
On tours of this mesmerising part of the world, we also cross the border into Guatemala, where Panajachel is living Mayan culture; Antigua has mostly restored what Nature destroyed, and even the parts preserved as ruins are beautiful ruins; and Lake Petén Itza is the gateway to Tikal’s rainforest relics; and we dip into Honduras, to visit to the pyramids and plazas in UNESCO listed Copán.
With the Tropic of Cancer crossing the centre of this vast country, and a huge diversity of terrains above and below it, Mexico has not one climate, but several; varying from the arid west coast to cooler high-altitude cities, with moderate rain in the mountain ranges, and tropical downpours in some southern regions. As a general, nationwide overview, it is mainly wet and hot from May to October; mainly dry and cooler, averaging 28°C, from November to April.
Jules Verne’s journeys are in the most comfortable months of January, February and November.
Choose your favourites from Mexico’s myriad assets, its Mayan, Aztec and Zapotan sites juxtaposed with intriguing cities, Spanish colonial churches in their hundreds, a unique blend of cultures and cuisine, rainforest habitats of toucans and howler monkeys, river canyons, lake shores, and coasts on the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.
Whatever your interests are, on our tailored small-group tours, Mexico will more than match your expectations.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne takes you to iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. Our journeys include sailing through the gigantic gorge of Sumidero Canyon, and through a jungle from Puerto Barras to isolated Livingston, accessible only by boat; a traditional Shaman ceremony at Chichicastenango, a visit to a Mezcal distillery to taste the smoky tequila-like spirit, and lunch at a typical Maya home in Uxmal.
All our guided tours to Mexico are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Highlights of the Yucatan
Revealing the colour and culture of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, visiting colonial towns, Mayan temples, and natural landmarks, this tour is a treasure trove of history, tucked into ten days of sightseeing, and including famous sites and hidden gems