Itinerary Details

Upon your arrival at the airport of Cancun, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative and, once the group is assembled, you will head to Holbox Island (1.50 hr transferring distance).

Note: One group airport transfer is included. Additional can be arranged at an extra cost.

Isla Holbox (Pronounced "Hole-Bosh" - "black hole" in Mayan) is a small protected island only 24 miles long, located in the northern point of the Yucatan Peninsula, where the turquoise waters of the sea join the nutrient-rich waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

On this island, there is only one small village, also called Holbox, with fewer than 1,500 inhabitants. Its sand streets are lined by quaint wooden houses painted in lively colors with palm-thatched roofs. The community, made up of just a few close-knit families, leads a peaceful life. The majority of the people live from the sea, fishing enormous sharks, swordfish, barracuda, or lobsters.

Holbox offers 20 miles of beautiful white-sand beaches dotted with a multitude of mother-of-pearl shells. The sea is tranquil and warm. Visitors may explore the area by bicycle or a golf cart, discovering solitary beaches from where they can enjoy the sunsets. All small hotels on the island are low-impact (some even have ecological facilities) and offer peace and comfort within a relaxing and cozy setting. The village's restaurants won’t disappoint, as the local cuisine is exquisite, using the freshest products you can imagine.

Upon arrival and after settling in your room, you will enjoy an afternoon welcome drink and you will be briefed on the agenda of the coming days.

Overnight Holbox Island: Casa iguana or similar.

After an early breakfast, you will depart at 8:00 am for an exploration of the national park by boat (duration 4-5 hours). Your day will include a visit to Pasion island, Bird island, and the Yalahau spring.

You will also kayak at the natural canals and observe some of the natural wonders of Mexico.

During lunchtime, you will taste the local Fish Ceviche (vegetarian alternative is available as well).

In the evening, at 6 pm, you will be transferred by golf carts to a remote area on the island to experience the bioluminescent glow of the sea. If you have ever watched the Oscar-Winning film “Life of Pi“, surely you remember the mesmerizing scene in which Pi is surrounded by a stunning underwater bioluminescent cosmos. This is a real, natural phenomenon, and you will be able to enjoy it in Mexico in all its glory, watching beaches and bays glow in neon blue shades in the darkness.

Overnight Holbox Island: Casa iguana or similar.

After breakfast, you will leave Holbox Island and head to Merida: the city of peace and cultural capital of the Americas.

Enroute you will visit the city of Izamal.
México has 35 towns that are considered magical. Yucatan province is home to two of them: Izamal and Valladolid. Called the City of Hills and located right in the middle of the Peninsula, Izamal may be the oldest city in Yucatán. The Spaniards that arrived in the 16th century changed the flair and history of its strong, pre-Columbian Mayan civilization. As such, Izamal offers an amalgamation of three cultures: the ancient Mayan, the colonial, and the modern one. With its combination of colors, history, art, music, and exquisite gastronomical delights, the town impresses every visitor.

The old town is a beautiful sample of colonial architecture, with almost all the buildings painted in hues of egg-yolk yellow. Cobblestone streets and colonial lampposts complete the clean, peaceful, and quaint scenery. Among the colonial-style buildings, the parks and the plazas, you will also admire the protruding Mayan pyramids protruding, while the vibrant buzz of the city will captivate you.

The most important site is the Franciscan convent that was built over one of the Maya pyramids. This convent is also famous for its founder, monk Fray Diego de Landa, who burned all the Indian scripts, and then, in remorse, tried to rewrite everything he could remember of the ways of the Maya. Pope John Paul’s visit to the city in 1993 is commemorated by a statue in the convent courtyard.

You will explore Izamal on a horse carriage before enjoying lunch at a traditional Mayan restaurant.

In the afternoon, you will head to Merida, stopping on the way for a swim in a cenote, if desired.

Mérida has a rich Maya civilization history and one of the largest historic districts of the continent, smaller only to Mexico City and Havana in Cuba. The city was built on the site of the ancient Maya city of T’hó, one of the oldest, continually-occupied cities in the Americas.

Merida is currently enjoying a minor renaissance period as more and more people – many of them expats – are restoring the old colonial buildings downtown. With over 1m inhabitants, the city is the cultural and financial capital of the Yucatán Peninsula and often hosts international events. About 60 percent of Mérida’s population is of Maya heritage. The city also has many residents of Spanish, French and British ethnicity, making it one of the most ethnically diverse large cities in Mexico.

Overnight in Merida: Merida Hotel Conquistador or similar.

After breakfast, you will head to the Uxmal Archeological site (a 40-min driver from Merida).

Uxmal is an ancient Maya city, declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1996. Its name comes from the word “Oxmal” which in the Maya language means “three times built” or “what is yet to come”.

The most impressive and tallest structure is the House of the Magician. According to an ancient legend, this pyramid was built by Itzamna in one night. It actually appears to have been built in five phases, and it was situated so that its western stairway faces the setting sun at summer solstice.

The Nunnery, another large building on the site, got its name by the Spaniards as it reminded them of a European nunnery. It was probably used as a school for training healers, astrologers, shamans, and priests. The Governor’s Palace is an excellent example of stone mosaic craftsmanship and contains many beautiful sculptures of the rain god Chaac, serpents and astrological symbols.

After Uxmal, you are in for a delightful exploration, as your next stop is the Museum of Chocolate. Following the three, major chocolate museums in Europe (in Brussels, Paris, and Prague), this museum was also created by Eddy Van Belle, a Belgian chocolate business owner who, from a very young age, decided to dedicate his life to chocolate. The Choco-Story Uxmal museum is special, since it is the only one located in a botanical garden, surrounded by several varieties of cacao trees.

The cacao tree requires delicate care. It needs plenty of water and shade, which means it is always surrounded by larger trees called “mother trees”. The most delicate variety is cacao criollo, greatly desired for its taste and texture. This variety makes up only 5% of the cacao cultivated worldwide and is grown mainly in Mexico.

At Choco-Story Uxmal you will travel back in time stepping in a Maya pueblo setting where you will learn about the daily life of the locals, their homes, cornfields, and gardens, and you will observe the process through which cacao is transformed into chocolate. From the Maya village you will move to the Spanish court and, from there, to a 19th-century setting: the moment chocolate was introduced to the world with a variety of textures, mixtures, and flavors.

At the end of your visit, you can also try an ancient-recipe beverage prepared by the local Mayans.

On our way back to Merida, you will stop at a small Mayan village for a cenote swim and lunch.

Overnight in Merida: Merida Hotel Conquistador or similar.

After breakfast, you will head to Chichen Itza city (a 30-min drive from Merida), where you will explore the city on a guided tour (2 hours).

Chichen Itza was the most important capital city of the Maya area in the Classic and early Post-Classic period. When Spaniards arrived, it was the most visited center of cult and pilgrimage on the Yucatan Peninsula. Chichen Itza and the Cenote of Sacrifices were, and still are, sacred centers for the Maya. This is a Cultural Heritage Zone of Mexico, and due to its importance, it was added in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988. Thanks to its beauty and singularity, it represents a cultural reference point for Mexicans and has turned into a symbol of national and indigenous identity. The most prominent building of the metropolis, Kukulcan Pyramid, known as El Castillo, has become an emblem of the Maya culture all over the world.

With thousands of tourists visiting the area every year, Chichen Itza is challenged in achieving sustainable development while, at the same time, safeguarding the region’s legacy. The area open to the public is 47 hectares long, but the protected zone of Chichen Itza is more than 15 square kilometers, and includes all the monumental buildings of the city. This delimitation is known as Protection Polygonal.

After Chichen Itza, you will visit Valladolid: the second important colonial town of the peninsula (a 30-mins drive from Chichen Itza).

After lunch, you will head to Tulum (a 50-mins drive), where you can enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace.

Overnight in Tulum: Playa Esperanza or similar.

You will start the day with an exploration of the Muyil river floating canals (approx. 4 hrs).

The Muyil river float will take you to one of the more spectacular locations in the Riviera Maya: the Sian Ka’an reserve. None of the surrounding structures is manmade except for the canal that the Mayans cut over 1000 years ago to connect the lagoons.

The water is crystal clear as it filters through the limestone, and flows towards the ocean. Along the banks, there are mangrove and savanna areas with local flora and fauna.

With a boat, operated by the local community, you will get across the first lagoon and then, through a narrow canal, you will reach the second one, from where the Muyil river float begins.

You will stop near some remains of the Mayan culture for photos and a swim. Protected by your life vests, you can allow yourself to relax in the current, enjoying a super tranquil experience. The surrounding area is a beautiful savanna with pockets of water and small fish, home to over 300 species of birds.

In the afternoon, you will embark on a sea-turtle and cenote-snorkeling adventure: the best combination that salt and fresh water has to offer. You will snorkel the second largest barrier in the world and you will swim with friendly turtles in an unforgettable experience.

You will end the day with a drive in the jungle to visit a majestic cenote: part of the largest underwater cave system in the world.

Overnight in Tulum: Playa Esperanza or similar.

Enjoy a free day in Tulum, exploring the city at your own pace or relaxing on the beach.

Overnight in Tulum: Playa Esperanza or similar.

After breakfast, and depending on your departure details, you will be picked from the hotel and you will be transferred to Cancun International Airport for your flight back home.

Note: Only one group airport transfer is included. Additional can be arranged at an extra cost.