DAY 1 - Puerto Vallarta
Welcome to Puerta Vallarta - and what a place to kick off our adventure! One of the most popular beach towns in Mexico, it's easy to see why this place is known as the 'Mexican Riviera'. Spa, pool, relax, repeat are all high on the agenda today. You’ll be thinking "this is the life" - and that's before we top it all off with a beachfront dinner, with the water and twinkling lights setting an unforgettable scene. We're best friends already, and it's only day one. What will tomorrow have in store?
DAY 2 - Puerto Vallarta
Today you’re free as a bird and that means exploring as much or as little of Puerto Vallarta as you like. Punta Mita is known for perfect beginner waves if surfing along a secluded bay is your thing; if not, then there are plenty of other activities on offer, including a ride on a pirate ship cruise compete with an acrobatic performance and fireworks. What else? Where to begin? Today you could find yourself speeding through the jungle on a zipline, or spending the day away at the quaint coastal town of Sayulita. And for those keen to kick it right in downtown Puerto Vallarta, head to some beachside watering holes for drinks, giant lobster feasting, swims and people watching. It's a hard life. And we're just getting started.
DAY 3 - Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara via Tequila
Bye bye beach hangs, but don't worry, this isn't your last taste of Mexican beach life - we'll see you soon, sea.
Looking for even more cultural immersion? There's nothing more Mexican than tequila, so why not head to a genuine distillery where you can learn how this fiery spirit is made and taste some for yourself. And if that's put you in the fiesta mood, you're in the right place. While you stroll around the streets you'll get a feel for the old and new world architecture that this place is known for - as well as some seriously electric nightlife.
It's time to learn about the city known as the 'Pearl of the West', Guadalajara, with its four main squares and glorious cathedral. Then you could go and find a spot to watch one of the city's famous live Mariachi bands do its thing.
DAY 4 - Guadalajara to Guanajuato
Today Guadalajara reveals itself in a different way when you cruise up to see the city from another vantage point at, Ceboruco – a now inactive volcano. It last erupted from 1870-1875 and is a fabulous place to gain a panoramic perspective.
Next up you'll hit the old colonial city of Guanajuato where you will learn about the history of the famous silver mining town and how the economy has shaped much of its culture. Heavy on the Spanish influence, this UNESCO World Heritage city will transport you to another time and get lost for hours in its quaint cobblestone alleyways. Uncover the tales of the town, it's famous 'Mummies' and its most famous lovers at the 'Alley of Kisses'. Next up, the Hidalgo Market, designed by Gustave Eiffel himself.
DAY 5 - Guanajuato to Mexico City
Thanks to the bright facades of Guanajuato, your eyes should be wide open by now. Just in time too, because there is so much to see Mexico City.
Mexico City is the largest city in the country and impressively, the oldest capital in Central America. Known for its Aztec temple, its surprising altitude at 2200m, and mountainous landscape, this place is busy, bustling and oh-so-wonderful.
DAY 6 - Mexico City
The theme 'getting out there' will take on a whole new meaning today. Floating gardens, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are the focus for this leg of your journey in this bustling city. Get stuck into the local flavours by tasting some Mexican delicacies at a local market. Then, tonight, re-fuel with city eats, like enchiladas, tamales and tacos. Even head out and get a little loco, if the mood takes you...
DAY 7 - Mexico City
It’s a busy one today, travellers. Archaeological city Teotihuacan, pyramids and Aztec temples are the focus for this leg of your journey. As you go, local guides will kindly impart their extensive knowledge on many interesting topics so you're in the know on anything and everything. We'll even take to the water for a traditional Trajinera boat, where you can grab a drink, do some shopping and watch the world float on past. And if you happen to be here at the right time, you might even get to experience Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling!
DAY 8 - Mexico City to Oaxaca
Meeting your TM and fellow travellers this morning, you'll be setting off for Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-ha-ka)! Have you got it? Great - let's hit the road.
Welcome to Oaxaca, with its bohemian bars, charming colonial buildings and ridiculously pretty churches. Commonly known as the gastronomical capital of Mexico, the food here is guaranteed to guac your world. The perfect drink to wash it all down? Mezcal, of course.
DAY 9 - Oaxaca
Today, you're going to soak up some serious Oaxaca vibes with a guided city tour where you'll get to check out the local markets. The colourful city streets are going to be the perfect place for some Insta shoots, and if you can be dragged away from the views for long enough, there's plenty of delicacies to try during your free night.
DAY 10 - Oaxaca to Merida
Adios Oaxaca, Merida is calling our names! And we won't waste any time, hopping on an included flight to whizz us there without delay.
As gentle as it is beautiful, Merida will take you in its arms and show you the quieter side of Mexico. A walking tour will take you down twisting cobbled streets through grand plazas, showing off this small town’s quaint vibes and chilled atmosphere. When we reach the old town you'll have some free time to explore the bustling markets, where you'll find countless treasures to take home. Later, ask your Trip Manager for the best place to head to feast on Yucatan specialities. After you've stuffed yourself with the local delicacies, it's time for your blissful slumber. Tomorrow we're headed to Cancun.
DAY 11 - Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza
Pack up your swag of Mexican trinkets and say goodbye to the calm oasis of Merida and hello yet another incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed site: Chichen Itza.
These ancient ruins are the most famous and best preserved of their kind in Mayan history. With our Local Guide leading the charge, Chichen Itza will provoke questions about the Mayan calendar, the positioning of the sun, the connections of the ruins around the country, and the worlds that came before us - a truly special spot on the trip and a history buff's delight. With more knowledge than you'll know what to do with, it's time for a change of scene, and a dip in an Insta-worthy cenote. These underground lakes or waterholes the perfect way to beat the Mexican heat.
In stark contrast, next up is Mexico’s super resort – Cancun. With high energy vibes this stop is a no brainer when it comes to getting your fiesta on. One suggestion for tonight's dinner at the Mercado 28, a busy market serving true Mexican delights.
DAY 12 - Cancun
Just in case you don't know the drill by now, an ice cold cerveza should remind you that Cancun is a hub of fiery entertainment. But this place isn't just about the party vibes. Powdery sand beaches, endlessly swimmable waters and laid-back taco joints have everything you need, no matter your mood. Your Trip Manager knows this place like the back of their hand, so you're guaranteed to be in the know on all the best spots to head this evening.
DAY 13 - Cancun to Playa del Carmen
Get ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll down Paseo del Carmen shopping centre to spend some pesos?
Playa del Carmen
You'll fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. For the food addicts amongst you, a plethora of seaside bars and restaurants are here to blow your mind with their delicious cocktails and local recipes.
DAY 14 - Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker
Playa del Carmen
Mexico, you've stolen a slice of our hearts forever but with Belize & the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker on the horizon, we're not feeling too sad...
Hello heaven. Rub your eyes, blink and blink again - yes this pinch-yourself tropical paradise truly is real, This evening is all about enjoying the last dregs of sunshine, sampling fresh seafood and getting down to some reggae rhythms...
DAY 15 - Caye Caulker
You’ll need a big breakfast today because you're free to do whatever you want, which could mean a whole lot of exploring. Belize has a spectacular Barrier Reef that's just begging to be discovered, so grab a snorkel and get out there. Back on land, it's all about sandy streets flanked by palm trees and dotted with cafes and bars lined with colourful hammocks, painted tables and the most laid-back vibes we know. You'll be begging to stay longer. And your wish is our command.
DAY 16 - Caye Caulker
Another free day to soak up the vibes of this beautiful city, and spend some more time in the water. Snorkel, siesta, or sip something sweet as you watch the golden sunset over the shimmering waters. Bliss.
DAY 17 - Caye Caulker to Tikal National Park via Belize City
Water taxis will whizz us back to the mainland across the glorious underwater playground you've become so well acquainted with over the last few days, landing us back in the arms of Belize City.
It’s a super swift passing by of the beloved Belize City before we take to the road to journey across the border into yet another stunning country: Guatemala.
This leg of the trip will see you travel overland through Guatemala’s Peten forests. This afternoon before we drop anchor at our hotel, you could zoom around the treetops like a monkey but securely attached on a zipline of course! Later on you will doze off to the tranquil sounds of the nature all around you, but in a comfy bed with all the amenities you need.
DAY 18 - Tikal to Antigua via Flores
Rise early today to watch the sun stretch over the the top of the Mayan ruin Templo IV. Not a bad way to start the day, hey?
We'll then take a guided tour of the crumbling ruins before a trip to the island of Flores, where we'll have lunch and time for shopping before flying this afternoon to Guatemala's capital city and then on to beautiful Antigua.
This place isn't just about the dreamy scenery - there's plenty of history to soak up too. You'll notice colorful rooftop gardens dotted amongst the crumbling colonial buildings and you'll hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages that are still a favoured form of transport today. Start with a tour with our guide to learn about the local architecture, tiny squares, and fountains. You'll be glad to know there are two peaceful nights planned here in the old colonial town set right beneath two massive volcanoes.
DAY 19 - Antigua
Don your explorers cap today and head off for some ME time, the day is in your hands. Being able to choose your own adventure today could take you up Pacaya Volcano on a guided hike. If you’d rather produce those endorphins by making (and eating) your own chocolate, then that is also a rather delicious option where you'll learn about the process from start to end and take home the results of your efforts. Bike rides, coffee plantations, there's more to do that you can imagine. Guatemalan delights tonight? Yes please. We'll get local over chiles rellanos (or peppers stuffed to the brim with vegetables, meat and sauces). You're sure to hear a collective mmmm.
DAY 20 - Depart Antigua
Morning global roamers, we came, we saw, we sizzled. We'll fuel up on one last breakfast together, then it's time to wipe away the tears and do those final friend requests because today you're homeward bound with firm plans in full steam for a Contiki 2.0 reunion in Asia. See you next time!