Mexico & Cuba (Mexico City – Uxmal – Cancún – Havana – Varadero)
Mexico is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the
east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost 2,000,000 square kilometers, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area. With an estimated population of over 129 million people, Mexico is the tenth most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico City is the capital & its most populous city. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates back to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of six cradles of civilization, and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec, Maya, and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. The most notable attractions are the Mesoamerican ruins, cultural festivals, colonial cities, nature reserves and the beach resorts. The nation's wide range of climates, from temperate to tropical, and unique culture – a fusion of the European and the Mesoamerican, make Mexico an attractive destination. The peak tourism seasons in the country are during December and the mid-Summer.
Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, north west of Haiti & Jamaica and north of the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometers. The territory that is now Cuba was inhabited by the Ciboney Taíno people from the 4th millennium BC until 15th century. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America. It is a multiethnic country whose people, culture and customs derive from diverse origins. Tourism in Cuba is an industry that generates over 4.7 million arrivals as of 2017, and is one of the main sources of revenue for the island. With its favorable climate, beaches, colonial architecture and distinct cultural history, Cuba has long been an attractive destination for tourists. "Cuba treasures 253 protected areas, 257 national monuments, 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 7 Natural Biosphere Reserves.
Day 1: Arrival in Mexico City
After arrival, you will be welcomed at the airport by your local guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner in a separate area.
Day 2: Excursion in Mexico City
After breakfast, we will start the day with a short visit to the Basilica de Guadalupe, its Old & New Basilica & the image of the Virgin. Afterwards, we will continue towards Teotihuacan - the site of the massive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. This was once the country's biggest ancient city and capital of the Aztec people, who ruled over the largest empire in the pre-Hispanic era. Then we will also see the Temple of Quezalcoatl and the Valley of the dead that connects most buildings and plazas. You will have a Lunch buffet at a local restaurant. We will return to Mexico City to visit the historical center of Mexico City (UNESCO World Cultural Heritage) including visits to the Cathedral, National Palace, Palace of the Fine Arts from outside, the Zocalo & viewing the outside of Templo Mayor. You will return to your hotel for a short rest, and then there will be Dinner transfer to “Guadalajara de Noche” for a Mexican evening with live music.
Day 3: Journey towards Uxmal
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Mérida. In Mérida, you will be greeted by your local guide and transferred for lunch to the Museo Gastronómico de Yucatán. After lunch, you will have a Horse carriage transfer to the city center for a walking tour of Mérida, with its colorful, main palace Zocalo, the Cathedral, the market and the many shady plazas. Afterwards, there will be a 1 hour drive towards Uxmal to your overnight hotel and dinner.
Day 4: Excursion in Uxmal & Kabah
After breakfast, your day starts with an extended visit to the marvelous places in Uxmal such as the Nunnery, the Pyramid of the Magician and the Governor´s palace among others. Afterward, we will continue towards the ancient site of Kabah with its wonderful Palace of the Masks, decorated with hundreds of stone masks of the Rain God Chac. After that, you will visit the Hacienda Ochil, then the ancient henequén hacienda for a traditional lunch. You can also visit the small Museum to see the machinery that was used in those days, and see local artisans. Afterwards you will return to Uxmal for a visit to the Chocolate Museum to learn about the area´s history with the chocolate and participate in a Mayan ceremony. Rest of the afternoon you are free to enjoy the marvelous garden and pool area of the hotel and dinner at your hotel.
Day 5: Journey towards Cancún
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Chichen Itzá (approx. 2-3 hours). You will visit of one of the most emblematic sites of Mexico, including the Kukulkan pyramid, the Observatory and the Ballgame court. After the visit you will continue for 30 minutes towards Hacienda Selva Maya where you can enjoy a buffet lunch and take the opportunity to swim in a clear Cenote, which is a sinkhole formation formed by centuries of rainfall. Afterwards, you will continue the journey towards Cancún for approximately 2 hours to your all-inclusive beach hotel.
Days 6, 7 & 8: At Leisure in Cancún
For 3 days, time is at leisure to rest, enjoy and explore Cancún on your own.
Day 9: Journey towards Havana
Today you will have an early transfer to the airport in Cancún for your flight to Havana. In the Havana airport, you will meet a local representative and transferred to your hotel. If you were interested in a walking tour in the city later on this day, you can ask your representative for guidance. In the evening, enjoy an intimate performance of the dance artists "Havana Queens" in the Paladar "Casa Miglis". The private restaurant is one of the "Top Ten Paladares" in Havana.
Day 10: Excursion in Havana
After breakfast, you will have a panoramic tour in an American vintage car around the "modern" part of Havana. Along the famous "Malecón", drive on through Vedado up to the revolution square, the impressing cemetery "Colón" and continue until the exclusive residential area Miramar with its old mansions on the "Quinta Avenida", where nowadays most of the embassies are located. On the way visit a cigar factory and stop at the "Muraleando" project. You will have lunch in a private restaurant. In the evening you will have dinner at the Paladar "El Cocinero". Later you will enter the famous "Fabrica de Arte Cubano".
Day 11: Excursion in West Cuba
After breakfast, early in the morning you will go into the heart of the green western part of Cuba, where time seems to stand still. Enjoy the simple life style in the countryside of the beautiful valley of Viñales with its dramatic limestone rocks. Stop at a tobacco farmer's house (Casa de Veguero) and visit a typical tobacco drying house, known as "Secadero". Afterwards, a short visit to the prehistoric wall painting (Mural de la Prehistoria) painted by the Mexican artist Leovigildo González Morillo. Then you will have lunch at "Alberto Vitamina's place", where the traditional Cuban dish "grilled pork with rice and beans" is cooked with love (as an alternative it is possible to get chicken instead of pork, must be ordered at least one day in advance through the guide). In the late afternoon you will return to Havana. The rest of the evening is at leisure to rest or explore Havana on you own.
Day 12: Journey towards Varadero
After breakfast, you will visit the "Finca Vigia" (now a museum) in San Francisco de Paula where Hemingway used to live. Stop in Cojimar where Hemingway wrote the novel "The Old Man and the Sea". Later you will visit a recycling project in the very same village. Finally you will arrive in Varadero in the late afternoon and transferred to your all-inclusive hotel.
Day 13: Excursion in Matanzas
After breakfast, you will be taken to the nearby city of Matanzas. The center of this port city is located between rivers Yumurí and San Juan, and precisely because of that, it is called the "City of Bridges". Then we will have a stop at the Pharmacy Museum, which was founded in 1882 by Ernesto Triolet who was a pharmacist from Haiti.
Day 14: Journey back to Mexico City via Havana
After breakfast, you will have a 9 am Private transfer from the hotel in Varadero to the international airport in Havana for the flight back to Mexico. You will meet a local assistant at the Terminal of the Mexico City airport and walk to your hotel in Terminal 2. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 15: Leaving Mexico
After breakfast, you will walk to your airline counter for the flight back home.
If you liked this tour, you can also click here to explore more of the Latin American Culture.
Tour Services Include:
• Daily Breakfast
• Lunch & Dinner Meals as indicated in the Daily Program
• Private transportation with Air Conditioned vehicles
• English speaking Guide & Driver
• International & Domestic Flights
• Airport taxes
• Beverages (except coffee, tea & juice for breakfasts)
• Personal Expenses
• Anything not mentioned in the program