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Treasures of Central America: Heritage of the Aztec and Mayan Empires

18 days from £4,450pp

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Treasures of Central America: Heritage of the Aztec and Mayan Empires

18 days from £4,450pp
 

Private Journey

 

Transport

2 flights; 5 road journeys over 1 hour. 

Accommodation

This trip combines mid-range small, friendly hotels, colonial or modern in style with well-equipped rooms, private bathroom and heating/air-conditioning and superior accommodation with plenty of local colour and special features.

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 8,9,12.

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Included excursions

• Mexico City: Guided tour of Tula and Tepotzotlán.
• Mexico City: Full day guided city tour and excursion to Teotihuacan pyramids.
• Guided visits to Puebla, Cholula and Tlaxcala.
• Oaxaca: Guided excursion to the ruins of ancient city Monte Albán.
• Oaxaca: Guided tour of Mitla and El Tule.
• Mérida: Guided excursion to Chichén Itzá.
• Mérida: Guided tour of Uxmal and Kabah.
• Palenque: Guided tour of the archaeological site.
• Guided excursion to Bonampak and Yaxchilán.
• Tikal:  Guided tour of the ruins.
• Copán Ruinas: Guided tour of the Copán Mayan site.

Summary of nights

18 days, 17 nights: Mexico City 3; Puebla 1; Oaxaca 2; Mérida 3; Palenque 2;  Tikal 2; Copán Ruinas 2;  Antigua 2.

Included in the journey price

• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.

Not included in the journey price

• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.

Optional excursions

There are a number of half-day, full-day or longer excursions or activities you may wish to consider in order to customise your holiday to cater for your interests. Please contact us to discuss these further or to add them to your itinerary before you depart. A selection of these:

• Visit the historic neighbourhood of Coyoacán, home to the Trotsky museum in Mexico City and the museum and former home of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, in Mexico City.
• Take a cruise in traditional wooden boats on the ancient canals of Xochimilco, in Mexico City.

Currency

The unit of currency in Mexico is the Mexican peso; in Guatemala the quetzal, in Honduras the lempira.

Daily spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35-45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more.

How to take it

Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns in Mexico, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. 

We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, if necessary, in Honduras and Guatemala.  Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income. 

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants.

Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page. 

Airport taxes

If you have purchased your flights through Journey Latin America, the international departure tax is usually included in the ticket.

Journey grade

Generally this fast-paced and excursion-packed holiday is suitable for most visitors, including families with older children. If you have a disability, please contact us.

Climate

In Mexico City and the mountains towns the climate is temperate all year round and, because of the altitude it rarely gets too hot. 

The wet/rainy season lasts through June to August, which usually means a couple of hours of rain in the afternoon. During the rainy season the mountains harbour a lush, green landscape, as opposed to the dry season's parched, brown landscape - and it often only rains in the late afternoons and evenings. During the rest of the year there is little or no rain.

Temperatures can drop to freezing in Mexico City and Oaxaca over the winter months.

In the Yucatán peninsula, Tikal and Copán, expect a sub tropical climate.  Mar-Apr are the hottest but also the driest months, while in Dec-Feb it can be chilly at the beginning and end of the day. Most rain falls between May-Oct when there are plenty of mosquitoes and other insects.

Clothing and special equipment

For day-to-day wear you should go prepared to encounter all seasons - a light fleece jacket and a waterproof/breathable outer shell makes a good combination. Trousers, skirt or shorts made from light, quick-drying synthetic materials work well. If you plan to eat in smart restaurants, although clothing is not formal (no need for jacket and tie), something quite smart would be appropriate. 

Strong, comfortable footwear is essential and you should bring insect repellant, sun block and sun glasses. You should take swimwear for the beach. 

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Mexico.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following; typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website. 

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins.  Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

APIS and ESTA - important flight information:

ESTA - if flying to, or via, the USA, you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online

This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.

Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.

APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.

18 days from £4,450pp

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About Private Journeys

Private Journeys are pre-planned holidays crafted by our experts, featuring routes and combinations that are proven to work well.


Journey with the UK's NO1 specialist in travel to latin america

Experience

  • The pioneers in travel to Latin America since 1980
  • The UK's no.1 specialist – nobody knows it better

Knowledge

  • All our staff are in-depth Latin America specialists
  • Get the inside track with expert advice based on first-hand experience

Passion

  • Our love of Latin America runs through all we do
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Protection

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Flexibility

  • The widest range of travel options to Central and South America
  • The journey you'll love, in a style to suit you

Expertise

  • Award-winning holidays, endorsed by our clients and the press
  • Exclusively dedicated to 
    Latin America – it's all we do


Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards - Best Tour Operator to Latin America 2016

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award 2013

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards - Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards - Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator 2016

Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2015

British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

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