Geographic Expeditions - vacations and travel

Mayan Kingdoms

Mexico, Central America

from $3,255* per person 9 Days Year-round
Luxury accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Geographic Expeditions 18 people max
  • San cristóbal de las casas, mexico
  • Active & Adventure trips
As Charles C. Mann points out in his game-changing 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in 1000 ce the Mayans of what is now southern Mexico and Guatemala were civilizationally right on a par with the Incas, with the Moors of Spain, with just about every human society (outside of China, it must be said).

Since most of us are New Worlders with Old World–centric attitudes about history, this fact often comes as a surprise. But after our well-guided wanderings in the fantastic ruins of southern Mexico and Guatemala, our consciousnesses will be suitably expanded (and, just as importantly, our souls will be enriched by an ongoing cavalcade of major-league jungle beauty).

Our route takes us roughly eastward, along the border region of Mexico’s southern Chiapas to the Petén jungle of Guatemala, with visits to a passel of World Heritage Site ruins along the way, culminating in marvelous Tikal, a place where history becomes thrillingly immediate (as it does in lovely, colonial, hip San Cristóbal de las Casas at trip’s beginning, where we’re reminded that, as Mann says, “Spain never fully subdued the Maya [and] the Zapatista rebellion that convulsed southern Mexico in the 1990s [now quiescent] was merely the most recent battle in an episodic colonial war that began in the sixteenth century”).

Locations visited/nearby

Mexico, Central America

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.


Day 1: fly to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas, visit Sumidero Canyon en route •

Day 2: San Cristóbal de Las Casas and surrounding Mayan villages •

Day 3: village of San Juan Chamula and the backstrap weaving village of Zinacantán, overnight in San Cristóbal •

Day 4: drive to Palenque, visit natural wonders of Agua Azul and Misol Ha en route •

Day 5: full day in Palenque •

Day 6: cross into Guatemala over Usumacinta River, visit Yaxchilan site along the way •

Day 7: morning relaxation, visit Yaxha Mayan site •

Day 8: full day in Tikal •

Day 9: fly to Guatemala City and onward.

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