What would you think of a mysterious walk through the jungle of Palenque (Mexico) with a local medicine man knowledgeable in herbs and plants or meeting a traditional Mayan leader of Santa Elena in Uxmal?
The Mexican niche touroperator ‘Native Trails’ has designed a fascinating six-day programme for the readers of luxurytravelbutler.com. A short overview of the Mayan magic experiences and the glorious haciendas…
Day 1: Villahermosa – Palenque
Overnight stay: Boutique Hotel Quinta ChaNabNal (five-star) After landing, you can proceed to the baggage claim area of the airport. Take your luggage and leave the security area. The driver will be waiting for you.
Drive Villahermosa - Palenque (145 km / 84 Min.)
Day 2: Palenque – Palenque
Overnight stay: Boutique Hotel Quinta ChaNabNal (five-star)
From the village of Palenque, you will reach the most beautiful ruined site in all of Mexico. Founded around 300 BC, Palenque flourished in the 7th and 8th century AD. All buildings that are still visible date from this period, e.g., the "Temple of Inscriptions" with more than 620 hieroglyphs that tell King Pacal’s history, the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Sun, and the North Temple with its stucco remains and military scenes.
The Templo Olvidado was built by the Mayan king K’inich Janaab Pakal in 647 AD; its name "lost temple" results from its hidden situation in the subtropical jungle.
Your guide leads you over narrow paths through the rain forest and explains the mystic flora of the Maya: the Christmas candle or devil’s backbone is poisonous, but also has medical uses.
Or the rind and fruits of the "nance tree" (Byrsonima crassifolia), whose flowers are even shown on king Pacal’s sarcophagus.
Day 3: Palenque – Campeche
Overnight stay: Hacienda Uayamon (five-star)
The ruins of Edzná are located in the northwest of the state of Campeche, about 60 km from the capital Campeche. The early settlement began to spread around 400 BC and became a center of power, which ruled large parts of Yucatán. The most beautiful building of Edzná is certainly the building "Edificio de los Cinco Pisos", one of the most interesting buildings in the entire Maya culture.
You will drive from Edzná to Campeche (60 km / 60 Min.) The city of Campeche is surrounded by a wall that was necessary to defend the rich city against pirates.
On a tour, you will visit the narrow streets of the major port city with its restored colonial buildings, the Zócalo and the Cathedral of La Concepción.
You will reayll go back to the era of the Spanish con-quistadores… And for dinner, you will enjoy exquisit dishes at the beautiful Hacienda Uayamon…a dinner with candle-lights…
Day 4: Campeche – Mérida
Overnight: Hacienda Temozon (five-star)
Immerse in the history of the late Classic Maya period. The name Uxmal means "built three times". The site impresses the visitors with decorated façades, vast terraces, squares, columns, and archways. Throughout the visit you will be joined by a Mayan leader who lives close by in the Mayan town of Santa Elena. The insight knowledge of the ancestors’ culture is unique and fascinating.
On day 4, you will drive from Uxmal to Sotuta de Péon and step back into the times of the mighty 19th-century Henequén barons.
While you are visiting the plantations, the production plant, and the sumptuous main building from colonial times, you will learn interesting details about the cultivation of the green henequén agave and its processing to fibers. They are used to produce tear-resistant ropes, carpets and hammocks to this very day. The day ends with a drive to Mérida, where a splendid dinner will await you…
Day 5: Mérida – Mérida
Overnight: Hacienda Temozon (five-star)
The day starts with a drive from Mérida to Izamal. The "city of hills" is one of the oldest towns in Yucatán. The former religious center of the penin-sular Maya population features the pyramid temple of Kinich Kakmó, the god of the Sun.
The monastic church San Antonio de Padua in the town center has one of the largest church fore-courts in all of Mexico. The trip continues to Chichén Itzá, about 70 km away. A visit to Chichén Itzá is super experience. To date, only about 30 of the many buildings buried and overgrown by the jungle have been uncovered and restored. "El Castillo", the most impressive building (30 m high), rises far beyond the site. "El Caracol" reminds us of a snail shell. The observatory was used by the Maya, among other things, for observing Venus and its orbit.
The onside archeologist from Chichén Itzá will join you during the visit of Palenque and will show you areas you never expected…
Day 6: Mérida – Mérida
Join ‘Native Trails’ for a trip to the colonial capital of Yucatan - Mérida. Founded in 1542, Mérida is the economic and cultural capital of Yucatán up to the present day. The town impresses the visitor with colonial charm, narrow streets, and romantic horse-drawn carriages.
The influence of Spain and France can be noticed all over the city. The Champs-Elysees, for example, became a model for the Paseo de Montejo. On your tour, you will see the cathedral, the Palacio Municipal, and the Casa de Montejo, the house where the founder of the city was born.