Mexico’s Ancient Civilizations9 Day Tour from USD $1238#1 In Value

Dear Traveler, Welcome to a great vacation at an affordable price. Your Mexico’s Ancient Civilizations tour is fully guided and includes most meals, all hotels, and all activities. Happy Travels! Caravan
Olmec Head
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Caret DownCaret Up Red2024 Daily Tour Itinerary

2024 Daily Tour Itinerary

Day 1 • Mexico City

Welcome to the glory of old Mexico. Revel in the splendor of the ancient Olmec, Nahua, Aztec, and Maya civilizations. Visit the colonial cities of Puebla, Veracruz, and Merida. Fly to Mexico City International Airport (MEX). Transfer on your own using the airport’s taxi service. Rates are fixed based on city zones. Pay for your taxi ticket in advance at the booth inside the airport terminal and then go outside and stand in line for your official verified taxi. Enjoy a two- night stay at your downtown Mexico City hotel, 7,349 feet above sea level. Rooms are available for check-in after 4:00 p.m. Dinner is on your own. Join Caravan for an 8:00 p.m. welcome briefing.


Day 2 • Teotihuacán, Museum of Anthropology

Morning visit to Teotihuacán, one of Mexico’s grandest archaeological sites. Teotihuacán was built by the Nahua. See the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. Walk the Avenue of the Dead, flanked by temples and palaces. Lunch. Then, visit Mexico City’s world-famous National Museum of Anthropology. See the immense Aztec Calendar Stone and other priceless archaeological treasures. Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 • Puebla, Veracruz

Morning drive to Puebla. This colonial city is famous for its hundreds of churches. Visit the nearly 400 year old Basilica Cathedral of Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stroll the Zócalo park and plaza in Puebla’s historic center. Lunch. Next, drive via the scenic coffee growing region of Xalapa to the port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. For centuries, Veracruz has been a melting pot in the Americas for people of Caribbean, European, and African descent. Explore Veracruz’s romantic colonial plaza, the oldest in Mexico. Listen to lively music from strolling mariachis, serenading guitarists, and marimba bands. Dinner is on your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 4 • La Venta, Palenque

Morning drive along Veracruz’s scenic waterfront. Then, continue through mango orchards and pineapple fields. Travel through the lush vegetation of Mexico’s coastal wetlands. Lunch is on your own. Photo stop at La Venta Park. See the mysterious Olmec heads. These giant stone carvings are up to twelve feet tall. The Olmec preceded the Nahua, Maya, and Aztec civilizations by thousands of years. Continue to Palenque for a relaxing two-night stay at your hotel. Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 • Palenque

Morning visit to Palenque. Here ancient Mayan ruins are set against dense jungle foliage. See the Main Plaza and the Temple of the Inscriptions and the Governor’s Palace. Marvel at the four-story tall observation tower, unique in the Mayan world. Lunch is on your own. The rest of the day is at leisure. Explore the tropical gardens of your hotel or relax by the pool. Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 • Campeche, Mérida

Head north through the state of Campeche. Enjoy lunch along the Gulf of Mexico. Then, continue to Mérida, Yucatan’s capital and cultural center. Enjoy a two-night stay at your modern hotel in downtown Mérida. Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Arts and Crafts Shopping

Day 7 • Uxmal, Mérida

Morning drive by the beautiful mansions of Montejo Boulevard “Paseo Montejo” to Mérida’s historic center. See Plaza de la Independencia and see the imposing Mérida Cathedral, built over a sacred Maya site with reclaimed temple stone. Continue to the Mayan ruins of Uxmal. See the Pyramid of the Magicians, the Nunnery Quadrangle, and the Turtle House. Lunch is on your own. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8 • Chichén Itzá, Cancún

This morning, head east across the Yucatan peninsula. Visit Chichén Itzá. See the Castle Pyramid. Visit the Ballcourt and the Group of a Thousand Columns. Lunch at a Spanish style Hacienda set in a private jungle preserve. Continue to Cancún and your hotel near the airport. Farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 • Cancún

Your tour ends this morning at your hotel in Cancún. Breakfast is included only after 6:00 a.m. Transfer by hotel courtesy shuttle to Cancún International Airport (CUN) in Cancún, Mexico. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Meals: Breakfast


Motorcoach Rides

The fascinating archaeological sites of La Venta and Palenque are in remote locations only accessible by long motorcoach rides. The following travel times do not include sightseeing, lunch and rest stops, and unexpected traffic delays:
Day 3 = 6 hours; Day 4 = 9 hours;
Day 6 = 8 hours.

Arts and Crafts Shopping

Caret DownCaret Up Red2024 Hotels

2024 Hotels

Accommodations in the hotels and lodges are rooms with two beds and private bath or shower. A limited number of single rooms are available. Triple rooms are usually two beds.

Barcelo Mexico Reforma

Days 1, 2 • Mexico City

Barcelo Mexico Reforma

Barcelo Mexico Reforma

Ideally located on the Paseo de la Reforma, within an easy walking distance of historic Alameda Park and Monumento a la Revolución, the tallest triumphal arch in the world. The Barcelo has an on-site coffee shop, bar/lounge and a full service restaurant. The hotel features an indoor heated pool, fitness center, and spa. Free WiFi.

Gran Hotel Diligencias

Day 3 • Veracruz

Gran Hotel Diligencias

Gran Hotel Diligencias

Located in the Historic District of Veracruz, this hotel is a 10-minute walk from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It offers an outdoor pool, spa and 24 hour fitness center. Each room includes free wifi, safe, iron, hairdryer and coffee maker.

Hotel y Spa Mision Palenque

Days 4, 5 • Palenque

Hotel y Spa Mision Palenque

Hotel y Spa Mision Palenque

Perfectly blended with the landscape, the Mision Palenque hotel architecture melts with the green exuberance of the tropical rainforest. Surrounded by beautiful gardens, its 210 rooms all have telephone, air conditioning, television, hair dryer, and all the comfort needed to relax. Enjoy tennis, the heated outdoor swimming pool, or the outdoor jacuzzi beside the *temazcal* steam bath, a prehispanic bath to purify mind and body, plus natural clay beauty treatments, just right at the spring that rises at the hotel.

Courtyard by Marriott Mérida

Days 6, 7 • Mérida

Courtyard by Marriott Mérida

Courtyard by Marriott Mérida

Enjoy spacious rooms just steps away from the Paseo de Montejo at the Courtyard by Marriott. This contemporary hotel also offers a fitness center and outdoor pool. Rooms include hairdryers and free wi-fi.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Cancún Airport

Day 8 • Cancún

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Cancún Airport

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Cancún Airport

The new Fairfield Inn includes an outdoor pool, fitness center and free wi-fi throughout. Your room includes a microwave, coffeemaker, iron and hairdryer.

Caret DownCaret Up RedAirport Transfers

Airport Transfers

arrival Transfers

Transfer on your own to the Barcelo Reforma Hotel (Av. Paseo de la Reforma 1) in the Centro Historico using the airport's taxi service. Rates are fixed based on city zones. Pay for your taxi ticket in advance at the booth inside the airport terminal and proceed outside to wait in line for your official verified taxi. Depending on traffic, the ride to your hotel should take approximately 30-45 minutes.

departure Transfers

Transfer by hotel courtesy shuttle to Cancún International Airport (CUN) in Cancún. Your Tour Director will help you arrange your transfer to the airport with the Fairfield Inn shuttle desk.

Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan.

Caret DownCaret Up RedPassports & Visas

Passports & Visas

To enter Mexico, you will need a U.S. passport valid for 6 additional months after the date of your arrival into Mexico. Non U.S. citizens, please check passport and visa requirements. Note: If you are travelling with children under 18 years old without both parents or legal guardians, you should carry a notarized letter of authorization signed by the missing parent(s) or guardian(s). A notarized birth certificate showing only one parent, a parent’s death certificate, or a court order of child custody may also be permissible. Failure to have proper documentation could result in denial of boarding by the airline, due to international child protection laws.

Caret DownCaret Up RedWeather & Clothing

Weather & Clothing

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

Mexico CityMérida

Temperature °F (high/low) Rainfall (inches)

Mexico City

Clothing Tips

This is a casual tour. Casual wear is suggested for sightseeing and daytime travelling. Dress code for evenings is casual. Suit jackets for men and dresses for women are not required. During the middle of the day, the sun is hot and bright. Caravan recommends shorts or light pants, a light shirt, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Also essential are comfortable, sturdy walking shoes with good treads. See Travel Tips for more details.

Caret DownCaret Up RedTravel Tips & FAQs

Travel Tips & FAQs

These are only the first 13 Travel Tips. Read all 41 Travel Tips

My Tour Price Includes

Virtually everything! Hotels, most meals, all of the activities described in the itinerary, airport departure transfers, gratuities to hotel porters and restaurant staff. Caravan’s professional Tour Directors and local guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring a worry free vacation. They are fluent in English, experienced and fun, ensuring a worry-free vacation.

Preparing for the Tropics

It is recommended to bring at least one pair of quick-dry pants and one quick-dry shirt. The quick-dry pants that zip at the knee to convert into shorts are particularly popular. Be sure to also bring a sweater or jacket for the cooler night temperatures. Caravan does not make product endorsements, but many feel that Avon Skin So Soft oil (not cream), or Avon's Expedition anti-mosquito spray is effective protection against mosquito bites in the jungle. Caravan does not endorse any vitamin, but please note that Central American pharmacies sell 500 milligram Vitamin B-1 tablets, a non-prescription vitamin, as "anti-mosquito" pills. Many people take Vitamin B-1 pills and eat garlic for about two weeks prior to and during their visits to the jungle because they believe that the smell of Vitamin B-1 and garlic repels mosquitoes. If you believe this may be of value, consult your doctor for further information on Vitamin B-1 and garlic. Many also avoid eating bananas in the rainforest, as it is believed that this smell attracts mosquitoes. Also, it is wise to wear light-weight quick-dry long-sleeved pants and shirts in these tropical areas.

Are meals included?

Included meals for each tour are listed at the end of each day. Meals are shown by B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). Full, buffet, or deluxe continental breakfasts are included everywhere. Free bottled water is provided on the motorcoach. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified.

Children on Tour

Children age five (5) and older are welcome on tour when accompanied by an adult. Usually, children travel during the school vacation months of June, July and August, and also during spring and winter school breaks.

Family Trips

Families are always welcome on any of our tours, but we do not have any programs specifically for or limited to families. Families can make specific requests for connecting, adjacent, triple or quad rooms, when available. Children must be at least 5 years old.

My Tour Price Does Not Include

Prices do not include air travel, country entry or departure fees, airport porters, visas, phone calls, valet, laundry, all items of a personal nature, extra food and beverages not on the regular menu, and tips to the Caravan Tour Director, driver, and local guides. General fees and taxes are additional and listed separately beneath each tour’s price.

Age of Travelers on a Caravan Tour

Usually, you find a mix of different age adult travelers on a Caravan Tour. Children age five (5) and older are welcome, and children usually join tours offered during Christmas holidays, summer vacation and spring break vacation.

Forms of Payment

Caravan accepts payment (in U.S. funds only) via MasterCard, Visa, or Discover.

Many Tours Sell Out Each Year

The farther in advance that you book, the more likely it is that your preferred tour will be open. Late bookings are welcome if the space is still available.

Fully Guided Tours Since 1952

Caravan has been offering fully guided tours worldwide under the same family ownership and management since 1952. Caravan understands and truly cares about your great expectations.

Size of Tour Group

Group sizes will vary depending on the reserved rooms at the hotels and the capacity of the boats and motorcoaches used. Usually, group sizes range from 30 to 44 passengers.

A Well-Paced Itinerary

A well-paced and unhurried itinerary is our goal, after all, you are on vacation! Touring days begin and end at reasonable hours and include frequent stops. While the occasional early morning departure is necessary, we do our best to ensure a leisurely vacation.

Caravan’s $129 Travel Protection

Caravan Travel Protection offers peace of mind if you cancel for any reason whatsoever prior to the departure of the tour. The travel protection plan also includes air, baggage, evacuation, medical, and quarantine coverage. The cost is $129.

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Caret DownCaret Up RedCustomer Reviews

Customer Reviews

These are only the first 7 Customer Reviews. Read all 55 Customer Reviews

"We had a wonderful time! This was our first experience with “group travel” and it was fantastic. The hotels, the food, the staff at the hotels, entertainment at lunch were all very good. We would travel with Caravan again and probably soon!"

Mr. & Mrs. D.S., Oshkosh, Wisconsin

"The meals were delicious and well presented, and we enjoyed every bite. Often there were entertainers giving us an opportunity to sample the delightful Mexican music. Breakfasts, with lots of fruit, lunches and dinners with tasty desserts were all great!"

Mr. & Mrs. T.B., Belgrade, Montana

"The price of hotels was a good value! They were in great locations, near city centers. The ruins, markets and music were all beyond expectation. We will be back for other tours. Palenque was incredible!"

Mr. M.D., Cape Elizabeth, Maine

"This is our second tour with Caravan. We went to Costa Rica last summer. We plan to go to Guatemala with Caravan next summer. You have an excellent company. I highly recommend your tours."

Mr. & Mrs. M.S., Chula Vista, California

"I will recommend Caravan Tours to anyone. They do a great job and offer the most to their customers. I was never dissatisfied on my vacation in Mexico. Thank you for a wonderful vacation. It was an excellent trip. For the value of the trip, we never expected such a great service. You got us hooked and we will travel with Caravan Tours again. We just loved it. Thank you for a great trip."

Mr. & Mrs. D.T., Winter Springs, Florida

"I enjoyed the whole trip. I will be back for others, Costa Rica perhaps or Copper Canyon maybe. Thanks for a great trip."

Mr. J.W., Vacaville, California

"Bravo Caravan! I don’t know how you manage to offer such great tours at a great price. The sightseeing and activities were excellent. The guides were also wonderful. The tour director was excellent, far beyond our expectations. It was like having a walking encyclopedia with us."

Mr. & Mrs. N.P., Clear Lake Shores, Texas

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Caret DownCaret Up RedWhy Travel with Caravan?

Why Travel with Caravan?

Excellence Since 1952

You can trust our years of experience with tours of superb quality and excellent value. Caravan has enjoyed the same family management and ownership since 1952.

PanAm Jet
In 1959, Pan Am invited Caravan to be the very first tour company to fly their clients on its new line of Clipper Jets.
Vintage Motorcoach
In 1964, Caravan introduced the very first fleet of air conditioned motorcoaches in all of Europe.
Leather Back Turtle Park
Caravan is a proud supporter of the Leatherback Turtle National Park and Costa Rica's efforts to protect this endangered giant.
Federal Reserve Bank Of Chicago

Caravan Care

For your safety, Caravan cancelled most 2020 and all 2021 tour departures and refunded 100% of all payments received. See Caravan’s Covid-19 Terms of Travel.

Caravan's Proud History

In 1965, Roger Mudd hosted a two-hour CBS TV special on Caravan Tours. This TV production took about one month to make and was so successful it inspired the 1968 romantic comedy movie “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium.” In the early 50’s the Mayor of Dublin presented Caravan with the Key to Dublin for bringing the first American tour to the city after WWII. Since then, Caravan has been recognized as a pioneer in travel. You can trust in our stability, experience and dedication to quality.

Great Hotels

Stay at park lodges, scenic resorts, and excellent hotels in great locations. See hotel descriptions on each tour page.


Most meals included within Latin America. For USA and Canada tours, included meals are listed on each itinerary page. Bottled water is provided on motorcoaches in Latin America.

Complete Sightseeing

Enjoy complete sightseeing with more visits, extra features, and local guides.

Fully Guided by Tour Directors

All tours conducted from start to finish by professional tour directors, who are fluent in English, experienced, and fun.


Caravan includes all activities listed in the tour itinerary page. Caravan does not sell any optional activities which can add hundreds of dollars to your tour price. Your free time is scheduled in great settings where there is no need to buy additional expensive activities.

Shopping Freedom

Caravan will not bring you to overpriced shops in exchange for payments. Caravan gives you ample opportunity and time for great shopping, and the freedom to choose where and when to shop.

Great Value, Book Early

Caravan’s strong buying power gives you great vacations at prices much lower than you can find anywhere. In a typical year, most of our tours sell out quickly. Book early for the date you prefer and the best air fare.

How does Caravan Tours sell these tours for such a low cost?

Caravan delivers volume to our suppliers, who in turn reward us with their very best prices. We in turn pass these savings on to you, and you reward us by buying our tours. As volume continues to rise, we then receive even better prices from our suppliers, and we pass even greater savings on to you. This year our tours are better than ever.

Trade Association Memberships

Caravan is a member of NTA (National Tour Association), ABA (American Bus Association), CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), and ACMA (American Commerce Marketing Association).