17-day Journey Through Southern Mexico


This unique Southern Mexico itinerary is specially designed to introduce you to some of the most important archeological zones in Mexico and to discover Southern Mexico’s vibrant culture.

Modern and ancient Mexico unite on this 17-day tour to help you learn about the pre-Columbian civilizations of Central and Southern Mexico and experience the traditions still alive today.

This vacation also features amazing opportunities to witness some of Mexico’s natural wonders. From lush, green jungles teeming with wildlife to some of the bluest waters on the planet.

Plus, if you’d like to add or remove days — or customize the itinerary in any way — simply speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner who can tailor the vacation for you.


Mexico City – Scratch well beneath the surface of this magical megacity with tours of its major attractions as well as some off-the-beaten-path gems

Southern Mexico’s archeological sites – Journey back in time with expertly guided tours around a multitude of ancient archeological sites

Sumidero Canyon – Enjoy a boat ride along the ancient Sumidero Canyon, home to protected and endangered animals

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve – Go on an adventure into one of the most important protected animal habitats in Mexico, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Day 1: Arrival in Mexico City

¡Bienvenido a México! Our airport supervisor will greet you at Mexico City’s International Airport and take you to your driver. You will then be privately transferred to your lovely hotel for the evening.

Overnight: St Regis Mexico City


Day 2: Private tours of Teotihuacan and Mexico City’s historic center

Begin the day with a guided tour of Teotihuacán, one of the most important Mesoamerican sites in the Americas. Climb the 65-meter-tall Pyramid of the Sun and the 43-meter-high Pyramid of the Moon to enjoy views across the city and valley of Teotihuacán.

Back in the capital, explore Mexico City’s famous main square, La Plaza de la Constitución, commonly known as the Zócalo, and its surrounding areas. Take the time to stop at the capital’s most famous buildings to view their magnificent architecture, including the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Palace, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

Overnight: St Regis Mexico City

Note: Some sites from today´s itinerary may be temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions. In this case, your travel planner will make adjustments for the best experience on the day, based on your preferences, availability, and travel dates.


Day 3: Private Tour of southern Mexico City with a market lunch

Today, explore the gorgeous neighborhoods of Mexico City. Begin with a tour along the narrow, cobbled streets of San Angel to see its central plaza and learn about the history of the area. If you visit on a Saturday, explore the Bazar del Sabado, an arts and crafts market that brings people to San Ángel from all over the city.

The day continues with a private tour of Coyoacán to observe the colorful, heavy brick architecture. Enjoy lunch at Mercado Coyoacán, an authentic Mexican market. After, visit the Church of St. John the Baptist and the former home of Mexican artist and icon, Frida Kahlo.

Overnight: St Regis Mexico City


Day 4: Travel day from Mexico City to Oaxaca

Meet your driver in the hotel lobby and head to Mexico City International Airport, where our airport supervisor will be waiting with your boarding pass ready to help you check-in your luggage.

After your flight, a private driver will meet you as you arrive at Oaxaca International Airport. From here you will be taken to your hotel.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique
Note: Commercial flight not included


Day 5: Private Tour to Monte Albán, Mitla, and The Tule Tree

The ancient world will come to life with an exploration of archeological sites and a visit to a giant of the natural world. First, accompany your experienced bilingual guide to Monte Albán, one of the oldest Mesoamerican cities in Mexico and home to a wealth of fascinating ancient ruins.

Then, journey to the ancient ceremonial center of Mitla for a tour of its pre-Hispanic remains, before visiting one of the world’s oldest and largest surviving trees, The Tule Tree.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 6: Travel day from Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Sumidero Canyon cruise

You will be met by your driver in your hotel lobby and taken to Oaxaca International Airport.

After your arrival at Tuxtla Gutiérrez airport, enjoy a boat trip down the ancient Sumidero Canyon to see its towering walls, which can reach 3,300-feet-high (1,000 meters) and to look out for the endangered and protected wildlife that calls this impressive natural wonder home.

Overnight: Hotel BO
Note: Commercial flight not included


Day 7: Discover San Cristóbal, Chamula, and Zinacantán

Discover the traditions of Chiapas, first visiting the colonial city of San Cristóbal de la Casas before heading to two indigenous towns nearby.

Explore San Cristóbal with its red-tile-roof houses and narrow winding streets, visiting the churches and markets of the city and discovering local textiles and handicrafts.

Then head to San Juan Chamula to visit the church where the blending of pre-Hispanic traditions and Catholicism is evident in its rituals. Continuing on, visit San Lorenzo Zinacantán a town known for its traditional textiles and majority indigenous population.

Overnight: Hotel BO


Day 8: Private transfer to Palenque via Toniná

Your private driver will meet you in San Cristóbal de las Casas and you will be driven to the Toniná archeological site where you will find temple-pyramids, an ancient ball court, and carved monuments. Tour the site with your expert guide, learning all about this once-great Maya civilization.

Overnight: Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal


Day 9: Private tour of Palenque Archeological Zone

Explore the ancient Maya city of Palenque, which lay deeply covered by jungle foliage for hundreds of years.

Learn about the famous Temple of the Inscriptions, an ancient Maya temple, and climb some of the ruins for impressive vistas over the lush jungle.

Overnight: Hacienda Puerta Campeche


Day 10: Campeche city tour and Uxmal

Tour Campeche from one end of this colorful walled city to the other. Journey through its history of trade and pirate attacks and learn about the port city of yesteryear and Campeche today.

Continue to Mérida and visit Uxmal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the grand Pyramid of the Magician.

Overnight: Chable Resort & SPA


Day 11: See the flamingos of Celestún and tour Merida

Home to 2,000 or more pink flamingos during winter and early spring, Celestún is a magical place for nature lovers. Take a boat ride down this mystical salt-water lagoon to see the great variety of flora and fauna that thrive there and take the chance to swim in its fresh waters.

Then, journey to Merida to discover its historic city center. Learn about its history and contemporary importance as you explore the Zócalo, the cathedral, and the Monument to the Homeland, before heading down El Paseo de Montejo with its grand, colonial buildings.

Overnight: Chable Resort & SPA


Day 12: Visit the world-famous Chichen Itzá

Visit Mexico’s best-known archeological site, Chichen Itzá, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. As you traverse the site, visiting El Castillo, the Temple of the Warriors, the ball court, and the sacred cenote, learn all about Maya cosmology, religion, and the dualism of life and death from your expert guide.

Overnight: Hotel Esencia


Day 13: Tulum & Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Today, journey deep into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a huge protected area of marshes, mangroves, and virgin tropical forest. Look out for the large variety of flora and fauna that lives there including crocodiles, dolphins, turtles, and more 300 species of birds.

Enjoy a short hike through the jungle to the Muyil Maya temple, before hopping in a boat to explore the Sian Ka’an via its waterways. There will be a chance to swim or float along the ‘lazy river’ — so don’t forget your bathing suit!

Back on dry land, head to the Tulum archeological site, the only Maya archeological site located right by the Caribbean Sea, to explore its many wonders with your expert guide.

Overnight: Hotel Esencia


Days 14 – 16: Leisure days in the Riviera Maya

These days are yours to enjoy at leisure. Relax in your lovely surroundings and take advantage of the many amenities and activities available in the Riviera Maya.

Suggested activities include swimming with turtles at Yul-Ka lagoon, exploring the underground passageways of Rio Secreto, taking a private catamaran to Isla Mujeres, or scuba diving/snorkeling in a Maya cenote. Speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner if you would like to book additional activities.

Overnight: Hotel Esencia


Day 17: Transfer to Cancun and departure

Your private driver will meet you at your hotel and take you to Cancún International Airport.


Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.


Our custom-tailored journeys start from $1,000 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.

Our guide’s depth of knowledge on every subject and site simply made the trip. Instead of standing at Monte Albán and just ‘knowing’ that we were looking at something fabulous he helped us understand the depth of what we were seeing.

Vikky and Leroy – March 2015