Gulf Coast Ruins and Traditions



Days: 10


Go on an immersive exploration around the Gulf Coast of Mexico, visiting ancient archeological sites and diving into beautiful, traditional towns.

This ten-day vacation is ideal for inquisitive adventurers looking to explore lesser-known parts of Mexico. Start in Villahermosa before setting out to discover beautiful and fascinating sites such as Comalcalco, La Venta, Xalapa, and Tlaxcala.

If you’re not familiar with these names yet, take that as a sign you’ll be seeing a side of Mexico far beyond the tourist hotspots. Plus, if you’d like to alter or extend your vacation to include some of the more well-known sites, a Journey Mexico Travel planner will be delighted to help.



Ancient archeological sites – With a private guide providing expert insight, explore ancient archeological sites including El Tajin, Comalcalco, La Venta, and Zempoala.

Pueblos Magicos in Veracruz – Visit the traditional towns of Veracruz honored with Pueblo Magico status by the Mexican government.

Eorking cacao plantation – Learn more about the magical bean from which the world’s favorite sweet treat, chocolate, derives.

Day 1: Arrive in Villahermosa

After touching down at the airport, you will be greeted and welcomed to the country by a Journey Mexico guide and driver. You will then be privately transported to a charming hotel in Villahermosa, the state capital of Tabasco.


Day 2: Visit Comalcalco and a cacao plantation

Visit the pre-Columbian archeological site of Comalcalco, a former Maya city of grand temples and ritual centers, and take a private tour with an expert guide.

After, continue to Hacienda La Luz, a working cacao plantation to learn more about the magical bean. After a museum visit, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.


Day 3: Tour La Venta archeological site and Catemaco

A day of cultural discovery awaits. First, head to the Regional Anthropology Museum in Villahermosa to views its displays on Tabasco’s indigenous cultures. Then, head west towards the pleasant setting of Catemaco stopping en route at the archeological site of La Venta, a pre-Columbian archeological site with an Olmec pyramid.

Arrive at Catemaco in the late afternoon and settle into your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the evening either relaxing in your hotel or visiting the nearby attractions including Lake Catemaco.


Day 4: Explore Zempoala and Xalapa

Before leaving Catemaco, take a dawn stroll along the lake-side Malecon walkway, enjoying the chorus of birds who tweet as the sun breaks over the surrounding volcanoes.

After, enjoy a private transfer to Xalapa, the capital of Veracruz which is nestled on the foot of the Macuiltepetl volcano. Along the way, stop at the Mesoamerican archeological site of Zempoala to see its squares and fortresses.


Day 5: Tour Pueblos Magicos, Coatepec and Xico

Discover the beauty of Veracruz’s traditional towns with a day trip to Coatepec and Xico. Both have been recognized by the Mexican government with Pueblo Magico status, a mark of excellence conferred on towns with “magical qualities”.

Tour both with an expert guide at your side, who will provide color and context to these two beautiful destinations that lie very much outside the traditional tourist route.


Day 6: Explore Xalapa and Papantla

In the morning, enjoy some free time exploring Xalapa – speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner if you’d like suggestions on where to go. Then, head to yet another one of Veracruz’s Magic Towns: Papantla.

Travel through this historic town, meet its indigenous population, and see its pre-Hispanic traditions that continue to this day.


Day 7: Visit El Tajin and Papantla

Enjoy a guided tour around the UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Tajin. Here, with an expert by your side, visit the famous Pyramid of the Niches, and stand among some genuinely magnificent ancient wonders.

After an exploration of the ancient world, head back to Papantla for some free time to relax with your loved ones exploring the town.


Day 8: Transfer to Tlaxcala

Leave Papantla and enjoy a private transfer to Tlaxcala. Along the way, stop at the Tizatlan archeological zone for a tour of this small pre-Columbian archeological site.

Reaching Tlaxcala in the early afternoon, take the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying free time if you’d like or accompanying your guide on a tour around the city.


Day 9: Visit the Tlaxcala ruins

For your final historical adventure, transfer to the archeological site of Cacaxtla and its neighboring site, Xochitécatl. With the help of your expert guide, discover wonderful examples of the area’s pre-Hispanic civilizations including gorgeous murals and temples.


Day 10: Departure

Today, you will be privately transferred to your airport of choice for your onward flight home.


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.