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Pink Flamingos, Isla Holbox, Mexico

Highlights of the Yucatan Peninsula



13 Days

Prices Start from

£4,500pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Couples Adventure Traveller Solo Traveller Photographers Families

An exploration of Mexico‘s idyllic Yucatan Peninsula, from its Mayan ruins and turquoise ocean to its wildlife reserves and colonial cities, this journey strikes the perfect balance between ocean-side relaxation and archaeological discoveries.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Crystal Clear Cenote, Riviera Maya, Mexico 1

Swim in a Cenote

Paddle in one of Riviera Maya’s remarkable natural ground-water-filled limestone sinkholes.

Snake Mayan Sculpture in the city of Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico 2

Ancient Maya Ruins

Tour the ancient ruins of Uxmal and Chichen Itza in the company of a private guide.

Castle at Tulum, Yutacan, Mexico 3

The Riviera Maya

Lounge on white sand beaches or snorkel in the dazzling coral-filled ocean.

Flamingo colony 4

Pink Flamingos

Travel by boat to see the world’s largest populations of American flamingos in Celestun.

Why we like it

With the benefit of utilising a private guide and driver and omitting internal flights, this highly customisable journey encompasses out of hours tours of one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” and days spent snorkelling through the turquoise waters of the peninsula’s colourful barrier reef. In a place peppered with ancient Mayan pyramids, white sandy beaches and colonial cobblestone cities, we can arrange adventures to newly-discovered underground rivers, early access to world-renowned ruins, moonlight safaris and kayaking in salt flat lagoons. With explorations of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Merida and the sandy retreat outcrop of Riviera Maya, this is a breathtaking journey through marvels that need to be seen to be believed.

Explore the itinerary

Mexico on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
    Cancun - Ek Balam - Valladolid - Chichen Itza
  • Day 3
    Chichen Itza - Uxmal - Campeche
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
    Campeche - Becal - Celestun
  • Days 6-7
  • Day 8
    Celestun - Merida - Tixkokob
  • Day 9
    Tixkokob, Ake & Izamal
  • Day 10
    Tixkokob - Coba - Cenote Dos Ojos - Riviera Maya
  • Days 11-13
    Riviera Maya

Now for the details

Sculpture in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico
Sculpture in Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

All Alone at Uxmal

Chichen Itza is not only one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”, but one of the most visited archaeological sites on the planet. Receiving thousands of visitors each day, ordinary visits to this ancient pyramid can be busy and distracting. At Steppes Travel, we can arrange exclusive sunrise permits that allow for unforgettable out of hours tours of the Mayan temple in the company of an expert private guide or archaeologist. Before the site opens to the public and morning coaches arrive, intrepid early-morning visitors to the ruins might find themselves alone but for its ancient stone-carved reliefs and handful of other early birds. Also travel to Uxmal to climb its Pyramid of the Fire Macaw and gaze out over the surrounding jungle.

Pink Flamingos, Isla Holbox, Mexico
Pink Flamingos, Isla Holbox, Mexico

Sail to Flamingo Colonies & Moonlight Safaris

From a bungalow bordered by unspoiled beaches and native vegetation, travel to the Celestun Bisophere Reserve where countless species of shorebirds and waterfowl congregate alongside the world’s largest population of American flamingos. Regarded by ornithologists as a true treasure trove and one of the gems of the peninsula, the reserve hosts three endemic species that are found nowhere else on Earth. In a place where turtle’s come ashore to nest, toucans grace the branches and manatees occasionally appear in quiet backwaters, we can arrange boat trips to see the renowned flamingo colony and even moonlight safari trips.

Crystal Clear Cenote, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Crystal Clear Cenote, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Riviera Maya: Cenote Swimming & Barrier Reefs

Despite the bountiful supply of indulgent resorts and spoiling jungle-backed coastal properties lying in wait, a jaunt to Riviera Maya would not be complete without visits to the lesser-known highlights of the tropical retreat. Experience its marine-life-rich barrier reef during private snorkelling trips and discover its lush interior on jungle quad biking tours, while still having time to unwind with nights spent in hand-picked hideaways with spectacular turquoise waters just a stroll away. From horseback riding and mountain biking to sailing and swimming with dolphins, there are options to suit everyone. For a truly unique and memorable experience, we can arrange trips to the natural limestone cenotes where you can dip your feet or take a cooling paddle.

Montejo's House, Merida, Mexico
Montejo's House, Merida, Mexico

Mariachi in The White City

Amble the streets of colonial-era Merida, the historic city in the centre of the Yucatan, whose pearlescent appearance earned it the nickname of “The White City”. With a private guide, discover its charming churches, listen to local mariachi bands, and stroll under magical walkways formed by graceful flower arches. Its collection of quaint markets and artisan shops make Merida the ideal place to pick up souvenirs, particularly as it is the centre for the region’s hammock-making industry, and your local guide will be able to lead you to the most authentic boutiques. Staying in a traditional hand-picked hacienda, laze the mornings away in a hammock or take a cooling dip in a tropical greenery-surrounded pool. When evening descends on the city, frequent one of the inviting candlelit eateries to sample Mexican suppers accompanied by world-class wines under moonlight.


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Hacienda Puerta Campeche £££££

  • Mexico
  • Boutique

Hacienda Puerta Campeche is an artfully restored collection of 17th-century historical houses that have been decorated in the traditional colours of Mexico and transformed into 15 very comfortable rooms and suites. This luxurious property is made up of a variety of tranquil patios, gardens, courtyards and terraces. The rooftop restaurant offers the finest traditional Mexican cuisine. There are an inside and outside pool, a spa and solarium. A shuttle service provides transfers to and from downtown.

View Property

Hacienda Uayamon £££££

  • Mexico
  • Boutique

Hacienda Uayamon is an old 18th Century ranch and henequen plantation characterised by its imposing stone archways and towering columns. Situated within easy reach of the Maya ruins of Edzna and the walled town of Campeche, Hacienda Uayamon provides a peaceful retreat in a classic colonial setting. This historic house has 12 luxurious villa rooms and suites with beamed ceilings and tiled floors. All rooms have garden views and the suites have additional living space and a bathroom with glass doors leading to a private whirlpool. Meandering pathways lead to various ruins dotted throughout the grounds, including a crumbling chapel still used for the occasional wedding ceremony, stables and former machinery rooms. The pool with hammocks is set in its own enclosure and a restaurant serving local cuisine has a balcony terrace.

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Hotel Esencia £££££

  • Mexico
  • Beach and Island Escapes

Hotel Esencia is a luxury resort on the Riviera Maya at Playa Xpu-Ha, a two-mile stretch of secluded white-sandy beach and a favourite of ours. The centrepiece of this 50-acre resort is the three-storey Casa Grande with its beachfront location and private dining room. The 41 guest rooms are made up of five jungle rooms, 33 suites and three villas. All have large bathrooms, king-size beds, a private terrace and either a jungle or beachfront location. Many of the suites have private plunge pools. Draped palapas on the beach provide shady loungers to enjoy a drink and a snack or spa treatments.

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Viceroy Riviera Maya £££££

  • Mexico
  • Beach and Island Escapes

The Viceroy sits on white sands in the small village of Playa Xcalacoco and is backed by tropical forest. All 41 palapa-roofed villas feature private patios and plunge pools and offer intimate beachfront luxury with louvred doors and windows, private bathrooms and indoor and outdoor showers. Villa locations range from jungle garden to the ocean front.

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San Jose Cholul Hacienda £££££

  • Mexico
  • Boutique

Hacienda San José built in 1888 by Francisco Mejia Jaramillo, great grandfather of the current owners is one of the most ancient and better-preserved houses in the Yucatan Peninsular. The hacienda is a traditional house of the ‘eje cafetero’ whose history dates back three centuries and is evidenced in its construction and furnishings. A journey back in time, in this coffee producing area, is triggered by the fine period decoration of the social areas and eleven bedrooms with private bathrooms. This boutique hotel also offers a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, massage and anti-stress treatments, a restaurant with international cuisine and horseback rides upon request.

View Property

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.


John's communication skills are second to none, and his knowledge of Mexico equally as impressive. We will not think twice before asking for his help with our next adventure in the Americas.

Destination: Mexico
Travel Expert: John

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £4,500 Per person

When to travel

Mexico in January

January and February are peak months of travel as the weather is dry, temperatures and temperatures are warm. As these are popular months, we recommend planning 9-12 months in advance. Many beach hotels and resort have required minimum night stays during this time, which will be taken into consideration when planning your itinerary.

Mexico in February

January and February are peak months of travel as the weather is dry, temperatures and temperatures are warm. As these are popular months, we recommend planning 9-12 months in advance. Many beach hotels and resort have required minimum night stays during this time, which will be taken into consideration when planning your itinerary.

Mexico in March

March continues to be a dry month in Mexico and peak time to visit. Crowds have calmed from January and February school holidays and can be a great time to travel.

Mexico in April

April continues to be peak season to travel to Mexico. Weather is still dry and towards the end of the month temperatures begin to rise slightly in the south.

Mexico in May

May is a shoulder season set between the dry season ending in April and the start of hurricane season in June. Expect the occasional afternoon shower and temperatures to begin rising in the south.

Mexico in June

The rains become more prevalent in June, in the form of afternoon storms and showers. Humidity and temperatures are building as hurricane season begins, though historically most hurricanes take place between August and November.

Mexico in July

July is very much the wet season across Mexico. Expect temperatures of +30 along the coast which break into afternoon showers to cool the evenings. The temperatures inland are marginally less, averaging mid-20s.

Mexico in August

Hurricane Season

Mexico in September

Hurricane Season

Mexico in October

Hurricane Season

Mexico in November

November is considered the first month heading into the dry season. The rains have subsided but not completely gone, following the hurricane season. Early November can be a good time to visit, before the school holiday (for the USA) crowds begin.

Mexico in December

December is one of the most popular months for travel in Mexico. Weather is dry and warm across the country making for a comfortable environment to experience the culture and wildlife that Mexico has to offer. As this is a busy time, we highly recommend planning 9-12 months in advance.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary?

Why Steppes

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