Multi-Day Tour

Chiapas: A Journey through Mexico Less Visited (7 days)

Journey Mexico

Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico To Villahermosa, Mexico

Valid for Departures Now Through: 01 Jan 2099

Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico
None Dinner

Mexico City / Tuxtla Gutierrez Upon arrival to the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport, you will be met outside baggage claim by a Journey Mexico representative with your name clearly indicated. We will meet for dinner in the lobby at 7:00 p.m. and follow with a short orientation on itinerary and general guidelines. Bienvenidos a Chiapas! (Dinner Included)

Day 2
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico
None Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tuxtla Gutierrez / Explore the Sumidero Canyon by Launch / San Cristóbal de las Casas After breakfast, we will the drive towards Chiapa de Corzo and the Sumidero Canyon. We arrive to the embarcadero (the boat dock) to board a speedy launch for a trip through the majestic rock walls of the Sumidero Canyon, towering thousands of feet above us. If we are lucky we may see fauna such as crocodiles, spider monkeys, cormorants, and herons. We return to the boat dock where we then continue into the highlands and finally to our charming colonial hotel in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Dinner is in group tonight on the town at one of the many excellent eateries for local fare. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 3
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico
None None

Cultural walking in the Sierra Madre Sur and visit to the modern day Maya villages of San Juan Chamula & Zinacantán After breakfast today, we will embark on a cultural walking journey through the Chiapan country side. We will transport by vehicle (15 minutes) to San Juan Chamula and visit the main church, the indigenous cemetery, and the town center before setting out on foot towards San Lorenzo Zinacantan. After leaving the main road, we enter into the beautiful whispering pine forests before arriving to a beautiful overlook from where we can see our next destination San Lorenzo Zinacantan. After a few pictures from this excellent vantage point, we descend into the village to learn more about the history and traditions of the highland Maya and in particular the inhabitants of this interesting town. We will visit our friends, traditional back-strap weavers, and sample hand made tortillas and the local home brewed fire-water before heading back to our beautiful lodging in the center of San Cristobal de las Casas in the late afternoon with free time to wander the cobbled stone streets. Dinner is on your own tonight at one of the many fine local restaurants. (Breakfast and Lunch Included)

Day 4
San Cristobal, Mexico
None None

Hike, swim, and explore the cascades of Agua Azul and Misol Ha Waterfall We will meet in the hotel lobby after breakfast and depart from San Cristóbal de las Casas. We will navigate the Southern Sierra Madre descending from alpine forests into the steamy lowland jungles of Palenque. In addition to the incredible setting, this national park is also hosts some of the most interesting and diverse bird species in all of Mexico. The limestone sedimentation causes this beaucolic network of streams, rivers, and cascades to turn a dazzling aqua-marine blue, thus giving the name Agua Azul or “Blue Water” during the dry season. We will hike up the river searching out our own private swimming holes and enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to our vehicle and continuing on to Misol Ha for more waterfall wonders. This single jump falls is impressive in the rainy or dry season; the projection of the water allows us to actually walk behind the curtain of water for a unique perspective of the lush river valley from behind the rushing wall of water. For the adventurous, we can continue behind the water fall and check out a river and cave system nestled into the vertical river canyon walls. Spelunking into the shallow tunnel system allows us to see the marvels of the underground river system and geological formations that run in a vast network throughout the limestone shelf of the Yucatan Peninsula. We reach Palenque in the late afternoon and check in to our hotel. We will enjoy dinner in the hotel dinning room. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 5
San Cristobal, Mexico
None None

Deep exploration of the Lacandon Rainforest to Yaxchitlán / Bonampak Today we will visit some of the least visited and most impressive sites in the Mayan world. We set out early to Yaxchitlán, which is renowned as much for its incredible setting as it is for its ornamented building facades, roof combs, and impressive stone lintels that depict battles and ceremonial events. Yaxchitlán straddles a U bend in the Usumacinta River, which is the natural border between Mexico and Guatemala. This ancient city’s unique position on the mighty Usumacinta allowed it to control trade throughout the region, making it one of the most important sites in the Mayan world. The inscriptions here teach us about the legendary ruling clan - the Jaguar dynasty. As you explore the ruins, the calls of the large troops of howler monkeys remind you just how far from modern civilization you are and how powerfully alive the Lacandón forest remains. We return to Palenque stopping at another fascinating and well guarded secret of the Lacandón forest, Bonampak. Bonampak was nowhere near as important a settlement as Yaxchitlán, as it was very much under the sphere of influence of its more powerful and well-populated neighbor. However, Bonampak is famous for its astonishing frescoes inside the modest looking Templo de las Pinturas (Bonampak means “painted walls” in Maya, the native language still used by the inhabitants of this isolated region). From the consecration of heirs to the throne to vivid depictions of battles and bizarre rituals of torture and blood letting, these frescoes are unmatched throughout the Mayan world. After time to take in these surprising illustrations, we continue back to Palenque to our lovely hotel in the late afternoon. During dinner together, we will recount the days adventure and brief on preparations for the following days activities. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner Included)

Day 6
Palenque, Mexico
None None

Palenque Ruins / La Venta Museum and Villa Hermosa After breakfast today, we will be treated to a privately guided visit to the stunning archeological site of Palenque including the Templo de las Inscripciones, one of the most renowned burial monuments in the Americas. Palenque was an important power center during the height of Mayan civilization that dates back to 100 BC. It is still unclear what led to the important city state’s fall around 800 BC. Nestled deep in jungles at the foot of the Sierra Madre del Sur, Palenque’s setting is as memorable as the site is important for the light it sheds on Mayan traditions, rituals, ceremonies, and spirituality. It is located on the western edge of the Maya empire near the important commercial hub of Villa Hermosa. The archeological site left behind are very well preserved and maintained by local people as well as anthropologists. The setting of this site is truly unforgettable. In the morning, we will explore the central temple complexes of this site. After lunch, we head eastwards to the Gulf of Mexico and the bustling economic center of Villa Hermosa. We will visit the La Venta museum where we will learn about the Olmec civilization that has its first traces close to 3,000 years ago! The facility also houses a zoo, where we can see some of the native species from Veracruz state and others from further a field in the Mexican republic. After time to relax, we will regroup for our last group dinner and farewell fiesta at one of the many excellent restaurants in this thriving city. Optional salsa dancing into the wee hours for the hearty.

Day 7
Villahermosa, Mexico
None None

Villa Hermosa / Home Today is departure day. We will transfer you to the Villa Hermosa airport according to your flight schedule for your onward flights home. Please discuss your flights before booking with one of our staff. Please let us know if you would like to extend your stay in Mexico. Gracias por visitarnos y que regresen pronto!

Tour Features

Experience(s)

Experiences have not been selected at this time

Description

This unique tour provides a diverse look at Mexico’s Southwest and the Mundo Maya (Mayan World).  Our journey begins with a visit relatively unknown, yet awe-inspiring Sumidero Canyon before climbing up into the highest part of the Sierra Madre Sur and arriving to the charming colonial city and commercial center of the highland Tzotzil and Tzetzal indigenous groups.  These proud farming communities continue to speak Maya and live in much the same way their ancestors have for centuries.  During our time in San Cristobal, we will visit a couple of these communities and also explore the surrounding country side on foot to appreciate the incredible diversity of animal and plant species of the dense alpine forests of this majestic region. We will visit local artisans in their workshops, where we learn about and even have a chance to try our hand at their crafts.  We will also have time to explore the colonial heritage found in the architecture and museums of San Cristobal de las Casas.


Descending the winding switchback road down to the steamy Chiapan rain forests below, we take advantage of the myriad of impressive waterfalls to have an active day of hiking, swimming, and waterfall explorations before arriving to the jungles that have protected the mystery of Mayan civilization until only a few decades ago.  The little known, but immensely important sites of Yaxchitlan, Bomampak, Palenque, and Edzná are as interesting as are their locations spectacular.  Ground breaking archeological finds and the expert interpretation of our passionate leader will engage even the most well-traveled; the sophistication and accomplishments of the Maya in engineering, astonomy, and agriculture were arguably the most advance throughout the entire world during the height of their civilization.  While focused on archeology, we do still take advantage of the incredible wildlife of the area with opportunities for early morning bird-watching with our expert birding guide.


Highlights

Sumidero Canyon - Embark on a boat ride to witness the towering rock walls of this beautiful canyon


Chiapan Countryside - Visit the villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán to explore the culture and learn the traditions of the Mayans


Agua Azul & Misol Ha - Experience the beauty of the aqua-blue waters in the Palenque jungle and further witness and explore the magical waterfall, Misol Ha


Yaxchitlán & Bonampak - Explore the Mayan culture by visiting these important sites located in the rainforest


Palenque Ruins - Visit and explore archeological sites that were important to Mayan civilization

About Us

Journey Mexico specializes in crafting unique, authentic and unexpected travel experiences for the discerning and sophisticated traveler throughout the Mexican republic.Whether you would like to travel to Mexico to explore Mayan ruins, relax in a hacienda, visit islands in Baja’s Sea of Cortes, search for handicrafts in markets, or adventure in the Copper Canyon, we take great pride in sharing Mexico’s natural beauty & rich cultural heritage in the company of our warm and welcoming people.2016 Virtuoso Peer-to-Peer Award Winner - "Best Destination & Experiences - In-Country Partner

Insider Tip

Ask us about the new culinary experiences we're developing; from haute cuisine, to locals only street food, we've vetted them and are excited to share Mexico's cuisine with your important clients!

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The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo and SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. Virtuoso CST#2069091-50. California CST# 2069091; TA# 808 - Registered Iowa Travel Agency; Washington UBI # 601 554 183. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California.
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Reviews and Recommendations for Journey Mexico

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Highly Recommended

By: Lisa


Reviewed on: 09 Feb 2014

We went back and forth several times with Journey Mexico planning our itinerary and were very pleased with their responsiveness and obvious knowledge of the Yucatan Peninsula. They put together a wonderful tour with highly professional and knowledgeable driver/guides, and the hotel recommendations were excellent. They also followed up while we were traveling to make sure everything was satisfactory. Would definitely use them again.
Travel Advisor:  Rebecca Falkenberry

Delightful trip

By: Ginger


Reviewed on: 17 Oct 2014

Trip was well planned and accommodation were excellent
Travel Advisor:  Bettie Lee

Great Customer Service

By: JJT


Reviewed on: 28 Oct 2014

Upon our arrival in Mexico, Journey Mexico made it an easy trip. They had one of their employees with a sign outside the airport that greeted us, grabbed our luggage, gave us a folder of info of our contacts for our trip, and took us to our private transfer (we only had to wait a few minutes for the transportation to arrive). We left the airport with Journey Mexico within 10 minutes from us walking out of the airport. We arrived to the resort 25-30 minutes later - very easy! We had a little hiccup with the resort about what package we would supposed to receive. There was a miscommunication between the resort reservations and Journey Mexico. The resort and Journey Mexico hashed it out. During that process, we were being updated from Journey Mexico and our resort. Journey Mexico even sent a bottle of champagne to our room for the confusion which was a nice touch. Their rep even take you through the entire check in process at the airport for departure. Great customer service all week!

Yucatan Journey

By: Magritte's Hat


Reviewed on: 21 Nov 2014

When I decided I wanted to visit Mexico for the first time, I spent hours online trying to plan a trip. Luckily, I came across an article recommending using travel advisors. Because I took that advice, I now have countless bad photographs and good memories of a trip to Mexico. Stacy was able to arrange a trip for me after a couple of phone calls and a few emails that was better than anything I could have done myself. I experienced the celebration of the Day of the Dead in Merida, explored Mayan ruins (culminating with the awesome ancient city of Chichen Itza), and spent a few relaxing days on a sugar-sanded beach in Tulum. My guide was terrific and the hotels were clean and comfortable without being impersonal and generic. The whole trip was great. After over a decade of staying close to home, I think I'm going to be hitting the road more often; and I'm sure I'll be using Stacy's services again.

Great Service

By: mh123


Reviewed on: 09 Jan 2015

Journey Mexico provided us with great guides and drivers. They were always on time and very pleasant.

attentive

By: kerri


Reviewed on: 09 Jun 2016

they were on top of the logistic details. Very easy.

San Miguel

By: Bob


Reviewed on: 17 Feb 2017

All was good,timely,courteous etc
Travel Advisor:  Kay Jones

Review Journey Mexico

By: DSL


Reviewed on: 22 Oct 2017

Journey Zmexico provided us with the best experience we could have wished for in the Copper Canyon. The logistics of the trip, including timing, transportation, lodging, food and guide services was outstanding. The only low point was the dining experience at the Best Western in Creel- the hotel was fine but the dinners were not to our liking and did not match the amazing food we had at all the other hotels. The high point was our guide Gustavo who was the most well informed and superb guide! We are so fortunate to have him as our tour guide-heads it a fabulous trip- forever grateful to him!
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley

Puerto Aventuras

By: Rita


Reviewed on: 13 Jan 2018

Nice people. House was in good location. A few items not in good shape, but overall comfortable. Staff responded to our questions and needs.
Travel Advisor:  Susan Morley

True Campions of their Beautiful Country

By: Partridge Travels


Reviewed on: 16 Feb 2018

This was our second trip with Journey Mexico, and we were privileged to travel with the most wonderful guides! All of our drivers and guides have been professional, accommodating, knowledgeable, protective, and extremely well educated. I have heard and read so many negative stories about travel in Mexico, so the most important message I can convey to anyone considering travel with Journey Mexico is that I have never had to overthink my personal safety, and I have never felt as though I was in a place or situation that could be dangerous. Another great bonus about travel with their guides is that they know all the great places to eat (you will not get sick) and they are true gentlemen and will help you shop. Also, your Journey Mexico concierge (who is different from your guide), is a phone call away. Our concierge called us on our second night just to check in and see if we needed anything, which we didn't because our every need was already taken care of- they are first class!
Travel Advisor:  Whitney Shindelar

Luxury Interior Mexico

By: Kane


Reviewed on: 23 Mar 2018

Journey Mexico made our family of 4 Spring Break Trip to Interior Mexico a breeze. The drivers were all very professional and we felt completely safe with the adventure travel operators. It was the perfect mix of adventure family fun and luxury travel.
Travel Advisor:  Amanda Watkins

Perfect

By: KZB


Reviewed on: 24 Mar 2018

Our hotel was perfect and in a lovely location. Our guide Louis was well informed and friendly. Cesar our driver was prompt and showed up exactly where we needed him every time. I was very impressed with the skillful coordination of our trip.
Travel Advisor:  Misty Jones

Journey Mexico in Mexico City

By: TECIV


Reviewed on: 01 May 2018

Journey Mexico was very easy to work with and completely enhanced our trip to Mexico City. We had the same driver for both tours who was wonderful and our guide at the pyramids, Isaias, was extremely knowledgeable and really made the experience there. I cant imagine having done the pyramids without his insight and guidance. I would highly recommend Journey Mexico to any friends and family.
Travel Advisor:  Abby Michaud