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Mexico–Cities, Cuisine & Ruins
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From the hustle of modern Mexico City, which preserves its magic from centuries gone by, to the ruins at Chichn Itz, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, this adventure takes in all the cultural and historical highlights. Its perfect for travellers on a tight budget looking to see as much as possible of this diverse region.

Latin America
  • Duration: 15 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: MMC/126850
  • Starts: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Finishes: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
You will Visit
  • Mexico City
  • Playa del Carmen

Itinerary

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Day 1: Mexico City

Arrive at any time.
Arrive at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

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Day 2: Mexico City

Opt to visit the massive pyramids of Teotihuacán or explore bustling Mexico City.
Explore one of the world's largest metropolitan areas or take an optional day trip to the famous archaeological site of Teotihuacán.

If you prefer to get outside the city, the pyramids of Teotihuacán and the canals and gardens of Xochimilco are two good places to start. At night, you'll have the option to witness the high-flying practitioners of “lucha libre,” Mexico's world-famous brand of wrestling.

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Day 3: Mexico City/Puebla

Enjoy an orientation walk through Puebla's cobblestone streets. Explore the walkable centre and check out the city's famous hand-painted ceramics that tile the walls of its historic buildings. Don't miss sampling the delicious Mole Poblano sauce. By night, opt to witness a high-flying "lucha libra" (Mexican wrestling) match, or go out for a night on the town.
After a short drive on one of Mexico's comfortable and often colourful buses, we arrive in Puebla, famous for its hand-painted tiles, unique handicrafts, mouth-watering Mole Poblano and rich colonial history. Orientation walk around town upon arrival to help you get your bearings.

If you want to get out of town, head to nearby Cholula, home to a massive pyramid that hosts a church at the top and is now covered by the town, to catch an impressive sunset.

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Day 4: Puebla/Oaxaca

Travel to colonial Oaxaca. Orientation walk to the main square and nearby markets.
Upon arrival in Oaxaca, your CEO will take you an orientation walk around town to introduce you to this fascinating city.

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Day 5: Oaxaca

Opt to travel to nearby artisan communities, visit a beautiful petrified waterfall, or check out the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán.

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Day 6: Oaxaca/San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Opt to travel to nearby artisan communities or visit the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán. Hop on an overnight bus to San Cristóbal.

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Day 7: San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Orientation walk around this colonial town. Opt to visit the nearby indigenous Mayan village of San Juan Chamula to see unique day-to-day life or journey to beautiful Sumidero Canyon for a relaxing boat ride or scour the market for beautiful textiles.
Crossing into the highlands, we make our way to the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas. An included orientation tour will introduce you to the city and help give you your bearings.

Known for its ties to the Zapatista revolution, San Cristóbal is also an architectural and cultural wonder. We have the option to take a trip to some of the outlying villages and learn how locals combine traditional beliefs and modern religion with intriguing results. Tours go into local homes to learn about day-to-day village life—an experience which should not be missed. You can also take a horse ride in the mountains, a day trip to Sumidero Canyon or mountain bike in the local hills.

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Day 8: San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Enjoy another free day to visit nearby villages, check out the natural beauty of Chiapas, and scour the markets. Don't miss the night life.

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Day 9: San Cristóbal de Las Casas/Palenque

Travel towards the jungle of Palenque via Villahermosa.
A scenic travel day through the mountains takes us to the outskirts of Palenque.

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Day 10: Palenque

Opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Palenque, set deep in the jungle.
One of the most significant ruins in the entire Mundo Maya, Palenque is set within the lush Chiapas jungle. The colourful, riotous wildlife and profuse flora will impress you as much as the ancient structures.

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Day 11: Palenque/Mérida

Take an orientation walk in Yucatán's capital.
Mérida is a fascinating and beautiful city and easy to explore on foot. If cities aren't your thing, escape to the beach town of Progreso and see the Dzibilchaltun ruins on the way. Mérida is also the gateway to the Mayan ruins of the Puuc Route, the most famous of which is Uxmal, which rivals Chichén Itzá in its scale and extent of excavation. Visit a nearby cenote (water-filled sink hole) near the town of Cuzama, not far outside Mérida. Transportation is an adventure as it involves taking small wooden horse-drawn carts that run along old rail tracks. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters.

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Day 12: Mérida

Explore Mérida, and opt to visit a nearby cenote (underground pool) near the town of Cuzamá or the Mayan ruins of Uxmal.

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Day 13: Mérida/Playa del Carmen

Enjoy a guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá. Travel to Playa del Carmen to lounge on Mayan Riviera beaches. Enjoy dinner at a G Adventures-supported community restaurant with a youth-focused art program.
Begin the day with an included guided tour of the beautifully restored ruins of Chichén Itzá.

Our final stop is Playa del Carmen, located on the beach just a 45-minute drive south of Cancún. The town is your last chance to enjoy some nightlife, buy last-minute souvenirs and relax and swim in the Caribbean Sea. There is also snorkelling and diving available, and long stretches of sandy beaches which are perfect for walking and relaxing after a hectic day.

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Day 14: Playa del Carmen

Opt to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulúm or just play in the waves and enjoy the beach!

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Day 15: Playa del Carmen

Depart at any time.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • G Adventures for Good: El Hongo Mexican Community Restaurant & Youth Art Program, Playa del Carmen
    • Orientation walks in Puebla, Oaxaca, San Crístóbal De Las Casas, and Mérida
    • Guided tour of Chichén Itzá
    • Beach time in Playa del Carmen
    • Free time in Mexico City, Oaxaca, San Crístóbal De Las Casas, Palenque, and Mérida
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Simple hotels/hostels (13 nts, some multi-share), overnight bus (1 nt)
    • 1 dinner
    Transport
    • Public air-conditioned bus, taxi, private vehicle
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Tour ancient Mayan ruins
  • Dance the night away in Mexican clubs
  • Bargain for beautiful textiles and handmade goods at colourful markets
  • Savour tasty Mexican food and drink
  • Chill on the white-sand beaches of the Mayan Riviera.


Reviews (52)
Benjamin H Posted on: 

The trip was an amazing, perception altering, whirlwind tour through Mexico. I loved it. With G Adventures handling all the travel details, the Roam trip only left me to worry about what fun thing I was going to do next.

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Leanne M Posted on: 

Had an incredible time. My first overseas trip and it was everything and more than I hoped for. We had great people, great tour leader, sufficient time in each location and plenty of things to do and see.

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Milio C Posted on: 

WOW - during this trip i was lost for words. The sights, the people we met, the things we did and the group including our tour leader were fantastic. Each day was an experience that I will never forget. I would recommend G Adventures favourably and without hesitation.

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gabriella h Posted on: 

great chris is an excellent guide comfort level was perfect liked the independence

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Kristy H Posted on: 

I had a great time, although being able to speak Spanish really helped in terms of getting around the places once we got there. High points: I really liked Oaxaca, wish we had more time there, and Uxmal. It was a nice trip and I met a lot of great people.

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Chris M Posted on: 

The trip was value for money. You could check in and check out of the group thing as and when required and there were ample sites, events, things to do and see. The tour leader was helpful and things were generally well organised.

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christene d Posted on: 

Overall it was great. We had a fantastic time seeing lots of interesting things. The Tour leader was very helpful and friendly. The local guides were also good- esp. the very informative and friendly Felix in Mexico City and learned Ernesto in Palenque. The arrangements for travel and accommodation were very good.

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Chatrine E Posted on: 

This was my first time with G Adventures, and I enjoyd it. I think I would not have visited and seeing soo much of Mexico, if I had done Mexico by my self.

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Rachel W Posted on: 

Michael is a great G Adventures leader and the itinerary is excellent- lots of amazing sites and cities. The group travel and accomodation combined with freedom to explore on one's own is ideal.

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Greg P Posted on: 

It was a great trip, a wonderful mix of cities, landscapes, weather, food and people. All in all a great introduction to Mexico, especially since it was my visit to the country. The roam format was perfect because it allowed me to choose activities and my daily schedule, while still allowing me not to have to worry about travel and hotel bookings during the trip.

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Michele P Posted on: 

The trip ran smoothly and efficiently ... and was a lot of fun. The places we visited were interesting with a good mix of activities available. Good accommodation. Highlights were Palenque, visit to Chamula (from San Cristobal) and horse-drawn "track" trucks outside Merida. Thanks to G Adventures and our tour leader for a fantastic and unforgettable holiday!

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Kim S Posted on: 

The ancient civilizations trip was good and was in line with my expectations.

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Michelle M Posted on: 

the trip was amazing, experienced everything... and we had teh best leader ... shes my best friend hahahaha.. all i can say is i had a great time and met some great people!!!

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Philippe B Posted on: 

Very well organised trip, the amouunt of flexibility within the itinerary was also very good. Would do a G Adventures trip again

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Angela P Posted on: 

Our leader was fantastic! Totally unflappable, and made even the worst situations feel like it was all ok. Mexico was an awesome experience! we are definately going back soon!

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Danielle, Ping Lin Y Posted on: 

Fantastic experience in Mexico, with ample time to explore the numerous Mayan sites. Trip was well-organized and planned, accomodations were generally satisfactory, central and comfortable, with particularly memorable ones like the El Panchen in Palenque, and Rana Cansada in Playa del Carmen . OFellow-travellers were excellent company as well. The programme was sufficiently flexible for group or individual activities, as preferred. High points - definitely the visit to Palenque.

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PAULA G Posted on: 

had a great time with G Adventures! really enjoyed the other people on my tour, and of course bryan our tour leader .. not guide hehe, he made the trip for everyone! mexico was fantastic! i really did feel i saw the really mexico, not the tourist areas, once again, thank you bryan for your efforts and knowledge.

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Penelope M Posted on: 

My trip through mexico was so much fun, flexible enough to fit my independent needs but all the formalities were looked after so i could enjoy the country. It was an oppurtunity to be able to relax and really experience the mexican culture.

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Elaine S Posted on: 

I was impressed with the itinerary of this tour and with the proficiency, knowledge, indefatigable energy, and enthusiasm of our group leader, Blaine Clark. With a wide age range from early 20's to late 60's (the latter is where my husband and I belong), she was able to help us all with our needs and problems. Our friends are probably tired of us continuing to rave about this trip, G Adventures, and Blaine but it can never be said enough. Thank you.

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Jennifer M Posted on: 

An amazing trip, well thought out and planned and gave enough time in each place with excellent advice from our tour leader about exploring on our own. There was always a choice of guided tours that were very reasonably priced.

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Marlena P Posted on: 

I foudn the general loose nature fo the trip to be good as it allowd for flexibility for differing interests to be satisfied. High points were visiting the cenotes in Yucatan and off course all the ruins. My favourite twon was San Crsitoble theworst was Puebla.

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Marie P Posted on: 

From start to finish the Mexico Ancient Civilisations adventure was a brilliant experience. It was very well organised and our leader, Pedro, made the trip so enjoyable and fun. Thanks for the dancing lessons! I could not have wished for a better group dynamic to travel with and share the memories. I recommend G Adventures and this trip to everyone with a sense of adventure.

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Camilla M Posted on: 

It was all in all a wonderfull trip. We got to see a lot of things we would not have seen on our own, and Leah did a great job as our tour leader. Not only did we have 2 wonderful weeks, but it has helped us on our trip after we left the group. We got to see the best of Mexico and we got to meet a lot of great people we never would have met on our own. It turned out to be a memory of a lifetime. My high point on this trip was how we got the oppertunity to see how the mexican really lives. Worth it!

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Manuela W Posted on: 

It was an exciting trip. One month sunshine-what a beautiful life.

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Chelsea T Posted on: 

This was my first G Adventures experience, and I was amazed at how smoothly it all went. We were able to cover much more ground than would have been possible alone. Our tour leader Jemise was always going above and beyond. She would do whatever it took to answer any questions we had.

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Penny W Posted on: 

I enjoyed the trip, and found it had been accurately represented in your promotional material. The tour leader was very good at all logistics, cheerful, good with language, etc. Monte Alban early in the morning, having gone there with one other group member by public bus and the last 4 km on foot; the architectural beauty of Puebla; the charm of all the zocolos; the pleasing G Adventures combo of overall structure but lots of time to hive off alone or in subgroups as we wished; snorkelling in the limestone canotes outside Playa del Carmen...

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Erica C Posted on: 

I had a fantastic trip. I really enjoyed Mexico and the people in the group were great to travel with.

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Greg P Posted on: 

It was a great trip, a wonderful mix of cities, landscapes, weather, food and people. All in all a great introduction to Mexico, especially since it was my visit to the country. The roam format was perfect because it allowed me to choose activities and my daily schedule, while still allowing me not to have to worry about travel and hotel bookings during the trip.

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Sonja T Posted on: 

First I would like to say that it was a great experience for me- the trip itself because i liked the individual freedom of choosing the activities - and the chance to improve my English.

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Julie L Posted on: 

The trip was really nice, and leaving from Mexico city to Playa was definitely the best way to do it (instead of the opposite) Hotels were pretty comfortable and good located : particularly the one in MERIDA.

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Anne Marie D Posted on: 

had a great time, good group size and there was room to do as many activities a you wished. better hotels than expected.

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Anne K. B Posted on: 

Generally, the sights and activities we were able to see/do were very good - I am very happy about having been on the tour.

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Lauren A Posted on: 

It was really fun, I loved loved loved Mexico and Gail was amazing, friendly and down to earth but still getting us from A to B in one piece. I'm still in Central America now doing the Mayan sun trip, and am really enjoying it!

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Sophie G Posted on: 

The trip of Mexico was such good fun. I had no idea what to expect Mexico to be like but i loved it. I was dubious about doing a tour as i tend to prefer independant travel but its an excellent way to see a lot of a country in a short time. Although i did feel a bit rushed at times, id have loved to have stayed longer in San Cristobal. But id probably have never left so the tour was a good thing!

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Flora C Posted on: 

It was a great trip. John was a fantastic tour guide as he helped me with everything I was interested in and even accompanied us on archeological tours. I got to see most of what I wanted to see. Taking taxis to and from the buses was nice with such heavy backpacks and also very time efficient.

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Stacey O Posted on: 

I think this tour is the best thing I have ever done, travel wise. I had learned a bit about Mexican/Meso-American culture at University, so I wanted to go and see it, but was a bit nervous about venturing alone. This tour allowed me to see what I wanted to see and marvel at the greatness of these ancient civilizations

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Greg P Posted on: 

It was a great trip, a wonderful mix of cities, landscapes, weather, food and people. All in all a great introduction to Mexico, especially since it was my visit to the country. The roam format was perfect because it allowed me to choose activities and my daily schedule, while still allowing me not to have to worry about travel and hotel bookings during the trip.

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Rachel C Posted on: 

The ease of travelling with G Adventures was good, we didnt have to organise buses/taxis etc but if we wanted to leave at a different time our tour leader could organise that. It was also nice to meet new people and share the experience with them.

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Laura L Posted on: 

The trip was awesome. There was about the right amount of travel time, any more would have been a bit much. My highlights were horse riding in San Cristobal to the local villages and swimming in the cenotes in Merida.

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Ruth A Posted on: 

My overall feeling was that the trip was excellent. The tour leader was really helpfull and made the trip totally worry free and fun.

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Donna M Posted on: 

Fantastic! Excellent tour guide. Structure of trip and what it covered was great and going from Mexico City to Playa del Carmen was good - I would imagine it to be much better than the other way around.

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Saido D Posted on: 

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. The people I travelled with were nice and friendly. I just wished I knew some Spanish so I could interact with the locals.

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John Q Posted on: 

Beautiful country, lovely people to travel with, great diversity of activities, fantastic memories. Thanks G Adventures.

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Renee A Posted on: 

I enjoyed this trip as it gave me a real taste of Mexico and also the different regions, we were able to get up close to the culture and really experience it in every aspect.

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Meghann M Posted on: 

I just got back from the 2 week Ancient Mexico Civilisations trip and it wasn't long enough! It was amazing - the country, the people and our tour leader (Alex) made the experience so very memorable it will be a hard trip to top! Thank you!

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Olivia D Posted on: 

It was fantastic. Mexico City was much more interesting than we thought it would be. Our tour leader (Jemise) went out of her way to make sure we enjoyed our trip as much as possible. All the day trips were definitely worth it. The cenotes were a high point.

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Greg P Posted on: 

It was a great trip, a wonderful mix of cities, landscapes, weather, food and people. All in all a great introduction to Mexico, especially since it was my visit to the country. The roam format was perfect because it allowed me to choose activities and my daily schedule, while still allowing me not to have to worry about travel and hotel bookings during the trip.

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Jessica S Posted on: 

I had a great time in Mexico, the ruins were amazing and we got to see so many unique things. I went on my honeymoon and my husband was sick the whole time, but we still had a great time and Jemise was a wonderful leader and really made all the difference for us.

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Melanie H Posted on: 

The trip was fantastic. Our tour leader Ben was very helpful, down to earth and approachable. As well as taking us to the standard sites, he organised for us to see some cenotes which are not particularly touristy. This was a very good change from the other events, which were also very very enjoyable!!!!!

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Catherine R Posted on: 

Really enjoyed the trip. Was nervous at first since I was travelling alone but the group was very welcoming. Appreciated the small size of the group and good organisation by the tour leader. Although basic the hotels were all clean and better than I was expecting, as were the bus transfers. The tour allowed us to see a wide variety of places that would have been impossible if travelling alone. Would definitely recommend it.

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Francis N Posted on: 

Overall I think the trip went well. It was a unique experience that I might consider doing again. A high point of the tour was our stay in Palenque. The guide our tour leader got for the ruins and jungle walk was outstanding.

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Ineka E Posted on: 

We had a good time. The accomodations were quite adequate, the buses were nice, the trip was well planned.

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