Day 1: Welcome to Oaxaca. Arrival to Oaxaca airport, transfer to Hotel Aitana or similar and walking City tour, walking city tour highlighting the Santo Domingo Church, government palace, Alcala street, among other sites.
Day 2: Pick up 10:00-10:15 a.m. The Convent of Cuilápam is located in the municipality of Cuilápam de Guerrero, in the region of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. It's building of the century XVI of impressive dimensions, but that never was concluded. Among its more characteristic architectural spaces an open chapel is found, type of religious construction characteristic of the first years after the conquest of Mexico, thought up for the purpose of congregating to a greater quantity of natives to which to convert to the Catholicism.
Zaachila is a town in Oaxaca, Mexico, 6 km from the city of Oaxaca. It is also an archaeological site consisting of the remains of an important post-classic Zapotec city of the same name. A large unexplored pyramid mound sits near the center of the town. Although largely un-excavated, two tombs were discovered at the site in 1962. These tombs are thought to belong to important Mixtec persons. The history of the pre-Hispanic city is unclear.
One theory is that the site flourished 1100 and 1521 AD. Another theory is that the city was founded in 1399 and could be compared to Tenochtitlan, as it was a city in the middle of a lake. The full extent of the ancient city is not known either, principally because excavation is impeded by the fact that most mounds have inhabited structures on them. The "alebrije" name is often used in reference to the fanciful woodcarvings created by artists in Oaxaca, Mexico. These popular folk art wood sculptures are also known as animalitos, monos, or simply figures. While most share the bright colors and fanciful subjects popularized by Linares work, individual artists generally have very distinctive carving and painting styles.
Day 3: Pick up 10:00-10:15 a.m. San Bartolo Coyotepec. This area has produced pottery for centuries. Pottery artifacts unearthed in many of Oaxaca's archaeological sites have been traced to the clay found only in this area. In more recent times, to the 1950s, the principal pottery product was the earthenware vessels used to transport mescal from hillside farms into the communities for sale to consumers. The potters of Coyotepec searched for new applications of their pottery skills.
One resident, Doña Rosa, came up with a method for making decorative black pottery from the local clay. Her method involves a shorter firing time and a polishing treatment to the surfaces. She attempted to keep her technique a secret, but word got out and there are a number of shops producing this type of pottery locally. The pottery is decorative only and should not be used for cooking or serving. It is rumored that diesel fuel, essentially a multipurpose household agent in Mexico, is involved in the process.
The Doña Rosa shop is probably the largest and most well-stocked in town. Doña Rosa herself has passed on, but the business continues in her family. There is an interesting pottery-making demonstration conducted by her son. The shop will ship your purchases home if you desire. Santo Tomás Jalieza is a small community located 25 kilometers from the Oaxaca city on hwy 175. Local artisans create embroidery work and weaving which are sold in a local market.
Across from the market stands the 16th century church shown at left. Ocotlán de Morelos is located 30 kilometers from the city on highway 175. 16th century ex-convent and Dominican temple which was recently restored with the financial help of artist Rodolfo Morales. Paintings of Morales are exhibited at the late artist's home. Market day is on Friday with many handicrafts displayed in the main square. Friday is the market day of this village, colorful and indigenous cultural.
Day 4: Pick up 10:00– 10:15 AM. Once again enjoy breakfast at the hotel before visiting some of the riches of the Oaxaca. No trip to Oaxaca would be complete without a visit to Monte Alban. Once of Mexico’s most important archaeological ruins, Monte Alban is located just outside the city of Oaxaca with a gorgeous backdrop of the Oaxaca mountains.
Day 5: Pick up 10:00-10:15. You’ll tour Teotitlan, where you will get a glimpse into local artisans who are known for their intricate weaving and designs, drop by Tule, a city on the outskirts of Oaxaca City, where you will see the largest known Montezuma cypress, well over 2000 years old, and also tour Mitla, an important archaeological site in Oaxacan history.
Day 6: Transfer to airport. Ready to flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez Chiapas. Tour to the famous Mexican Canyon of Sumidero by land, further - by the water boats. The exotic plant figures, caves and altars - Canyon of Sumidero, Again by land to the city of San Cristobal de Las Casas. Hotel Casa Vieja or similar.
Day 7: Pick up 9:00. We´ll take a tour to San Juan Chamula, about 11 km / 7 m north-west of San Cristóbal, is the ceremonial center of the Chamula Indians, the largest Tzotzil-speaking group. A large number of the more than 40,000 Chamulas live in surrounding small settlements. As is often the case in the mountain villages of the Maya tribe, three large crosses, symbolizing the tree of life, can be seen in the village and on the hills. It is worth visiting the small church in which people burn candles in memory of their dead. Catholic rites and old Mayan myths blend intensely here and Zinacantán Villages. By evening you´ll have a city tour in this Village, stay in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
Day 8: Pick up 8:00. Transfer to Palenque, we´ll go to Agua Azul cascades, is a long series of glittering cascades coursing over kilometers of lush valleys in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas Mountains. The powerful, shimmering falls, white water and deep, clear pools, rush through steaming jungle about 50km from the town of Palenque. With sparkling turquoise water set against a deep green jungle background, the falls are probably one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Mexico. and Misol-Ha. Misol-ha is a 35 meters height cascade which flows out in a basin where the bathe is possible. A small way passes behind the cascade and leads to a small cave where an underground river and a cascade flow out.Arrival to Palenque Hotel Maya Tulipanes or similar.
Day 9: Pick up 6:00. Breakfast and lunch in tour to visit Bonampak and Yaxchilan, Bonampak is an ancient Maya site in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, about 30 km (20 miles) south of the larger site of Yaxchilan and the border with Guatemala. It is small Maya site, which was a dependency of Yaxchilan. All of the structures seem to have been built in the period from about 580 to 800. Bonampak was rediscovered in 1946 by photographer Giles Healy, who was led to it by the Lacandon Maya who still visited the site to pray in the ancient temples. Bonampak contains several medium-sized temples around a plaza, along with a few well carved stelae, but is famous for the murals in one of the buildings. Yaxchilan.
This was a large center, important throughout the Classic era, and the dominant power of the Usumacinta area. It dominated such smaller sites as Bonampak, and was long allied with Piedras Negras and at least for a time with Tikal; it was a rival of Palenque, with which Yaxchilan warred in 654. Yat-Balam, founder of a long dynasty, took the throne on 2 August, 320 when Yaxchilan was a minor site. The city-state grew to a regional capital and the dynasty lasted into the early 9th century. Yaxchilan had its greatest power during the long reign of King Shield Jaguar II, who died in his 90s in 742. Yaxchilan is known for the large quantity of excellent sculpture at the site, stay in Palenque.
Day 10: Pick up 9:00. Visit to the archaeological center of Palenque. This City-Gallery contains the stone portraits of the priests and of the emperor Pakal II, as well as a dynasty chronicle, the temple of the Sun and the Cross, “spaceman” image on the wall of the Emperor Pakal sarcophagus etc. Transfer to Campeche city, we´ll take a city tour and stay in Hotel Baluartes or similar.
Day 11: We´ll transfer to Merida city, city tour in Merida. Free afternoon. Overnight in Hotel del Gobernador or similar.
Day 12: Ready to take a full day tour visiting Uxmal and Kabah, archaeological zones. Return to Merida. Includes: (L).
Day 13: Ready to travel to Chichen Itza. This is a wonderful archaeological site incorporating the ruins of two different cultures, the ancient Maya and the later arriving Toltecs. Lunch included and we follow our trip to Cancún City. Stay at Hotel Xbalamque or similar.
Day 14: Today we´ll take a tour to Isla Mujeres Island, lunch included in this tour. Return to your hotel.
Day 15: Today we´ll take a full day tour, visiting Xel-Ha, it is a great place for first time snorkelers. Inner tubes and life vests are free, and you can rent snorkel gear or bring your own. The lagoon is calm, even on windy days, so snorkeling is easy. The coral is mostly dead, but Xel-Ha feeds the fish so there are plenty to see. After this visit well follow with Tulum archaeological zone, return to Hotel.
Day 16: This morning we travel the short distance to Xcaret, an educational center with lots of water-based activities. Xcaret was once a Mayan port known as "Pole". Travelers would come here to purify themselves before worshiping the goddess Ixchel in Cozumel. Today, the center is built in and around the ancient ruins, making a unique setting.
You can participate in activities like swimming through an underground river, playing with dolphins or checking out a replica Mayan village. The underground river is truly amazing. A gentle current takes you through myriad beautiful caves that millions of years ago formed part of the ocean floor. You get to drift along and see fossilized coral and marine life. Use your own judgment, but strong swimming skills aren't needed, so both young and old may enjoy this experience.
The butterfly pavilion is one of the largest in the world. From the moment you enter, butterflies surround you. These vibrant and intriguing insects are all around and some may even decide to get up close and personal. Not only will you be in awe of these vibrant and magnificent insects, but you'll learn a little something about them too. The Mayan village is a replica of the way things once were. Houses, gathering huts, boats and food have been replicated to demonstrate what it was like to live during that era. Besides these activities, you can spend time on the beaches, walk the grounds and see other educational exhibits. Overnight in Cancun.
Day 17: Breakfast. Free day.
Day 18: Breakfast and transfer out to Cancún International airport, end of services.
Also see tour packages in:
North America Mexico History Whiz Archeology/History Crafts Tours
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