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Mexico: Bicycle Adventure on the Yucatan Peninsula

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 12 people
Destination(s): Mexico  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 3595 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3995 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

The Yucatan Peninsula is populated with the gentle, friendly descendants of a fascinating Mayan culture. On this exotic adventure you will explore jungle swimming holes, ruins, and idyllic stretches of coast, discovering remnants of ancient Mayan civilization and wonders of the natural world, and meeting modern Mayan descendants in their traditional farming villages. As well as some of the well-known ruins, such as Chichen-Itza and Tulum, you will visit lesser known but no less significant ones in the jungle and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve. You will have opportunities to snorkel or dive on the world’s second longest barrier reef, and in incredibly clear inland rivers when they surface from their subterranean labyrinth. You will marvel at tropical wildlife, and will enjoy solitude and camaraderie beneath the palms on exotic white sand beaches stretching as far as the eye can see. You will bike along smooth jungle roads to tiny villages rarely visited by tourists, while absorbing the interesting history and relaxing culture of the Yucatan. This is a fun-filled, multi-faceted exploration, with sensually invigorating days and comfortable tropical nights.

Begin near Izamal – a colonial town whose monastery has been restored to its original splendor. You will then visit the ruins of Chichen-Itza and Coba, with long rides on jungle roads to tiny villages where children will surround you as you stop for refrescos. You will drink fresh-squeezed orange juice and swim in shady jungle grottoes where tiny fish nibble the salt off your skin, and the underwater view is so clear you can see your friend’s bikini from 100 feet away! Finish on the beach just south of Tulum, where bare feet are far more appropriate than shoes, and we challenge you to resist staying for longer! In Tulum, you will explore the ruins, bask and walk on the beach by sunlight and moonlight, and venture into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve to explore vestiges of Mayan civilization and their waterways through the jungle. On the last day, you can enjoy a relaxed morning on the beach, or a cenote swim if time allows, before your transfer to Playa del Carmen or Cancun.

Day 1: Meet in Merida at 16:00 for a transfer to your opulent hacienda located between Merida and Izamal. Includes: (D). (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only). Hacienda San Jose, Tixkokob.

Day 2: Cycling, 99 km or 125 km.
A nice long ride today takes you first to Izamal - a beautifully restored colonial town, with a miraculous restored monastery in its centre. See www.sacredsites.com for information about the relic with miraculous power there. A late morning ride through the villages of Tunkas and Dzitas takes you toward the profoundly fascinating Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Hacienda Chichen, Chichen Itza.

Day 3: Walking the Chichen Itza ruins.
Start your visit to Chichen-Itza early in the day, while it is quiet and peaceful. Your guide will reveal fascinating details of the Mayan culture as you tour the entire ruin area. Walking through these ruins can fill much of your day. You may also choose to awake extra early for a beautiful bird watching tour before visiting the ruins. The remainder of the afternoon can be spent relaxing poolside at your hacienda, exploring nearby cenotes, or perhaps a trip to the ruins at Ek Balam. Includes: (B). Same lodging.

Day 4: Cycling, 62 km or 100 km.
Ride to Valladolid, via Balankanchen caves, and Cenote Dzitnup. A mid afternoon arrival at Valladolid will allow you to enjoy the small shops, the zocalo (central plaza) and the ambience of this quintessentially colonial Mexican town. You might also visit the huge grotto at Cenote Zaci. Includes: (B), (D). El Meson del Marques; or Upgrade option: Kaan Ac, Vallodolid (additional charge of $350pp for upgrade).

Day 5: Cycling 70 km, and walking 4-8 km at Coba ruins. No hills.
An early start allows a beautiful morning ride through Mayan jungle villages to Coba. Jungle wildlife and traditional Mayan farmsteads are abundant along this route, and your guide’s insight is a treat. Stop for lunch and a swim at Cenote Tamcach-Ha. An early afternoon arrival will allow you to enjoy the ruins at Coba, and the sleepy mood in this jungle village, before transferring to the beach at Tulum. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Las Ranitas; or Ocho Tulum; or Cabanas La Conchita; or alternative in Tulum.

Day 6: Cycling 10-20 km, and swimming at several cenotes.
No hills. Morning exploration of Tulum ruins, followed by easy rides to swim or snorkel at several limestone cenotes, including Gran Cenote. These sun dappled jungle grottoes are full of tiny colourful fish which nibble at your skin. Windows to a fascinating underwater river system, the cenotes lure divers to dangerous exploration. Fortunately, the swimmers and snorkellers stay in the sun and enjoy the crystal clear waters in a more leisurely way! Finish with a ride through Tulum pueblo, and a siesta at your palapa on the beach near Tulum. Includes: (B), (L). Las Ranitas; or Ocho Tulum; or Cabanas La Conchita; or alternative in Tulum.

Day 7: 20 km of cycling and seakayaking (optional on self-guided trips).
A short flat ride on a rugged road takes you into the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, to paddle the channels and mangrove-lined passages of a tidal lagoon. Look for exotic birds like spoonbills, ibis, frigate birds, flamingoes, wood storks, herons, egrets and osprey. Reptiles also call this biosphere home. You can also spend part of the day walking the beach, which is uninterrupted for many miles, and rivals the finest beaches in the world. The reef just offshore is the second longest barrier reef in the world. Includes: (B), (L), (D). Las Ranitas; or Ocho Tulum; or Cabanas La Conchita; or alternative in Tulum.

Day 8: Relaxed breakfast, followed by late morning transfer to Playa del Carmen or Cancun.
Transfers to other parts of Mexico can be arranged by bus, collectivo (shared taxi), or private taxi. Includes: (B).

Supplemental Tour Information:
- Start: Merida, 16:00, day one. Transfers from Cancun depart 12:00 $95 pp
- Finish: Cancun, noon, day eight

Cycling mainly on paved roads, with some hard-pack bumpy roads suitable only for fatter tires. The first three days include some small hills, but for the remainder there are none. Expect to ride early in the day, and once the afternoon heat has arrived, to explore ruins on foot, and enjoy your hotel poolside to cool off. Swimming, snorkeling, and diving activities are all optional, and the choices grow as the trip progresses.

Self-Guided Dates: You choose! We confirm with 48 hours.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Guided Cost: $3995 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 4 picnic lunches, 5 dinners, seakayaking, luggage handling, support van and local guide)
- Self-Guided Cost: $3595 (per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, transfers at the start from Merida to first inn and at the finish from Tulum to Cancun)
- Single Occupancy: $1095
- Bicycle Rental: Hybrid, $195

All details are subject to change without notice.