Yellow Town by Horse and Carriage
- Price from:
- 106 GBP /person
- 01273 322046
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
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- Wire Transfer
Last updated: 02/19/2009
Visit the most famous Mayan ruins of Yucatan: Chichen Itza. Stay in fairytale 'yellow' town Izamal. Walk along fortress walls and bastions in colonial town Campeche and go back to the age of pirates.
Playa del Carmen (or Cancun) to ChichÃ¨n Itza
At 10am your rental car will be waiting for you. Our local English-speaking agent will give you a brief rundown on driving in Mexico, and armed with a map and directions you're on your way. The two-hour drive takes you along a flat road through several small villages to the colonial town Valladolid. The central plaza is a great spot for lunch. Just behind the plaza is the rather quirky shoemaker's district. Around 1pm you'll be on your way again. It's only a short drive because 5km further on you'll come across the cenote at Dzitnup.
"Cenotes" are underground rivers and lakes formed by erosion of the porous soil in Yucatan. There are several around Yucatan, many of which have a magical atmosphere.The cenote at Dzitnup is in a large cave and reputedly the most beautiful. If you want to take a swim then put your suit on that morning, there are no dressing rooms.After a refreshing underground dip it's back into the car for an hour's drive to Chichen Itza, where you'll arrive around 3pm. You'll notice the area is a lot more tropical than where you set off from this morning. You'll be staying in a romantic hacienda close to the ruins. The ruins are open until 5pm but you'll need at least 3 hours to explore the complex so it's best to hold off your visit until early tomorrow morning.For now spend the afternoon relaxing at the hacienda. The 28 bungalows are surrounded by lush tropical gardens, your room is tastefully decorated and there's a hammock and a rocking chair on the veranda.Driving distance: 4Â½ hours incl. stops.
Chichen Itza to IzamalBecause you're staying close to Chichen Itza, you can be one of the first in when it opens at 8am (admission approx US$8.-)That way you'll be able to experience the quiet, serene atmosphere of the ruins before the coach loads of day-trippers from Cancun arrive. Wear light clothing and bring plenty of water as it usually gets very hot after 10am. Chichen Itza was the last major Mayan city and was far ahead of its time. The focal point at Chichen Itza is El Castillo (the castle), a temple dedicated to the god Kulkulkan. It's a perfectly symmetrical pyramid, though because it's so steep climbing the temple is no longer allowed. Nevertheless it's still one of the most prominent structures in the complex.Every year on 21st March and 21st September, the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, Chichen hosts a solar spectacle. On these dates the position of the sun creates a light-and-shadow optical illusion of a snake creeping down the steps of El Castillo. It is in fact a very clever architectural feat by the Mayans.Another highlight of Chichen is the ball court where once the Mayans would play a football game... to the death.The acoustics are amazing - you can sit at one end of the court and still hear the other person whispering at the other. Give it a try.After wandering round the complex for 3-4 hours you'll have got a good impression of this ancient city so it's time to head back to the hacienda for some lunch and to freshen up.At around 1.30pm you'll set off for Izamal, an important Mayan settlement before the Spaniards came, saw and destroyed many of original buildings and built a Franciscan monastery in the square. The monastery can still be visited today.Several ruins of the original Mayan buildings can still be found around the town but the most impressive feature of Izamal has to be the town centre which is completely painted bright yellow. We've never been able to find out exactly why, but maybe you'll be in more luck.You'll be staying in a cheerful small hotel with a sea of pillows on your bed and at 4pm there will be a horse and carriage waiting to take you on a trip through the yellow streets. The tour ends at the monastery (yellow, of course) which you can visit if you like.In the evening try a traditional Yucatecan meal at restaurant Kinich (next to the ruins). A walk back to your hotel through the balmy evening air is the perfect end to your day.Driving distance 1Â½ hours.
Izamal - Campeche
In the morning spend some more time in Izamal or pay a visit to Merida, a large city with many colonial buildings and a bustling centre with shops and outdoor cafes. Then follow the highway along the coast to Campeche. You'll be staying in a hotel in the historic colourful centre. Campeche is a surprisingly interesting town and with little over 100.000 inhabitants it's comfortably small-scale. Thanks to major restoration works over the last few years many of the historic buildings have been restored to their former glory and are beautifully lit at night.Driving distance Izamal - Merida: 1 hour, Merida - Campeche: 4 hours.
Departure from Campeche
Today's the last day of this module. Before you go, take a last stroll through the centre and past the old fortress walls but if you're travelling on to a next destination make sure you don't leave too late.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation for 3 nights and a city tour of Izamal
- Exclusions -
- All transportation and meals
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Playa Del Carmen
Email the tour operator - Yellow Town by Horse and Carriage
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