Mexico: Chiapas: The Mayan Highlands

A former Mayan territory, Chiapas state is located in the southernmost region of Mexico and is famed for its wide variety of annual festivals, historical traditions, rich cuisine, and superb textiles.



Upon your arrival in Mexico, you will be met by your driver and taken on a private boat tour of the Sumidero Canyon en route to your hotel in the colonial highland town of San Cristobal de las Casas. The breathtaking Sumidero Canyon, the base of the Chiapas Coat of Arms, rises 900 meters above sea level, and overlooks the vast Grijalva River which flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Founded in 1528, and one of the oldest Spanish settlements in Mexico, San Cristobal de las Casas is located in the central region of Chiapas. A charming city of red tile roofs, colorful houses, cobblestone streets, outdoor markets, and colonial architecture, the city boasts a strong Mayan presence. Your accommodation, an intimate and comfortable bed and breakfast furnished with Mexican and Guatemalan pieces, is located four blocks from the city’s main plaza, and has a wonderful cook who serves fresh breakfast made to order.



After breakfast, you’ll embark on a full-day excursion to the indigenous towns of San Juan Chamula and San Lorenzo Zinacantán, which are located in the Chiapas highlands. You’ll lunch locally, in San Cristobal.

This afternoon, you will be taken to a small indigenous village for an interactive pottery experience. To further understand Tzeltal Maya artisanship, you will be invited into the home of a local artisan, where you will witness firsthand pre-Hispanic pottery making done without a wheel.



This morning, you will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby at 9 am, before departing San Cristobal for Palenque, visiting the famous Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls on the way. While Misol-Ha falls almost 120 feet into a refreshing pool, the Agua Azul falls are surrounded by stunning blue pools of water and lush vegetation.



This morning, you will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby at 6 am for an unforgettable excursion to the remote Mayan archeological sites of Yaxchilan and Bonampak, which are located deep in the Lacandon Jungle. Yaxchilan, an ancient Mayan city located on the banks of the Usumacinta River, was one of the most powerful kingdoms during the Classic period (300-900 AD). Bonampak boasts the finest and best preserved examples of Classic Mayan painting, with a number of murals dating back to 790 AD. This tour includes a one-hour round-trip boat ride.



After breakfast this morning, you’ll enjoy a privately-guided tour of the archaeological site, Palenque, a stunning city of the Mayan civilization that dates from 100 BC until its fall around 800 AD. While Palenque isn’t the largest of the sites in the area, it contains some of the finest Mayan architecture, sculptures, and carvings.

After your visit, you will be transferred two hours to Villahermosa airport to meet your departure flight.




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