Mexico: The Maya of the Northwest Yucatan


Delve into the mysteries of the Maya of the Northwest Yucatan Peninsula, explore thriving Merida, and relax at the beach in Celestun on Mexico’s stunning Gulf Coast.


Reserve today!

Mexico: The Maya of the Northwest Yucatan

February 29 – March 9, 2024

Inquire about custom dates and itineraries to suit your group of family and friends.

This trip to Mexico’s Northwest Yucatan Peninsula will give you the opportunity to explore Merida’s rich Maya and colonial culture.  Merida is known for it’s vibrant art scene and beautifully restored Spanish colonial architecture.

We’ll also spend a few days exploring Maya ruins:  Mayapan and Uxmal, considered two of the most important sites; and Kabah, Sayil, and Labna, smaller sites but important archtecturally and culturally and with few tourists.

Finally, we’ll have three nights and two full days to relax on the beach in Celestun, a small fishing village on the Gulf Coast.

Day 1

Arrival in Merida

Arrive in Merida and check in to our hotel in time to meet in the hotel lobby by 6:00 pm.  From there we’ll head out to our orientation  dinner.  Meals included: dinner.

Merida hotel courtyard

Day 2


Today we will take a Walking Street Food Tour of Merida to help us decide what features we want to explore further:  its museums, architecture, & art.  In addition to sampling some great food, we’ll pass by the Parque de Santa Lucia, Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Museo Palacio de la Musica, Catedral de Merida, and Museo Casa Montejo.   Meals included: breakfast & lunch.

Merida cathedral

Day 3


What do you want to explore today?  It’s up to you.  Perhaps you want to return to some of the sites we saw on our walking tour.  Or explore Merida’s vibrant art scene.  Or take in the wonders of the Grand Museum of the Mayan Word of Merida.  Meals included: breakfast.

Museo Maya de Merida dia

Day 4

Mayapan/Santa Elena

We’ll leave our hotel at 7:30 am in order to arrive at Mayapan at 10 am where we’ll exploring this site that was the political and cultural capital of the Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula from the 1220s until the 1440s.  After a stop for lunch we’ll proceed to the Pickled Onion B&B where we’ll stay for three nights.  You’ll have time for a refreshing dip in the pool before dinner.  Meals included: breakfast.

Pickled Onion pool

 Museo Maya de Merida dia[/caption]

Day 5

Santa Elena

Today, we’ll take a break and rest up after our time exploring Merida and Mayapan.  Relax by the pool with a book, take a walk into the village of Santa Elana to see the village church, or have lunch at a taqueria.   Meals included: breakfast.

Screenshot 2022 10 31 at 15 16 44 The Pickled Onion · C. 18 220 Sta Elena 97890 Santa Elena Yuc. Mexico


Day 6

Uxmal/Santa Elena

Today, we’ll explore Uxmal with our local guide.  An ancient Maya city of the classical period, Uxmal is considered one of the most important sites of Maya culture in Mexico, along with Palenque, Chechen Itza, and Calakmul. Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Uxmal Pyramid of the Magician

Day 7

Kabah, Sayil, Labna/Celestun

Taking advantage of being in the heart of the Maya ruins known as the Ruta Puuc (the route of the hills), today our local guide will show us the sites of Kabah, Sayil, and Labna. These are small, lightly touristed sites and we have a good chance of being the only tourists there.  After our explorations we’ll continue on to Celestun and check into our hotel in time to relax on the beach and watch the sun set.  Meals included: breakfast and lunch.

Palacio Sayil


Day 8


No activities scheduled today.  Optional activities include flamingo watching or touring the Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve by boat.

Celestun beach

Day 9


No activities scheduled today.  Take the opportunity to relax by the pool or on the beach, do some beachcombing, or take a walk into the fishing village.

Celestun flamingos

Day 10

Flights home

Depart Celestun at 9:30 am in order to arrive at Merida International Airport by 11:00 am for flights home.

Activity Level


Activities are generally not very strenuous; however, we expect guests to enjoy two hours or more of walking, are sure-footed on cobbled surfaces, and walk up and down stairs without assistance. In rural and small-town settings, unpaved roads and pathways will be common with some short sections of rough trail, which we expect that guests can traverse with no more than a companion’s hand to steady them. Historic city centers are frequently more accessible by foot than a vehicle, and sometimes your motorcoach can’t drop you off at the hotel and site entrances. Due to the structure of some buildings, facilities for the disabled may be limited.

Become a Badams Travel Partner!

Send your experience offer today!
Get Involved