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A Passage Through Mexico + Flavours of Oaxaca + Riviera Maya Beach

Plaza de la Constitución, Mexico City
Oaxaca, Mexico
Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico
Traditional dish, Oaxaca, Mexico
Local Cuisine, Merida, Mexico
El Rosario, Puebla, Mexico
Puebla, Mexico
Teotihuacan, Mexico
Chichen Itza, Yucatan
Textiles Market, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
Cancun beach
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £4289 £3989
18 days

Holiday highlights

  • Admire the Unesco-recognised historical centre of Mexico City.
  • Explore the Palenque ruins and the nearby Jungle Temples.
  • Walk the colourful streets of San Cristóbal and learn about Maya culture in the nearby Maya villages.
  • Spend some time kicking back on the beaches of the Riviera Maya.

View this Itinerary in Photos

  • Fly from the UK to Mexico City. On arrival you are met at the airport and escorted to your hotel. Mexico City is a buzzing capital city with something for everyone: leafy parks; splendid gastronomy; world-class museums; remnants from ancient cities; laid back canal rides; a flourishing culture and arts scene and a lively Latin American spirit.

    Meals included: Meal on the transatlantic flight.

  • Spend the day exploring one of Latin America’s most compelling capitals. Either wander the bustling streets of the UNESCO recognised Historic Centre on your own or take the optional half-day Mexico City Walking Tour, which gives you a feel for local culture, with a visit to the local market where you can try exotic fruit, a walk around the main Zócalo square, taking in the National Palace filled with Diego Rivera's artwork, the Metropolitan Cathedral and the remains of the Atzec Templo Mayor. Visit an artisan sweet shop then return to your hotel in time for lunch.

    In the evening, take the optional Lucha Libre Wrestling excursion for an exhilarating Friday night in Mexico City. 

    From January – February, you can add the full-day Monarch Butterfly excursion to your itinerary where you visit the Pedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary located 2.5 hours outside of Mexico City. Enjoy a walk along beautiful forest paths to witness the spectacle of thousands of monarch butterflies resting in the trees and flying above you, before descending to the picturesque lake-side town of Valle de Bravo, nestled in verdant green hills where lunch is provided. There is time for souvenir shopping before you return to Mexico City in the early evening.

    Please note that if you would like to take all three Mexico City excursions, your stay will need to be extended by a night.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Another free day to appreciate the museums, murals and animated vibe of Mexico City, or make your way to one of Mexico’s jaw-dropping ancient attractions: the archaeological site of Teotihuacán. The full-day Pyramids of Teotihuacán excursion takes you out of city to this man-made wonder, where you can climb the enormous Sun and Moon Temples for far-reaching views of the Valley of Mexico plains, and learn about one of Mexico’s most famous civilisations. On the return to Mexico City, stop at the Square of Three Cultures and the Catholic pilgrimage site of the Basilica of Guadalupe for an insight into the colonial era and modern-day city landmarks.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch on the Pyramids of Teotihuacán excursion.

  • In the morning, take a short journey out of Mexico City to the neighbouring city of Puebla, famed for its tiled buildings, food and gold-clad Rosary Chapel. Have a guided tour of the historic centre and the drive to Zapotitlan Salinas. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in town. After lunch head to the community-run botanic garden. Here paths wind their way through the desert landscape, surrounded by tall cactus plants. Afterwards, continue for four hours into the highlands to the city of Oaxaca, where you spend the next three nights.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch at a local restaurant.

    Read our blog to find out about Jordan's foodie experiences in Oaxaca.

  • Set off in the morning for a full day tour encompassing the vibrant culture, spectacular nature and archaeological ruins near Oaxaca. After breakfast, drive into the mountains to the natural springs of Hierve el Agua, 70km southeast of the city, which have been used for ceremonial purposes since pre-Hispanic times. One of just two “petrified waterfalls” in the world, the unique site is made up of an enormous rock formation which appears to be a waterfall frozen in time, cascading down the cliffside to the valley below. Bring swimwear as there is a chance to bathe in the natural pools at the top of the waterfalls. Continue to a rural mezcal liquor distillery to learn about how this typical regional beverage is produced and sold around the world. Visit the town of Mitla, where the pre-Christian archaeological ruins date back to the Zapotecs, whose influence was predominant until AD 900. Explore the plazas, winding passages, stepped pyramids and intricate mosaic patterns, then enjoy a three course lunch in a restaurant before proceeding to Teotitlán del Valle, known for producing beautiful woven products. In the village, traditional dying methods using indigo and moss are preserved, with designs including Zapotec gods and geometric patterns. Return to Oaxaca in the afternoon and spend the evening at leisure.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch. 

  • In the morning, enjoy a walking tour of Oaxaca, visiting the 20 de Noviembre Market where you wander round the stalls filled with amazing ingredients. If you like, you can buy Oaxacan specialities, including tamales wrapped in banana leaves, quesillos, tortillas, coffee, chocolate and even insects! Learn about the fruits, vegetables and other produce grown in the region, then walk around the historic centre, stopping to visit Santo Domingo Church, the cathedral and theatre. The afternoon is free for you to explore on your own.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Fly in the morning via Mexico City to the state of Chiapas in southern Mexico, landing in sultry Tuxtla Gutierrez. At the nearby Sumidero Canyon, take an invigorating two-hour boat ride through a steep-sided gorge, with beautiful views of waterfalls and the sheer rock face. Then continue by road to the tourist-friendly, highland city of San Cristóbal de las Casas, and spend the evening navigating its attractive colonial streets. Spend the night here.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Our fascinating Maya Villages excursion gives you an insight into the unique way of life practiced in the communities of Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula, a short distance from San Cristóbal. This morning excursion begins with a walking tour, taking in some of the buildings of historical interest in San Cristóbal. You then drive to two villages just outside of the city, where a traditional lifestyle based on ancient Maya rituals and customs is practised. The communities have adopted some elements of life in modern-day Mexico but remain detached from the outside world, resulting in an intriguing blend of modernity and ancient traditions. If you would prefer to have a free day in San Cristóbal, the city has a number of good museums, cafes, restaurants and handicraft shopping.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Depart San Cristóbal after an early breakfast for a full-day journey to the jungle town of Palenque, in the state of Chiapas. On the way, stop at Roberto Barrios Waterfall, a pretty series of cascades in a verdant setting where water majestically tumbles over rocks and gathers in pools, where you can swim. You have lunch in a local restaurant before continuing through jungle scenery to your hotel in Palenque.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included en route to Palenque

  • After breakfast take a guided tour of the ruins of the city of Palenque, built in the heart of the jungle by the ancient Maya. Palenque is one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in Mexico, with exquisite architectural detail and a jungle backdrop. You have a guided tour of the main buildings, including the Temple of Inscriptions and Temple of the Cross, before returning to your hotel. Enjoy a free afternoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel

  • Today is a free day in the Palenque area, to enjoy your hotel pool, explore the town, or take our optional full-day Jungle Temples of Bonampak & Yaxchilán excursion. Yaxchilán and Bonampak are two lesser-visited, but excellent and well-preserved, archaeological sites on the Mexican-Guatemalan border. They are known for their artistry, colourful friezes bright after over 1000 years and long sequences of ancient glyphs, which have taught us much about the people who lived and ruled here. Accessing these remote sites is an adventure by road and small boat through the jungle.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch included on the Jungle Temples of Bonampak & Yaxchilán excursion

  • Take a full day road journey to Mérida, with a late lunch in Campeche, arriving in your hotel in the evening.


    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel, lunch is included en-route

  • Spend the day exploring Mérida at your leisure or take the optional Mérida Walking Tour excursion for a fantastic insight into one of Mexico's most interesting cities, including visits to Santa Lucía and Hidalgo Parks, San Ildefonso Cathedral, José Peon Contreras Theatre, Casa de Montejo and Lucas Galvez Market. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. 

     

  • Set off early for a two-hour drive to reach the archaeological site of Chichén Itzá at the quietest part of the day. Chichén Itzá is one of the best known historical sites in Mexico, especially since it was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. The giant Kukulkan pyramid, the iconic image of Chichén Itzá, is an awe-inspiring sight towering above the surrounding temples. You have a guided tour around the complex before continuing to a hacienda near Valladoid where you have lunch and time to swim in the beautiful cenote here. Then continue by road for two hours to Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean Coast, your final, beautiful, destination in Mexico. Your hotel is on a white-sand beach, within walking distance of the services in Playa del Carmen but in a quiet area, the perfect place to sit back and unwind.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel in Mérida, lunch at Chichén Itzá and dinner at the hotel in the Riviera Maya.

  • A free day to recline on the beach or by the hotel pool and bar. Perhaps visit Isla Cozumel, an island just across the bay which is known for its excellent scuba diving and snorkelling. There is a regular ferry service from the port in Playa del Carmen and the journey takes just 30 minutes. You could also arrange an excursion to the archaeological site of Cobá or the laid-back town of Tulum, where there is a picturesque archaeological complex right by the coast. After visiting the ruins it is possible to cool off with a refreshing dip in the sea.

    Meals included: Breakfast and dinner at the hotel.

  • Another free day spent by the sea. There are many sights to see in the surrounding region, including water and land-based activity centres where you can snorkel in underground rivers and caves, swim in cenotes, try adventure activities such as rappelling and zip-lines, and see cultural shows. Excursions to activity centres can be arranged in the compact centre of Playa del Carmen, which has several tour operators as well as numerous cafes, restaurants and shops.

    Meals included: Breakfast and dinner at the hotel.

  • Depending on your flight time, you may have a final chance this morning to relax on the gorgeous beach beside your hotel. Later, you will have a transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Meal included on the transatlantic flight.

  • Your flight arrives back in the UK.

Accommodation

Upgrade Package

Superior Hotel Upgrade Package Save £86

Upgrade in Mexico City, San Cristóbal, Palenque and Mérida for a discounted price.

from £599
(£600 Single Supplement)

Accommodation in Mexico City

Zocalo Central

Included
Terrace Restaurant, Zócalo Central, Mexico City
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
92%
92%
Service
96%
96%
Location
99%
99%

Standard Hotel: This hotel is located on the city’s main square, and has more amenities and services. There is a sixth-floor restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating, looking out over the cathedral and commerce on the streets below. There is a gym and the en-suite rooms are air conditioned.

Why stay here? It is difficult to find a hotel in a better location in Mexico City. You can take advantage of this by sitting on the rooftop terrace above the Zócalo Square, watching the activity taking place below from a relaxed and pleasant environment.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant and gym.

• The hotel offers room service, a 24-hour front desk, a wake-up call service, complimentary bottled water and fruit, an ice machine, laundry facilities and currency exchange.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a tea/coffee maker, free bottled water, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Standard room

Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico

£90
(£90 Single Supplement)

Superior Hotel: Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is a historical hotel in a beautiful art nouveau building. It is situated on the main plaza of Mexico City and offers 60 elegant, well-proportioned en-suite rooms. In the heart of the historic centre, it is within walking distance of many tourist attractions and also offers 3 restaurants and a scenic roof terrace. 

Why stay here: Gran Hotel Ciudad de Mexico is a stunning building with comfortable rooms and is centrally-located.

Hotel facilities
• WiFi is available throughout the hotel
• Three restaurants and a piano bar
• Scenic roof terrace

About the room
All rooms are spacious with en-suite bathrooms and wifi. There is a safe, coffee facilities, cable television and air-conditioning.

Room types available
Economy King, Economy Double

Accommodation in San Cristóbal De Las Casas

Casa Vieja

Included
Casa Vieja Courtyard, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
60%
60%
Service
60%
60%
Location
86%
86%

Standard Hotel: In an historic building in central San Cristóbal, this quaint hotel has a restaurant and rooms furnished in a regional style, with en-suite bathrooms, and hot and cold air conditioning.

Why stay here? When visiting San Cristóbal, it is a good opportunity to stay in one of the attractive colonial-era buildings found in the centre. This is a quaint, historical hotel with an excellent location and rooms that are modest yet comfortable.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant and a reading room with a TV, computer access and printer.

• The hotel offers laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning and heating, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Standard room

Casa del Alma

£130
(£130 Single Supplement)
Casa del Alma Courtyard, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
93%
93%
Service
93%
93%
Location
93%
93%

Superior Hotel: The Casa del Alma boasts a lovely location near the centre of San Cristóbal. Perched on a hill, each of the 27 en-suite rooms has great views of the city, and there is a restaurant, bar and relaxing spa and gym.

Why stay here: The suites here are spacious, allowing you to spread out during your stay, and the private balconies in each room provide great views.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available free of charge

• Restaurant and bar

• Spa and gym

About the room

All rooms are spacious with en-suite bathrooms and private balconies. There is tea and coffee facilities and free wifi.

Room types available

Standard suite

Accommodation in Palenque

Chan-Kah Resort

Included
Chan-Kah Resort Pool, Palenque, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
76%
76%
Service
73%
73%
Location
82%
82%

Standard Hotel: On the road between the town and ruins, and surrounded by tropical vegetation, this hotel is at one with its natural surroundings. It has two outdoor pools, a restaurant and bar. The comfortable rooms have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning.

Why stay here? This is one of the most comfortable hotels in Palenque: although the rooms are simple, they are well-sized and there is a good swimming pool. The jungle environment and proximity to Palenque ruins are big draws.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, coffee shop and bar, a swimming pool, a Maya-style spa, a games room and a gift shop.

• The hotel offers room service, assistance with booking tours, computer access in the lobby, a wake-up call service, a safety deposit box at reception, laundry facilities and money exchange.

About the room

All rooms have a ceiling fan, a TV, a telephone, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Casita junior suite

Quinta Cha Nab Nal

£195
(£195 Single Supplement)
Pool Area, Quinta Cha Nab Nal, Palenque, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
89%
89%
Service
94%
94%
Location
83%
83%

Superior Hotel: This boutique hotel is three kilometres from Palenque archaeological site in a jungle setting. With just a few rooms, the hotel offers good service, lush grounds, a swimming pool, a Maya-style spa and a restaurant. The attractive rooms have air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Why stay here? Quinta Cha Nab Nal is smaller and quieter than most hotels in Palenque. Perfect for a relaxing stay, it offers a higher level of accommodation and better service. The restaurant serves good meals and the rooms are spacious. As most hotels in the area are more simple, this is probably the best place to stay in Palenque.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a swimming pool, gardens and a spa.

• The hotel offers assistance with booking tours, tea and coffee in the lobby, a safety deposit box at reception and laundry facilities.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning and a ceiling fan, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a mini bar, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Junior suite

Accommodation in Mérida

NH Collection Paseo Montejo

Included

Standard Lodge: Situated in downtown Mérida, the NH Collection is a stone’s throw from the tree-lined Paseo Montejo avenue where you can find ornate mansions housing boutique shops. The 120-room hotel is within walking distance of several sites, including the Palacio de Canton which boasts majestic French-style architecture. There is a rooftop swimming pool, restaurant and bar. 

Why stay here? The hotel’s design is inspired by the henequen plant, native to the Yucatán area. The restaurant offers fresh, local cuisine and the roof terrace has a pool where you can watch the sunset with a cocktail.

Hotel facilities

• Free WiFi is available in all rooms and public areas.

• There is a restaurant, bar, swimming pool and gym.

• The hotel offers concierge service, luggage storage, laundry service and 24-hour front desk.

About the room

Rooms are modern, with wooden flooring and plenty of natural light. All rooms have air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, TV, tea and coffee making facilities, safety deposit box and desk.

Room types available

Superior Room

Casa Lecanda

£150
(£150 Single Supplement)

Superior Hotel: Casa Lecanda is a boutique hotel in a beautifully preserved colonial building. It is located in the heart of Mérida’s old town, just two blocks from the main street of restaurants and shops. The hotel itself is a peaceful retreat from the outside buzz, with a series of gorgeous patios, a pool and beautiful high-ceilinged rooms.  There are a number of outdoor spaces in which to relax, as well as an on-site tequila bar. En-suite rooms are spacious with great amenities, and locally crafted custom-made furniture.

Why stay here: This hotel is a stylish haven in the heart of the city. Between the lovely patios, the high, wood-beamed ceilings and the luxurious bedding, it is impossible not to relax here.

Hotel facilities

• Beautiful courtyards and pool

• Wine and tequila bar

• Wi-fi

About the room

Spacious rooms with en-suite bathrooms look out onto the pool and garden. There is a safe, cable television and air-conditioning, and locally-built, custom-made furniture.

Room types available

Patio room

Accommodation in Oaxaca

Parador San Miguel

Included
Parador San Miguel, Oaxaca, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
80%
80%
Service
87%
87%
Location
93%
93%

Standard Hotel: In a colonial-style building in the heart of the city centre, this hotel has a charming restaurant serving local dishes. Rooms are simply but attractively furnished,all the en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning.

Why stay here? This is a great base in Oaxaca: it is centrally located and within walking distance of many restaurants, is very well kept and service is attentive.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• The hotel has a restaurant and can arrange massage and hair dressing services.

• The hotel offers assistance with booking tours, a safety deposit box at reception and a laundry service upon request.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, free bottled water, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Standard room

De La Parra

£120
(£120 Single Supplement)

Superior Hotel: This small hotel, very close to the main square, has 13 colonial-style rooms, a seating area in the courtyard, a restaurant and an outdoor pool. Rooms have air conditioning and en-suite bathrooms.

Why stay here? This is an intimate and homely hotel, and its setting in a colonial-era building brings some character to the decoration and style. The courtyard is a relaxing haven in which to cool off in the pool or unwind with a drink on the comfortable chairs.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There is a restaurant, a pool bar, gardens and a gift shop.

• The hotel offers assistance with booking tours, a wake-up call service, laundry facilities, a coffee service in the lobby, and free access to a computer in the lobby.

About the room

All rooms have air conditioning, free WiFi, a TV, a telephone, a safety deposit box, a mini bar, a coffee machine, a hair dryer and en-suite bathrooms.

Room types available
Standard room

Accommodation in Playa del Carmen

Mahekal Resort

Included
Infinity Pool, Mahekal Beach Resort, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
96%
96%
Service
96%
96%
Location
96%
96%

Standard Beach Hotel: This hotel on the largest stretch of beach in Playa del Carmen is a ten-minute walk from the centre of town but feels disconnected from the activity of the main eating and shopping area. Two meals per day are included: breakfast and either lunch or dinner, depending on your preference. There are two pools, both with a bar, two restaurants and a spa.

Why stay here? Stunning white sand beaches are found all along the Riviera Maya, but hotels between the main towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum are often quite isolated, with limited facilities nearby. This hotel offers the best of both worlds; a laid-back, spacious hotel with attractive accommodations in a tropical style, whilst also being close to the services of Playa del Carmen. We like the fact that rooms are found in individual, small buildings spread throughout the grounds, with well-kept gardens between them.

Hotel facilities

• WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.

• There are two restaurants, two poolside bars, two swimming pools, shaded sun loungers on the beach, a spa, a gift shop and an on-site dive centre.

• The hotel offers assistance with booking tours, luggage storage, beach and pool towels and laundry facilities.

About the room

Garden view rooms are on the ground floor with a private terrace and hammock, air conditioning and ceiling fans, free WiFi, daily bottled water, a safety deposit box, a hair dryer, umbrellas and en-suite bathrooms. 

Ocean view rooms have similar facilities to the garden view rooms, but you can spy the ocean from the rooms.

Room types available

Garden view room

Ocean view room

Excursions

Excursions Package

Mexico Excursion Package Save £36

Take the Mexico City Walking Tour, Pyramids of Teotihuacán, Maya Villages, Jungle Temples of Bonampak & Yaxchilán and Merida Walking Tour excursions together for a discounted price.

from £349

Mexico City Walking Tour

£50

Rather than just visiting church after church, this half-day walking tour gives you a feel for local culture, offering a mixture of historic Mexico City and daily life in the capital. Highlights of the tour include visiting the enormous Zocalo Square, admiring Diego Rivera’s fantastic artwork in the National Palace, trying some of the delicious local fruit in San Juan market and visiting an artisan sweet shop.

Full Description:

After breakfast, your guide collects you from your hotel, from where your walking tour begins. Start in the Zócalo, the enormous main square, where you admire Diego Rivera’s fabulous murals depicting Mexico’s history in the National Palace. Take in a spectacular view of the Aztec Templo Mayor ruins, and perhaps stumble across a mariachi band busking. Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral then around mid-morning, continue to San Juan market, a 20-minute walk away, stopping at a pastry shop to have a 30-minute break and pick up fresh bread. Get lost in the colourful market, soaking up the hubbub and trying local fruit as you peruse the stalls. There are stalls selling tacos and quesadillas if you want to try something authentically local. Head to a local cafe where you can enjoy a coffee with the bread from the bakery, and sit back for a bit of people watching as the Mexicans go about their daily lives. Stop at the Dulceria de Celaya en route back to your hotel. This sweet shop, a Mexico City institution, was founded in 1874 and is the perfect place to try some local treats.

Lucha Libre Wrestling

£95
Lucha Libre, Mexico City, Mexico

There’s no better way to spend a Friday night in Mexico City than by experiencing the country’s most colourful spectacle at the Arena México. Lucha Libre is a way of life for many locals, second only to football in popularity. Get your adrenaline pumping as you watch wrestlers dressed as superheroes fight inside the ring, and perhaps buy a mask to take home to remember it. After the show, visit a local pulqueria tavern to try a pre-Hispanic drink made from fermented agave.

Full Description:

In the evening, get picked up from your hotel by your guide and transferred to the Arena México in the heart of Mexico City. Meaning “free fighting”, Lucha Libre combines sport and theatre, and is characterised by the outlandish capes and colourful masks worn by the wrestlers who perform acrobatic moves and fly from dizzying heights. Watch as the técnicos (good guys) try to defeat the rudos (bad guys) through a series of dropkicks and backflips. Unlike typical American wrestling, the Mexican version has more of an emphasis on spectacular aerial manoeuvres rather than brute force. The masks worn by the luchadores (fighters) date back to Aztec times, decorated with images of creatures, gods and ancient heroes to mark the identity of each fighter. The Lucha Libre is an important part of modern Mexican culture, and wrestlers can often be seen wearing their masks in public to conceal their true identity. You can buy a mask at the arena as a souvenir. After the show, head back to the hotel, stopping at a local pulquería, a traditional Mexican tavern serving pulque, an alcoholic beverage made from fermented agave, dating back to pre-Hispanic times.

Pyramids of Teotihuacán

£90
Teotihuacan, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
91%
91%

Discover Mexico’s cultural and religious diversity over time in this day-long tour to the area’s significant cultural sites. At Teotihuacán, one of Mexico’s great archaeological sites, admire the 64m-tall Temple of the Sun and its perfect alignment with the setting sun’s axis. After lunch, return to the metropolis to explore its Hispanic-influenced culture. Visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe before ending the tour at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, where expressions of three architectural periods exist side by side.

Full Description:

On this full-day excursion, travel a short distance out of Mexico City to reach the complex of Teotihuacán, established around 100BC and formerly one of the most influential political, cultural and ceremonial centres in the western hemisphere. Walk down the wide Avenue of the Dead, which cuts through the city like an arrow, with temples lining either side. Climb the magnificent Pyramid of the Sun, a mind-blowing structure standing 64 metres tall, in perfect alignment with the axis of the setting sun. From here, there are stunning views of the surrounding plains and the equally impressive Pyramid of the Moon. After lunch in a nearby restaurant, return to Mexico City to see a side to Mexican religion and culture hailing from the Hispanic era. Visit the vast Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the north of the city, a site to which millions of pilgrims travel annually to honour the patron saint of Mexico, especially on her saint’s day, the 12th of December. Finally, continue to the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, a square where three periods of history are represented in the architecture before returning to your hotel.

Monarch Butterfly

£280
Monarch Butterflies, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
99%
99%

This excursion is available on January and February departures, owing to the seasonality of the butterfly migration. 

A short distance from Mexico’s lively capital city, lies a site which is home to another kind of attraction altogether. In the winter months, from December to February, Piedra Herrada plays host to thousands of monarch butterflies that migrate to Mexico from as far a field a Canada. At this time of year, the trees in the butterfly sanctuary are covered with the small creatures as they recover from their epic flight across North America.

Full Description:

The excursion begins after breakfast, with a 2.5 hour transfer from the hotel in Mexico City to the Piedra Herrada Butterfly Sanctuary outside the town of Valle de Bravo. On arrival, head out for a 30-45 minute uphill walk along the forest paths, gaining altitude before reaching the part of the reserve where the butterflies are found.

After witnessing the spectacle of thousands of monarch butterflies resting in the trees and flying above you, descend to the sanctuary entrance and continue to the picturesque lake-side town of Valle de Bravo. Here learn a bit about the town and take a guided walk through it, followed by some free time to enjoy the setting, nestled in the green hills by a lake. Lunch is provided in one of the local eateries in Valle de Bravo. There is also the opportunity to do some souvenir shopping at the local handcraft market, where pretty pottery and wooden carvings abound. Transfer back to Mexico City in the late afternoon, arriving in the early evening.

Please note that if you would like to take all three Mexico City excursions, your stay will need to be extended by a night, for an additional cost of £50 per person (based on 2 people sharing in a standard hotel).

Maya Villages

£45
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico
Llama Travel Customer Rating
89%
89%

A short distance from San Cristóbal exists a whole other world which you will discover in this half-day excursion. After a walking tour of San Cristobal’s centre, visit two fascinating Tzotzil villages where you encounter the hybrid Maya Catholic culture in an authentic interaction with the local villagers.

Full Description:

This fascinating half-day excursion gives you an insight into the unique way of life practiced in the communities of Zinacantán and San Juan Chamula, a short distance from San Cristóbal. You begin with a walking tour of San Cristóbal centre, taking in some of the buildings of historical interest such as the Santo Domingo church. You then drive to two Tzotzil Maya villages just outside of the city, where a traditional lifestyle based on ancient rituals and customs is practised. As in the rest of Mexico, missionaries arrived in this hilly, rugged region in the 16th century; however, partly due to the natural isolation of the area, evangelization was never fully completed and a hybrid Catholic and Tzotzil culture emerged. Today, the townsfolk still speak the Tzotzil language and wear traditional dress, such as the black or white fluffy woollen tunics known as chujes, worn by men in San Juan Chamula. The central churches are the hubs for village life and ceremonies take place throughout the day. Although the communities are fiercely independent and in many ways are detached from the outside world, tourists are permitted to visit on the understanding that local customs are respected.

Jungle Temples of Bonampak & Yaxchilán

£170
Frieze at Bonampak, Palenque 
Llama Travel Customer Rating
90%
90%

Emerging from the far reaches of the Chiapas jungle, these distinct archaeological sites will have you marvelling at the artistic detail in their ornamentation and murals. This full-day tour departs Palenque early in the morning for Yaxchilán before heading deeper into the jungle to Bonampak. The journey includes gravel roads, river travel and howler monkeys, all adding to the sense of adventure in visiting these remarkable sites.

Full Description:

Safeguarded by their remote location in the far reaches of the Chiapas jungle, close to the Guatemala border, Yaxchilán and the smaller site of Bonampak are two incredibly well-preserved archaeological complexes, famed for their ornamentation, murals and artistic detail. On this full-day excursion you depart early in the morning from Palenque, travelling on a good road and taking a small motorised boat on the River Usumacinta for the final hour of the journey to Yaxchilán. Yaxchilán has an impressive location poised high above the river, which helped the ‘Jaquar’ dynasty to rule over nearby settlements for generations. Bonampak is around 30km away and is reached by boat then road. Here, temples rise from the jungle and the cries of howler monkeys create a mesmerising atmosphere. You explore the interior of the Temple of Murals, where original rusty red, yellow and turquoise paints have been preserved and the friezes tell tales of life in ancient times. Bonampak and Yaxchilán are less visited than most Maya cities and this adds to their abundant charm. The final 3km of the road to Bonampak is unpaved, but in good condition.

Mérida Walking Tour

£30

One of Mexico’s oldest and most interesting cities, Mérida boasts a rich history and prominent cultural heritage. Today, it is a charming city to explore, filled with leafy plazas, tranquil parks, bustling markets and pretty streets lined with colonial buildings. This three-hour walking tour lets you discover the best of the city, taking you from pre-Spanish conquest as you visit palaces and churches, right up to the present day with a chance to meet the locals and try tasty Mexican delicacies in the market. Highlights of the walking tour include the Paseo de Montejo Boulevard, San Ildefonso Cathedral and Lucas Galvez Market, with an expert local guide to bring it all to life and fill you with anecdotes about how Mérida came to be the fascinating place it is today.

Full Description:

After breakfast, meet your guide at the hotel and walk down the Paseo Montejo, an iconic boulevard lined with historic mansions. Reach Santa Lucía Park, a beautiful shaded square dotted with boutique shops and food stalls, providing a popular spot for locals to relax and enjoy the traditional folk music and dancing buskers. Learn about the stained glass and quarry stone entrance of the Franciscan-style church which was built for the use of slaves brought over from Africa, as well as serving as a cemetery for commoners. Continue to the José Peon Contreras Theatre, a symbol of culture and art in the Yucatán region, then stop in Hidalgo Park, one of Merida’s prettiest green spaces, shaded by palm trees and great for people watching, with local artists and buskers adding to the ambience. Continue to the Government Palace and Cathedral of San Ildefonso, dating back to the 1500s with its Renaissance-style façade and Moorish towers and interior. This was the first cathedral to be finished on the mainland of the Americas, with refined marble decoration imported from Italy during the Mexican revolution. Visit the Casa de Montejo, named after the Spanish conquistador who conquered the city in 1542. The façade of the building has been preserved, with figures of Mayas and Spanish conquerors carved into the stone. Meanwhile, the inside now houses offices and a fascinating museum where you can see original belongings of Francisco de Montejo’s family. Continue to the Lucas Galvez Market, one of the most important trading places in the Yucatan region, and a feast for the senses. Soak up the amazing aromas, colours and flavours of the market, and get lost in the labyrinth of stalls where you can experience daily life in the city, trying local fruits and snacks, buying colourful flower bouquets and perusing handmade textiles and souvenirs. The tour finishes at the main square where you are driven back to your hotel. Alternatively, head back to your favourite spots to explore at your leisure or ask your guide to recommend you the best places to grab a bite to eat.

Note: the Casa Lecanda is located at the end of the Paseo Montejo, so guests staying here will be met by the guide at the hotel and the excursion will not include the walk down the Paseo Montejo.

2022

Mon 07 Nov - Thu 24 Nov Price £4289 SAVE £300 £3989 Single supplement Price £1100 Book Now

2023

Prices include

Return flights from the UK; any internal flights; accommodation (bed and breakfast except where indicated); transfers; service of guides and local reps, UK airport taxes.

Prices do not include

Any optional excursions, travel insurance, tips.

Holidays without international flights

The above prices include return international flights from the UK. If you wish to arrange your own flights, we will reduce our prices accordingly. The reduction depends on when you travel, please call us for details.

Departure Airport

Flights are scheduled to be from London. Other airports may be possible, although a supplement sometimes applies.

Holiday Information

All the practical information you need regarding your trip is found here. From how to prepare before you leave and travelling to your destination, to advice on travelling within your country of choice.

About Your Holiday

  • In many cases, the best way to describe our holidays is flexible tours, so you can choose where to visit by combining different extensions and excursions, and which hotels to stay in. In most cases, you will be with other Llama Travellers, but not necessarily the same people throughout. This allows you to get to know like-minded people, but not have to spend all your time with the same group. If we don't have anyone else taking a particular part of a holiday, we will normally operate this just for you.

    In some cases, we operate more traditional tours, with the same Llama Travel group travelling together for the majority of the holiday, which allows land travel from one location to another. This is particularly the case for our European tours, and in this case we may have a minimum number of travellers required to operate the group.

    Excursions are usually taken together with other Llama Travel customers in groups of no more than 18 people. If we have more than 18 booked, we operate two groups. These will usually be in English, although in some places, especially on wildlife excursions, the excursions may be operated by one of our local partners, so you may be with people other than Llama Travel customers and the group may be a mix of English and other languages. In these cases, group sizes can sometimes be larger. If you would like to know the likely situation for your holiday, please ask us and we will be able to check. Transfers may be with more than 18 people.

    We get a wide range of people taking our holidays, with probably the largest group being couples aged in their forties to sixties, or even older. However, we also have a large number of customers in their twenties and thirties, especially for some of the more active holidays. What unites everyone is a sense of curiosity and a desire to discover new cultures, landscapes and wildlife. Although most of our customers travel with friends or family, we also have quite a few single travellers who are happy to mix and match as described above.

    Group Size
    Most holidays can operate with a minimum of 2 passengers, but some holidays have a higher minimum group size. If we have fewer than the minimum number of passengers, we will let you know two months before departure. In this case, we will refund you any monies paid or offer you an alternative option. It may be possible to operate the trip for fewer than 4 passengers for an additional cost.

    All holidays in Europe have a minimum group size of 4 passengers, except Iceland which has a minimum group size of 6passengers.
    All holidays in Namibia or South Africa have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Kenya have a minimum group size of 6 passengers.
    All holidays in Costa Rica and Mexico have a minimum group size of 4 passengers.

  • Prices listed are per person and based on two persons sharing a room and include all flights from the UK and within destination, service of guides and reps (please note that tips are not included), accommodation and all transfers and excursions listed in the itinerary. Where applicable, entrance fees, taxes and charges are included in our prices at the rates advised to us at the time of preparation. An adjustment will be made to your price if any of these change before your holiday. UK airport taxes are included.

  • All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate

Booking Conditions

How To Book

  • To book a holiday or discuss your requirements, please call us on 020 7263 3000. We can usually confirm availability immediately, but may need to check with a supplier first.

  • You can pay your deposit by bank transfer, cheque, standard UK debit card or non-premium UK personal Visa / MasterCard credit card. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or cheque. We do not accept cards for balance payments. We are unable to accept cash.

Before You Go

  • You will receive tickets approximately 10 days before departure, along with information on accommodation, transfers and excursions. Our agents in destination will give you final details for hotel and excursions when you arrive. Please check airline tickets carefully in case timings have changed after we issued your confirmation.

  • Cards are widely accepted in most hotel and restaurants, and cash machines are common in most destinations. However, when travelling to remote areas, it is advisable to take cash, as it is difficult to withdraw or change money. Travellers cheques are no longer widely used, so it may be inconvenient to take these.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals from your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary, however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

    More information on the situation regarding money, budgeting and tipping in specific countries is in the country information below.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy, but good medical insurance should cover medical evacuation and repatriation. If you are going to be taking part in any activity, please ensure your policy covers you for this, especially if this involves high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail.

  • To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Latin America

    Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel Latin American destination. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Peru (020 7838 9223); Ecuador (020 7451 0040); Argentina (020 7318 1340); Chile (020 7222 2361); Brazil (020 7747 4500); Colombia (020 7589 5037); Bolivia (020 7235 4248); Costa Rica (020 7706 8844); Guatemala (020 7351 3042); Mexico (020 7499 8586), Panama (020 7409 2255).

    If you are flying via another country, especially the US, you need to comply with the appropriate immigration requirements. Please ask us for details.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    There is an entry fee to enter Chile for citizens of Australia, the US, Canada and some other countries which must be paid upon arrival. There is also an entry fee for US and Canadian citizens visiting Argentina, which must be paid in advance online.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate.

    Africa

    British nationals can enter Morocco, South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for a visit of up to 90 days without a visa. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Morocco (020 7724 0624); South Africa (020 7451 7299); Namibia (020 7636 6244); Botswana (020 7499 0031). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. For South Africa, you need a passport with two blank pages.

    For Zimbabwe, British nationals will be granted with a KAZA Univisa (valid for travel between Zimbabwe and Zambia and day trips into Botswana) visa, for a fee (US$ 50 per person, paid in cash). This is easiest to obtain upon arrival at the airport or border post, rather than via an agency in the UK. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask Zimbabwe consulate (020 7836 7755). You need a passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK.

    For Kenya, British nationals require a visa, which must be obtained online in advance. You can apply for single entry and transit visas on the evisas website. For more information, see the website of the Kenya High Commission. Children aged 16 and below do not require a visa to enter Kenya. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Kenya consulate (020 7636 2371). You need a passport with two blank pages, valid for six months after your return to the UK.

    If children are not travelling with both parents, some countries require a letter of consent to enter or depart. Please consult the appropriate consulate. In South Africa and Namibia, children under 18 must also carry an unabridged birth certificate.

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed if you are transiting in Europe.

    To issue some tickets, we require passport details and ages when you book. If you subsequently change your passport, please let us know as soon as possible.

    Europe

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the minimum period needed.

    Jordan

    You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. You will need a visa to enter Jordan. The Jordan visa is included in the price of your holiday. On arrival in Amman our representatives will meet you prior to immigration and this will be provided to you free of charge. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the Jordanian consulate (020 7937 3685).

  • In many destinations, you can arrange adventure activities, either through Llama Travel or through Llama Travel. If you are interested in taking any of these, please make sure you are covered by your travel insurance.

  • Some countries have strict regulations regarding the entry and exit of children under 18 when not travelling with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting. If you are travelling with children who are not entering or leaving the country with both parents, or if the child has nationality of the country you are visiting, please contact the consulate of the country you are visiting to check requirements.

    Countries in Africa have particularly strict requirements regarding children travelling, and in both South Africa and Namibia, children need to carry an unabridged birth certificate. Additionally, in Namibia, adults travelling with children where they are not the biological or legal guardians of those children, should be in possession of an affidavit statement from the child’s parents giving consent for their travel.

    Such requirements do change from time to time, and although we try to keep abreast of such changes and update this information, if you are travelling with children, we suggest you check current requirements carefully.

When Your Are Travelling

  • Most people who travel to the countries where Llama Travel operates experience no problems on holiday. However, as is the case anywhere in the world, crime can be a problem, especially in large cities. Tourists can appear attractive targets to criminals. To minimise the risk, use common sense. Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive looking jewellery or cameras. Avoid empty streets, especially on your own. Take a taxi after dark. By taking sensible precautions, you should have a trouble-free holiday.

    Each country has its own standards for health and safety, but these are often not as good as in the UK. We take this into account when selecting hotels and request that they comply with all local regulations, but cannot guarantee that these are equivalent to British standards. Please take reasonable precautions to protect yourselves whilst on holiday, e.g. by locating fire exit routes.

    Please also check the Foreign Office travel advice for the countries you are visiting at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • Attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) travellers around the world can be very different from those in the UK.

    In Latin America and Europe, attitudes can sometimes be more conservative than in the UK, but there are not usually problems.

    In some African countries, including Zimbabwe and Kenya, same sex relationships are illegal and conservative attitudes prevail. However, hotels and lodges do not discriminate and LGBT couples can share rooms. In much of Africa, public displays of affection may attract negative attention, especially with LGBT couples, although the majority of people are friendly to visitors, irrespective of gender and sexual orientation. In South Africa, the authorities have introduced legislation which bans any discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

    The UK Foreign Office has information LGBT travel on their travel advice for individual countries, found at www.fco.gov.uk.

  • For all wildlife excursions, please always follow the instructions of your guide, both for the animals’ welfare and for your safety. Staff are experienced at dealing with wildlife, but by their nature, excursions involving exposure to wild animals will always carry some risk.

    If you take a safari in Africa, you will be with an experienced guide at all times, who is usually unarmed. All of the game drives run according to schedule, although unexpected delays can occur, which the guide will deal with as quickly and safely as possible. Being in the wilderness means that the environment is unpredictable, so the unexpected can happen. For any excursions taken on foot, there will be a safety briefing to inform you of the possible dangers.

Health & Fitness

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. Advice for travellers is available at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk.

    When travelling, stomach illnesses are not uncommon due to changes in diet. We suggest you only drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks. If you are unsure if salads and fruit have been washed in purified water, it is best to avoid them.

    If you suffer from a disability or condition and are worried whether this will affect the enjoyment of a holiday, please call us. We will do our best to help. We recommend that you bring any medicines you require from the UK.

    If you have any health problems on holiday, please speak to our local agents or hotel staff. They will arrange for a doctor or hospital if necessary. If you do experience any problems, please seek appropriate medical attention.

    Outside of major cities, medical facilities can be basic, meaning a lengthy transfer if hospital attention is required.

    Latin America

    Yellow fever and / or malaria precautions are recommended for visiting the jungle, Iguazu Falls and some parts of Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru and Ecuador. Yellow Fever certificates are sometimes required if you have recently visited a country with an infected area. Children under 6 require proof of vaccination against polio to enter Brazil. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old. If you are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant, please speak to your GP about zika. Please seek medical advice before you travel.

    Parts of South America are at high altitude. Most visitors do not suffer major problems. However, shortness of breath is common and we advise you to take things calmly during your first day at altitude. If you suffer from a heart or lung condition, or think that you may suffer due to the altitude, please consult your GP.

    Africa

    Malaria precautions are highly recommended when visiting the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the north of Namibia, including Etosha, Botswana and Kenya. Yellow Fever vaccination is highly recommended for Kenya. Travellers entering many African countries, including South Africa and Kenya Africa, coming from a yellow fever zone must have a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

  • For most of our holidays, age is not a concern. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required, as most holidays require some walking, sometimes on uneven ground. Even relatively mild activities can be strenuous at altitude. High altitude trekking is more strenuous than an equivalent length walk at low altitude.

Getting There

  • A holiday in Latin America or Africa inevitably means long haul flights, and usually at least one overnight sector. Air fares vary from date to date and between airlines. Our holidays are scheduled to use the most advantageous air fare. You can choose which airline you prefer, we will let you know if a supplement is payable. Levels of onboard service and facilities, such as entertainment, vary by airline and route. Please ask us for details. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Many airlines offer the option of flying from regional airports in the UK, avoiding the need to make your own way to London. Due to the timing of flights, in some cases this may involve an overnight stop in London or another intermediate airport. There is usually a supplement for regional departures. Please note that most of our flights depart from London.

  • You can upgrade to business class or premium economy on most airlines. Prices start from £199 each way for Premium Economy and £699 each way for Business Class, although sometimes airlines have special offers and prices may be lower. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy

    Some airlines offer Premium Economy cabins, which provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    Other airlines offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost.

    Business Class

    Many airlines have long haul business class cabins with seats which convert into full flat beds and often have a privacy screen.

    Business Class within Europe is often similar to economy class seating, but with better meals and middle seats are often left empty.

  • Most scheduled airlines have a baggage allowance of 23kg per passenger for international flights, but internal flight allowances can be less. Exact limits can be found on airline webpages. Please bear this in mind when packing, as carrying excess baggage will normally incur an expensive additional cost payable at check in. Additionally, certain excursions have a limited baggage allowance. Where this is the case, we will advise you in advance. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    There may be additional luggage restrictions for specific countries. In this case, details of this will be in the country information below.

  • Many airlines now charge a fee to select your seat prior to checking in for your flight, even when travelling in premium economy or business class. Alternatively, you may choose your preferred seat free of charge when online check-in opens 24 hours prior to departure or at the airport. Please ask us about the options available at time of booking.

    We all want a comfortable journey, particularly on long haul flights. If you would like a seat with some extra leg room or a larger recline please let us know. Airlines have introduced a range of “economy comfort” seats that may be purchased in advance. In some cases, these seats may only be purchased online directly with the airline once Llama Travel has issued your ticket approximately 30 days prior to departure.

    For internal flights, and for connecting flights in Europe, it is usually only possible to select seats when you check-in online or at the airport.

                        

    It may not be possible to always use online check-in systems, especially when using a codeshare flight. On occasion, your preferred seat may be changed by the airline for operational reasons such as a change of aircraft or to facilitate a disabled passenger on the day you fly and as such, Llama Travel cannot guarantee specific seats.

  • Depending on the route and the airline, if you would like to break your journey to or from your final destination, and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible. Please ask us for information.

  • If you are interested in arranging your own international flights, this is sometimes possible. Please ask us for details of this and any discount we can arrange for removing international flights. Please do not book your flights until we have reconfirmed all services with our suppliers and you have checked the confirmation invoice.

  • All people transiting in a third country need to make sure they comply with any immigration requirements for that country.

    This is especially the case when in transit in the UK when flying to Latin America. In this case, you must comply with US immigration requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with these requirements before you travel. Failure to do so may result in you being denied boarding on your flight to the US and, at best, a last-minute and probably expensive re-routing avoiding the US. It is important, therefore, that you follow these procedures carefully.

    If your flight to Latin America involves a stop in the US, you will be subject to US immigration control upon entry to the US. If you qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you are able to avoid the need to apply for a visa, but still need to enter your details online on the US State Department website. If you do not qualify for the US Visa Waiver Program, you must apply in person at a US embassy for a US visa. Please make sure that you do this in good time.

    If you are a UK citizen and have a UK passport, you may qualify for visa-free travel. You will require a machine readable passport to qualify for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program (so you do not require a visa to enter the US). A machine readable passport has the holder's personal details (name, date of birth, nationality and passport number) contained in two lines of text at the bottom of the photo page. This appears as two lines of letters, numbers and chevrons (">>>>>") printed across the long edge of the photo page. It must be also include an integrated circuit chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page, a digitized photograph and other biometric information.

    Please note, holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, a British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen or British Protected Person do not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states that the holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the UK does not quality for visa-free travel.

    If you have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, or if you have a criminal record, you will need a visa.

    If you have any doubts about whether you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please check with the US embassy. Full details can be found on the US embassy’s UK website at: http://london.usembassy.gov/vwp3.html

    Many European, Australian and New Zealand passport holders also qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as the passport is machine readable and complies with the relevant criteria. Please see the US embassy website for a list of countries which qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. It is important that you check the website of the US Embassy in the country of passport nationality for any further changes before you travel.

    Details of the ESTA Visa Waiver Program can be found on the US State Department website at

    https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

    In addition to the Visa Waiver Programme, the US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight.

Travelling in Mexico

  • The climate around Mexico City and Oaxaca is mild, with relatively consistent temperatures year-round. March, April and May are the warmest months, and November to February tend to be the coolest, with averages of 14°C. Most rainfall occurs during the summer months of June to September. The months of December, January and February are usually dry, but rain can fall throughout the year so waterproofs are advised.

    Due to its elevated location, San Cristobal also has a mild, spring-like climate, with an average temperature of around 15°C. On sunny days, the city can feel quite hot, but the temperature drops considerably during wet weather, so a mix of warm and cooler weather clothing is advisable.

    Descending into the tropical climate of the Chiapas lowlands (for Palenque), the Yucatan (for Merida) and the Riviera Maya, humidity is high year-round and temperatures sometimes exceed 30°C. There is an average of 12 daylight hours and high factor sun protection is essential. Waterproofs are advised year-round, although the wettest months are from June to October.

    Insect repellent is recommended for visiting the jungle around Palenque, Merida and the Caribbean Coast. Closed, comfortable shoes such as trainers or lightweight walking shoes are suitable for day excursions. Be sure to bring beachwear for your time on the coast.

    You can bring whichever luggage you feel most comfortable with: suitcases, soft bags and rucksacks are fine.

    Electricity in Mexico is 11V, and plugs are of the flat two-pin type.

    Having a photocopy of your passport with you at all times is recommended.

    Please bring any medication you may require from the UK.

  • The Mexican currency is the Mexican Nuevo Peso, known simply as the Peso. Sterling isn’t easy to exchange in Mexico so carrying US Dollars is advised. Note that it is only possible to exchange cash in banks or at bureaux de change. UK debit and credit cards are widely accepted in shops and restaurants, and ATM's are readily available, although it is good to carry a small reserve of cash.

    It is always recommended to inform your bank that you are travelling abroad and to which countries. This will allow them to authorise money withdrawals on your account when you are away. Some banks say that this is not necessary; however we would still recommend contact with your bank as in some cases people have had difficulty in withdrawing currency.

  • Tipping in Mexico is customary but by no means obligatory. In most circumstances, such as restaurants and tour guides, 10 -20% is appropriate. Drivers should receive US$3-5 per day for group tours and $10 for private tours. It is not customary to tip taxi drivers.

  • Most people are familiar with the concept of tacos, guacamole and enchiladas, but arriving in Mexico you will discover that Mexican food is a lot richer than the Tex-Mex movement would have you believe. The cuisine is understood to be a fusion of traditional local ingredients, and those ingredients and cooking styles introduced by the Spanish. Staple ingredients include corn, beans, avocados, tomatoes, chilli peppers and rice, as well as meat, cheese and a rich variety of herbs and spices.

    The style of food varies across Mexico, with different spices and other ingredients adapted according to the local conditions. For example, the Yucatan Peninsula cuisine is based on the Maya culture, with influences from a diverse range of cultures from Middle Eastern to Caribbean, and uses local ingredients such as tropical fruits and traditional cooking methods such as pit ovens. By contrast, Mexico City for the most part relies on produce brought in from other parts of the country. Here street food reigns supreme with taco stands and Torterias (tortas are sandwiches similar to subs) battle it out for passing trade. While the ingredients and style of cooking varies from area to area, staples like the aforementioned tacos and tortas are found in most parts of Mexico. Another staple found across the country is mole (pronounced mo-leh), an umbrella term for sauce. Moles also vary from place to place, but usually they contain a fruit, chili pepper, nuts and spices.

  • Hotels in Mexico include breakfast. Besides that, a simple set-menu lunch will cost US$3-4.50 per person, while a nice dinner with alcoholic drinks will set you back about US$11-16 per person.