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Magical Yucatan + Holbox Island

Holbox Island, Mexico
Holbox Island, Mexico
Holbox Island, Mexico
Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico
Chichen Itza, Yucatan ©CPTM/Ricardo Espinoso-reo
Cenote near Merida
Holbox Island, Mexico
Merida, Mexico
Merida, Mexico
Bacalar Lagoon, Mexico
Uxmal, Mexico
Holbox Island, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico
Tulum, Mexico
Incl flights, accommodation & transfers
From   £2399 £2099
11 days

Holiday highlights

  • Explore the best parts of the Yucatán, getting beyond just the fantastic beaches.
  • Soak up the sleepy vibe and swim with whale sharks on the car-free island of Holbox.
  • Explore the ruins of  Tulum on a fabulous beach lapped by crystal-clear waters.
  • Snorkel in the cenotes and turquoise lagoon of Bacalar and learn to cook Mexican cuisine in Mérida.
  • Discover the Mayan cities of Uxmal and Chichén Itzá, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Lie back and inhale the fresh sea air on the sparkling white-sand beaches of the Riviera Maya.
  • Fly from the UK to Cancún, Mexico. On arrival you are met at the airport and escorted to your hotel in Playa del Carmen, an hour south on the Caribbean Coast. Your hotel is on a white-sand beach, within walking distance of restaurants and bars but in a quiet area, the perfect place to sit back and unwind.

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

  • 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 go to a water and land-based activity centre 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast and dinner.

  • Your guide picks you up for the one-hour drive down the Caribbean coastline to visit the unique archaeological complex of Tulum which sits atop rocks on a white sandy beach, lapped by crystal-clear waters. Take in the dramatic setting of Tulum, which is the best preserved coastal Maya site in the world, and explore the ancient temples which were some of the last to be built during the Maya's decline around 500 years ago. The site is full of architectural beauties owing to its importance as a trading hub, from the El Castillo Pyramid and Great Palace to the God of Winds Temple and of course the pristine beach.  

    After lunch, continue south for two and a half hours to Bacalar, a charming town perched on a picturesque lagoon with turquoise waters, near the Belize border. One of Mexico's best kept secrets, Bacalar Lagoon invites you to relax and unwind. Perhaps spend the afternoon lazing in a hammock right on the water, or sit on a swing and sway in the gentle breeze as you take in the beautiful shades of blue. When you need to cool off, the water is incredibly refreshing, and the swimming opportunities are fantastic due to the white limestone bottom making the water so clear. You can also choose to rent a kayak at sunset, discovering the lagoon at a slower pace as you paddle around the islands and spot the birds nesting in the trees.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

  • Take the optional half-day Lagoon of Seven Colours excursion to explore the beautiful lagoon and the cenotes that feed it, with mangroves serving as a refuge for many species of birds, as well as orchids and bromeliads. Learn about the rock-like structures called stromatolites then spend some time swimming and exfoliating in the mud baths. Have lunch then continue to downtown Bacalar to visit the museum and Fort of San Felipe de Bacalar, built in 1733 to defend against pirates and their constant plundering. From here you can also enjoy an unparalleled view of the Pirate's Channel and lagoon. Alternatively, spend the day at leisure around Bacalar Lagoon and the nearby fort. Perhaps snorkel in the cenotes or lie in a hammock to catch up on some reading. You can also organise activities locally, including stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking or a boat trip. 

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch is also included on the Lagoon of Seven Colours excursion.

  • Take a 5-hour drive to Uxmal, arriving in time for a traditional Yucatán lunch in one of Mexico’s most important Mayan cities, alongside Tikal and Chichén Itzá. Your guide will then help you uncover its history as you take a tour of the site. Uxmal was a seat of power in the Puuc region, and although dates of its abandonment are unknown, it is thought that the Mayans stayed there longer than in their southern cities, which began to fall in the 9th century. Walk around the site to admire the ornate carvings and friezes, and discover features including the Nunnery Quadrangle, House of the Governor, House of the Turtles and the Pyramid of the Magician. After having explored Uxmal, continue another hour to Mérida and transfer to your hotel. Known for its friendly people and lively atmosphere, Mérida is the cultural heart of the Yucatán Peninsula, boasting a rich Mayan and colonial heritage.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

  • 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. You can also take our optional Mérida Cooking Class excursion where you pick up fresh produce from the local market then head to a local hotel where experts teach you how to prepare and cook a traditional starter, main dish and dessert, washed down with a seasonal fruit drink.*

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel. Lunch on the Cooking Class excursion

    *Please note, if you choose to take both optional excursions, the walking tour will take place in the afternoon instead of the morning, to allow time for the cooking class and lunch. 

  • 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 Valladolid where you have a buffet lunch and time to swim in a beautiful cenote, then continue to Cancún to transfer to Holbox Island. Check into your hotel and have the evening to relax. Situated within a protected ecological reserve, Holbox is a tiny island known for its beautiful beaches, crystalline sea, colourful wooden houses and sandy streets with no vehicles except for golf buggies. Holbox is a tranquil paradise, perfect for relaxing whilst surrounded by nature at the end of your trip.

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

  • Spend the day at leisure as you slip into the slow pace of life of Holbox, where only 2,000 people reside. You can choose to relax on the beach and swim in the warm waters, walk around the sandy streets of the main town, filled with colourful murals, or try one of the many water sports on offer. Perhaps take a boat trip to explore three uninhabited islands, where if you’re lucky you might spot dolphins and rays swimming beneath you, as well as pink flamingos.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

  • Spend another day soaking up the laid back vibes of Holbox Island. The beaches are thin but the sand is soft, and the waters are some of the clearest in the whole Yucatán Peninsula. Perhaps book a snorkeling excursion where you can swim with whale sharks (June to September), which the island is famous for. Make the most of the hotel’s facilities - indulge in delicious seafood at the restaurant and go for a dip in the infinity pool. In the evening, take in the sunset with a cocktail from the hotel bar, and enjoy your final evening on this paradisiacal island.

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

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

    Meals included: Breakfast at the hotel.

Accommodation

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

£140
(£140 Single Supplement)
Casa Lecanda, Mérida, Mexico

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 Cancún

Presidente Intercontinental

Included
Presidente Intercontinental, Mexico City
Llama Travel Customer Rating
Overall
73%
73%
Service
73%
73%
Location
80%
80%

Standard Hotel: This is a large hotel with a good location in a relaxed part of Cancún’s hotel zone. It has been recently renovated and tastefully decorated, with very good facilities including a well-sized pool, gym, spa, restaurant and bar.

Why stay here: Although this is a large hotel it is really well maintained and has a good atmosphere. The location is ideal; on a lovely beach and a taxi ride from the local nightlife so both a laid-back or livelier stay is possible. Around a 30-minute drive from Cancún’s international airport, this is a convenient base from which to enjoy a short stay on the coast before leaving Mexico.

Hotel facilities

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

• There are indoor and al fresco restaurants, a swimming pool and poolside bar, a shop, cafe, gym and spa.

• The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage and computers in the lobby with free printing facilities.

About the room

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

Room types available
Classic room

Ocean View room (available for a supplement)

Accommodation in Playa del Carmen

Mahekal Resort

Included
Mahekal Resort, Playa del Carmen
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

Accommodation in Bacalar

Rancho Encantado

Included

Standard Hotel: Rancho Encantado boasts a superb location on the shores of the crystal-clear waters of Laguna Bacalar, otherwise known as the Lagoon of Seven Colours. Set amongst extensive tropical gardens, the eco-friendly resort offers a swimming pool, a restaurant and a spa in a thatched bungalow on the lake.

Why stay here? From the stunning location and rustic spa to the swimming pool and hammocks by the lagoon, Rancho Encantado invites you to relax. The restaurant overlooks the lagoon, serving local Mayan cuisine as well as international dishes. There are just 33 rooms in total, each housed in individual thatched bungalows and overlooking the garden or the lagoon.

Hotel facilities

• There is a restaurant, bar, terrace, garden, swimming pool, spa and range of activities.

• The hotel offers daily housekeeping, concierge service, luggage storage, tour desk, gift shop and safety deposit box.

• Free WiFi is available in public areas.

About the room

Rooms are full of character with a garden view. All rooms have air conditioning, en-suite bathroom, coffee making facilities, fan and minibar.

Room type

Standard Room

Accommodation in Holbox Island

Villas HM Palapas del Mar

Included

Standard Hotel: A small and charming hotel situated on the fine white sands of a secluded Caribbean beach, Villas HM Palapas Del Mar blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings, close to activities including kayaking, cycling, birdwatching, horse riding, fishing and snorkelling. There are two infinity pools, a cocktail sky bar, a restaurant serving authentic Mexican dishes, a sushi bar, pool bar and gift shop.

Why stay here: The paradise island of Holbox is the perfect place to relax at the end of your holiday, and there’s no better place to stay than right on the beach. The natural beauty of the Caribbean remains untouched by civilisation, with crystal-clear warm waters, unpaved roads and lush vegetation. The sandy tracks instead of roads mean that the only way to get around is on foot or on a golf buggy, allowing you to slip into a slow pace of life and get away from it all. The facilities at the property invite you to relax - sip a fruity cocktail as you watch the sunset and gaze out to sea from the rooftop infinity pool.

Hotel facilities

• There is a restaurant, two bars, two swimming pools, garden and a gift shop

• The hotel offers 24-hour reception, tour desk and laundry service

• Free WiFi is available in all areas

About the room

Suites are beautifully decorated with marble floors, wooden furnishings and rustic decoration. There are 52 suites in total, each with a private balcony and garden or pool view, ensuite bathroom, lounge area, air conditioning, fan, TV, minibar and safety deposit box.

Room types available

Junior Suite

Excursions

Lagoon of Seven Colours

£75

Known by the locals as the “Maldives of Mexico”, the picturesque Bacalar lagoon is famous for having at least seven hues of blue and turquoise water. On this half-day excursion, visit the mangroves which serve as a refuge for birds, orchids and bromeliads and discover the cenotes and freshwater corals. Bring swimwear as you have the chance to swim, snorkel and exfoliate with the mineral muds. Have lunch in a lovely lakeside restaurant then head downtown to visit the historic fort and its museum.

Full Description:

Stretching 42km in length but just 2km wide, Laguna Bacalar is renowned for its striking colours and crystal-clear water, partly thanks to its white limestone bed. In the morning, explore the Bacalar Lagoon with your guide who will tell you all about the geography of it. The mangroves are home to beautiful flora and fauna including birdlife, orchids and bromeliads. Visit the cenotes that feed the lagoon, and learn about the stromatolites (fresh water corals). Have some time to swim and snorkel in the lagoon and cenotes, and exfoliate in the mineral muds. Have lunch in a restaurant on the lakeside, offering fresh seafood, tacos and other delicious dishes on a wooden deck shaded by trees and tropical plants, overlooking the clear waters. Leaving the lagoon, head to the town of Bacalar, where the Fort of San Felipe has a great view of the lake and will transport you back to an age when pirates were a constant threat to the region. Built to defend against their constant plundering in 1733, the fort was turned into a local history museum in 1983. Its intact buildings hold more than 250 years of historical events with pirates, Maya and Spanish settlers. You also learn some of the secrets and mysteries of the Mexican brotherhood with Belize. The excursion includes lunch.

 

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.

Mérida Cooking Class

£120

A trip to Mexico, and in particular Yucatán, isn’t complete without learning to cook a dish or two. On this half-day tour, after picking up fresh ingredients and spices from the local market in Mérida, cook up a mouthwatering three course meal, washed down with a seasonal fruit beverage.

Full Description:

The ancient Mayas left a huge legacy on many aspects of daily life in Yucatán, including the cuisine. In fact, in 2010, Mexican cuisine made it to UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, meaning that their culinary traditions are protected and preserved - from the corn and beans inherited from pre-Hispanic times to the clay pot cooking techniques. These traditional elements survived cultural colonisation and the passing of the centuries. In the morning, transfer to the local Santiago market, in the oldest neighborhood of Mérida. With the help of your guide, pick up fresh produce and spices, learning about each ingredient as you go. Some fruits and vegetables are native to the Yucatán area, including achiote spice, pumpkin seeds and the habanero chilli. Head to a nearby boutique hotel for your cooking class, where you discover traditional Mexican techniques and make a starter, main and dessert.* Whilst preparing the food, the chef will teach you about the influence of other cultures in Yucatán, and you can learn some Spanish and Mayan words too. Once finished, sit down and enjoy your efforts with a seasonal fruit drink including lemonade or hibiscus flower tea.

 

*Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Please give us details at time of booking. 

2022

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

  • 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

    1. Your contract

      Your contract is with Llama Travel Limited, registered in England and Wales, number 4370517. The following conditions will apply to your booking and form part of your contract. They cannot be varied and should be read carefully. A contract will exist when we accept your booking and issue our confirmation invoice. The contract and all matters arising from it shall be governed by English law and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts. All correspondence will be sent to the lead passenger of the booking unless otherwise advised. You must be over 18 to book a Llama Travel holiday. Llama Travel holidays are not for resale. The lead passenger accepts these booking conditions on behalf of all persons named in the booking.

    2. Deposits and final payments

      A deposit of 10% of the holiday cost is required. On some occasions a higher deposit is required, we will advise you if this is necessary. When this is received, we will issue a confirmation invoice. The balance of the payment must be paid 90 days before departure. If the booking is made less than 90 days before departure, full payment must be made when booking. On some occasions, earlier balance payment may be required to secure flight seats or other services. In order to secure your holiday arrangements in some cases, we may ask for a payment in advance before we can reserve the appropriate services. This payment is not refundable if you subsequently decide not to proceed with the booking.

    3. Our prices

      Brochure prices are based on the latest known information at the time of preparation – 24 Nov 2020 (£1 = US$1.33, £1 = ZAR20 Brent Crude oil $48 per barrel) but can go up or down. Before making a booking, please call us to check the correct up to date price of your chosen holiday. Once you have made a booking and we have issued our confirmation invoice, your holiday price can only be varied due to a significant increase in charges, fees, taxes, or similar items as a result of governmental action. Air passenger duty (APD) for UK departures is £80 (£82 from April 2021). For business class, APD rates are higher. The VAT rate for holidays outside the EU is zero. Except for increases in entrance fees or tax increases, such as in APD or VAT, we will not surcharge you.

    4. Alterations or cancellations by you

      If you wish to alter your holiday arrangements before departure, we will do our best to help. An administration fee of £25 per passenger will be charged, together with any additional costs incurred as a result of the change. If you make any alterations within 60 days of departure, we may treat this as a cancellation, and apply cancellation fees. Scheduled airlines treat name changes as a cancellation and rebooking; any alteration is likely to incur a 100% cancellation charge. Please make sure that all names you give us are spelled exactly as they appear in passports. It is not normally possible to make alterations after commencement of travel. If you do wish to make alterations during your holiday, cancellation fees for services booked may apply. Refunds cannot be made for any unused accommodation, services or transport. We recommend that you take out full travel insurance with cover against cancellation penalties, including in the event of force majeure; see section 6 below.  We commit to and confirm services in advance. If you wish to cancel your holiday, you must let us know in writing. The following cancellation charges apply:

    5.  Days before departure when you notify usPenalty
      90 days or more Loss of deposit
      61 to 89 days 25% of holiday cost, or deposit if higher
      31 to 60 days 60% of holiday cost (75% for Galapagos holidays), or deposit if higher
      30 days or less 100% of holiday cost

      In some cases, the balance payment may be due earlier than 90 days before departure. We will advise you if this is the case. If any part of the balance payment is required earlier than 90 days before departure, this will normally be non-refundable in the event of cancellation. Where one person in a party cancels and others still wish to travel, single room supplements will be payable if this results in single rooms being used.

    6. Alterations or cancellations by us

      We make careful arrangements with airlines, hotels and service operators to ensure that we are able to provide you with the holiday as described. However, in exceptional cases, it may be necessary to make changes to your holiday arrangements (including airlines, flights, accommodation, transport or services) due to circumstances beyond our control. Flight times are given only as indications, and finalised times will be shown on your tickets.

      When changes are necessary, we will do our best to ensure that they do not affect your holiday. If, before you depart, a major change is necessary (defined as a change of itinerary so that you are no longer able to visit a destination where you are scheduled to spend one or more nights or an appropriate alternative destination,  or a change of accommodation to a lower standard or category affecting a significant part of your holiday) or if we have to cancel your holiday, we will contact you and offer you the choice of:

      • Accepting the changes to your holiday;
      • Purchasing another available Llama Travel holiday; 
      • Cancelling your holiday with a full refund.

      If we have to cancel your holiday less than 60 days before departure, other than in the event of force majeure (see section 6 below), you will be entitled to compensation at the following levels:

      When notifiedCompensation per person
      43 – 60 days before departure £50
      29 - 42 days before departure £100
      15 - 28 days before departure £150
      0 - 14 days before departure £200
    7. Alterations or cancellations by you or us in the event of force majeure prior to departure

      If, prior to departure, we have to make major changes to, or cancel, your holiday in the event of force majeure, we will contact you and offer you the above choices. However, compensation will not be paid.

      If, in the event of force majeure, it is not possible for your holiday to proceed, we will endeavour to recover from suppliers, and refund to you, monies paid for your holiday, but where we are unable to do so, you may be able to claim for irrecoverable costs from your travel insurance. We do not accept liability where the performance of our contractual obligations is prevented by force majeure.

      Force majeure events include war, threat of war, civil unrest or strife, decisions by governments or governing authorities, epidemics, natural disasters, fire, bad weather, terrorist activity, nuclear disaster, industrial disputes, technical or maintenance problems with transport, changes of timetables of airlines, or other causes beyond our control.

    8. Our responsibilities to you

      Llama Travel is dedicated to ensuring that your holiday is as described. If a part of your holiday is not provided as promised, please inform us at the time. If this affects the reasonable enjoyment of your holiday, we will pay compensation appropriate to the circumstances. If you do not inform us at the time, Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the situation as we will not have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem.

      Llama Travel accepts responsibility for illness, personal injury or death caused as a direct result of the direct acts and / or omissions of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors while acting in the course of their employment to provide services or arrangements for your holiday that you have booked with us in the UK. We do not accept responsibility for illness, personal injury or death where there has been no fault of our employees, agents, suppliers or sub-contractors, or as a result of taking part in any activity which does not form part of the holiday booked through us in the UK. Where illness, personal injury or death arises in the course of air travel, rail travel, sea travel or hotel accommodation, the amount of compensation you may receive is limited in accordance with the provisions of any International Convention.

    9. Your responsibilities

      Clients are responsible for ensuring that all immigration and health requirements are fulfilled, for obtaining travel documents, including passports, visas and vaccination certificates, and for ensuring that these are all in order, including for any intermediate stops on international flights.

    10. Covid-19 requirements are updated frequently in all countries and you must ensure that you comply with these in the UK, in destinations visited and in any intermediary stops. You must comply with local regulations regarding prevention measures which may be stricter than in the UK. Non-compliance may result in you being excluded from the holiday with no refund. You must not travel if you are required to isolate by health authorities and standard cancellation terms will apply. If you are required to isolate when on holiday, you will not be entitled to a refund for unused services, including flights. You accept the risks of catching Covid-19, being required to isolate or be tested and we recommend you have suitable travel insurance to cover such circumstances.

    11. We require your passport details to issue some tickets. If these change after you have given them to us, you must inform us. If the name on your airline ticket does not match that on your passport, you must inform us as soon as you receive the ticket. It is your responsibility to behave in a responsible, restrained and sober manner when dealing with local authorities, fellow travellers and our representatives.


    12. By taking a Llama Travel holiday, you agree to accept the authority and decisions of our employees and representatives. If, in the opinion of such people, your behaviour or health is likely to threaten the safety, comfort or progress of a tour, then you may be excluded from the tour without refund or compensation. It is your responsibility to obey local laws, otherwise you may be excluded from the holiday and we will cease to have any responsibility for you. 


    13. Please bear in mind that travel in Latin America and Africa is not the same as travel in the UK, and inconveniences and delays may arise due to weather conditions, strikes, demonstrations, the poor state of roads or for other reasons. By travelling with Llama Travel, you are implicitly accepting this part of the way of life in these countries.

    14. Flights

      We have no control over international or national air carriers, and therefore schedules or airlines used may change or flights be delayed due to no fault of our own. A change of flight time or airline due to schedule changes or flight cancellations is not treated as a major change. We will try to ensure the smooth flow of all your transport connections, but it is your responsibility to check exact times of flights. This is particularly important for internal flights, which can be rescheduled at short notice. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the consequences of flights missed due to the client’s failure to confirm exact details.

      When you travel with an airline, the Conditions of Carriage of that airline apply, some of which will limit or exclude liability. These conditions are the subject of International Agreements between countries.

      Flying to Latin America and Africa involves long flights and may require changes in other airports. It is your responsibility to arrive at the departure airport at the appropriate time and to check in for your international flight, and to change aeroplanes if necessary at intermediate airports. If you wish to sit in a specific seat, or wish to sit with other people on the flight, it is recommended that you check in early or check in online where possible. It is sometimes possible to reserve seats directly with the airline online prior to travel.

      Airlines do not allow more than one booking per passenger on a flight and may cancel seats if they are held by more than one operator. Clients are responsible for ensuring they are not holding flights with another operator.

    15. Baggage allowance

      Most airlines have a baggage allowance of 20kg per passenger, or sometimes less. 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, you will usually be able to leave the rest of you luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

    16. Insurance

      You must have adequate insurance provision to cover the cost of assistance, including emergency repatriation, in the event of illness or other problems occurring during your holiday.

    17. Complaints

      If you have any complaints about your holiday arrangements when you are abroad, please bring these to the attention of our local representatives who will do all they can to ensure a swift and satisfactory resolution. Problems can usually be sorted out by talking to the supplier concerned (e.g. hotel) and our local representatives or by informing us directly. If this is not done, Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the situation, as we will not have been given the opportunity to rectify the problem. If you do not inform us, your consumer rights to compensation may be affected. If you have tried and failed to rectify the situation whilst abroad, please send us your complaint in writing within 28 days of returning to the UK. We will then follow up your complaint. Communication with destinations is often slow, so we may not be able to resolve the situation as quickly as you would like.

    18. Financial protection for bookings made in UK for UK residents

      The holidays in this brochure are ATOL protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority, number ATOL 5804.

      If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

    19. Brochure and website information

      The information in our brochures and on our website is, to the best of our knowledge, correct at the time of going to press. However, details of flights or hotels may vary during the lifetime of a brochure. These changes will be reflected on our website where possible.

      The copyright on all material in our brochures and on our website, including text, photographs, maps and layouts is held by Llama Travel Limited. No part of these publications may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any way without the prior written permission of Llama Travel.

    20. Data Protection

      The information we ask you to provide, including personal information about you and members of your party, is necessary for us to arrange and operate your holiday. By booking a holiday with us, you agree to our processing this information, including, where appropriate, its transfer outside of the UK.

    21. Package Travel Regulations
      Llama Travel Bookings comply with the UK Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. UK Package Travel Regulations

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

  • Some countries in Latin America 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.

    Children require a polio vaccination certificate to enter Brazil.

  • Visas are not required in advance for British citizens for any Llama Travel destination. To visit Mexico, British citizens do not need to apply for a visa prior to visiting as a tourist. However, a tourist card is provided upon arrival which you must present when leaving the country. The international departure tax is included in the airline ticket. For British passports endorsed in any way and all other passports, please ask the appropriate consulate: Mexico (020 7499 8586), Peru (020 7838 9223); Ecuador (020 7451 0040); Argentina (020 7318 1340); Chile (020 7222 3434); Brazil (020 7659 1550); Colombia (020 7637 9893); Costa Rica (020 7706 8844); Guatemala (020 7351 3042). You need a full 10 year passport valid for 6 months after your return to the UK. If you are flying via the US, you need to comply with US immigration requirements. Ask us for details.

    There is an immigration entry fee to enter Chile and Argentina for citizens of the US, Australia, Canada and some other countries. Please check with the appropriate consulate. To enter Argentina, this fee must be paid online prior to travel. This can be done at either www.migraciones.gov.ar or www.provinciapagos.gov.ar. Once the fee has been paid, you must print out the proof of payment and take this with you when you enter Argentina. If you do not have the form you will not be allowed to enter Argentina.

    To visit Brazil (even Iguazu Falls from Argentina), citizens of the US, Australia and some other countries must obtain a Brazilian visa before travel.

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

     

  • 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.

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

Health & Fitness

  • 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.

  • Please consult your GP or a travel clinic about health and vaccination requirements. The NHS website www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk gives good advice about travelling in each country. 

    Yellow Fever precautions are usually recommended when visiting the Iguazú Falls region in Argentina and Brazil. Some GPs do not recommend yellow fever vaccinations for travellers over 60 years old.

    There have been reports of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, in various Latin American countries. Please check www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk for latest advice regarding this. If you are pregnant, or planning on becoming pregnant, it is recommended that you speak to a medical professional prior to travel.

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

    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.

Getting there

  • A holiday in Latin America inevitably means long haul flights, and 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. Opinions change over time, but in the past year, Llama Travel customers’ preference was for Air France, KLM, British Airways and Virgin, followed by United and Iberia. Flights are sometimes operated by another airline in the appropriate airline alliance.

  • Most 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. Call us for prices for the route and airline you are interested in.

    Premium Economy
    British Airways World Traveller Plus, Air France Premium Voyageur and Virgin Premium Economy seats are available. These provide more comfortable seats which recline further and have more legroom. There are better meals and a bar service.

    KLM, Iberia and United offer standard economy class seats with extra legroom for additional cost. KLM seats can be booked through Llama Travel. United and Iberia seats can be reserved with the airlines one month prior to departure.

    Business Class

    British Airways Club World has seats which convert into full flat beds and have a privacy screen.

    Iberia Business Plus between Madrid and Latin America offers seats which convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Madrid, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    KLM World Business Class offers seats that convert into flat beds. Between the UK and Amsterdam, seats are usually the same as in economy class. Air France Affairs Class offer seats which convert into virtually flat beds. Between the UK and Paris, seats are usually the same as in economy class.

    United Business First between the UK and the US offers seats which convert into full flat beds. Between the US and Latin America, seats are more spacious than in economy.

  • 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, you will usually be able to leave the rest of your luggage in storage. Llama Travel accepts no responsibility for the delay, loss or damage of luggage.

  • 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 flights within Latin America, 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 always guarantee specific seats.

  • If you would like to break your journey to or from Latin America and add a stopover to your holiday, this may be possible.

    Depending on which airline you choose, stopovers may be possible in Miami, New York, Houston, Madrid, Amsterdam or Paris.

  • Additionally, if the passport was issued, renewed/extended between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it must contain a digital photograph. If the passport was issued, renewed/extended on or after October 26, 2006, 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.

    ESTA Visa Waiver Program - **** Action by you may be required ****
    The US State Department has introduced a mandatory electronic system to help speed up the US immigration process for travellers on the Visa Waiver Program. All Visa Waiver Program travellers must fill in a form on the US State department website. This can be found at (https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov). Please enter this into the address bar on your web browser. There is a $14 charge per person to apply for this. DO NOT search for this website via a search engine, such as Google, as it will take you to an incorrect website. Although this can be filled in up to 72 hours before travel, we recommend that you fill in this form as soon as possible so any issues can be identified immediately. To apply please scroll to the bottom of the green area and press the apply button on the left hand side of the page. Please make sure that this form is filled out for all the passengers on your booking. If you require more detailed instructions, please visit www.LlamaTravel.com/ESTA.

    If you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, or if your passport does not meet the relevant criteria, then you will require a US visa before you travel. Even if you are given authorization on the ESTA website, some travellers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. If in doubt, please consult the US embassy website.

    Advanced Passenger Information - **** Action by you is required ****
    The US Transportation Security Authority requires anybody flying through the United Sates to supply specific passenger information prior to their international flight. This is in addition to the information to be submitted for the Visa Waiver Program which you may have already completed. Please visit our website where you will find details on how to submit this information using the airlines website. www.LlamaTravel.com/USAPI.

    Please complete this procedure as soon as possible. If your passenger information is not entered into the flight booking we are unable to issue your flight tickets. This may result in your flight booking being cancelled and high charges being incurred.

  • Adequate travel insurance is essential. We do not sell or recommend any specific policy. A list of insurance companies that our customers have found suitable is available from us. Please advise your insurer of any pre-existing medical conditions and, if you are booking a holiday involving high-altitude trekking, such as the Inca Trail, make sure that you are covered for this. If you are planning on carrying out any other activities, please ensure your insurance policy will cover you for these. Note that cancellation cover is often only available if insurance is purchased within two weeks of booking your holiday.

Travelling in Mexico

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Probably 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 still operate this just for you. All our holidays are guaranteed to operate if we have two passengers or more.

    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. In some places, the excursions are 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.

  • To phone the UK from Mexico, dial the international dialling code for the UK (0044) and then the UK telephone number, leaving out the ‘0’ in the area code. To phone Mexico from the UK, dial the international dialling code for Mexico (0052) and then the Mexico telephone number.

  • Excursions are operated together with other holidaymakers. These will usually be in English, although groups are sometimes a mix of English and Spanish or Portuguese speaking. A minimum of 2 people is required for some excursions. On some occasions, the order of excursions may vary.