Mexico: Cities of the Sun

Uncover Mexico’s captivating cities, old and new.

Journey Overview

Uncover Mexico’s captivating cities, old and new. Walk in the footsteps of legends, from the all-conquering Aztecs of Teotihuacán to the revered artists of Mexico City. Discover Mayan myths hidden deep in the jungle of Palenque. Wander through the laneways of dynamic Oaxaca, where vivid art, remarkable cuisine and cultural tradition wait at every turn. Mexico’s cities of the sun will leave you spellbound.

Journey Highlights

  • Uncover Mayan secrets in ancient jungle-swathed cities
  • Drift down the Grijalva River to the geological wonder, Sumidero Canyon
  • Witness the cultural traditions of San Cristóbal de las Casas
  • Delve into fascinating Teotihuacán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Mexico City.

Welcome to Mexico City. Meet your A&K representative and transfer privately to your boutique accommodation. Settle into your beautiful hotel to rest and refresh before your journey begins. Or step out and explore the Polanco district full of galleries dining options.
Las Alcobas (Corner King Room)

Day 2: Mexico City.

Rise early and dive into the buzzing metropolis this morning to explore the historic area around the Zócalo. Admire the the Cathedral Metropolitana, Templo Mayor and Palacio Nacional, which houses the offices of the President of Mexico, Federal Treasury, National Archives, and more. Then, uncover the story of Mexico’s great civilizations at the remarkable National Museum of Anthropology and History, considered one of the world’s best museums. This masterpiece holds artefacts that tell the story of Mexico’s great civilizations. 
Las Alcobas (Corner King Room) | Meals: B

Day 3: Mexico City.

Journey to the former archaeological workshop of Atetelco and the Palace of Tetitla, where you’ll enjoy exclusive access of both sites closed to the general public with a private archaeologist. Admire ancient mural paintings, view original blueprints and newspapers from the 1950s all brought to life through their passion and knowledge. Then, delve into the Mesoamerican site, Teotihuacán, which in local language means ‘the birth place of the gods’ with your expert guide. Unravel the mysteries of the city that once housed 250,000 people, before being abandoned. Walk along the Avenue of the Dead, so called for the sacrificial victims who walked the route to the pyramid to be offered up to the gods. Climb up the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon to drink in unforgettable views across the city and valley. Return to Mexico City and an enjoy an evening at leisure.  Or seek out the famed Arena Mexico to witness a raucous lucha libre – a Mexican wrestling phenomenon. Enjoy the riotous entertainment as your guide explains the storylines played out by masked luchadores inside the ring.
Las Alcobas (Corner King Room) | Meals: BL

Day 4: Mexico City – Puebla.

Spend the day exploring Mexico City’s southern neighbourhoods, which feel like small villages in the big city. Wander the tree-lined streets of San Angel and Coyoacán with your personal guide. Walk in the footsteps of some of Mexico’s most revered artists and writers, including Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, Casa Azul, where the celebrated magical realist artist was born, grew up and later lived with muralist husband Diego Rivera. If time allows, stroll through the Museum of Dolores Olmedo, a 16th-century building filled with fine arts from the couple, as well as hundreds of pre-Hispanic figurines and sculptures. When hunger calls, enjoy a flavour-packed lunch at bustling Mercado Coyoacán followed by a dessert of churros – moreish fried dough covered with sugar or cinnamon. Later, journey south to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Puebla at the foot of the Popocatepetl volcano. Settle into your chic accommodation in the City of Angels, so named after an ancient legend.
Hotel Cartesiano (King Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 5: Puebla.

Set out on foot to explore Mexico's fourth largest city, and one of its oldest, this morning. Stroll with your personal guide amongst the beautifully preserved colonial architecture. Admire the Patio de los Azulejos where colonial buildings are crowned with shimmering glazed talavera tile work. See the former Convent of Santa Rosa, now the Museum of Folk Art. Meander down La Calle de los Dulces (the wonderfully named “candy street”) and visit the National Palace, Palafoxiana Library, Barrio de Los Sapos, and Cathedral, which boasts two of the tallest bell towers in Mexico.

Later, appreciate a guided visit to the Museo Amparo, International Barroco Museum and Los Fuertes. Museo Amparo houses one of the finest collections of Mexican art in Latin America, and a rooftop terrace for enchanting city views. The Museo Internacional del Barroco showcases a world of Baroque and contemporary Neo-Baroque.
Hotel Cartesiano (King Suite) | Meals: B

Day 6: Puebla – Oaxaca.

Begin your day with your journey to Cholula, home of the Aztec’s Great Pyramid. The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, built in the 16th century by the Spanish and made of domes covered with tiles, was placed right over the top of the Great Pyramid. Step back in time as you explore the town and, on a clear day, bask in sweeping views of the Popocatepetl Volcano. Continue to Oaxaca, another of Mexico’s UNESCO World Heritage cities. This cultural treasure will quickly captivate you with its beautiful colonial architecture, shady tree-lined streets and plazas, show-stopping cuisine and creative vibe. Admire the important sites around the Zócalo (main square), including the ancient Cathedral and the vast Convento de Santo Domingo. Retire to your boutique hotel.
Casa Oaxaca (Junior Suite) | Meals: B

Day 7: Oaxaca.

This day is yours to enjoy at leisure. Spend time reclining in your boutique accommodation, soak in the city vibe on your own. Discover why Oaxaca is unofficially dubbed the gastronomic capital of Mexico on a guided tour of the best street food in the city. Or treat your tastebuds to a culinary adventure led by world-renowned chef and meet their favourite merchants in the local market, before joining in the kitchen to prepare your feast. Alternatively, unpeel the layers of Oaxaca’s fascinating culture with your personal bilingual guide on a half-day tour of markets, museums and art galleries.
Casa Oaxaca (Junior Suite) | Meals: B

Day 8: Oaxaca.

Journey just a few kilometres west to Monte Albán, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the oldest cities of Mesoamerica. Perched on a hill with stunning views over the valley below, Monte Albán is still considered a sacred site by shamans today. At its peak from 100 BC to 200 AD, this vast city dominated much of the Oaxacan highlands and it was thought to be home to between 15,000 and 20,000 Zapotecans. Marvel at the main plaza, home to many buildings and carved stone formations including the Galería de los Danzantes, or the Dancers' Gallery, so named for the elaborately carved stone figures that once covered the building and are thought to represent tortured sacrificed prisoners of war. Continue to the small weaving town of Teotitlán del Valle known for its colourful, hand-woven rugs. Following lunch at a local restaurant, recharge at a local mezcal distillery far from the tourist hotspots. Sip a variety of mezcals as you learn the art behind this traditional liquor, referred to by locals as the elixir of the gods.
Casa Oaxaca (Junior Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 9: Oaxaca - Tuxtla Gutierrez - San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Take your private transfer to the airport and board your flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Take a short drive to Sumidero Canyon. Towering cliffs, dense jungle, mysterious caves and deep waterfalls offer a hint of what awaits you downstream. Drift down the Grijalva River to one of the most impressive geological wonders of Chiapas. Continue overland to San Cristóbal de las Casas, a town of cobblestone streets and red-tile roofs set amid pine-filled forests in the rugged Chiapan highlands.
Hotel Bo (Executive Suite) | Meals: B

Day 10: San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Take a morning stroll through the city's narrow winding streets and beautiful colonial buildings, visiting the churches and craft-filled markets of the city. Then, embark on your private tour to rural Maya villages nearby. Witness the extraordinary blend of Catholicism and local Tzotzil practices in the famous church of San Juan Chamula. Then, onwards to San Lorenzo Zinacantán where women use centuries-old techniques to transform a whirlwind of colours into rich textiles.
Hotel Bo (Executive Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 11: San Cristóbal de las Casas – Tonina – Palenque.

Your private driver will meet you this morning, ready to travel north towards Palenque. Stop en route to explore the Tonina archaeological site, an ancient Maya city that archeologists now believe has the largest pyramid in Mesoamerica. Join your expert guide on a discovery of the site, once known to be an aggressive city, engaging in warfare with neighbouring towns. Visit the large ball-court, see over 100 carved monuments dating from the 6th century, and learn about the latest findings. Continue to your charming hotel in Palenque.
Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal (Deluxe Suite) | Meals: B

Day 12: Palenque.

Rise early for your day exploration of UNESCO World Heritage listed Palenque. Jungle clad and mystical, this Maya site is one of the most important destinations in Chiapas. The city is believed to have been abandoned in 799CE and the jungle grew thick and strong over it, making the rediscovery of Palenque a great archeological feat. Spend time wandering around the extraordinarily well-preserved ruins, which date from 226 BC to 799 AD, with your guide illuminating on the religion, cosmology and everyday life of the Maya of Palenque. Take the chance to climb many of the structures to take in the interior relief work and inscriptions. Look out from the top of many temples across the lush green jungle, as the sound of howler monkeys’ roars from high in the trees. Later, take a short drive to the Misol Há waterfall. Hidden deep in the jungle, this waterfall powers down a 35-metre drop, made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1987 film, Predator. Return to your accommodation where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal (Deluxe Suite) | Meals: B

Day 13: Depart Palenque.

Soak up the very last of your visit in Palenque before transferring to Villahermosa Airport for your onward journey.
Meals: B

Our range of ready-to-travel private journeys can all be personalised to your individual requirements. Please contact our Travel Specialists who will work with you to create an unforgettable bespoke journey.

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Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Casa Oaxaca

Mexico: Cities of the Sun

An oasis of calm in the heart of Oaxaca, Casa Oaxaca is in a fully restored 18th century colonial house. Rooms, set around the... Read more

Hotel Bo, San Cristobal

Mexico: Cities of the Sun

A new concept in the city, this is the hotel for those looking for something modern and architecturally unique. The neutral colour ... Read more

Las Alcobas, Mexico City

Mexico: Cities of the Sun

Las Alcobas is an aesthetic marvel designed by the renowned interior design studio, Yabu Pushelberg. Formerly a private residence, it has... Read more

Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal

Mexico: Cities of the Sun

The Boutique Hotel Quinta Chanabnal is only three kilometres from the archaeological site of Palenque. This luxury resort is surrounded b... Read more

Hotel Cartesiano

Mexico: Cities of the Sun

In Cartesiano you will find engaging poblana hospitality with the service of a world class hotel. A stay at Hotel Cartesiano places you i... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.

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