Classic Maya of the Rainforest
in Palenque and Tikal 

7 night visit of the breathtaking Mayan ruins, lush jungle and spectacular views of Palenque and Tikal.



Day 1: The nearest airport to Palenque is in Villahermosa, which is 2 hours away. If your flight arrives by Noon you can eliminate a day from this schedule, visit the museums when you arrive and then go to Palenque. Otherwise, you will need to spend your first night in Villahermosa. The hotel shuttle will be waiting when you arrive to take you to the Hilton Hotel Villahermosa where you'll overnight.

Day 2: In the morning your guide will meet you at your hotel and then you go to La Venta Olmec Museum in Villahermosa. There are 28 Olmec carvings at this beautiful outdoor museum with interesting zoo and lake. Each piece was set carefully for optimum viewing with benches placed for those wishing to meditate or ponder the huge and amazingly well crafted Olmec heads, intricate altars, and intriguing stele and statues. 
You’ll also visit the newly remodeled Carlos Pellicer Museum of Anthropology.  On display is the controversial Tortuguero Stela 6 which has rare inscriptions referring to the end of the 13th baktún, which corresponds to December 21st, 2012. Then to Palenque. You'll have free time in the evening to relax in the lush jungle rainforest or explore the sights, sounds and cuisines of Palenque. Your hotel is nestled in the forested "La Canada" area and within walking distance of downtown.  Enjoy a refreshment by the pool and upload your photos with the hotel's surprising fast wireless internet connection. Overnight Maya Tulipanes Hotel Palenque.

Day 3:  Today you have an entire day to visit the spectacular ruins of Palenque.  A UNESCO historical monument, Palenque is considered a world treasure. Ancient structures rise out of the lush rainforest on multiple terraces set against the mountains. Numerous examples of Maya art and history are carved into the building´s facades, some of them the most famous depictions from the ancient Maya world.  Palenque is exciting because of the vast amounts of information that has been painstakingly brought to light by archaeologists. You'll also visit the Palenque archaeological museum with its extensive collection of jade masks, well preserved carvings and stele and incense burners. Overnight Hotel Maya Tulipanes.

Day 4: This morning you journey to Bonampak, home of famous Mayan murals. Their ancient colors remain clear and vital, making them an excellent representation of Mayan art. Bonampak´s great plaza is astounding in its sheer mass and one of the largest in the region, measuring over 100 yards. The site also has some very well preserved stele that detail important historical moments.  Then you travel down the mighty Usumacinta River to the mysterious ancient Maya site of Yaxchilan. This incredible boat ride through the rainforest with its huge trees and abundant wildlife makes you feel like you are in an Indiana Jones movie!  The archaeological site of Yaxchilan, situated on the riverbanks, rises in levels to temples with breathtaking views of the rainforest stretching far into Guatemala. See howler monkeys and many exotic birds as you roam this well organized ancient Maya city.  Overnight Escudo Jaguar jungle lodge near Yaxchilan.

Day 5:  Morning boat ride across the river to the Guatemala border where a driver will be waiting to give you a private transfer to the Camino Real Tikal Inn. Located on beautiful Lake Peten the hotel is a comfortable oasis in the jungle. 
Optional Tikal sunset tour.  Overnight Camino Real Tikal.

Day 6:  Optional Tikal sunrise tour.  Today you visit the spectacular Mayan ruins at Tikal. One of the most famous Maya sites, Tikal’s massive and steep pyramids (one is over 200 feet high) loom above the lush jungle of the Petan where one can observe spider and howler monkeys and numerous bird species such as toucans, parrots and macaws. At its peak Tikal was home to an estimated 100,000 people and the site has over 3,000 structures within a six square mile area. Well preserved glyphic texts tell of a dynamic historical record spanning over 1,000 years. Then you visit the Sylvanus Morley archeological museum. Overnight Camino Real Tikal.

Day 7:  This morning you visit Yaxhá. Yaxhá was the third largest Maya city in the Peten (after El Mirador & Tikal) and has an unusual layout for the region. Its twin pyramid complexes, 9 acropolis', plazas and more than 500 structures are connected by sacbés (ancient elevated roads) in a manner similar to Maya sites in the Yucatan. The views from the 30 meter high Structure 216 are breathtaking. Then to Flores for a walking tour of the island and the small archaeological site of Tayasal (former Maya name of Flores before the Spanish conquest).   You'll have time in the evening to explore this interesting city. Overnight Hotel Peten Esplendido in Santa Elena (across the causeway from Flores Island).

Day 8:  Transfer to the Flores airport for departure.

Cost per person for this 7 night private tour (double occupancy): (Contact us about exact pricing for your dates)

2 people $2,295 per person
4 people $1,760 per person
6 people $1,375 per person
8 people $1,200 per person

$300 per child
for up to 2 children under age 12 sharing hotel room with 2 adults. Infants go for FREE.

Tour includes:
  • 7 nights hotel and tourist taxes
  • All land and boat transportation (in private fully insured air-conditioned vehicle with licensed chauffeur)
  • The all day services of a professional licensed guide on the days you tour the ruins
  • Private boat trip to/from Yaxchilan and across the river to the Guatemala border
  • 1 breakfast and 2 lunches per person
  • Tourist transit at Bonampak
  • Sunrise and/or sunset tour at Tikal ruins
  • All other entry and guide fees for activities listed on the itinerary

Does not include airfare. For this itinerary you need to fly into Villahermosa (Mexico) and out of Flores (Guatemala). The schedule can also be reversed to start in Flores and end in Villahermosa.  Price is based on medium range lodging. If you would prefer less expensive or more deluxe accommodations please contact us about the price difference.  Prices for Thanksgiving week, Dec. 18-Jan. 6 and Easter week may be slightly higher depending on hotel policies. Please go to our Mayamap page for Palenque's location.   Getting to and From Palenque.

Tikal is also a very good connecting point for these other parts of the Maya world:
-- Nearby Maya ruin sites on the Passion River such as Aguateca, Ceibal, Cancuen, El Peru (Waka), Dos Pilas and Altar de Sacrificios.
-- By land or air you can travel to Quirigua and Copan in Honduras.
-- By land or air you can travel to Belize to visit Xunantunich, Caracol, Cahal Pech, Lubaantun, Lamanai and numerous underground caves.
-- By non-stop air you can go to Guatemala City to visit the museums and the highland Maya villages of Antigua, Atitlán, Chichicastenango, and Santiago de Atitlan.

Palenque also connects easily with these parts of the Maya World:
-- By land or air you can go to the Yucatan sites (Chichen Itza, Tulum, Uxmal, etc.).
-- By land you can go to San Cristobal de las Casas for a deeper immersion in the modern Maya culture.
-- The nearby waterfalls at Miso Ha and the ruins at Tonina.

For more information or to make a reservation contact MayaSites Travel Services:
U.S. office toll free 877-620-8715
Outside of the U.S. (country code 1) 505-255-2279
Or e-mail us at
[email protected]

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