In the heart of Mexico lies Oaxaca, a land rich with indigenous cultures and incredible food, often considered to be the gastronomical heartland of the country. As you make your way into the city from the airport, savour the sights, sounds and smells of this vibrant and ancient metropolis. We welcome you to Mexico, and invite you to indulge in the traditions and flavours that make the country so unique.
Oaxaca's rich history and architecture is on full display with picturesque plazas, churches and charming cafes and restaurants around every corner. The valley and environs of Oaxaca have been inhabited for tens of thousands of years and has a wealth of fascinating archaeological sites which all tell their own stories about the Oaxaca's past and about how it has evolved into what it is today.
Feel the breeze on your face as you pedal through farmland and agave plantations, a plant that has become a symbol of Mexico's famous spirits – tequila and mezcal. Indigenous communities have thrived in these parts and have held the agave plant sacred, as well as the imposing petrified waterfall of Hierve el Agua which is the crowning jewel of your ride.
Nestled amongst mountains and active volcans, Puebla is a feast for the senses. Marvel at 15th century architecture as you wander the cobblestone streets of the historical centre and get wafts of delicious aromas around every corner. Famous also for its beautiful and unique talavera pottery, Puebla is a treat to explore and to taste, with the delectable and essential mole poblano standing out as the region's flagship dish.
Gliding along the ancient canals of Xochimilco on a traditional 'trajinera' boat is a multi-sensory and quintessentially Mexican experience. The brightly-coloured boats pass by with everything from local families, to mariachi bands to vendors selling tacos or flowers. Many of these aspects of traditional popular culture also served as an influence in the artwork of Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico's most famous artists who grew up in the nearby neighbourhood of Coyoacán, in Mexico City's southern reaches.
The history of the ancient Aztecs permeates all aspects of Mexico City in its architecture, traditions and food. Whatever your interest, you will have the opportunity to visit the massive pyramids of Teotihuacán or to stay in the city dig deeper into what makes the bustling metropolis one of the world's most interesting cities.
The first thing you'll notice as you get off the plane in Cancún is that it's a lot warmer in the Yucatán than it is in Central Mexico. The peninsula is clad with jungle in its interior, spotted with ancient Mayan archaeological sites throughout and edged with the white-sand beaches which make it so famous.
At the first glimpse of the massive pyramid at Chichen Itzá, you'll see why photos can't properly do it justice as you appreciate the sheer size and craftsmanship. Duck between the shade of trees to escape the blazing sun and explore what was a massive Mayan city, one of the most important in the region in its heyday. Jungle surrounds the site along with giant sinkholes in the limestone called cenotes, leading to the vast network of underground rivers, all of which played an important part in the cosmology and daily lives of the Maya inhabitants.
In many ways life at a working ranch (hacienda) mirrors what it would have been like hundreds of years ago, using traditional techniques in agriculture and raising livestock. The harvesting of henequen, a type of agave plant known locally as "green gold" is important in all sorts of practical ways as the fibres are used to make ropes, twine and even local spirits.
Pedaling through the jungle, you'll approach a giant hole in the earth filled with clear blue water that beckons you to take a break from the heat in the cool, fresh water. This part of the Yucatán is littered with these iconic landmarks that were so sacred to the Maya and serve as the perfect way to cool off and swim. The nearby city of Merida serves as the capital city of the Yucatán and embodies a unique cultural heritage of the indigenous cultures and the Spanish who settled here in the 1500s.
The Mayan ruins of Uxmal may not be as well-known as Chichen Itzá but they are similarly spectacular and with less visitors. If you're looking for something more active, then perhaps a kayaking trip in the Celestún Biosphere may hold more interest, the choice is yours. Flexibility is the order of the day for you to experience the Yucatan on your own terms.
What was once a small unknown town on the Mayan Riviera has now become the next big thing. The ruins themselves are one of the very few Mayan site lying along the coast, and in its day Tulum was an important outpost for trade and for strategic positioning. The azure blue water and white sand beaches make it one of the most beautiful places you have ever seen.
Meaning "The Place Where the Sky is Born," the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is one of the most beautiful places along Mexico's Caribbean coast, designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site for its vast biodiversity and wetlands. Explore by boat along a network of canals dug out by the Mayans and search for wildlife like monkeys, crocodiles and tropical birds. Swim in the impossibly blue water and keep an eye out for manatees coming up for air in the mangrove shorelines.
The adventure finishes today, and you can depart at any time.