Tour: Mexico Ancient Civilizations
Tour Company: G Adventures
Tour Leader: Siddhartha (Sid) Trejo
Dates: 15 December 2012 to 29 December 2012
I took this trip was the start of a wider and combined Mexico and Central America tour between 15 December and 10 February 2013. There are four legs:
1) Mexico Ancient Civilizations (this report).
2) Mayan Sun
3) Volcano Trail; and
4) Panama Experience
The Patagonia Experience & Antarctica tour was also a combination tour so in many ways I will have taken 7 different G Adventure tours by the end of this trip.
This tour is listed as one of G Adventures basic tour types titled YOLO – You Only Live Once. I was a little concerned before this tour since G Adventure recommends ages 18-39 and I’m in the top of that age range. Seeing two older people in Robin and James and the spirit and the energy they bring to the group made everything a lot easier.
Despite the basic style tag for this tour, excluding the Palenque forest lodgings, the accommodation and all the public transport was of a higher standard then I expected.
The wild 12 hour overnight bus ride to San Cristóbal was memorable for the high winds that pushed the bus all over the road but we survived. A lot of the group unfortunately got sick I bordered on missing a day but pulled though to visit the cenotes in Cuzama which would have been terrible to miss.
Mexico for me was about the Mayan ruins with the only disappointing on being the most famous Chichen Itza. I won’t quickly forget the Monte Alban Ruins set high above Oaxaca offering great views of the valley with magnificent ruins. The Palenque ruins set in a forest was also very different as up to that point I had only experience pyramids in desert-like setting all over the world.
I will also remember Mexico for its religion, being deeply Catholic I found Christmas was huge including temporary areas to experience snow in this hit wether country. Seeing a chicken sacrificed in a supposedly Catholic church in Chomula was also different. You also don’t want to miss out on visiting a cenote (sink hole) this was a highlight in Merida including the various transportation vehicles getting there.
Sid is a very experienced Tour Leader / CEO who organised the group well and had a lot of excellent suggestions. For me he pushed me when not feeling well to still visit the cenotes and these was one of my major highlights of the tour so I was very happy with his encouragement.
Sid handle the mass sickness in the group very well. At one point he had 10 of our 14 people unwell in Merida and even had to organise doctors for two different people. He clearly knows how to handle the unexpected. A true professional guide.
1) Mexico Facebook Photos .
Mexico Ancient Civilizations Journal Entires
Day 80 – Cancun to Mexico City. Highlights: Meeting tour members
Day 81 – Mexico City. Highlights: Teotihuacan ruins, Snow activities in Mexico City, Basilica de Guadalupe, Tequila shots.
Day 82 – Mexico City to Puebla. Highlights: Puebla Cathedral, Zocalo (City Square), Lucha Libre, Billiards.
Day 83 – Puebla to Oaxaca. Highlights: Magnificent mountains, Oaxaca Cathedral, nightclub drinking.
Day 84 – Oaxaca. Highlights: Largest Tree in the World, Zapotec ruins, Petrified Waterfalls, Mezcal alcohol, Traditional clothes weaving.
Day 85 – Oaxaca to San Cristóbal de las Casas. Highlights: The magnificent Monte Alban Ruins.
Day 86 – San Cristóbal de las Casas. Highlights: Surviving the 12 hour overnight bus ride, Chomula and Zincantan Mayan villages.
Day 87 – San Cristóbal de las Casas. Highlights: Sumidero Canyon, Local Market, San Cristóbal Cathedral.
Day 88 – San Cristóbal to Palenque. Highlights: Aqua Azul and Misol Ha waterfalls, Hotel in the forest.
Day 89 – Palenque. Highlights: Ancient ruins of Palenque, Early Christmas.
Day 90 – Palenque to Merida. Highlights: Christmas day road trip, Mass group sickness :(
Day 91 – Merida and Cuzama. Highlights: Visit to the cenotes (water sink holes).
Day 92 – Chichen Itza and Playa de Carmen. Highlights: Feeling better, Chichen Itza.
Day 93 – Playa de Carmen. Highlights: Farewell Dinner.