Mexico – 2018

_DaveCoverThis Christmas I traveled to Mexico. Prior to the trip I spent several days in Phoenix and attended my Nieces graduation where she earned her BS in Nursing for Northern Arizona University.

From Phoenix I flew to Cancun for the start of the tour. Cancun was just the starting point of the trip that focused on Mayan ruins between Cancun and Mexico City.

Our first stop was at Ek Balam, a more recently excavated Mayan site. That evening we arrived at Chichen Itza. Our hotel in was right next to the site. We rose early and walked from the hotel to the site and viewed the Temple of Kukulkah at sunrise. We were able to visit prior to the regular opening and had the whole site to ourselves and a dozen or so other visitors.


Sunrise at Chichén Itzá

Next we headed to the city of Merida. There we had a city tour and free afternoon. Our second night there we enjoyed a home-hosted diner with a local family.

On our way to Campeche we toured the archeological site of Uxmal with the amazing Pyramid of the Magician.

From Campeche we traveled to Palenque. This day was mostly spent in the bus. Unfortunately our trip was delayed by a protest and roadblock. The teachers in the state of Tabasco hadn’t been paid their year-end bonus and were blocking the highway letting a few cars/trucks through every 30-60 minutes. Such a mess.

The site of Palenque is found in the rain forest and was quite amazing. Even today only a small percentage of the site has been excavated.

From Palenque we headed to Veracruz. This was Christmas Eve and again the teachers were blocking the highway. We took a detour of small roads and then re-entered the highway. Our travel direction was clear, but those heading the opposite was were already stopped. We got lucky getting out when we did.

We had a nice lunch stop in Puebla. So wish we could have spent more time there. We learned that next year’s itinerary will run in the opposite direction with a night in Puebla.



Our final 2 nights were spent in Mexico City. We visited Teotihuacán, the Presidential Palace and the National Museum of Anthropology. One could easily spend a day at the museum.

It was a wonderful trip. So nice to escape the cold and wear shorts most days. The food was excellent. I only wish it was longer. Now I need to plan my next Christmas adventure.

Dates: Dec 16 – 27, 2018
Operator: Gate 1 Discovery Tours

_Gate1 Mexico

Tour route

Below is a selection of photos from the trip. Clicking will open a slideshow.