COVID-19 UPDATE: New Trip Dates // Matador Refund Guarantee. Learn more

Mexico: Cenotes, ancient ruins, and whale sharks

Traverse the Yucatan peninsula visiting ancient underground rivers, pre-Colombian ruins, and snorkel with some of the most breathtaking sea life on the planet.

8 Days, 7 Nights

Matador Trips:

$2,299USD
Per Person

This trip includes everything but your flights and beachside beers! Leave the details to Matador Trips and join us on a full-service overland and boating adventure. All accommodation, transfers, activities, and guided tours included.

Dates & Guides
Availability
August 14th 2021-August 21st 2021.
Flexible booking, 100% refund guarantee

 

 

 

Highlights

What you'll do

  • 1

    Believed by Mayans to be gateways to Xibalba, the underworld, otherworldly cenotes are uniquely awe-inspiring both under and above the water. We will explore unknown and uncrowded cenotes and focus on unique photographic methods for these unique magical underwater rivers.

  • 2

    Skip the tourist traps, on this trip we will explore Ek Balam, one of the most beautiful and important relics from the ancient Mayan world. We will visit a Mayan village to experience life today as well as the charming colonial pueblo magico of Valladolid for a taste of modern Yucatán culture.

  • 3

    Enjoy the once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with gentle and majestic whale sharks on our private excursion led by experienced and dedicated guides. The largest fish in the world, they can measure up to 20 meters long and if we are lucky we may see hundreds of whale sharks on our marine adventure.

  • 4

    Whether you are a pro photographer or just enjoy taking cool shots with your phone, our Matador photo instructors will work with you during informal photo walks and mini-workshops to take your personal travel photography to another level. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about underwater and nature photography.

  • 5

    Our professional in-house filmmaker will be documenting our adventure on a daily basis, and we will give you the video of this trip so that you can relive the adventure and share it with friends and family on social media.

  • 6

    We curate groups of like-minded adventurers for the perfect vibe. Bring your friends and make new ones on this epic adventure.

  • 7

    We aim to travel as consciously as possible. This trip supports environmental conservation and indigenous communities.

Where
we’re going

Trip Details

  • What’s my itinerary?

    Day 1: Cancun/Playa del Carmen

     

    Matador Network will have 2 shuttle times for pickup from the Cancun (CUN) International Airport to bring you the 1 hour trip to Playa del Carmen. In Playa del Carmen you can check into your hotel at your leisure. 

     

    Day 2: Playa del Carmen

     

    After breakfast we will depart for a private tour of two breathtaking cenotes, underwater sinkholes or rivers that were worshipped by the ancient Mayans. Here we can swim, relax, hike deep into the caves, and explore various methods of photography.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

     

    Day 3: Holbox

     

    After breakfast the group will depart for Holbox island in our luxury private transport. Once on the island everyone can enjoy a little free time before departing on a 2-island tour of Laguna Yalahua and Isla Pasión, where we can snorkel among schools of fish, turtles, and dolphins. The tour will also keep an eye out for numerous endemic bird species like flamingos.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast.

     

    Day 4: Chiquila-Tizimin-X’Canche

     

    After departing Holbox island, the group will travel by private luxury vehicle and visit small Mayan villages in the undeveloped Yucatán jungle. Our local guide will teach about the ancient and modern Mayan ways of life as well as the ecosystems around us. We will enjoy a typical Mayan meal and stay in an eco lodge in a small village as well as visit a cenote.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast.

     

    Day 5: Ek Balam/Valladolid 

     

    First thing in the morning to avoid the crowds we will visit Ek Balam, one of the most incredible and intact wonders of the ancient world. The ruins reach 95 feet into the air and guests are allowed to climb to the top and experience the unobstructed view just as the Mayans did. We will watch for parrots, monkeys, and other jungle animals.

     

    After departing Ek Balam the group will enjoy a typical lunch and then travel to Valladolid, a Pueblo Magico and charming colonial city. Enjoy a free evening to wander the cobblestone streets and sample the local Yucatán delicacies.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch.

     

    Day 6: Valladolid/Muyil/Isla Mujeres

     

    In the morning we will visit the local markets in Valladolid, learning about traditional ways of life and sampling local delicacies. 

     

    Next, the group will depart for Muyil, where we will float down the crystal clear waters and through the mangrove forests.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

     

    Day 7: Isla Mujeres

     

    We depart early in the morning for Isla de Mujeres for one of the highlights of our trip, swimming with whale sharks. On the way to the island our expert guides will educate the group about whale shark behavior, conservation, and the ecosystem on Isla Mujeres.

     

    Once we land on the island we will board a private boat and spend the day snorkeling and swimming with whale sharks while enjoying fresh fruits and a healthy lunch.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, snacks.

     

    Day 8: Isla Mujeres

     

    Enjoy a free day to relax, explore the island, or opt for an ocean tour.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast.

     

    Day 9: Isla de Mujeres

     

    Enjoy a final group breakfast before we head our separate ways.

     

  • What’s included?
    • 7 nights accommodation
    • 7 breakfasts
    • 4 lunches
    • All land transportation
    • Round-trip ferry transportation to Holbox
    • Private cenote visits and tour
    • 2-island tour of Holbox
    • Tizimin-X’Canche tour
    • Mangrove tour
    • Valladolid cenote visit
    • Ek Balam tour, including Mayan village and cenote visit
    • Boat transportation to Isla Mujeres
    • Whale shark snorkeling tour
  • What’s not included?
    • Your flights to and from Cancun, Mexico (CUN)
    • Accommodation before and after the trip
    • Some meals
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Perfect weather
  • How many people will be on the tour?
    • The tour can accommodate up to 14 guests.
  • What’s the sleeping situation?
    • Accommodation is provided in 3-4 star hotels and jungle lodges and is based on 2-people per room.  For an additional fee private rooms can be arranged or Matador Trips is happy to arrange same-sex solo travelers a shared room.
  • Who is the trip for?
    • We encourage a wide mix of people, from old-time adventurers to short-break professionals to first-time travelers – they all contribute to a memorable experience. This trip is also suitable for families! Don’t hesitate to reach out for any special needs, requests, or accommodations.
  • Why is this trip so special?
    • Our small groups will ditch the tourist track and venture into lesser known areas of the Riviera Maya and the Yucatán to experience both ancient and modern wonders as well as untouched nature.
  • When does the trip depart and return?
    • We will pick you up from Cancun airport (CUN) on August 14, 2021
    • Depart at your leisure from Cancun after a final group breakfast on August 23, 2021
  • How do I get there?
    • Cancun, Mexico (CUN) is easily reached from most places in the world. For assistance with flights just let us know, we are happy to help!

Matador Trips

Mexico: Cenotes, ancient ruins, and whale sharks

$2,299 USD / Person
Flexible booking,
100% refund guarantee
Flexible booking,
100% refund guarantee

COVID-19 update

Below are the NEW trip dates for Matador Trips for 2021:

  • Riviera Maya and the Yucatán: Cenotes, ancient ruins, and whale sharks - August 14th-23rd, 2021
  • Mexico City and Oaxaca: Cultural and culinary adventures - October 23rd-30th, 2021
  • Remote Sailing Adventure, Palawan Philippines - October 2021 dates coming soon
  • Puerto Escondido and the untamed Oaxaca Coast - November 6th-13th, 2021
  • Ultimate Peru: Machu Picchu, Eco Rainforest, and Beyond - December 2nd-11th, 2021
  • Small Group Tonga: Swimming with Humpback Whales - August 23rd-31st, 2022
  • Ecuador Volcano Trekking + UNESCO Sites - January 15th-22nd, 2022
  • Photo Safari through Namibia and Cape Town - February 23rd-March 6th, 2022

We believe that all of the above trips will happen as planned, but we realize this is a time of uncertainty. To address these concerns and make you feel comfortable scheduling a trip with us, we are offering the following COVID cancellation policy:

  • If Matador or a Matador travel partner needs to cancel a trip due to COVID, the canceled trip will be rescheduled and travelers will be offered the option of a 100% refund.
  • If a traveler must cancel due to the COVID pandemic (including quarantine, canceled flights, or a positive test result), the traveler will have the option of 1) a 100% refund or 2) applying the purchase price to a future trip.

Any questions please contact: trips@matadornetwork.com

Best of the Best

We scoured the Earth to
bring you the best

Photo Education

Learn photography tips
from a professional

New Friends

We curate groups of
open-minded travellers

Video of Your Trip

We’ll create an epic
video of your trip

Best of the Best

We scoured the Earth to
bring you the best

Matador Network has been around the world and back reporting on the best destinations and experiences for over a decade. It’s time to share the stoke and bring you along for the adventure, guided and curated by Matador staff.

Photo Education

Learn photography tips
from a professional

Every Matador Trip is led by a professional travel photographer, there to capture the best shots of your trip to share with your friends and to train both amateurs and skilled photographers in their methods!

New Friends

We curate groups of
open-minded travellers

Matador led and curated Trips attract a special breed of people. Let’s make some lifelong friends and have unforgettable experiences together.

Video of Your Trip

We’ll create an epic
video of your trip

We provide a complimentary video documenting the adventure for you to take home at the end of the trip!
Shutterstock images used on the Matador Trips website are under license from Shutterstock.com.

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