Adventure Travel Consultant Abigail travelled on our Contrasts of Mexico trip and here she shares her highlights.
"Our brilliant tour leader Ana started the trip by saying “if you are not into archaeology then this is not the trip for you”. And she’s right because it's a massive part of the trip - and is thoroughly enjoyable. The sites are all very interesting and full of history; each one is unique but with one common theme…lots of steps! Steps of varying heights and widths but they all lead you to the top of the pyramids which provide you with fantastic views over the other pyramids and forest. The sites are really vast and everyone down below look like ants.
My favourite site was Monte Alban – it was very peaceful and serene with the mountains in the distance. We had some enjoyable drives through Mexico and I was fascinated to see whole forests of cacti which came in all different shapes and sizes.
When we weren’t visiting places like Palenque and Oaxaca there was time to explore other impressive landscapes in Mexico. Taking a speedboat through the Sumidero Canyon on day 7 was great fun and it gave us our first chance to see some wildlife – vultures, herons, crocodiles and spider monkeys. It became a fun game to try and spot the monkeys in the trees. This wasn’t the only time we were able to see monkeys – at Yaxchilan we were able to see and hear the howler monkeys. It was really special seeing a family including a baby but the same can’t be said for the horrendous noise they make! If you haven’t heard a howler monkey before imagine listening to a dinosaur!
Another highlight of this trip was the optional excursion to Misol Ha Waterfall which I would really recommend. With the temperature being around 25-30 degrees most days it was really refreshing to visit this waterfall where you could swim in the lagoon and cool off. Not only that but you could walk behind the waterfall which was something I have never done before. It was brilliant as you could feel the real scale of the 35 metre waterfall. Even if you don’t want to swim, just visiting so that you can walk around and admire the waterfall is definitely worth it.
The tour ends with 2 nights in Belize and this gives you a small taster of the country but enough to definitely make you want to go back and explore more. If you are unable to book the trip with the Yucatan Peninsula Extension then I would definitely recommend extending by a couple of days and taking the water taxi across to Caye Caulker. My highlight of staying here was doing a snorkelling trip out to the Hol Chan Reef (an optional activity if you are doing MXY). It was some of the best snorkelling I have ever done and I was lucky enough to see a manatee, nurse sharks, turtles and a whole range of different fish and corals. Such a fantastic way to end my trip!"