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Epic Mexico & Cuba

Antall dager

22

Priser fra: NOK

25 311

Reisen er levert av

Destinasjoner : Cuba - Mexico
Turkode : QBYMC
Aktivitets nivå : Backpacker-reiser - Kultur & Tema reiser (enkelt) - Opplevelsesreiser - Reiser for ungdom

Oversikt

Mexico and Cuba are a bit of culture, a dash of sandy beaches, a splash of lush jungle and a sprinkling of delicious food all mixed together. Smash some street tacos in Mexico City, taste the best mezcal around in Oaxaca, swing through San Cristobal, Lacanja and Palenque, then finish up snorkelling, tanning and eating by the Caribbean before hopping over to Cuba. Cycle through the streets of retro Havana, head to Santa Larga for a dip in the crystal-clear waters, soak up the sunshine on the beaches of Trinidad and sip on Cuban cocktails with the locals in Vinales. Get right to the heart of these fiery nations on a 22-day epic adventure, and oh boy, they sure are pumping.

Reiserute Vis detaljert reiserute

Mexico City

Bienvenidos! Where better to start a Meh-i-co exploration than in Mexico City – one of the world's largest urban centres. Forget about the crowds and the smog, Mexico City has got museums, galleries and diverse architecture for you, along with pumping nightlife and delicious street food. Let’s kick things off with a welcome meeting today at 6 pm. If you arrive into the city early, head to the Zocalo, the city's huge central square to see Aztec ruins and colonial architecture, or relax in one of the many parks, plazas or gardens. Another great thing to do is to hop on one of the colourfully painted boats that cruise through the canal district of Xochimilco, or head to the National Palace for a look at the intricate murals painted by Diego Rivera. After the meeting tonight, you’re definitely going to want to seek out some tacos for dinner, and with an informal lesson from your group leader, try to place your order in Spanish!

Oaxaca

Take a public bus to the smaller but no less beautiful city of Oaxaca (around 7 hours). Pronounced ‘wuh-haa-ka’, this colourful town in the south is full of colonial buildings, colourful arcades and busy markets. Your group leader will provide an orientation walk to get your bearings, before giving you the time to visit at your own pace. With two full days to come, you’ll have heaps of time to explore the narrow, cobbled streets in the city, as well as the culture and natural beauty of the surrounding area. Descendants of the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians selling colourful woven blankets and shawls populate the markets – a great place to shop for textiles, as well as margarita flavours. Here you’ll also find some tasty regional food specialties, everything from cactus fruit, to spicy baked chilli and lime grasshoppers and the heavenly Oaxacan cheese. Make sure you pick up a tejate – a maize and cinnamon flavoured chocolate drink served cold. On your walk, be sure to look out for any reference to Oaxaca’s renowned arts scene, including folk art, fine art and dance. Get lost admiring the spectrum of coloured buildings or sit in the main square listening to a street performer, sipping a mezcal and watching the world pass by.

Oaxaca / Overnight bus

Today is another full day in Oaxaca, but be prepared to board an overnight bus later to travel to the mountain-top village of San Cristobal de las Casas. You’ve got today to bask in the colour and sights of Oaxaca, so why not test out your culinary skills at a delicious cooking class? Otherwise, check out the artisan stores in the markets and around town, and head to the historic Templo de Santo Domingo – a grand stone church with a large forecourt. In the evening, hop on a first-class overnight bus to San Cristobal del las Casas (approximately 13 hours in total). First-class buses in Mexico are quite comfortable. They are equipped with toilets and reclining seats with plenty of legroom. They are always air-conditioned, so make sure you take a warm layer with you, as it may get cold on board. While the bus is very comfortable, the road from Oaxaca to San Cristobal has some very winding sections. If you suffer from motion sickness, this will be a good time to have your medication ready.

San Cristobal de las Casas

Say ‘hola’ to San Cristobal, your pastel-hued highland home for the next two days. Arrive early in the morning – check-in at the hotel isn't usually until midday, so leave your luggage and start exploring the city. Today and tomorrow are at your leisure here. Your group leader will point the main things out on a leader-led city tour, and afterwards, will help you arrange any optional activities. With its winding cobblestone streets snuggled in the Chiapas highlands, San Cristobal de las Casas has an old-world feel mixed with strong pre-hispanic roots. Wander to a local cafe and check out their baked goods or try some pox – a traditional corn-based liquor, often flavoured with other ingredients.

Lacanja River

Today travel along a windy road by private vehicle to Lacanja River (approximately 6 hours). You will stop at Agua Azul (blue water) waterfall on the way, where you'll have an option to swim in the cascading pools. Once you've arrived, the afternoon is free for you to relax or explore. There are a few optional activities on offer, including a rafting experience over Lacanja River waterfalls and backwaters and to the nearby archaeological site, then travelling back through the jungle and past the waterfalls of Moctuniha. There are also some awesome guided hikes available to book, so ask your group leader if you would like to organise this. Coming from the city today, you’ll have a much different experience – staying right in the middle of the jungle in an eco-cabana.

Palenque

This morning is free to explore the Lacanja jungle and surrounding lush trails and waterfalls, before travelling to Palenque in a private vehicle (approximately 2 hours). After arriving, head to the archaeological zone and visit the ruins of Palenque. Sitting on a hilltop surrounded by thick trees, the ruins date back to AD600 and are some of the most impressive Mayan relics in Mexico. As you take a self-guided walk among the temples, listen out for the eerie calls of howler monkeys and screeching parrots echoing from the jungle. There are many ruins that are still un-excavated and remain concealed in the forest. You can opt to take a guided tour of the ruins or through the surrounding jungle to a hidden waterfall (at an extra fee). The area gives you a great idea of what the Spanish invaders must have seen when they first arrived. This feels like real Tomb Raider stuff.

Merida

Today, travel by public bus and head north up to the old-world charm of Merida (approximately 7-8 hours in total). Founded in 1542, this city has a large indigenous population, with approximately 60% of Merida residents of Maya background. Take use of an orientation walk on arrival and wander through the Old Town, checking out some museums and stroll the city streets, which are alive with art and culture. Hang out in the green and shady Plaza Grande, with the 16th-century cathedral on one side and City Hall, State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo on the others. For a taste of Merida's 19th-century glory, go for a walk along the mansion-lined Paseo de Montejo. Mornings are the best time to visit the outdoor markets, where you can stock up on hammocks and Maya replicas. This is also a great place to sample local food specialities, such as cochinita pibil (slow-roasted barbeque pork) or the extremely spicy El Yucateco hot sauce. For a snack, there's a bicycle cart on almost every corner in Merida selling elotes (corn on the cob) doused in salt, chilli, cheese, lemon juice or other toppings. If you haven’t noticed already: yeah, they like corn.

Izamal

Today, travel to Izamal by local bus (approximately 2 hours), which is known as the City of Yellow, because of the yellow ochre and white hues painted on many of the buildings, as the local’s way to preserve its light and project it to the future. Enjoy a leader-led city tour with a visit the San Antonio de Padua Convent – an imposing colonial structure at the centre of town adorned in the city’s distinct colour. Enjoy some time to continue exploring the city at your own pace and be sure to get another Mexican fix at a local restaurant tonight.

Playa del Carmen

Take a public bus to the resort hub of Playa del Carmen (approximately 2.5 hours). Blessed with azure waters, powdery beaches and a European feel, Playa del Carmen is relatively close to Cancun but with less of a young party atmosphere. Here you can spend your time snorkelling among the mangroves or in underground caverns, tanning, or strolling along the white sands of the playa (beach). Your group leader will provide an orientation walk to the city, with a visit to a Mexican ice-cream store for an included tasting (of course). You’ll lean more about the fruits, flavours and the traditional combinations. With a free afternoon at your leisure, why not pull up a towel and bask in this tropical paradise? It is also possible to take a ferry from here across to Cozumel, an island famous for its reef. In the evening, feast on seafood, kick back with your group and watch the waves with a margarita in hand.

Havana

New day; new country. Say goodbye to some of your travel pals who may not be making the journey across the Caribbean with you, then transfer to Cancun Airport before boarding a flight to colourful Havana. Please note that you will be unaccompanied on this flight. There aren’t any activities planned until another important welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you have time, you might like to visit Museo de la Revolucion – a museum focusing on the events leading up to, during and immediately after the Cuban revolution – or perhaps check out one of Havana’s many cool cafes or bohemian bars and grab a cheeky mojito! After your welcome meeting, why not dig into some delectable street snacks and join the group for some traditional Cuban cuisine at one of the many street vendors – churros anyone?

Havana / Bay of Pigs / Playa Larga

This morning, get ready for your leader-led walking tour of Old Havana – one of the Caribbean’s most impressive historical city centres. Wander through the oldest square in town – Plaza de Armas – stroll around the architecturally eclectic buildings that line the 16th century Plaza Vieja – admire the basilica of San Francisco de Asis and visit the Cathedral – with its elaborate baroque facade. This afternoon fuel up at Espacios – a laidback, trendy tapas bar hidden in the backstreets of Havana. Continue in your private vehicle to Bay of Pigs (approximately 2.5 hours) and learn some lingo along the way. Practice simple greetings from Hola to Hasta Luego to the all-important phrases – like how to order a cerveza! With crystal clear Caribbean waters, a deep underwater wall and an outstanding variety of coral and fish – Bay of Pigs is a haven for snorkellers. If time permits, you can enjoy an afternoon swim in either Playa Giron or Cueva de los Peces (Cave of fishes) – before travelling to Playa Larga where you’ll spend the night.

Trinidad

Enjoy a sleep-in this morning before taking the tourist bus at 9:55 am to Trinidad; one of Cuba’s standout destinations (approximately 3 hours). Trinidad is everything you imagine Cuba to be – horses trot down cobblestone streets, old men strum guitars on doorsteps and stretches of white sand are ripe for exploring. Join your leader for a short orientation walk before enjoying the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Why not climb the bell tower of Museo Nacional de la Lucha Contra Bandidos for epic city views or sip on a canchanchara – an invigorating Cuban cocktail invented by guerrillas during the war of independence. In the evening, your leader will take you to a local bar for a rum tasting – as far as the rum world is concerned, Cuba is home to some of the best out there!

Vinales

Get prepared for a long day of travel to Vinales (approximately 7 hours) – but the journey will be well worth it! From quaint bars to fragrant cigars – Vinales is known for being one of the most scenic parts of the country, where tobacco and sugarcane fields lie side by side and the mojitos are made with honey. This small and charming rural village is probably the easiest place in Cuba to mingle with the locals – who are very sociable and love nothing better than to drink rum and dance the night away. In the evening we suggest you choose to dine at an ecological farm that has sweeping views of the valley.

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