13 Day Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination
Air & Land
|Mexico's Mayan & Aztec Illumination|
|Hotel Marquis Reforma||Mexico City|
|Quinta Real Puebla||Puebla City|
|Gran Hotel Diligencias||Veracruz|
|Hotel Villa Mercedes||Palenque|
|Gamma Campeche Malecon||Campeche|
|Villa Mercedes Merida, Curio Collection by Hilton||Merida|
|Mayaland Hotel & Bungalows||Chichen Itza|
Click a Date to Book Online
Click a Date to Book Online
|2024 Dates & Prices Single Supplement: $850|
|Hotel||Dates||Embark||Tour Starts||Ship||Land Only||Air & Land|
|Only 1 seat left!||$3399||$3849*|
Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers.
Triple rooms consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway.
Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.
Is This Trip Right for You?
- Small groups of maximum 22 travelers guaranteed
- Flights Miami-Mexico City, Cancun-Miami
Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
- Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
- 12 nights accommodations
- 3 nights Mexico City
- 1 night Puebla
- 1 night Veracruz
- 2 nights Palenque
- 1 night Campeche
- 2 nights Merida
- 1 night Chichén Itzá
- 1 night Cancun
- Hotel taxes, fees & service charges
- Hotel porterage
- All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
- 27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 5 dinners
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern motor coach
- Services of local English-speaking tour manager throughout
- Comprehensive, guided sightseeing and entrance fees per itinerary
- Active itinerary with unique cultural features
Thanks to our small group size, we can get to the heart of our destination, visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals.
- Enjoy all of the delights of buzzing Mexico City one of the most vivacious cities in Latin America
- Admire gorgeous views of the cathedral, beautiful churches and colonial buildings in Puebla
- At the romantic plaza in Veracruz see strolling jarochos, guitarists and marimba bands
- In Villa Hermosa, visit the intriguing park with giant 12-foot Olmec heads from La Venta
- Visit the astonishing soaring jungle swathed temples of Palenque, a national treasure!
- Tour Campeche, a colonial city with Baroque Spanish architecture and a walled historic district
- At the dramatic archaeological site of Uxmal, view the pyramids and temples from 600 AD
- View the distinctive architecture of Merida at the ornate 15th century Casa Montejo
- Enjoy hospitality, a home-cooked dinner and conversation with a local family in Merida
- Tour the wondrous ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site
†Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates
Is This Trip Right for You?
This itinerary is active and will require walking over uneven surfaces or up and down steep slopes. This adventurous trip includes several early morning starts and full-day excursions. Some days require long drives that are necessary to cover the territory. There is a significant amount of walking areas visited during your trip. This itinerary is designed for those who are interested in a fast-paced, adventure-filled experience. It is not recommended for people who have difficulty walking, sitting for extended periods of time, or who have heart conditions. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. The route and program may vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, and road conditions. This is a Small Group program. For more information, click here.
Discovery Tours itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently.
This first class hotel is situated in Mexico City's financial district.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is located in the historical city center of Puebla City.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is situated nearby the Veracruz Cathedral.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is a short drive away from the archaeological site of Palenque.Hotel Details
This tourist class hotel is located in Campeche, near the historic downtown.Hotel Details
This first class hotel is ideally located in central Merida.Hotel Details
- Tours purchased while travelling may cost an extra 10% or more
- Tours often sell out. Avoid disappointment
- Save your cash. Credit card processing may not be possible locally
- Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure
- Book Online or call to book these tours up to 1 week before your departure
- The day the optionals operate varies by the day of the week
|Know Before You Go|
|Although most of the planning and preparation is taken care of for you, there are still a few things you should know and some details you should take care of to ensure your comfort, safety and peace of mind. Please review the following information before your departure to ensure that any surprises along the way will only be pleasant ones.|
|Getting Ready to Go|
|Passports and Visas|
|It is each traveler's responsibility to have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of travel and a visa if required. Please check the information at www.gate1travel.com/visas.aspx for the specific country/region you are visiting for more details. IMPORTANT: Passengers who are not U.S. citizens must check with the respective consulate or a visa agency to determine what personal identification is required. Passengers who enter, leave and then re-enter the same country on their itinerary should check if they require a double-entry visa. Passport applications are available at most U.S. Post Offices, as well as at regional Passport Agencies. Passengers requiring visas, whether obtained in advance or locally upon arrival, should ensure that their passport has blank pages.
|Children Under 18 Traveling to Mexico - Special requirements apply to minor children using travel documents and who are not being accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The Mexican National Immigration Institute (INM) requires a consent document for minors (under 18 years of age) traveling if the minor is DEPARTING Mexico, by air or sea, alone or with someone other than a parent or legal guardian who is of legal age (grandparent, uncle/aunt, school group leader, etc.), and is using Mexican documents to travel (birth certificate, passport, temporary or permanent Mexican residency). The US Embassy recommends all minors traveling without both parents carry a notarized consent letter at all times in the event immigration officials request one. For more information, please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/mexico.html
|A little pre-planning can make your trip go a lot smoother. Several weeks before your trip, make a list of what you will need to take with you. Make sure your personal documents (passports, visas, driver's license) are in order. Make sure also that you have enough prescription medications to last through the trip and carry them with you in case your luggage is delayed. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on bag in the event that your luggage is delayed or lost. Lost luggage is common. We strongly urge you to consider carry-ons instead of checked bags when possible, and when checking a bag is necessary, choose a bag color and identification that stands out. We suggest that you make photocopies of passports, visas, personal ID and any other important travel documents and pack them separately from the originals. You may also make a digital copy of your passport to keep a clear picture with the important details in your cell phone or digital camera photos. If you lose the originals while traveling, you'll have copies for easier reporting and replacement. Pack a list of medications including dosage and generic names. You may consider bringing a small supply of over the counter medications for headaches and/or anti-diarrhea pills (especially when traveling outside of the USA and Western Europe). We recommend that you pack a portable alarm clock. Due to security reasons, many museums have restrictions on the size of bags that can be taken inside and backpacks, carry-on bags or large purses may not be permitted. It is recommended to bring a small shoulder bag or purse to use in these situations instead. Avoid placing valuables such as cameras in your checked luggage. Airplane pressure can cause similar pressure in your body, most notably in ears, as well as liquid tubes and bottles. Your physician can suggest medication for decongestion. We suggest that you place liquid containers into Ziploc bags to catch any leaks. |
|Travel Safety Advice: The safety of our guests is Gate 1’s #1 concern. Before making the decision to reserve your vacation, we want you to be aware of potential situations which may impact your holiday. While most of the time our programs run precisely according to plans, on rare occasion force majeure events including weather, transportation mechanical issues, or uninhabitable accommodation, civil unrest and even criminal or terrorist activities will present themselves unexpectedly and with little or no notice. Gate 1 will make the decision to cancel a tour only after receiving verifiable government issued information. We are otherwise obliged to comply with contractual airline and vendor agreements and carry out the tour until or unless we are advised otherwise. In the event of such an occurrence anytime after your date of departure, Gate 1 and the local destination ground staff, in coordination with government advisories, airlines, hotels, cruise ships and other vendors, will make decisions with regard to your safety first. We strongly recommend that tour participants review the destination country's specific information at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html. |
|Even the best-planned trips can be impacted by the unexpected. And that is why we recommend that you help protect yourself and your investment by purchasing Travel Protection for your Gate 1 trip. Travel Protection can help with medical coverage for illness or injury, trip cancellation and/or interruption, baggage loss, medical evacuation, and more. At any time before you complete Final Payment, you may choose to purchase Travel Protection. The protection plan premium is non-refundable after a 10-day review period. In addition, you must be medically able to travel at the time the premium is paid. For a summary of the plan details on coverages, benefits, limitations and exclusions, please refer to the Description of Coverage by visiting www.gate1travel.com/insurance/. |
Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit (CFAR) is a non-insurance feature that allows you to cancel up to 72 hours before your scheduled departure for any reason not otherwise covered in the Travel Protection Plan. CFAR must be purchased at the same time as the Travel Protection Plan as well as within 21 days of the original booking date. Independent or escorted tour reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to the full cost of your trip, less the cost of initial deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. Sea or river cruise reservations will be eligible for a future travel credit equal to 50% of the cost of your trip, less the cost of initial trip deposit, airline-assessed fees, amendment fees, and insurance premium. All CFAR credits are valid for a period of two years from the original date of travel. CFAR Credits have no cash value and are not transferrable. Airline-assessed fees are generally $300 per person, but may be as much as fully non-refundable. Some non-refundable airline tickets may retain value, less airline-assessed fees. Your future air credit must be used to book with the same airline. Deadlines to rebook and complete travel vary by airline and may be as early as 12 months from when the tickets were originally issued (not the date of travel). For details, www.gate1travel.com/insurance/.
This program does not apply to custom groups and Antarctica cruises. Residents of New York, Missouri & Minnesota may purchase this Cancel for Any Reason Waiver Benefit separate from Travel Protection. Call to speak with a reservation agent for details. This Cancel for any Reason Wavier Benefit is not insurance and is provided by Gate 1 Travel.
|Mobile networks differ from country to country. We recommend you check with your provider to see if your wireless plan will work in the destination(s) you are visiting. To avoid possible roaming charges, you may want to consider purchasing an international plan. With most major phone companies, for a modest fee, you will be able to use your domestic plan's talk, text, and data allowances just like you do at home. If you can access the internet while you travel, you can also take advantage of services such as WhatsApp or Skype. |
|Making Telephone Calls from One Country to Another|
|When dialing a number from one country to another, you should proceed as follows: dial your country's Exit Code (often indicated with a “+” sign), then the destination Country Code, then the Phone Number. For most countries, the exit code is 00. Exceptions include the USA and Canada (011), Hong Kong and Cambodia (001), Australia (0011), and Russia (8 Pause 10*). For Brazil, please consult with the local telephone company. If you are dialing from a mobile phone, you can enter a “+” instead of the international Exit Code (011, 001, 0011 or 00) by pressing and holding the 0 key. For most countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and South Pacific, if you are calling from a local phone to a number within the same country, you should drop both the exit and country codes and then add a leading 0 (zero). Exceptions include Spain, Italy, Hungary and Malta (no additional zero needed to dial locally). |
To dial the following number in Germany (as listed on your voucher): +(49) 0555-555
From USA or your US cell phone: 011-49-555-555
From another country in Europe: 00-49-555-555
From a German phone within Germany: 0555-555
|WiFi is available in most airports, hotels, and cruise lines, as well as on some flights, trains, and buses. There may be a fee for access and service quality and speed may vary greatly especially while on moving vehicles. Availability on cruises is also dependent upon its location while sailing through multiple countries. Please note that WiFi can be extremely slow, unreliable, and sometimes nonexistent in developing countries. |
|Staying Healthy While Traveling|
|All travelers should familiarize themselves with local conditions, such as high altitude or required immunizations, which could affect their health. We recommend you consult with your personal healthcare provider, the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov) and/or the World Health Organization (http://www.who.int/en/) for their recommendations. |
There are several easy steps you can take to stay healthy while traveling which may help prevent contracting an illness while away from home.
|Notice on Aircraft Cabin Insecticide Treatment - Please note that some countries may require aircraft cabin insecticide treatment for in-bound foreign flights. A list of such countries is available at:
|Mexico - You may encounter mosquitoes in both urban and rural areas, especially during wet seasons. Travelers are encouraged to bring insect repellent and consider wearing clothing that adequately covers arms and legs. |
|About the Zika Virus - The Zika Virus is a mosquito-borne virus mostly found in areas of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. According to the CDC, most cases of Zika are mild. However, there is a potential link between this virus and a brain defect called microcephaly which affects unborn babies and may pose a potential risk to pregnant women. If you are pregnant or believe you could be at the time of travel, the CDC cautions against traveling to these destinations. For information, please visit www.cdc.gov/zika/. |
|Consideration for Tour Participants (Escorted Tours)|
For the benefit of all tour participants, we ask tour members to be considerate of their fellow travelers in the following ways: |
|Climate & Clothing|
|Mexico - Mexico has two main seasons; The rainy season is from June to October, and the dry season is from November to May. The climate changes greatly depending on latitude and altitude. The weather in Mexico is as varied as its geography, which includes tropical forests, arid deserts, fertile valleys and snow-covered mountains. While the Copper Canyon region is warm year-round, it can be quite cool, especially in the evening. The highland region ranges from alpine to temperate, while the canyon valleys are considered subtropical. Bring comfortable walking shoes, clothes you can layer and an all-weather jacket. You may need to walk up steep hills or over rough terrain. Sunscreen and a hat or sunglasses are also recommended. |
Mexico Average Temperatures: https://www.gate1travel.com/weather/americas/default.aspx#mexico-weather.
|Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drone” technology has quickly become affordable and is increasingly popular with recreational users. While some countries have clear, established drone laws, others do not, or existing regulations are undergoing review and change. Travelers who wish to bring a drone on their trip are responsible to research and abide by the laws and regulations of the countries they are visiting, as well as to check with their airline(s) regarding their rules for transporting drones. Please note that tours are unable to extend the length of scheduled visits and stops to accommodate use of drones. |
|Book & Film Recommendations|
|Many of our guests enjoy reading about their destination - either in advance of their trip or while traveling - as a way of adding context to their visit. Whether reading a traditional guide book, learning about the history and culture, or simply enjoying a fictional novel set in the destination, a good book can add greatly to your experience. Similarly, a good movie set in your destination helps set the mood before you travel. We asked our Tour Managers and staff to recommend books and films which past guests may have enjoyed. The following does not constitute an endorsement of any authors, books or films listed, it is merely a collection of guests' recommendations. |
|MEXICO: Books |
The People's Guide to Mexico by Carl Franz
On Mexican Time by Tony Cohan
The Pearl by John Steibeck
The Log from The Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
Born to Run by Christopher McDougal
The Treasures of the Sierra Madre by B. Traven
Sin Nombre (2009)
The Violin (2005)
Viva Zapata (1952)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
|Preparing for Your Trip|
| As a courtesy service, complimentary airline seat assignments are requested on your behalf and, when available, are displayed in order of Passenger #1, #2 and so on. Assignments reflect the best available seats at the time of booking. Some airlines and/or fare types do not allow for pre-seating and require this be done at airport check-in only; in which case the display shows “N/A”. Seats are subject to change by your airline(s) including, for example, when there is a schedule change or equipment change after your initial booking; this may cause seat assignments to be changed or even cancelled. Some airlines offer preferred seating for an additional fee; these seats may only be purchased directly from the airline. You will need your family name and the 6-digit airline “Record Locator” which is displayed with the flight details on your reservation. In the event that you change seat assignments directly with your airline, changes will not be reflected on your invoice or documents. At the time that Gate 1 travel documents are issued, the currently assigned seats will be listed based on the assignments stored in your airline reservation at that time. Should you have questions regarding your assignments, please write to us at www.gate1travel.com/contactus. |
|Luggage & Packing|
|Checked bags are typically limited to a total dimension of 62 inches by adding length + width + height (example: 26"+26"+10" = 62”), and a maximum weight of 50 lbs (23kg). Smart Bags with a USB charging port, GPS tracking device and other high-tech features are prohibited as checked or carry-on baggage unless the bag is made with removable batteries and the batteries are removed and stored separately. Many airlines charge for checked bags including flights which begin and end within the USA. The most inexpensive airfare options commonly known as Basic Economy airfares do not include any checked bags nor seat assignments before the day of departure. However, for some airlines, other airfare categories also do not include checked baggage. This will be clearly displayed in our airfare selection and on your invoice. Where available, we highly recommend selecting airfares which include at least 1 piece of checked baggage. Gate 1 Travel is not responsible for checked bag fees, excess luggage or weight charges levied by an airline. Checked baggage allowances displayed on reservation details and invoices reflect the applicable allowance at the time of booking but are subject to change by your airline(s). For your airline’s requirements and fees, visit www.gate1travel.com/baggagefees.aspx. For important baggage information, visit www.gate1travel.com/luggage.aspx. Avoid placing valuables in your checked luggage. Federal law forbids the carriage of hazardous materials aboard the aircraft in your luggage, your carry-on or on your person. A violation can result in five years’ imprisonment and penalties of $250,000 or more (49 U.S.C. 5124). Hazardous materials include explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids and solids, oxidizers, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Examples: Paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, tear gases, oxygen bottles, and radio-pharmaceuticals. There are special exceptions for small quantities (up to 70 ounces total) of medicinal and toilet articles carried in your luggage and certain smoking materials carried on your person. Check the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) website www.tsa.gov to find out the current list of acceptable items you may bring on a plane before packing. We recommend that you use brightly colored luggage tags, straps or other identifiers to help you locate you luggage upon arrival or to describe it in the event that it is lost. |
|Day of Departure|
|What to do if You Need Assistance|
Whether you purchased your airfare from Gate 1 Travel or from the airline directly, please bear in mind that Gate 1 Travel does not own nor operate the airline(s), nor the airport facilities where they operate. At times, flying can be a frustrating experience, especially when things do not go exactly as planned, and airline explanations can be confusing or even misleading. Should you face a problem, remain calm and seek assistance either from the airline directly or from Gate 1. Please be aware that in most cases, on the day of your flight(s), airlines pass responsibility for your reservation to their staff at the airport and it is not always possible for Gate 1 Travel to intervene on your behalf, either through our reservations system or directly with your airline.
|Arrival & Departure|
|Upon arrival, please complete immigration formalities if necessary and claim your luggage. If your program includes airport arrival transfers, check your voucher for specific instructions, as they vary with every destination. In most cases, you will be met after collecting your luggage or passing through Customs by the local representative who will be holding a Gate 1 Travel sign and/or a sign with your name on it. In some instances you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation counter. The company's name and location will be printed on your voucher. If for any reason you do not connect with the Gate 1 transfer personnel, go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to page the Gate 1 Travel representative or phone the number on your voucher. Be wary of airport scammers who offer unwanted assistance. If you are delayed due to lost luggage, phone the number on the voucher or have a companion exit the Customs Area to advise the transfer representative. |
|What To Do When Your Flight Is Delayed|
|Airlines do not share flight manifest information. Therefore, the only way we may learn of a delay or schedule change while you are traveling is from you, the traveler. The sooner you are able to contact one of our offices, the better we can respond. Please refer to the Emergency Assistance instructions on this same document. Gate 1 Travel is only able to guarantee pre-reserved arrival transfers for up to one hour from the scheduled time, no matter the cause. In case you are delayed for any reason, and are unable to follow the instructions on your voucher, please make independent transfer arrangements and retain your receipts. Unused tour services, including transfers and hotel nights are not refundable. Upon you return home you will need to contact your airline and/or insurance carrier to investigate the possibility of reimbursement for any unused tour services. |
|Mexico - For Tucson arrivals only, if you arrive at the start of the tour via a domestic flight which is delayed for any reason causing you to miss the approximately 7AM transfer to Mexico on Day 2, do not route yourself to the nearest airport in Mexico to join the tour. Arrive to Tuscon and contact Gate 1 to have alternative arrangements made to join the group as quickly as possible. This may require multiple unaccompanied transfers. |
|If your program includes departure transfers, instructions will be stated on your voucher or provided locally. |
|Due to local traffic and other extenuating circumstances, we ask that you allow 30 minutes from your scheduled transfer time for our representative to arrive. This includes hotel, airport and cruise transfers. Such possible delays are taken into consideration in scheduling transfers and you should therefore have no concerns about arriving late for your tour, flight or cruise. For transfers from a hotel, let the hotel reception desk or concierge know that you are waiting for a transfer. In the case of a missed transfer, reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses will be considered provided you obtain a written statement from the hotel's front desk verifying the length of time you waited, and the time you left the hotel, and a receipt for your transportation with time and date. |
The cost of a transfer is more expensive than hiring a taxi, as a Gate 1 transfer necessarily includes round trip service, or 'dead-leg'. Often the places of call (airports, seaports, hotels) demand entrance and parking fees, where drivers may have to wait for up to an hour. Passengers comfortable hiring a taxi on their own and do not require assistance will save money.
|About Your Accommodations|
|Gate 1 Travel has carefully selected each hotel based on overall quality, location, price, food, service, and cleanliness. All rooms are standard twin-bedded (two single beds) rooms with private facilities. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preference and connecting rooms are subject to availability. Room selection in all cases, unless otherwise reserved, is strictly at the discretion of the hotel's management on a run-of-house basis. Triple rooms consist of standard twin beds or one double bed plus a sofa/folding bed or cot for third person except in the U.S. and Canada, where triple rooms often consist of two double/queen beds for three persons; where available, a fee may be charged by the hotel for the addition of a cot/rollaway. The number of persons accommodated does not dictate the room size. Although available at most 4 and 5 star hotels, the use of air-conditioning abroad differs greatly from the United States, and is often shut down at night and from the end until the start of the summer months. Some lodges and accommodations in remote regions may not have all of the amenities, such as hairdryer, alarm clock and room service, that you might find in a larger hotel located in a city center. |
|Hotel Check-in/ Check-out|
|Hotel check-in time is generally not before 4:00 p.m. and check-out time is prior to noon. If you will be arriving early in the day or departing in the evening, hotels will usually allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later. |
|Mexico - Some hotels do not provide safe deposit boxes. |
|At Your Destination|
|Eco & Sustainable Tourism|
|We support global efforts to create a more eco-friendly world, intolerant of any forms of cruelty, abuse and intentional environmental destruction. To that end we ask that our clients maintain a watchful eye as they travel, and report any abuses they may encounter. One of the many benefits of tourism is the shared cultural knowledge and ultimate elimination of negative behavior through education. We rely on your good feedback to enable this element of symbiosis. As you travel and learn about foreign cultures, we ask first and foremost that you practice tolerance and respect for local customs. |
|Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in local currency or US dollar equivalent where accepted. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional "compensation." There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended. If you become uncomfortable by any behavior you encounter, please advise your tour manager or phone our local office. Numbers are provided in your documents for your convenience. |
|Suggested Tipping: Escorted Tours|
Tour Manager (Coordinator; may or may not act as a guide): US $12 per person per day
Driver (Provides chauffeur services and limited assistance with luggage) : US $7 per person per day, US $4 per half day
Local Guide (Offers in-depth information at specific locations. There may be one or many guides along a tour program): US $7 per person per day of sightseeing, US $4 per half day
Hotel porters and wait staff: Included
|Mexico - Gratuities are appreciated and expected for good service in restaurants and other places that cater to tourists. Restaurant bills often do not include a service charge. 15% is customary for good service. |
|About Your Sightseeing|
|To ensure a pleasant and fair experience for passengers on our escorted tours, there is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our motor coaches which will be organized by your Tour Manager. On river cruises, color-coded group splits may be used for shoreside included and Optional tours. Some buses are equipped with toilet facility, however they are strictly intended for emergency use only and often require the vehicle to stop for safety reasons before use. When travel dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed, sometimes without prior notice. On these occasions, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which may affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument's view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however Gate 1 will decide based on the conditions whether to amend an itinerary. To respect the privacy of all tour participants, your tour manager will not organize a group photo or collect passenger email addresses for a group list. |
|Land Only Passengers (Escorted Tours)|
|Your tour manager will contact you after your arrival at your hotel. Passengers who have not purchased arrival transfers from Gate 1 Travel should proceed directly to the hotel for check-in. The details of the hotel can be found in your documents. |
|Purchasing Tours Locally|
| On escorted tours, the guides will generally sell optional tours to passengers who have not pre-purchased them. Payment can be made by cash or credit card, unless otherwise noted below. This does not apply to Independent packages. Please see Gate 1 Terms & Conditions for more information. https://www.gate1travel.com/terms.aspx#optional |
|Independent Activities - Gate 1 itineraries may contain suggestions for activities for your leisure time; these suggestions do not constitute a recommendation nor an endorsement of any specific service provider and the decision to participate in any such activities should be made independently and with due consideration. Gate 1 is not responsible for any activities not expressly included in its programs. Caution should be exercised when selecting certain activities that may require physical strength, coordination or exertion. Particular care should be taken when considering animal rides, such as on camels, mules or horses |
|Mexico - The Mexican Peso is the currency of Mexico. |
|Mexico - Large shops and hotels will typically have full credit card services, available often with a favorable exchange rate. Small vendors will typically only accept cash but might take small denomination US bills. |
|Most people enjoy bringing home at least one souvenir from the countries they visit. However, some find any amount of shopping to be too much while others never find enough opportunities. |
We have built into our Escorted itineraries a few shopping stops at recommended spots. These stops are designed to enhance your experience by providing an opportunity to see first-hand quality locally crafted merchandise which you may not be able to find on your own. Shops are checked to ensure the quality and authenticity of the products they offer, and we limit guides from visiting other locations. In some cases, we plan these stops to provide an opportunity to use clean bathrooms and to stretch your legs. All shops want your satisfaction, and therefore in case of any misunderstanding they ask that you kindly submit your claim to us within one week of the item's receipt. Claims submitted later will be subject to each store’s policies.
While shopping independently, we advise you to exercise care and common sense when making any purchase. Always get a formal receipt. And remember that, just like in this country, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!
About Tax-Free Shopping
Tax-Free Shopping allows shoppers to reclaim the VAT (Value-Added Tax) or GST (Goods and Services Tax) they have paid on their purchases in some foreign countries in accordance with restrictions and procedures as dictated by each country. Refund eligibility varies by country, but may require presenting a scanned copy of your passport at the time of purchase, a minimum amount spent, or providing original store receipts. For more details, check the respective country’s online website, with the shop salesperson, with your tour manager or at www.globalblue.com for specific country regulations and airport operation hours. Please keep in mind that you must apply for VAT refund in the airport of the country the items were purchased and allow enough time prior to your flight for the application.
U.S. Customs & Shipping Charges
You may carry items with a fair retail value totaling $800 into the U.S. Taxes may be applied to the next $1,000 worth of merchandise. U.S. Customs determines the value of your items, often honoring a genuine sales receipt. Items which are shipped home are always subject to duty when received in the U.S. (in addition to shipping charges). Some shops may offer to include shipping and duties in the price but this typically means shipping only to the customs facility closest to you and payment only of the export duties; you would still need to collect the item and pay U.S. import duties. Please be aware that it is illegal to import products made from endangered animal species. U.S. Customs & Border Protection will seize these items, as well as most furs, coral, tortoise shell, reptile skins, feathers, plants, and items made from animal skins.
|Mexico - From street vendors to bustling markets travel in Mexico provides ample opportunities for shopping. Prices can be listed in either Mexican Pesos or in US Dollars. If you are ever unsure, do not hesitate to ask. Bartering with vendors is acceptable varying on region; however, when dealing with indigenous communities it is often seen as insulting. Ironwood carvings in San Carlos and Mata Ortiz pottery in Nuevos Casas Grandes are good regional buys. El Fuerte is known for its beautiful palm hats, woven rugs and hammocks. The Tarahumara people make a variety of baskets and handicrafts. |
|Your Safety is Very Important|
Prior to your trip, if you are traveling overseas, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Department of State at www.travel.state.gov, specifically the section which addresses International Travel. You should read the tips for foreign travel and travel warnings for the country or countries that you plan to visit. |
It is also important that you do not allow your common sense to take a vacation while on your trip. Here are several tips which, if followed, will save much potential hardship:
If you've purchased an escorted tour program, your travel documents will include telephone numbers of local Gate 1 Travel representatives who will do their utmost to assist you in the event of an emergency. The numbers are printed on your Gate 1 Travel vouchers. Please copy the numbers. Once you relinquish the voucher, you will not have this information. Passengers traveling independently should employ the services of hotel concierges and local authorities.
|Mexico - While we recommend that you apply reasonable caution and common sense when traveling in any country, please be aware that in Mexico, there are significant issues with theft against tourists in public places. Always keep valuables in a safe place and avoid walking alone. It is advised that travelers avoid contact with children, including taking photographs, especially in rural areas. Passengers should not travel alone after dark. Do not take public transportation on buses as these vehicles are targets for robbery. We recommend that taxis be reserved via the hotel concierge desk, and that you do not ride alone when possible. When not possible, we recommend that a hotel, restaurant, or shop call a taxi. As in most parts of the world, be aware of your surroundings and keep to well-lit and populated areas. |
|Tourist Street Scams|
Pickpockets and thieves can destroy an otherwise wonderful holiday. Be mindful of these precautions to help avoid being scammed or robbed: |
|Local Emergency Phone Numbers|
|Mexico - Spanish is the official language. Many indigenous languages are also spoken throughout the country. |
|Please note: The U.S. uses 120 volts and you can purchase a converter and transformer at most hardware stores for your 120V appliances. |
|Mexico - The voltage used is 120 volts. |
|Code of Conduct|
|Mexico - Common courtesies should be observed. Conservative casual dress is appropriate. Beachwear should be confined to the beach or poolside. Smoking is acceptable unless otherwise noted and is specifically prohibited on public transport and in cinemas and theaters. Shaking hands is the standard greeting. Normal courtesies should be observed. The Catholic Church is highly respected in the community, and jokes at the expense of the Church are considered to be in poor taste. |
|Meals & Dietary Requests|
|Included meals are based on the restaurant's buffet or set menu. Beverages are not included, unless specifically stated. Although special diets like Vegetarian and Vegan are relatively commonplace in the USA, much of the world's menu options are more provincial. Please do not expect to find the variety of food selection outside of the local norm. Every effort will be made to honor special dietary requests selected no later than 5 days prior to departure in the passenger details section of your reservation. In addition, we recommend that you make preferences known to your tour manager upon arrival, and at each hotel/restaurant. Special requests are subject to local conditions and availability and cannot be guaranteed. |
|Mexico - While it is generally safe to eat fully cooked meats and vegetables, care should be taken to avoid undercooked meat and uncooked fruits and vegetables. It is advised to stick to food from reputable vendors. Because tap water is not potable, visitors should only drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Avoid ice, as it is usually made from tap water. |
|On public holidays, there may be reduced public transportation, as well as limited hours or closures of attractions, shops and restaurants. |
|Holidays - Mexico|
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 6: Constitution Day
Mar 20: Birthday of Benito Juarez
Apr 6: Maundy Thursday
Apr 7: Good Friday
Apr 9: Easter Sunday
May 1: Labor Day/ May Day
May 5: Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla
Sep 16: Independence Day
Oct 9: Dia de la Raza
Nov 1: Dia de los Muertos
Nov 20: Revolution Day
Dec 12: Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Jan 1: New Year's Day
Feb 5: Constitution Day
Mar 18: Birthday of Benito Juarez
Mar 28: Maundy Thursday
Mar 29: Good Friday
Mar 31: Easter Sunday
May 1: Labor Day/ May Day
May 5: Anniversary of the Battle of Puebla (Cinco de Mayo)
Sep 16: Independence Day
Oct 12: Dia de la Raza
Nov 1: All Saints Day
Nov 2: Dia de los Muertos
Nov 18: Revolution Day
Dec 12: Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Dec 25: Christmas Day
We enjoyed our safari, really up to our expectations, and the one that made this happened was our tour manager Christopher. Christopher is all of the following: Super friendly, even to most of the safari drivers in game drives, caring, takes time to know and address our concerns. Flexible, goes out of his way and time to fill our expectations. Excellent safari driver, knows where to go off road to look for lions, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, etc. We strongly recommend Gate1Travel customers have Christopher as their tour manager. Christopher is Gate1Travel greatest asset.Henry C.
Thank you for checking back with me about the trip to Indonesia. It was wonderful! The small discovery size group was very harmonious. We were astounded to discover that everyone else on the tour had traveled with Gate 1 multiple times; we were the newbies. The tour guides were excellent, knowledgeable and personable. The itinerary was packed full, at times too full, would have liked some more down time - that being said, the experiences on the itinerary were quite expansive and culturally rich. The hotels and accommodations and dining were outstanding. What more can I say. Perhaps two more days on Bali and two days less on Java would be my only constructive feedback. Thank you for working with us in the planning as well as you did!!!Roberta O.
I just wanted to comment on our recent trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar but mostly about our guide/tour manager Philip. I am always amazed at the quality of the tour managers you provide but Philip went above and beyond. From the first morning when he introduced himself to our small group, he was courteous, attentive, informative and fun. We enjoyed playing jokes on him and he took it in stride, always with a smile. His knowledge of the plants and animals we saw was astounding. Even though he repeats this trip over and over again, his enthusiasm when showing us the animals was so genuine, he seemed as excited as we were. It didn't matter how many questions were asked, he patiently answered each one often going beyond the simple answer but giving us a more in depth answer concerning animal behavior and what we should look for when viewing them. He also seemed to have great respect from other tour guides/managers we saw along our route. Many of them took the time to speak to us about Philip and how we were in good hands. He definitely made it a trip we will always remember. This was our 22nd trip with Gate 1 and he made it one of the best.Amy B.
This was my first experience with gate one and due to the absolutely fantastic trip I just experienced I will now be a regular customer. The tour Director, Greg J, was outstanding; rarely do you see someone who is able to be professional, cheerful and fun all at the same time while continuing to make sure our safety is the first priority. With such a diverse number of personalities, it is difficult to make sure everyone is happy all the time, but Greg did his best to make sure that was everyone's experience was fantastic! The tours were brilliant, beautiful, and so educational. Each day started with a greeting from Greg outlining all that we would be doing that day. Throughout the day, he would check in with everyone to see how things were going. I saw him interact with all of my fellow travelers in a very kind and interested manner. At the end of the day, he would always check in with everyone and ask for our honest reviews of where we had been. He did a wonderful job making sure we felt heard. Greg is not only an outstanding individual with a kind heart and winning smile. He is what I will now picture in my mind when I think about gateway travel and due to his terrific work you can be sure I will coming back time and again. (I have already told three friends about my experience.) Please let Greg know how much I appreciate what he did to make this trip my very favorite out of the other 67 countries I have visited. He's incredible and the gold standard for your directors. I would also like to thank our bus driver, Paul. He and Greg had a very good working relationship and due to their conversations and planning I believe we saw more of the true Newfoundland and Labrador that other people I saw on tour groups around us. And just to let you know, other tour groups were very envious of how much fun we were having!Jean W.
The Mayan Illumination Tour was our 14th with Gate 1. We've enjoyed them ALL but need to say this one rates near the top. Carlos couldn't have been better in any aspect; he's a natural leader and teacher, makes guiding look easy when we know it is not. His easy-going nature was no doubt part of the reason our very diverse group was in great harmony all day every day. An example to me was how our group would rearrange tables to sit together even if that was not the configuration of the space. :) An especially helpful element from Carlos was his repeating important info, i.e., he would have said we need to leave at 12:20, but he would repeat that important fact to be sure all heard. Our driver was a true professional and very nice man. At one point I asked him if I could retrieve shoes from my carryon stored in the luggage compartment, and he was happy to help. I was so pleased, as I could then walk easily on the beach, an unexpected and delightful stop. The staff of the Mexico City hotel were Exceptional in every way, especially friendliness to each of us. Thank you so much, Gate 1.Kim S.
Excellent in every respect. Our favorite Gate 1 trip, and this is about our 10th. Tour guide was out of this world excellent. Our best tour guide ever! Can't say enough good about the trip. Far exceeded every expectation we could have wanted.Dorothy A.
It was wonderful! We loved every bit of it! Great tour manager ( Ya), great local guides, great itinerary and great accommodations and wonderful foods. We couldn't be happier with our tour. Thanks for your help in arranging this Gate 1.Mary Beth & Tom B. Burlington, VT
We had a fabulous time. Our tour director Bacho was knowledgeable, funny, organized and very helpful. Our whole tour worked liked clockwork, the weather was perfect, and there was so much to see. Would recommend the tour to all my friends!Lisa S. Walnut Creek, CA
Our trip with Gate 1 through Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam was excellent. The accommodations were great and our tour guide was outstanding.Ralph G. Jacksonville, FL
Our Mexico trip was our 14th Gate 1 trip and it was perfect as usual. Baccho, our tour manager, was excellent, attentive to our needs, and filled almost every minute with great activities and additional optional walking tours.Kenneth M. Bay Village, OH
The trip was everything promised, and more. Our main tour guide, Bacho, was simply outstanding. Starting in Cancun and working our way towards our finale at the museums in Mexico City was the perfect sequence for fully embracing this unique culture.Jim L. Waynesboro, VA
Our trip was just great as usual with Gate 1. Our tour director was excellent and the local guides at the various ruins we visited were very knowledgeable on the Mayan and Aztec cultures. The hotels were well located and the food was great. The most beautiful city we visited was Puebla. If we could recommend any changes it would be to extend this trip by a day or two so we could enjoy the city of Puebla more.Joe M. Sundridge, ON
We greatly enjoyed our Mayan and Aztec Discovery trip in Mexico. Carlos Perez was a very good TM. We enjoyed the cultural and historical information he and the local guides shared.Eric F. Alexandria, VA
10 out of 10. Wonderful. More than I expected. All tour guides were good. Your guide was exceptional among the exception managers I have had. Very well done.Gerald C. Lilburn, GA
Our trip was just great, very informative, we enjoyed every moment. The (Pyramids) temples as they call them were a new experience for us, the food was different then we are use to ,but good, the accommodations were a joy, the weather can not be beat in Mexico . Anyhow we did stay a extra 4 nights in Mexico City and enjoyed even more of this fantastic City and culture, I bet we did enjoyed the City more than our fellow travelers because we had more time …..the tour guide was tremendous a great help to everyone and so courteous and friendly, We had the opportunity to do the “Copper Canyon “tour last year also with Bonifacio as our tour guide and had the same great experience, we certainly would recommend Gate 1 to anyone for a Mexican experience .Josiane D. Ontario, Canada
The tour guide, Bacho, was excellent. Hotel accommodations were fine, food was excellent at all locations. I thought the tour was well worth the money and would recommend it to other people interested in the archaeology of Mexico.Douglas B. Winona, MO