Faculty-Led: Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico - 8 Days

Ecololgy & Archaeology

Program Highlights & Inclusions

  • Professional ETA Tour Manager throughout your trip
  • Transportation throughout your trip
  • Visit Xcaret
    • Take a rafting trip down a river & through caves
    • Learn about ancient Mayan civilization & culture
    • Snorkel & swim with dolphins
  • Visit the Ixlache Reef on Contoy Island
    • Snorkel among the coral reefs, sea turtles & fishes
    • Guided tour of Contoy Island with free time
  • Guided tour of Chichen Itza
  • Guided tour of Merida with free time to explore
  • Guided boat tour through Celestun Biosphere Reserve
  • Boat tour in Celestun Biosphere Reserve
  • Explore small villages between Celestun and Cancun
  • Explore the beaches of Cancun

Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Travel to Cancun, Mexico

Today you'll start your Mexico adventure to make unforgettable memories with your group. Upon arrival in Cancun, you'll meet with your Tour Manager and begin your journey.

Day 2 – Xcaret Eco Park

This morning, you’ll take a full-day excursion to Xcaret, a natural eco-park where you will encounter indigenous plant and animal life, take a rafting trip down a river and through caves, learn about ancient Mayan civilization and culture, and have an opportunity to snorkel and swim with dolphins! 

Day 3 – Snorkeling at Ixlache Reef and Contoy Island

After breakfast, you will board your cruise vessel to Ixlache Reef and Contoy Island. At Ixlache Reef you will have the opportunity for snorkeling among coral reefs, sea turtles, and fishes of every color of the rainbow. Later in the morning you will join the few tourists allowed to visit Contoy Island every day. This national park and wildlife refuge is home to various turtles and dozens of species of birds. Here you will join a naturalist guide on a tour of the island, after which you have plenty of time to wander on a trail, visit a nesting lagoon or lounge on the beach.

Day 4 - Chichen Itza with an Archaeologist & Merida

You'll depart for Chichen Itza where you will join your specialized guide for an in-depth tour of the site. Enjoy the tranquility of your early-morning visit before the crowds arrive. Your archaeologist guide will explain how this large pre-Colombian city played an important role in Mayan civilization from around A.D. 600 to 1200, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spanish. Even today, it is still considered a sacred site by the Yucatán peninsula’s Mayan population. This massive ceremonial center contains many impressive monuments and is home to the famous pyramid, the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. You’ll also see the Great Ball Court, the Sacred Cenote, the Platform of the Eagles and Jaguars, the Platform of Venus and more. 

 After your visit you’ll have lunch and then continue to the colonial city of Merida. Upon arrival you’ll take a guided city tour, enjoy some free time to shop, and then enjoy dinner together. 

Day 5 – Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Celestun is a quaint fishing village located in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, home of hundreds of species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, many of them in danger of extinction

In the morning, you will take a boat ride through an estuary and mangrove forest. Here you will have the opportunity to witness one of the largest flocks of flamingos in the world in their natural habitat. From your boat you will be able to see lots of marine and terrestrial animals that find their home among the mangrove trees. 

Day 6 – Return to Cancun via Traditional Villages

Breakfast at your hotel and early departure by bus back to Cancun. Along the way you will stop at traditional small villages where your guide will share with you about the traditions and history of this captivating part of Mexico. You will enjoy lunch en route and dinner back in Cancun.

Day 7 – Cancun

You will time to explore the world famous beaches of Cancun. You will have lunch together and, later, a special farewell dinner where you will celebrate the conclusion of your Mexican adventure.

Day 8 – Departure

Today your Mexico adventure comes to a close as you depart for your flight back to the US.


We know how hidden costs can ruin a program. Our tours are fully inclusive; there are no hidden costs or surcharges.
Once your group enrolls in a trip, the price will never change. Here is what you will get on every trip:


Every single tour that we operate is unique and tailored for your group.

Private Tours

We do not combine your tour group with others.

Online Planning

Take advantage of our innovative tools to make organizing your trip a breeze.

Flexible Payments

We offer a variety of online, scheduled and recurring payment options.

Affordability & Quality

We focus on providing the best experience with the best value for your dollar.

Chaperones travel for free!

Just tell us how many free places you need.

Medical & Trip Delay Insurance

ETA includes up to $100,000 per person in medical coverage and insurance protection for travel delays.

Optional Trip Cancellation Insurance

This even includes a "cancel for any reason" option.

24 Hour Support

We have staff available 24/7 via phone for any emergency.

Full-time Tour Manager

ETA's professional Tour Manager will be with you throughout your trip.

Air, Land & Water Transportation

We include all transportation... to, from and during your trip.


Hotel, homestay and/or hostel options are customized according to your preferences, itinerary and budget.

Sightseeing & Entrance Fees

If it is included in your itinerary, any fees and/or tickets are covered.


You choose which meals are included in your program.

Enhance the educational experience for your students by planning a group tour. Our experienced team can customize a program to suit your needs. Travel is a great diversion from the classroom and offers a unique and memorable learning experience...

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4400 Route 9 South, Suite 1000
Freehold, NJ 07728