2018 December 27 to January 5, 2019
A Gay Travel Adventure in Mexico
This New Year’s Eve travel to the Yucatan Peninsula to be immersed in the history of Mayan civilization while exploring ancient temples. Join a fun gay group to climb the ruins, walk along an endless white sandy beach in Holbox, swim in a deep blue cenote, and learn about the Spanish conquest of this ancient land. Read a personal account on our Gay Travel Blog.
The Mayan civilization and all of its extraordinary accomplishments have been referenced by hundreds of scholars. Our gay trip features the history of the Mayans, their calendar, and their sophisticated system of mathematics. The fascinating culture and history of the Yucatan peninsula is eclipsed only by its rich coastal beauty. A colorful glimpse of ancient, colonial, and modern Mexico.
Day 1: Welcome to the Riviera Maya
We’ll fly into the Cancun International Airport and be met by a shuttle that whisks us south toward the Mayan Riviera, to our lovely resort on the coast. For those arriving early in the day, there will be time to lounge under an umbrella on the sandy beach or take a dip in the pool. Tonight we will enjoy an intimate welcome dinner together to kick off our journey.
Day 2: Tulum and Cobá – Mayan History on the Beautiful Caribbean
Each day of sightseeing and adventure begins after our included breakfast. Today we will visit Tulum and have our first introduction to the fascinating history of the Mayans. One of the last Mayan cities to fall to the conquistadors, Tulum overlooks the Caribbean Sea, and is noted for its high walls and strong defensive position atop great cliffs. We’ll head inland to another famous Mayan site, Cobá, which may have housed 50,000 residents at its peak. This afternoon we suggest a disco nap, as tonight we are off on a journey of seduction and desire as we catch Tulum’s newest and raciest attraction, the Rauxa Cabaret!
Day 3: Mexican Folk Art, the Steps of Ek Balam, and a Cenote Swim
Today we begin our journey westward, including a city tour of Valladolid, one of Mexico’s “pueblos magicos” or “magic cities,” designated by the country because of its natural beauty, cultural riches and historical significance.
We will marvel at the largest privately owned collection of Mexican Folk Art at the “Casa de los Venados” or “House of the Deer,” then continue on to Ek Balam, a Mayan archaeological site famed for its detailed stone carvings, intact stucco figures, and steep steps. We will have plenty of time to climb and explore several of the temples and other structures before we continue to Cenote Hubiku. There, we’ll wwim in a crystal clear pool in an underground cavern among stalactites and stalagmites! We’ll end our journey in the state capital, Merida, where we’ll find plenty of restaurant choices for our independent evening meal.
Days 4 and 5: Merida
Mérida has the highest percentage of indigenous persons of any large city in Mexico with approximately 60% of all inhabitants being of the Maya ethnicity. The colorful architecture of the city reflects Mayan, Spanish, and other European influences, and we will learn about it on our afternoon city tour, visiting Merida’s version of the Champs Elysees, the “Paseo de Montejo” including a traditional ride in a horse-drawn carriage. The evening will be free to explore this bustling city and dine independently.
The last day of 2018 will be free to take in the sights in this lovely capital city. Or, you may enjoy a day trip to the Celestun Biosphere Reserve on the northwest coast of Yucatan. Here, we usually see flocks of flamingos grazing in the rich and shallow waters. We’re happy to arrange an excursion including lunch. Tell us now if you’d like to visit the flamingos! Tonight we gather to say goodbye to 2018, and we’ll celebrate in style with a delicious traditional New Year’s dinner together.
Day 6: Feliz Año Nuevo!
We’ll rise early today to visit the breathtaking ruins of Uxmal by day. This large archeological site has a legendary tall temple, the “Pyramid of the Magician”, a huge courtyard, and more. The structures are adorned with intricate geometric stone carvings and many sit atop opposite hills as well as nestled in the valley in between. Today we will also visit the Chocolate Museum, showcasing the history, cultivation, and production of cacao (with samples, of course!)
More adventure awaits at the impressive Lol Tun Caves with our private guide. From the top to a pyramid to deep underground, we will see it all on the first day of the New Year!
Day 7: 19th Century History
After breakfast we are on the move, off to Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, for a tour of the airy Spanish home and working museum. The factory tour showcases the modernization of sisal production and the conditions of slavery that supported the industry during the last century.
Later we’ll take a wagon ride to the private cenote and descend into the cavern to swim in the clear blue water. Our colorful cottages await tonight, and dinner will be delicious.
Day 8: Chichen Itza
Today pass through the towns of Tecoh and Euan as we head toward what is sure to be one of the most amazing sites we will visit on our tour, Chichen Itza. This site is a vast complex of temples and other intricate structures including an observatory. Local vendors line the shady walkways between temples and sell colorful hand-painted pottery, instruments, and textiles.
Afterward, we will embark on a few hours drive northeastward for the city of Chiquila. From there, we glide across the breathtakingly blue bay to the island of Holbox (pronounced hol-bosh).
Once on the island and checked into our beach cottages, we’ll have time to stretch our legs walking along the beach or strolling the tiny island town. We regroup for a lovely dinner together.
Day 9: Holbox – A Charming Beach Town
Today is a full day to relax on this charming island. Some will read by the pool, enjoy a relaxing massage, or stroll and shop in the village. Others may like to rent a golf cart and explore, or take a horseback ride along the beach. We have included a snorkeling tour today for any guest who wishes to participate. Please let us know in advance! We’ll enjoy a farewell dinner and remember our warm and colorful week together.
Day 10: Departure
Today we have arranged the ferry and shuttle that will take us to the Cancun Airport. We’ll bid adios to beautiful Yucatan, Mexico!
Price includes: Airport transfers; Accommodations for 9 nights; All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners; Entrance fees and activities shown; All ground transportation; Services of knowledgeable, full-time, bilingual national guide and HE Travel Tour Director (pending minimum participation). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare to and from starting and ending points; 3 lunches and 3 dinners; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; gratuities for guides and HE Travel host.
Optional Tour Choices:
$1250 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
$65 Celestun Biosphere boat tour with lunch (pending minimum participation) – Day 5
Snorkeling at Holbox Included in price, so let us know your fin size if you want to participate! – Day 9
“Being able to explore and climb various Maya structures and temple pyramids at the different sites were a real treat for me. I especially enjoyed climbing the temple pyramid at Ek Balaam and the pyramid at Uxmal. Chichen Itza was magnificent.” – Ossie L., Guttenberg, NJ
“I got to know Yucatan through this trip much better than I could on my own. We stayed at and learned about a variety of places including colonial towns and haciendas and of course Mayan sites. Every day had something new and different to offer.” – Joe C., Washington, DC
“Worth every penny, HE Travel provided a comprehensive tour of modern and ancient Mayan culture. Between the HE Travel host and the local Mayan Guide it is difficult to imagine a better tour of the Yucatan.” – Drew F., Emeryville, CA
“The perfect combination of history, local food, and discovery. The Mayan culture is worth getting to know. We came away from this tour energized and richer for the experience!” – Craig D.,
“Seeing all these Mayan sites, with a skilled local guide with excellent English, has been great. Learned a lot, enjoyed the guys in our group, had fun!” – Bob H., Newark, OH
“Our travels to the Mexican Mayan Riviera have always been spectacular. The beautiful beaches and tropical landscape, along with the history and culture confirmed over and over again why the Yucatan is part of the New 7 Wonders of the World”. – Andy and Kai, Key West, FL
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself..
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts in Tulum and ends in Holbox, Mexico. The nearest airport is in Cancun, and transfers will be provided to Tulum and back from Holbox.
Because of the long transfers from our secluded resorts, please plan flights accordingly:
Arrival: Plan to arrive in Cancun before 3 pm on December 28.
Departure: Schedule departing flight from Cancun after 4pm on January 6.
An additional fee for private transfers may apply on dates other than shown above.
This trip includes walking on uneven paths among the ruins including going up and down steps and hills. Anyone who can comfortably navigate through historic sites and walk on city streets, dirt paths and sandy beaches will enjoy this gay Mexico trip.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174 to speak with someone who has taken the trip.