La Ruta Maya is a journey through the lands of the Mayan Empire, which reached its peak between the 5th and 12th centuries. Encompassing the Yucatan Peninsula, south-eastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and western Honduras, the journey takes you to all the major Mayan ruins, some of the most spectacular and impressive historical sites in the world. These include the ancient cities of Palenque, Tulum, Tikal and Copan, as well as the magnificent pyramid at Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. But historical ruins aren't the only attractions of this journey. The fascinating culture of present day Mayan groups can be seen in the villages of Chiapas in Mexico and surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, while the colonial period is evidenced in beautiful historic towns such as San Cristobal, Antigua, Campeche and Merida. The region also a diverse and breathtaking array of natural wonders including the volcanoes of Guatemala, the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, the Sumidero Canyon, the beaches and reefs of Caye Caulker in Belize and the stunning Lake Atitlan.

Mexico Guatemala Honduras Belize

Mayan City of Chichen-Itza Mayan City of Uxmal Mayan City of Palenque Mayan Villages of Chamula and Zinacantan Antigua Guatemala Mayan City of Tikal

Interested in exploring more of Central America? Then check out the Central America Explorer journey.

Routes for La Ruta Maya

Mayan Circle

This journey takes a circular route through the lands of the ancient Mayan Empire, from Cancun in Mexico to Antigua in Guatemala and back. It incorporates all the major Mayan ruins as well as Spanish colonial towns, some beautiful natural attractions and a fascinating glimpse at contemporary Mayan culture.

Tours: 3 available View highlights of this route

Eastern Mayan Peninsula

The eastern section of La Ruta Maya takes you from Cancun and Chichen Itza on the north of the Yucatan Peninsula to Antigua in Guatemala and includes the Mayan ruins at Calakmul, Tulum, Tikal and Copan as well as the chance to explore the beaches and barrier reefs off the coast of Belize.

Tours: 5 available View highlights of this route

Western Mayan Peninsula

The western section of La Ruta Maya incorporates the major Mayan sites of Chichen Itza, Palenque and Uxmal in addition to historic colonial towns such as Campeche and San Cristobal and the spectacular sights of the Sumidero Canyon and Lake Atitlan.

Tours: 1 available View highlights of this route

Guidebooks for La Ruta Maya

Guidebooks for this journey from all the major travel publishers are listed below. Links to Amazon (UK, US and Canadian stores), Waterstones (UK) and selected publisher websites allow you to purchase the guidebooks online at best value with one simple click (individual chapter downloads are also available for selected Lonely Planet titles).

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Footprint Central America & Mexico


Central America & Mexico

Sep 2011 (19th ed.)
1040 pages

Author(s): Richard Arghiris & Peter Hutchison

Frommer's Central America

Complete Guides

Central America

Apr 2011 (2nd ed.)
768 pages

Author(s): Eliot Greenspan, Jisel Perilla, Nicholas Gill

Lonely_Planet Central America on a shoestring

Shoestring Guides

Central America on a shoestring

Oct 2013 (8th ed.)
768 pages

Author(s): Carolyn McCarthy, Greg Benchwick et al.

Download Individual Chapter PDFs (2.99) - Click here to view chapters.
Insight Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan

Insight Guides

Guatemala, Belize and Yucatan

Nov 2012 (3rd ed.)
400 pages