Mexico – Yucatan Highlights Winter 2019
Viva Mexico! This place truly has it all! Crammed full of rich cultural tradition and diverse geography, there is something for everyone - from the hot beach playground of Cancun to the World Heritage Site of Chichen Itza. At every turn, there is so much to see and do! Immerse yourself in adventure activities, water sports, cultural sites and feast on an unbelievable variety of food! Mexico turns up the heat!
This trip qualifies for a $500 Be World Ready Grant to help bring down the cost of the experience. Be World Ready Grant Disbursement:
80% ($400) will be advance upon completion of pre-departure requirements and used to cover a portion of the trip cost.
20% ($100) will be awarded upon return from your Field Study.
More information regarding grant distribution as well as the multi-stage process of completion can be found on the 'Grants' page
DETAILED ITINERARY COMING SOON
¡Bienvenidos a México, amigos!
You will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel in Playa del Carmen (40mins drive). After checking in. meet your leader for a welcome meeting in which you will review the itinerary, clear any doubts you may have and listen to some important information and tips.
Playa del Carmen is popular resort town famed for its coral reef and sparkling warm waters. After enjoying a delicious, fresh, Mexican welcome lunch, you will be given an orientation walk of the area and this amazing Mexican town. In the evening, you’ll have the opportunity to see some Mexican culture in action. Travel to Xcaret for a magical Mexican show- learning about folkloric Mexican culture. Dance to typical Mariachi music, indulge in traditional Mexican dresses and dancing. Afterwards, we will have a group dinner before heading back to the hotel for a good night’s rest.
Walking Tour – Orientation Playa del Carmen Xcaret Evening Mexican Show
Meals Included Lunch Dinner
This morning you will enjoy your first Mexican breakfast and learn some informal Spanish with your leader- you will need it for the rest of the trip!
Afterwards, head out to Valladolid, one of the most beautiful colonial towns in the country, it is approximately a 2-hour drive. Upon arrival at the hotel and checking in, you will be given a walking tour of this cozy city and you will have a chance to take in the cultural atmosphere that lies within the historic walls of Valladolid’s city.
In the evening, visit the main square where you never know which amazing performance you will encounter!
Walking Tour Valladolid Informal Spanish Lesson
Depart early by private minivan towards Merida, learning some Spanish from your leader on the way and stopping at Chichen Itza, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, for a guided tour. This is perhaps the most famous Maya site in Mexico and dominated by the Temple of Kukulkan, or El Castillo, a Mesoamerican step-pyramid. Continue to Merida, where your leader will take you on an orientation walk upon arrival. Founded in 1542, Merida is the capital of the Yucatan region and retains so much
of its old-world charm. Wander the streets and take in the colonial buildings, learn about the town’s Maya heritage and don’t forget to visit Mercado 60, a buzzing food market with international and local fare, margaritas and live music.
Once arriving into Merida and checking into your hotel, your guide will give you an orientation walk around Merida’s downtown. Merida has a rich Maya and colonial heritage, serving as a bridge between two very different cultures. The city’s focal point is the Plaza de la Independencia, bordered by the fortress-like Merida Cathedral and the white limestone Iglesia de la Tercera Orden; both colonial-era churches built using relics from ancient Maya temples.
Informal Spanish Lesson
Chichen Itza – Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport) Merida – Orientation walk
After enjoying your breakfast and polishing up your Spanish skills with your leader, head out on a half day tour of Sotuta de Peon. Built in the late 1800s, this large estate or hacienda is a restoration project of a landmark located deep in the heart of what was once an ancient henequen plantation. You’ll get a true glimpse into the historical practices, styles and traditions of this period before heading back to Merida for an afternoon foodie adventure!
After arriving back in Merida, we’ll kick off your delicious Mexican food experience by taking you to a market that’s always filled with locals – tourists hardly ever set foot here, giving you authentic local life on this tour right from the get go. Your local guide will explain to you the kind of fruits and vegetables only produced in this region, such as achiote, pepita de calabaza, and chile habanero. We’ll give you the real market experience as we shop for the meal we’re going to prepare. Watch how the locals around you buy food for their own cooking and learn all about Mexican market customs and culture.
Yucatan cuisine is one of the most varied in Mexico, and the next part of your Merida food tour will give you the chance to cook it, and eat it, of course! While we prepare our food, your host and guide will explain some of the traditions of the locals, the influence of other cultures on the food of Yucatan, and the differences between the Yucatecos and people from other parts of Mexico. Learn some Spanish and Mayan words while the food is being prepared and while you taste the delicious pates of yumminess as they are served. We’ll try dishes like salbutes, panuchos, papadzules or codzitos, and sip on horchata or hibiscus flower tea. With a belly full of delicious, authentic food and drink, we’ll say goodbye to new friends and end this mouth- watering Merida experience.
Informal Spanish Lesson
Hacienda Sotuta de Peón Half Day Tour Merida – Market to Table Experience
Take a short drive towards the beautiful coastal town of Tulum – a place of gorgeous seas, blindingly bright sand and ancient ruins. Tulum was one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya and stood at the height of its progress during the 13th and 15th centuries. It offers a perfect combination of total relaxation, tranquility and seclusion, yet you can easily run out of time just by engaging with the interesting activities in the area.
Once you check in to your hotel, we will explore the town and absorb the bohemian feel while learning about the interesting places and way of life of locals. We will then continue to visit Tulum’s archaeological site. After learning all about this ancient Mayan city and its traditions, we will continue a local street food adventure. Trying some of the best local places and great Mexican dishes, we will return to the hotel for some rest.
Tulum walking tour
Tulum Archaeological Site (entrance fee & transportation) Local street food tour
This morning is a relaxed morning for us to enjoy breakfast and continue to work on those Spanish skills- hopefully you must be speaking like a Mexican by now, or at least learning some great Mexican expressions!
We will then head to a bike rental, in which we will pick up our bikes and helmets and start pedaling (20mins approx.) to the amazing hidden cenote: a spacious limestone chamber with a shimmering turquoise pool. The water is easily accessible (not to mention beautiful) and offers great a great place to hide from the heat, along with excellent swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Intricate stalactites hang from the ceilings, interspersed with piercing rays of sunlight creating a one of a kind aesthetic you’ll never forget.
After drying off and returning our bikes, we will go back to the hotel to rest for a while before heading to our last Mayan adventure: Temazcal Ceremony.
Temazcal is a Mexican sweat lodge that apart from promoting physical well-being and healing, it is also a ritual and spiritual practice in which traditional healing methods are used to encourage reflection and introspection. While the body rids itself of toxins through sweating, the spirit is renewed through ritual. The temazcal is thought to represent the womb and people coming out of the bath are, in a symbolic sense, re-born.
Informal Spanish Lesson Bike rental
Cenote entrance fee & snorkelling Temazcal ceremony
Last day in Mexican paradise! Today is for optional activities before heading back home. Your private transfer will be ready to take you back to Cancun’s International Airport.
Payment PlanNote that the fees included below are approximate and may vary at any time.
$550 is due November 28, 2018
$550 is due December 19, 2018
$550 is due January 16, 2019
$450+/- is due January 28, 2019
Option 1—Direct Deposit – Online
When making payment through online banking:
- Set up Niagara College as the payee and use your student number as the account number
- Once payment is made, you MUST email email@example.com and provide your name, student number, payment amount and indicate that payment is for International Field Study: Mexico – Yucatan Highlights Winter 2019. Please copy Be World Ready, at firstname.lastname@example.org on the email
- The following business day the payment will be uploaded to your student account and as long as Student Accounts receive an email from you, the IFS charge will be posted accordingly
Option 2—In Person
Go to Student Accounts located in the Registrar’s office at Niagara College. There is one at each campus. Have your student number available. Indicate that you would like to make a payment for an International Field Study: Mexico – Yucatan Highlights Winter 2019. Make payment (either deposit or final payment) for your International Opportunity to your student account.
Students MUST email the Be World Ready team immediately at email@example.com, from their Niagara College student email account, to notify the team of your decision to no longer participate in an IFS. If no notification of cancelation is received by email to the Be World Ready team after the initial deposit date, all payments are 100% non-refundable regardless of the below schedule of cancellation fees.
It is imperative that the Be World Ready team is notified of your choice to withdraw from any IFS as soon as possible. A missed payment is not considered a notification of no longer wishing to participate in an IFS an email must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your desire to withdrawal.
If a student needs to cancel their International Field Study, they may qualify for a refund of monies paid based on the schedule of cancellation fees outlined below:Schedule of Cancellation Fees
- 0—30 days of deposit date: Refunds will be granted based on vendor/supplier payments made by the cancelation date
- 31—60 days of deposit date: 50% loss of all payments made to date
- 61+ days of deposit date: All payments 100% non-refundable
- Apply online
- Email a copy/photo of your passport to
- Please ensure all text is legible as this is required to book your airline ticket
- Pay the deposit (spots for this trip are only secured after a deposit payment has be made)
All, full-time Niagara College students participating in an international activity are eligible for up to $500 worth of Be World Ready grants to help offset the cost of their experience. In order to qualify for the grant:
- Apply to an international experience
- Attend a mandatory pre-departure meeting (dates to be determined)
- Complete the online pre-departure component (consisting of Blackboard modules and forms to sign)
- Successfully attend the international experience
- Upon return, submit two high-quality photos along with a well-written testimonial referencing your experience abroad to the Be World Ready team
Feb 23, 2019—Mar 1, 2019
Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Merida
Open to all students
November 28, 2018