"Sina made this experience unique because of the love she has for Mexico and for the indigenous people she has made her friends. I can guarantee you that there is not another tour in Mexico that goes where we went and does what we did."
15 days Mexico - English guided tour
March 08 - 22, 2024
Bookings - Photo Tour Operator Luminous Journeys
Mexico is one of the most varied, colourful and photogenic countries in Latin America. Unique motifs within the realm of landscape and portrait photography await you all over the different regions of this country. You can still get a sense of the magic of the old Maya civilisation in many places of this country. Are you a beginner who would like to advance his photography skills in unusual places? Or are you an advanced photographer on the search for new and unknown photo subjects? Either way, this trip is exactly the right thing for you!
On our trip, we will always be in the right place at the right time to snap subjects in perfect lighting conditions. Our shootings focus on the various flora and fauna, Mayan cultural sites, colonial cities and the people of Mexico with their traditions and cultures.
This photo tour will take place during the Mexican winter. With good temperatures and dry climate throughout the country, this is therefore the best time for us to travel. The Caribbean Sea will reflect intensive turquoise tones underneath the blue sky, the jungles of Chiapas will gleam with lush green and the mountain landscapes of Oaxaca will offer fantastic views during the dry season.
A photo journey through Mexico is certainly any photographer’s dream!
Our journey takes us from Cancún on the Caribbean coast of East Mexico along the Mayan peninsula Yucatán and down south to the state Chiapas. From there on, we will fly to Oaxaca and end our journey at our starting point in Cancún.
LOCATIONS: Cancún, Tulum, Muyil, Valladolid, Chichén Itzá, Río Lagartos, Mérida, Uxmal, Palenque, Jungle of Chiapas, Oaxaca & Surroundings
DAY 1 – BIENVENIDO A MÉXICO! – Cancún
After collecting everyone individually at the airport in Cancún, we will first check into our hotel near the Caribbean Sea. Then at 3 p.m. in the afternoon, we will gather to introduce the itinerary of Mexico’s uniqueness and conduct a workshop on the topic of travel and night photography. From then on, we turn our sights to two exciting weeks packed with extraordinary photo opportunities. Following the workshop, we will have the opportunity to take pictures of our first sunset in Mexico. Over dinner, we can chat together and start to get excited as we discuss our shared adventure we are soon to embark on.
DAY 2 – VOLADORES DE PAPANTLA & RUINS UNDER STARS – Cancún – Tulum
Following breakfast, we will make our way to Tulum. After our arrival in the early afternoon, we will visit the “Voladores de Papantla”, the flying men of Papantla. During a breathtaking and artistic performance, we will witness the four men abseil headfirst from a rotating platform. In the late afternoon we will reconvene with our friends, the “Voladores”, for another private photo shoot. In different colourful costumes they will play music for us and introduce us to the customs and traditions of their region. Tonight the first special highlight awaits us. After midnight we will set off for the ruins of Tulum to be the only visitors to photograph the Milky Way above the Mayan temples by the Caribbean Sea.
DAY 3 – MYSTICAL RUINS & COLORFUL ATTIRE – Tulum –
Our exciting shoot in the ruins of Tulum is not over yet. We will also experience and capture the sunrise in this mystical place. After we have had the chance to explore the Mayan temples by daylight, we will head to the hotel for our well-deserved breakfast. But there is also the possibility to return to the hotel before sunrise. After a break, we will photograph the ruins of Muyil in the afternoon. Few tourists stray into this magic place, situated in the middle of the jungle. Afterwards we meet a model wearing a traditional Mayan attire, the "huipil", in a nearby jungle. During a walk through the dense jungle green we will portray the young Mayan woman in this very extraordinary ambience.
DAY 4 – BOAT TRIP ON THE RIVIERA MAYA & SPIRITUAL MAYAN CEREMONY – Tulum – Valladolid
After a slightly longer rest, we will take a morning boat journey to photograph the Mayan ruins of Tulum from a completely new perspective. It is here, from the sea, that we will discover two more hidden temples, which cannot be accessed by land. After this astounding trip, our journey will continue to a cenote near the colonial town of Valladolid. We will then experience a Mayan ceremony in an underground cave, flooded with rays of light. Afterwards, we will arrive in Valladolid, and explore the historically-rich old town by foot throughout the late afternoon and evening.
DAY 5 – WILDLIFE & THE PINK LAKES OF LAS COLORADAS – Río Lagartos – San Felipe – Valladolid
The next morning we start a day trip to the fishing village Río Lagartos, on the northern coast of Yucatán. Subsequently, another highlight of Mexico awaits us, the Pink Lakes of Las Coloradas, where we can take some impressive landscape pictures. In the early afternoon we will do a photo-walk in the fishing village San Felipe, known for its vibrant wooden houses and friendly inhabitants. In the late afternoon we will embark on a boat trip with the Mexican wildlife- and landscape photographer William Cruz Canto to observe flamingos, crocodiles and other coastal inhabitants. During the sunset we are especially on the lookout for flamingos to photograph them against the light. Afterwards we travel back to Valladolid.
DAY 6 – AZURE BLUE CENOTES & TRADITIONAL LIFE – Valladolid – Chichén Itzá
Today, we will kick our tour off with a visit of a Mayan family, to get to know more about traditional life in rural Yucatán. This is followed by a photographic discovery of another magical cenote of Valladolid. It is off the beaten track and rarely visited by other travellers. You will be enthralled by this giant, underground cave with its azure blue, crystal-clear water. We will enjoy our lunch in a traditional restaurant, run by the local Mayans. You can watch, in front of your very eyes, how Tortillas are handmade. By late afternoon, we will arrive in Chichén Itzá where we will spend the night in a resort hotel right beside the majestic ruins. In the evening we will dive once again into the fascinating topic of night photography and will photograph the Mayan temple "Observatorio" of Chichén Itzá under the stars.
DAY 7 – SUNRISE IN CHICHÉN ITZÁ & THE RURAL YUCATÁN – Chichén Itzá – Mérdia
Also today a very special photography highlight awaits us, because we will take pictures of the main temple "Kukulcán" of Chichén Itzá at sunrise. After having explored the ruins and the biggest Mayan ball playground "Juego de Pelota" of Yucatán during daylight, we have earned a substantial breakfast. In the late morning we will head south towards Mérida, where we will spend the night in a Spanish Hacienda from the colonial era. The region is known for its expressive dance performances in colourful costumes. Up until our evening meal, we will have time for a workshop on the theme of “night photography – image editing in Lightroom and Photoshop”. Afterwards we will savour Yucatán specialities of the Mayan peninsula.
DAY 8 – YUCATÁN DANCE & ENCHANTING COLONIAL HACIENDA – Mérida – Uxmal
This morning we have time to relax at the Hacienda, enjoy a traditional Mayan massage or do another workshop in Photoshop. In the afternoon we will experience a rather unusual and colourful photo shoot. We will photograph a private performance of the Ballet Folklórico of Mérida, while different dances in traditional Yucatán costumes will be performed. Afterwards, we will still have time, to snap a few portrait shots in the antique premises and agave fields of the Hacienda. Equipped with a load of new and colourful photographs, we will continue our journey to Uxmal in the afternoon, where we will visit its fascinating ruins the following morning. We will stay in a resort hotel, right next to the ruins of Uxmal.
DAY 9 – WORLD HERITAGE SITE UXMAL & THE WAY TO PALENQUE – Uxmal – Palenque
After breakfast, we will enter the ruins of Uxmal at 8 a.m. on the dot, in order to be the first visitors of the day. They are some of the largest and most beautiful ruins in Mexico and are one of the UNESCO world heritage sites. They differ significantly from other Mayan dynasties due to their detailed decorations. Up until lunch, we will have time to explore the decorative facades. Then, we will embark on a new photographic adventure, as we leave the Mayan peninsula Yucatán and head south. After a seven hour journey, we will arrive in Palenque in the state Chiapas. Throughout our coach journey, we will have multiple opportunities to stop and take pictures.
DAY 10 – ROARING WATERFALLS & THE JUNGLE OF CHIAPAS – Palenque – Jungle of Chiapas
This day marks the start of our journey into the jungle of Chiapas, where we will first visit multiple wild waterfalls. The cascades with their turquoise pools are spread out in the dense green of the jungle and are only visited by a few travellers. Here we will have the chance to take beautiful long-exposure shots using a tripod and different filters, before we continue our journey further into the jungle of Chiapas. By late afternoon, we will have arrived in our Eco-lodge in the village of the Lacandon Mayans. A group of Mayans will join us to the nearby lagoon. Here, we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to photograph the Lacandons in their white tunics on their boat ride in the traditional canoe “Cayuco”.
DAY 11 – THE JUNGLE OF CHIAPAS & THE LACANDON MAYANS – Jungle of Chiapas - Palenque
Today, we will spend the entire day with the last Lacandon Mayans. During the colonial era, they remained undiscovered, deep within the jungle, allowing them to continue the traditions of their ancestors undisturbed for years. In the morning, we will visit the last shaman, who will conduct a private Mayan ceremony for us. In order to discover the villagers and their culture in more detail, we will also meet some Lacandons in their houses. In the afternoon, we will explore the Lacandon jungle with a group of Mayans. There will be brilliant photo opportunities in the dense, green jungle amongst its giant tropical trees. After this adventurous excursion we thank the Mayans for the wonderful day and drive back to Palenque.
DAY 12 – OFF TO OAXACA! – Palenque – Oaxaca
After breakfast we drive to the airport of Villahermosa to head for our last destination together, the culturally-rich state of Oaxaca. Our flight leaves in the early afternoon and takes us via Mexico City to Oaxaca de Juárez, where we will arrive in the evening. After a dinner in the colonial center of the city we look forward to our photo adventure Oaxaca, which promises pictures of unique landscapes and unmistakable people.
DAY 13 – PETRIFIED WATERFALLS & TRADITIONAL OAXACAN ATTIRE – Hierve el Agua – Oaxaca
Today, we will set off before sunrise, to the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua. The yellow- and brown-toned rock formations, which were formed over thousands of years through the mineral spring water, span over the mountainous landscape with breathtaking panoramic views. We will photograph the stunning landscape from different perspectives before others arrive at this destination. Back in Oaxaca, we will be accompanied with the professional Mexican portrait photographer, Fernando Cruz, throughout the afternoon. Fernando is a master of perfecting the light conditions and will carry out the workshop on that topic. We will have a photo shoot with models in different Oaxacan attire in the historical centre of Oaxaca. Both today and the following day are very special, because, unless it is a special Oaxacan holiday, you will rarely get the opportunity to witness the vibrant variety of traditional clothing with your own eyes.
DAY 14 – TRADITIONAL CRAFTSMANSHIP & OAXACAN ATTIRE – Oaxaca & Surroundings
This morning we will head south to visit the workshop "Manos que ven“ - translated "Hands that see" - of the blind artist José Antonio. He is known beyond the borders of Mexico for his artfully created life-size Zapotec women and mermaids made of clay. It is a unique and impressive experience to observe over his shoulder while he works with clay. In the early afternoon, we will yet again meet with photographer Fernando in the Oaxacan fields to once more have the special opportunity of photographing men and women of the region in their traditional attire. By evening, we will enjoy Oaxacan specialities at our farewell meal and relive the exciting experiences of our photo journey together over a glass of Mezcal
DAY 15 – HASTA LUEGO! – Oaxaca – Cancún
Hasta luego! Now it is time to say farewell, as our journey together ends today. Saying goodbye is never easy, but now you can at least know for certain that you are heading home with a new brilliant photography portfolio. Come midday, we will fly, with a brief stopover in Mexico City, back to the starting point of our journey in Cancún. If you want to relax and unwind on the white beaches of the Caribbean after our exciting photo adventure, then this would be the perfect opportunity. Your return flight to Cancún may be a few days later, however, so you can explore the indigenous villages, colourful craft markets or the beaches of Oaxaca.
Additional information: Before the start of the tour, you will receive in-depth documentation with all necessary information about the trip and its schedule.
Please note that small changes of the tour or sequencing of the photo shoots may occur. Discovering new, unplanned things in such a diverse country with its lively inhabitants is also part of the experience.
Workshops on Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as opportunities for picture reviews, can all be flexibly integrated into a suitable timeframe in our travel plans.
Photography- & Tour guide
Cancún - Oaxaca
WILLIAM CRUZ CANTO
Wildlife- & Landscape photographer
NEXT TOUR DATE:
March 08 - 22, 2024 - English guided tour
With group bookings, it is possible to change discuss a suitable date and change it accordingly.
BOOKINGS: Photo Tour Operator Luminous Journeys
PRICE: $6.295 USD
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $925 USD
MINIMUM DEPOSIT: $750 USD
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS: 4 person minimum, 10 person maximum
TYPE OF HOTEL: Comfortable hotels of a high standard (the best possible accommodation in remote areas)
LOCATIONS: Cancún, Tulum, Muyil, Valladolid, Chichén Itzá, Río Lagartos, Mérida, Uxmal, Palenque, Jungle of Chiapas, Oaxaca & Surroundings
FLIGHT TO MEXICO:
Book your outbound & inbound flight to and from Cancún.
Do you fancy sharing this experience with me?
Then I look forward to having you come along!
"Frankly, I went into this experience expecting nothing different than any other photography tour that I have taken. It was quickly apparent that this tour would
be very different. Sina put her heart into planning every event-filled. day. We shot the ruins, landscapes, waterfalls, wildlife, indigenous people and models. She guided us seamlessly through
each transition, always helping us prepare for the next shoot. Sina made this experience unique because of the love she has for Mexico and for the indigenous people she has made her friends. I
can guarantee you that there is not another tour in Mexico that goes where we went and does what we did. Sina worked tirelessly, in spite of being ill for several days. She is a gem. I would
travel with her again in a minute."
Vera Hershenberg, USA
“Sina did an incredible job researching and planning 14 days packed with wonderful varied photographic opportunities. Her strength is her personal connections with people so we were able to meet and photograph people other tours would never have access to. We all had a great time together. Kudos to Sina, she did a great job!”
Ann Moore, USA
“We had a great time! Sina put an inordinate amount of time and effort to provide the best experience possible. Mexico is a hidden gem. Sina is very diligent and professional and went to great lengths to assist the group both while shooting and with post processing. Many lead photographers I find, feel they are part of the group and do nothing but shoot themselves. Sina was always there to assist those who needed help! I would be ready to join her on any other trip she led.”
Bob McLean, Canada