After a year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are restarting our annual COPA Mexico trips, this time visiting Yucatán Peninsula. As in previous years, the size of the group is limited to 12 airplanes.

We will meet on Sunday 2/20/2022 in Merida. Those flying from the East coast may choose to depart Florida and fly there direct from USA, we will be happy to assist with preparations. Those flying from the West may choose to meet the group on Saturday morning in Brownsville, TX for a group flight to Merida on Sunday.

In Merida, we will stay in Hacienda Temozón, enchanting luxury hotel located in the heart of the Yucatan Peninsula, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide, and dating back to 1655. We will visit archeological site at Uxmal, a splendor of Classic Mayan period and the city of Merida. From Merida, we will fly to Chichen Itza and visit the largest pre-Columbian city built by Mayan people and swim in a cenote. The last leg will bring us to the island of Cozumel for a well-deserved beach time.

Date Day Town Comments
2/19/22 Saturday Brownsville, Texas Optional West coast get together for a flight to Mexico
2/20/22 Sunday Merida (MMMD) Fly to Merida airport and ground transportation to Temozon
2/21/22 Monday Merida Visit the archeological site of Uxmal
2/22/22 Tuesday Merida Visit the city of Merida
2/23/22 Wednesday Chichen Itza (MMCT) Fly to Chichen Itza and visit the site
2/24/22 Thursday Cozumel (MMCZ) Continue visit of Chichen Itza and fly to Cozumel
2/25/22 Friday Cozumel Relax at El Presidente resort
2/26/22 Saturday Cozumel Relax at El Presidente resort
2/27/22 Sunday Fly back to US



Known since 1665 as the estancia of Diego de Mendoza, a descendent of the conquistador Francisco de Montejo, Hacienda Temozón is built of coral walls and white moldings in the tropical rain forest. During the second half of the 19th century it was transformed into a sisal hacienda. One of the most important in the peninsula, with an area of 6642 hectares, 640 workers and the most powerful industrial equipment in the region, Temozón is one of the best examples of the prosperity generated by sisal production.

Located in the main house and overlooking the breathtaking main gardens, swimming pool and the old factory buildings, Temozón restaurant serves a blend of regional and international cuisine; authentic procedures such as the “pib” (underground oven) are incorporated in the menu. Most of the ingredients are organic and come from the gardens.

Located within the grounds of the Hacienda Temozón, Xaca Mucuy is an open, almost circular cenote with a diameter of 20 meters, where visitors can immerse themselves in the depth of its waters ranging from two to almost 35 meters.

Uxmal dates from the Classic Maya era (600-900 A.D) and is termed Puuc style. The earliest recorded date found so far is 569 A.D. There is scant glyphic information concerning the rulers of Uxmal. Two stelae have been recovered that name one ruler, Lord Chaac, and his parents, and have been dated to c.900 A.D. Uxmal was abandoned more than once, and it is noted in the Spanish chronicles that Uxmal was one of the few inhabited sites at the time of the Conquest. It was the main capital of the Xiu, who ruled here until about 1050 A.D., after which time the site was abandoned. The Xiu along with the Itza were the two main cultural groups of the Yucatan from the Classic period forward.

The ruins of the ceremonial structures at Uxmal represent the pinnacle of late Maya art and architecture in their design, layout and ornamentation, and the complex of Uxmal and its three related towns of Kabah, Labná and Sayil admirably demonstrate the social and economic structure of late Maya society.

Merida, capital state of Yucatan whose heritage is a rich blend of Mayan y colonial was founded in 1542 by Francisco de Montejo on the remains of the ancient Mayan city, called T’hó, which means 5 in the Mayan language. In fact, when he arrived, he found 5 Mayan temples surrounding a huge plaza and resembling the Roman ruins of the city of Merida in Extremadura, Spain, and therefore he adopted the same name. Merida of Yucatan.

On our tour of the city, we will stroll Paseo Montejo, which is a gorgeous tree-lined avenue stretching from the Santa Ana neighborhood ending with the grand and unmissable Monumento a la Patria. The incredible mansions are a reminder of the wealth that was in the Yucatan during the 19th century. At one point Merida was home to the most millionaires in the world, wealth created by processing and export of locally grown henequen, a fibrous plant from which twine and rope are produced.

We will also visit Lucas Galvez market, a feast for all your senses from the beautiful and unusual fruits, vegetables, and meat to the beautiful scent of fresh flowers in the air.

Chichen Itzá

The sacred Chichén Itzá site was one of the greatest Mayan centers of the Yucatán peninsula. Throughout its nearly 1,000-year history, different peoples have left their mark on the city. The Maya and Toltec vision of the world and the universe is revealed in their stone monuments and artistic works. The fusion of Mayan construction techniques with new elements from central Mexico make Chichen-Itza one of the most important examples of the Mayan-Toltec civilization in Yucatán. Several buildings have survived, such as the Warriors’ Temple, El Castillo and the circular observatory known as El Caracol.

Chichen Itza was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. In 2007, the Temple of Kukulcán at Chichén Itzá has joined such famous architectural wonders as the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal on the list of the Seven New Wonders of the World. This impressive pyramid symbolizes the grandeur of the Mayan civilization. The greyish white colossus is 30 meters high and has exactly 365 steps to the temple at the top – this was also the number of days in the Mayan calendar.

Historians believe that Chichen Itza was founded and rose to prominence due to its close proximity to the Xtoloc cenote, an underground source of fresh water. The name Chichen Itza is a Mayan language term for at the mouth of the well of the Itza. The Itza were an ethnic group of Mayans who had risen to power in the northern part of the Yucatan peninsula, where the city is located.

There are about 1,000 registered cenotes in Yucatán and our visit wouldn’t be complete without seeing one. While the Cenote Sagrado de Chichen Itza is not for swimming, we will be able to visit one nearby.

A cenote is a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater. The regional term is specifically associated with the Yucatán, where cenotes were commonly used for water supplies by the ancient Maya, and occasionally for sacrificial offerings. The term derives from a word used by the lowland Yucatec Maya—tsʼonot—to refer to any location with accessible groundwater.


We are flying to Cozumel to relax. We will depart Chichen Itza in the afternoon arriving to the Cozumel airport after half an hour flight, which will give us two full days to enjoy sun, swimming pool and nearby beaches, before heading back home on Sunday.

The InterContinental® Presidente Cozumel Resort and Spa hotel places you on a palm-fringed Caribbean island on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world. You can swim in a beachside infinity pool or relax in a spa. The hotel's acclaimed dive center offers reef diving and snorkeling trips with expert instructors.

We will make sure to visit Buccanos Beach Club and have a dinner at the club renowned restaurant.


For this trip, we chose truly exceptional properties and you will feel at home in each of them.

Date Day Nights Hotel
2/20/2022 Sunday 3 Hacienda Temozon
2/23/2022 Wednesday 1 Mayaland Hotel and Bungalows
2/24/2022 Thursday 3 El Presidente Intercontinental

You will have an opportunity to extend your stay in Cozumel for one or two more nights at the discounted group rates.


If you have never flown to Mexico, this will be a great introduction, it will be as easy as it gets. You will have two options to join the trip:

  1. If you are an experienced Mexico pilot, you may decide to fly yourself to Merida. It may be helpful to read my Flying to Mexico guide (password provided after registration) to review procedures. Please plan to arrive there in the afternoon of Sunday 2/20/2022. If you let us know your ETA, a van will be waiting for you to bring you to Temozón. The trip will officially start with dinner at the resort.
  2. Otherwise, you may decide to join us in Brownsville (KBRO) on Saturday 2/19/2022. Please plan to be there in time for short briefing and dinner. We will depart together on Sunday morning for Veracruz (MMVR), to clear customs and immigration together and continue to Merida.
  3. If you are not concerned with long overwater flights, you may decide to fly from Key West (490 nm), New Orleans (550 nm) or Brownsville (520 nm) over the Gulf of Mexico directly to Merida. Arrival is not part of the trip and should be only be considered with appropriate experience and survival equipment.

You will receive flight briefings, airport descriptions and we will also help you plan your return flight home.


Detailed guide for flying in Mexico will be provided after registration, but please be aware of the following:

  1. You must have valid pilot certificate, temporary or student pilot certificates are not allowed.
  2. Aircraft must have valid registration and airworthiness certificate.
  3. Mexico now recognizes BasicMed.
  4. You should have 416 ELT in the airplane and the documentation proving it.
  5. While instrument rating is not strictly required, it is highly recommended. Although weather is most often VFR, we will not be able to help if you cannot continue the trip due to adverse conditions.


Merida and Cozumel are large airports with commercial service. We will assist participants with filing the flight plans and for those arriving to Merida from US or departing from Cozumel to US, immigration and customs. Both airports have avgas. Chichen Itza is a smaller untowered airport without commercial service and without avgas. Since both flight legs are only 160 nm, fuel is not required.