Mexico City to Banff

This adventurous overlanding journey is very special and one that will be loved by all outdoor enthusiasts - our fantastic North American trip between Banff and Mexico City through western USA and northern Mexico! This journey is packed full of some of the most spectacular National Parks in the world, including Glacier, Yellowstone, Zion and Grand Canyon to name a few - in which you'll see mighty forests, beautiful alpine mountains and rivers, incredible rocky deserts and magnificent canyons and rock formations. Travelling in our unique converted American school bus, you'll be embarking on one of the planet's great road trips along the western side of America, driving all the way along the famous Rocky Mountains, taking in the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon, the geothermal geysers of Yellowstone including the world-famous Old Faithful, the red columns of Monument Valley in Utah, and overlanding through the incredible deserts of Arizona en route to Mexico. You'll get the chance to fully explore the National Parks on foot, head out on some exhilirating outdoor activities such as white-water rafting in Yellowstone, and even take a trip to Las Vegas! Once in Mexico we have a wonderful scenic journey through the Tequila region to the buzzing capital of Mexico City. Join us on this unforgettable overlanding experience - this could definitely be the best trip of your life!

North America

Duration: 29 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Hiking, Canoeing, Equestrian, Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, Community Project , Historical Sites, Trekking, Boating Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158290
Starts: Mexico City, Mexico Finishes: Bankhead, Canada
You will visit
  • Mexico City
  • Angahuan
  • Tequila
  • Sayulita
  • Mazatlan
  • Guaymas
  • Nogales
  • Phoenix
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Las Vegas
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Page
  • Monument Valley
  • Moab
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Arches National Park
  • Salt Lake City
  • Jackson Hole
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Glacier National Park
  • Banff



Day 1: Mexico City

Border information: if joining in Mexico City, you will most likely enter Mexico at Mexico City Benito Juárez International Airport (IATA code: MEX).

There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

The rest of the day is free to explore Mexico's incredible capital and to take part in some optional activities. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Mexico City before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Mexico City.

In Mexico City we will stay in a good hotel in the central district of Bellas Artes.


Day 2: Angahuan

Today we will leave the capital behind and have a full day drive to Angahuan. This village is inhabited by the Purepecha people, who have been indigenous to the area since one thousand years before the Spanish invasion. Angahuan is the gateway to the Paricutín volcano, the only volcano in the world to have been born in modern times.

In Angahuan we will camp at a campsite near to the volcano.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).


Day 3: Angahuan

Today we will have a free day to explore the village of Angahuan or to go for optional walks around the area of the Paricutín volcano. The creation of the volcano in 1943 buried two nearby villages, and it's still possible to see the spire of the cathedral of San Juan Parangaricutiro sticking up from the lava field.


Day 4: Tequila

Today we will drive to the town of Tequila, where we will have time for an optional visit to the town's famous distilleries (either today or on the following morning).

In Tequila we will stay in a basic hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 5-6: Sayulita

Today we will drive to the surfing town of Sayulita on Pacific coast and enjoy some free time on arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the Playa Los Muertos beach and possibly try your hand at surfing!

In Sayulita we will camp in the grounds of a beach guesthouse.


Day 7-8: Mazatlan

Over the next two days we will drive north along the Pacific coast, staying close to the towns of Mazatlan and Guaymas en route.

In Mazatlan and Guaymas we will camp in well-equipped campsites.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-11 hours each day.


Day 9: Nogales

Border information: Exit Mexico at Nogales, enter USA at Nogales.

Today we will cross the border into the US state of Arizona.

In Nogales we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours (heavily dependent on the time taken to cross the border).


Day 10: Phoenix

Today we start to drive north through Arizona to the area near Phoenix.

In the Phoenix area we will most likely stay in a rustic campsite to the north of the city, where we may have the opportunity to take some short horse rides.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 11-12: The Grand Canyon

Today we will continue north to one of the most spectacular highlights of the USA - the world-famous Grand Canyon. On arrival we will head up to one of the stunning viewpoints over the Grand Canyon for sunset.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the Grand Canyon area and take optional treks and scenic helicopter flights over the canyon. The entrance to the Grand Canyon is included on the trip, but as there are many options once inside the National Park the day will be free to explore in your own way.

At the Grand Canyon we will camp at a well-equipped campsite in the Grand Canyon Village.


Day 13-14: Las Vegas

Today we will have a full day drive to the bustling and energetic city of Las Vegas.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to fully explore the fascinating city of Las Vegas and enjoy its world-famous all-night entertainment options, including its casinos and shows!

In Las Vegas we will stay in a local hotel.


Day 15: Zion National Park

Today we will have a short drive into the state of Utah to the stunning Zion National Park, where we will have free time to explore, trek or take scenic drives through the spectacular deserts and rock formations.

In Zion National Park we will camp at a well-equipped campsite just outside the park.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.


Day 16: Bryce Canyon National Park

Today we will head on a very scenic drive out of Zion National Park and on to the incredible Bryce Canyon National Park. We will have a few hours here to take some optional treks to its hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion), before taking another short drive to the wonderful Kodachrome Basin State Park.

In Kodachrome Basin State Park we will camp in a scenic campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours (in total).


Day 17: Page

Today we will continue our drive to the beautiful town of Page near the stunning Lake Powell.

In Page we will camp in a well-equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 18: Monument Valley

Today we will drive to the incredible Monument Valley, the iconic landscape symbolic of the American West. On arrival we will head out on an included jeep tour of the Monument Valley Tribal Park, seeing the stunning rock formations up close and learning about the local Navajo culture.

In Monument Valley we will spend the night in a traditional Navajo ‘Hogan’ (an igloo-shaped dwelling of wood and earth where 6-8 people sleep together on the ground in a circle.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 19-21: Moab

Today we will have a full day drive to the town of Moab, perfectly located next to the rugged wildernesses of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

We will spend the next two days exploring and trekking in Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, and taking part in some optional activities in and around Moab.

In Moab we will camp in a well equipped campsite.



Day 22: Salt Lake City

Today we will drive to Utah's state capital of Salt Lake City, where we will have time for quick free exploration of the city centre and its famous Temple Square. We will then head to the nearby Antelope Island State Park, known for its abundant population of American bison and pronghorns.

In Antelope Island we will camp at a basic campsite with few facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 23: Jackson Hole

Today we will drive north into the state of Wyoming and the beautiful town of Jackson Hole.

In Jackson Hole we will camp at a campsite surrounded by mountains and on the banks of a small river.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 24-25: Yellowstone National Park

Today we will drive north through the stunning Grand Teton National Park and take a stop at the spectacular Jenny Lake, where we'll have some free time to explore the lake and possibly take a short boat trip. We will then continue to the famous Yellowstone National Park, home to magnificent landscapes, fantastic treks, and the incredible Old Faithful geyser.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to fully explore Yellowstone National Park and take part in optional treks and other activities.

In Yellowstone National Park we will camp at a campsite in the Madison area of the park.


Day 26-27: Glacier National Park

Today we will continue north into the state of Montana, reaching the our campsite on the eastern side of Glacier National Park after a full day drive.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

On the following day we will free time to fully explore the pristine ecosystem of Glacier National Park and take some optional treks or scenic drives up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass and other scenic points. 

In Glacier National Park we will camp in a campsite near the spectacular St. Mary's Lake.


Day 28: Banff

Border information: Exit USA at Chief Mountain, enter Canada at Chief Mountain.

Today we will have a full day drive over the Canadian border to the town of Banff, stopping en route at the fascinating Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a cliff that aboriginal people used for hunting for almost 6000 years.

In Banff we will stay in dormitory rooms in a centrally-located hostel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.


Day 29: Banff

Border information: if leaving in Banff, you will most likely exit Canada at Calgary International Airport.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Banff. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • Visit some of the spectacular viewpoints over the world-famous Grand Canyon and the Colorado river
    • Visit the spectacular canyons and rock formations of Zion National Park
    • Visit the beautiful and scenic Bryce Canyon National Park and the nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park
    • Spend a night sleeping in a traditional Navajo hogan and take a jeep tour of the spectacular Monument Valley
    • Explore the phenomenal 'Islands in the Sky' region of Canyonlands National Park and walk on some of it's stunning trails
    • Explore the other-worldly landscapes of Arches National Park and see the iconic Delicate Arch at sunset
    • Explore the rugged Antelope Island State Park and go in search of American Bison and Longhorns
    • Explore the highlights of the famous Yellowstone National Park, including its hiking trails and the iconic geyser of Old Faithful
    • Drive through the stunning Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, stopping at the picturesque Jenny Lake
    • Explore the spectacular lakes and mountains of Glacier National Park in the state of Montana
    • Visit the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, used for around 5,500 years by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 11m-high cliff
    • Visit the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, used for around 5,500 years by the indigenous peoples of the plains to kill buffalo by driving them off the 11m-high cliff
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew and local guides where necessary
    • 80% Camping - 20% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Community Project
  • Hiking & Trekking
  • History & Culture
  • Horse Riding
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • R & R

Reviews (2)
John W Posted on: 

Seb was very caring of the bus. Good maintanance, and a careful and good driver. Lou was a great all round leader.

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Deborah P Posted on: 

Both Lou and Seb worked very hard throughout this leg and the following on what was an extremely fast paced journey with a very diverse set of passengers. I would have no hesitation in going on further trips with either of them as leader or driver.

Overall Rating
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