Lost City Marathon

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22 February 2025
  • Adventure
  • Half Marathon
  • Marathon

Follow the footsteps of the Maya and find yourself at the inaugural Lost City Marathon!  Nestled in the dense rainforests of the Chiapas region on the Yucatan peninsula, the ancient Mayan city of Palenque, famous for its well-preserved and impressive Mayan architecture, offers the start line for a trail Marathon of unrivalled lush vegetation and breathtaking beauty.

Only 10% of Palenque has been fully discovered and along with providing a fascinating glimpse into the religious and cultural practices of the Maya people which thrived in this once vibrant and powerful city, it has now been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical and cultural significance.

Featuring both a marathon and a half marathon, the awe-inspiring route follows jungle trails, majestic rivers, picturesque ranches, and small villages. It will be a challenging race crossing various surfaces, including water and steep hills, but certainly worth getting your feet wet.

Keep your eyes open and enjoy the rich bird life and look for the different species of butterflies found on the open planes – there are over a hundred!  Howler monkeys, scarlet macaws & toucans can be found in the jungle if you step lightly (they often scatter when runners approach). If you are lucky enough to spot a howler monkey, know that they sometimes amuse themselves by throwing small branches from the treetops at onlookers who stop to stare.

Meals Included

Meals Included

8 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 2 dinners



English speaking tour leader



Airport transfers and ground transportation as described in the itinerary



A choice of standard or deluxe accommodation packages



Full and half distances available

Celebration Party

Celebration Party

Celebration dinner



Guided tour of ruins incl. entry ticket (Palenque & Chichén Itza)

Travel Package Information

  • Itinerary

    • Lost City Marathon Package/4 Nights/February 20-24, 2025

      Thursday, February 20
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      Arrival day

      Welcome to Villahermosa and Palenque, México. Plan your arrival to Villahermosa (VSA).  Seven flights arrive from Mexico City daily.  A representative will meet you at the airport and Villahermosa airport busses will be waiting to transport you to Palenque (2.5 hours drive).  Guests can check into the hotel in Palenque after 3:00PM. (no meals included)

      Friday, February 21
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      Today, we will drive to the Maya ruins of Palenque where you will start your run.  The Palenque ruins were once a great Mayan city but perished on the brink of the 9th century after almost 1000 years of existence. Its location between the flat Yucatan and the mountains, positioned Palenque to become a connecting center for several city states and, as such, had some of the finest architecture of all the Maya cities.  It is estimated that only 10% of the buildings have been excavated with the rest of the city still lost to the jungle. After the guided tour, you will have time to explore the area on your own before the bus leaves. Before returning to our respective hotels, runners will meet at the Chan-Kah Jungle Resort for lunch and a race briefing by the race officials. You will receive your race packets and important details about tomorrow’s race will be explained and questions answered.
      Back at your hotel the rest of the afternoon can be used to relax at the hotel or take a stroll through Palenque.  In the evening a pasta buffet dinner is served at your hotel. (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

      Saturday, February 22
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      Race Day! Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel and catch a bus at 6:00AM to take all runners & spectators to the start. Runners will be dropped off at the parking lot outside the Palenque Archeological Zone where personal belongings for the finish can be left. The race will start in waves at 7:00 AM, with marathon runners in the first waves and half marathon runners in the last waves. 10 minutes before the start of each wave, runners in that wave will enter the Archeological Zone and line up. Item that are not being used for the race may not be taken into the Archeological Zone. Nothing can be left within the first 3km of the start. The finish line is located at the Chiapaneca restaurant where runners will enjoy a post-race meal. Shuttle buses bring runners back to their hotels. (Breakfast, Lunch at finish area, Dinner & Dinner included)

      Sunday, February 23
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      Optional Excursion and Celebration Dinner.  After yesterday’s run you have the option to relax at the hotel pool or take another visit to the Palenque ruins on your own. Additionally, you can book the optional excursion to the Agua Azul and Misol-ha Waterfalls with our Adventure guides. The Misol-Ha is a single drop 25-meter-high waterfall that plunges into a circular crystal-=clear pool surrounded by lush vegetation.  A boardwalk will bring you safely behind the waterfalls, giving you a spectacular and awe-inspiring view. In the evening, enjoy a celebratory dinner with your new friends! (Breakfast & celebration dinner included) (Excursion also includes lunch)

      Monday, February 24
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      Our time in Palenque has come to an end. Transfers to Villahermosa airport will leave throughout the day to accommodate different flight times.  Hotel check out is 10:00 AM. (Breakfast included)

  • Packages & Rates

    • Lost City Marathon Tour | Four-Night Package: February 20 – 24, 2025
      Lost City Marathon Tour | Eight-Night Package: February 17 – 25, 2025
      • Four or Eight-Night Hotel Accommodations
      • Airport/hotel transfers
      • Bus transportation as described in the program
      • Meals per itinerary
      • Snack lunch and one beer or soft drink at the finish area after race
      • Celebration dinner
      • Guided tour to Palenque ruins including entry ticket
      • Guided tour to Chichén Itzá ruins including entry ticket
      • English-speaking tour leader
      • Guaranteed race entry (additional $265 USD)
      Note: If choosing the Deluxe Package, your stay in Playa del Carmen is all inclusive (some food and alcoholic beverages at a fee).

      Race entry includes: 
      • English-speaking race officials
      • An English-speaking medical team from Denmark
      • Timing and results
      • Medal
      • Craft Runners T-shirt
      • Manned water and energy drink stations along the route
      • Collapsible cup for hydration
      • Transportation to the start area and from the finish area to the hotel

      Not Included:

      • Optional excursions
      • Travel and health insurance
      • Meals not stated in the itinerary
      • Beverages
      • Personal expenses
      • Anything not mentioned under Package Feature

      Rates (all prices are per person in AUD dollars) – 2025 Rates Coming Soon

  • Hotels

    • Lost City Marathon Accommodation 2024 - Standard Package

      You will be staying at a number of good 3-star hotels throughout the trip. Starting in Playa del Carmen you will check in to the Hacienda Paradise. Located just one block from the beach and right on the edge of the town centre you will have access to all of Playa del Carmens treats at an affordable level. When reaching Campeche on day 3 of the tour you will be staying at Misión Campeche hotel. In Palenque we check in at the Maya Tulipanes. The hotel has a pool and relaxing courtyard with trees to offer shade during the hottest hours of the day. Centrally located in the town of Palenque you will find many restaurants nearby and the town square is just a 10 minutes walk away. The last night before the tour ends we find ourselves in Mérida where we will be staying at Del Gobernador hotel in the city centre.

      Lost City Marathon Accommodation 2024 - Deluxe Package

      On the deluxe package you will be staying at some of the best hotels in the Yucatan Peninsula. Starting in Playa del Carmen you will check in to the Viva Wyndham Azteca. Right on the beach and all-inclusive – can it get any better? When reaching Campeche on day 3 of the tour you will be staying at Gamme Campeche hotel. In Palenque we check in at the Chan-Kah Resort Villas. All rooms are built as an independent “villa” and located under the trees. The resort pool is created to resemble a cenote and ideal for a relaxing day. The last night before the tour ends we find ourselves in Mérida where we will be staying at El Castellano hotel in the city centre.

  • Event Information

    • Run the Lost City Marathon with Marathon Tours & Travel

      Race Date: 24 February 2024

      Race Time: 7AM

      The Course: Starting at the Archaeological Zone of Palenque, the race takes you past remnants of the ancient Maya city and guides you along lush jungle trails.
      After 3km the route transitions to an asphalt path leading downhill until it takes a left turn onto a gravel road. Continuing for a few more kilometers, the route approaches the foothills of the mountains, where it begins to ascend gradually.

      Half marathon runners take a right turn for a nice relatively flat loop on gravel road around picturesque ranches and past the village of Cárdenas, which leads them to the finish line.
      Marathon runners keep ascending the mountain towards the village of El Naranjo, but just before reaching the village the route breaks of from the gravel road and ventures onto narrow trails leading further into the mountains and the lush jungle.

      The river Chacamax is crossed a couple of times and some very intense hills must be climbed.
      After roughly 10 kilometers on mountain and jungle trails, the route takes the runners into the village of El Naranjo. From here on, the path is more or less downhill leading to the intersection where the half marathon runners previously branched off.
      Marathon runners will now also run the loop around the green and lush ranches to finish in the same place as the half marathon runners.
      Please note:- Do not forget that this is first and foremost an adventure. We are far away from comforts of home and this makes it impossible to offer services at the same level usually provided in city marathons.

      Eligibility: Marathon Tours & Travel, an authorized tour operator, is required to offer travel arrangements in conjunction with guaranteed race entry. All runners must be 18 years or older on race day to be eligible for our guaranteed Full & Half Marathon entries.

      Cut off times: Marathon runners have a net time limit of 7 hours, meaning any marathon runner spending more than 7 hours on the route will receive an FNT (Finished No Time) on the results list. Half Marathon runners will have a 6½ hours net time limit. 7 hours after the last marathon runner crossed the start line the race will end and runners still on the route will be picked up by race officials and driven back to the finish area.
      Number Pickup: Runners will receive the goodie bag with start number and race t-shirt at the race briefing Friday.

      Weather: February is one of the driest months in Mexico, with hot weather and pleasant water temperatures. You can expect an average daily high around 27°C (80°F). Its one of the more popular months to visit, where its not too hot with little to no chance of rain.
      Shorts and T-shirt/singlet may be the preferred outfit for most, but some may also like long tights and sleeves to avoid ticks when running through the jungle.

      Difficulty: The route is mainly run on gravel road with a few short parts on asphalt and a stretch on the Sendero Motiepa trail. Marathon runners will also have approximately 10 kilometers on narrow mountain trails through jungle forest.

      Time Taking & Results: The Lost City Marathon will be timed with timing chip.
      All runners will receive one bib number that must be worn during the race. It must be attached to the front of your body and readable – both for safety and for photography purposes. The bib numbers are color-coded according to the distance you are running:
      – Full marathon bibs – black
      – Half-marathon – red
      The results will be published shortly after the race is finished.

  • Registration & Booking

    • On Request bookings

      Request Bookings will confirm that you have accepted our Booking Conditions. Your booking is not however, guaranteed until our partner company confirms availability. Please expect confirmation of place within 1-3 days of making your booking. Your card payment details will still be required for the deposit to secure your space, though please be advised this information will be held securely, and the card will only be debited upon confirmation of booking.

      Your Details

      Please check all the details shown to make sure the names on your booking are the same as each person’s passport. If not, please let us know within 48 hours of making your booking so we can change them. If you don’t let us know straight away you may be charged. Names must be given at the time of booking and any shown as TBA will be classed as a name change and there will be a charge.

      Marathon Tours & Travel

      Marathon Tours & Travel is part of Destination Sport Experiences. Founded in 1979, Marathon Tours & Travel is a longstanding recognised leader and innovator in the destination travel industry for runners and their supporters. We offer travel packages and guaranteed entry to iconic marathons, half marathons and 10ks both in Australia and abroad. Alongside guaranteed entry, we also offer comprehensive travel and accommodation packages with ideally located hotels, transfers and guide support. The team behind the tours have run many of the events themselves and have years of experience in taking runners to once-in-a lifetime races. With offices in Boston, Manchester, and Adelaide, we truly are a global running travel company.


      Destination Sport Experiences strongly recommends travellers to take out comprehensive travel insurance with sufficient healthcare cover, including cover for existing medical conditions and any activities you plan to do.

      Special Assistance

      If you or anyone on your booking needs any special assistance for reduced mobility, disability or any other medical condition, you should let us know at hello@marathontoursandtravel.com.au

      We can give you more information about the accessibility of different services and the assistance available from transport and accommodation suppliers, or at venues. Availability and access to certain services / seating may be limited by the service provider so we recommend you talk to us about what you need before booking. If you book online please add details of any special assistance you need in the special request box.

      Special Requests

      If you have any special requests please let us know. We will do our best to make them happen for you but we can’t guarantee them.

      Important Travel information

      It’s important be up to date with the latest information about where you’re travelling to and what documents you need to have in order to travel. Smarttraveller is a great resource to inform your travel decisions.

      Visit smarttraveller.gov.au information about passports and applying for them and to learn more about the destination that you are travelling to, including specific travel advise and entry requirements.

      Race Rules

      Top Finishers: The top three male and female finishers of all distances are the first three to physically cross the finish line regardless of their net time.

      Gear: Nordic walking and trekking poles are not allowed.

      Strollers are not allowed.

      The use of headphones or earplugs of any kind is not allowed for the first 3 kilometres of the race. This is due to this part of the course containing narrow and difficult trails in places and the need to be able to communicate with your fellow runners is essential. Headphones and earplugs are discouraged throughout the race, but especially when running on the forest trails in the mountains.


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