Banff to Mexico City - 2018

This adventurous overlanding journey is one that will be loved by all outdoor enthusiasts.

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 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, the red columns of Monument Valley in Utah, and through the incredible deserts of Arizona en route to Mexico.

North America
  • Duration: 32 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Boating, Canoeing, Community Project, Trekking, Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Equestrian, Parks & Nature Reserves
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZLM1/158289
  • Starts: Banff,
  • Finishes: Mexico City,
You will Visit
  • Banff
  • Glacier National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Jackson Hole
  • Salt Lake City
  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Moab
  • Monument Valley
  • Page
  • Kodachrome Basin State Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Las Vegas
  • The Grand Canyon
  • Phoenix
  • Nogales
  • Mazatlán
  • Guaymas
  • Sayulita
  • Tequila
  • Angahuan
  • Mexico City



Day 1: Banff

Border information: If joining in Banff, you will most likely enter Canada at Calgary International Airport (IATA code: YYC).

There will be an important group meeting at 18:00 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 Banff and its stunning surroundings. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Banff 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 Banff.

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


Day 2-3: Glacier National Park

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

Today we will have a full day drive over the US border into the state of Montana and arrive at the eastern side of Glacier National Park, stopping en route at the fascinating Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a cliff that aboriginal people used for hunting for almost 6000 years.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

On Day 3 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 4-6: Yellowstone National Park

Today we have a full day drive south into the state of Wyoming and to the famous Yellowstone National Park, home to magnificent landscapes, fantastic treks, and the incredible Old Faithful geyser.

On our first night we will stay at a Campsite on the northern edge of the park with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 9-11 hours.

On Day 5 we will pack up our camp and explore Yellowstone National Park as we make our way to our camp on the southern edge of the park, where we will base ourselves for the next 2 nights. 

From here we have a free day on Day 6 to fully explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton 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 7-8: Jackson Hole

Today we will drive south 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 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, the following day we have a free day for activities and to explore the area.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.


Day 9: 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 - 5-6 hours.


Day 10-11: Canyonlands National Park

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 - 6-7 hours.

We will spend the next day exploring and trekking in 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 12: 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 - 8-9 hours.


Day 13: 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 - 5-6 hours.


Day 14: Kodachrome Basin State Park

Today we will drive to the wonderful Kodachrome Basin State Park, where we will have free time on arrival to explore the beautiful landscape.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 15-16: Zion National Park

Today we will drive to the incredible Bryce Canyon National Park, where 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). Following this, we will take a very scenic drive to the stunning Zion National Park.

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

On Day 16, we have a free day for exploring and activities in the Zion National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.


Day 17-18: Las Vegas

This morning we will have free time to explore, trek or take scenic drives through the spectacular deserts and rock formations on Zion National Park. In the afternoon we will drive to the bustling and energetic city of Las Vegas.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 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 19-20: The Grand Canyon

Today we will continue south into the state of Arizona and 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 - 7-8 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 21: Phoenix

Today we start to drive south 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 go horse riding or visit Antelope Canyon.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 22: Nogales

Today we will drive south to the border town of Nogales.

In Nogales we will camp in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.


Day 23-24: Mazatlán

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

Today we will cross the border into Mexico, and over the next two days we will drive south along the Pacific coast, staying close to the towns of Guaymas and Mazatlán en route.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 8-11 hours each day.


Day 25-26: Sayulita

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

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 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 stay in a basic hostel.


Day 27: 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 28-29: Angahuan

Today we drive to the town of Angahuan. This village is inhabited by the Purépecha people, who have been indigenous to the area since one thousand years before the Spanish invasion. Angahuan is the gateway to the Parícutin volcano, the only volcano in the world to have been born in modern times.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

On the following day we will have free time to explore the village of Angahuan or to go for optional walks around the area of the Parícutin 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.

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


Day 30-31: Mexico City

Today we will have a full day drive to the massive and chaotic Mexican capital of Mexico City.

The following day we have a free day to enjoy Mexico.

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

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.


Day 32: Mexico City

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

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Mexico City. 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 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
    • Explore the spectacular lakes and mountains of Glacier National Park in the state of Montana
    • 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 rugged Antelope Island State Park and go in search of American Bison and Longhorns
    • 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
    • Spend a night sleeping in a traditional Navajo hogan and take a jeep tour of the spectacular Monument Valley
    • Visit the iconic Antelope Canyon on a trip from the town of Page
    • Visit the beautiful and scenic Bryce Canyon National Park and the nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park
    • Visit the spectacular canyons and rock formations of Zion National Park
    • Visit some of the spectacular viewpoints over the world-famous Grand Canyon and the Colorado river
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew and local guides where necessary
    • 70% Camping - 30% 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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