Start: Panama City, Panama Finish: Cancun, Mexico
Tour code: 48357
Extra tourhub saving: $60
From Panama to Mexico, discover the greatness Central America has to offer! Whether you prefer the beach, colonial cities, trekking adventures or diving with sharks, this tour is designed to satisfy everyone´s spirit. Visit Chichen Itza, Tulum, Tikal, Pacaya and Arenal volcanoes and many cities on your way.
Location: San Blas Islands
Transfer Panama City - San Blas Chichime Islands (L/D)You will be picked up at your accommodation in Panama City early this morning and taken on an exciting ride through the jungle on 4x4 transportation. You will have the option to stop at a supermarket to purchase last-minute items such as water, snacks, beverages and grab something for breakfast. We will then make another stop to pass through immigration formalities and pay the entrance fees to Kuna Yala Islands (not included in standard package).We will continue our way to the dock where you will meet your boat to take a shared transfer to your island. Upon arrival, get settled in and enjoy an excursion to discover the breathtaking surroundings of this pristine place.Please note that there are not a lot of goods available for purchase on the islands and we strongly recommend taking advantage of the grocery store stop to stock up on snacks and bottled water.*Note: This "Comarca" is a paradise where it is only allowed to people from its community to work there, tourism is something new to them, their infrastructure is currently under development and service might not be entirely satisfactory in some cases.
San Blas Chichime Islands (B/L/D)Enjoy a fresh breakfast with the sounds of the waves on the shore. Today you will take on a day tour in Natural Pool, a sandbar in the middle of the sea that serves as a home for starfish. There you can take amazing photos, swim and relax in an idyllic setting. But … remember not to take the stars out of the water!After Natural Pool you will visit to Fragata Island, opt to swim or snorkel around your island in the crystal clear turquoise waters to spot colourful tropical fish among coral reefs or simply spend time relaxing on a hammock. Also, you will have the chance to visit one of the most famous islands in San Blas: Dog Island, get delighted by this beautiful scenery with the cleanest water. This is one of the top snorkelling places in Guna Yala. It's a top snorkelling place because of the old navy shipwreck of a gunboat. If the tide is low you can see its rusty bow sticking out of the sea when the tide is up you can snorkel over and around it and find yourself in a magical place full of life.Hire a boat and visit a traditional Kuna Yala village of this archipelago, where you can purchase handmade souvenirs to contribute to the community (optional activity at extra cost, inquire upon arrival). Spend the evenings watching the horizon turn different shades of red and pink as the sun sets over the Caribbean.
Location: Panama City
Transfer San Blas Chichime Islands - Panama City (B)Say goodbye to your piece of natural paradise this morning for your scenic one-hour return trip to the dock by boat and 4x4 transportation ride back to Panama City, and be dropped off at your accommodation in the afternoon.
Location: Bocas del Toro
Location: Puerto Viejo
Shuttle and Boat San Jose to Tortuguero (B/L/D)Depart San Jose at 6:00am accompanied by your naturalist guide to drive past coffee plantations and the stunning landscapes of Braulio Carrillo National Park. Keep an eye out for misty cloud forest and distant waterfalls before stopping for an authentic Costa Rican breakfast of fruit juice, coffee, eggs and the popular "Gallo Pinto".After breakfast we will continue driving on the shuttle and then transfer to a boat for the final leg of the journey into Tortuguero National Park, a pristine nature reserve and an important nesting site for green sea turtles. Along the way we will provide you with a brief introduction to the banana plantations.This afternoon you may go on an optional walking tour of the Museum and the town to learn about the local culture (not included). Depending on the season, tonight you can also participate in an optional night tour (not included), which consists of a boat trip to Tortuguero National Park followed by walking on the beach to observe the nesting of the Giant Green Sea Turtle (available only from July to October).Overnight in Tortuguero.
Location: San Jose
Tortuguero Boat Walking Tour - Boat and Shuttle to San Jose (B/L)Rise early again this morning to go on a boat tour to visit some areas of the park and admire breathtaking nature. Return to your accommodation for breakfast and to pack up your belongings for check-out. Take a walk in the rainforest before transferring back to San Jose, arriving around 6:30pm.
On this San Jose tour you’ll get up close and personal with Costa Rican life, through architecture, history, food, and more! Nothing could get you closer to authentic San Jose than strolling through the streets with a local as they show you the ins and outs of daily life. Take a wander through the city with us on this tour that takes typical San Jose and turns it into a local experience you’ll never forget.Your San Jose food tour starts with a morning pick-up point, where you can get to know your local guide and relax into your surroundings. From here you’ll take a stroll through the park, enjoying the views of the Yellow House, or Foreign Ministry, as you go, and learning more about the park itself, which is the oldest in the city and also known as Expression Park. You’ll visit a number of landmarks in this area, including the National Liquor Factory and the Metal Building, two 19th century buildings that play an important role in the history of San Jose. Your guide will give you all the local knowledge about what these landmarks mean to the city, and its citizens, giving you exclusive insights in what makes San Jose tick.Your San Jose walking tour continues through Parque Nacional for yet another taste of San Jose’s rich history, before you head back into contemporary Costa Rican life and towards the Central Market. While seeing the sights and architectural gems of San Jose will help you get to know the city better, on this tour you’ll use another sense – taste – to get you even more in tune with San Jose.There’s no better place in San Jose to experience the local cuisine than the Central Market, a 120-year old building full to the brim with typical Costa Rican food and drink. Here you can sample local delicacies, learn about the herbs used in local medicines, or simply sip on your second rich and smooth Costa Rican coffee of the day. The Central Market is an experience that no visitor the San Jose should miss, and with a local guide by your side you’ll unearth all the secrets behind this San Jose treasure.The Central Market will be the last stop on this San Jose tour, and by the end you’ll be full of local knowledge (and perhaps even some local lingo!), giving you the full San Jose experience that is sure to be a highlight of your time in this vibrant city.
Monteverde is a paradise for adventure lovers. You will get your adrenaline running with one of the best Canopy tours (Zipline) of Costa Rica. Swing through the treetops on a zip line tour along 14 different cables. You will feel the excitement on the big Tarzan swing, the 30 meters rappel, the Superman Cable measuring 1 kilometre in length, and the Underground Superman Cable through a 175 meters long tunnel. During the tour, you will observe some beautiful views of the area from the 75-150 meters high cables. To reach the major heights, mix the extreme adventure together with the majestic forest and admire the rich natural beauty of the forest and its treasures. If you're lucky, catch an awesome view of the Pacific Ocean and Lake Nicaragua on a clear day. Observe over 100 species of mammals, over 400 species of birds (including 30 kinds of hummingbirds), tens of thousands of insect species and 2,500 species of plants (including 420 kinds of orchids) in one of Latin America's most outstanding wildlife reserves. Keep your eyes open to catch a glimpse of diverse and beautiful wildlife including the jaguar, ocelot, Baird's tapir, three-wattled bellbird, bare necked umbrella bird and the famous quetzal.
Location: San Juan del Sur
Location: Granada, NI
Location: Granada (NI)
Start off the day at 03:00 pm with your knowledgeable local guide who will take you to the shore of Lake Nicaragua for a boat ride to see the Islets. Observe a wide variety of flora and fauna such as playful monkies and colorful birds that inhabit the jungle-covered islets in the lake. Enjoy the scenery and the serene atmosphere as you immerse yourself in nature in this beautiful pristine landscape. Return to your hostel at 06:00 pm and enjoy the rest of the afternoon to yourself to discover the colonial town of Granada.
Location: Leon, NI
Location: Leon (NI)
Depart from Leon in the morning for an exciting and breathtaking adventure to nearby Cerro Negro Volcano. Hop on a 4x4 vehicle to reach the base of the volcano and prepare for your hike up to make your ascent to the top. Take in the magical scenery and landscapes from the peak of the volcano that affords sweeping views of the lush surrounding forests and the multi-coloured active crater. Enjoy your ride down the slopes of the volcano on a sled that will bring you to the base of the volcano. Take a moment to catch your breath and relax in nature to recover. Share your photos of this unforgettable experience with your new friends as you make your way back to your hostel.
Location: El Tunco
Get up close and personal with an active volcano and brag to your friends about it. Hike up the Pacaya Volcano slope fo two hours and then trek onto dry lava that resembles a moon-like landscape. Look up to catch an eruption from the active volcano if you're lucky (depending on the activity of the volcano you may or may not see eruptions or lava). Take unforgettable photos in a landscape so surreal that you feel like you are walking on the moon. Admire the breathtaking landscape and views of neighbouring volcanoes peeking through the clouds around you. Take your time returning to the base of the mountain as you make your way down the slippery, muddy slopes. (Note: Horses can be rented for the trip up and back.)We recommend wearing comfortable trekking shoes and bringing a flash light and a walking stick (or rent one for a few dollars from local kids before you start your hike). It gets dark and steep on the mountain if you are going up in the afternoon. If you are travelling during rainy season bring a raincoat or poncho... you will definitely need it! Bring bottled water for the trek and some extra cash to buy snacks afterwards or pack a few power bars in your day pack to take with you.
Location: San Jorge La Laguna
Home Stay in San Jorge La Laguna (D)Upon arrival at Avenida Santander Zona 2 (next to Hotel Dos Mundos), you will be given instructions on how to take a public bus from Panajachel to reach the village where your host family lives, San Jorge La Laguna.The home stay will give you a genuine insight into the everyday lives of a local family during your trip by staying one or more more nights with a family from the Kakchiquel Indigenous group in San Jorge La Laguna. Maya Experience Home Stays has started this home stay program in the village to give something back to the communities around Lake Atitlan, and also to give you a very genuine experience of living with a Maya local family to experience their culture and customs. This experience is very new to the village and families who welcome foreigners into their homes. As a responsible traveler, we as guests must be aware of and sensitive to the culture by behaving respectfully during our time with the family and in the village.Although shy at first, the villagers are very friendly and welcoming people. Make sure you ask permission to take photos of the people in the village since the Mayan community commonly believes a photograph will steal their soul. You will most likely find the housing situation in San Jorge La Laguna rather basic but the reason for partcipating in this home stay is to enjoy a real insight into Guatemala, so you can experience the culture firsthand and interact with the local community on a personal basis. We hope that you enjoy this very unique experience.A small gift for the family would be a nice gesture of appreciation for the family welcoming you into their home. Cooking or kitchen materials such as pasta, rice, sugar, fruit, vegetables or kitchen utensils are very much appreciated ($3 USD per person approx). Other materials from your home country or children's books (coloring, basic English, workbooks, almanacs) would be a great addition to the family library.
Boat Tour of Lake Atitlan with visits to indigenous villages. Return to Panajachel (B)You will have all the instructions on how to go from the Homestay to the meeting point. Then, you will hop in a boat for a tour of Lake Atitlan and a visit to its colorful indigenous villages.The word "atitlan" is translated from Maya as "the place where the rainbow gets its colors" and accordingly you will understand why so many people have been drawn to this magical lake for hundreds of years. Panajachel alone is an 800 year old town home to mostly Cachikel Maya and an increasing number foreigners from every corner of the globe, all coming together to soak up a piece of that serenity and originality that this place provides.You'll visit the following villages:San Pedro La Laguna, much like Panajachel has a large population of bohemian tourists and ex-pats, however the indigenous people of the town still preserve their original ways of life and wear traditional dress, remain very conservative and practice the same style of subsistence agriculture that their ancestors practiced years ago. Just outside of town coffee crops are cultivated on the mountain side and hard working farmers hike up and back on a daily basis to tend to their crops. Walk uphill towards the town center (away from the docks) and you will see a whole different side to this popular lakeside village.Santiago Atitlán is the largest of the communities around the lake with a population of over 32,000, 95% of which are indigenous Tz’utujils. Traditionally, it is fishing and farming town; it is also known for the manufacture of cayucos, wooden canoes. Directly from the dock, the main street leads visitors up to the main square where there is a vibrant and very lively indoor/outdoor marketplace where street hawkers target "gringos" as they wander by looking for good deals on original locally made souvenirs. Santiago is also home to a very interesting Maya/Catholic sacred statue called Maximon (also known as San Simon by the Spanish and Rilaj Maam by the Maya). All Guatemalan people worship this deity and go to him to ask for blessings or give offerings. During "Semana Santa" (Holy Week) in March/April, the statue is paraded around town and celebrations are held to worship this Guatemalan god. If you can, catch a glimpse of this interesting and very unique local custom.San Antonio Palopo is one of the most interesting villages around lake Atitlan and the best place to really get an idea for how these traditional indigenous towns used to feel. Walking through the village one can see people wearing intricately designed "huipiles" (woven tunics) and women weaving fabric made of wool and cotton. Take in the views of this tranquil town and imagine what the villagers' peaceful life is like living in adobe houses with tin roofs, farming and selling souvenirs to make a living. This is one of the best places to purchase a "huipil" traditional hand-woven tunic knowing that the profits are going straight to the villagers.You will be dropped off back in Panajachel when the tour is finished.
Take a hike through the mysterious caves of Kanba (activity at your own risk) which are filled with extraordinary limestone formations distributed among an endless stretch of different chambers (so far, the end of the cave system has not yet been discovered) housing a sharp pointed rock altar where ancient Maya once performed sacred rituals. The Maya people of Guatemala continue holding spiritual ceremonies here and believe that the cave is the "heart of heaven" where the secrets of many centuries are held.Enjoy some free time to swim and go river tubing in the crystalline waters of Semuc Champey where there are natural pools filled with fresh mountain spring water above a 300-meter long limestone bridge. Flowing underneath the bridge is the Cahabón River where you will have time to swim in the cool waters in a beautiful natural surrounding immersed in native flora and fauna. At the end of the bridge you will visit waterfalls over 40-feet in height where the water from the pools rejoins the Cahabon River. The color of the water is constantly changing depending on factors such as the season, sun and rainfall, a characteristic of the national park that makes this place an idyllic and awe-inspiring setting to experience and take photographs.
Depart Flores at 4:30 am this morning for your early morning experience to Tikal archaeological site. Walk among giant pyramids towering over 200 feet at dawn to feel the magical vibration of Tikal and its historic splendor. Listen to the jungle sounds of exotic birds, monkeys and small mammals and feel the humid jungle air on your skin as the Maya inhabitants of this site felt it 2000 years ago. Immerse yourself in the jungle at dawn for an early morning tour through the archaeological site to experience the jungle come alive as it wakes up at sunrise, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in touch with nature and marvel at the majestic pyramids hidden away in the jungle.This magical ancient city is teeming with native flora and fauna. If you are lucky you may be able to spot a jaguar walking leisurely through the park, although large numbers of visitors have caused the wildlife to move further into the jungle away from the noise. Howler monkeys here are famous for their loud growling sounds which may surprise you from a tree top overhead. Keep an eye out for colorful birds throughout the park such as toucan, parrots, eagles and quetzals.Tucked away in the vast Peten Region that covers 222 square miles of lush jungle in the northwest corner of Guatemala lie the ruins of the most magnificent archaeological site and important Maya citadel in Mesoamerica. Tikal National Park, declared as a UN World Heritage Site in 1979, is the largest excavated archaeological site on the American continents and is one of the most important natural reserves of Central America.It is known that Tikal, meaning “Place of Voices” in Maya, was one of the most powerful cities of their era covering more than 16 square kilometers and dominating other tribes in the surrounding region as well as interacting with neighboring cultures as far as Teotihuacan in the Valle de Mexico. The site was estimated to house between 10,000 - 90,000 inhabitants before being abruptly abandoned over 1000 years ago.*It is necessary to purchase your entrance fee at any Banrural bank in Flores the day before the tour. The ticket booths will not be open at the time you arrive to take part in the sunrise tour.
Location: Belize City
Location: Caye Caulker
Discover the unparalleled natural beauty of Belize's marine life with a snorkeling experience that you will never forget. On this half-day tour in Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, you will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel along the reef in complete serenity. Navigate through mazes of pristine coral reef among schools of tropical fish, and even get the chance to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays. See all this and more at three different snorkeling stops along the magnificent local reef of Caye Caulker.
Embark on an exciting adventure in the jungle in which we will ride the bicycles to go from one cenote to another! We will meet in Chemuyil, a beautiful town with incredible tranquility, and visit three exclusive cenotes of the local community. Each cenote is unique and special: one of them is a cave-type cenote, another is an open cenote like a natural pool, and the third one is an incredible cenote for underwater photos. From the meeting point to the first cenote is only 5 minutes and from the first cenote to the second is 5 minutes, so all the cenotes are very close to each other!NOTE: Please note outdoor activities carry risks, and you may be exposed to dangerous situations as part of this experience. Make sure you can participate safely given your abilities and the conditions (such as location, weather, and equipment).
Location: Playa del Carmen
Upon arrival to Chichen Itza, a specialised guide will give you a detailed tour of the site, enjoying the quiet of the morning visit before the crowds. Throughout the tour, your guide will provide archaeological essential background to better understand the history of Chichen Itza.Discover how this large pre-Columbian city played an important role in the Mayan civilization around 600 AD to 1200, and remained a center of worship and pilgrimage until the arrival of the Spaniards. Even today, it is still considered sacred by the Maya people of Yucatán Peninsula site. Like many of the cities of ancient Mexico, the site was abandoned, and its ruins were hidden by jungle. Hear how the site was discovered and excavated by archaeologists, earning the protection of UNESCO and today considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. They will explain the philosophy, cosmology and mythology behind this ancient place, such as the meaning of the stone carvings, pyramids, platforms, ball games. Visit the Temple of the Jaguars, the Temple of the Warriors and of course the famous pyramid, also known as the Temple of Kukulkan. Hear how a serpent of light seems going up the stairs of this temple in the spring and fall equinoxes (around March 21st; September 21st). Enjoy a lunch box on your way back to Cancun.
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