Ultimate Central America

Ultimate Central America

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58 Days From

$7020

$6827

Ultimate Central America

58 Days Starting in Mexico City and ending in Panama City

Visiting: Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, Oaxaca , Oaxaca / Overnight Bus, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Palenque Ruins / Merida, Merida, Chichen Itza / Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen, Chetumal, Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, Tikal National Park, Rio Dulce, Antigua, Panajachel, San Juan La Laguna, Copan, Suchitoto, Pacific Coast, El Salvador , Leon, Granada, Monteverde, La Fortuna, San Jose, Sarapiqui, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon, Boquete, Panama City

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

QVRRC

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Walking

From:
$7020
$6827 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$193

NB: Prices correct on 18-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Embark on an in-depth Central American adventure from Mexico’s capital to the home of the Panama Canal. Pass through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama on a small-group journey through remote villages, traditional cities, ancient Maya and Aztec ruins, verdant cloud forests and pure Caribbean beaches. Get acquainted with the local cultures, spectacular landscapes and fascinating histories of Central America as you explore the wealth of tradition, spot the range of unusual wildlife, dive into unique underwater worlds and spend time travelling at your own pace. Did you hear that? Central America is calling – you better Belize it.

Highlights

  • The stars of this trip are the dramatic and varied landscapes of lush Central America. If you’re thinking active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles – this trip has got you covered.

  • Escape the Mexican heat in the highlands of San Cristobal de las Casas. This old-world town is surrounded by indigenous villages that have retained their traditional customs and roots.

  • Get to know contemporary Maya life during a homestay in San Jorge La Laguna, a lakeside village where you can share meals and conversation with a local family.

  • Clear sea perfect for swimming, shacks serving cold cerveza and sandy shores covered in starfish are waiting in the Bocas del Toro, where you spend three nights on Isla Colon.

  • Head to the coffee plantations, waterfalls and caldera hot springs of Boquete, a highland town so beautiful you won’t miss the beach one bit.

  • Hike, cycle or zip-line through the steamy cloud forests of Monteverde – there’s so many ways to experience the lush canopies and unique Central American wildlife.

  • Get to know contemporary Maya life during a homestay in San Juan La Laguna, a lakeside village where you can share meals and conversation with a local family.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Mexico City

Location: Mexico City

Accommodation: Hotel

Bienvenidos a Mexico City! This is one of the world's largest urban centres, a bustling metropolis with so many influences, offering a huge variety of museums, galleries and architectural delights, along with pumping nightlife and unparalleled street food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, but if you arrive early, perhaps head to the Zocalo – the massive central square – and check out the Aztec ruins and colonial architecture nearby. There are also plenty of parks, plazas and gardens to relax in and adjust to the Mexican way of life.

Optional Activities:
-Mexico City - Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) (entrance fee) (Closed Mondays)
-Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology (entrance fee) (Closed Mondays)

Day 2: Mexico City

Location: Mexico City

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: lunch

Wake up in Mexico City, ready for a leader-led walk to orientate yourself to the city. Pass by the Metropolitan Cathedral, Zocalo, National Palace, Bellas Artes, Paseo de la reforma and more. After exploring the main sights of Mexico’s capital, you sure would have worked up an appetite. For lunch, join your local leader on a ‘taco crawl’ around town to taste Mexico City’s delicious street-food staple, tacos al pastor, among plenty other delicious treats. After eating your way around the city, the rest of the day is free for you to explore as you wish. Tonight you could visit the famous Plaza Garibaldi or sip cocktails with your fellow travellers in one of the many trendy bars in the city, whatever takes your fancy.

Included Activities:
-Mexico City - Leader-led Taco Crawl
-Mexico City - Leader-led orientation walk

Optional Activities:
-Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum (entrance fee)
-Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral (entrance fee) - Free
-Mexico City - Torre Latino 360° Lookout (entrance fee)
-Mexico City - Diego Rivera Murals in the Mural Museum (Entrance Fee)
-Mexico City - Teotihuacan Pyramids Urban Adventure

Day 3: Puebla

Location: Puebla

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: lunch

Start the day with a visit to the community of San Pedro Tlahuac, home to Nahuatl descendants who keep their way of life alive. The community practices traditions from pre-Columbian times, including chinampa farming, fiestas and ancient ceremonies. After an included lunch, your group will head to Puebla, where your leader will take you out for an orientation walk and run through some handy Spanish phrases to help you make the most of the days ahead. Put your newly learnt Spanish skills to the test with an evening visit to La Pasita bar, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste pasita – a sweet liqueur made of raisins in one of Puebla’s most famous bars. Salud!

Included Activities:
-Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
-Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk
-Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar
-Tlahuac - Community Visit

Optional Activities:
-Puebla - Lucha Libre Show (Mondays only) from

Day 4: Puebla

Location: Puebla

Accommodation: Hotel

Puebla is a rapidly growing city featuring many well-maintained churches and buildings from the colonial period. Today is free for you to discover the city at your leisure. Though there are enough churches to visit a different one every day for a year, two of the best examples are Santa Domingo Church and the Rosary Chapel, located in town. Further afield lies the Great Pyramid of Cholula, containing over eight kilometres (five miles) of tunnels, with the enormous Popocatepetl Volcano serving as a backdrop. In town, Puebla also has plenty of markets where you can pick up some local handicrafts.

Optional Activities:
-Puebla - Santo Domingo Church and Rosary Chapel (entrance fee)
-Puebla - San Pedro Art Museum (entrance fee)

Day 5: Oaxaca

Location: Oaxaca

Accommodation: Hotel

Today we journey by local bus to Oaxaca. Oaxaca (pronounced ‘wuh-haa-ka’) is a beautiful, old colonial town full of graceful arcades and colourful markets. You'll find Zapotec and Mixtec influences around the city as ancestors have populated this region for thousands of years. Your leader will take you on a quick orientation walk to show you the ropes then the next couple of days are free for you to explore. The city is known for its arts scene, particularly its folk and fine art, but you'll also discover a grungier side to Oaxaca and some incredible examples of street art. Walk the narrow, cobblestone streets, or maybe sit back in one of the squares, sipping mezcal and watching the world go by.

Included Activities:
-Oaxaca - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 6: Oaxaca

Location: Oaxaca

Accommodation: Hotel

There's an opportunity today to visit the spectacular temples of Monte Alban just outside of Oaxaca. Monte Alban was inhabited for 1500 years by the Olmec, Zapotec and Mixtec peoples, and this World Heritage site is an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre, with terraces, dams, canals and pyramids carved out of the mountain. Alternatively, why not take a day tour out to Mitla Ruins, visit a traditional weaving arts town, and stop by a local mezcal distillery. In the evening, if you've any energy left, you could head out for dinner with your fellow travellers and enjoy the town's lively atmosphere.

Optional Activities:
-Oaxaca - Monte Alban archaeological site (entrance fee)
-Oaxaca - Santo Domingo Cultural Centre (entrance fee)
-Oaxaca – Mitla, Teotitlan weaving town & mezcal distillery

Day 7: Oaxaca / Overnight Bus

Location: Oaxaca / Overnight Bus

Accommodation: Overnight bus

Use today to take part in any optional activities you couldn't fit in yesterday, you could have a go at plating up some delicious local fare during a cooking class or enjoy a relaxed day in town at your leisure. This evening the group will take an overnight bus to the highland town of San Cristobal de las Casas. Reclining seats and toilet are available on the bus. The bus is air conditioned, so be sure to bring a jacket on board. Please keep in mind that though the bus is comfortable, the road from Oaxaca to San Cristobal has some very winding sections, so if you suffer from motion sickness this is the time to have your medication handy.

Optional Activities:
-Oaxaca - Cooking class

Day 8: San Cristobal De Las Casas

Location: San Cristobal de las Casas

Accommodation: Hotel

The bus will arrive in San Cristobal de las Casas early this morning. Leave your luggage at the hotel and begin exploring this highland town, hidden in green Chiapas valley surrounded by pine trees. Your leader will take you on a tour around town and point out all the important places. Then you'll visit the village of San Juan Chamula, home to the fascinating Iglesia de San Juan. This church, with its pine-covered floor and air thick with incense, is often frequented by shamans who come to carry out cleansings using firewater and ancient prayer. Please note that there is a strict ban on cameras inside the church. Outside, the village is alive with colourful markets that sell local handicrafts. We’ll also stop by the town of Zinacantan to explore another local church. Your visit to Zinacatan church will reveal a fascinating mixture of Christian and Mayan religion, which helps you understand some of the local culture in this region. The rest of the day is free for your own adventure. Stroll through the market, chat with the locals and maybe buy some of the colourful weavings they are known for, before grabbing a drink and some food with your fellow travellers.

Included Activities:
-San Cristobal de Las Casas - Leader-led Orientation Walk
-Zinacatan Church - Visit
-San Juan Chamula - Maya Church (entrance fee)

Optional Activities:
-San Cristobal de Las Casas - Amber Museum (entrance fee)

Day 9: San Cristobal De Las Casas

Location: San Cristobal de las Casas

Accommodation: Hotel

There’s no alarm clock needed this morning as today is yours to explore San Cristobal de las Casas at your own leisure. Perhaps, take in the cobblestone streets and colonial architecture, and soak up the old-world feel mixed with strong, pre-Hispanic roots. Or try something more active and ask your leader to help organise an optional boating trip in the Sumidero Canyon, which is as old and impressive as the Grand Canyon (at your own expense).

Optional Activities:
-Sumidero Canyon - Boat Excursion (entrance and transport)

Day 10: Palenque

Location: Palenque

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel along a windy road by private vehicle to Palenque, stopping en route at the beautiful Agua Azul cascades for a refreshing swim. Once you've arrived in Palenque, the afternoon is free for you to relax or explore. Situated in a steamy jungle, Palenque is a central town close to the nearby Maya ruins of the same name, which you'll have a chance to check out tomorrow.

Included Activities:
-Agua Azul - Waterfall Visit

Day 11: Palenque Ruins / Merida

Location: Palenque Ruins / Merida

Accommodation: Hotel

Today you visit the Palenque archaeological zone. The stunning Mayan temples of Palenque are quite rightly considered a must-see during any trip to Chiapas, or indeed Mexico. Situated on a hilltop, the ruins date back to AD600 and are some of the most impressive Maya relics in Mexico. As you walk among the temples (closed-toe shoes recommended), listen out for the eerie calls of howler monkeys echoing from the jungle. There are many ruins which are still un-excavated and remain hidden in the forest, and you can opt to take a guided tour of the ruins or through the surrounding jungle on your own Indiana Jones-style adventure. This afternoon, travel by private vehicle to the historic town of Merida, the capital of the Yucatan region.

Included Activities:
-Palenque - Palenque Ruins (entrance fee)

Day 12: Merida

Location: Merida

Accommodation: Hotel

Founded in 1542 on the site of Tho (an ancient Maya city), the colonial city of Merida retains much of its old-world charm thanks primarily to its people and architecture. Take an orientation walk with your leader, then enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Maybe take an optional trip to the Merida Contemporary Art Museum for an interesting perspective on contemporary life in the city. Or perhaps just spend some time wandering the Plaza Grande: a green, shady square enclosed by a 16th-century cathedral, City Hall, the State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo. Or head to the outdoor markets where you can find local specialities like the seriously spicy El Yucateco hot sauce.

Included Activities:
-Merida - Leader-led orientation walk

Optional Activities:
-Merida - Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Contemporary Art Museum (entrance fee) - Free

Day 13: Merida

Location: Merida

Accommodation: Hotel

Today you can choose to visit the Maya ruins of Uxmal, a 1-hour drive from Merida, on an optional tour which includes transport and a local guide. It's thought that the city was constructed around AD700, was home to around 25,000 people and once dominated the region along with Chichen Itza. Much of the site is decorated with masks of Chac, the rain god, and important buildings include the Pyramid of the Soothsayer, the Quadrangle of the Nuns, the Governor's Palace, the House of the Tortoises and the Ball Court. Alternatively, you could choose to take an optional guided tour to Las Coloradas – the incredible pink lagoon that’s home to flocks of flamingos.

Optional Activities:
-Merida - Uxmal Ruins tour (inc. shared transport and guide)
-Merida - Las Coloradas Flamingo Tour (inc. shared transport and guide)

Day 14: Chichen Itza / Playa Del Carmen

Location: Chichen Itza / Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel to Playa del Carmen by private vehicle, stopping en route for an included visit to the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza. Named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza contains both Toltec and Mayan ruins lying alongside each other. The famous El Castillo pyramid dominates the site and there is also a large ball court where games used to be held. Nearby, excavations of the Well of Sacrifice revealed treasures of jade, copper and gold as well as many human and animal bones. The group will spend a few hours at Chichen Itza before continuing on to Playa del Carmen. After a quick orientation walk around Playa del Carmen with your local guide, pick a place to kick back with a margarita and watch the sun go down.

Included Activities:
-Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
-Playa del Carmen - Leader-led Orientation Walk

Day 15: Playa Del Carmen

Location: Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Hotel

Today you’ll have a free day to take on one of the beachside activities or just kick back and relax until another group meeting at 6 pm tonight. Beforehand, maybe try your hand (and feet and lungs) at snorkelling in the freshwater rock pools (called cenotes) or reef diving on Cozumel. After the meeting, maybe head out for a cocktail and a few tacos with your new travel buddies.

Optional Activities:
-Playa del Carmen - Bicycle Rental (per day)
-Playa del Carmen - Ferry to Cozumel (Round-trip Ticket)

Day 16: Playa Del Carmen

Location: Playa del Carmen

Accommodation: Hotel

Wake up without an alarm – today is yours to explore this beachside paradise at your leisure. Known for its coral-clad reefs, Playa Del Carmen might be the perfect spot to don your snorkel mask and flippers and explore beneath the surface. Keep your eyes peeled for rays, moray eels and turtles. If you’d rather leave the flippers behind and adventure on land, catch a local bus and travel south to Tulum, where white-sand beaches and Maya ruins are just an hour and a half away. In the evening, you could grab a few of your fellow travellers and find a good spot to watch the sunset – muy bien!

Day 17: Chetumal

Location: Chetumal

Accommodation: Hotel

After breakfast, enjoy your final morning in Playa del Carmen. Maybe take an early morning stroll to the beach and dip your toes in the sand or simply let the world pass you by with a coffee at a local cafe. Head to your next stop in Chetumal mid-morning and arrive after lunch – a quiet city close to the border of Belize, this place makes for the perfect stop before tomorrow’s adventure to Caye Caulker. You have a free afternoon in Chetumal so you might like to round up your group and head to a local restaurant for the evening.

Day 18: Caye Caulker

Location: Caye Caulker

Accommodation: Hotel

Bid adios to Mexico early this morning as you head south to Belize. After border formalities, arrive in Belize City then hop in a water taxi to the island of Caye Caulker. When you arrive, get acquainted with the island on a guided walk with your leader. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, which will make chatting with locals much easier. Be aware that there may be crocodiles in the split area that separates the north and south of the island, so it’s best to take caution while swimming and exploring the beaches.

Included Activities:
-Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk

Optional Activities:
-Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour)

Day 19: Caye Caulker

Location: Caye Caulker

Accommodation: Hotel

Good morning and welcome to heaven! Today is free for you to explore the island that surrounds you, or just to simply relax. If you feel like snorkelling, ask your leader about organising a trip to the colourful coral reef nearby, or maybe head further afield to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to the world’s second-longest coral reef. Manatee spotting is perfect for nature lovers, or you could take a stroll and find a swaying palm tree with your name on it – they make the perfect place to nap, read a book and soak up the island vibes on a beach day.

Optional Activities:
-Caye Caulker - Manatee boat tour (Incl. transport & guide)
-Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour)
-Caye Caulker - Full day Catamaran tour-(gear, guide and transport included)
-Caye Caulker - Full day speed boat-(gear, guide and transport included)

Day 20: Caye Caulker

Location: Caye Caulker

Accommodation: Hotel

What’s better than one day in paradise? Two, of course! Wake up whenever you like, because you’ve got another free day. Like any good seaside paradise, Caye Caulker is home to super fresh seafood, which you can dig into with your feet planted in the sand at one of the many ‘floor free’ outdoor restaurants. The island's famous lobsters are available between 15 June and 15 February, and you can expect to pay far less than at home (though more than your average island meal). You could even grab some grilled shrimp and a rum and coke made with firewater from a roadside stall to really get into the island spirit.

Optional Activities:
-Caye Caulker - Bicycle Rental (per day)
-Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour)
-Caye Caulker - Sunset Sailing

Day 21: San Ignacio

Location: San Ignacio

Accommodation: Hotel

From the islands to the highlands, you’ll bid farewell to Caye Caulker today and catch a ferry to Belize City, then a bus to San Ignacio. When you arrive, your leader will take you on a walking tour of San Ignacio and its twin sister Santa Elena, giving you a sense of how vibrant the local Garifuna and Maya communities are. Tonight, maybe head out in search of a classic Maya dish like cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork marinated in citrus).

Included Activities:
-San Ignacio - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 22: San Ignacio

Location: San Ignacio

Accommodation: Hotel

Today is free for you to discover San Ignacio at your own pace. This beautiful town is surrounded by fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls and Maya ruins, making it the ideal base. If you’re a bit of a history buff, maybe take a day trip to Xunantunich – an impressive Maya ceremonial site on a hill overlooking the countryside. Getting to the site is half the fun, as you'll need to take a hand-cranked ferry to cross the river. Also nearby is the cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal – a living museum of Maya relics. Wade through cool waters to find ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons preserved by the calcium-rich environment of the cave for over 1400 years. Easily spooked? Maybe you'd prefer a cave with fewer (as far as we know) skeletons, like the one in Mountain Pine Ridge. In the late afternoon, the barbecue stalls of Santa Elena start to set up for the dinner rush. It's only a 15-minute walk, so consider wandering over to enjoy a juicy chicken leg and a chat with the locals.

Optional Activities:
-San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (Incl. entry, guide, transport & lunch)
-San Ignacio - Butterfly Farm (incl. transport)
-San Ignacio - Cave tubing (incl. entrance, guide & transport)
-San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project (entrance fee)
-San Ignacio - Xunantunich Ruins entry

Day 23: Tikal National Park

Location: Tikal National Park

Accommodation: Hotel (Multishare)

Rise and shine for an 8 am taxi ride to the Belize-Guatemala border. Once you've crossed over, board a bus to Tikal National Park. Here, there will be time to buy lunch before visiting the impressive archaeological site. Towering above the jungle, the five granite temples of Tikal are an imposing sight and one of the most magnificent Maya ruins. Hidden in the evergreen forest is a maze of smaller structures waiting to be explored. The energetic can climb to the top of the ruins for spectacular views over the canopy and the chance to spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds. Choose to explore on your own or pay a little more for a guided tour (or maybe see the site from above on an optional zip-line ride).

Included Activities:
-Tikal National Park - Tikal archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)

Optional Activities:
-Tikal National Park - Guide for Ruins (per group)

Day 24: Rio Dulce

Location: Rio Dulce

Accommodation: Hotel (Private rooms with shared facilities)

This morning you’ll depart for Flores, where your leader will take you on an orientation walk on the island. Then, continue by private minivan to Rio Dulce before transferring to your hotel by boat. The easiest way to get back into town is also on the water – a journey that can be organised through the hotel. Alternatively, a 40-minute jungle walk will get you there. The hotel is a great place to relax and look over the water, with reasonably priced meals and drinks served in the hotel restaurant. Now that you are back in a Spanish-speaking nation, why not join an informal Spanish lesson led by your leader?

Included Activities:
-Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson

Day 25: Rio Dulce

Location: Rio Dulce

Accommodation: Hotel (Private rooms with shared facilities)

With plenty of free time today, consider taking advantage of some optional activities. Maybe take a scenic boat trip down the river to the coastal enclave of Livingston for a taste of Creole-Caribbean culture. This laidback town on the Caribbean coast feels very different from the rest of Guatemala thanks to its Garifuna population. Or maybe go boating on the lake, take a tour to spot local manatees or explore nearby San Felipe Fort.

Optional Activities:
-Rio Dulce - Boat trip to Livingston (Price dependent on boat available & passengers)
-Rio Dulce - Natural Hot Springs (entrance fee and transport)
-Rio Dulce - Quirigua Ruins (entrance fee)
-Rio Dulce - San Felipe Fort (entrance fee)

Day 26: Antigua

Location: Antigua

Accommodation: Hotel

Leave the 'Sweet River' behind and travel by private minibus to the city of Antigua. The road between Rio Dulce and Guatemala City is one of the busiest in the country. Traffic is slow, there are frequent road works and many, many slow trucks – be armed with patience, music and a good book and the journey will be easier to handle. Though there's not much time in Antigua today, you owe it to yourself to reward your patience with a tamale (meat and dough steamed in a corn leaf). You could also give pepian a try (rich dark sauce served with vegetables and meat, usually chicken).

Day 27: Panajachel

Location: Panajachel

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, travel on the winding roads to Chichicastenango – home to perhaps the most colourful market in the country! Nicknamed Chichi market, locals come from surrounding villages on Thursdays and Sundays to sell their wares and the streets are lined with stalls offering multi-coloured textiles and fresh produce. Visit a local Mayan Shaman and do a little shopping at the market, then continue to Panajachel. Located on Lake Atitlan with distant volcanoes looming in the background, Panajachel has a thriving market, great eateries and many water-based activities. Your leader will take you on a brief orientation walk of the town and then the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore. Why not go for a swim, wander the streets or kayak on the lake?

Included Activities:
-Chichicastenango - Market Visit
-Chichicastenango - Shaman Visit
-Panajachel - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 28: San Juan La Laguna

Location: San Juan La Laguna

Accommodation: Homestay

Meals Included: dinner

This morning after breakfast, take a boat to San Juan La Laguna – a small Maya village overlooking Lake Atitlan and the first community to ban single-use plastic. Here, you’ll witness a textile weaving demonstration, seeing how they use local materials and traditional dyeing techniques. Try out some of your newly learnt Spanish to chat with the locals and take a tour of their medicinal garden, watching how they use ancient techniques to transform plants into medicine - knowledge passed from mothers to daughters for hundreds of years. Tonight, you’ll be staying with multiple families within the community in small groups. Enjoy a homecooked dinner with your host family and spend the night here – a perfect opportunity to get to know them a little better and immerse yourself in local life.

Included Activities:
-San Juan La Laguna - Traditional Maya Homestay

Optional Activities:
-Panajachel - Kayak rental (per hour)
-San Juan La Laguna - Water taxi to Santiago (Return)

Day 29: Antigua

Location: Antigua

Accommodation: Hotel

Hit the road again this morning and make the journey back to Antigua – in 1773, the city was destroyed by an earthquake, but many of the colonial buildings have been carefully restored, and the architecture from its glory days can still be seen. On the way, stop at Santa Apolonia – one of the last communities in Guatemala to make pottery with traditional Maya techniques. The ancient Maya people could produce perfectly rounded pottery without a potter’s wheel! Here, the local women use their hands, as they move in a circular motion to produce amazing pieces. Watch a demonstration and then try it for yourself. Continue to Antigua, where your leader will take you on an orientation walk. Tonight, maybe take part in a dancing lesson – many dancing schools offer hourly lessons, so you'll be able to perfect your moves.

Included Activities:
-Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk
-Santa Apolonia - Traditional Pottery Demonstration

Optional Activities:
-Antigua - Salsa-dance Lesson (per hour)

Day 30: Antigua

Location: Antigua

Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free day exploring photogenic Antigua today. Maybe check out the ChocoMuseo, two blocks away from central park. Learn all about chocolate, which was first documented by the Guatemalan Maya, as well as its historical importance. Or maybe grab a coffee from one of the myriad shops in central park, sit back, relax and enjoy Antigua's chilled-out vibes.

Optional Activities:
-Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo

Day 31: Antigua

Location: Antigua

Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free day to explore the city, with nothing scheduled until a meeting to welcome any new travellers joining you on your adventure. Maybe grab some roasted beans from a street vendor and munch them while you stroll around. If you’ve got a historical bent, perhaps check out the 18th-century ruins of the Monastery of Santa Clara.

Optional Activities:
-Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo
-Antigua - Salsa-dance Lesson (per hour)

Day 32: Copan

Location: Copan

Accommodation: Hotel

Rise and shine early this morning to beat the rush-hour traffic around Antigua. Departing at around 4 am, you’ll drive towards Copan. Along the way, your leader will run an informal Spanish lesson, providing you with some useful phrases to break the ice with the locals. Head into Honduras through the wild countryside of eastern Guatemala, arriving in the charming town of Copan in the early afternoon. While most people use Copan as a base to explore the nearby ruins, there are plenty of other points of interest, both along the cobblestone streets and set into the lush surroundings. Maybe get started in the Central Plaza and follow your nose to a cafe, or maybe head to the nearby natural hot springs. This optional tour gives you hours of soaking in mud, steaming natural baths and refreshing pools in the lush jungle, with an included dinner.

Optional Activities:
-Copan - Natural Hot Springs & Dinner

Day 33: Copan

Location: Copan

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, join your leader and explore the World Heritage-listed ruins of Copan – the southernmost of the great Maya sites. It's unique because of the numerous elaborate stelae (carved columns) still intact among temples, excavated vaults and walls inscribed with ancient faces. After your exploration (don’t forget your camera today!) the rest of the afternoon is free to choose your own adventure. Maybe check out some fine feathered friends at the Macaw Mountain Park or visit the Temple of Rosalila. If you didn’t get to the hot springs yesterday, this afternoon is the perfect opportunity to soak away your active morning.

Included Activities:
-Copan Ruins - Visit

Day 34: Suchitoto

Location: Suchitoto

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: dinner

You’ll wave goodbye to Copan this morning and head across the border to El Salvador. It’s a long travel day, so make sure you’ve got a good book or your favourite road trip games handy. When you arrive in Suchitoto, you’ll head out on a leader-led orientation walk of the town – widely considered the cultural capital of El Salvador. Admire the elaborate building facades, get your bearings and enjoy the surroundings. Then, get your chef’s hat on with a pupusa-making cooking class in a private home. Pupusa (cornmeal flatbreads) is a classic Salvadorian recipe from the Pipil culture and is usually stuffed with some delicious ingredients, like cheese or chicharron (fried pork).

Included Activities:
-Suchitoto - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
-Suchitoto - Leader led orientation walk

Day 35: Suchitoto

Location: Suchitoto

Accommodation: Hotel

Today is a free day in Suchitoto. Birders will want to crane their necks towards the sky as Suchitoto lies on a bird migration path! The town also overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande – also known as Lago Suchitlan, this freshwater lake is a haven for migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks. Maybe grab a historically minded quartet for a guided walk through Cinquera Forest, where guerrilla fighters used the forest as cover during the Civil War. Or just relax around town, in a local café or at your accommodation.

Optional Activities:
-Suchitoto - Birdwatching Walk (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate)
-Suchitoto - Town tour (it requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate)
-Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate)

Day 36: Pacific Coast, El Salvador

Location: Pacific Coast, El Salvador

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, head to a local designer’s home for an indigo-dying demonstration – Suchitoto is one of the best places in the world to produce indigo (used to dye clothing or other items blue). You’ll visit a local designer transforming colonial tradition into modern design and learn the history of the indigo trade. This small enterprise supports single mothers by providing them with an income for their children’s education, food and independence. Watch the demonstration, then get hands-on and try it for yourself! To decide who gets to take the creation home, the group will hold a raffle (are you feeling lucky?). After, you’ll drive to the Pacific Coast of El Salvador, home to some amazing dark-sand beaches and some of the best surf spots in the country. Maybe head to the beach for a swim or relax under the palms with a beer while you wait for sunset. As night falls, you could enjoy a seafood dinner along the water – the local crabs are some of the tastiest around.

Included Activities:
-Suchitoto - Indigo Dyeing Demonstration

Day 37: Pacific Coast, El Salvador

Location: Pacific Coast, El Salvador

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, you're free as a bird to explore the beautiful Pacific Coast at your own pace. Alternatively, simply sit back and relax in a hammock on the beach and soak up the sunshine with a drink – life’s good.

Day 38: Leon

Location: Leon

Accommodation: Hotel

Rise nice and early for a full day of travel by private vehicle. Cross the border at El Amatillo and then head into Honduras, where you’ll stop for lunch. After, there’s another border crossing at Guasaule before you reach Leon – the second-largest city in Nicaragua. When you arrive, join your leader on an orientation walk through the charming city streets to get your bearings. Leon is surprisingly relatively free of tourists, which makes strolling the murals and contemporary architecture a real treat! Tonight, maybe head out to dinner with your group – as always, your leader will have the best recommendations.

Included Activities:
-Leon - Leader led orientation walk

Day 39: Leon

Location: Leon

Accommodation: Hotel

Today is a free day to make the most of Leon. Maybe visit the street food area behind the Lady of Grace Cathedral and try a Nica taco (made with maize, the taco is rolled, deep fried and then served with shredded cabbage smothered in cream). You could also take on a thrilling volcano sandboarding adventure on the black slopes of Cerro Negro Volcano. Maybe you’d just like to explore the city’s contemporary art or wander the Leon Cathedral.

Optional Activities:
-Leon - Volcano Sand Boarding

Day 40: Granada

Location: Granada

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, you’ll drive to the oldest city in the 'New World' – Granada. Featuring Moorish and Andalusian architecture, Granada is set on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and is surrounded by active volcanoes. You’ll be travelling by taxi from the hotel to the bus station, boarding a local bus bound for Managua and then hopping on a public bus to Granada. When you arrive, your leader will take you on an orientation walk through the leafy Parque Central and 'La Calzada' – a lively pedestrian street with plenty of bars and restaurants. The afternoon is yours to explore the city at your own pace. Hundreds of evergreen islets dot the waters of vast Lake Nicaragua and you can spend a few hours exploring them by boat, or hire a kayak and find your own way around, waving at the fisherman who live in wooden huts along the way. Just remember not to swim, as freshwater sharks live in the water!

Day 41: Granada

Location: Granada

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning you’ll have breakfast with your group at Cafe de las Sonrisas – a café run entirely by deaf people. The owner is aiming to bridge the gap and inspire other business owners to employ local people living with disabilities. After, maybe hit the Convento y Museo San Francisco and view the collection of Indigenous stone statues or take a boat tour of Monkey Island. Maybe hit the water again for a kayaking tour of Laguna Apoyo. Tonight, maybe book a special trip to Masaya Volcano National Park and see the lava lake at Santiago Crater at night (this is the best time to see the lava stir, bubble, spew and erupt)!

Included Activities:
-Granada - Breakfast at El Cafe de las Sonrisas

Optional Activities:
-Granada - Laguna Apoyo kayaking tour
-Granada - Mombacho Volcano hike
-Granada - Masaya Volcano at night (Viewpoint for the Lava Lake at Santiago Crater)
-Granada - Monkey Island boat tour

Day 42: Monteverde

Location: Monteverde

Accommodation: Lodge

Today is another early start as you get ready for a full day of travel. Journey to Monteverde, where you can begin exploring this afternoon on an orientation walk with your leader. Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers. These environmentally aware settlers also established a small wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown into the internationally renowned Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve. Cloud forests are like rainforests, but instead, draw their water from a semi-permanent cloud covering the region. This is truly a nature lover's paradise! More than 2000 plant species, 320 bird species and 100 mammal species call Monteverde home. Keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal – one of the world’s most elusive birds.

Included Activities:
-Monteverde - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 43: Monteverde

Location: Monteverde

Accommodation: Lodge

Enjoy a free day to discover this lush reserve at your own pace. Maybe take a hike through the cloud forest, check out the area by mountain bike or fly over the thick canopy on a zip line tour. Another way to see the forest from above is to take a Sky Walk tour along a series of suspension bridges. You can explore the park on your own or arrange for a local guide to accompany you. Guided tours are particularly helpful for those interested in learning more about the local flora and fauna, as well as the different roles wildlife play in Mesoamerican mythology. For guaranteed sightings of exotic insects and snakes, head to the Butterfly Garden or the Serpentarium.

Optional Activities:
-Monteverde - Cloud Forest Entrance
-Monteverde - Suspension bridges tour
-Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport)
-Monteverde - Coffee & Chocolate tour
-Monteverde - Cloud Forest Night Walk
-Monteverde - Cloud Forest Train
-Monteverde - Butterfly Garden and Insects Farm (entrance fee)
-Monteverde - Frog pond
-Monteverde - Orchid gardens

Day 44: La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning, drive to the shores of Lake Arenal, where you’ll take a boat across the lake to the little town of La Fortuna. On a clear day, you'll have fantastic views of the surrounding area. Watching the massive Arenal Volcano loom larger and larger as you approach is a spectacular sight. Once you reach La Fortuna, take another vehicle to the hotel, then freshen up and head out on a leader-led orientation walk. La Fortuna is a favourite among travel writers for a reason – words like picturesque and breathtaking spring to mind when trying to describe this town in the shadow of the volcano.


Included Activities:
-La Fortuna - Leader led orientation walk

Day 45: La Fortuna

Location: La Fortuna

Accommodation: Hotel

Why not start today with a smoothie and plan how you want to explore? Perhaps take a guided nature hike through the lush forest surrounding Arenal Volcano, keeping an eye out for rare plants and animals, or see the forest from a series of hanging bridges that offer a great vantage point for spotting wildlife like sloths and rainbow-coloured birds. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area is home to several thermal hot springs – an ideal way to relax in the middle of nature. Or maybe check out the 70-m-high La Fortuna waterfall set in the middle of the rainforest and hit the lake on a stand-up paddleboard. A boat safari in Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge offers the opportunity to see lizards, crocodiles and tropical birds in their natural habitat, so if you’re craving more wildlife, this option is perfect.

Optional Activities:
-La Fortuna - Ecotermales Hot Springs (entrance fee)
-La Fortuna - Arenal hanging bridges
-La Fortuna - La Fortuna Waterfall (Entrance only)
-La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike
-La Fortuna- Caño Negro boat tour
-La Fortuna - Stand up paddle board

Day 46: San Jose

Location: San Jose

Accommodation: Hotel

Watch the volcano fade into the distance on a local bus ride to Costa Rica's capital – San Jose. When you arrive, head out on an orientation walk with your leader to see the main highlights. When you’ve got your bearings, you may like to visit the Gold Museum, which has a fantastic collection of pre-Spanish gold art. If you're in the mood for some shopping, head to the outdoor market in the Plaza de la Cultura or the city's Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood. Tonight, why not ask your leader for the best recommendations for dinner?

Included Activities:
-San Jose - Leader-led orientation walk

Optional Activities:
-San Jose - San Jose By Night: Food and Culture - Urban Adventures
-San Jose - National Museum (entrance fee)

Day 47: San Jose

Location: San Jose

Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy a free day to explore San Jose until another group meeting at 6 pm tonight. The city is home to a lively cultural atmosphere with heaps to do. Maybe explore the markets – you might even be lucky enough to see a spontaneous art fair! Perhaps visit Arte Contemporaneo if you’re an art lover or get a taste of the rich coffee that Costa Rica is known for in a nearby coffee shop.

Optional Activities:
-San Jose - Pre-Colombian Gold Museum (Entrance fee)
-San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures

Day 48: Sarapiqui

Location: Sarapiqui

Accommodation: Lodge

This morning, hop on a public bus and make your way to Sarapiqui – a town known for its rich biodiversity and lush rainforest. When you arrive, enjoy some free time here to go birdwatching, spot some local wildlife or hike to one of the nearby waterfalls. Then head out on a leader-led jungle walk. This is a great opportunity to see some Costa Rican wildlife, look out for elusive creatures like sloths, snakes and frogs.

Included Activities:
-Sarapiqui – Jungle Walk

Day 49: Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Location: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, take a private transfer to Puerto Viejo. When you arrive, get to know this laid-back jungle town during an orientation walk with your local leader, then enjoy the rest of the day to explore at your leisure. A small and coastal city, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca has a lively main street featuring dance halls, reggaeton bars and modern restaurants. If you’re looking for a little bit of relaxation, you'll also find great surf beaches and rainforest fruit farms to kick back on.

Included Activities:
-Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Leader-led orientation walk

Day 50: Puerto Viejo De Talamanca

Location: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Accommodation: Hotel

Meals Included: dinner

Today is free, so you can ease into the vibes of the Caribbean coast. You might like to take your time exploring Cahuita National Park, which is easily accessible from Puerto Viejo and home to sloths, monkeys, raccoons, snakes and a great variety of birds. If the waves are calling (but your footing isn’t so sure), surf lessons are also on offer in town. Of course, you could also simply find a cool spot and relax with a beer in hand. To top today off, you'll prepare a traditional Caribbean dinner with a local family in their home. Enjoy a mixture of fruits, seafood, tubers and vegetables combined with coconut flavours, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, curry Panamian pepper and thyme.

Included Activities:
-Puerto Viejo - Hands-on dinner in local home

Optional Activities:
-Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Surf lesson (1 hour)
-Puerto Viejo de Talamanca - Cahuita National Park (entrance fee)

Day 51: Bocas Del Toro / Isla Colon

Location: Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, take a local bus to the border, then walk across an old railway bridge into Panama. Continue by taxi or collective minivan to Almirante, where you'll take a short boat ride to Isla Colon in the Bocas del Toro archipelago – rapidly becoming a Caribbean favourite, this place has it all. Hit the palm-shaded beaches with crystal-clear waters, enjoy some spectacular snorkelling opportunities and look out for lots of wildlife. Culturally, Bocas is home to West Indians, Latinos and expats, resulting in diverse music, nightlife and food scenes. For the next three nights, you'll stay in Isla Colon – the main town of Bocas del Toro. It's a great spot to start your exploration of the archipelago, with most bars, restaurants and local activity operators just metres from your hotel.

Day 52: Bocas Del Toro / Isla Colon

Location: Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Accommodation: Hotel

Today is the first of two free days to explore this tropical archipelago. Several beaches are within reach of town, between 8 and 14 km from your hotel. With azure waters, pristine coral reefs and a rollicking nightlife, it’s easy to see why these islands are a favourite for so many travellers. The safest beaches are Starfish, Sandfly and Big Creek – be aware that others may have strong riptides. When the sun goes down, why not head into town and check out the local bar and restaurant scene? Ask your leader about the best place to grab a drink.

Optional Activities:
-Bocas del Toro - Jungle Cacao Tour (guide and transport included)
-Bocas del Toro - Zapatilla Tour including Sloth Island & snorkelling at Cayo Coral (guide and transport included)
-Bocas del Toro - Full-day Tour including Bastimentos island, Jungle hike & Lunch with Ngobe Community (guide and transport included)
-Bocas del Toro - Bio-luminescence Boat Tour (seasonal - guide and transport included)
-Bocas del Toro - Colon Expedition including starfish beach & bird island

Day 53: Bocas Del Toro / Isla Colon

Location: Bocas del Toro / Isla Colon

Accommodation: Hotel

Enjoy another free day in the Caribbean sun. Maybe take the opportunity to do some surfing or snorkelling, rent a bike and explore the main island, or simply soak in the chilled-out vibe while enjoying a cold one on the beach.

Day 54: Boquete

Location: Boquete

Accommodation: Hotel

Travel by boat and local bus to Boquete – this is a bit of a lengthy journey, so be sure to have a book, podcast or daydream to keep you occupied. Boquete is a picturesque town located in the highlands of Panama, surrounded by mountains, crystal-clear creeks and rivers, forest reserves and colourful wildflowers, as well as coffee plantations and orange groves. Head out on an orientation walk with your leader and enjoy an informal Spanish lesson to get to grips with the local language. Tomorrow will be a free day, wide open for exploring – most optional activities can be organised directly from the hotel, though it’s a good idea to book them when you arrive tonight if you know what you want to do.

Included Activities:
-Boquete - Leader-led orientation walk
-Leader - led Informal Spanish Lesson

Day 55: Boquete

Location: Boquete

Accommodation: Hotel

There are plenty of ways to experience Boquete today, so be sure to chat to your leader and the hotel front desk to get the best insider tips. You could discover the secret waterfalls only locals know about on a walking tour in the jungle. Or maybe you’d prefer to soak it up in the Caldera hot springs. If you’re a coffee lover, consider visiting a plantation or simply kicking back in town with a cup of the local brew – some of the best coffee in the world is grown and processed right here in Boquete!

Optional Activities:
-Boquete - Guided Bicycle Tour (guide and bike hire included)
-Boquete - Guided Tour of Hidden Waterfalls (entrance fee, transport and guide included)
-Boquete - Zipline (guide and transport included)
-Boquete - Mini Canyons Tour (entrance fee, transport and guide included)
-Boquete - Calderas Hot Springs (entrance fee and transport included, no guide)
-Boquete - Coffee Plantation Tour (guide and transport included)

Day 56: Panama City

Location: Panama City

Accommodation: Hotel

Trade in the beach for the city and travel to Panama City – Central America's glitziest capital. This is another long drive, so grab a window seat if you can. Along the way, you’ll visit Penonome – a small town well-known for its artisans specialising in the Sombrero Pintao (the iconic and original Panama hat). Maybe grab some lunch here and take a quick visit to one of the many vendors that specialise in this traditional hat and learn a bit about their trade. Arrive in Panama City in the late afternoon and head into the city for a leader-led orientation walk. Take in the great views of the historic Casco Viejo (Old Town) and the Panama City skyline as you stroll past crowded waterfront soccer fields, running paths and food carts.

Day 57: Panama City

Location: Panama City

Accommodation: Hotel

Today, head to the city’s gorgeous waterfront promenade – the Cinta Costera (causeway) – for a walk with your leader. Stop at the nearby Fish Market and maybe grab some fresh ceviche. This afternoon is yours to explore, so if you like, maybe visit the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal or take a stroll through the rainforest in the Metropolitan Nature Park. Panama City is also famous for its shopping centres – the biggest being Albrook Mall. For more traditional souvenirs to bring home, head to the National Artisan's Market.

Included Activities:
-Panama City - Leader-led walk in Casco Viejo
-Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market

Optional Activities:
-Panama City - Panama Canal: Miraflores Locks (entrance fee only, no guide, no transport)

Day 58: Panama City

Location: Panama City

Accommodation: Hotel

With no planned activities today, you can depart at any time. If you would like to spend some more time in Panama City, just speak to your booking agent.

What's Included

  • Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market

  • Mexico City - Leader-led Taco Crawl

  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson

  • Mexico City - Leader-led City Tour of Historic Center

  • Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk

  • Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar

  • Oaxaca - Leader-led Orientation Walk

  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - Leader-led City Tour

  • San Juan Chamula - Maya Church (entrance fee)

  • Agua Azul - Waterfall Visit (entrance fee)

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Included Activities

  • Mexico City - Leader-led Taco Crawl
  • Mexico City - Leader-led City Tour of Historic Center
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar
  • Oaxaca - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - Leader-led City Tour
  • San Juan Chamula - Maya Church (entrance fee)
  • Zinacantan - Maya Church (entrance fee)
  • Agua Azul - Waterfall Visit (entrance fee)
  • Palenque - Palenque Ruins (entrance fee)
  • Merida - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Playa del Carmen - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Tikal archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Chichicastenango Market
  • San Jorge La Laguna - Traditional Maya Homestay
  • Panajachel - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Antigua - Leader-led walking tour
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Copan - Archeological site (entrance fee and transport, no guide)
  • Suchitoto - Leader led walking tour
  • San Miguel - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
  • Leon - Leader led walking tour
  • Monteverde - Leader led walking tour
  • La Fortuna - Leader led walking tour
  • San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
  • Puerto Viejo - Leader-led orientation bicycle ride
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Boquete - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market

Transport

  • Private vehicle , Local bus , Overnight public bus , Taxi , Shared boat , Ferry

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • This itinerary includes basic accommodation, meaning access to elevators can be limited. Often rooms will be located on higher levels and luggage will need to be carried up and down stairs. We recommend packing light for this reason. For more information, refer to the "Packing" section of the Essential Trip Information.

Important Information

  • 1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 7 (Overnight bus), Day 23 (Tikal) and Day 28 (San Juan La Laguna homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
  • 2. This tour includes accommodation in multi-share rooms (triple and quad). This means travelers on the same booking may be split between rooms due to single gender allocation.
  • 3. Please be careful when booking flights from Antigua; make sure you fly out of Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do not book flights from Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
  • 4.As per updated Nicaragua entry requirements, customers are currently required to supply a copy of their passport front page to their booking agent no later than 15 days prior to departure.
  • 5. Should you have any questions or need assistance with the Honduras pre-registration, your leader will be able to assist on Day 1 of your tour. For more information, visit the ‘Passports, visas and entry requirements’ section of the ‘Essential Trip Information.’

Check out our Q&As

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip includes some long travel days by local transport and private vehicles. Space can be tight, but it’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers.

    Central America is generally hot and humid year-round. At nighttime and in locations at higher elevations it can get chilly. Protect yourself from the sun, bring light clothing you can layer and a waterproof jacket, and stay hydrated. Air conditioning may not always be available in your rooms. Occasionally, properties may require an additional charge for air conditioning.

    The homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday local life. Conditions during your homestay in San Juan La Laguna are basic. Your room will be multi-share, and the bathroom will most likely be shared with the rest of the family. A hearty home-cooked dinner will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to.

    There will be times when you have to walk with your luggage, and for this reason, we recommend packing light and using a backpack or something easy to carry.

    With so much to see and do, Costa Rica can sometimes be expensive. Expect to pay more than you would in other Central American countries for a lot of things.

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

Reviews of this operator

Nicole  

North American Adventure

12-Oct-2021

This was my first international solo trip, but I never felt “alone” - there was always someone to go shopping, hike, or grab a quick bite with. The itinerary was a great balance between organized activities, while still allowing free time for exploring. Each location was unique and charming in its own way. Spending the night in the holy city of Moulay Idriss and wandering the winding streets of Chefchaouen were especially memorable. Thank you Mustapha and Intrepid for an incredible adventure!

Henry Guy Robinson   United Kingdom

Cambodia Discovery

22-Jan-2024

The overall experience was fantastic. V good tour leader. All places visited had something special to do or see. I would book a tour with this company again. Only one negative tour hub is not I repeat not available to contact direct by phone.

Merouane Harkat   Uk

Explore Southern Africa

08-Mar-2024

Best trip ever was, 2 things I didn't like the black mamba stop was wasting day and village ,so 2 night I think was just wasting, I could do 2 days in Kruger, and one more night in delta

Ann  

Amazing Guatemala and beyond tour with Intrepid

13-Dec-2022

Did Guatemala and beyond trip in November 22. It was amazing, we were so well looked after by our guide Aura. She was very knowledgeable and during our bus trips she gave us the history of the 4 countries. The border crossings can be tricky but handled very well by our guide. We saw all the most interesting and beautiful places. The hotels were lovely comfortable colonial style. I will travel with intrepid again

Trustpilot
RICHARD ALAN RODDY   England

Central American Journey

08-Feb-2024

Very enjoyable, good paced Tour. Tour Leader, Choko was helpful, knowledgeable and extremely informative.

Joanne W  

Wonderful Croatian tour

02-Dec-2022

Our tour guide,Tamara, was the highlight of our Explore Croatia tour. She was knowledgeable, organized, and so kind and fun. Croatia is a beautiful country. I loved the people, the scenery, the food, the history. I hope to go back one day. Intrepid was perfect for me. There was group time and there was plenty of free time. It wasn’t a luxury tour but all of our accommodations were clean and safe. The dinner in Hvar was SO special!

Trustpilot
Miguel Angel Araujo   Usa

One Week In Costa Rica

27-Feb-2024

The trip was amazing, everything was well planned out & there wasn't any issues. The tour guide was very friendly and made the experience fun. During the trip I didn't have to worry about safety as we were never put in harms way. I would definitely recommend & do again.

Kelly  

North Morocco Adventure

25-Oct-2021

Touring the beautiful North of Morocco I learned far more than I’d anticipated in this 9 day tour. Interesting sights to see, with knowledgeable local guides, this tour provides a great balance of exposure to a different culture with ample time for relaxation. Chefchaouen is an absolute highlight, & not a place many Morocco trips of this kind go to. Loved it!

Sharik  

Essential Morocca

21-Oct-2021

Essential Morocco was an absolute dream. Every single day had such informative walking tours and tours of local facilities. Whether it was dinner with a local family or visiting a pottery factory, I learned so much about Moroccan culture. The accommodations were safe and I felt secure the entire 11 days. This trip wouldn’t have been the same without one person. That person is Youssef. If you are coming to Morocco with Intrepid and you don’t request Youssef, you’re doing it wrong. Words cannot describe how incredible of a guide he is. There were 3 of us on our trip of 18-29 year olds and he made us all feel so welcome and safe all the time. Whether that is cracking jokes on long drives or giving us the itinerary for the next day, Youssef ensured we felt respected and seen.

Barbara Ruth Roback   Canada

Cambodia Adventure

15-Jan-2024

Absolutely superb leader - knowledgeable. fun, safety conscious. Group of 15 travellers from 5 countries who bonded into a solid team. In addition to a fantastic itinerary, our leader’s love of karaoke made the trip unforgettable. It even inspired a song written as a tribute to him.

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Saturday - Sunday

Dec 07, 2024 - Feb 02, 2025
$7355 $7153

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$202

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Dec 14, 2024 - Feb 09, 2025
$7505 $7299

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Dec 21, 2024 - Feb 16, 2025
$7355 $7153

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$202

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Dec 28, 2024 - Feb 23, 2025
$7355 $7153

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$202

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 04, 2025 - Mar 02, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Jan 07, 2025 - Mar 05, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 11, 2025 - Mar 09, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 18, 2025 - Mar 16, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 25, 2025 - Mar 23, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Jan 28, 2025 - Mar 26, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 01, 2025 - Mar 30, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 08, 2025 - Apr 06, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 15, 2025 - Apr 13, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

Feb 22, 2025 - Apr 20, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Mar 08, 2025 - May 04, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Mar 15, 2025 - May 11, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

Mar 22, 2025 - May 18, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

Apr 05, 2025 - Jun 01, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Apr 12, 2025 - Jun 08, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Apr 19, 2025 - Jun 15, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

May 03, 2025 - Jun 29, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

May 10, 2025 - Jul 06, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

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Saturday - Sunday

May 17, 2025 - Jul 13, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

May 24, 2025 - Jul 20, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Jun 07, 2025 - Aug 03, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Jun 21, 2025 - Aug 17, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Jun 28, 2025 - Aug 24, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Jul 12, 2025 - Sep 07, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Jul 26, 2025 - Sep 21, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Aug 09, 2025 - Oct 05, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Aug 23, 2025 - Oct 19, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Aug 30, 2025 - Oct 26, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

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Saturday - Sunday

Sep 13, 2025 - Nov 09, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 20, 2025 - Nov 16, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 27, 2025 - Nov 23, 2025
$7495 $7289

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$206

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 04, 2025 - Nov 30, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 11, 2025 - Dec 07, 2025
$7790 $7576

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$214

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 18, 2025 - Dec 14, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Nov 04, 2025 - Dec 31, 2025
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Nov 11, 2025 - Jan 07, 2026
$8090 $7868

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$222

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 03, 2026 - Mar 01, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Jan 06, 2026 - Mar 04, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 10, 2026 - Mar 08, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 17, 2026 - Mar 15, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 24, 2026 - Mar 22, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Jan 27, 2026 - Mar 25, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jan 31, 2026 - Mar 29, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 07, 2026 - Apr 05, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 14, 2026 - Apr 12, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Feb 21, 2026 - Apr 19, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Mar 07, 2026 - May 03, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Mar 14, 2026 - May 10, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Mar 21, 2026 - May 17, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Apr 04, 2026 - May 31, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Apr 11, 2026 - Jun 07, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

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Saturday - Sunday

Apr 18, 2026 - Jun 14, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

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Saturday - Sunday

May 02, 2026 - Jun 28, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

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Saturday - Sunday

May 09, 2026 - Jul 05, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

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Saturday - Sunday

May 16, 2026 - Jul 12, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

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Saturday - Sunday

May 23, 2026 - Jul 19, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 06, 2026 - Aug 02, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 20, 2026 - Aug 16, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jun 27, 2026 - Aug 23, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jul 11, 2026 - Sep 06, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Jul 25, 2026 - Sep 20, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 08, 2026 - Oct 04, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 22, 2026 - Oct 18, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Aug 29, 2026 - Oct 25, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 12, 2026 - Nov 08, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 19, 2026 - Nov 15, 2026
$7800 $7586

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$215

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Sep 26, 2026 - Nov 22, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 03, 2026 - Nov 29, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 10, 2026 - Dec 06, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 17, 2026 - Dec 13, 2026
$8115 $7892

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$223

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Sunday

Oct 24, 2026 - Dec 20, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Nov 03, 2026 - Dec 30, 2026
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Instant Booking Available

Tuesday - Wednesday

Nov 10, 2026 - Jan 06, 2027
$8425 $8193

Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$232

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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