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Tikal Mayan Site, Guatemala

Central America Sojourn

Central America Sojourn

HIGHLIGHTS

Dias de los Muertos, Mayan city of Tikal, Panama Canal

FROM

US$6,545

DURATION

27 Days

Why choose this trip?

This itinerary gives an in depth look at the region’s diverse cultures, wildlife and geography. There is moderate walking involved throughout the tour, around national parks, cities and at Mayan sites. There are no long hikes or trekking days. If you are fit and active you’ll enjoy more optional activities, such as kayaking, biking, rafting, horse riding or ziplining, to name a few!

What’s the Activity level?

This trip as graded as “moderately active”, so anyone with moderate fitness can participate. The weather can be hot and humid at times, so you may find the heat makes everyday activities a little tougher. However, we go in November when the rainy season is coming to an end and it’s starting to cool down a little. The altitude in Mexico City and Monteverde provide a cooler climate than the rest of the trip.

What’s the transport and accommodation like?

Transport is a variety of private vans, taxis, flights and boats. Even though there are about three long travel days and a couple of early starts, we aim to make this trip fun, rewarding and the trip of a lifetime. Long travel days are often followed by 3 night stays where possible.

We have chosen some beautiful boutique hotels for this trip that highlight the contrasts of Central America. They all have private facilities and are typically locally owned small family run establishments of around a 3-star category.

*All our tours are non-smoking

TRIP SUMMARY:

Duration: 27 days starting in Mexico City and finishing in Panama City
Trip focus: Cultural diversity of Central America
Accommodation: Boutique Hotels, Eco-lodge and Cabañas
Transport: Private van, taxis, flights and boat.
Group size: Maximum 12 + S.E.T. tour leader, Minimum 8
Single supplement: US$1195, limited availability

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Bilingual English and Spanish speaking tour leader
  • Licensed guides for all sites, Naturalist guide in the National Parks
  • Flights within Central America: Mexico City-Tuxtla Guttierez, Guatemala City-Flores, Belize City- Managua, San Jose-Panama City
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • All air, land and sea transportation within the tour
  • Entry to all included excursions
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts are provided by the hotels, except at Caye Caulker – if we need to depart earlier than breakfast is available, we’ll endeavour to get a take away option. If this is not possible, breakfast will be at your own expense
  • All hotel accomodation, with private bathrooms
  • Tips for local guides and drivers
  • Local payment of US$400.

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Your International flights to the start and from the end of your tour
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Pre & post tour accommodation
  • Optional activities
  • Travel Insurance, Visas and Vaccinations
  • Meals (except those listed),
  • All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, souvenirs, etc

See our post trip add ons to Cuba and the Galapagos Islands

PAYING LOCALLY:

Most of our adventure tours involve a local payment. Paying locally allows us to keep the overall cost of our tours competitive and pass the savings on to you. These funds are put towards local expenses. In some developing countries the transferring of funds is at times problematic so this is a way to help us serve you, whilst saving you money. Payment is to be made to your leader upon arrival in cash.

All prices are approximate and subject to currency fluctuations until final payment has been paid

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL DAY

Your adventure begins after you’re met and transferred to your hotel where your tour leader will be waiting for you. After an evening tour briefing, enjoy a welcome dinner to get a taste of authentic Mexican food which is so different from what you may have tasted outside of Mexico!

Meals Included: Dinner

DAYS 2 & 3 – MEXICO CITY 1/2 DAY TOUR, FOOD TOUR AND DAY OF THE DEAD

Mexico City is full of cultural and historical sights, which we’ll touch on with a half day tour around the historic centre. Later you’ll discover the heart and soul of the city exploring hidden neighbourhoods, the best of local food and festivities in the Day of the Dead Celebrations. We’ll explore some areas known only to locals in a food tour to the local markets take in some of the best street food around.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfast and Food tour

DAY 4 – SAN CRISTOBAL

Morning flight from Mexico City to Tuxtla Gutierrez. On arrival we’ll head out to the UNESCO World Heritage site, Sumidero Canyon and take a boat tour through this natural wonder. Transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas arriving in the city of mural lined streets in the late afternoon.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 5 – VISIT CHAMULA

The nearby Mayan village of Chamula we will visit the church of San Juan Chamula where a mix of animism, Mayan customs and Catholicism is practiced. If we’re lucky, we may even witness a ceremony. Then we visit the textile centre of Zincantan, where local women weave the traditional cloth which is found in this region.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 6 – TRAVEL TO GUATEMALA

Today is a long but interesting travel day; crossing the border into Guatemala. Once in Panajachel you can see the breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Atitlan.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 7 – DAY TRIP TO SANTIAGO DE ATITLÁN AND LOCAL COOKING CLASS

This morning we travel by boat across to Santiago de Atitlán located on the southern shore of Lake Atitlán. Participate in a unique Mayan cooking class. Taught by Anita, a local Mayan instructor, learn how to make authentic Guatemalan ​food.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 8 – SOLOLÁ MARKET, FREE AFTERNOON

The colourful local market of Sololá is on Friday and is just a 15 minute drive from Panajachel. Your tour leader will take you on an exciting local chicken bus to experience the wild ride!

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 9 & 10 – ANTIGUA

We head to Antigua this morning stopping on the way at the Mayan site of Iximche in the western highlands. After arrival we’ll enjoy a short city tour. Antigua is a colourful and charming town located less than an hour from Guatemalas’ capital city and is surrounded by three volcanoes: Volcán de Fuego, Volcán de Agua and Acatenango.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAY 11 – FLORES

This morning we’ll take you on a fascinating coffee plantation tour, to see the process from bean to cup. Free time for lunch, then transfer to Guatemala City for our afternoon flight to Flores. Transfer to your hotel on arrival and enjoy the evening exploring this colourful town.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 12 – SAN IGNACIO, BELIZE

Today we visit the stunning Mayan City of Tikal which is located in the centre of the National Park that bears its name. We then transfer to Melchor Border crossing and enter Belize with a short journey our lodge near San Ignacio.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 13 – SAN IGNACIO

Before breakfast, enjoy a 1½ hour birdwatching tour. Then we are off to the local town of San Ignacio and a canoe trip along the Belize River. Later we head for Benny’s kitchen for lunch. The rest of the day is free to explore or take up optional activities.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 14 – CAYE CAULKER

We depart to the Belize Zoo for more natural wonders. Then we continue to Caye Caulker by van and water taxi, arriving in the afternoon at our tropical paradise.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 15 – FREE DAY

Free day. Sitting on the second largest barrier reef in the world, this idyllic car free island has a world class marine reserve and a very Caribbean laid back feel.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 16 – FREE MORNING, TRAVEL TO GRANADA

Free morning to savour the Caribbean atmosphere and a relaxed lunch on Caye Caulker. Transfer by water taxi to the mainland and on to the airport for the flight to Managua via San Salvador. Arrive around 9.20pm and transfer about 50mins to the beautiful colonial city of Granada. This is a long travel day but the variety of transport keeps it interesting.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 17 – MASAYA VOLCANO TOUR

The tour starts at Masaya Volcano National Park. Your driver will bring you to the summit of the volcano, where you can peek inside the active crater. Your next stop is Masaya’s artisan market, where you can browse quality Nicaraguan handicrafts. Wander the stalls and enjoy a leisurely lunch (own expense).

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 18 – HALF DAY ISLETAS TOUR

Explore the little Islands (Isletas) in Lake Nicaragua, by boat. During the tour, your guide will point out the exotic flora and fauna. We’ll have time to make a stop at one of the islands for a complimentary drink before heading back to Granada and a short city tour.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 19 & 20 – COSTA RICA, LA FORTUNA HOT POOLS

Travelling overland from Granada to Costa Rica, we skirt the shores of Lake Nicaragua, with views of the twin volcanoes of Ometepe Island. Once in Costa Rica, we stay at the base of the Arenal Volcano, which sits on the southeast shore of Lake Arenal. We enjoy our evenings soaking in hot springs at its base.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts

DAY 21 – MONTEVERDE

Ascending from the central valley, into the cool, misty mountain air, we travel by boat across Lake Arenal and van to Monteverde (green mountain). We explore the town of Santa Elena and the Forest Reserve which covers over 1500 hectares and is home to a myriad of wildlife and maybe go for an optional horse ride.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 22 – CLOUD FOREST TOUR

This morning is spent wandering the magical cloud forest reserve with our naturalist guide. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different species of mammals inhabit this small area. You may be lucky enough to see the Resplendent Quetzal, one of the most beautiful and elusive birds in the world. Activities this afternoon include the Sky Walk, a series of suspension bridges through the jungle canopy, a butterfly garden, and the sky Tram. Or you can opt for a thrilling canopy zip line as well (own expense).

Meals Included:
Breakfast

DAY 23 – MANUEL ANTONIO

Departing from the cloud forest, we get splendid views down to the Pacific coast as we travel to Manuel Antonio National Park. Along the way, the scenery changes dramatically as we travel from the lush forest to the drier Pacific side. Along the way we will stop at the Tarcoles River where we can view some giant crocodiles on the riverbank.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAY 24 – MORNING NATIONAL PARK HIKE, AFTERNOON FREE

This morning enjoy a guided tour of the park where we may spy troops of Squirrel and Capuchin Monkeys on our walk. The rest of the time here is free.

Meals Included: Breakfast

DAYS 25 & 26 – PANAMA CITY

Transfer by van directly to the airport for our flight to Panama City. A city of contrasts between the high rises nestled against a backdrop of lush green hillsides, and of old colonial Panama city – Casco Viejo. We take a tour of the old city and then visit the canal to find out more about this engineering marvel.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and Farewell Dinner

DAY 27 – DEPARTURE DAY

Depart any time today, or connect on to Galapagos 10 Day adventure tour on a Friday, 8 Day Cuba Tour on a Thursday, 15D Cuba on Friday.

Meals Included: Breakfast (if your onward flight allows)
SightseeingBoatWildlife WatchingCultural ExperiencesNatureFood and CookingPlaneHikingBus

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Colourful Day of the Dead Festivities in Mexico City
  • An amazing back street food tour in Mexico City
  • Local Sololá market in Guatemala
  • A unique Mayan cooking class
  • Tikal Mayan site deep in the rainforest
  • Laid back Belize and it’s cayes
  • Nicaragua’s active Masaya volcano and colonial city of Granada
  • La Fortuna and Arenal volcano with relaxing hot springs
  • World class wildlife viewing in Costa Rica
  • Monteverde Cloud forest walk and hummingbird garden
  • Exotic wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park
  • Panama’s Old City and the legendary Panama Canal

DATES

Start Date End Date Availability Cost
29th Oct 2021 24th Nov 2021 AVAILABLE US$6,545
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