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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

Explore the lake vistas, volcanic landscapes and thick jungles of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala on this 16-day Central American adventure. Starting in Playa de Carmen, you'll explore hotspot Tulum, where you can visit the Temple of Frescoes and dance the night away after a few margaritas. Hit island paradise in Caye Caulker, where you have a couple of days to snorkel, swim and laze on the beach (after taking your new profile pic). Explore San Ignacio, a place of waterfalls and Maya ruins, at your own pace before hitting Tikal National Park. Take scenic boat rides in Rio Dulce, trek through the jungle in your spare time and then head to the gorgeous Lake Atitlan, where you'll visit the famous Chichi market and make the trip to San Juan La Laguna to immerse yourself in Mayan village life. End it all in World Heritage-listed Antigua, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.

  1. Day 1
    Playa del Carmen
    Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico. You’ll kick things off in Playa del Carmen – it’s recommended that you book a couple of extra days here to chill on the coast and explore at your own pace before the trip starts. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm at your hotel. If you arrive early, maybe go snorkelling or cycling, or simply stroll along the sandy playa (beach). Tonight, head out with your group leader for an included dinner at a local taquisa for a selection of delicious tacos – make sure you order one with freshly caught fish! To improve your lingo, your group leader will conduct an informal Spanish lesson between bites, so that you can understand your burritos from your banos.
    Meals:   Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Tulum
    Today, you’ll hop on a local bus and travel along the Caribbean coast to Tulum, where it's all about that laidback life on the white sands of the Yucatan Peninsula. Head out on a leader-led orientation walk around Tulum and maybe visit one of the best-looking Maya sites – the Temple of the Frescoes. See how this pre-Columbian walled ruin city clings to a cliff-top overlooking the ocean and grab some cool photos before heading for an optional swim in the archaeological zone. Tonight, maybe kick back and watch the waves roll in at a beachside bar with a margarita.
  3. Day 3
    Tulum
    With a free day to relax in Tulum, you can settle into the laidback Mexican vibe. Maybe rent a bike and cruise around the area on two wheels. The town is heaving with hip cafes and restaurants with many vegetarian and vegan options. There are also plenty of places to relax the mind and the body with yoga and meditation. Maybe you’d like to explore Dos Ojos (two eyes) – one of the area's most famous cenotes (freshwater rock pools) and an underwater world full of stalagmites and stalactites. Tonight, explore the vibrant nightlife of Tulum with your fellow travellers.
  4. Day 4
    Caye Caulker
    Say adios to Mexico and hello to Belize. You’ll have a long travel day today, so make sure you grab a window seat if you can or get stuck into a good book. This is also the perfect opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers a bit better! Drive by local bus to the border, then carry on to Belize City. Let the wind and the sea wash the travel sweat away with a 1-hour speedboat ride when you arrive – to the palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker. If your idea of paradise is white sand, blue waters and palm trees, you’re going to really dig this place.
  5. Day 5
    Caye Caulker
    Your time in Caye Caulker is all about taking it easy. It’s said that the pace of life is so slow here that it's almost backwards! If being underwater is your thing, maybe head out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to Shark Ray Alley and the world's second-longest barrier reef. Snorkel among the colourful corals and see tropical fish, sharks and manta rays. You can also take day trips to other Cayes nearby as each island has its own Caribbean charm. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, which makes chatting with locals much easier here.
  6. Day 6
    Caye Caulker
    Today is another free day to take up any other optional activities you like, or to simply pull up a towel and relax on the beach with a book, a cocktail or some friends. If you’ve already been snorkelling, maybe continue the marine exploration with a manatee tour. Get more active with sea kayaks and stand-up paddle boards or go the other way and just chill out. The island's also great for food – famed for its lobster and super tasty meals cooked on the side of the road. How about some grilled shrimp and a rum and coke made with the local fire water?
  7. Day 7
    San Ignacio
    Leave island paradise behind today and return to Belize City by boat, before taking a local bus to San Ignacio via Belize’s capital, Belmopan. The local buses here are a little more basic than in Mexico, but this is a great opportunity to mix with Belizeans and get a feel for local life. Arrive in San Ignacio – a lively town surrounded by fast-flowing rivers, waterfalls and Mayan ruins, making it the best base for exploring the region. Your afternoon is free, so maybe visit the Chaa Creek butterfly garden, or try one of the barbeque street stalls for a char-grilled chicken leg for dinner.
  8. Day 8
    San Ignacio
    There is heaps to do in San Ignacio, so your free day has endless possibilities. The cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is a living museum of Maya relics and you can wade through its waters until you reach a bunch of spooky 1400-year-old crystallised skeletons. You could take a day tour to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls and swimming holes or go down the Macal River in canoes or tubes. If you prefer a slower pace, maybe take a trip to Xunantunich – an impressive Maya ceremonial centre with panoramic views. Getting to the site is half the fun, as you'll need to take a hand-cranked boat down the river. Belizeans are super friendly, so tonight, maybe walk down Burns Avenue and join the locals for a chat in one of the many restaurants or streetside stalls.
  9. Day 9
    Tikal National Park
    Today you’ll leave San Ignacio, cross the border and get dropped off at Tikal National Park – often referred to as the Maya forest. Check-in at your hotel before exploring the crazy-cool Maya ruins of Tikal. Pass through the lush jungle vegetation, and if you've got the energy, climb Temple IV to take in the epic canopy views. While here, there's also the option to check out more of the area with a guided tour or to fly through the canopies like a toucan with a memorable zipline experience.
  10. Day 10
    Rio Dulce
    Head from the jungle to the lakeside town of Flores this morning. Here, there's time to grab some lunch and quickly explore the town. Then it's back to the private vehicle to Rio Dulce. When you arrive, you’ll transfer to the hotel by boat. The easiest way to get back into town is also by boat, which can be organised through the hotel – or you can take a short walk through the jungle. Take some time to absorb the atmosphere of this laidback Caribbean town, which feels quite different from the inland communities. A highlight for many guests is the 'Casa Natural' – an open-air accommodation with screened-in rooms, shared bathrooms and a lounge looking out to the surrounding jungle.
  11. Day 11
    Rio Dulce
    There is a load of kick-ass activities to choose from in Rio Dulce today. Take a scenic boat trip down the river to Livingston – a laidback town on the Caribbean coast that offers the unique experience of local Garifuna culture. Go boating on the lake, relax in the thermal hot springs or explore the nearby San Felipe fort in Livingston. You could also hike through the dense forest of the surrounding Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve and spot the protected manatees of the area.
  12. Day 12
    Antigua
    This morning you’ll travel to Antigua, where you’ll spend the night before heading to Lake Atitlan. When you arrive, maybe stroll around the city and tuck into some tasty tamales (a local dish served in a corn leaf) or pepian (a spicy meat stew of chicken, beef and pork in a dark sauce). You'll find the best value food in the square next to the La Merced Church.
  13. Day 13
    Chichicastenango / Lake Atitlan
    Travel by private vehicle to the famous market in Chichicastenango (nicknamed Chichi market). This is the most colourful market in the country, where on Thursdays and Sundays, locals come from the surrounding villages to sell their wares and the streets are lined with stalls where you can stock up on cool trinkets. After visiting Chichi, head to Panajachel on Lake Atitlan, where you'll check in to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll join your group for dinner at a local pupuseria.
    Meals:   Dinner
  14. Day 14
    Lake Atitlan
    This morning, make a trip to San Juan La Laguna to immerse yourself in Mayan village life. Visit a local midwife to learn about this traditional and sacred art. Then visit the village's medicinal garden before a hands-on workshop where you'll learn about Mayan textile weaving and dyeing techniques. Hungry yet? Settle in for a homestyle lunch with your hosts and chat about life in the village. This is the perfect way to really immerse yourself in local culture and get off the beaten track. In the afternoon, you’ll return to Panajachel and soak up the views of deep blue Lake Atitlan with a free evening.
    Meals:   Breakfast   Dinner
  15. Day 15
    Antigua
    After breakfast, hit the road back to Antigua – three nearby volcanoes dominate the horizon, creating a truly unique landscape. Join your leader on a walk to orientate yourself around the World Heritage-listed city full of cobblestones, leafy town squares and ornate churches. There are hushed museums and lively Indigenous markets to explore here, or you can cycle the countryside and chase amazing views of mountain peaks and deep valleys. If you're into salsa dancing or if you'd just like to learn some moves, Antigua is the place to be! Many dancing schools offer hourly lessons, so maybe sign up and move your hips. This is a city that knows how to party, so tonight, why not bring your freshly learned dance moves, shout a round of mojitos and get down with the locals.
    Meals:   Breakfast
  16. Day 16
    Antigua
    While there are no activities planned for today, Antigua has a lot to offer, from its vibrant colonial-style buildings and curved archways to the puffing volcanoes of Pacaya, Agua and Jumaytepeque. The number one stop for any chocoholic should be the ChocoMuseo, where you’ll get a history lesson and, more excitingly, participate in a chocolate-making workshop. For those more interested in the other famous Central American bean, you can go on a coffee tour, visit the plantations, do some tastings and even buy some to take home. If you’d like to spend more time in Antigua, just speak to your booking agent.

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Inclusions

  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Ignacio - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological Site Tour (Entrance fee & Transport)
  • Chichicastenango - Market Visit
  • San Juan La Laguna - Weaving & Dyeing experience
  • San Juan La Laguna - Midwife home visit
  • San Juan La Laguna - Medicinal Garden
  • Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk

Meals
2 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
2 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Basix

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Accommodations

Hotel (10 nights), Multishare lodge (2 nights), Multishare hotel (3 nights)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4
Accommodations
3.6
Itinerary
4.2
Professional Staff
4.4
Repeat with Operator
4.1
Value for Money
3.8

Ratings based off 206 reviews about Intrepid Tours - currently showing 9 reviews with comments only

Intrepid is awesome. Our guide was superb. Everything went smoothly!

Our tour guide was wonderful. She was knowledgeable, fun, energetic, and made our week run very smoothly. The trip itself was fantastic! We saw a lot and the islands are absolutely beautiful. Great food, great new friends made on the tour, and would absolutely book with Intrepid again.

Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.

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