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This sizzling circuit of Central America takes you to some stunning hotspots in Mexico, Belize & Guatemala. There'll be plenty of surfing, snorkelling and sipping something sweet under the shade of a palm tree - but this trip isn't just about the beaches. You'll get stuck into Central America's rich culture as you taste tequila at a distillery, explore the ruins of ancient civlisations and eat food that will guac your world.
Start Puerto VallartaWelcome to one of the most popular beach towns in Mexico, also known as the 'Mexican Riviera'. Spa, pool, relax, repeat are all high on the agenda today – and that's before we top it all off with a beachfront dinner, with the water and twinkling lights setting an unforgettable scene.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Puerto Vallarta (or similar)
Puerto VallartaToday you’re free to explore Puerto Vallarta however you like. You can surf, or zip line, take a day trip to remote beaches on a sailing trip. Then, in the evening, catch a Pirate show! Expect the unexpected in Puerto Vallarta.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Puerto Vallarta (or similar)
Puerto Vallarta to GuadalajaraBye bye beach hangs, but don't worry, this isn't your last taste of Mexican beach life - we'll see you soon, sea. Nothing screams ‘Mexico’ like tequila, so why not head to a genuine distillery where you can learn how this fiery spirit is made and taste some for yourself? Afterwards, take a stroll around the streets to get a feel for the old and new world architecture this place is known for – and then sample some seriously electric nightlife. It's time to learn about the city known as the 'Pearl of the West', Guadalajara, with its four main squares and glorious cathedral. Then you could go and find a spot to watch one of the city's famous live Mariachi bands do its thing.Accommodation: Hotel de Mendoza Guadalajara (or similar)
Guadalajara to GuanajuatoWe leave Guadalajara and hit the road. Here at the old colonial city of Guanajuato (now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage City), you’ll learn about the history of the famous silver mining town and how the economy has shaped much of its culture. Discover the famous 'Mummies', the lovers at the 'Alley of Kisses', and even the Hidalgo Market, designed by Gustave Eiffel himself.Accommodation: Hotel Gran Plaza Guanajuato (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Guanajuato to Mexico CityThanks to the bright facades of Guanajuato, your eyes should be wide open by now. Just in time too, because there is so much to see in Mexico City. Mexico City is the largest city in the country and impressively, the oldest capital in Central America. Known for its Aztec temple, its surprising altitude at 2200m, and mountainous landscape, this place is busy, bustling and oh-so-wonderful.Accommodation: Hotel Royal Reforma (or similar)
Mexico CityThe theme 'getting out there' will take on a whole new meaning today. Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are the focus for this leg of your journey in this bustling city. Get stuck into the local flavors by tasting some Mexican delicacies at a local market. Do some shopping in Coyoacan. Then, tonight, re-fuel with city eats, like enchiladas, tamales and tacos. Even head out and get a little loco, if the mood takes you...Accommodation: Hotel Royal Reforma (or similar)
Mexico CityIt’s a busy one today, travelers. Archaeological city Teotihuacan, pyramids and Aztec temples are the focus for this leg of your journey. As you go, local guides will kindly impart their extensive knowledge on many interesting topics so you're in the know on anything and everything. And if you happen to be here at the right time, you might even get to experience Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling!Accommodation: Hotel Royal Reforma (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Mexico City to OaxacaMeeting your TM and fellow travelers this morning, you'll be setting off for Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-ha-ka)! Have you got it? Great - let's hit the road. Welcome to Oaxaca, with its bohemian bars, charming colonial buildings and ridiculously pretty churches. Commonly known as the gastronomical capital of Mexico, the food here is guaranteed to guac your world. The perfect drink to wash it all down? Mezcal, of course.Accommodation: Hotel Oaxaca Real (or similar)
OaxacaToday, you're going to soak up some serious Oaxaca vibes with a guided city tour where you'll get to check out the local markets. The colorful city streets are going to be the perfect place for some Insta shots, and if you can be dragged away from the views for long enough, there's plenty of delicacies to try during your free night.Accommodation: Hotel Oaxaca Real (or similar)
Oaxaca to MeridaAdios Oaxaca, Merida is calling our names! And we won't waste any time, hopping on an included flight to whiz us there without delay. Here in mellow Merida, you’ll explore Mexico’s quiet side. Wander down cobbled streets and grand plazas on a unique walking tour, with some free time to explore the bustling markets. Later you can feast yourself on Yucatan specialties and head off for a blissful slumber.Accommodation: Hotel Caribe (or similar)
Merida to CancunPack up your swag of Mexican trinkets and say goodbye to the calm oasis of Merida and hello yet another incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed site: Chichen Itza. Next stop, the most famous ancient ruins in Mayan history. With our Local Guide leading the charge, we’ll learn all about the Mayan calendar, the positioning of the sun, the connections of the ruins around the country, and the worlds that came before us. Afterwards, we’ll take a dip in a cenote – which is the best way to beat the Mexican heat. In stark contrast, next up is Mexico’s super resort – Cancun. With high energy vibes this stop is a no brainer when it comes to getting your fiesta on. One suggestion for tonight's dinner at the Mercado 28, a busy market serving true Mexican delights.Accommodation: Ocean View Arenas Cancun (or similar)
CancunCancun is a hub of fiery entertainment known for way more than party vibes. Powdery beaches, endlessly swimmable waters and laid-back taco joints (basically all you need, no matter your mood.) Your Trip Manager knows this place like the back of their hand too, so you're guaranteed to be in the know on all the best spots to head for the evening.Accommodation: Ocean View Arenas Cancun (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Cancun to Playa Del CarmenGet ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll down Paseo del Carmen shopping center to spend some pesos? You'll fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. For the food addicts amongst you, a plethora of seaside bars and restaurants are here to blow your mind with their delicious cocktails and local recipes.Accommodation: Wyndham Garden Playa del Carmen (or similar)
Playa Del CarmenKnown for it's Caribbean sea view, palm-dotted beaches and colorful coral reefs, playa del Carmen is a thing of beauty indeed. Today you're free to sample the beaches, bars, and shops for a taste of the good life, or you can hop on an exciting ATV Adventure to fill your day with exhilarated laughter. Whatever you do, make sure you're ready to experience some truly unique nightlife.Accommodation: Wyndham Garden Playa del Carmen (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Playa Del Carmen to Caye CaulkerMexico, you've stolen a slice of our hearts forever but with Belize & the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker on the horizon, we're not feeling too sad... Enjoy the Belize Ferry that will transport us to paradise in the morning! Hello heaven. Rub your eyes, blink, and blink again - yes, this pinch-yourself tropical paradise truly is real. Belize has a spectacular Barrier Reef that's just begging to be discovered, so grab a snorkel and get out there. Back on land, it's all about sandy streets flanked by palm trees and dotted with cafes and bars lined with colorful hammocks, painted tables and the most laid-back vibes we know. You'll be begging to stay longer. And your wish is our command.Accommodation: Tropical Paradise Hotel (or similar)
Caye CaulkerAnother free day to soak up the vibes of this beautiful city, and spend some more time in the water. Snorkel, siesta, or sip something sweet as you watch the golden sunset over the shimmering waters. Bliss.Accommodation: Tropical Paradise Hotel (or similar)
Caye Caulker to TikalWater taxis will whizz us back to the mainland across the glorious underwater playground you've become so well acquainted with over the last few days, landing us back in the arms of Belize City. It’s a super swift passing by of the beloved Belize City before we take to the road to journey across the border into yet another stunning country: Guatemala. This leg of the trip will see you travel overland through Guatemala’s Peten forests. This afternoon before we drop anchor at our hotel, you could zoom around the treetops like a monkey but securely attached on a zipline of course! Later on you will doze off to the tranquil sounds of the nature all around you, but in a comfy bed with all the amenities you need.Accommodation: Hotel Tikal Inn (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Tikal to AntiguaRise early today to watch the sun stretch over the the top of the Mayan ruin Templo IV. Not a bad way to start the day, hey? We'll then take a guided tour of the crumbling ruins before a trip to the island of Flores, where we'll have lunch and time for shopping before flying this afternoon to Guatemala's capital city and then on to beautiful Antigua. This place isn't just about the dreamy scenery - there's plenty of history to soak up too. You'll notice colorful rooftop gardens dotted amongst the crumbling colonial buildings and you'll hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages that are still a favored form of transport today. You'll be glad to know there are two peaceful nights planned here in the old colonial town set right beneath two massive volcanoes.Accommodation: Hotel Las Farolas
Antigua GuatemalaStart with a tour with our guide to learn about the local architecture, tiny squares, and fountains. Don your explorers cap this afternoon and head off for some ME time. Being able to choose your own adventure could take you up Pacaya Volcano on a guided hike. If you’d rather produce those endorphins by making (and eating) your own chocolate, then that is also a rather delicious option where you'll learn about the process from start to end and take home the results of your efforts. Bike rides, coffee plantations, there's more to do that you can imagine. Guatemalan delights tonight? Yes please. We'll get local over chiles rellenos (or peppers stuffed to the brim with vegetables, meat and sauces). You're sure to hear a collective mmmm.Accommodation: Hotel Las Farolas
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
End AntiguaMorning global roamers, we came, we saw, we sizzled. We'll fuel up on one last breakfast together, then it's time to wipe away the tears and do those final friend requests because today you're homeward bound with firm plans in full steam for a Contiki 2.0 reunion in Asia. See you next time!
- 7 Dinner (D)
- 18 Breakfast (B)
- Puerto Vallarta: Grab your new buddies and a Paloma cocktail. It’s time to feast on Mexican food and watch the sunset over the sea.
- : Discover how Mexico’s famous liquor is made. And knock back a cheeky shot or two.
- Guadalajara: This work of architectural art was originally built as a place to care for disadvantaged people. Nowadays, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Guadalajara: Stroll around the official birthplace of tequila and mariachi music.
- Guanajuato: Narrow cobbled streets. Colorful colonial architecture. Manicured gardens. You’ll see why this place is labelled ‘most beautiful city in Mexico’.
- Mexico City: The candy-colored buildings and antiquated streets make this one of Mexico’s most photogenic cities. And the perfect backdrop for an Insta shoot.
- Mexico City: Craving some authentic tacos, pambazo or barbacoa? It’s time to galvanise your tastebuds.
- Mexico City: Heads up culture vultures! Visit Coyoacan to walk in the footsteps of the famous artist. And check out the museum in her honor.
- Mexico City: Admire the ‘City of Gods’: one of the first great cities of the Western Hemisphere. Although no one really knows who built it.
- Oaxaca: Stroll the cobbled streets of one of Mexico’s most authentic cities. Sample the epic street food and revel in the laid-back pace.
- Oaxaca: Test your courage with a ‘straight up’ of this potent national drink.
- Oaxaca: Explore one of the earliest cities of MesoAmerica. Then hit up the market for some local keepsakes.
- Oaxaca: Swoop into the capital of Mexico’s Yucatan region. Get set for a barrage of beaches, jungles, ancient Mayan sites and epic nightlife.
- Merida: A photogenic fiesta of color and culture. This is the perfect place to get a real taste of life in Yucatan.
- Chichen Itza: Take a guided tour of this ancient Mayan city. Soak up the history and hear the myths and legends.
- Chichen Itza: It’s time to live your best life, as you cool off in the emerald waters of this sinkhole. Don’t forget your camera!
- Cancun: Get the party started with a Margarita and dinner with the gang. Gaze at the golden skies and bask in those mellow vibes.
- Caye Caulker: Drift across the Caribbean Sea and watch the sun go down over Caye Caulker. This is how we roll.
- Tikal: Spend the night in the rainforest. Your chance to walk in the footsteps of the ancient Mayans. And meet monkeys and toucans.
- Tikal: Explore this epic Mayan ‘lost city’ in the heart of the jungle. And hear historic tales from a local expert. #bucketlist moment.
- Tikal: Ah, Guatemala! A rainbow-colored fiesta of Insta ops and the official 'birthplace of chocolate’. Heaven on earth.
- Antigua Guatemala: Fill up on tostadas, enchiladas and all the other spiced dishes of your foodie dreams.
- Antigua Guatemala: Antigua is a ‘tale of two cities’. Here we’ll tour the ancient part (originally built by Spanish colonists) with a native guide.
Health and Safety Protocols for Contiki Tours
Contiki has introduced these enhanced hygiene protocols – for you and team members.
You can travel with Contiki and be assured that their team has put numerous new measures in place to elevate their hygiene standards and protocols. The well-being of guests and team has always been, and always will be, their primary concern.
In this new, fast changing Covid-19 era, Contiki is doing all they can to adapt to new requirements and expectations. Here are some important new steps and procedures that they have implemented to enhance hygiene protocols, to comply with physical distancing requirements by relevant government authorities and to give you the peace of mind when you are traveling during these new times.Expertly Trained Travel Directors
Travel Director training equips them with enhanced hygiene and physical distancing procedures. During your trip, they will operate with a duty of care and monitor the hygiene etiquette of the guests, reacting and advising as needed, to ensure high standards are maintained. Before you travel, Contiki will also keep you well informed about new protocols required in these areas, and ask that you cooperate with and heed the advice and direction of Travel Directors while on your trip. The Travel Directors have preventative measures in place to try and ensure your well-being and in the event that any unexpected issues arise on trip, they will activate additional protocols.Stringent On-the-Road Protocols
The customized luxury coaches are sanitised before the start of your trip and have always been kept to very high standards. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, Contiki have taken additional measures to elevate hygiene and sanitary practices in accordance with guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and as required, applicable government regulations. The Driver training provides them with the latest hygiene protocols. They will clean and disinfect all surfaces including handrails, door handles, tables, seats, air-conditioning filters and overhead lockers on a daily basis. All the guests are asked to follow hygiene practices recommended by the World Health Organisation including the thorough and regular washing of hands and sanitising when required. Hand sanitiser is freely available on board for your use throughout the day. Please bring your own washable face mask and gloves with you, and additional hand sanitiser to make you feel comfortable, as these will be required to be worn in public in some countries. Should an unexpected situation arise, additional face masks, rubber gloves, antiviral sprays and wipes will be available for guest distribution on all trips.A Full Team of Support 24/7
It’s not just your Travel Director and Driver who will be taking care of you. Behind the scenes, the operations and guest support teams are in contact with them and on call 24/7, so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.Physical Distancing
Adapting to the right size groups, based on government distancing requirements, you can rest assured that you will travel with the comfort of your own personal space. Have peace of mind that all of the experiences, hotels and restaurants you’ll enjoy on your trip have been vetted to ensure they adhere to physical distancing and hygiene guidelines.Trusted Partners, Exceptional Standards
Contiki is very selective in who they work with and choose to only use hotels, restaurants, ground handlers and venues that take the well-being of the guests as seriously as Contiki does and agrees to meet expected guidelines and specifications. Contiki only works with establishments that they are confident will consistently adhere to their high standards.Always in the Know
As part of The Travel Corporation (TTC) , Contiki is kept up to date with all government advisories and travel alerts on a daily basis and is continually in touch with all of the partners on the ground in each destination. Also, rest assured that during your trip, the teams work to ensure the supplier partners (hotels, restaurants, museums and other venues) are also applying the same standard to these new hygiene and distancing protocols, to the extent possible.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Prepare to spend more than usual on a Contiki tour.
We were lucky that the group of people with were good, but it was a large group tour and did have some of the downfalls of a trip of that nature, like frequent breaks for the bathroom, difficulty when eating out together, and getting things on and off the coach. The trip was still great and a good value for the money.
It was a good value and the experiences included were worth it. The only part that wasn't the best were the accommodations as it was hit and miss. Half of the hotels on the trip were okay, and the other half were really nice.
I had an amazing trip!
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