Travel from magnificent Mexico to gorgeous Guatemala via breathtaking Belize

Travel to paradise somewhere between the blazing Yucatan sun and the cool Guatemalan highlands on this Mayan Encounter. Prepare to be wowed as you relax on the white sands of Tulum, admire the underwater life in Caye Caulker, amble over the Mayan ruins in jungle-clad Tikal and gaze up at the volcanoes surrounding Antigua. From narrow laneways and remote jungles to fascinating ruins and powdery beaches, the Mayan Encounter has everything under the sun.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Antigua, Guatemala
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16
Carbon offset
210kg pp per trip


  • Travel south through legendary Central America
  • Enjoy sand, sun and fun in Playa del Carmen
  • Learn the history of ancient Guatemalan ruins
  • Experience traditional Guatemalan life in San Jorge La Laguna
  • Kick back on the beautiful coast of Belize
  • Be awed by the towering Tikal pyramids
  • Enjoy colonial buildings and surrounding volcanoes in Antigua
  • Haggle in the markets of Chichicastenango


Start off your Central American adventure in Playa del Carmen, Mexico's famous playground of surf, sun and fun. For those with a bit of extra time, consider arriving a little early to make the most of the range of activities on offer.
White powdery beaches lapped by warm blue waters and overlooked by crumbling Mayan ruins - welcome to Tulum. Choose to set out for some snorkelling in the Cenotes offshore or simply sit back beachside and take in the view, margarita in hand.
Cross the border into Belize and cruise out to Caye Caulker - an idyllic tropical island getaway where exceptional snorkelling outings or simply swinging the day away in a hammock are equally appealing options. Alternatively, head out on a manatee spotting excursion to learn about these curious creatures that call the lagoons of Caulker home.
Trade the blues of the Caribbean for the lush verdancy of San Ignacio in the Belize hinterlands. Perhaps venture out to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, embark on an tubing adventure through the jungle or a caving adventure underground and then finish up the day sharing barbecued street-side snacks with the town's friendly locals.
Cross the border into Guatemala and journey out to Tikal National Park. Be awestruck by the enormous granite temples towering over the tops of the jungle. These incredible structures are considered some of the most magnificent of the Mayan ruins. Those feeling energetic can hike to the top of the relics for a stunning view of the park. Later, set up camp and watch the sun set over this majestic place.
Continue on through dense jungle to Rio Dulce, by the banks of Lake Izabal. In spare time perhaps set out upriver to the coastal enclave of Livingstone for a final taste of Creole Caribbean culture or head out for a hike through Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve.
Explore the cobblestone charms and quaint colonial architecture of Antigua, one of Central America's most captivating and cultivated cities.
Visit the picturesque mountain town of Chichicastenango and take a wander through its bustling market. Then continue on to San Jorge La Laguna and get an insight into local life on an overnight family homestay.
Panajachel, a lovely little town on the banks of Lake Atitlan, serves as the main base for exploring the various traditional villages dotted around the lake. With a serene ambience and superb mountain panoramas, it's the perfect place to sit back with a good book or embark on any number of optional activities.
Return to the colourful handicraft stalls and leafy plazas of Antigua, Guatemala's atmospheric one-time capital. With an entire day here to spend however you see fit, perhaps take an optional coffee tour or sign up for a salsa lesson, then gather the group for a final dinner and relive the highlights of this memorable adventure through the Mayan heartlands.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


1 breakfast1 dinner
Bus, Ferry
Camping (with facilities) (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (14 nights)


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Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Mayan Encounter trips score an average of 4.53 out of 5 based on 202 reviews in the last year.

Mayan Encounter , September 2015

Mayan Encounter , September 2015