Central America Encompassed Itinerary

An adventure tour through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala reveals the captivating history of Mayan civilisation and visits some of Central America's ultimate highlights.

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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Central America Encompassed.
Colourful Toucan

Local Mexican man reading paper in Sombrerro

Colourful fresh local produce market, Guatemala

Mayan Ruins, Guatemala

Tikal Temple, Guatemala

Tourist over Palenque Ruins, Mexico

Iguana in the Tulum ruins, Mexico

Days 1-2 Mexico City

The centre of Mexico City's buzzing metropolis still moves to the beat of its Aztec heart. Hit the town Mexican-style for a night of mariachi music or escape the crowds on an optional day trip to the canals and gardens of Xochimilco.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 3-4 Puebla

Start the day with a ride on one of Mexico's colourful buses to Puebla. Soak up the city's colonial charm, visit the market for handicrafts, try some mouth-watering mole poblano or head out for an optional hike to Puebla's nearby volcano.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 5-7 Oaxaca/Overnight Bus

Peruse Oaxaca's main plaza and take in the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Head out to the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban. Satisfy culinary cravings by sampling Oaxaca's famous chocolate and cheese. The more adventurous may want to try the local delicacies - chocolate-covered grasshopper or mescal, complete with a worm at the bottom of the bottle.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight bus - 1

Days 8-9 San Cristobal de las Casas

Discover a world of jungle-entangled ruins in the cool climes of Mexico's mountains at San Cristobal de las Casas. Venture to the hills to explore local villages or perhaps take a day trip to the breathtaking Sumidero Canyon. For a slower pace, stop in at a cafe and sample coffee from one of the world's premier coffee growing regions.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 10-11 Palenque/Overnight Bus

The Palenque ruins are one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Mexico. Climb the temples, which is the best vantage point for spying on the exotic wildlife of the surrounding Chiapas Jungle. Cool down in the nearby Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls, a shimmering invitation too good to refuse!
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight bus - 1

Days 12-13 Merida

Journey to the colonial city of Merida in the Yucatan Peninsula. Cruise the mansion-lined Paseo Montejo, hang out in the Plaza Grande or hit the clubs to learn some dance moves. Spice up your life and try El Yucateco, a hot sauce guaranteed to blow taste buds away. Merida is also an ideal base for an optional visit to the incredible Uxmal ruins.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 14-15 Chichen Itza/Playa del Carmen

Stand in awe of the incredible ruins of Chichen Itza, which were once an ancient ceremonial centre. Follow the scent of fresh sea air to the cool Caribbean. In free time, opt to go snorkelling, swimming or diving around nearby reefs and islands - or simply unwind on palm-fringed beaches and sip cold margaritas while watching a spectacular, golden sunset at Playa Del Carmen.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 16-17 Tulum

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 18-19 Caye Caulker

Cross the border into Belize and cruise out to Caye Caulker - an idyllic tropical island getaway where exceptional scuba-diving 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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 20-21 San Ignacio

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 22-23 Flores / Tikal

Leave Belize behind and travel by local bus to the laidback Guatemalan island town of Flores. While the nearby jungle-shrouded temples of Tikal are the town's true claim to fame, Flores' winding cobbled streets and small-town vibe make it a very pleasant place to explore by foot.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 24-25 Rio Dulce

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 26 Antigua

Explore the cobblestone charms and quaint colonial architecture of Antigua, one of Central America's most captivating and cultivated cities.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 27 Chichicastenango/San Jorge La Laguna

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.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1

Day 28 Panajachel/Chichicastenango

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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 29-31 Antigua

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 book on an optional excursion to Pacaya Volcano 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.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2