Central America Explorer Itinerary

Escape on a Central American odyssey through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and marvel at this incredible region.

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    • Total price tool tip
      USD $3,735
      CAD $3,855
      AUD $3,780
      EUR €2,600
      GBP £2,185
      NZD $4,210
      ZAR R37,835
      CHF FR3,150
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    • Explorer
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mexico snorkelling beach snorkels ocean sand palm trees tropical tourist

costa rica arenal volcano mountain

costa rica scarlet macaws parrots red sitting squark

guatelmala weaver local market product

costa rica macaw parrots yellow sitting squark

guatemala antigua volcano sunrise

guatemala chichistenago colourful markets

guatemala markets fabrics market local handmade

guatemala tikal temple pyramid ancient ruins

mexico snorkelling beach snorkels ocean sand palm trees tropical

mexico playa del carmen beach tourist

Days 1-2 Mexico City

The fastest growing urban centres in the world, Mexico City presents an intoxicating mix of mariachi music, lively night scenes, fascinating museums and intriguing markets. Get to know what makes this buzzing metropolis tick on an orientation walk, then head out to the sprawling Aztec ruins of Teotihuacan.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 3-4 Puebla

Jump aboard one of Mexico's colourful buses bound for Puebla. Spend some time exploring the city's handicraft staffs, tuck into mole poblano, the region's specialty, or set out for an optional hike in the city's volcanic hinterlands.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 5-7 Oaxaca/Overnight Bus

Well-known for its colourful art and handicrafts scene, Oaxaca is a delight to get to know. Stock up on some unique souvenirs, zip out to the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, sink the teeth into some peculiar local delicacies or simply pick a plaza bench to sit on and watch the local scene unfold.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2, Overnight bus - 1

Days 8-9 San Cristobal de las Casas

Venture into the cool climes of San Cristobal de las Casas, a charming colonial-era town oft regarded as one of the country's gems. Boasting spectacular natural surrounds, this is the perfect place to get active; either by mountain biking out to some of the traditional villages, saddling up for a ride in the mountains or jumping on a day tour out to the Sumidero Canyon.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 10-11 Palenque/Overnight Bus

One of the most impressive Mayan sites in Mexico, if not all Central America, the temples of Palenque are a superb relic of Mayan culture and architectural enterprise. Climb the temples for breathtaking views across the Chiapas Jungle, watch for monkeys swinging through the canopy and take a cooling dip in the nearby Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1, Overnight bus - 1

Days 12-13 Merida

Journey on to the colonial city of Merida for some time spent soaking up the vibe of this charming colonial-era Spanish town. Chill out in the Plaza Grande, try some local delicacies like cochinita pibil (a slow-roasted pork dish) or join an optional tour out to the incredible Uxmal ruins.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 14-15 Chichen Itza/Playa del Carmen

Stop by the amazing ruins of Chichen Itza en route to the Caribbean beachside haven of Playa Del Carmen. There's no shortage of activities on offer here; strap on a mask and snorkel and get exploring the underwater world of the nearby reefs and islands, travel out to Cenote Ikil or join the heaving local nightlife.
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 18-20 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 - 3

Days 21-22 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

Day 23 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: Camping (with facilities) - 1

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

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 29-30 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

Days 31-32 Copan

Travel across the wild Guatemalan countryside and cross the border into Copan. Tour the World Heritage-listed Mayan ruins, with intricately carved structures dating back to 500 AD, or sample some unusual Honduran cuisine.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 33-35 Roatan Island

The reward for a bus and ferry journey today is the pristine shores of Honduras' Roatan Islands. Spend two blissful days diving into the crystal waters of the Caribbean or simply melting into the white, powdery beaches under the shade of a coconut palm.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Day 36 Comayagua

Pack up the bucket and spade; it's time to travel south to Comayagua. Mingle with locals in the lush central gardens or visit some of Honduras’s most impressive cathedrals.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 37-38 Granada

Cross the border and arrive at Nicaragua's oldest town. Granada city is a charming and surprising place, brimming with bubbly inhabitants and character. Sightseeing in Granada is plentiful; perhaps hop on a boat ride around Lake Nicaragua or for the adventurous, an excursion to Mombacho or Masaya Volcano National Park is a hot option. In the evenings, walk along narrow streets where locals chat to each other from their open-front living rooms.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 39-40 Ometepe Island

Spot the world's only freshwater sharks in Lake Nicaragua en route to the lush Ometepe Island. Take an optional hike to one of two towering volcanoes on the island or choose a slower pace at one of the beaches or jungle swimming holes.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 41-42 Monteverde

Costa Rica beckons across the border. Arrive in the eco-lovers paradise of Monteverde, and choose to explore the expansive Monteverde cloud forest on foot, mountain bike or on horse - or even go zip lining over the tree canopy.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 43-44 La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano National Park

From La Fortuna, discover the Arenal Volcano and perhaps enjoy a relaxing rendezvous at the La Fortuna hot springs or waterfalls.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 45-46 San Jose

Complete the Way to San Jose tour and farewell new friends in this spirited city. Join locals milling around Mercado Central for some super-cheap Costa Rican food and colourful souvenirs.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1