Unearth the treasures of Mexico, learn the enthralling history of Cuba, then see forests, fauna and fireworks in Costa Rica
Discover the culture and landscapes of this fascinating region on a trip that takes you from Mexico City to Havana to San Jose – with a spattering of enticing stops along the way. In Mexico, discover Maya history and culture at the incredible Chichen Itza ruins, and visit traditional communities in the charming San Cristobal de las Casas, and snorkel in the brilliant Caribbean waters. Cuba's imminent political and cultural change makes it something to experience now before it evolves. Wander through Havana’s glittering colonial architecture, soak up the clear mountain air among Soroa’s vibrant mountain orchards, relax on Playa Ancon’s vast white beaches and admire Trinidad’s unrivalled ambience. Then onto the jewel of Central America, Costa Rica's environment is world-renowned for being diverse, vibrant and healthy. Visit San Jose’s colonial streets; La Fortuna’s hot springs and volcano; Monteverde’s cloud forest; and Manuel Antonio’s turquoise seas. From food to ruins, then old cars to fragrant cigars then onto intense volcanic landscapes and superb Pacific beaches, this Central American combination is a trip not to be missed!
This is one of our most comprehensive adventures in Central America, rich in historical and cultural highlights. Start by getting up close and personal with the country's diverse heritage, from the magnificent Aztec temples of Teotihuacan to the brightly-dressed Maya folk of the hills of San Cristobal.
A guided walking tour of Old Havana sheds lights on the difference between the lives of city and rural life in Cuba. Take in all the colours and aromas of Soroa, the stunning valley area known as the 'rainbow of Cuba'.
Stroll along the rural dirt roads of Vinales as tractors, vintage cars and horse-drawn carriages pass you by
Finally, experience the diversity of Costa Rica's environment, spot wildlife in the lush Monteverde cloud forest
and swim in the warm waters of Manuel Antonio National Park
There are a few long days of travel, as you'll be covering a lot of ground. You will, however, make stops at interesting locations to break up the longer drives.
The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours. There will of course be plenty of chances to swim!
It's a good idea to learn as many Spanish words as you can. Locals are very friendly, but can be shy, so you'll need to make an effort to break the ice. It's a great way to show respect and involve yourself in their culture.
Due to increased activity by the Zapatista movement in the region around Palenque, some changes to your itinerary may be necessary for your safety.
The guesthouses (Casas) we use are much nicer than your average Cuban dwelling but keep in mind that each and every room is unique. Regardless of where you stay, power cuts and breaks in hot water are sometimes unavoidable, as in any developing country.
Funds can be difficult to access in Cuba. Ideally bring multiple credit cards from several different banks just to be sure.
Luxuries such as air conditioning, and even toilet seats, are often scarce. Part of the experience here is learning to appreciate everyday Cuban resourcefulness.
Some included activities such as the hikes in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and Manuel Antonio NP can be quite strenuous.
1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available for purchase on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. For the included internal flight ticket, please provide your full name exactly as per passport, at the time of booking or at least 45 days prior to travel.
4. To save you money and the hassle of booking multiple trips, this journey is a combination of some of our most popular adventures. Your leader and the composition of your group may change with the start of each adventure.
5. As this is a combination trip, the flights from Cancun to Havana on Day 15, and from Havana to San Jose are not included in the tour cost and must be purchased separately. When booking this flight, keep in mind there will be a group meeting in both Havana and San Jose at 6pm on these day so we recommend arriving prior to this.
6. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
7. Complimentary mid-trip airport departure and arrival transfers are included to help ease your independent connections throughout the combination trip. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
- An airport departure transfer is included from Playa del Carmen
- An airport arrival transfer is included in Havana
- An airport departure transfer is included from Havana
- An airport arrival transfer is included in San Jose
8. In Cuba, the airport arrival transfer driver will know the address of your assigned guesthouse.
9. Guesthouse and rooming allocations are finalised inside a week from departure based on the configuration of each travelling party. Please advise bedding configuration requests to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
10. A visa or tourist card, organised prior to arrival, is required for all nationalities visiting Cuba.
11. The Cuban government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers. Proof of insurance may be requested at Havana Airport by immigration officials.
12. There are unprecedented changes happening in Cuba right now. It is an exciting time but it also means some patience and understanding is required for the heightened demand of infrastructure, accommodation and services. To help set your expectations correctly, please read the ‘Is this trip right for you?’ and ‘Joining point description’ sections in the Essential Trip Information Document.
13. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.