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Central America Encompassed

31 Days | Swim, hike and eat your way through Mexico, Guatemala and Belize

4.8 out of 5 based on 4 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
USD $3,492
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From traditional villages to an island paradise surrounded by coral reefs, this 31-day journey is an all-encompassing adventure of Central American highlights. Start your epic discovery in thriving Mexico City, where you’ll taste the city’s best tacos. Visit Nahuatl descendants and learn about how they keep their culture alive, discover the arts scene in Oaxaca, walk the pine-covered floor of Iglesia de San Juan and visit vibrant markets before discovering one of the New Wonders of the World at Chichen Itza. Kick back, surf, swim and recharge on the paradise-like shores of Playa del Carmen and Caye Caulker. When you’ve had your fill of beach days, hit the highlands of Belize and discover local Maya culture and delicious local meals. After, dive into Guatemala and discover the ancient remains of Tikal, the bustling Chichi market and stay with the locals near Lake Atitlan.

Trip overview

Map of Central America Encompassed including Belize, Guatemala and Mexico
Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
Antigua, Guatemala
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
Guatemala, Belize, Mexico
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
QVRYC
This trip generates 29 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Explore the stunning Mayan temples of Palenque dating back to AD600 and stroll through Chichen Itza – one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
  • Visit the community of San Pedro Tlahuac – home to Nahuatl descendants who practice traditions like chinampa farming, fiestas and ancient ceremonies.
  • Spend two days exploring the island paradise of Caye Caulker – munch on barbecued lobster, snorkel around a coral reef, nap under palm trees, go kayaking or just kick back with a couple of worry-free beach days.
  • Get to know contemporary Maya life during a homestay in San Juan La Laguna – a lakeside village where you can share meals and conversation with a local family and see how they harvest their local medicinal plants.
  • Cruise up the Rio Dulce to your waterfront jungle lodge, then maybe grab a beer and relax while the sounds of nature fill the air.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip is made for travellers who value their independence but also want the benefit of a local leader and a group of like-minded travellers. The itinerary includes basic accommodation and has free time for activities when your leader will offer suggestions. Please budget spending money for optional activities you want to partake in.
  • This trip involves some long days of travel by private and local transport, including one overnight bus. While this can be tiring, it's also a fantastic way to rub shoulders with the locals and get under the skin of a place. Crossing the borders between the various countries visited on this trip is usually straightforward, but you may need to be patient. Books, podcasts and car games will be your best friend.
  • Central America's climate is sultry and tropical, so can get really hot and humid. Wear loose clothing and make sure stay hydrated, especially while out on walking tours. 
  • The homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday local life. Conditions are simple and multi-share but comfortable. A homecooked dinner will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to.
  • Try to learn as many Spanish words as you can before the trip. In many of the destinations we visit, local people are reserved and/or do not speak English. Attempting to communicate in Spanish is a great way of showing you care.

Itinerary

Map of Central America Encompassed including Belize, Guatemala and Mexico

Inclusions

Meals

2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Local bus, Overnight public bus, Taxi, Shared Boat, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (25 nights), Overnight bus (1 night), Multishare Hotel (1 night), Hotel with shared facilities (2 nights), Homestay (1 night)

Activities
  • Mexico City - Leader-led Taco Crawl
  • Mexico City - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar
  • Tlahuac - Community Visit
  • Oaxaca - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Zinacatan Church - Visit
  • San Juan Chamula - Maya Church (entrance fee)
  • Agua Azul - Waterfall Visit
  • Palenque - Palenque Ruins (entrance fee)
  • Merida - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Playa del Carmen - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Ignacio - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Tikal archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Chichicastenango - Market Visit
  • Chichicastenango - Shaman Visit
  • Panajachel - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Juan La Laguna - Traditional Maya Homestay
  • Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Santa Apolonia - Traditional Pottery Demonstration
Add on activities
  • Mexico City - Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) (entrance fee) (Closed Mondays) - MXN80
  • Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology (entrance fee) (Closed Mondays) - MXN90
  • Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum (entrance fee) - MXN250
  • Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral (entrance fee) - Free
  • Mexico City - Torre Latino 360° Lookout (entrance fee) - MXN170
  • Mexico City - Diego Rivera Murals in the Mural Museum (Entrance Fee) - MXN35
  • Mexico City - Teotihuacan Pyramids Urban Adventure - USD79
  • Puebla - Lucha Libre Show (Mondays only) from - MXN350
  • Puebla - Santo Domingo Church and Rosary Chapel (entrance fee) - MXN20
  • Puebla - San Pedro Art Museum (entrance fee) - MXN45
  • Oaxaca - Monte Alban archaeological site (entrance fee) - MXN90
  • Oaxaca - Santo Domingo Cultural Centre (entrance fee) - MXN85
  • Oaxaca – Mitla, Teotitlan weaving town & mezcal distillery - MXN850
  • Oaxaca - Cooking class - MXN1300
  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - Amber Museum (entrance fee) - MXN30
  • Sumidero Canyon - Boat Excursion (entrance and transport) - MXN565
  • Merida - Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Contemporary Art Museum (entrance fee) - Free
  • Merida - Uxmal Ruins tour (inc. shared transport and guide) - MXN1400
  • Merida - Las Coloradas Flamingo Tour (inc. shared transport and guide) - MXN1300
  • Playa del Carmen - Bicycle Rental (per day) - MXN260
  • Playa del Carmen - Ferry to Cozumel (Round-trip Ticket) - MXN500
  • Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour) - BZD42
  • Caye Caulker - Manatee boat tour (Incl. transport & guide) - BZD242
  • Caye Caulker - Bicycle Rental (per day) - USD8
  • Caye Caulker - Sunset Sailing - BZD100
  • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (Incl. entry, guide, transport & lunch) - BZD250
  • San Ignacio - Butterfly Farm (incl. transport) - BZD150
  • San Ignacio - Cave tubing (incl. entrance, guide & transport) - BZD190
  • San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project (entrance fee) - BZD23
  • San Ignacio - Xunantunich Ruins entry - BZD10
  • Tikal National Park - Guide for Ruins (per group) - GTQ750
  • Rio Dulce - Boat trip to Livingston (Price dependent on boat available & passengers) - GTQ210
  • Rio Dulce - Natural Hot Springs (entrance fee and transport) - GTQ200
  • Rio Dulce - Quirigua Ruins (entrance fee) - GTQ90
  • Rio Dulce - San Felipe Fort (entrance fee) - GTQ85
  • Panajachel - Kayak rental (per hour) - GTQ100
  • San Juan La Laguna - Water taxi to Santiago (Return) - GTQ60
  • Antigua - Salsa-dance Lesson (per hour) - GTQ100
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo - GTQ225

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 7 (Overnight bus), Day 23 (Tikal) & Day 28 (San Juan La Laguna homestay) where you will be in shared accommodation. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This tour includes accommodation in multi-share rooms (triple and quad). This means travelers on the same booking may be split between rooms due to single gender allocation.
3. Please be careful when booking flights from Antigua; make sure you fly out of Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do not book flights from Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 based on 4 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Kim · Traveled November 2023
Central America was an amazing experience with Intrepid. Such a vast distance to cover, with ruins, nature, caves, volcanoes, beaches, lakes and endless food experiences.
Review submitted 05 Dec 2023

Teresa · Traveled February 2023
This was an incredible tour. It is fast paced but you see and learn so much. Loved it all. Great and varied activities. If you are lucky enough to get Fito as your guide you’re in fir a treat as he was so knowledgeable and passionate about the trip. Just book it - you won’t regret it. Mexico and Central America is awesome!
Review submitted 03 Apr 2023

Rebecca · Traveled September 2022
This tour was great. We got to see a number of incredible places and learnt so much from our knowledgeable guides. I wanted to do a trip that didn't take too much planning on my end and this was exactly that!
Review submitted 10 Oct 2022

Rodger · Traveled January 2022
My travels with Intrepid continue to exceed expectations, the itineraries for Mexico, Belize and Guatemala are very well planned and together make a truly memorable combination of locations and experiences. I signed up for basic accommodation but it was way better than that, the two group leaders Valeria and Karla were brilliant. If in any way you are hesitating over booking this trip please don’t, you will thank yourself later!
Review submitted 28 Feb 2022
Central America Encompassed
From
USD $3,492