Real Central America

16 Days | Traverse the lakes, volcanos and jungles of Central American adventure

4.9 out of 5 based on 57 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
From
EUR €1,202
View dates and book
This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

On this 16-day Central American adventure, you’ll explore the vast lakes, steaming volcanos and thick jungles of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Starting in Playa de Carmen, you’ll explore hotspot Tulum, where you can visit the Temple of Frescoes and dance the night away after a few margaritas. Hit island paradise in Caye Caulker, where you have a couple of days to snorkel, swim and laze on the beach. Explore San Ignacio, a place of waterfalls and Maya ruins, at your own pace before hitting Tikal National Park. Take scenic boat rides in Rio Dulce, trek through the jungle in your spare time and then head to the gorgeous Lake Atitlan, where you’ll visit the famous Chichi market and make the trip to San Juan La Laguna to immerse yourself in Maya village life. End it all in UNESCO World Heritage-listed Antigua, surrounded by mountains and volcanoes.

Trip overview

Map of Real Central America including Belize, Guatemala and Mexico
Start
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Finish
Antigua, Guatemala
Theme
18 to 35s
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 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 16
Trip code
QBYA
This trip generates 27 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.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities


Why you'll love this trip
  • Enjoy traditional Guatemalan hospitality with a homecooked lunch in a local home in San Juan La Laguna, after visiting a local midwife, walking through medicinal gardens and experiencing a weaving and dying workshop.
  • Head to Tikal National Park within the dense Maya forest to explore ancient Maya ruins at the archaeological site – you might like to opt to swing through the canopy on the optional zipline experience!
  • Soak up extended time in the paradise of Caye Caulker and unique Antigua, offering the perfect opportunity for some laidback island vibes and buzzing city life. Swim among tropical fish and then hit the salsa lessons.
  • Visit the colourful markets of Chichicastenango, nicknamed Chichi, where you can explore the local handmade wares like jade jewellery, pottery and traditional huipils – the traditional dress worn by Maya women.
  • See some of the best of Central America in one trip travelling through Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Enjoy loads of free time where you can rent bikes and explore on wheels, go snorkelling and kayaking or rent a paddleboard and explore the landscape from the water.

Is this trip right for you?
  • You’ll be crossing the borders between three countries on this trip and while it is usually straightforward, you may need to be patient.
  • Is it hot in here? Well, you’re in tropical Central America, so it can get really hot and humid. Carry plenty of water as hydration is key, especially when walking a lot.
  • It’s a good idea to try and brush up on as many Spanish words as possible. While locals are friendly, they’re also shy, so knowing some local lingo is a great way to break the ice and show you care.
  • This trip involves some long days of travel by private and local transport. While this can be tiring, it's also a fantastic way to rub shoulders with the locals.
  • This trip is part of a longer itinerary. You might be joining travellers who have already spent some time together. If you have more time to explore, you might like to check out Epic Mexico, Belize & Guatemala or Epic Mexico to Costa Rica.

Itinerary

Map of Real Central America including Belize, Guatemala and Mexico

Inclusions

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Local bus, Public bus, Taxi, Shared Boat, Ferry

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Multishare lodge (2 nights), Multishare hotel (2 nights)

Activities
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Ignacio - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological Site Tour (Entrance fee & Transport)
  • Chichicastenango - Market Visit
  • San Juan La Laguna - Weaving & Dyeing experience
  • San Juan La Laguna - Midwife home visit
  • San Juan La Laguna - Medicinal Garden
  • Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk
Add on activities
  • Playa del Carmen - Bicycle Rental (per day) - MXN260
  • Tulum - Archaeological Site (incl. entrance & national park fee - no guide) - MXN142
  • Tulum- Bike rental - MXN250
  • Tulum - Cenote Adventure - USD135
  • Tulum - Jungle Adventure - USD135
  • Tulum - Jungle Bike tour - USD125
  • Tulum - Maya Inland Expedition - USD159
  • Tulum - Sian Ka'an Adventure - USD150
  • Tulum - World Wonder Discovery - USD160
  • Tulum - Sian Ka'an Muyil - USD180
  • Caye Caulker - Sunset Sailing - BZD126
  • Caye Caulker - Full-day Guided Snorkelling Trip (gear, guide and transport included) - BZD230
  • Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour) - BZD44
  • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (Incl. entry, guide, transport & lunch) - BZD250
  • San Ignacio - Cave tubing (incl. entrance, guide & transport) - BZD190
  • San Ignacio - Butterfly Farm (incl. transport) - BZD150
  • San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins entry - BZD10
  • San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project (entrance fee) - BZD23
  • San Ignacio - Xunantunich Ruins entry - BZD10
  • Tikal National Park - Guide for Ruins (per person, min 5 participants) - GTQ100
  • Rio Dulce - Boat trip to Livingston (Price dependent on boat available & passengers) - GTQ250
  • Rio Dulce - Natural Hot Springs (entrance fee and transport) - GTQ200
  • Rio Dulce - San Felipe Fort (entrance fee) - GTQ85
  • Rio Dulce - Quirigua Ruins (entrance fee) - GTQ90
  • Panajachel - Bicycle rental (per day) - GTQ50
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo - GTQ236

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 Days 2 & 3 (Tulum), Days 10 & 11 (Rio Dulce) and Days 13 & 14 (Lake Atitlan) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. 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

4.9 out of 5 based on 57 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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Dario · Traveled May 2024
The trip himself was allright, but our guide Euri made the trip really amazing and unique
Review submitted 25 Jun 2024

Aaron · Traveled May 2024
We absolutely loved this trip. We especially loved snorkeling in caye caulker belize, the cenotes in mexico, atm caves, tikal in guatemala, and antigua is such a beautiful city absolutely loved it. Euri our tour guide was exceptional couldn’t recommend more highly.
Review submitted 12 Jun 2024

Shreeya · Traveled May 2024
Our tour guide Euri was fantastic—super friendly, knowledgeable, and always ensuring no one felt left out. She led us to incredible places, from early sunrise hikes to evening karaoke. The trip itself was amazing, with unique activities like snorkeling in Caye Caulker, exploring Tikal, and the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave. Meeting friendly travelers from around the world made it even more special. Highly recommended!
Review submitted 13 Jun 2024

Angela · Traveled May 2024
Review submitted 16 Jun 2024

Tayla · Traveled April 2024
An amazing experience! So lucky to have seen so many amazing places and had opportunities to do things I never would have done without intrepid. Our guide Vin was an absolute legend!
Review submitted 04 May 2024
Real Central America
From
EUR €1,202