Map of Guatemala & Beyond  including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua

Discover the best of Central America as you explore Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua

Cover four different countries on this epic Latin adventure. Stroll along striking black-sand beaches, verdant rainforests and ancient ruins as you make your way around Central America. This is a trip full of outdoor experiences and local know-how. Whether you're shopping in colonial Antigua, exploring the intricately carved structures at Copan or relaxing by the sea in El Salvador, get local insight with likeminded travellers during this incredible nine-day adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Antigua, Guatemala
Finish
Granada, Nicaragua
Destinations
El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
QVRK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Discover Central America – a land of mysterious Maya ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles – with plenty of independence and the freedom to choose your own adventure.

  • Don your chef hat and get a taste for the local cuisine with a traditional pupusa making session in a local home in Copan, Honduras.

  • Experience an El Salvador of the past in the colonial town of Suchitoto, before hitting the waves and savouring the present on the black-sand beaches of El Cuco.

  • Absorb the nonstop buzz of Leon – a Nicaraguan centre of vibrant mural-lined streets, fiery debate in the plazas, eclectic art galleries and a pulsating nightlife.

  • Support the deaf community in Granada while enjoying a special breakfast in a local café that’s ran entirely by deaf people.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves some long travel days, especially on Day 7 from El Cuco to Leon with a 9-hour overland journey. Although this can be tiresome, it's a great opportunity to sit back, enjoy the passing scenery and to bond with your fellow travellers. This is a real Central American adventure, after all.

  • As this trip covers destinations across four countries, you'll need to make several border crossings. While these are usually straightforward, please prepare to be patient while local authorities process papers.

  • Central America is tropical, so expect a hot and humid climate. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun, wear comfortable, light clothing and stay hydrated – especially when out on walking tours.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023.
View the 2020 itinerary
Welcome to Antigua, Guatemala. With crumbling churches, vibrant markets and bohemian cafes set against the backdrop of monumental volcanoes, Antigua is the perfect place to kick off your Central American adventure. Speaking of adventure, yours officially begins with a 6 pm welcome meeting at the hotel today. If you do decide to arrive in the city a little early (smart move), there's plenty to do. Maybe satisfy your cravings and learn the art of old-world chocolate production at the ChocoMuseo, or sit by the fountain and people-watch in Central Park. After the welcome meeting, the night is yours, so perhaps head out with some of your fellow travellers for a tamale: a classic staple of Mesoamerica that sees dough, meat and sauces steamed and served in a corn husk.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo - GTQ225
  • Antigua - Salsa-dance Lesson (per hour) - GTQ100
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Rise and shine for a day of travel, leaving at around 4 am to beat the rush-hour traffic around Antigua. We’ll drive to Copan by private vehicle, with breathtaking scenery in sections, it's still a good idea to pack a book or have some snacks ready to make the journey more comfortable. During the drive, your group leader will run an informal Spanish lesson, providing some useful phrases to break the ice with the locals. Head into Honduras through the wild countryside of eastern Guatemala, arriving in the charming town of Copan in the early afternoon. While most people use Copan as a base to explore the nearby ruins, there are plenty of other points of interest, both along the cobblestone streets and set into the lush surrounds. Maybe get started in the Central Plaza and follow your nose to a cafe, or perhaps head to the nearby natural hot springs. This optional tour gives you hours of soak time in mud, steaming natural baths and refreshing pools in the lush jungle, with an included dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
Optional Activities
  • Copan - Natural Hot Springs & Dinner - USD50
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 8 hours.
This morning, join your leader and explore the World Heritage-listed ruins of Copan, the remnants of the southernmost of the great Maya sites for which Central America is famous. It's unique because of the numerous elaborate stelae – carved columns – still intact on site, and there are also temples, excavated vaults and walls inscribed with ancient faces. You’ll wave goodbye to Copan early in the afternoon and head across the border to El Salvador by private vehicle. Depending on traffic and conditions, you’ll reach the colonial town of Suchitoto in the evening. Then get your chef’s hat on with a pupusa making cooking class in a private home. Pupusa, thick cornmeal flatbreads, are a classic Salvadorian recipe from the Pipil culture and are stuffed with some delicious ingredients, like cheese or chicharron (fried pork).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Copan - Archeological site (entrance fee and transport, no guide)
  • San Miguel - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 7 hours.
Begin the day with a guided orientation walk of Suchitoto – widely considered the cultural capital of El Salvador. Stroll past gorgeous colonial facades and get your bearings. Birders will want to crane their necks; Suchitoto lies on a bird migration path so provides the perfect opportunity for spotting feathered friends. The rest of the day is yours to explore the optional activities on offer. Suchitoto overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande, also known as Lago Suchitlan, this freshwater lake is a haven for the aforementioned migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks. Maybe hustle a group of 4 or more together and take a boat trip to Bird Island, or perhaps grab a historically-minded quartet for a guided walk through Cinquera Forest, where guerrilla fighters used the forest as cover during the civil war.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suchitoto - Leader led orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Suchitoto - Boat trip to Bird Island in Lake Suchitlan (it requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD25
  • Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD50
  • Suchitoto - Town tour (it requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD30
  • Suchitoto - Birdwatching Walk (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD25
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today we head to the coastal town of El Cuco. There are some great dark-sand beaches close to town, including the beautiful Playa El Esteron and Playa Las Flores – one of the best surf spots in the country. Once we arrive, the afternoon is yours to explore. Maybe head to a beach for a swim or a relax under the palms with a beer while you wait for sunset. As night falls, you could enjoy a seafood dinner along the water – the local crab are some of the tastiest in the country.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 5 hours.
Today you're free as a bird to explore the beautiful coast around El Cuco at your own pace. Surf culture is big on the pacific coast of El Salvador so you might like to make like the locals and hit the waves with a surf lesson. Alternately, simply sit back and relax in a hammock on the beach and soak up the sunshine with a drink in hand. Life’s good.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • El Cuco - surf lesson
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise early for a full day of travel by private vehicle to Leon. Leave El Cuco at around 8 am and drive to the El Amatillo border crossing before driving through Honduras (with a stop for lunch) to the next border crossing Guasaule, before finally reaching Leon. Upon arrival your leader will take you on a walking tour of this charming city. Though it's the second largest in the country, Leon is relatively free of tourists, making strolling the mural-lined streets a real pleasure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leon - Leader-led orientation walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 6.5 hours.
Make the most of Leon in the morning by exploring the city at your leisure. The street food behind the Lady of Grace Cathedral is some of the best in town, so why not grab a 'Nica taco'. Made with maize, rolled and then deep fried, these beauties are usually served with shredded cabbage and smothered in cream. Otherwise, a thrilling volcano sand boarding adventure could be just the thing for the adventure seekers out there. In the afternoon, get ready for a journey to the oldest city in the 'New World'. Featuring Moorish and Andalusian architecture and oozing colonial charm, Granada is set on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and is surrounded by active volcanoes. To get there, first, take a taxi from the hotel to the bus station, next board a local bus bound for Managua that will depart when it's full. There will be a transit in Managua before taking the next public bus to Granada, and finally taking a taxi ride to the hotel. Upon arrival, your leader will take you through the leafy Parque Central and 'La Calzada': a lively pedestrian street with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Leon - Volcano Sand Boarding - USD45
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Today’s travel time is approximately 5-6 hours.
Our Central American adventure comes to an end this morning but not before one final meal with your newfound travel companions. We’ll enjoy a breakfast together at Cafe de las Sonrisas, a café run entirely by deaf people. The café's owner is aiming to bridge the gap and inspire other business owners to employ local people living with disabilities. After breakfast we part ways and bid our Central American adventure goodbye. If you'd like to stay in Granada, our travel specialists can help arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Granada - Breakfast at El Cafe de las Sonrisas
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

1 breakfast, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, local bus, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Copan - Archeological site (entrance fee and transport, no guide)
  • San Miguel - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
  • Suchitoto - Leader led orientation walk
  • El Cuco - surf lesson
  • Leon - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Granada - Breakfast at El Cafe de las Sonrisas

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Guatemala & Beyond trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1 in Antigua. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please be careful when booking flights to Antigua; make sure you fly into Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do not book flights to Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
4. Please be careful when booking flights from Granada; make sure you fly from Managua - Augusto C. Sandino International Airport [MGA]. Managua’s Airport is the closest airport to Granada. Please do not book flights from Granada Airport [GRX] as this is in Spain.
5. Travel is always an adventure and, as destinations reopen, there are a few challenges as everyone gets back up to speed and adjusts to the new normal. Our leaders are experts when it comes to dealing with anything unexpected along the journey, so pack your understanding and flexibility, sit back and relax while they take care of the rest.
6. As per updated Nicaragua entry requirements, customers are currently required to supply a copy of their passport front page to their booking agent no later than 15 days prior to departure.

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.

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