Discover the best of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

From beautiful black-sand beaches to tropical forests alive with jungle melodies, this pocket of Central America is something of a natural paradise. Whether you're shopping in colonial Antigua, exploring the intricately carved structures at Copan or relaxing by the sea in El Salvador, you'll get a wonderful insight into Central America during this incredible adventure.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • See the sights and engage in a wide range of optional activities across four different countries on this epic Latin adventure.

  • Discover Central America, a land of mysterious Mayan ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles.

  • Experience an El Salvador of the past in the colonial town of Suchitoto, a haven for architectural buffs, before savouring the blissful present on its black sand beaches. 

Is this trip right for you?

  • 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.

  • There are many opportunities to get active on this adventure. Some of the the optional activities, especially the volcano hikes, require a moderate level of fitness and sturdy walking shoes. If you'd prefer to take it easy, however, there are plenty of other things you can do instead. Your local leader will be able to recommend activities to suit your fitness level.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2019 - 31 December 2019

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Antigua, Guatemala. A small town of crumbling churches, vibrant markets and bohemian cafes set against the backdrop of monumental volcanoes, Antigua is the perfect place to ease into your Central American adventure. Speaking of adventure, yours officialy kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today at the hotel. Please look for a note in the lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). For dinner tonight, 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 in corn leaf.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Unfortunately, more than half the population of beautiful Guatemala lives under the poverty line, which may explain why Guatemala has also the lowest literacy rate in Central America. With this in mind, the Intrepid Foundation is proud supporter of CasaSito, an outstanding not for profit organization dedicated to assist youth to reach their academic, personal and professional potential.

If you have 2’ to spare (2’41’’ to be exact!) take a look at this short video about CasaSito – it’s inspiring: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3KBiGdEcV4w

If you want to help CasaSito and Guatemalan’s youth, you can donate through the Intrepid Foundation, which means that your donation will be match dollar for dollar by us too. No donation is too small. $5, $10, $50 it all goes a long way to help this fantastic organization. Simply visit our website: www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/casasito/
Hit the cobblestone streets this morning on an orientation walk with your leader, and get your bearings in the former seat of the Spanish colonial government. In 1773, the city was destroyed by an earthquake, but as you'll see during your walk, many of the colonial buildings have been restored. Maybe satisfy your cravings and learn a the art of old-world chocolate production at the ChocoMuseo, sit by the fountain and people watch in Central Park or hire a mountain bike and tackle the lush countryside. If you want to learn more about Guatemala's famous coffee, you might like to take a tour of a plantation and do some coffee tasting. Hungry? The best value food can be found next to the artesian market near the bus station, so get in for a snack before it closes at 6 pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Antigua - Coffee/Macadamia nut plantation tour - USD45
  • Antigua - Salsa lesson (per hour) - USD7
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop - USD25
  • Antigua - Bike tour - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Rise and shine for a long day of travel, leaving at around 4 am to beat the rush-hour traffic around Guatemala City. All up you'll be spending 8 hours driving to Copan by private vehicle, and while the scenery is breathtaking in sections, it's a good idea to pack a book or download a few podcasts. There will also be an informal Spanish lesson to liven up the journey and sharpen your skills. 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 cafe. Or perhaps head to the nearby hot springs on an optional tour. Less than USD 50 gets you hours of soak time in mud baths, steaming natural baths and refreshing pools plus dinner, all set along winding jungle paths.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Copan - Natural Hot Springs & Dinner - USD45
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning is free for you to continue explore Copan and its surrounds. Perhaps make an optional visit to the World Heritage-listed ruins of Copan, the remnants of the southernmost of the great Maya sites for which Central America is famous. Unique because of the numerous elaborate stelae – carved columns – still intact on site, there are also temples, excavated vaults and walls inscribed with ancient faces. A stroll through this old-world capital is bound to leave you pondering the mysterious and adbrupt disappearance of such a creative civilisation. Alternatively, nature lovers may wish to travel two kilometres out of town to the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. Dedicated to the conservation of the Central American macaw, the reserve also houses toucans, motmots, parrots, kingfishers and orioles.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Copan - Archeological Museum (Entrance fee) - USD7
  • Copan Ruins - Archeological site (Transport & Entrance fee) - USD17
  • Copan - Macaw Mountain Bird Park (Entrance fee) - HNL230
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Wave goodbye to Copan and head across the border to El Salvador by private vehicle. There's another substantial amount of time spent on the road today, so have that book (or your most sparkling conversation) handy to pass the time. All up the drive should take about 7 hours, depending on conditions, and you are expected to reach the colourful colonial town of Suchitoto in the afternoon. Join an orientation walk with your leader on arrival of a town 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Suchitoto - Leader led walking tour
Optional Activities
  • Suchitoto - Boat trip to Bird Island in Lake Suchitlan (it requires a minimum of 4 travellers to operate) - USD20
  • Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest (requires a minimum of 4 travellers to operate) - USD50
  • Suchitoto - Town tour (it requires a minimum of 4 travellers to operate) - USD25
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is all yours to get among 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 crew of four 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)
Optional Activities
  • Suchitoto - Birdwatching Walk (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD25
  • Suchitoto - Morning kayak bird watching (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to run) - USD35
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head west by private vehicle to El Tunco, a perma-relaxed two-street surf town about three hours away. Take the afternoon to explore the beautiful coastal scenery around El Tunco, or simply grab a smoothie and embrace the chilled vibes.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • El Tunco - Yoga class - USD10
  • El Tunco - Surf board hire - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today you might like to find some inner peace during a yoga class at the resort or simply relax in a hammock on the beach.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today your Central American adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day, so you can leave any time after check out.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Private minibus, local minibus

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Orientation walk
  • Suchitoto - Leader led walking tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

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. 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. 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. 

ITINERARY CHANGES:
Due to recent political protests, we have rerouted this itinerary to avoid Nicaragua. We are confident that this is the safest course of action for our travellers and our staff on the ground. The joining point city was not affected, however the ending point city was; it will end in El Tunco El Salvador, instead of in Granada, Nicaragua. The website has been updated to reflect this. The closest airport is San Salvador Airport (an hour drive from El Tunco) - Departure transfers are bookable. We will continue to closely monitor the situation in Nicaragua in the hope of improvement and to maintain our discretion to revert to the original itinerary or otherwise.

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.

Reviews

Our Guatemala & Beyond trips score an average of 4.38 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Guatemala & Beyond , July 2018

Wendy Nishikawa

Guatemala & Beyond , June 2018

anice heagney