Central America Explorer

47 Days | Travel to the land of toucans, tacos and tamales

5 out of 5 based on 7 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
ZAR  87,715
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Dive into Central America on this 47-day adventure, bookended by two chaotic capitals and filled with fun, adventure and culture. Journey through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica on an epic adventure through the tantalising highlights of the region. Get acquainted with Central American cultures, spectacular landscapes and fascinating histories as you explore the wealth of ancient ruins, spot the range of unusual wildlife and relax on idyllic Caribbean shores. This is one of our longest adventures through Central America – a trip that zig-zags from the top of the continent to the bottom and delivers you with stories to tell and a tan to show off.

Trip overview

Map of Central America Explorer including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua
Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
San Jose, Costa Rica
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, 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
QVRZC
This trip generates 22.55 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
  • This is one of our most extensive trips in Central America, hitting more than 20 destinations and introducing you to the cities, villages and myriad cultures of seven countries.
  • Your local craft fair just won’t feel the same after you’ve experienced Chichicastenango, a colourful Guatemalan market that draws thousands of vendors from the surrounding mountain villages.
  • Chichen Itza is one the New Seven Wonders of the World – find out why. Strolling around the ancient Maya ruins feels pretty wondrous.
  • A few days on Caye Caulker provides the perfect opportunity to enjoy Belizean island vibes, beachside beers and optional snorkelling, the perfect (almost) halfway point for this epic adventure.
  • Discover the jungle Costa Rica is famous for during a stay in Monteverde, a misty rainforest area home to sloths, hummingbirds, white-faced monkeys and tapirs among hundreds more animal species.

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 has some long travel days using public transport in some destinations. It’s better for the environment and you’ll get an authentic look at daily life, just be aware you may find yourself sharing a busy bus ride with local commuters.
  • You’ll be crossing the borders between seven countries on this trip and while the process is usually straightforward, you may need to be patient. Make sure you’ve got your best car game ready in case of any delays!
  • Central America is generally hot and humid year-round. At nighttime and in locations at higher elevations it can get chilly. Protect yourself from the sun, bring light clothing you can layer and a waterproof jacket, and stay hydrated. Air conditioning may not always be available in your rooms. Occasionally, properties may require an additional charge for air conditioning.
  • The homestay in San Juan La Laguna is a wonderful opportunity to experience everyday life. Facilities are basic and multi-share but comfortable, with a shared bathroom. A hearty homecooked dinner will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to.

Itinerary

Map of Central America Explorer including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua

Inclusions

Meals

2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

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

Accommodation

Hotel (39 nights), Overnight bus (1 night), Multishare Hotel (1 night), Hotel with shared facilities (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Lodge (2 nights)

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
  • Copan Ruins - Visit
  • Suchitoto - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
  • Suchitoto - Leader led orientation walk
  • Suchitoto - Indigo Dyeing Demonstration
  • Leon - Leader led orientation walk
  • Granada - Breakfast at El Cafe de las Sonrisas
  • Monteverde - Leader-led orientation walk
  • La Fortuna - Leader led orientation walk
  • San Jose - Leader-led orientation walk
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 - Full day Catamaran tour-(gear, guide and transport included) - BZD230
  • Caye Caulker - Full day speed boat-(gear, guide and transport included) - BZD230
  • Caye Caulker - Bicycle Rental (per day) - USD8
  • Caye Caulker - Sunset Sailing - BZD120
  • 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 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 - 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
  • Copan - Natural Hot Springs & Dinner - USD50
  • Suchitoto - Birdwatching Walk (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD25
  • Suchitoto - Town tour (it requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD30
  • Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to operate) - USD55
  • Leon - Volcano Sand Boarding - USD45
  • Granada - Laguna Apoyo kayaking tour - USD30
  • Granada - Mombacho Volcano hike - USD30
  • Granada - Masaya Volcano at night (Viewpoint for the Lava Lake at Santiago Crater) - NIO1600
  • Granada - Monkey Island boat tour - NIO455
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Entrance - USD25
  • Monteverde - Suspension bridges tour - USD50
  • Monteverde - Canopy Zip Lining (Entrance, Equipment & Transport) - USD62
  • Monteverde - Coffee & Chocolate tour - USD45
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Night Walk - USD35
  • Monteverde - Cloud Forest Train - USD50
  • Monteverde - Butterfly Garden and Insects Farm (entrance fee) - USD21
  • Monteverde - Frog pond - USD15
  • Monteverde - Orchid gardens - USD16
  • La Fortuna - Ecotermales Hot Springs (entrance fee) - USD45
  • La Fortuna - Arenal hanging bridges - USD75
  • La Fortuna - La Fortuna Waterfall (Entrance only) - USD20
  • La Fortuna - Arenal Volcano Hike - USD88
  • La Fortuna- Caño Negro boat tour - USD80
  • La Fortuna - Stand up paddle board - USD75
  • San Jose - San Jose By Night: Food and Culture - Urban Adventures - USD74
  • San Jose - National Museum (entrance fee) - USD11
  • San Jose - San Jose Bites and Sights Tour - Urban Adventures - USD38

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) and 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 travellers on the same booking may be split between rooms due to single gender allocation.
3. Please be careful when booking flights to/from San Jose; make sure you fly out of Juan Santamaria International Airport [SJO]. Please do not book flights from Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport [SJC] as this is located in California, United States.
4. 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.
5. Should you have any questions or need assistance with the Honduras pre-registration, your leader will be able to assist on Day 1 of your tour. For more information, visit the ‘Passports, visas and entry requirements’ section of the ‘Essential Trip Information.’

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

5 out of 5 based on 7 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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Alison · Traveled February 2024
Fantastic trip with a great itinerary. The hotels for this basic level were actually of a very good standard.. The trip mixes Myan culture and great scenery with fun activities. A most enjoyable combination.
Review submitted 19 Apr 2024

Laura · Traveled November 2023
Incredible trip, the beauty of Central America is endless! Best thing I have ever done for myself! Valentina, Rony and Benji are the best!!!! Do yourself a favour and book!!!!!
Review submitted 30 Jan 2024

Sandra · Traveled August 2023
Central America was just spectacular. The diversity of the countries, the colour, the ancient ruins, the people, the wildlife, the history, the scenery - lakes, beaches and volcanoes, the snokelling, the hiking, the rafting. Wow! It was all so breathtakingly beautiful and exciting. It ticked so many boxes and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
Review submitted 07 Oct 2023

Anne · Traveled April 2023
I am a 66 year old female solo traveller and I would totally recommend this trip provided you are prepared for some long travel days particularly from Antigua to San Jose. Personally I loved these days of watching the countryside going by!
Review submitted 06 Jun 2023

Marvin · Traveled March 2023
My knowledge of Central America was greatly improved. It changed my perception of Central America 150% to the positive side. In my mind Central America was not a good travel destination because of all the bad press in the USA. I loved traveling to every country in Central America and all travels in Mexico.
Review submitted 05 May 2023
Central America Explorer
From
ZAR  87,715