Essential Central America, Playa Del Carmen to Antigua - 17 Days
Welcome to the Central America...wow, what a place! Mexico’s Playa del Carmen will give you a taste of Mexico’s version of paradise...you did remember to pack your swimsuit right?! Get up close and personal with history and culture in Guatemala- from ancient buildings to ancient market traditions... Check out smoking Volcanos in Antigua... you just will not want to leave!
Important Spanish Phrases… because let’s face it, Spanish sounds hot!
- Donde se puede hacer surf? Where can we surf?
- Que calor! OMG it’s so warm!
- Un vino tinto, por favor! A red wine, please!
- Te quiero. I love you.
Is this trip for you?
- This is an organised group tour perfect for solo travellers or anyone else for that matter!
- Age group for this tour is 18-39
- Group size will be 1-16 people
- Accommodation on this tour will be hotel (14 nights), homestay (1 night) and camping with facilities (1 night)
- Transport on this tour will be mini bus, bus and boat
- Transport on the tour
- Local guide
- Some food (1 meal and 1 Breakfast)
- Some activities - Tikal National Park - Entrance and Chichicastenango Market
What's not included?
- Flights (request a quote)
- Most of food
- Any vaccinations if needed
DAY 1: PLAYA DEL CARMEN
As with pretty much most of our tours, we like to take it easy on the first day. Make the most of our optional activities and suggestions of things to do, or just chill out and sleep off the jet lag before the fun begins in the evening. Orientation takes place at 6pm with your awesome guide who will show you the best of what Playa del Carmen has to offer after the sun has set.
DAY 2-3: TULUM
Tulum is pretty epic. Ruins that hug a cliff-top overlooking a pristine beach? Yes please. We definitely recommend taking the optional trip. It is going to be your Facebook cover page for ages! Great things today to do today: Enjoy the coastal bus ride to Tulum, visit city ruins from the pre-Columbian era (Optional), Try and get the best picture ever of the seashore from atop the cliff, Explore the Temple of the Frescoe. Next up, Beach time! Bring your towel and sunscreen only because you’ll want a little walk along the fabulous beach. Also Experience the chilled out vibe of beachfront nightlife with a margarita in hand, or try to find the best mojito in town!
DAY 4-6: CAYE CAULKER
We enter Belize via land, but we are going to catch some waves by boat as we head out to Caye Caulker. Yes, every dream you have had of islands and clear blue waters comes true here. Oh and Caye Caulker is only home to the second biggest barrier reef in the world, so expect to do some snorkelling! Today we are getting the local bus to Belize, we will have to make a couple of changes, approx. 8 hours travel. There will be plenty of free time to explore the reefs and beautiful shores of Caye Caulker.
DAY 7-8: SAN IGNACIO
We catch the local bus to San Ignacio and pass through the Belizean capital of Belmopan. This quick pit stop means you can visit the Mayan ceremonial centre of Xunantunich, or, if you are not faint of heart, head to the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal where you wade through water in search of crystallised skeletons…shiver but oh so cool! If you like, you can take a boat to Xunantunich (yes another place you cannot pronounce until you learn it from the locals) to visit another ancient Mayan centre, seriously you cannot get enough of the amazing views. There is also an optional day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area - there are waterfalls, swimming holes (THAT ARE WARM!), and the caving system where you can find Tunichil Muknal. There is also tubing and canoeing through this beautiful, lush region. If insects are your thing, there is also a butterfly garden to explore. The best thing about the local food is the barbecue street stalls - experience road side eating in Central America.
DAY 9: TIKAL RUINS
We now tick off country number 3 and get to start off by camping in Tikal National Park (don’t worry- camping equipment is on us!)
Remember the movie Apocalypto? Me neither, but everyone says the Tikal ruins looks like that. So maybe watch the movie in preparation for the trip (hard work I know!) Dense jungle vegetation got its reputation here, so make sure you’ve got the right walking boots. There is also a chance to climb to the peak of Temple IV for some more amazing jungle views from a-high.
DAY 10-11: RIO DULCE
We reach ‘Sweet River’, or Rio Dulce, by bus. Now, the moment we have all been waiting for… manatee-spotting (YAAAA!!!!), hot springs, the San Felipe fort, boating… This laid back town has got a bit of a different vibe from the places that we are heading further inland, so soak up the Caribbean vibes! You can also check out the Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve, which is actually a really nice hike!
DAY 12: ANTIGUA
Antiguaaaaa, what a place! Sadly this is just an overnight stop but have no fear, for you shall be back! It will take us about 7 hours to get to Antigua where we spend the night before heading over to Panajachel. There will be enough time to take a little stroll around the centre and taste Tamales. You cannot go to Guatemala and not have had this world-famous dish (served in a corn leaf). There are also Pepian to try for the meat lovers, which is a mixture of 3 meats- pork, beef, and chicken- served in a dark sauce.
DAY 13: CHICHICASTENANGO/SAN PEDRO LA LAGUNA
Dinner is included today, happy days, and the best part? You get to eat with a Guatemalan family. Meals will not be extravagant, but you get to taste the local cuisine while you have the time of your life experiencing Guatemalan family life. Also make sure you head to the famous Chichicastenango market. Be adventurous and try the local bus! There is also San Pedro La Laguna about an hour and a half away, a gorgeous little lakeside town to explore.
DAY 14: PANAJACHEL
You wake up this morning to breakfast provided by your host family. We will head over to Panajachel town, where you can do lots of exciting activities such as wind surfing, paragliding, kayaking, horse riding, and hiking. There is a community cooperative you can visit - a great way to witness what it means for people to work together towards a common good. Take a boat out to nearby villages for a taste of true village life here in the heart of Guatemala.
DAY 15-17: ANTIGUA
From Antigua you can see not one, not two, but three smoking volcanoes. Even so, Antigua is not quite like any other place you’ve been. The city is listed as a World Heritage town. If you want, you can try and scale one of the volcanoes! Please take some time to get lost on the romantic streets of Antigua. After breakfast on day 17, we bid each other a fond farewell. Hasta la vista!