Days
29
Price from
FR9,970CHF

Adventure through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize on this in-depth adventure.

Embark on a comprehensive adventure through Mexico and Central America, travelling through cities and wandering off the beaten path. Having explored Mexico City and the ancient city of Teotihuacan, delve into the ruins of the Zapotec Capital before engaging with the traditional native communities of San Cristobal. Marvel in awe at the ruins of Palenque, Uxmal and Chichen Itza before exploring Guatemala’s crystal clear seas and swimming holes, tiny villages bursting with Latin American verve, and dense jungles where Maya temples have stood for centuries. Capture the lingering spirit of Mesoamerica with the land, ruins and culture that coloured this empire of old.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Mexico City, Mexico
Finish
Antigua, Guatemala
Countries
Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSMZC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Copied from PSMI. May want to consider making Avenue of the Dead at Teotihuacan a Peregrine Moment.

  • This is our most comprehensive trip in Mexico, rich in historical and cultural highlights

  • Get up close and personal with the country's diverse heritage, from the extraordinary Aztec temples of Teotihuacan to the colourfully-dressed Maya folk of the hills of San Cristobal

  • There's something for everyone in this trip, whether you're a history buff, nature-lover or Epicurean

  • Compare Mexico City's heady street-food scene to subtler forms found in Oaxaca

  • Your adventure culminates in rest and relaxation. The white sands and azure waters of Playa Del Carmen provide the perfect excuse to extend your time in Mexico

  • Copied from PSBG. Possible PMoment: Overlooked by the majestic Volcan de Agua, Antigua is a cobblestoned maze of colourful buildings, leafy town squares and ornate churches. An ‘crop-to-cup’ tour of a local coffee farming co-op completes the experience

  • Blaze the trail in Belize and enjoy a superb array of nature-based activities. Cruise across a lagoon on a guided birdwatching excursion, and hike through the forest to a hidden Maya burial ground

  • The brightly painted houses of Flores are a reflection of the radiant colours that stretch across the town at sunset. Enjoy lakeside drinks while the sun sinks below the horizon

  • Journey into the jungles of Guatemala and uncover the magnificent remains of the lost Maya civilisation in Tikal

  • Overlooked by the majestic Volcan de Agua, Antigua is a cobblestoned maze of colourful buildings, leafy town squares and ornate churches. An ‘crop-to-cup’ tour of a local coffee farming co-op completes the experience

  • Step back in time in Suchitoto, learning the history of El Salvador from those who have lived through it. Learn cigar rolling from 98-year-old Nina Victoria, and hike through Cinquera Rain Forest Park to meet a former FMLN guerrilla fighter

  • Sit down to lunch in the delightful garden setting of El Jardin de Celeste. This restaurant on the famous ‘Flowers Route’ of El Salvador is arguably the country’s best

  • Immerse yourself in the unique cultures surrounding Lake Atitlan, attending artist workshops and visiting a local church and market

Is this trip right for you?

  • PSMI

  • Some included activities, such as guided tours of archaeological sites, can be strenuous. Be sure to bring comfortable and sturdy footwear.

  • There are a few long days of travel, as you'll be covering a lot of ground. So be prepared for some driving. You will, however, make stops at interesting locations along your way to break things up.

  • Due sporadic Zapatista protests in the region around Palenque, some changes to day 9 of your itinerary may be necessary.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

  • PSBG

  • There are a few long days of travel, as you'll be covering a lot of ground. Be prepared for some driving. You will, however, make stops at interesting locations along the way to break things up.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

  • The Crooked Tree Lodge in Belize (Day 2) is slightly below Peregrine standard, but was chosen for its sensational location and its vast array of excellent outdoor activities on offer.

Itinerary

Arrive at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport, where you'll be transferred to your hotel. A complimentary transfer is included with your trip. Please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised.

In the evening (about 6 pm) you will meet your tour leader and the other members of your group for a pre-tour briefing. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection.

This meeting will be followed by an optional group dinner at a nearby restaurant.

There are enough activities to do in Mexico City to keep you busy for a week, so you may want to consider to arrive to Mexico City a day or two before the start of your trip. Some of the most popular activities in Mexico City (apart from the ones included in this trip) are:

Leon Trotsky Museum - Having come second best to Stalin on the race to the helm of the Soviet Union, Trotski was expelled and found refuge in Mexico City - where he was eventually murdered. The entrance fee includes free guided tours in English. Ask about it at the ticket box. An Uber taxi from your hotel to the museum should cost you approximately MXN 100.

If you prefer to get out of the city and escape the crowds, take a trip to the canals and gardens of Xochimilco. An Uber taxi should cost about MXN 300 to get there.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Geneve or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Mexico City - Leon Trotsky Museum - MXN40
  • Mexico City - Frida Kahlo Museum - MXN200
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Start off a long and worthwhile day with a tour of Mexico City at approximately 8.30am. First off, visit the impressive National Museum of Anthropology before heading to the Zocalo (main square) for a visit to the Cathedral and National Palace. Mexico City is an exciting mix of modern cosmopolitan glamour with remnants from both its ancient and colonial history and come the tour's finish at 3pm, you should be well aquainted with all it has to offer.

Mexico is the birthplace of the taco - this evening (at approximately 7pm) you'll get to experience the world favourite foodstuff in the most authentic of settings with a taco crawl across town. Explore a variety of tastes from locals' favourite taquerias as you learn about the stories of families that run these establishments. Warning - you may not want to know the ingredients in your taco before you try them! Just trust your taste buds.

After Tacos, your leader may suggest taking a taxi to Plaza Garibaldi, where for about MXN 200 you can get a Mariachi band to perform for you!
Accommodation
  • Hotel Geneve or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - City Tour
  • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals
  • Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology
  • Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Mexico City - Taco crawl
Optional Activities
  • Mexico City - Mariachis in Garibaldi Square (entry is free, price to hire a band for 2-3 songs) - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today won't have a chance to go for lunch until approximately 3pm. So make sure you carry some snacks and water.
Travel by private minivan to Teotihuacan, located around 50 kilometres northeast of Mexico City. Here you'll discover the extraordinary Aztec ruins known as the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon which dominate the skyline. With the help of a local guide, you'll have time to stroll down ‘The Avenue of the Dead’ to see fascinating clues to what life here was like nearly 2,000 years ago.

Return to Mexico City after lunch (not included) and spend another afternoon exploring this vibrant metropolis. Perhaps visit the Frida Kahlo Museum for a deeper understanding of this renowned Mexican artist. Bear in mind that queues can be long to enter this museum, particularly on weekends. An Uber taxi from your hotel to the museum should cost approximately MXN 160 each way.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Geneve or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - Teotihuacan archaeological site (inc. transport, entrance and guide)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
At approximately 8am you'll farewell Mexico City and head south to Puebla. The drive takes about 3 hours depending on local traffic. Once in Puebla, your leader will take you on a walk around the town - a place that still retains its colonial heritage despite rapid growth and development. The walk will include a visit to the Calle de los Dulces (Candy street), El Parian (handycraft market) as well as local colonial buildings that remain a testament to Puebla's proud history, such as the Town Hall Palace and the Rosary Chapel.

You will have lunch in Puebla (not included) before continuing south to Oaxaca, another 5hrs drive.

Oaxaca is renowned for its cuisine and vibrant art scene. It's also an excellent place to browse for traditional Mexican handicrafts, as descendants of the Zapotec and Mixtec Indians sell an array of bright woven blankets and shawls here.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mision de los Angeles or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Puebla - Visit Puebla on route to Oaxaca
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning your leader will take you on a tour of Oaxaca including Santo Domingo Church, Zocalo and local art and craft galleries. You'll arrive at the 20 de Noviembre market in time for lunch, where you can search through the many local restaurants for whatever you feel like – perhaps focus on the famous grilled meats hall.

In the afternoon, travel out of the city (approximately 1hr drive) and visit the nearby village of Teotitlán del Valle. The settlement is famous for its weaving, particularly of colourful rugs. Here you'll visit a workshop and see a weaving demonstration.

Later, learn about a peculiar tradition not many have the opportunity to witness when visiting Oaxaca: beeswax candle making! You will visit a local shop that keeps this centenary tradition alive to learn about the technique involved in the making of these delicate candles and maybe have a go at it yourself!

Finish up at an artisanal mescaleria. Unlike other mainstream mescalerias, here you will have the opportunity to meet an experienced "palenquero" and learn about the production of this famous Mexican drink made from cactus. Needless to say, you'll taste some of the best mescal in the area. Salud!
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mision de los Angeles or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oaxaca - Leader led city tour
  • Oaxaca - Teotitlan del Valle visit
  • Oaxaca - Beeswax candle shop visit
  • Oaxaca - Artisanal mescaleria visit
  • Oaxaca - Mezcal Factory
Optional Activities
  • Oaxaca - Folkloric ballet (seasonal) - USD10
  • Oaxaca - Santo Domingo Cultural Centre - USD8
  • Oaxaca - Monte Alban Ruins (entrance fee) - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you'll take a cooking class to get to grips with some regional specialties. At approximately 10am, take a guided walk to the local market – wandering past stalls of everything from cactus fruit to grasshoppers, Oaxacan chocolate, and then heavenly Oaxacan cheese - queso oaxaca – before picking up some supply ingredients for your class. You'll then arrive a local house, where you'll learn to cook these regional meals with some assistance. No doubt there will be some kind of corn involved – it's been a staple of Mesoamerican cuisine for over 7,000 years.

After feasting on your creations, the rest of the afternoon in the city is free. Perhaps continue the day's food theme by visiting Calle de los Dulces, or 'Sweets Street', to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Mision de los Angeles or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Oaxaca - Cooking class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a noon flight to Tuxtla Gutierrez. before travelling by minivan to the Sumidero Canyon, an 800-metre deep canyon carved out by the Sumidero River and dating from the same time as the Grand Canyon - the boat tour takes approximately 2hrs.

Then continue driving a further 1.5hrs to San Cristobal de las Casas where you can expect to arrive by 7pm. In the evening, take in the distinctive old-world feel here, which comes from the Spanish colonial architecture and pretty, cobbled streets.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Parador Margarita or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Sumidero Canyon (inc. transport)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Notes: Please note that occasionally towards the end of dry season (November to April) the water level in Sumidero Canyon may become too low for us to safely take the boat tour. If our staff deem this activity to be unsafe, we will replace it with another included activity of similar value.
This morning, embark on a half day tour to the Mayan villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. Nestled comfortably in the highlands, these villages serve as marketplaces and religious ceremonial centres for the indigenous people who live in the surrounding hills. The local people have retained their traditional way of life - you can often spot them wandering through the villages dressed in their own distinctive colourful costumes. Explore these villages with a guide and learn more about the culture and history of these predominantly Mayan communities.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Parador Margarita or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Mayan villages tour inc. San Juan Chamula
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Expect a long travel day today - you'll be departing from San Cristobal de Las Casas and travelling north to Palenque on a drive stretching for approximately 8hrs. There's time to stretch your legs however, and the sights on the way will certainly make the trip that much more enjoyable. Take a breather at the low rolling waterfalls of Agua Azul and the serene inlet of Misol Ha before arriving at Palenque at about 6pm.

Situated in hot jungle, Palenque is the jump-off point to the nearby Maya ruins of the same name – you'll visit them tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Mercedes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Palenque - Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Notes: Due to increased activity by the Zapatista movement in the region around Palenque, some changes to your itinerary may be necessary for your safety. The Zapatistas have recently been targeting tourists in order to draw attention to their cause. As a result, some transport to and from Palenque may need to be rerouted, which means longer travel times of up to 9 hours. Some activities, including visits to the Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls, will be unavailable until this situation is resolved. Alternative activities will be organised as required and explained by your tour leader at the welcome meeting. Currently there are no safety issues within the city of Palenque itself, or at the nearby Mayan archaeological site. We’re constantly monitoring this situation to ensure the safety of our passengers and leaders.
Begin today's adventures by meeting a local archaeologist for a memorable morning visit to the ruins of Palenque.

Archaeologists have been hard at work uncovering the secrets of this ancient city, but around 90% of the site remains unexcavated and concealed in the forest. Sitting on a hilltop surrounded by thick trees, the ruins date back to 600AD and remain as some of the most impressive Maya relics in Mexico. As you walk among the temples, listen out for the eerie calls of howler monkeys and screeching parrots echoing through the jungle. The area gives you a real idea of what the Spanish invaders must have seen when they first came across the hidden ruins.

After lunch, continue driving north to Campeche. This will be your last long travel day on this itinerary - approximately 6 hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Castelmar or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Palenque - Archaeological site guided tour
  • Palenque - Archaeologist led visit to Palenque ruins
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, continue along the coast to visit the Celestun Bird Sanctuary and Biosphere Reserve before embarking on a guided boat tour. Near the extensive beaches lined with coconut trees you'll see a variety of beautiful coastal birds. Depending on the season (usually Nov-Mar), you may be able to witness the magnificent sight of thousands of flamingos painting a pink streak across the landscape.

Arrive into the historic town of Merida in time for dinner (not included). Merida was funded in 1542 and it still retains much of its old-world charm. Take in the splendour of its many colonial buildings and learn more about the Mayan heritage of the town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Castellano or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Merida - Celestum boat tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day and explore the many sights of Merida - your guide will be able to recommend some good options. Perhaps visit some of the museums, including the impressive Regional Museum of Yucatan and stroll the city streets which burst with art and culture. Wander through the green, shady Plaza Grande and its surrounds - you'll find a 16th-century cathedral sitting on one of it's sides and City Hall, State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo on the other. For a taste of Merida's 19th-century glory, go for a walk along the mansion-lined Paseo de Montejo. The outdoor market is another essential visit with an array of hammocks and Mayan replicas for sale, plus a selection of enticing local cuisine including the dish cochinita pibil ('little pig').
Accommodation
  • Hotel Castellano or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Merida - Regional Museum of Yucatan - MXN52
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Leave Merida at 6am and arrive to Chichen Itza by 8am in time for breakfast. After breakfast you will take a 3hr tour of Chichen Itza, possibly the most famous Mayan site in all of Mexico. Recently named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Chichen Itza has both Toltec and Mayan ruins lying alongside each other. The famous El Castillo (Temple of Kukulkan) pyramid dominates the site. Not far from the temple is the ‘ball court’ where many disputes are were settled by way of a ball game that employed only the elbows, hips and wrists. Stone carvings depicting violence suggest it was not some casual sport. Nearby, excavations of the Well of Sacrifice offered up treasures of jade, copper and gold, as well as many human and animal bones.

Following a guided tour of the site, continue to the Caribbean coast and the resort town of Playa del Carmen (approximately 3 hours). Blessed with shimmering waters, powdery beaches and a European feel, Playa del Carmen is a resort city close to Cancun but with less of a party atmosphere.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hacienda Paradise or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Chichen Itza Ruins - Entrance & Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend the day exploring the Yucatan Peninsula, starting with an expedition to the ruins of Tulum (approximately 1 hour). This ancient Maya city was once an important trading port, protected against invaders by a high wall. Situated on a cliff overlooking a white sandy beach, it offers wonderful views and photo opportunities - you'll get to experience this first hand on a guided tour around the site, learning about the castle, temple and other structures within.

On the way back to Playa del Carmen, perhaps stop at a hidden cenote for a refreshing swim. These stunning natural sinkholes are filled with crystal clear fresh water and make for a memorable dip.

Back in Playa del Carmen, perhaps enjoy your free time reading a book at a beachside bar or taking a stroll among the trendy holidaymakers lining the shore. In the evening, consider heading out with the group to reflect on your experiences over a delicious local meal. The latin cuisine here is raved about - enjoy some of the local seafood or even have a taste of some local cactus salad.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hacienda Paradise or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Playa del Carmen - Tulum ruins guided tour
Optional Activities
  • Playa del Carmen - Cenote (sinkhole) visit - USD12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day. With azure waters, powdery beaches and a European feel, Playa del Carmen is a resort city. Spend your time snorkelling crystal clear waters, diving in underground caverns or strolling along white sands. In the evening, kick back and watch the waves with a margarita. For adventures further afield take a ferry across the turquoise seas to Cozumel, an island famous for its reef diving.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hacienda Paradise or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Make the journey from Playa del Carmen across the border to Belize (approximately 4 hours). Settle into your accommodation – the small, family-run Crooked Tree Lodge located approximately 2 hours drive past the border. Nestled among coconut palms and bullet trees in the heart of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, this lagoonside lodge is perfectly located for wildlife viewing. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels, iguanas or perhaps even crocodiles.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Wake early and embark on a birdwatching excursion, travelling by boat on the lagoon. Around 250 birds call the reserve home - some local, some migrating from tropical locations. Among them lies the beautiful Jabiru stork, the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere. Afterwards, drive to the San Ignacio area (approximately 2.5 hours). Once you arrive in the afternoon, spend the afternoon as you please. You might want to relax and unwind at the excellent Pooks Hill Lodge, situated on 300 acres of lush Belizean forest in the foothills of the Maya Mountains.
Accommodation
  • Pooks Hill Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Crooked Tree - Lagoon birding boat tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day of free time. Perhaps go birdwatching, swimming, hiking or walking. A highly recommended option is a day trip to the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave. This trip begins with a hike (approximately 45 minutes) up the Roaring River Valley and through the rainforest of the Tapir Mountain Preserve. After reaching the cave entrance, you are taken on a tour of the ‘Xibalba,’ the fascinating Maya underworld. This includes a ‘Cathedral’ chamber which used to be a Mayan ceremonial and burial ground.

Notes: The optional excursion to the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave requires a decent level of fitness, and involves river crossings. Closed-toe shoes that can withstand water are essential.
Accommodation
  • Pooks Hill Lodge or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave - inc. transport, guide and lunch) - USD95
  • San Ignacio - Canoe rental - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to Belize and head to the Guatemalan border (approximately 1 hour). Once you have crossed into Guatemala, continue to Flores (approximately 2 hours). After settling in, visit Yaxha, an archaeological site situated on the shores of Yaxha Lagoon in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. Surrounded by dense jungle, Yaxha is home to more than 500 buildings, including the impressive Twin Pyramids. Perhaps climb to the top of the restored Temple 216 for beautiful views across the lagoons, forest and other temples. Afterwards, sit back at a picture-perfect spot by the lake and, over a glass of wine, farewell that same sun the Mayas worshiped hundreds of years ago.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flores - Yaxha tour & sunset drinks
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Embrace an early start (about 7am) for a leader-led tour of Tikal. Home to some of the world's most magnificent Maya ruins, Tikal's five major temples rise above the jungle canopy while an array of smaller structures remain hidden in the undergrowth. Explore the highlights of the area including Temple I, which is perhaps the most iconic image of Guatemala. This area is a repository of Maya wisdom, containing insights into traditional medicine, astrology, agronomy and architecture. The jungles thrum with life, toucans and macaws can often be seen swooping between trees while monkeys crash through the canopy. Those interested can climb to the top of the ruins for unsurpassed vistas over the forest. Return to Flores early in the afternoon (approximately 2 pm) and enjoy free time to stroll the cobblestone streets, shop for locally-made souvenirs or swim in Lake Peten Itza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flores - Tour of Tikal archaeological site
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take an early morning transfer to Flores Airport for an 8am flight to Guatemala City (approximately 1 hour). From here, make the journey Suchitoto via the El Salvadorean border (approximately 6 hours). It's a long travel day, but the destination is well worth it. With its festive atmosphere, stately colonial-era architecture, shaded plazas and lack of traffic, Suchitoto is a dream to explore on foot. The town overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande (also known as Lago Suchitlan) which is a haven for migrating birds – particularly falcons and hawks.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a guided city tour with a mix of walking and transport (approximately 3 hours), taking in some of the city's history along the way. During the civil war, Suchitoto became virtually a ghost town, the battles at nearby Guazapa compelling most of its inhabitants to flee for safety. Grim times that they were, this abandonment actually helped to preserve the city's colonial architecture that you'll be admiring today. You also make a visit to Los Tercios waterfalls and rock formation, attend a cigar rolling demonstration with the 98-year-old Nina Victoria, and enjoy lunch at a local pupusa's restaurant. Enjoy some free time in afternoon.

Included Activities
  • Suchitoto - Town tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
In the morning, hike through the nearby Cinquera Rain Forest Park with a local guide (approximately 2 hours). The trail you hike is somewhat steep but takes you to a former guerilla camp. The park was created by the former FMLN guerillas and their families to protect the forest from loggers. Meet with one of the original Guerilla fighters to learn his story and ask questions about the civil war in El Salvador. When the hike is over, you can cool off by taking a dip in a nearby swimming hole. Afterwards, enjoy some free time. You might like to spend the afternoon boating, kayaking or attending a local indigo dying workshop.
Included Activities
  • Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest
Optional Activities
  • Suchitoto - Boat trip to Bird Island in Lake Suchitlan (it requires a minimum of 6 travellers to operate) - USD20
  • Suchitoto - Morning kayak bird watching (requires a minimum of 3 travellers to run) - USD35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to the renowned 'Ruta de las Flores' (Flowers Route) (approximately 2.5 hours). This is one of the country's premier attractions, full of verdant coffee plantations, tiny towns bursting with colour, and of course the wildflowers from which the area takes its name. For lunch, stop in at what may well be El Salvador's best restaurant, El Jardin de Celeste. After a leisurely repast in this idyllic garden setting, head off to the border and cross back into Guatemala (approximately 4 hours). Arrive in Antigua in the early evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
As you'll come to appreciate today, Guatemala’s volcanic soils and altitudinous valleys offer just the right conditions for coffee cultivation. Visit a local farming cooperative and get to know this all-important export better during a plantation tour led by a local farmer. Dig into the history of the plant with a hands-on coffee experience in the fields, then learn all about the crop-to-cup process back at the farmer's house. You'll see how the bright red berries are processed, dried, roasted and ground by hand into the perfect blend. This is your chance to try coffee straight from the source. Start this tour at around 9am and be back in town my midday.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antigua - Coffee tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
How you spend the rest of your time in Antigua is up to you. Due to its historical relics, pleasant ambience and friendly locals, the town is a popular one among travellers. There are a number of interesting markets to peruse, plus no shortage of restaurants and cafes to check out – be sure to sample the country's other important bean: chocolate! If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps finish off this journey to the tune of some salsa at one of the local dance spots.

Unfortunately, more than half the population of this beautiful Guatemala you have come to know so well 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 in
Encircled by emerald mountains and misty volcanoes, Lake Atitlan has often been ranked one of the world's most beautiful lakes. Here your accommodation boasts incredible views across Atitlan's reflective waters and surrounding peaks. Spend the day cruising around by boat and stopping in at local villages – San Juan La Laguna included – and visit local artist workshops. Meet local artists Antonio and Angelina Coche and learn from them about your Maya 'Nahual', a local equivalent of the zodiac that assigns animal spirits based on birth date. You might even want to try painting your own symbol. Along the way you will see that life in many of the villages around the lake has changed very little over the past few centuries. You'll most likely see locals getting around in traditional garb that incorporate designs passed down through generations- there's an atmosphere to it all that's peaceful and unpretentious.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Visit Santiago Atitlan, a peaceful town located on the southern shores of the lake between the volcanoes Toliman and San Pedro. This is the largest town on the lake; more importantly it's the home of the Maya god, Maximon. As a town with a strong indigenous identity, Santiago Atitlan hosts a Holy Week each year which sees Maximon's effigy moved from one house to another. While in Santiago Atitlan you’ll visit a local church to learn about the local customs and history of this traditional town, also stopping in at a local market to watch the day's business being carried out. Arrive back at your hotel at approximately 3pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Lake Atitlan - San Juan Village tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in the morning, then travel back to Antigua (approximately 3 hours). The afternoon is free to spend as you wish. Perhaps enjoy a final (optional) dinner with your fellow travellers.

Accommodation
  • Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your journey comes to an end today after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

28 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Boat, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (28 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Mexico City - City Tour
  • Mexico City - National Palace and Diego Rivera murals
  • Mexico City - National Museum of Anthropology
  • Mexico City - Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Mexico City - Taco crawl
  • Mexico City - Teotihuacan archaeological site (inc. transport, entrance and guide)
  • Puebla - Visit Puebla on route to Oaxaca
  • Oaxaca - Leader led city tour
  • Oaxaca - Teotitlan del Valle visit
  • Oaxaca - Beeswax candle shop visit
  • Oaxaca - Artisanal mescaleria visit
  • Oaxaca - Mezcal Factory
  • Oaxaca - Cooking class
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Sumidero Canyon (inc. transport)
  • San Cristobal de las Casas - Mayan villages tour inc. San Juan Chamula
  • Palenque - Misol-Ha and Agua Azul waterfalls
  • Palenque - Archaeological site guided tour
  • Palenque - Archaeologist led visit to Palenque ruins
  • Merida - Celestum boat tour
  • Chichen Itza Ruins - Entrance & Guided tour
  • Playa del Carmen - Tulum ruins guided tour
  • Crooked Tree - Lagoon birding boat tour
  • Flores - Yaxha tour & sunset drinks
  • Flores - Tour of Tikal archaeological site
  • Suchitoto - Town tour
  • Suchitoto - War historic walk at Cinquera Forest
  • Antigua - Coffee tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Lake Atitlan - San Juan Village tour

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Mexico, 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

START AND END TIME:
On Day 1 there are no activities planned until the important welcome meeting at approximately 6pm. There are no activities planned for the final day.

COMPLIMENTARY TRANSFERS:
To book your complimentary transfers you must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
- An airport arrival transfer is included in Mexico City

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip.

COMBINATION TRIP:
This trip is a combination of two of our most popular departures. As such the make-up of your group and your tour leader may change on day 15.

WARNING FOR BOOKING FLIGHTS TO/FROM ANTIGUA:
Please be careful when booking flights to/from Antigua making sure you fly into/out of Guatemala City Airport (GUA). Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do NOT book flights to/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.