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  1. Day 1
    Mexico City to Guanajuato
    Meet up with your fellow travellers and Trip Manager in Mexico’s sprawling capital, before we hit the road and travel to the beautiful Colonial City of Guanajuato.

    With a history as a major silver mining town, and many of the mines are still active today. Guanajuato was once home to one of the richest and most productive silver mines in the world. The Templo de San Cayetano (San Cayetano Church) stands as a monument to the wealth and riches extracted from the mine.

    Soak up the sights as your private Local Guide leads you on a captivating journey through the winding streets and subterranean passageways of this UNESCO World Heritage city. View the romantic “Callejon de Beso” (Two balconies separated by only 69cms is home of an old love legend). The legend tells that there lived two people in love called Carlos and Ana. Ana was a rich Spaniard who lived on the left side of the street, and Carlos, a poor miner who rented the house on the right side for a few gold and silver coins…..And the story goes on…. Make sure you ask your Trip Manager to tell you all about it!

    The historic center of Guanajuato has a distinct European flavour packed with narrow cobblestone callejones (alleyways) running up and down the hillside. Pretty little plazas are dotted with sidewalk cafés, museums, theatres, markets and monuments. Visit the main square and the cast-iron-and glass Hidalgo Market, designed by Gustave Eiffel.

    Later, get to know the group and your Trip Manager over dinner in a local restaurant. Guanajuato is a great place to sample regional Bajío cuisine. Favorite local dishes include enchiladas mineras (tortillas filled with meat, beans or cheese and topped with a sauce made from guajillo and ancho chiles) and pacholas Guanajuatenses (ground beef with spices).

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.



    Day 2
    Guanajuato to Guadalajara
    Experience the most famous monuments of the ‘Pearl of the West’ as locals refer to Guadalajara. Take a closer look at beautiful buildings and picture perfect plazas; let your Local Guide talk you through the great murals, colonial architecture and colourful history. Stroll through the streets of the historic centre, where you’ll visit the four main squares, venture inside the City Hall and the magnificent Cathedral. Admire the rich neo-classical architecture of the buildings before hitting the modern side of the city.

    Get ready for some Mariachi! We head to the Mariachi Plaza for some of the best music in Mexico! Mariachi is a recognized symbol of Mexico throughout the world. For Mexicans it is the musical accompaniment to life's most important moments: it forms a vital part of courtship and family events such as weddings, birthdays, baptisms, and funerals. This is the emblematic sound of Mexico, which reaches into the hearts of its listeners evoking the history and traditions. Later, head out to some of the city’s best bars & clubs to continue the Mexican Fiesta!

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.

    Day 3
    Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta
    Our Journey today will bring us through the mountainous culture-rich area of Jalisco. We’ll stop enroute to see the Ceboruco – a dacitic stratovolcano. The most recent and best documented eruption from Ceboruco lasted from 1870–1875, with fumarole activity lasting well into the 20th century. The mountain features one large caldera, created during the Jala eruption, with a smaller crater nested inside that formed when the Dos Equis lava dome collapsed during the Coapales eruption around 1100 AD.

    In the early afternoon, arrive in the fantastic beach resort of Puerto Vallarta. Get ready to relax by the pool or treat yourself at the spa. Later, meet up with the group to enjoy a delicious dinner on the beachfront.

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.


    Day 4
    Puerto Vallarta
    With a free day, soak up more of Puerto Vallarta’s vibes, beach life and sparkling blue waters. Join a surfing safari and explore the spectacular hidden beaches along the northern coast of Banderas Bay, some of the best and most beautiful surfing beaches in Mexico. Get out, see more of the area and catch some waves. The beaches near Punta Mita offer some of the best waves for learning to surf in the world - it is the Waikiki of Mexico

    If you’re looking to learn more about this beautiful environment join the Marietas Eco Discovery. Just offshore, inside Banderas Bay, rests a group of small, volcanic islands known as the Marietas Islands. These islands, made famous by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, provide the perfect environment for an entertaining eco-adventure. Experience wildlife above and below the water as you kayak, snorkel and explore the unique ecosystem with the informative & fun guides and crew.

    Tonight, choose to join an amazing sunset cruise with exciting pirate show! This five-hour cruise begins just before sunset and offers incredible views of Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta from the deck of a real wooden pirate ship. Onboard entertainment includes Pirate show, acrobatics, sword-fighting and even a fireworks display! Full dinner and free drinks, dancing and music – lets the fun times roll.

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.

    Day 5
    Puerto Vallarta
    With a free day, soak up more of Puerto Vallarta’s vibes, beach life and sparkling blue waters. Join a surfing safari and explore the spectacular hidden beaches along the northern coast of Banderas Bay, some of the best and most beautiful surfing beaches in Mexico. Get out, see more of the area and catch some waves. The beaches near Punta Mita offer some of the best waves for learning to surf in the world - it is the Waikiki of Mexico

    If you’re looking to learn more about this beautiful environment join the Marietas Eco Discovery. Just offshore, inside Banderas Bay, rests a group of small, volcanic islands known as the Marietas Islands. These islands, made famous by oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, provide the perfect environment for an entertaining eco-adventure. Experience wildlife above and below the water as you kayak, snorkel and explore the unique ecosystem with the informative & fun guides and crew.

    Tonight, choose to join an amazing sunset cruise with exciting pirate show! This five-hour cruise begins just before sunset and offers incredible views of Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta from the deck of a real wooden pirate ship. Onboard entertainment includes Pirate show, acrobatics, sword-fighting and even a fireworks display! Full dinner and free drinks, dancing and music – lets the fun times roll.

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.

    Day 6
    Puerto Vallarta to Tequila
    Today it is all about Tequila! We head to the picturesque town of Tequila, where we will learn all about the Tequila making, we will visit a Tequila factory and of course, at the end of the tour, a well deserved Tequila tasting. Overnight in the little town of Tequila.

    Tonight, go out and explore and join the group and Trip Manager for a feast of Mexican specialities then wash it all down with some tequila, Mexico’s national drink.

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.

    Day 7
    Mexico City
    We turn back the clock this morning with a trip to Teotihuacan, the largest archaeological city ever to exist on the American continents. Climb the impressive pyramids and imagine how this was once Central America’s greatest city.

    Our Local Guide will fill you in on the Teotihuacanos beliefs and rites as you walk around the site and see the Sun and Moon Temples. This afternoon, discover another side of vibrant Mexico City with a visit to the easy-going, old barrio (neighbourhood) of Coyoacan. Take in the old colonial mansions, fountains and quiet squares of this cultural quarter. See the paired studios of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and maybe visit Frida Kahlo’s famous Blue House, which is filled with colourful art, pre-Hispanic artefacts and a beautiful garden.

    Visit the unique floating gardens & markets of Xochimilco. Board our own brightly colored flat bottom boat and cruise along the canals, past gardens and floating Mariachi bands. Vendors jump from boat to boat with souvenirs, so you can kick back and shop while you ride along the canals.

    Then we head to the historic heart of the city, where ancient civilization, political power and religion combine around the enormous Zocalo (Central Square). Get inspired as our expert Local Guide uncovers the nation’s core spots and shows off this living time line. Step inside the largest cathedral in Latin America and learn why the tilting Catedral Metropolitana is a spiritual hub for Mexicans. Get up close to Mexico’s Aztec past as you explore the bare ruins around Templo Mayor. Our Local Guide will peel back the layers and explain how a new temple was built here every 52 years, one on top of the other.


    Day 8
    Tequila to Mexico City
    After a healthy and well deserved breakfast, return to Mexico City through the charming countryside of the Colonial Heartland. We’ll make our way through agricultural districts that lead to bustling Mexico City, the largest city in the country and the oldest capital city in North America.

    This is an updated itinerary. Due to unforeseen circumstances, there has been a change to the original itinerary on days 1 to 7. For further details, please contact our Reservations team.

    Day 9
    Mexico City to Merida
    Leave behind the buzz of Mexico City & fly to the beautiful white-stone city of Merida. Tour the city's gorgeous colonial buildings & Government Palace before indulging in a mouthwatering Yucatecan meal.

    Day 10
    Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza
    We kick start the day with a trip to UNESCO World Heritage-listed Chichen Itza – the best preserved and most famous Mayan ruins in Mexico. Hear from our expert Local Guide about the time temples and how the Mayan calendar worked as you explore the spectacular ancient ceremonial center and the fascinating snail-shaped observatory.

    Back on the coach, we continue on to glitzy Cancun, Mexico’s super resort. This party paradise is a high energy destination, loaded with outdoor activities and a buzzing nightlife. Use your free time to relax with an evening siesta. Then head into town to the Mercado 28, a lively market serving up homemade foods. Sit yourself down in a fondita (little café) and order various specialties from throughout Mexico or try the regional Yucatan dish, chicken pibil (chicken in a special marinade).

    For some live, local music, make a move to Parquet de las Palapas with some friends. Grab a cold cerveza (beer) from one of the food stands and take it all in. Then explore what’s on offer party-wise in Cancun.

    Day 11
    Cancun & Playa del Carmen
    Take a trip with the group to the hip, hot beach of Playa del Carmen. A popular spot for snorkeling and diving, Playa del Carmen has underwater caves and mind-blowing offshore coral reefs. Take a swim in the azure waters, chill out on the beach or even jump on a ferry to the Island of Cozumel.

    Back in Cancun, wrap up the day on the beach watching the sun set over the Caribbean Sea. Some ideas for dinner include hitting an open-air restaurant for some fresh seafood or heading to the central plaza for some authentic island specialties.

    Day 12
    Cancun
    Today, your Trip Manager will take you to hidden spots and show off tropical jungle and watering holes. Then with a full free day, make the most of Cancun’s action and crystal clear waters.

    We get away from it all and head to the pint-sized Isla Mujeres. With no cars and little development, this is the place to wind down on pristine beaches and soak up the sun. Experience its fabulous coral reefs on our optional Garrafon Natural Reef Park excursion. If you’re keen, you can even swim with dolphins here. You could head to Punta Nizuc for some more snorkeling. For something different have a look through La Casa des Artes Mexicanas (House of Mexican Art), where you’ll see musical instruments, handmade kids’ toys and traditional costumes.

    Opt for a trip to Xcaret Ecopark, where Mayan ruins, a stunning inlet and jungle combine to make this place so special. Have a swim in the underground river and see colorful birdlife and a butterfly farm. Later why not get into the fun, festive vibes of Cancun and settle in on an open terrace beachside or at a small, local bar. Keep it moving until the sun comes up if you want – Cancun nightlife is the stuff of legends.

    Day 13
    Caye Caulker
    The day is all yours! Fuel up at breakfast, then you get to make the most of our ME Time optionals, like swimming with sharks at Belize’s World Heritage Barrier Reef, Kayaking the mangroves or lazing on “The Split” (a break in the island), where sipping and sunbathing is the scene! Tonight, rejoin the crew in the evening for an amazing sunset sail! Enjoy included snacks, drinks and music during for our last night on the island.

    Day 14
    Cancun to Caye Caulker
    Adios Mexico, but we’ll be back! This morning we leave Cancun and head to Chetumal for some exploring & maybe bite to eat, before boarding our water taxis into Belize. We’ll park up on this Caribbean island, where the motto is “go slow.” Tonight it’s dinner we’ll offer a feast of fresh seafood & your chance to sample the reggae nightlife!

    Day 15
    Caye Caulker to Guatemalan Rainforest
    Next up, Guatemala's El Petén ragion via Belize City! On arrival at our awesome Jungle Lodge there's the option to fly through the rainforest canopy on ziplines.. why not! Explore the local ruins then drift off to sleep to the sounds of the forest.

    Day 16
    Guatemalan Rainforest to Santa Elena (Flores)
    We rise before the sun to watch daybreak unfold from atop the Mayan ruin, Templo IV… so prepare for amazing! Enjoy an included guided tour of the area or explore the magnificent jungle ruins, before our afternoon trip to the island of Flores, built atop another ancient Mayan center known as Tayasal. Make the most of your time, and opt for a lake cruise on arrival if you feel like getting out on the water before more relaxing over tonight’s dinner.

    Day 17
    Santa Elena to Antigua
    From the relaxed Flores to Guatemala’s bustling capital city! Today we’ll skip the queues and make a beeline for the unique beauty and relaxed vibe of World Heritage Antigua. You’ll be shown many of the historic and beautiful facets of town, among rooftop flowerbeds and horse drawn carriages bouncing over cobblestones.

    Day 18
    Antigua
    With the day all yours, see the sights & tick those boxes. Adventure seekers can hike a volcano or ride mountain bikes. Or if you want to relax you could try making local native chocolates or shop for traditional textiles.

    Day 19
    Lago Atitlan to San Cristobal de las Casas
    There will be few good snaps to be taken on route today. We’ll make our way through small Mayan communities of Guatemala’s highlands en route to the Mexican border, where we enter the beautiful and rugged territory of Chiapas. You’ll get the chance to explore Comitan and try some of the local cuisine and maybe sample a traditional drink Tascalate (made from chocolate, toasted corn and achiote). Later we heads to the evergreens in the cool cultural capital of San Cristobal de las Casas!

    Day 20
    Antigua to Lago Atitlan
    Wake up in Anitgua for the last time and continue north into the Highlands, to see the magnificent Lago Atitlan! We’ll journey by private boat to a lakeside Mayan community where we will meet local artisans and learn to make tortillas by hand. And taste them too, of course. Afterwards, relax on a hammock or enjoy the thrill of gliding in the sky. Tonight we’ll get amongst the traveller vibe and hit the main street, lined with cafes and shops, for a fun night out.

    Day 21
    San Cristobal de las Casas
    It’s time to get up and discover all city has to offer! Adventurers can take to the landscape for horseback riding or mountain biking this morning. After your Backstage Pass will take you to the Mayan hillside communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, learn about the untold generations of merging Native American and European cultures. Tonight you’ll get to try some traditional Tamales Chiapanecos at an included dinner, before hitting the town to move to local rhythms. Get festive!

    Day 22
    Chiapas to Tehuantepec
    This morning you could be relaxing by the pool under mango trees, exploring iconic monuments and indulging in great traditional food! From Mexico’s southern highlands, we make our way toward the country’s great center. The isthmus of Tehauntepec is the narrowest stretch of land that sits between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. We’ll descend from the forested hills into the beautiful coastal plains of Tehuantepec, where you’ll visit the city square, before a delicious local dinner with your crew.

    Day 23
    Tehuantepec to Oaxaca
    First we head to World Heritage Oaxaca then it's on to Matatlan. Later we heat to Mitla, sacred rites were once carried out among the still intact geometrical stonework. We'll see colonial architecture this evening, stopping at the local market for some delicious chapulines... yum!

    Day 24
    Oaxaca
    This morning is the last full day of the trip! So enjoy the last day with the crew and make the most of some ME Time, discover some of the fantastic local museums and shops in the area. This afternoon, we visit World Heritage Monte Alban, built on a mountaintop overlooking the modern capital. This area is famous for extraordinary traditional crafts and we will visit a local workshop, before returning to town for dinner. It’s time to celebrate one last time… Salud!

    Day 25
    Oaxaca to Mexico City
    This morning we travel to the centre of the ancient Aztec universe. We'll take a panoramic tour of World Heritage Puebla, then head to Cholula. Choose to enjoy a relaxed lunch in the small town plaza or enter the ruins & explore the ancient tunnels (entrance fee not included). This evening, we arrive in Mexico City, where you can say 'adios' to your amigos!

    Mexico City to Guanajuato
    Walking tour of Guanajuato
    Visit the Hidalgo Market
    Guanajuato to Guadalajara
    Jam to a Mariachi Band in Guadalajara
    Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta
    Viewpoint Ceboruco – for panoramic pictures
    Puerto Vallarta to Tequila
    Visit of a Tequila distillery with tasting
    Mexico City
    Tour the Pyramids of Teotihuacan
    Cruise on a Trajinera & discover Xochimilco
    Visit Coyoacán, birthplace of Frida Kahlo
    Mexico City to Merida
    Walking tour of Merida's sights
    Horse & carriage ride
    Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza
    Turn back the clock at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza
    Swim in a Cenote
    Cancun & Playa del Carmen
    Relax on the white sand beaches
    Cancun
    Experience the legendary nightlife
    Caye Caulker
    Sunset boat cruise
    Cancun to Caye Caulker
    See the Belize Barrier Reef
    Caye Caulker to Guatemalan Rainforest
    Stay in Tikal National Park
    Guatemalan Rainforest to Santa Elena (Flores)
    Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park
    Santa Elena to Antigua
    Sightseeing tour of Colonial Antgua
    Lago Atitlan to San Cristobal de las Casas
    Visit the cute town of Comitan
    Antigua to Lago Atitlan
    Visit a Mayan community among the volcanoes of Lake Atitlan & learn to make tortillas
    San Cristobal de las Casas
    Enter a sacred highland temple to experience ancient traditions in Chiapas
    Tehuantepec to Oaxaca
    Visit the Zapatec religious center Mitla
    Taste fiery mescal & sample spicy chapulines in the valley of Oaxaca
    Locally guided walking tour of colonial Oaxaca
    Oaxaca
    Visit the UNESCO site Monte Alban
    Shop for traditional masterpiece ceramics and textiles
    Visit a local workshop
    Oaxaca to Mexico City
    Visit Cholula where the church Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios stands above the buried pyramid Tlachihualtepetl
  2.  
  3. 1 Antigua
    Bienvenidos! Welcome to Guatemala. As the seat of the Spanish colonial government, Antigua was once the most important city in Central America. In 1773 Antigua was destroyed by an earthquake, but many of the colonial buildings have been carefully restored and the architecture from its glory days can still be seen.  On arrival at the hotel, you will be presented with a Welcome Pack containing all the information you will need for this Bite-size Break. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where this meeting will take place.   After meeting your guide, take a short trip to a well known local restaurant for a hands-on cooking class with the chef. Learn about the interesting mixture of Spanish and Mayan influences on Guatemalan flavours while whipping up tasty courses from meats, vegetable, herbs and spices hand-picked from the market that day.  Reward your efforts with a tasty dinner. 
    2 Antigua
    Guatemala’s fertile valleys provide the perfect conditions for growing coffee, and it produces some of the best in the world. Get to know this addictive little bean a bit better with an excursion to a coffee plantation. Accompanied by a member of the coffee farming cooperative, you’ll dig into the history of the plant with a hands-on crop to cup experience. If the season’s right, get your own hands dirty planting coffee seedlings or harvesting the beans. Next, see how these bright red berries are processed, dried, roasted and ground by hand. Finish off with a home-brewed cup and a snack prepared by the family. In the afternoon, check out the chaotic and colourful Central Market for a slice of local life. Your leader will guide you through the many fresh fruit and vegetable sellers until you reach the lively food stands in the ‘comedores’ section of the market. Here you will try some of the most popular regional Guatemalan dishes alongside the locals. The evening is free for your own exploration. Your leader will have plenty of suggestions for things to do and places to eat.
    3 Antigua
    Your Bite-size Break comes to an end this morning and you can leave at any time.
  4.  
  5. 1 San Jose
    Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica! This stopover adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. 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. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling capital city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisanal booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. If there's time, perhaps have a look at the Gold Museum and see its amazing collection of indigenous gold art, or head to the outdoor markets at Plaza de la Cultura and Central Market, where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
    2 Rafting Pacuare/Rio Tropicales Lodge
    Today transfer to Turrialba (approximately 2 hours) and then saddle up for a bike ride to the Pacuare River. From here, hit the rapids of the Pacuare River for the thrilling final leg to tonight's rainforest lodge. The next two days here will involve some incredible white water rafting down the Pacuare River. This river has been rated as one of the ten top best rivers around the world; not only for its rapids, but also its pristine rainforest surrounds and waterfalls. On arrival at tonight's eco-lodge accommodation you'll have time to either chill out or take a self-guided walk along garden trails.
    3 Puerto Viejo
    Hit the river again for more unforgettable white water rafting, and perhaps spot some wildelife along the way. You'll ride the Class 3 and 4 rapids for around two hours (or 14 kilometres). Afterwards, travel by local bus (approximately 1.5 hours) to Puerto Viejo, where bouncing reggae bars sit alongside palm-fringed beaches, and sample a taste of Caribbean life. 
    4 Puerto Viejo
    Visit the idyllic palm trees and clear waters of Cahuita National Park, a protected area that encompasses both rainforest and 600 acres of coral reef. One of the first national parks to have been established in Costa Rica, these days Cahuita is managed by members of its nearby local community. Monkeys, reptiles, toucans and macaws can often be spotted in the park's jungle, while its waters are home to turtles, barracudas, sea urchins and more than 125 species of fish. See which critters you can spy during a 2.5 hour tour that goes to two different sections of the park, including some time for snorkelling. After a day exploring rainforests and splashing about, return to Puerto Viejo, where this stopover comes to an end.
  6.  
  7. 1 Belize City
    Hello! Welcome to Belize. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. 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. Located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture. Belize City isn't the nicest place we visit in Central America but it is the best option available for the starting point of this tour. Like any big city in this region, Belize City has some issues with street crime and we advise visitors to take every precaution when you're outside the hotel. Don't take any valuables when you go out and keep your camera safe. At night, always try to go out in a group and stay on the main streets. The area around our hotel is the safest in the city - it's often called the tourist village. You can walk to the nearby lighthouse and enjoy the beautiful sea views. If you have some extra time and want to explore the city further we recommend you take a taxi, even when travelling relatively short distances. You can organise for a taxi to pick you up at the hotel and wait for you at each stop. This might be a little more expensive but it's safer and you can make the most of your time in the city. There are some interesting places to visit. Belize City is divided by the world's only remaining manual swing bridge. On the north side is the coastal and maritime museum, housed in the beautiful restored former fire station. Also in the north is the Image Factory, displaying contemporary Belizean artists, and the National Handicraft Centre. The oldest Anglican church in Central America, St John Cathedral, was built in 1812 with bricks brought as ballast in European sailing ships. Opposite is Government House, a preserved colonial mansion. Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America, which will make chatting with locals much easier. The Belizeans are known for their relaxed and easy going way of live. You will be amazed how many different cultures coexist harmoniously here.
    2 San Ignacio
    Catch a local bus to San Ignacio (approx. 3 hrs) where your leader will take you on a visit to the Cahal Pech ruins.These ruins were once a major Maya ceremonial centre, standing tall on a hill overlooking San Ignacio.
    3 San Ignacio
    You have a free day to take on any of the many optional activities available. One of the optional activities here is a day trip to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre located with panoramic views over the countryside. The east side of one of the temples has a unique stucco frieze and the central plaza has three carved stelae. Getting to the site is half the fun as you'll need to take a hand-cranked ferry to cross the river. The cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is a living museum of Mayan relics. Wade through water until you reach the Mayan ceremonial site. Here you will find ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons, preserved by the natural processes of the cave for over 1,400 years. Other options to fill in your time in San Ignacio include a day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls and warm swimming holes, as well as a huge cave system, the butterfly garden, canoeing or river tubing.
    4 Tikal
    Today we travel to Tikal National Park (approx. 4 hrs). Towering above the jungle of the Tikal National Park, the five granite temples of Tikal are an awesome sight and one of the most magnificent Maya ruins. Hidden in the jungle growth is a maze of smaller structures just waiting to be explored. The energetic can climb to the top of the ruins for spectacular views over the canopy. You may even spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds. Tonight we camp by this majestic Mayan site. We will set up tents for ourselves with sleeping mattresses. The weather will be warm so sleeping bags will not be required although you may like to bring a sleeping bag liner or sheet. There are basic shared bathrooms and showers.
    5 Caye Caulker
    If you haven't had enough of Tikal you have the option to visit the site again this morning (entrance fee not included). We then travel by local bus to Belize City (approx. 6 hrs depending on border crossing conditions) where we board a water taxi to Caye Caulker. The Belize Cayes are a group of islands a short boat ride away from the coast. There are a number of these islands to choose from, but we base ourselves on Caye Caulker as this is one of the more popular islands with travellers. From here it is possible to arrange day trips to other cayes, to the best reefs for snorkelling, or simply to take a local boat out to the reef of Caulker itself. Each island has its own particular character, but all of them have the unmistakeable Caribbean pace and charm.
    6-7 Caye Caulker
    Relax on the beach or head out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to the magnificent Blue Hole and the world's second longest barrier reef. Snorkel among the colorful corals and see tropical fish, sharks and manta rays. If you're interested in sampling local cuisine, Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster. Not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so good. Always make sure that you respect the season: the lobsters can only be caught between June 15th and February 15th. Some of the best meals on the island are cooked on the road side. How about some grilled shrimp and a lovely rum and coke made with the local fire water?
    8 Caye Caulker
    On the last day we take a water taxi ride to Belize City (approx. 45 mins). You can depart any time after 12pm (midday) as there are no other planned activities for the day. Please ask your tour leader If you need any assistance arranging extra transport to the airport. If you would like to stay longer, we can book your post-tour accommodation at our hotel in either Caye Caulker or Belize City if required.
  8.  
  9. 1 San Jose
    Hola! Welcome to Costa Rica! Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. 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. With over half the country's population living within its parameters, San Jose is a bustling city with lively markets, intriguing museums and a dynamic atmosphere. A good place to start exploring is the main plaza, a fantastic place to get comfy and do some people watching. Artisan booths are common here and you never know when there'll be a spontaneous art fair. Have a look at the Gold Museum which has an amazing collection of indigenous gold art. If these cultural gems get you in the mood for a bit of shopping head to the out door market in Plaza de la Cultura or the Central Market where you can buy anything from handicrafts to seafood.
    2 Santa Rosa de Pocosol
    Travel by private minibus to Santa Rosa de Pocosol (approx 3 hours) where we spend the night in a homestay. Just down the road is the Juanilama agricultural community where we have the option to get to know the local villagers, help with farm chores or take a cooking lesson. Several villagers have built comfortable rooms for guests next to their homes. All rooms have shared facilities. In order to make the most of this homestay experience, it may take a bit of effort from your side to break the ice first. Learn as many Spanish words as you can and get ready for some serious hand language signals.
    3 La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano
    Continue by private minibus to La Fortuna (approx 2 hours). La Fortuna is a small town situated just a few minutes away from Costa Rica's most famous volcano - the majestic Arenal. Besides the panoramic views the town offers a range of other activities such as the 70-metre-high La Fortuna waterfall, stunning lush forest, rare plants, animal watching and water sports on the lake. The volcano’s inner workings also mean that the area has a number of thermal springs where hot, lava-heated water gushes to the surface. These springs have been turned into a number of thermal pools and waterfalls, often surrounded by foliage, an ideal chance to relax.
    4 Monteverde
    Today take the scenic route to Monteverde (approximately 4 hours in total). Travel by shared minibus to Lake Arenal, which we'll cross by boat. On a clear day you'll see fantastic views of the surrounding area. On the other side of the lake, re-board the minibus and continue on to our destination. Monteverde was founded as an agricultural community in 1951 by a group of North American Quakers; they cleared virgin forest to create verdant pastures ideal for dairy farming. These environmentally aware settlers were conscious of the danger that unrestricted settling and farming could cause to this precious habitat. Consequently they established a small privately-owned wildlife sanctuary, which has since grown to become the internationally-renowned Monteverde Cloudforest Biological Preserve. These forests are similar to rainforests, but instead of relying on rain for essential moisture, adequate water comes from the semi-permanent cloud that covers the region. It is lush and full of wildlife. This is truly a nature lover's paradise. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home.
    5 Monteverde
    Your leader will take you on a walking tour through the Monteverde National Park. Alternatively, walk through the canopy on suspension bridges or watch butterflies at play in the specially created butterfly garden. The local guides are very knowledgeable about the area and passionate about conservation and in the local communities there are several cooperatives worth visiting. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different types of mammals call Montverde home. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resplendent quetzal, one of the most elusive birds in the world.
    6 Quepos
    Travel to Quepos by private minibus (approx 5 hours). Located close to the beautiful Pacific beaches and exotic wildlife of Manuel Antonio National Park, Quepos is a laid-back town with a vibrant nightlife.
    7 Quepos/Manuel Antonio NP
    Spend your time here enjoying all that Manuel Antonio NP has to offer. Head out for a hike along its many trails, keeping one eye on the great views and the other looking for the abundant wildlife. Monkeys, armadillos, sloths and hundreds of birds are among the species you maybe be able to spot. The park also boasts turquoise seas and white-sand beaches, perfect for swimming, kayaking, sailing and fishing. It would be easy to spend your whole time here in, or by, the water.
    8 San Jose
    Take a local bus back to San Jose (approx 4 hours). The buses in this region of the country are a little more basic but this is a great opportunity to mix with Costa Ricans and get a feel for local life. Arrive back in time for you to pick up some last minute souvenirs at the city's colourful and vibrant markets. Then we can head out for an optional dinner and a final night on the town sampling the huge variety of nightlife. The perfect way to end our adventure.
    9 San Jose
    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
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