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Central American Journey

Visit seven countries on this exciting adventure

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Central American Journey

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Group Size: Max 18

Trip code: JCS

Duration: 32 days

Group guided tour of 7 countries
Start in Mexico and end in Costa Rica
Explore amazing beaches and jungles

Want to see it all in Central America? This epic 32-day adventure takes you through seven stunning Central American countries. Begin in magical Mexico, before exploring the wonders of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Central America is bursting with beauty and natural wonders, amazing Mayan ruins, gorgeous reefs, idyllic islands, fascinating culture and lively cities. Make the most of every moment on this unforgettable experience!

Trip highlights

  • Chill out on the paradise island of Caye Caulker, Belize
  • Snorkel with stingrays and sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
  • Visit some of the most jaw-dropping Mayan ruins in the world at Tikal, Guatemala
  • Spend the night in a traditional homestay on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
  • Spot tapirs, monkeys, sloths and large cats in Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica
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What's included
  • 31-nights’ accommodation
  • 2 breakfasts, 1 lunches and 3 dinners
  • Tour guide
  • Community project visit and pottery class in San Ignacio
  • Guided tour of Tikal
  • Orientation walk around Antigua, Leon and Granada
  • Posadas Mayas homestay
  • Isla de Ometepe homestay
  • Rainforest walk and cooking demo in Costa Rica
  • Tour transport
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas
  • Some meals
  • Optional trips and excursions
  • Airport transfers
  • Border fees
Further trip information

Day 1: MEXICO. Playa del Carmen. Arrive at any time. 6pm welcome meeting.

Day 2: Playa del Carmen. Free beach time or optional activities: Visit the Mayan ruins at Tulúm or dive on Cozumel Island.

Day 3-5: BELIZE. Caye Caulker. Relax on the coast or opt to snorkel or dive with stingrays at Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Day 6-7: San Ignacio. On day 6, visit a community project that helps women learn new skills and try your hand at pottery! Enjoy some free time on day 7 with optional activities.

Day 8: GUATEMALA. Flores/Tikal. Take a guided tour of the ruins of Tikal and discover Flores.

Day 9-10: Río Dulce. All sorts of optional activities are on offer in this relaxed lakeside location.

Day 11-12: Antigua. Enjoy an orientation guided walk in Antigua then explore the local area and vibrant city and take an optional salsa class.

Day 13-14: Panajachel/Lake Atitlán homestay. Go on boat rides and experience a traditional homestay on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlán with its breathtaking backdrop.

Day 15-16: Antigua. Make the most of this lively city. Have fun and practice your fancy footwork at an included group salsa dancing lesson.

Day 17-18: HONDURAS. Copán. See the stunning Mayan ruins at Copán or relax in hot springs.

Day 19: EL SALVADOR. Suchitoto. Hop across the border into El Salvador and discover the picturesque town of Suchitoto.

Day 20 - 21: Playa El Tunco. Head to laid back El Tunco. Catch some waves with an optional surf lesson on the black sand beach and soak up the town’s mellow vibes.

Day 22: NICARAGUA. Leon. Get some more ink in your passport as we cross into Nicaragua. Our home for the night is the beautifully crumbly colonial city of Leon.

Day 23 – 24: Granada. Travel to Nicaragua’s oldest town. Wander the cobbled streets, explore the markets and colonial buildings, and take an optional trip to an Mombacho volcano or the warm waters of the Laguna de Apoyo.

Day 25 – 26: Isla de Ometepe. Cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to get to rugged Ometepe. Spend 2 nights in a traditional homestay, swim in the cool waters of the lake, and take an optional excursion to the springs at Ojo de Agua or up Concepcion Volcano.

Day 27 – 28: COSTA RICA. Monteverde. At 1,400 metres above sea level, our Costa Rican home for the next 2 days is literally in the clouds! The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is uniquely bio diverse, with sloths, monkeys, tapirs, large cats and more. Opt to fly through the jungle on a zipline, go horse riding, or take a tour of a butterfly garden.

Day 29 – 30: La Fortuna. Take a boat across Lake Arenal to La Fortuna, the adventure sports capital of Costa Rica. Canyoning, white water rafting, kayaking and paddle boarding are all on the menu of options while we’re here.

Day 31 - 32: San José. Hang out for one final night with your newfound friends in Costa Rica’s capital, before your epic Central American Journey comes to an end.

Real customer reviews
Facebook Group Discussion

I’m looking to book the Central American Journey tour early July. Has anyone done it/ planning to go? xx

Hi, I’m looking into the ultimate Costa Rica tour. Looking for some feedback. Would you recommend backpack or suitcase? x 🙂

Is anyone doing the guatemala to costa rica trip starting on the 20th August?

Booking options

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Flights from £387

Cheapest flights between London and Cancun for the next 6 months.

Cheapest: £387 June, 2023
Most expensive: £1,210 July, 2023
Arrival information

Please arrange your flights into Cancún (Mexico). Airport transfers are not included. Shuttles and buses from Cancún airport to Playa del Carmen are easy to find and reasonably priced.

Please note, we can also arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.

Please note that this tour ends in San José (Costa Rica) on day 32. Your return transfer to the airport is not included but is easy to arrange. 

Accommodation & meals

31 nights’ multi-share, single sex accommodation is included. 3 of those nights will be in unique homestay accommodation. You will be travelling through countries where cold water showers are common, so please be aware that there may not be hot water showers available. In the warm weather, a cool shower will be more than welcome!

2 breakfasts, 1 lunches and 3 dinners are included as part of this trip. You’ll have the flexibility to eat where and when you want the rest of the time.

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-39.

All countries require a valid passport (with minimum 6 months validity).

Mexico: You don’t need a visa to enter Mexico but you will need a tourist card, which you get on arrival. You will need to complete an immigration form on your flight or at a border crossing in order to get your tourist card. You will need to keep your tourist card safe as you need it to leave the country. The exit tax for Mexico by land is USD21.

Belize: British nationals can visit Belize for up to 30 days without a visa. You must have your passport stamped on entry or risk a fine or arrest. The Belize exit tax is USD18.75.

Guatemala: British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Guatemala for stays of up to 90 days. There is an USD1.25 entrance tax and a USD3 exit tax in Guatemala.

Honduras: British nationals don’t need to get a visa in advance to enter Honduras, but can get a 30 day tourist visa on arrival.

El Salvador: British nationals can enter El Salvador for up to 90 days without a visa.

Costa Rica: British nationals will not require a visa in order to enter Costa Rica, and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to three months.

As this trip crosses national borders, please be prepared to pay some border fees for certain countries ranging from USD1 to USD38.

Certain Central American countries may require specific vaccinations for entry, such as the Yellow Fever vaccination. You should also speak to your GP or Travel Clinic before travel for the most up to date information.

Visa rules and regulations are subject to change. Please check the relevant embassy websites for the most up to date visa information.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.