Itinerary

Day 1Antigua

 

Arrive at any time.

Check into the hotel and enjoy this colonial city.

Antigua is only an hour’s drive from the capital, Guatemala City, and the airport. Transfers are easily arranged when you arrive at the airport, either by shuttle or taxi. Please try to arrive before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

Please note that Antigua's nearest airport is Guatemala City, Guatemala. Don't get caught flying into the Caribbean island nation of Antigua; it's nowhere near the start of this tour!

 
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

 

1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Accommodation

 

 
Hotel Santa Clara (or similar)

 

Hotel

Day 2Antigua

 

Explore this colonial city during an orientation walk, then get the feet moving to the beat with an included salsa lesson. Relax with a massage, and soak up the culture in one of many cafés. 

 

 
Orientation Walk

 

30m-1h

Enjoy a brief walk with your CEO. He/she will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended.

 
Free Time

 

Antigua

Get out an explore this beautiful colonial city.

 
Hands-On: Salsa Lesson

 

 

Kick up your heels and learn this typical Latin dance. Dancers of all skill levels are welcome. Get lost in the rhythm of the music and let your body take you to a new place -- one-two-three, one-two-three, hip roll, arm up, partner under, shimmy, shake, salsa! Vamos a bailar! (Let's dance!)

 
Big Night Out: 

 

 

Whether it’s a pub crawl, drink specials or a bonfire on the beach, celebrate late into the night with your new best friends.

Optional Activities - Day 2

Massage
Antigua30m-2h
30-60USD per person

Relax and enjoy a Mayan massage. You’re on vacation!

 
Cycling
Antigua1h-5h
30-50USD per person

Get off the beaten track and discover the treasures of Guatemala. Enjoy an adventurous ride with incredible views ranging from wide open fields, volcanoes, local villages, and coffee plantations.There are full-day and half-day tours that vary in difficulty level. Have your CEO make a reservation.

 
Elizabeth Bell Walking Tour
Antigua1h30m-2h30m
20-25USD per person

Meet your guide at the fountain in the Central Plaza and take a leisurely walk along the cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour focuses on the Antigua's history, culture and restoration efforts (a bylaw, for example, stipulates buildings must only be painted certain colours in order to maintain the Spanish colonial character of the exteriors). Visit the City Hall Palace, Palace of the Captain's General, the main cathedral and many of Antigua's other attractions. Learn about jade and the valuable role it played in Maya culture. Shop for jewelry, pottery, textiles and wooden carvings.

 
Finca Valhalla Visit
Antigua1h30m-3h20-25km
5-10USD per person

Take a tour of the macadamia nut plantation at Finca Valhalla led by the workers. Learn about this sustainable crop for the experts and discover the health benefits of the nut. Pamper yourself with a free facial and purchase some of the treats made from the macadamia nut like oils, nuts, and chocolate. This tour is offered for free in the hopes that you’ll show your gratitude by stopping by and picking up some tasty treats from the gift shop or café. 

 
Finca Filidelfia Coffee Tour
Antigua2h-3h1-2km
18-25USD per person

Travel a short 10-minute ride outside of Antigua to the Finca Filadelfia coffee plantation. Walk through the plant nursery, explore the rows of coffee plants, pick a coffee “cherry” (each one has two beans inside), then discover the various stages that go into making the perfect cup of quality coffee. The farm also has a restaurant and zipline for those who opt to fly above the canopy to spot the very best beans.

 
Acatenango Volcano Climb
Antigua10h-12h
50-90USD per person

Interested in a major physical challenge? Spend the day hiking the active Acatenango Volcano located to the west of Antigua. Bring lots of water, your camera and hope for clear skies to see a spectacular view of neighbouring Fuego and possibly even Pacaya beyond. Make no mistake, this is a very challenging climb but well worth it.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Santa Clara (or similar)
Hotel

Day 3Antigua/San Juan La Laguna

Travel to beautiful Lake Atitlán and enjoy the views. Take a boat across the lake to a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family in a Mayan Tz'utujil village. Tour the village with a local guide to learn more about daily life and see some artisan workshops.

Travel through the hills and fertile fields of the Guatemalan highlands to the shores of Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful spots in Guatemala. Twelve native villages, blue/grey mountains, and three volcanoes line the shores of this lake, resulting in a wonderful combination of unusual natural beauty and traditional culture.

We will overnight at a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. Tonight, the group will be spread out among a number of homes, where dinner will also be provided. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will help you to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day life of the locals in this region.

Please dress conservatively when visiting the villages, and refrain from photographing religious ceremonies or individuals who do not wish to be photographed.

 
Private Vehicle
Antigua – Panajachel4h100km

Stretch out and unwind aboard our private ride.

 
G Adventures for Good: Mayan Homestay Project
 

Submerge yourself in Mayan culture during this home stay run by a Planeterra community tourism project. Set on the northwest shore of Lake Atitlán, arrive by boat to the laid-back village of San Juan La Laguna and immediately feel at home. Meet your host family, stash your stuff, then set off to explore the area. Admire the paintings of local artists, watch weavers who use traditional techniques to dye wool, go for a hike and admire the view across the lake. Feel good knowing you are supporting local families eager to benefit from tourism in their community.

 
Boat
Panajachel – San Juan La Laguna30m-45m

Climb aboard and get your float on.

Accommodation

 
Rupalaj Kistalin Posada (or similar)
Hotel

Meals included:

 Dinner

Day 4San Juan La Laguna/Panajachel

Return across the lake and enjoy free time in Panajachel to visit the market or relax.

 

 
Boat
San Juan La Laguna – Panajachel30m-45m

Climb aboard and get your float on.

Optional Activities - Day 4

Massage
 

Revive sore muscles with a relaxing massage.

 
Shopping
 

Scour the local shops and stalls for unique wares to remind you of your travels to the region.

Accommodation

 
Kamol Bey (or similar)
Hotel

Meals included:

 Breakfast

Day 5Panajachel/Rio Dulce

Travel across Guatemala to Rio Dulce.

Take the road past areas of dense jungle and arrive at Río Dulce, a small town on Lake Izabal, and a port stop for boaters around the globe on their way to/from Livingston and the Caribbean coast.

 
Private Vehicle
Panajachel – Rio Dulce9h400km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

 
Hacienda Tijax (or similar)
Hotel

Day 6Rio Dulce

Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat, or go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall.

There are plenty of opportunities for R & R. Aside from boating on Lake Izabal, there are optional tours in the area to view protected manatees. You may opt to horseback ride through a rubber plantation, explore San Felipe fort, take the morning monkey kayak tour, relax in the thermal springs, or hike through the jungle-strewn trails in the Chocón-Machacas Natural Reserve area.

 
Free Time
Rio Dulce

Enjoy a free day in this beautiful area of southern Guatemala.

Optional Activities - Day 6

Scenic Boat Ride to Livingston
Rio Dulce – Lívingston5h-6h30m55km

Take a boat down the Rio Dulce toward the Caribbean Sea passing through El Golfete and El Canyon before arriving to Livingston. Float past mangroves and lily pads and the Boquerón Canyon, where a sheer limestone cliff rises 122m (400 ft) out of the river, covered in vines, trees and moss. Arrive at the small fishing village of Livingston known for its unique Afro-Caribbean Garifuna population, with their unique art, music and delicious coconut seafood soup, “tapado”.

 
Sunrise Monkey Kayak
Rio Dulce2h-3h5-10km
23USD per person

Set your alarm very early and set off on a sweet soulful paddle along the Rio Dulce. Kayak to the base of the Boquerón Canyon with its sheer cliff face, covered in a green mass of moss, vines, and trees. Enjoy a striking sunrise, sit back, and listen to the jungle as it wakes up – howler monkeys, birds and the slap of the paddle on the water provide the soundtrack to this memorable morning.

 
San Felipe Fort Visit
Rio Dulce
5USD per person

The Castillo de San Felipe de Lara is a Spanish colonial fort at the entrance to Lake Izabal in eastern Guatemala. Built originally in 1644, the fort was purposely located at the narrowest point on the river so they could try to protect themselves against (often British) pirates. Tour the grounds, cross the moat and head up to one of the watch towers and imagine firing a canon at your enemy across the river.

 
Chocón-Machacas Nature Reserve Hike
Lívingston

Step into nature at its most natural. The Chocón-Machacas Nature Reserve in Guatemala's north-central region of the Río Dulce is an aquatic ecosystem formed by the confluence of the Chocón and Machacas rivers, which in turn connect with lakes, creeks, and canals. Bring your binoculars and spot a variety of birds, reptiles and fish. Explore on foot and by boat. If you're lucky, you may get to see the endangered manatee, Guatemala's largest mammal.

 
Horseback Riding Rio Dulce
 

Pull on some pants, spray the insect repellent and set off to explore Guatemala’s countryside by horseback. Hacienda Tijax is in Fronteras, Izabal close to the bridge that crosses the Rio Dulce. Trail ride through the reserve’s lush landscape, past a plantation of rubber trees (where you can observe the tapping process), and stop at the Shaman tower. Climb up to see the stunning view and spot the suspension bridges hanging over natural waterfalls.

 
Natural Hot Waterfall Visit
Rio Dulce3h-5h30-50km
25USD per person

Finca el Paraiso contains a unique volcanic vein that heats spring water and dumps it into a colder river below. Refresh and relax as you bathe in these therapeutic thermal waters and swim in the river below. Arrive by boat or overland.

Accommodation

 
Hacienda Tijax (or similar)
Hotel

Day 7Rio Dulce/Flores

Head north to the quaint town of Flores.

Our final stop in Guatemala is Flores, a picturesque town surrounded by Lake Petén Itzá. Flores is well-known for its proximity to Tikal—the largest excavated Mayan site.

 
Private Vehicle
Rio Dulce – Flores3h30m-4h210km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Petén (or similar)
Hotel

Day 8Flores/San Ignacio

Learn about Mayan culture and history on a guided tour of Tikal before crossing into Belize.

Head north to the ancient city of Tikal before venturing into Belize. The spiritual centre of Tikal boasts the Mayan’s highest pyramids and abundant flora and fauna in the surrounding jungle. 

 
Private Vehicle
Flores – Tikal1h

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Tikal Ruins Guided Tour
Tikal3h-4h7-15km

Put on your walking shoes and prepare for a tiring but memorable day walking through history at the impressive site of Tikal. The Mayan site is set in the heart of the jungle, in Tikal National Park, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Along with our bilingual guide, see some of the temples, plazas, carved stone monuments and public squares, more than 3,000 buildings in all, dating from as far back as 600 BC. Climb to the top of Temple IV, catch your breath, take photos, and then sit and contemplate the magnificence of the site and the tropical rainforest beyond. Look for monkeys, anteaters, armadillos, and deer, as well as macaws and eagles, snakes, and spiders.

 
Private Vehicle
Tikal – Melchor de Mencos1h-1h30m

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

 
Border Crossing (Guatemala - Belize)
Melchor de Mencos – Benque Viejo del Carmen

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

 
Taxicab
Benque Viejo del Carmen – San Ignacio15m-30m

Jump in the back and tell the driver to step on it, just like they do in the movies.

Accommodation

 
Midas Resort (or similar)
Hotel

Day 9San Ignacio

Opt to visit the sacred Mayan cave Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), or check out the seldom-visited Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.

From the town of San Ignacio, opportunities abound for exploring Belize’s little known inland scenic beauty. With free time here, choose to explore the area by foot, canoe, or horse, take a caving trip, or visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Area and swim in its inviting pools and rivers.

 
Carte Blanche
San IgnacioFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in San Ignacio, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like cave exploring, visiting Mayan ruins, and horseback riding. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Day 9

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Visit
Actun Tunichil Muknal6h-8h29km
90USD per person

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave has only been open to the public since 1998. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see up to 1400 artifacts, including pottery, tools and vessels used by the Maya for a thousand years. Hike 45 minutes to the cave entrance, wade/swim through deep pools, past calcite formations, to explore this damp, dark place of ritual and sacrifice. With a helmet and headlamp, see the skeleton of the “Crystal Maiden,” a young girl whose bones have calcified over the past 1,100 years, making them appear to sparkle.

 
Xunantunich Visit
Xunantunich2h-4h11km
5USD per person

Hike to the top of this impressive 9th-century Maya centre, set high on a natural limestone ridge, and admire the view of the Mopan River, Cayo District and neighbouring Guatemalan countryside. The tallest temple, El Castillo, is partially excavated and explored and there’s a unique stucco frieze on the east side of the structure. Discover why Xunantunich is Belize’s most visited site with intricately carved stellae, 25 temples, and well-preserved palaces.

 
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve Visit
Mountain Pine Ridge3h-4h
75USD per person

The Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve covers almost 500 square km (310 square miles) and only controlled logging is allowed. Interesting stops include Hidden Valley Falls, a spectacular waterfall dropping more than 300m (984 ft) over the granite edge of the jungle. Further along, you will cross the Rio On and a climb over an assortment of worn boulders and rocks that will bring you to a delightful site with waterfalls and several warm water pools. The area is also renowned for its system of caves, the biggest and most famous being the Rio Frio Cave. With its enormous arched entryway into the kilometre-long cave, this river cave is the largest in Belize. A day trip to the ridge can easily be arranged in San Ignacio. 

 
Crystal Cave Visit
Blue Hole National Park9h-11h62km
75USD per person

Drive to Blue Hole National Park and hike for one hour through lush rainforest and down steep, slippery slopes, then descend 4.5m (15 ft) by ropes to start exploring Crystal Cave (also known as Mountain Cow Cave). Crab walk and crawl through the cave and head into the Mayan Xibabla or underworld. Slide down mud ramps, along rock faces, and be awed by the stalactites and stalagmites, ancient fire pits, wall carvings, pottery and the haunting skeletal remains of humans sacrificed by the Maya to appease their gods. Afterwards, take a short drive to the Blue Hole River, relax and refresh in the cool water.

 
Barton Creek Cave Canoeing
Barton Creek6h-8h30km
50-75USD per person

Strap on a headlamp, step in the canoe and paddle along an ancient Mayan waterway inside the Barton Creek Cave. Bring your camera to take memorable photos of cathedral rock chambers, stalactites and stalagmites. Upon return, opt to swim at Big Rock Falls.

 
Caracol Ruins Tour
Caracol9h-11h85km
95USD per person

Set within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, prepare to be wowed by Caracol. It’s the largest known Maya site in Belize and was once home to an estimated 180,000 people. The site was discovered in the 1920's by a logger looking for mahogany. One of its pyramids, Canaa or “Sky Place”, built in 800 AD and standing 43m (143 ft), continues to be the tallest man-made structure in the country. Bring your walking shoes, water and a sunhat because there’s lots to see here. Tombs, temples, altars, carved stelae and other stone monuments – it’s well worth the effort and easy to be impressed. 

Accommodation

 
Midas Resort (or similar)
Hotel

Day 10San Ignacio/Caye Caulker

Hop aboard a local bus, then board a water taxi to the island paradise of Caye Caulker. Later, explore Caye Caulker on the G Adventures-supported Bike with Purpose tour.

 

 
Local bus
San Ignacio – Belize City2h110km

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

 
Boat
Belize City – Caye Caulker1h

Climb aboard and get your float on.

 
G Adventures for Good: Belize Bike with Purpose Tour
 

Take a leisurely bike tour around Caye Caulker with a guide from the G Adventures for Good supported Bike with Purpose project. See the island through the eyes of a local on this two-hour tour, and live the island's motto of 'Go Slow'. Feel the island breeze in you hair while knowing you're supporting a program that helps youth from Caye Caulker build skills for tourism jobs upon graduation from high school.

 
Free Time
Caye CaulkerAfternoon

The earlier we leave San Ignacio, the earlier you have time to get used to the slow pace of life on Caye Caulker.

Accommodation

 
Enjoy Hotel (or similar)
Hotel

Days 11–12Caye Caulker

Enjoy free time to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving, or just chill out, Belizean style.

 

 
Carte Blanche
Caye CaulkerFull Day

There's plenty to see and do in Caye Caulker, and we wanted to make sure that you had some time to take it all in. Feel free to relax or try optional activities like snorkelling, sea kayaking, and sailing. Your CEO has more ideas if you need them. Just ask!

Optional Activities - Days 11–12

Hol Chan Snorkel Tour
Caye Caulker5h-6h
70USD per person

Slather on the sunscreen and set out on a snorkel adventure of a lifetime. Stop at the coral gardens, shark and ray alley, and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Snorkel three different spots along the Belize reef in this protected channel. See hundreds of varieties of tropical fish in this natural aquarium including angelfish, nurse sharks, stingrays and green moray eels. Be sure to check out the Coral Gardens to see a rainbow of colours – red, purple, pink and green – and depending on the season, float past manatees while you marvel at nature’s underwater artistry.

 
Blue Hole National Monument Dive
Caye Caulker11h-12h
230-260USD per person

Channel your inner Jacques Cousteau and dive the Great Blue Hole, ranked by the Discovery Channel as their top choice for “most amazing place on earth”. This giant limestone sinkhole, 300m (1000 ft) in diameter and 124m (407 ft) deep, was formed more than a million years ago and is now part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Geared to open water and advanced divers, see Midnight Parrotfish and Caribbean reef sharks and interesting rock formations, including stalactites which formed before the area was submerged by the sea.

 
Blue Hole National Park Flight
Caye Caulker1h-1h30m
50-250USD per person

Charge up your camera batteries and take flight over the crystal clear waters off Belize. Take off from Caye Caulker airstrip in a small plane and observe the incredible Blue Hole national monument from above. Made famous by underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, this limestone sinkhole is 300m (1000 ft) in diameter and was formed more than a million years ago. 

 
Sunset Sailing Boat Tour
Caye Caulker
35USD per person

Set sail just before sunset. Relax with reggae music and rum punch, snack on shrimp ceviche and snap a few photos as you sail around the island as the sun sets to the west of Caye Caulker.

 
Bike with Purpose Rental
Caye Caulker1h-72h
7-30USD per person

Rent a bike from the G Adventures-supported Bike with Purpose project on Caye Caulker and cycle around the island out to the split and back. It's a great way to get some exercise and see the sights on this laid-back island. Don't forget to bring water and wear lots of sunscreen.

 
Swallow Caye Manatee Tour
Caye Caulker2h-3h
80USD per person

Embark on a boat tour to spot manatees in their natural habitat at Swallow Caye. These animals are gentle giants but, sadly, are one of the most endangered marine mammals on the planet. Bring your camera and get ready for great photos when they come up next to the boat to visit!

 
Fishing
Caye Caulker4h-8h
200USD per group

Cast a line and see what you can reel in. Fish for snapper, barracuda, horse-eye jack and more. Bring your catch to any local restaurant and have them gut and grill it just for you. Buy the rest of dinner and some drinks and enjoy! It doesn’t get any fresher than this.

 
Guided Kayak Trip
Caye Caulker2h30m-3h
25USD per person

Follow a guide on a sea kayak tour around the southern portion of Caye Caulker. Paddle around the mangroves and try to spot some of the unique wildlife in the area. 

Accommodation

 
Enjoy Hotel (or similar)
Hotel

Day 13Caye Caulker/Mahahual

Travel north along the Caribbean up to Mexico.

Leaving Belize and its Caribbean reggae-tinged vibe, head north to the Costa Maya, Mexico, to the beachside town of Mahahual.

 
Boat
Caye Caulker – Belize City1h

Climb aboard and get your float on.

 
Local bus
Belize City – Chetumal3h

Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.

 
Border Crossing (Belize - Mexico)
Santa Elena – Subteniente López

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

 
Private Vehicle
Chetumal – Mahahual2h145km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Mataan Kaan (or similar)
Hotel

Day 14Mahahual

Enjoy a free day for beach lounging and sipping seaside margaritas.

 

 
Free Time
Mahahual

Do as much or as little as you'd like on a free day.

Accommodation

 
Hotel Mataan Kaan (or similar)
Hotel

Day 15Mahahual/Playa del Carmen

Head up the coast to Playa del Carmen for a final night with the group.

Head north to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the de facto centre of the Mayan Riviera. This once sleepy village is quickly becoming a popular destination among sun worshippers and partiers worldwide.

 
First-class bus
Mahahual – Playa del Carmen5hMorning

Ride on in style. This sure isn't your grandmother's public bus.

 
Free Time
Playa del CarmenAfternoon

So much beach, so little time! Get out and explore it.

Optional Activities - Day 15

Coco Bongo Disco and Show
Playa del Carmen
70USD per person

Coco Bongo lives up to its name. Visitors describe it as “insane”, “exciting” and “amazing”. This Vegas-style disco and show features a range of high energy acts including Elvis, Lady Gaga, Moulin Rouge and more. The price includes all your drinks and the show is cheaper on weekdays. Go wild!

 
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve Canal Float
Tulum
40USD per person

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is one of Mexico’s most important protected areas due to its diversity in bird and animal species. The Reserve uses ecologically responsible technologies, including systems for wetland waste management, rainwater collection, and solar and wind energy generation to protect the environment. 

Visit the reserve and take a boat ride across the lagoon before hopping into the crystal clear water of one of the canals. Next, enjoy nature's lazy river as you float past Mayan ruins and mangrove forests, letting the current slowly bring you down stream. It's just you, the sound of chirping birds, and the fish swimming around your feet - pure paradise!

Accommodation

 
Koox Studio 30 (or similar)
Hotel

Day 16Playa del Carmen

Depart at any time.

 

Playa del Carmen is located just south of Cancún airport (45 min drive) so you can easily head directly there without returning to Cancún.

 
Departure Day
 

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

 

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