Ultimate Central America

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  • No booking fees
  • COVID-19protected
  • CO2 neutral
  • Explorer
See Itinerary
  • Booking Type Instant Booking
  • duration 59 days
  • tour type Group
  • age requirement 15+ years old
  • max group size 16
  • Footprint CO2 Offset Bookmundi
map
  • Starts Mexico City, Mexico
  • Ends Panama City, Panama
  • +28
Tour with Flexible Booking Policy
  • Change dates It is free to change your tour start date within 30 days of departure.
  • Choose a different tour Select a new tour run by the same tour operator within 30 days of departure.
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • The stars of this trip are the dramatic and varied landscapes of lush Central America. If you’re thinking active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles – this trip has got you covered.
  • Escape the Mexican heat in the highlands of San Cristobal de las Casas. This oldworld town is surrounded by indigenous villages that have retained their traditional customs and roots.
  • Get to know contemporary Maya life during a homestay in San Jorge La Laguna, a lakeside village where you can share meals and conversation with a local family.
  • Clear sea perfect for swimming, shacks serving cold cerveza and sandy shores covered in starfish are waiting in the Bocas del Toro, where you spend three nights on Isla Colon.
Start in Mexico City and end in Panama City, the "Ultimate Central America" tour is a guided explorer trip that takes 59 days. You will visit Granada, Rio Dulce, Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve and 27 other destinations in 9 different countries. "Ultimate Central America" is a small group tour which will include accommodation, transport, meals and others. See below for further details.

Embark on an in-depth Central American adventure with Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel from Mexico’s capital to the home of the Panama Canal. Pass through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama on a small-group journey through remote villages, traditional cities, ancient Maya and Aztec ruins, verdant cloud forests and pure Caribbean beaches. Get acquainted with the local cultures, spectacular landscapes and fascinating histories of Central America as you explore the wealth of tradition, spot the range of unusual wildlife, dive into unique underwater worlds and spend time travelling at your own pace. Did you hear that? Central America is calling – you better Belize it.
CUSTOMER REVIEWS ABOUT INTREPID TRAVEL
4.5 - Excellent
Based on 110 reviews
  • Rita
  • From Australia
  • On Apr 03 2018
5 - Excellent
Rita's review for another Intrepid Travel tour
“Excellent”
  • Michael
  • From Canada
  • On Nov 27 2019
5 - Excellent
Michael's review for another Intrepid Travel tour
“What an adventure through Cambodia and Vietnam. Culturally immersive. Organization-wise, excellent. Had a great time and wish I could do the tour agai. Recommended.”
  • Juergen
  • From Japan
  • On Jan 04 2019
4 - Very Good
Juergen's review for another Intrepid Travel tour
“Mixture is great but some hotels should/must be changed
First Hotel in Ubud should be changed (smell in the room, dark)
Last Hotel in Sanur must be changed. After the other hotels, this standard "business" hotel is not an adequate end of the tour. Simply no atmosphere”
ITINERARY Expand All
  • Day 1: Mexico City
  • Day 2: Mexico City
  • Day 3: Puebla
  • Day 4: Puebla
  • Day 5: Oaxaca
  • Day 6: Oaxaca
  • Day 7: Oaxaca / Overnight Bus
  • Day 8: San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Day 9: San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Day 10: Palenque
  • Day 11: Palenque Ruins / Merida
  • Day 12: Merida
  • Day 13: Merida
  • Day 14: Chichen Itza / Playa del Carmen
  • Day 15: Playa del Carmen
  • Day 16: Tulum
  • Day 17: Tulum
  • Day 18: Caye Caulker
  • Day 19: Caye Caulker
  • Day 20: Caye Caulker
  • Day 21: San Ignacio
  • Day 22: San Ignacio
  • Day 23: Tikal
  • Day 24: Rio Dulce
  • Day 25: Rio Dulce
  • Day 26: Antigua
  • Day 27: Chichicastenango / San Jorge La Laguna
  • Day 28: Lake Atitlan / Panajachel
  • Day 29: Antigua
  • Day 30: Antigua
  • Day 31: Antigua
  • Day 32: Copan
  • Day 33: Suchitoto
  • Day 34: Suchitoto
  • Day 35: San Miguel / El Cuco
  • Day 36: El Cuco
  • Day 37: Leon
  • Day 38: Granada
  • Day 39: Granada
  • Day 40: Ometepe Island
  • Day 41: Ometepe Island
  • Day 42: Monteverde
  • Day 43: Monteverde
  • Day 44: La Fortuna
  • Day 45: La Fortuna
  • Day 46: San Jose
  • Day 47: San Jose
  • Day 48: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Day 49: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
  • Day 50: Bocas del Toro/Isla Colon
  • Day 51: Bocas del Toro/Isla Colon
  • Day 52: Bocas del Toro/Isla Colon
  • Day 53: Boquete
  • Day 54: Boquete
  • Day 55: Santa Catalina
  • Day 56: Santa Catalina
  • Day 57: Panama City
  • Day 58: Panama City
  • Day 59: Panama City
WHAT'S INCLUDED
Accommodation
  • Hotel (47 nights), Overnight public bus (1 night), Camping with facilities (1 night), Multishare Lodge (2 night), Lodge (2 night), Homestay (1 night), Hostel Multishare (2 nights), Hostel (2 nights)
Meals
  • 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches, 1 Dinner
Transport
  • Private vehicle , Public bus , Local bus , Overnight public bus , Taxi , Shared boat , Ferry
Guide
  • An expert tour leader
Included Activities
  • Mexico City - Leader-led Taco Crawl
  • Mexico City - Leader-led City Tour of Historic Center
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar
  • Oaxaca - Leader-led orientation walk
  • San Cristobal de Las Casas - Leader-led City Tour
  • San Juan Chamula - Maya Church (entrance fee)
  • Zinacantan - Maya Church (entrance fee)
  • Agua Azul - Waterfall Visit (entrance fee)
  • Palenque - Palenque Ruins (entrance fee)
  • Merida - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Chichen Itza - Archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Playa del Carmen - Leader-led Orientation Walk
  • Tulum - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Tikal archaeological site (entrance fee, no guide)
  • Chichicastenango Market
  • San Jorge La Laguna - Traditional Maya Homestay
  • Panajachel - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Antigua - Leader-led walking tour
  • Copan - Archeological site (entrance fee and transport, no guide)
  • Suchitoto - Leader led walking tour
  • San Miguel - Salvadoran Pupusa cooking demonstration
  • Leon - Leader led walking tour
  • Monteverde - Leader led walking tour
  • La Fortuna - Leader led walking tour
  • San Jose - Leader-led walking tour
  • Puerto Viejo - Leader-led orientation bicycle ride
  • Boquete - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Panama City - Leader-led walk along part of the Cinta Costera (Causeway) including a visit to the Fish Market
WHAT'S EXCLUDED
  • Any international flights to Mexico City and from Panama City are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Ultimate Central America tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
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4.68 Average 348 Reviews
GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes
CANCELLATION

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Ultimate Central America tour. You can cancel the tour up to 28 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 27 days of departure.

Payment

For any tour departures within 14 November 2021, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 14 November 2021, a deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm the tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 27 days before trip departure.

Travel Insurance

Ultimate Central America tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Ultimate Central America tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

Is this trip right for you:
  • This trip involves some long travel days, especially from El Cuco to Leon with a 9-hour overland journey. Although this can be tiresome, it's a great opportunity to sit back, enjoy the passing scenery and to bond with your fellow travellers. This is a real Central American adventure, after all.
  • This trip includes time spent travelling in a private vehicle with your group. Extra space can be tight, and conditions may feel a little cramped. It’s all part of the adventure and a great way to get to know your fellow travellers. Please read the itinerary carefully for travel time estimates. This trip also includes some travel by local transport, which can be basic and challenging, but is also a fantastic way to rub shoulders with the locals and get under the skin of a place, whilst being mindful for the environment.
  • As this trip covers destinations across eight countries, you'll need to make several border crossings. While these are usually straightforward, please prepare to be patient. Books, podcasts and car games will be your best friend.
  • Central America is tropical, so expect a hot and humid climate. Make sure you protect yourself from the sun, wear comfortable, light clothing and stay hydrated – especially when out on walking tours.
  • The homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday local life. Conditions during your homestay in San Jorge La Laguna are basic. Your room will consist of a couple of beds with clean bedding, and the bathroom will most likely be shared with the rest of the family. A hearty home-cooked breakfast and dinner will be served during your stay, which can be a lot more basic than what you're used to. However, corn, rice and beans are very filling.
  • Try to learn as many Spanish words as you can. Locals are very friendly, but also shy, so you'll need to make plenty of effort to break the ice. Attempting to communicate in Spanish is a great way of showing you care.
  • From walking the Costa Rican border crossing to optional full-day volcano hikes, this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.
  • There will be times when you have to walk with your luggage, and for this reason, we recommend packing light and using a backpack or something easy to carry.
COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that COVID-19 health and hygiene global standardised protocols have been adopted.
  • Departures will be limited to an average group size of 10 travellers to ensure COVID-19 safety for all travellers.
  • Hygiene and safety guidelines will be followed to ensure your well being is looked after during travels.
  • All travellers 18 years and older will be required to be fully vaccinated. Children aged 17 years and under must present either a negative COVID-19 test, proof of recovery or proof of full vaccination. Any customer who is unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons can apply for an exemption. Customers must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. These new safety measures apply on all trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
NEED HELP OR HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT THIS TOUR?
If you have any question about this tour or need help with planning a trip, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We're ready to help.
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