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Playas of Paradise

Central America, reveal yourself. Over 26 days this trip will see you taking in the fiery culinary culture of Mexico City, the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef, the dreamy sunsets of Caye Caulker, the boundless biodiversity in the rainforests of Costa Rica, the ancient mastery of Tikal National Park, and so much more. Welcome to paradise.

  • Duration: 22 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Supplier Tour ID: 161/210466
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Finishes: San Jose (Costa Rica), Costa Rica
  • Age requirement: 18 - 35
You will Visit
  • Mexico City
  • Merida
  • Cancun
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Caye Caulker
  • Tikal
  • Antigua
  • San Jose
  • Arenal (La Fortuna)
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Monteverde
  • Jaco

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Mexico City

It’s a busy one today, travellers. Archaeological city Teotihuacan, pyramids and Aztec temples are the focus for this leg of your journey. As you go, local guides will kindly impart their extensive knowledge on many interesting topics so you're in the know on anything and everything here. Tonight, re-fuel with city eats, like enchiladas, tamales, tacos and even head out and get a little loco. And if you happen to be here at the right time, you might even get to experience Lucha Libre, Mexican wrestling!

02

Day 2: Mexico City to Merida

Now you bid farewell to Mexico City before the finale of the trip where you will meet again. You’ve seen and learnt a lot, but now it is time for a change of scenery and pace – a an included flight out to the white stone city of Merida is on the cards. Soft and beautiful, Merida will take you in its arms and show you the quieter side of Mexico. A walking tour will show off this small town’s gorgeous atmosphere, it won't take you long to feel right at home once you reach the old town. You’ll have some free time to explore the bustling markets, where you will find many treasures to take home. Later, ask your Trip Manager for the best place to head to feast o Yucatan specialities that will delight the tastebuds, before no-doubt dalling into blissful slumber.

03

Day 3: Merida to Cancun via Chichen Itza

Pack up your swag of Mexican trinkets and say goodbye to the calm oasis of Merida and hello yet another incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, Chichen Itza.These ancient ruins are the most famous and best preserved of their kind in Mayan history. These iconic ruins are one of the big ticks of this country, and a true sight to behold. With our Local Guide leading the charge, Chichen Itza will provoke questions about the Mayan calendar, the positioning of the sun, the connections of the ruins around the country, and the worlds that came before us - a truly special spot on the trip and a history buff's delight. With more knowledge than you can handle, it's time for a change of scene, and a dip in an Instagram worthy cenote. These underground lakes or waterholes are are refreshing, lush, foliage covered and a much needed break from the sunshine. In stark contrast, next up is Mexico’s super resort – Cancun. With high energy party vibes oozing from its pores, this stop is a no brainer when it comes to getting involved in the nightlife. One suggestion for tonight is dinner at the Mercado 28, a busy market serving true Mexican delights before heading out to get your P-A-R-T-Y on.

04

Day 4: Cancun

Just incase you don’t know the drill by now, an ice cold cerveza should remind you that Cancun is a hub of wonderful entertainment. Feel like taking things further afield? White sand beaches, snorkelling, colourful cafes lining the streets and classic locals and shopping will see you living the good life and playing local in paradise. The legendary nightlife will certainly whip up yet another storm of dancing and live music back in Cancun tonight, so go on, get out there tonight and hit the dancefloor with the squad. Your Trip Manager knows this party like the back of their hand, your guarantee to be the know on all the best spots to head.

05

Day 5: Cancun

Fun is the name of the game today in this stunning white sand beach spot. Thrillseekers could take a trip to some hidden waters deep in the tropical jungle. A bit of rural island hopping, zipling a stint at Garrafon Natural Reef Park, a visit to some ancient Mayan ruins and finally some more swimming is all on offer. Explore the offshore coral reefs and caves while the sunshine ripples through the crystal clear water. Then back to Cancun where seafood by the seashore is on the menu for a fabulous open-air sunset dinner with the crew.

06

Day 6: Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Get ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll down Paseo del Carmen shopping centre to spend some pesos?You'll fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. For the food addicts amongst you, a plethora of seaside bars and restaurants are here to blow your mind with their delicious cocktails and local recipes.

07

Day 7: Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker

Can't get enough of Playa del Carmen? We thought so! So how about adding something extra to your Mexican extravaganza by experiencing the Caribbean in all its tropical glory? Snorkelling is on the menu for those who want to see the world from an 'underwater' angle.Mexico, you've stolen a slice of our hearts forever but with Belize & the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker on the horizon, we're not feeling too sad...

08

Day 8: Caye Caulker

Rub your eyes, blink again, and say hello to the palm-fringed paradise where life moves at a slower pace. With fresh seafood, sparkling waters and a unique Creole atomosphere, Caye Caulker's soft sands and soft reggae sounds can only be topped by its outstanding Wolrd Heritage Barrier Reef and Mangrove kayaking opportunities. Time to sample some seafood and get down to some reggae rhythms.

09

Day 9: Caye Caulker

You’ll need a big breakfast today because you’re free to do whatever you want, which could mean a whole lot of exploring! Belize has a spectacular Barrier Reef that is just begging to be discovered, so grab a snorkel and get out there. Back on land, its all about sandy streets flanked by palm trees and dotted with cafes and bars lined with colourful hammocks, painted tables and the most laid back vibes we know. In the evening we'll take a romantic venture towards the horizon with a spot of dreamy sunset sailing. This is the life.

10

Day 10: Caye Caulker to Tikal National Park via Belize City

Water taxis will transport you back to the mainland across the glorious underwater playground you've become so well acquainted with over the last few days. It's time to head to Belize for exploring glorious Guatemala.It’s a super swift passing by of the beloved Belize City before we take to the road to journey across the border into yet another stunning country, this time, Guatemala.Say hello to the Guatemalan jungle! We could just spend our time here enjoying the sights and sounds of the lush tropics, but we won't. Why? 'Cos we've got a whole load of adventures to get through, of course! This afternoon, you'll feel like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft (without the trail of destruction) with included ziplining.

11

Day 11: Tikal to Antigua

Rise and shine, today we'll take a locally guided tour of Tikal National Park, with ruin exploring including the Mayan Templo IV.This pretty place has heaps of history to soak up. You will notice colourful rooftop gardens dotted amongst the old buildings and you’ll hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages that are still a favoured type of transport today. Start with a tour with our guide to learn about colonial buildings, tiny squares, and fountains, ending up with you feeling like a local in no time at all. You’ll be glad to know there are two peaceful nights planned here in the old colonial town set right beneath two massive volcanoes.

12

Day 12: Antigua

Don your explorers cap today and head off for some ME time, the day is in your hands. Being able to choose your own adventure today could take you up Pacaya Volcano on a guided hike. If you’d rather produce those endorphins by making (and eating) your own chocolate, then that is also a rather delicious option where you'll learn about the process from start to end and take home the results of your efforts. Bike rides, coffee plantations, there's more to do that you can imagine. Guatemalan delights tonight? Yes please. We'll get local over chiles rellanos (or peppers stuffed to the brim with vegetables, meat and sauces). You're sure to hear a collective mmmm.

13

Day 13: Antigua to San Jose

This morning we'll take to the skies, Costa Rica bound. Who's ready for some Pura Vida vibes?Do you know the way to San Jose? Well yeah, we do, cos' here we are! Today we'll head out to explore daily Costa Rican life at the Plaza & sample some local delicacies at the Mercado Central (Central Market).

14

Day 14: San Jose to Arenal

We leave the city's charms behind and make for Arenal, one of the most incredible volcanoes in Costa Rica.Welcome to Arenal. This volcano is near perfectly formed and famed for its hot springs and healing properties so you know what that means - spa times and treatments galore. Later, grab some munch in town with the crew, or continue to kick it in the hotel pool.

15

Day 15: Arenal / La Fortuna

Rapelling through a rainforest canyon and waterfalls this morning will be the perfect wake up call. This optional activity is one you won't forget, and if you have a bit of a fear of heights, this is the best way to conquer them. Not keen? No problem. Head back to the pool, grab a delicious coffee, keep those eyes peeled for sloths or practice your Spanish on a friendly local. This afternoon you can spend your free time exploring or to really go local by experiencing the traditional "Tico" mentality at a country estate, La Fortuna. Here, you'll meet with school students and local farmers to learn about their way of life, before enjoying a delicious home-cooked dinner washed down with coffee (and a shot or two of coffee liquor) and some singing and dancing.

16

Day 16: Arenal/La Fortuna to Playa Tamarindo

See you later volcano lands, more of Costa Rica is calling and hell yeah we're listening. Playa Tamarindo has the reputation of being Costa Rica's numero uno surf and party destination, and for good reason. This northern beach town boats tasty waves and golden sands dotted with lounge bars and fabulous restaurants. We're staying right by the beach, and loving every second of it.

17

Day 17: Playa Tamarindo

A bohemian atmosphere permeates every inch of this paradise. Pass the day in the water, snorkelling or scuba diving amongst rainbow fish, or getting amongst the surf. There's an optional catamaran cruise this afternoon, because really who doesn't love getting out there on the water. Whether you opt for this or not, make sure you catch the sunset. Divine. Dinner with the group will top off a perfect day.

18

Day 18: Playa Tamarindo to Monte Verde

Shake out your beach towel and pack away those swimmers (for now). Today we're making for the mountains!With clean air filling your lungs our next spot awaits, and the misty forests of Monte Verde are sure to take your breath away. This leafy wildlife hotspot is home to coffee plantations, countless monkey species and friendly locals who work hard to preserve the balance between nature and tourism. This afternoon, be blown away (by natural beauty, not wind) as we go trekking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. We will hike our way through the cloudforest with our guide pointing out birds and wildlife, delivering an in-depth run through of the nature found here. Nature knowledge at an all time high, we'll be rewarded with views of the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of Costa Rica. You can even feel the air change up here, due to it being on a continental divide...no we're not joking.

19

Day 19: Monte Verde

Yes, yes and yes is what you will as we explore the tropical Selvatura Park – most likely whilst ziplining down a mind-blowing 1km long line. But that’s not all on offer. We’ll also be walking the hanging bridges amongst the lush Monte Verde cloudforest – there are eight in total of varying lengths, each offering unparalleled views of the forest floor – then popping in to a butterfly sanctuary to spot just some of the 20 species flying around. This afternoon is all about learning about everyone’s favourite caffeinated friend – coffee. One of Costa Rica’s most famous exports, we’ll learn how the plants are cultivated and the entire process of turning delicious little berries into rich coffee beans. Definitely a gift shopping op for the parents…

20

Day 20: Monteverde to Jaco

With Monteverde in our rearview mirror we'll make our way this morning to Jaco, the gorgeous gateway to some incredible national parks.Beachside Jaco is known for its surfing, nightlife and as leads to some awe-inspiring national parks. If you're feeling adventurous, try some horseback riding, or hop on an ATV. The next morning a day trip to the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park will see us enjoy a dizzying mix of ancient rainforest, pristine beaches and dazzling coral reefs, before we arrive back at our hotel for some poolside relaxation.

21

Day 21: Manuel Antonio

This morning we'll head over to Manuel Antonio, a beautiful national park.After a day of exploration this evening we'll arrive back at our hotel for some poolside relaxation.

22

Day 22: Jaco to San Jose

After a final adventure op in Jaco (kayaking anyone?) we'll make our way back to San Jose where our trip will come to a close.What an adventure it's been. One thing's for sure, we'll never forget our encounter with paradise.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • You and your new amigos will be spending nights in el-swanky twin-share hotels, jungle lodges, and cool eco tents right amongst the action
      Food
    • You can expect to refuel with hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners from us but we'll also give you the opportunity to sample the best local cuisine. Taste all the best local delicacies - from simple street eats to gourmet fare
      Staff
    • A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life. An expert driver who knows foreign roads better than Google Maps. Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do
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Tour Highlights:
  • Mexico City: Tour the Pyramids of Teotihuacan
  • Mexico City to Merida: Walking tour of Meridas sights
  • Cancun Day 2: Relax on the white sand beaches,Sunset beach dinner
  • Caye Caulker Day 2: Sunset sailing cruise around the island
  • Tikal to Antigua: Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park,Included flight to Antigua
  • Antigua: Guatemalan feast
  • Antigua to San José: Included flight to San Jose
  • Monteverde: Explore Selvatura Park and visit the hanging bridges and butterfly and hummingbird gardens,Coffee making demonstration and tasting