Escape the resorts and discover something extraordinary in Central America. Visit six countries on this adventure and experience mighty ruins, clear Caribbean waters, rainforests, and breathtaking scenery along the way. Explore indigenous Mayan villages and meet locals for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know. While you're free to choose your own adventure, your accommodation and transportation are included. Our expert CEOs will help you make the most of your time. Take a trip that's packed with all the things you need and nothing you don't – 32 days of maximum adventure at minimum cost.
Arrive at any time.
Check into our hotel and enjoy the city.
Shuttles and buses from the Cancún airport are easy to find and reasonably priced. You can also take the public ADO bus that has departures every 30 minutes from the airport to Playa Del Carmen for approximately MX 146 ($12 USD).
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.
Enjoy free time to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulúm or the diving mecca of Cozumel. Or just play in the waves and enjoy the beach.
Start your holiday off with some hardcore relaxation. Enjoy a full day of free time to fill as you wish. Get your ruin on with a visit to Tulum perched atop the sea, explore the fish- and coral-filled seas around Cozumel on a scuba dive, go swimming in a cenote or at the beach, and save some energy for a night out on the town.
The Maya built the ancient seaport of Tulúm in the late 13th century. Located some 130 km (80 mi) south of Cancun, this picturesque site features a number of limestone structures protected on three sides by a 7m (23 ft) thick wall. Visit “El Castillo” (the castle), overlooking the Caribbean coast, and the Temple of Frescoes, then head down to the beach. Dive into the warm aquamarine waters and imagine spotting ancient vessels laden with turquoise and jade.
Take the ferry to Cozumel Island and discover one of the world’s top scuba diving destinations. See schools of tropical fish (over 250 species) swimming in and amongst colourful coral, look for sponges and other aquatic marine life. Two main coral reefs provide plateaus beginning in less than 9m (30 ft) of water. All this, plus clear, warm water. Every diver’s dream!
Buckle up your harness, practice your exit, then take a plane up and over the blue Caribbean waters. Take a deep breath, leap out and freefall with an instructor before he opens the parachute. Admire the view over the Yucatan as you descend and land on the beach. Wow!
Pack your swimsuit, hail a shared van (colectivo) and ask for directions to one of Yucatan’s many cenotes. These natural swimming holes were formed thousands of years ago, when the peninsula's porous limestone collapsed to reveal fresh water pools fed by underground systems of canals and rivers. Dive into the turquoise waters surrounded by cave walls or tropical foliage, watch fish dart in and out of the shafts of sunlight and realize why the Maya called cenotes “sacred wells”.
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!
Akumal is the place to visit if you’re looking to escape from the crowds. Take a shared van (colectivo) and head for this small town and beach between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Known as the “land of turtles”, float in the clear waters of this protected bay and spot green turtles feeding on the sea grass.
Opt to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving or just chill out, Belizean style.
Mention Belize and you may conjure up visions of unbelievably clear blue waters, diving and snorkelling along the barrier reef and remarkable marine life. Belize also boasts huge swaths of jungle, ancient Mayan ruins, and above all, friendly, easygoing people. Belize is all this and much more!
Ride on in style. This sure isn't your grandmother's public bus.
The drive time to Chetumal depends on traffic conditions.
Arrive at the Mexican border then go to immigration to get passports stamped and pay the exit fee. After a quick trip on the bus, grab your luggage and pass through Belizean immigration and customs. Get back on the bus with your stuff and get ready to start exploring Belize.
Climb aboard, grab a seat, and enjoy the ride.
Public buses in Belize are old retired American school buses. Luggage is piled in the back of the bus and people will often stand in the aisle as the bus fills up. Your CEO will pay your fare so if the conductor asks you for money, just point to your CEO.
Jump in and cross the water to the next stop.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Travel day from Caye Caulker to San Ignacio. Depending on departure time from Caye Caulker, there may be time to visit the small Maya ruin site of Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, or take a relaxing swim in the Mopan river.
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.
It is possible to do cave tubing or visit the ATM cave on this day however it would require a group decision to do this with minimum numbers. The local operator would pick them up from the water taxi terminal and take passengers directly from Belize City to do one of these activities.
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.
Opt to visit the sacred Mayan cave Actun Tunichil Muknal or check out the seldom-visited Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.
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.
Strap on a headlamp, sit on an inner tube and get set to enter the underworld. Float on an underground river past stalactites hanging above and through shafts of filtered light. Discover firsthand why the Maya selected these sites to make offerings to their gods.
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.
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.
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.
Choose from one of the 45 horses at Hannah's Stables and ride over farm trails and forested paths, all the way along the river to the Mayan site of Xunantunich. Enjoy a short guided tour of the site before taking a different trail back to the stables. Watch for native birds, including toucans and parrots, listen for howler monkeys, admire orchids and fruit trees and breathe in the fresh air of the Belize countryside.
Learn about Mayan culture and history on a guided tour of the ruins of Tikal.
Cross the border into Guatemala and you immediately notice the difference in culture, with its heavy Mayan influence and Spanish language. Here we have entered Guatemala’s northeast jungle Petén region. The descendants of the Maya of Chichén Itzá migrated to the Petén area several centuries after the collapse of the great Mayan cities in the Yucatán.
En route to Flores, stop for a guided tour of the ancient city of Tikal. Arrive in Flores, the capital of the department of Petén, a small island located on the second largest lake of Guatemala, Lake Petén Itzá.
Jump in the back and tell the driver to step on it, just like they do in the movies.
Grab your bags from the vehicle and head to immigration after paying the exit fee. Passports get stamped in immigration and then passed to your CEO for the short walk (200m) to the Guatemalan border where the entrance fee is paid. Lend a hand loading luggage into the vehicle while your CEO gets all the passports stamped. Welcome to Guatemala!
Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.
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.
Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat, or go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall.
A travel day from Flores to Rio Dulce which is located in the department of Izabal, home of the largest lake in Guatemala, Lake Izabal was one of the most important water ways of the Spanish crown during colonial times.
We 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.
Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat, go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall, take a sunrise kayak to visit groups of noisy howler monkeys, enjoy a hike combined with yoga at the Shaman Tower, or take a horseback ride through the rubber plantations combined with a visit to the Shaman Tower.
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”.
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.
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.
Set out to explore the massive property at Hacienda Tijax Jungle Lodge on horseback. Trail ride through the reserve’s lush landscape, past a plantation of rubber trees, and stop at the Shaman tower. Climb up to see the stunning view and spot the suspension bridges hanging over natural waterfalls.
Go for a hike through some of the many hectares that Hacienda Tijax Reserve has to offer. Stop for a swim and walk amidst the rubber plantations. Arrive at the Shaman Tower where you will do some basic yoga and take in the 360-degree view.
Enjoy an orientation walk of Antigua's cobblestone streets, then take an included group salsa lesson and practice new moves out at night.
Today is a travel day from Rio Dulce to Antigua, followed by an orientation walk once you arrive. Plan your activities for the next day and enjoy some of the nightlife this beautiful colonial city has to offer.
Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will take you on a brief orientation walk to help you get your bearings. While you're here, opt to take a mountain bike ride out into the countryside or explore the fascinating markets, shops and museums within the city.
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.
Enjoy a free day in Antigua. Opt to relax with a massage, soak up the culture in one of the city's many cafés, or explore the nearby hills and towns by bike.
Relax with a massage, climb a volcano, soak up the culture of this colonial town’s many museums and cafes, attend a chocolate workshop, visit one of the local coffee or macadamia nut plantations, or explore the nearby hills and towns by bike.
Relax and enjoy a Mayan massage. You’re on vacation!
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.
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.
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.
Enjoy a chocolate workshop and museum tour to learn about the process "from bean to bar" and the history of this tasty crop. In this 1.5-hour workshop, make your own bar to take home and enjoy tastings of the varieties of chocolate drinks made on site. Who knew history could be so sweet?
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.
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.
Travel to beautiful Lake Atitlán and enjoy the views.
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.
The area is also ideal for outdoor pursuits like swimming, fishing, wind surfing, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and horseback riding.
Note: Please dress conservatively when visiting the villages and refrain from photographing religious ceremonies, or individuals who do not wish to be photographed.
Grab your bathing suit and go for a refreshing swim.
Revive sore muscles with a relaxing massage.
Trek one of the most popular San Juan-area hikes at a park called La Nariz del Indio. Look for the Rostro Maya trail opposite the gas station on the road to San Pablo, and hike to the top in about 3-4 hrs total for spectacular views of San Juan, San Pedro, and Lake Atitlán. Opt to bring a guide, if you wish, but leave valuables at home. Police warn of robberies at the summit.
Grab your life jacket and tour local waters by kayak. Get up close to marine life and see many sights you may miss on shore.
Embark on a boat ride across the lake before participating in a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. This area is known for stunning scenery and great shopping for Mayan handicrafts. Opt to bargain for colourful textiles and paintings at the lake's markets.
Climb aboard and get your float on.
Scour the local shops and stalls for unique wares to remind you of your travels to the region.
Return to Antigua, and enjoy a Big Night Out with the group.
We return to Antigua to spend more time to explore the city, shop, and check out optional activities in the area.
Optional activities include visiting a macadamia nut and coffee plantations, biking around Antigua's surrounding hills and salsa lessons.
Those prone to motion sickness should plan with anticipation. Although it is a relatively short distance to be travelled, there are many hills and winding roads.
Enjoy free time to relax with a massage, explore the nearby hills by bicycle, or visit a local macadamia nut farm.
Drive one hour to the base of Pacaya Volcano to begin your ascent. This volcano is still active, so hiking to the crater is off limits. Near the summit, grab a stick and toast marshmallows over a smoking fumarole using earth's natural "ovens" to heat your snack.
You may be a seasoned pro at group travel by now, but there will likely be some new travellers joining the group. Sit in on the welcome meeting to meet the newest members of your group and learn about the next leg of your tour.
Cross the border to Honduras. Opt to soak in local hot springs in the jungle.
The colonial highland town of Copán Ruinas is a charming and relaxing place, set along a river in the coffee growing region close to the Guatemalan border.
The Mayan ruins of Copán are fascinating, beautiful and unique among Mayan cities. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, Copán contains some of the most important Mayan ruins found to date, and many unusual artistic features, including some of the most detailed carving in the Mayan world.
Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.
Free time in Copán. Opt to visit the ruins of Copán or explore the hills on horseback.
Free time in Copan. Opt to visit the impressive Copan ruins and check out some lesser known Mayan sites along the way. Knowledgable local guides can interpret the many Mayan carvings left here over 1,000 years ago. You can also choose to explore the nearby hills and small villages on horseback or journey through the countryside to some hidden jungle hot springs for a relaxing soak.
Free time in the town of Copán. Opt to visit the Copán Ruins, explore the hills on horseback, or soak in hot springs.
Enjoy rural Honduras by horseback. Ride through the Copán Valley and along the river. Head up into the hills to meet local farmers. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic birds and wildlife. Who knows, you may even spot an ancient Maya artifact on your journey.
Take a scenic drive through the back roads of Copán Ruinas to hot springs at Luna Jaguar. Take a relaxing soak in one of the pools, surrounded by the jungle. If all that lounging around has worked up your appetite, opt to enjoy a barbeque lunch on site.
Step back in time more than a 1,000 years to discover the ancient Mayan site of Copán. Walk across grassy plazas and examine intricately carved stone stellae (tall monuments) depicting various gods and rulers. Admire the artistry and scale of the temples, ball court and well-preserved hieroglyphic stairway and understand why this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to visit the museum to see Mayan artifacts and a life-sized replica of the Rosalila Temple.
After another full day of travel through the hills of Honduras, arrive at the Caribbean coast and ferry across to island paradise.
Spend time on the island snorkelling, scuba diving or just relaxing on the beach. Roatán is a SCUBA diving haven with its location along part of the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Roatán is a Caribbean island made famous for its marine treasures. Crystal blue waters invite swimming, diving and snorkelling, or simply relax on the white, sand beaches of the Bay Islands.
Prepare for the long travel day with snacks.
Get to the next spot on your route aboard a convenient and efficient ferry boat.
Free time in Roatan to enjoy optional activities.
Free time in Roatán to enjoy optional activities. Roatán is a world-famous destination for SCUBA diving and snorkelling. The coral reef here is home to sea turtles, dolphins, rays, hundreds of species of colorful fish, corals and sponges. You can also explore the clear waters on a boat, kayak or paddleboard. Explore the island on a moped and visit traditional Garifuna settlements on the other end of the island.
Slather on the sunscreen, grab a towel and head to one of Roatán’s gorgeous white sand beaches. Best bets are West Bay beach, West End and Half Moon Bay. Snorkel, swim, laze in the sun. Then cool off in the shade of a nearby palm-treed pub. Life is good.
Roatán offers some of best diving in the Caribbean. Find a dive shop and prepare for a memorable day of coral and caverns, wrecks and walls, all sorts of great-looking fish. Part of the second largest reef in the world, the waters around the island are home to 95% of all the marine species in the Caribbean. Swim with turtles, moray eels, jaw fish and octopus. Bring your underwater camera and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Snorkelling is a must-do activity here on the island, considered a world class destination for those seeking warm clear waters and lots to look at. Head to West Bay Beach and set off in search of seahorses, stingrays, and sea turtles. Ask about the submarine submerged near Half Moon Bay – now home to a large eel and some lobsters.
Fly in style to Managua, then continue overland to Granada, Nicaragua.
Spend the morning in Caribbean paradise. Then skip a long bus ride and fly in style to Managua, and continue overland to Nicaragua’s third largest and oldest city, Granada.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... yup, it is a plane, actually.
Due to factors outside of our control, there may occasionally be changes or alterations to the flight itinerary, causing a longer travel day.
Enjoy free time to explore beautiful Granada's markets, buildings and museums. Opt to kayak in Lake Nicaragua or swim in Laguna de Apoyo.
Granada’s colonial charm is complemented by the active volcanoes and lakes that surround it, and there are many fun easy day trips available. Hike, cruise, or just explore the city’s markets and museums.
Walking is probably the easiest way to see all the sights of Granada, your tour leader will give you an initial orientation walking tour of the city and then you have plenty of time to explore in more depth.
Experience the energy and excitement of getting up close and personal with an active volcano. See the crater spew smoke and gas. Walk in a moonscape of lava rocks and stunted shrubs. Stop by the visitor’s centre and learn about the history of Masaya and many other volcanoes in Nicaragua. Next, stop at the Masaya Artesan Market filled with ceramics, woodcrafts, hammocks, cigars and leather works. Take in the view at the Laguna de Apoyo lookout and wrap up the tour in San Juan de Oriente, a local pottery and ceramics workshop.
Free time to explore beautiful Granada's markets, buildings and museums. Opt to kayak in Lake Nicaragua or swim in Laguna de Apoyo.
Free time to explore beautiful Granada's busy markets, colonial buildings and museums on foot or take a horse and carriage ride around town. Enjoy a meal on the "calzada", a pedestrian street that extends from the center of town down to Lake Nicaragua.
There are many optional activities to do just outside of town as well. Walk in the forest at the top of Mombacho Volcano, kayak around the isletas in Lake Nicaragua or swim in Laguna de Apoyo.
Take a trip up the steep slopes of the Mombacho Volcano, 10km (6 mi) from Granada, past coffee plantations and cloud forest. Bring a sweater for the cool, windy weather. Trek along marked trails, past cloud-kissed plants and abundant wildlife, to see fumaroles, craters and possibly a view (although the summit is often cloud-covered). Look down and try to spot the Mombacho salamander.
Step back into the 16th century in the San Fransisco Convent, Nicaragua’s oldest and largest museum. See pre-Columbian statues, archival photos of Granada, paintings, religious wooden artifacts. Admire the colonial architecture, with its wooden beams, courtyard and clay tile roof.
Masaya is the mecca of markets. Go there if you like to shop. Prepare to haggle. Look for hammocks, wooden bowls, engraved pottery, folk art paintings, and embroidered blouses.
Travel less than half an hour from Granada to the picturesque Laguna de Apoyo. The warm clean waters of this lake are said to have healing properties; this former volcano crater is nature’s giant bathtub, filled by natural springs and rain water from the past 20,000 or so years. Hike the forested trails in the surrounding hills. See hummingbirds, monkeys, and toucans. Slip into the mild waters and enjoy a peaceful swim. How many people can boast they swam in a volcano?
Get to know local friends during a 2-night G Adventures-supported community guesthouse stay on Ometepe. Try the cuisine, test out some language skills and even opt to climb a volcano or visit the local swimming hole.
From the town of San Jorge, we cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to arrive at Ometepe Island, formed from two volcanoes, one active and one dormant that rise out of the middle of the lake. The limited development and traditional communities create a welcoming relaxed atmosphere.
The group will be split up amongst different local families who will host you in their homes for two nights in a small community on the island. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the home. This experience give you a chance to see how rural Nicaraguans live.
Free time in Ometepe.
Today is a free day in Ometepe. We get to spend more time with the local host families and see more of the island. Opt to climb either of the two volcanoes on the island, view petroglyphs left by the island's original inhabitants, walk or kayak in Charco Verde reserve, swim in clear spring water at Ojo de Agua, lay on the beach or explore the island on bicycle.
Free time in Ometepe. Spend time with the local host families and see more of the island. Opt to climb either of the two volcanoes on the island, view petroglyphs, walk or kayak in Charco Verde reserve, swim in clear spring water at Ojo de Agua, lay on the beach or explore the island on bicycle.
Swim the cool waters of Lake Nicaragua, also known as Mar Dulce (Sweet Sea). Fed by more than 40 rivers, it’s the largest lake in Central America and the tenth largest freshwater lake in the world. Also check out local swimming holes fed by underground springs and enriched with therapeutic minerals to both relax and invigorate the senses.
There’s something special about coming across a boulder in a field, now covered in moss, and engraved in circles or images made by someone who lived in the area thousands of years ago. Discover Ometepe’s pre-Columbian petroglyphs (rock carvings) and stone statues, along with pieces of ancient ceramic urns and utensils. Learn the history and significance of these artifacts dating back to 1000 BC. Includes a stop at hot springs and the beach.
Head off on horseback along the shore of Lake Ometepe, past plantain plantations and rugged scenery. Bring a swim suit and a towel and take a refreshing swim in Ojo de Agua, a beautiful natural spring.
The steep terrain of this active volcano make Concepción the most difficult climb in all of Nicaragua. Plan on a round trip duration of 10-12 hours of sweaty, muddy, humid and windy climbing. Bring lots of water and food. The rewards can include breathtaking views of the isthmus of Ometepe, Maderas Volcano, Chontales, and Costa Rica to the south, as well as vegetation unique to this volcano.
Take a ferry back to the mainland and cross the border into Costa Rica, finishing up in the cloudforest air of Monteverde.
At 1,400 meters above sea level, Monteverde is literally in the clouds. The Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves are home to diverse and unique flora and fauna. Sloths, monkeys, kinkajous, tapirs and large cats inhabit the area. There are more species of orchids here than anywhere else in the world.
Be prepared to walk with bags approximately 10 minutes between the Nicaragua and Costa Rica border stations.
Free day in Monteverde. Opt to visit a cloud forest reserve, fly through the jungle canopy via zipline, or tour a coffee plantation.
The day is free to choose from many optional activities. Fly hundreds of meters above the trees on a zip-lining tour, hike through one of the cloud forest reserves, ride a horse in the mountains, visit a coffee/sugar cane farm, go bungee jumping, drive an ATV on trails in the hills, tour the cheese factory or check out the orchid garden, serpentarium, or frog pond in town.
Pull on your poncho and boots and head into the cloud-covered forest, past over-sized ferns and exotic orchids. Harness your inner Tarzan as you imagine swinging from the forest’s giant vines, trudge along 12 km of trails, watch for wildlife and trek to the top of the observation tower. Be sure to stop and listen too. Hear the haunting hollow call of the bellbird and perhaps catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Feel good about protecting the preserve and sustaining the quality of local schools through payment of your park fees.
Get up high to see the tree tops of Monteverde’s Cloud Forest from a bird’s eye view. Cross a series of suspension bridges to discover the early ropes and pulleys that early biologists required to glimpse – a lush, green vista accented by bromeliads, vines, and orchids. Wonder at this wet canopy, home to thousands of species of birds, small animals, amphibians and insects (making up 90% of all the organisms in the forest).
Buckle up your harness, don your helmet, and prepare to launch. Glide along cables suspended high above the cloud forest canopy. Dare to let go and reach top speeds as you zip past stunning scenery. Forget your fear as you spot a toucans or exotic orchids in this adrenaline-filled experience.
Get close to butterflies, bump into giant bugs, and make friends with hairy eight-legged spiders in this collection of gardens nestled in the mountains of Monteverde. Observe caterpillars, take prize-worthy photos of the iridescent blue morpho butterfly, and check out the leaf-cutter ant colony. The nature centre is home to 30 species of butterfly, a whole bunch of insects, as well as white-faced monkeys, coatis, motmots, and more.
Enjoy Monteverde’s breath-giving wilderness by horseback. Spot toucans, bellbirds, and parrots as you ride through private mountain trails along the primary and secondary forest. Meet monkeys, see sloths, and possibly glimpse the Gulf of Nicoya through the clouds. Take photos, inhale the pure air, and let your horse lead you on this memorable meander in misty Monteverde.
No trip to Costa Rica is complete without visiting a coffee plantation. Head to Café Monteverde and learn how this fair trade coffee goes from crop to cup. Pick ripe berries, watch how the beans are separated from the husk, then observe the drying and roasting process. Sample and buy some of these excellent beans. The Santa Elena coffee co-op prides itself on sustainable practices: it recycles processing water, uses coffee pulp for fertilizer, and sends plant fibers and husks to make paper.
Transfer to La Fortuna along bumpy roads, then break up the journey with a peaceful boat ride on Lake Arenal before a short ride to the town.
The trip from Monteverde to La Fortuna takes us down from the cloud forest and across Costa Rica's largest lake The town of La Fortuna lies at the base of the Arenal Volcano, which dominates the landscape rising to 1670 meters high. The town has become famous as the adventure sports capital of Costa Rica.
Choose your adventure! Canyoneering, white water rafting, hiking, caving, rafting, horseback riding, paddlebording, kayaking, visiting a wildlife refuge, and even more activities are all possible options for you to choose from while we're here.
Climb aboard and make friends with your seatmate en route to the next stop.
Free time to enjoy the La Fortuna and Arenal area.
Relax in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano immersed in one of the naturally heated pools at Baldi Hot Springs Hotel and Spa. Rejuvenate your muscles, detox your cells, and stimulate all your senses in nature’s thermal spa. Breathe in the pure rainforest air and marvel at the mystic surroundings of these outdoor pools of paradise.
Take a walk, taxi, or horse just outside the town of La Fortuna to the nearby waterfall. Once at the gate, pay a fee then start the descent on rough steps (more than 500 of them!) to get to the base of the falls. The water cascades 65m (200 ft) down the side of the dormant Cerro Chato. Sit on the rocks, get sprayed, watch for iridescent blue morpho butterflies and then plunge into the cool waters.
Travel north to Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge near the Nicaraguan border. Take a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world’s most important wetlands; home to a vast array of plants, birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. Keep your eyes peeled and you may see a three-toed sloth or a Jesus Christ lizard.
Enjoy Fortuna’s fantastic wilderness on one of two different horseback riding options. Ride around the base of Arenal volcano or take a scenic trip to La Fortuna waterfall, passing through Maleuku village with opportunities to take a dip in the emerald green pool. Spot toucans, bellbirds and parrots as you ride private mountain trails through primary and secondary forest. Meet monkeys, see sloths, and possibly hear the rumble of the volcano. Take photos, inhale the pure air and let your horse lead you on this memorable meander.
Rent a bike and head off along one of the backroads outside of town. Take the road to San Ramon and turn right on the road toward the waterfall. Or take a guided cycling tour and pick one of three routes of varying difficulty.
Set out on a bird watching adventure with a local expert. Depending on the season, explore around Arenal Volcano and Lake, visit El Silencio Nature Reserve, or Finca Luna Nueva. The area around Arenal is home to more than 350 species of birds. Look for toucans, parrots, Montezuma Oropendolas, colourful tanagers, and parakeets.
Pull on your bathing suit and water shoes, don a helmet and prepare to get wet and wild. Guided by expert leaders, paddle through Class II-IV rapids as you raft past spectacular scenery. Feel the burn, work up a sweat, then cool off in the pure river water. Experience the energy and excitement and enjoy!
Duck your head and enter an underground world formed some 15 million years ago. The Venado Caves are 45 min NW of Fortuna. Ford rivers, crawl through caverns, and marvel at the strange stalactites, stalagmites and subterranean inhabitants including bats, frogs, and spiders. Not ideal if you get anxious in closed spaces. Great for those who want to channel their inner Indiana Jones.
Journey through the mountains to the capital for a final night out.
Return to San José for our final night out.San José has beautiful parks, museums and theatres. Enjoy the view of the surrounding lush mountains from the downtown streets.
Depart at any time.
Caye Caulker stay. Guided tour of Tikal. Orientation walk in Antigua and Granada. Our supported homestays with Guatemalan and Nicaraguan families. Group salsa lesson in Antigua. Beach time in Caye Caulker and Roatán. Internal flight. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Relax on white-sand beaches, explore the Mayan ruins of Copán and Tikal, bargain at the local markets of colourful colonial Antigua, meet some local friends at G for Good homestays in Guatemala and Nicaragua, skip the bus and gain time (and comfort!) with a flight between Roatan and Managua.
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