Trek though jungle backdrops to Mayan ruins and chill out on white-sand beaches under the Caribbean sun. Check out Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and experience the region’s diversity. Wander colonial Antigua’s cobblestone streets and shop for treasures before experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Atitlán, its Indigenous Mayan villages, and striking volcanoes. One of our most popular trips, this adventure offers natural wonders, excitement, and culture with enough time to socialize and do your own thing.
Your G for Good Moment: Posadas Mayas Homestay, San Juan La Laguna
Your G for Good Moment: Belize Bike with Purpose Tour, Caye Caulker
Your Big Night Out Moment: Antigua Guatemala
Your Discover Moment: San Ignacio
Your Discover Moment: Caye Caulker. Orientation walk in Antigua. Guided tour of Tikal. Beach time in Mahahual. Free time in Rio Dulce, San Ignacio, and Caye Caulker. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Walk along cobblestones in gorgeous colonial Antigua, overnight in a local homestay, watch the sunset in Caye Caulker, bliss out on white-sand beaches, explore ancient Mayan sites.
1. As this trip crosses national borders, please be prepared to pay some border fees for certain countries ranging from $1 to $30 USD. Please check with your local embassy or consulate for up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
2. The Cancún airport is only 45 minutes from Playa del Carmen and frequent buses run on schedule.
3. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 18, avg 14.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Public bus, boat, private vehicle, taxi, walking.
Simple hotels/hostels (14 nts, most multi-share), local homestay (1 nt).
Accommodation will be varied throughout your adventure. Some nights we use multi-share accommodation, on a single-sex basis (typically 4-6 people per room). We have specifically chosen unique accommodations to give local flavour to your trip.
Couples: Please note that due to the variety of accommodation used in Central America, couples will be split into separate rooms when we use multi-share hostels. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.
The best way to get to the arrival point hotel is via taxi from the airport – there are fixed rates at the airport counter. It is a 1 hour drive from Guatemala City (where the international airport is located) to Antigua, where the joining point hotel is located.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
**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!
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
Lake Atitlan Overnight:
• Overnight bag
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
The currency in Mexico is the Peso (MXN), in Belize the Dollar (BZD) and in Guatemala the Quetzal (GTQ).
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
We do not recommend you bring travellers cheques, as it is very difficult to exchange them in each country.
CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 50USD (20USD notes are ideal).
Guatemala exit tax: 10Q ($1.25USD)
Belize entrance tax: free
Belize exit tax: $20USD
Mexico entrance tax: free, unless staying 7+ days, then 533MXN ($35USD)
Mexico airport departure tax: None
Mexico exit tax by land: 533MXN ($35USD)
Border Fees must be paid in full at the time of entry and exit and are subject to change without prior notice.
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.
- Massage (30-60USD per person)
- Elizabeth Bell Walking Tour (25USD per person)
- Finca Valhalla Visit (5-10USD per person)
- Finca Filidelfia Coffee Tour (18-25USD per person)
- Acatenango Volcano Climb (50-85USD per person)
- Salsa Lesson (5-12USD per person)
- Cycling (30-50USD per person)
San Juan La Laguna
- San Felipe Fort Visit (5USD per person)
- Horseback Riding Rio Dulce
- Sunrise Monkey Kayak (23-31USD per person)
- Natural Hot Waterfall Visit (20-35USD per person)
- Scenic Boat Ride to Livingston (35USD per person)
- Chocón-Machacas Nature Reserve Hike
Actun Tunichil Muknal
- Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Visit (90USD per person)
Mountain Pine Ridge
- Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve Visit (75USD per person)
Blue Hole National Park
- Crystal Cave Visit (90USD per person)
- Barton Creek Cave Canoeing (50-75USD per person)
- Caracol Ruins Tour (95USD per person)
- Xunantunich Visit (5USD per person)
- Hol Chan Snorkel Tour (35-70USD per person)
- Blue Hole National Monument Dive (200-250USD per person)
- Sunset Sailing Boat Tour (35USD per person)
- Bike with Purpose Rental (7-30USD per person)
- Swallow Caye Manatee Tour (80USD per person)
- Fishing (200USD per group)
- Guided Kayak Trip (25USD per person)
- Blue Hole National Park Flight (180-250USD per person)
Playa del Carmen
- Coco Bongo Disco and Show (70-75USD per person)
- Tequila Tasting (850-1100MXN per person)
- Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Canal Float (40USD per person)
Safety and Security
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
A Couple of Rules
Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: CGAC, ID: 23711
Day 1: Antigua Guatemala
Check into the hostel 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
Day 2: Antigua Guatemala
Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to relax with a massage or soak up the culture in one of many cafés. Enjoy a Big Night Out with the group.
Big Night Out
Day 3: Antigua Guatemala/San Juan La Laguna (1D)
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.
Posadas Mayas Homestay
Stretch out and unwind aboard our private ride.
Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km)
Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 4: San Juan La Laguna/Panajachel
Return across the lake and enjoy free time in Panajachel to visit the market or relax.
Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 5: Panajachel/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 (9.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 6: Rio Dulce
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.
Day 7: Rio Dulce/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.
Day 8: Flores/San Ignacio
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.
Tikal Ruins Guided Tour
Border Crossing (Guatemala – Belize)
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km)
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)
Taxicab (0.25-0.50 hours)
Day 9: San Ignacio
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.
Day 10: San 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.
Belize Bike with Purpose Tour
Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours, 123km)
Boat (1.00 hour(s))
Day 11: Days 11-12 Caye Caulker
Enjoy free time to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving, or just chill out, Belizean style.
Day 12: Day 13 Caye Caulker/Mahahual
Leaving Belize and its Caribbean reggae-tinged vibe, head north to the Costa Maya, Mexico, to the beachside town of Mahahual.
Border Crossing (Belize – Mexico)
Boat (1.00 hour(s))
Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 145km)
Day 13: Day 14 Mahahual
Enjoy a free day for beach lounging and sipping seaside margaritas.
Day 14: Day 15 Mahahual/Playa del Carmen
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.
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 15: Day 16 Playa 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.