Central America small group tour

“Not a month in the country, but a month in 7 countries. No way could I have come up with such a brilliant itinerary on my own. The trip of a lifetime. ”

Highlights

Mexico: Yucatan Peninsula | Playa del Carmen | Tulum Belize: Caye Caulker | Snorkelling | San Ignacio | Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave | Guatemala: Tikal National Park | Flores | Rio Dulce | Antigua | Chichicastenango | Lake Atitlan Honduras: Copan El Salvador : Suchitoto | El Cuco Nicaragua : Leon | Granada | Ometepe Island Costa Rica: Monteverde | La Fortuna | Arenal Volcano National Park | San Jose

Please feel free to contact the Help Desk team if you need any advice on your vacation plans. We're always happy to help!

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Date
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22 Dec 2018
US $ 3235
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29 Dec 2018
US $ 3235
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On Request
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05 Jan 2019
US $ 2965
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12 Jan 2019
US $ 3025
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19 Jan 2019
US $ 3050
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26 Jan 2019
US $ 3515
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02 Feb 2019
US $ 3350
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09 Feb 2019
US $ 3350
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16 Feb 2019
US $ 3450
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23 Feb 2019
US $ 3385
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26 Feb 2019
US $ 3350
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02 Mar 2019
US $ 3350
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09 Mar 2019
US $ 3450
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16 Mar 2019
US $ 3485
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06 Apr 2019
US $ 3320
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13 Apr 2019
US $ 3225
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20 Apr 2019
US $ 3225
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27 Apr 2019
US $ 3225
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04 May 2019
US $ 3225
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11 May 2019
US $ 3225
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18 May 2019
US $ 3100
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25 May 2019
US $ 3100
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08 Jun 2019
US $ 3100
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15 Jun 2019
US $ 3100
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22 Jun 2019
US $ 3100
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29 Jun 2019
US $ 3100
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06 Jul 2019
US $ 3100
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13 Jul 2019
US $ 3100
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20 Jul 2019
US $ 3100
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27 Jul 2019
US $ 3100
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10 Aug 2019
US $ 3100
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17 Aug 2019
US $ 3100
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24 Aug 2019
US $ 3100
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31 Aug 2019
US $ 3100
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07 Sep 2019
US $ 3100
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14 Sep 2019
US $ 3100
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21 Sep 2019
US $ 3100
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28 Sep 2019
US $ 3100
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05 Oct 2019
US $ 3100
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12 Oct 2019
US $ 3225
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19 Oct 2019
US $ 3225
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26 Oct 2019
US $ 3225
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02 Nov 2019
US $ 3225
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09 Nov 2019
US $ 3225
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16 Nov 2019
US $ 3225
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19 Nov 2019
US $ 3225
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23 Nov 2019
US $ 3350
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30 Nov 2019
US $ 3350
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03 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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07 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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14 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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17 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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21 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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28 Dec 2019
US $ 3350
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04 Jan 2020
US $ 3515
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07 Jan 2020
US $ 3515
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11 Jan 2020
US $ 3515
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18 Jan 2020
US $ 3515
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25 Jan 2020
US $ 3515
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01 Feb 2020
US $ 3515
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08 Feb 2020
US $ 3515
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15 Feb 2020
US $ 3515
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22 Feb 2020
US $ 3515
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29 Feb 2020
US $ 3515
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07 Mar 2020
US $ 3515
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14 Mar 2020
US $ 3350
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21 Mar 2020
US $ 3515
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28 Mar 2020
US $ 3385
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04 Apr 2020
US $ 3385
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11 Apr 2020
US $ 3385
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18 Apr 2020
US $ 3385
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25 Apr 2020
US $ 3385
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09 May 2020
US $ 3385
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16 May 2020
US $ 3385
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23 May 2020
US $ 3385
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30 May 2020
US $ 3255
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06 Jun 2020
US $ 3255
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13 Jun 2020
US $ 3255
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20 Jun 2020
US $ 3255
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27 Jun 2020
US $ 3255
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04 Jul 2020
US $ 3255
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11 Jul 2020
US $ 3255
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18 Jul 2020
US $ 3100
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25 Jul 2020
US $ 3100
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08 Aug 2020
US $ 3100
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15 Aug 2020
US $ 3100
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22 Aug 2020
US $ 3100
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29 Aug 2020
US $ 3100
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05 Sep 2020
US $ 3100
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12 Sep 2020
US $ 3100
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19 Sep 2020
US $ 3100
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26 Sep 2020
US $ 3100
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03 Oct 2020
US $ 3225
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10 Oct 2020
US $ 3225
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17 Oct 2020
US $ 3225
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24 Oct 2020
US $ 3225
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07 Nov 2020
US $ 3225
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14 Nov 2020
US $ 3225
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17 Nov 2020
US $ 3225
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21 Nov 2020
US $ 3225
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28 Nov 2020
US $ 3350
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01 Dec 2020
US $ 3350
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05 Dec 2020
US $ 3350
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12 Dec 2020
US $ 3350
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Vacation type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are traveling on your own, with a partner or with friends, a small group trip is a fantastic way to see the world. You'll travel on a fixed itinerary that has been designed to help you discover the best of region. From the known highlights, the hidden gems that you won't find in the guidebooks.

Itineraries run on set departure dates, accompanied every step of the way by an English speaking local group leader. You chose the itinerary and the date that suits you best and you book on.

Why travel on a small group adventure?
Small groups allow us to explore where larger tour groups can't. Our maximum group size of 16 travelers allows us to use local transport to get from A to B, to visit rural villages, spend time with the locals and even stay at a local home overnight, and it allows us to give our travelers genuine, real life experiences of the countries we are visiting; what you'll be doing and how you'll travel depends entirely on your chosen itinerary.

Is an adventure right for me?
The word adventure means something different to everyone, and our range of trips reflects that. Whether you want to explore local markets, visit out of the way temples and meet local people or go on an early morning safari drive searching for the 'big five', we'll have a trip for you. If you are looking for a physical challenge such trekking the Kokoda Track or summiting Kilimanjaro, we can help with that too.

So what can I expect on this trip?
This is one of our Basix trips, designed specifically for budget travelers who still want the security of group travel without lots of added inclusions. These trips don't have many included activities and meals are rarely included in the price, giving you the opportunity to search out local restaurants and sample regional specialities to your heart's content. The amount of free time in these itineraries means that the Basix trips often appeal to younger travelers looking to explore independently and tailor the trip to your own interests. You often won't spend too many days in any one place and you'll pack lots of different locations into your vacation.

As you might expect, accommodation on a Basix trip will be fairly basic! We'll stay in 1-2 star accommodation, often including homestays and there may be nights where the group stays somewhere multi-share / in a dormitory-style. Most accommodation however will be twin share; with solo travelers automatically roomed with a fellow group member of the same sex, this means that there are no single supplements on Basix trips.

On camping trips you will be expected to help out around the camp; putting up and taking down your own tent, helping with meals and other camp duties. We often find the nights where we are without a few creature comforts are those that are most amazing; wild bush camping in Serengeti anyone?! We'll use local transport where ever possible which is a great way of seeing the country and meeting locals as we travel.

Can I book my flights with you?
Yes! We are a fully ATOL bonded tour operator meaning that we can book flights from the UK as part of your vacation package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your inquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Central America small group tour

The very ethos of our style of travel is responsible; small groups on fully escorted tours, experiencing the very best of a region, a culture and a landscape, with a friendly local hand guiding the way. Our itineraries are designed to give our travelers real life experiences without compromising the part of the world we are exploring; to travel responsibly is at the heart of our commitment as a global tour operator.

This epic trip from Mexico to Costa Rica is designed to follow the ethos of low impact and even positive impact tourism. Traveling through six Central American countries, visiting beaches, ancient ruins and pristine rainforests, this trip does much to support local industry and initiative and provide employment opportunities as we go.

Youll stay in small, locally owned budget accommodation, from hotels to a basic homestay in San Jorge La Laguna and be accompanied throughout by a professional local group leader. Those who opt to explore some on the Mayan ruins en route or who decide to take on one of the many optional hikes in this itinerary will also benefit from the knowledge and experience of various local site guides employed in the various locations. What you do in each destination is up to you, so your group leader will be on hand to help with arrangements, including recommended local suppliers to use for things such as cycle hire, kayak hire and guided tours.

Meals on this trip are at your own expense giving all travelers freedom to choose the places you eat. When dining together, your group will eat in traditional, locally owned restaurants, and during the day will purchase food en route from local vendors and small cafes, again your group leader will be on hand to recommend the places the locals eat and where to get the best regional specialities.

Our emphasis on tour is real life experiences and to experience the best of these we encourage all our travelers to be aware of local sensibilities when they travel with us and to behave accordingly. With the high degree of local interaction on this itinerary, it is worth noting that Latin Americans can be very conscious of appearance so try to be casual but conservative in your dress. Outside of beach areas halter tops and very short shorts should not be worn. When visiting churches or religious sites shoulders and knees should be covered.

Youll mainly travel on this trip by local bus. As well as being by far the best option environmentally, this offers great opportunity for cultural interaction with your fellow bus travelers. Due to safety concerns however we do not use the brightly painted chicken buses that are a common sight throughout Central America, instead using more modern, efficient inter-city coaches. As a company we are very aware of the negative effect carbon emissions have on our environment and as such operate a carbon neutral policy; offsetting the ground emissions of all our passengers on all our trips. On this particular Central American journey that equates to 266kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure.

In addition to this we encourage all our passengers to take steps to ensure that their trip is environmentally responsible as possible. On this trip you will get the chance to snorkel in the pristine waters of Caye Caulker, Mexico, visit the heart of the rainforest on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua and explore the cloudforest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. We want our visits to assist in the preservation of all these stunning locations and you will be encouraged to treat them with care. For example, your group leader will brief you on the dos and donts of snorkelling to help protect the fragile marine environments. Youll be encouraged to stick to the marked pathways in the jungle environments and to treat all destinations with respect.

Your group leader will also be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route, recycling wherever possible and we encourage all our travelers to use refillable water bottles with purification tablets rather than contributing to the rapidly escalating problem caused by the copious number of plastic bottles discarded globally on a daily basis.

1 Reviews of Central America small group tour

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 13 Feb 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Snorkelling in Caye Caulker, Belize, was an amazing experience! Nurse sharks, stingrays and turtles, not to mention oodles of brightly coloured fish, seemed completely oblivious to our presence, and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, with its dazzling array of corals and fish, was stunning. What a fantastic day! Just as good, but for different reasons, was the memorable Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave - wading through water; scrambling up, over and under rocks; and marvelling at the stalactites, stalagmites and Mayan relics, including the famous crystal maiden skeleton, made for an exhilarating day! The Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala were simply breathtaking. The jungle backdrop offers a chance to see wildlife such as toucans, tarantulas, coatis and howler monkeys, to name but a few! The homestay in Guatemala was wonderful: it offers an insight into some of the realities of life for the Mayan population. My host family was so lovely and keen to chat; you really do need to have at least a basic smattering of Spanish to get the most out of the experience. Also, Suchitoto in El Salvador: gorgeous! Oh, and Granada in Nicaragua, too...was I seriously supposed to pick just one memorable aspect?! No chance!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


(1) Bring US dollars for currency exchange - at every border crossing A Man with a Hat and a Serious Wad of Cash appeared (seemed legit...!), so you can easily
exchange USD or offload leftover currency. (2) Note that some ATMs in Guatemala don't seem to like Mastercard or pre-paid travel cards (I don't know
which...I had a Mastercard travel card...): you might have to try several attempts on one or more machines, but best to bring a Visa card as a back-up. (3) Try
and eat at street stalls or local "comedores" to keep food costs down. If lots of locals are eating there, it's a pretty safe bet! (4) Take probiotics with you in case
you do have tummy troubles. (5) Bring a dry bag for your valuables - there's lots of boat travel, and you and your belongings are likely to get wet. (6) If you're
worried about the water, drink bottled beer!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Local transport and trip providers were used throughout the tour, wherever and whenever possible. The trip seemed especially beneficial to the local communities in Guatemala, particularly at the homestay and visits to Mayan markets and handicraft cooperatives.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


For value for money, and as an introduction to Central America, it was great. The trip really does have everything: history, culture, beaches, colonial cities, nature and great food, not to mention professional tour guides who were keen to impart their local knowledge and ensure we all had a good experience. Be warned though: it is just a taster; you're going to want to go back! Know, however, that once you leave Guatemala, there are some long travel days. The trip from Antigua to Copn, in particular, involved a lot of travel for what was just 24 hours in Honduras (although the ruins are, admittedly, impressive) and everyone felt a bit fed up during the seemingly never-ending trip from El Cuco, El Salvador, to Len, Nicaragua!

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