Caribbean There, Done That Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

Trip code : GSRA
Trip length : 17
Trip starts in : Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Trip ends in : Antigua Guatemala
Maximum group size : maximum 16

highlights

  • 1200-year-old cliff-top ruins of Tulum
  • Belize's waters
  • Burritos from a street vendor
  • Flores on Lago Petén Itzá
  • Punta dancing
  • The palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker
  • The Quetzal of Guatemala - your currency and spirit guide
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Antigua Guatemala
  • UNESCO World Heritage-listed Mayan city of Tikal

Some essential Spanish to get you by: - Where can we surf? – Donde se puede hacer surf? - It is hot, isn’t it? – Hace calor, verdad? - A glass of red wine – un vino tinto - I love you Miguel – Te quiero Miguel

itin

Day
1

Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen's a pretty awesome place to begin a trip. In fact, it's so awesome that the rest of the trip runs the risk of being a disappointment. Luckily, our guys at Imaginative Travellers HQ strive to make every single trip equally awesome from start to finish. Kind of like a burrito.Arrive at any time on Day 1, there are no activities planned until the eveningTour orientation at 6pm with your guide

Day
2-3

Tulum

These are some impressive ruins. They're all crumbly and clinging to a cliff-top over a lovely beach. It's an optional visit, but it's a good visit. Take a bus along the Caribbean coast to TulumVisit the pre-Columbian walled city ruins (optional)Gain spectacular views over the tropical shores belowDiscover the Temple of the FrescoesSpend time relaxing on the beach or strolling along the white sandy shoreKick back and watch the waves with a margarita at night

Day
4-5

Caye Caulker

Head into Belize and catch a boat to Caye Caulker. Free time to dive/snorkel in the second largest barrier reef in the world or swing in a hammock under a palm tree.Travel by local bus to Belize (you may have to change bus a few times, approximately 8 hours travel)Take a speedboat to the palm-fringed island of Caye CaulkerEnjoy this idyllic island and the nearby reefs during free timePerhaps explore the coral reefs and their abundance of underwater life, or just relax on the beach

Day
6-7

San Ignacio

Travel by local bus to San Ignacio, passing through the capital, Belmopan, en route. Here, you can head to Xunantunich, a Mayan ceremonial centre, or wade through the waters of Actun Tunichil Muknal until you reach a whole bunch of 1,400-year-old crystallised skeletons. Creepy and amazing. Cremazing.Travel by local bus to San IgnacioPerhaps take a hand-cranked boat to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre with panoramic viewsGo on an optional day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls, warm swimming holes and a huge cave system including the Mayan relic in Tunichil MuknalYou can also go tubing or canoeing through the regionChoose to visit San Ignacio's butterfly gardenTry one of the barbecue street stalls for dinner, sit on the street gnawing on a chicken leg

Day
8-9

Flores - Tikal Ruins

Arrive in Guatemala and stay in Flores, an island town on Lake Peten Itza. There's an optional visit the the Tikal ruins, which is a bit like the set of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto movie, minus the violence.Head into Guatemala and visit the town of FloresStroll the cobblestone streets, buy local handicrafts or take a dip in Lake Peten Itza.Optional visit the ancient city of Tikal - deserted Mayan ruins in the heart of the Guatemala jungleJourney to the temples in Tikal National ParkPass through dense jungle vegetationPerhaps climb to the peak of Temple IV and take in the spectacular views

Day
10-11

Rio Dulce

Kick-ass activities on offer: Boating on the lake, manatee-spotting, thermal hot springs, hiking jungle trails, exploring San Felipe fort, relaxing. Rubbish activities on offer: Absolutely nothing.Head to Rio Dulce, the sweet river, by local busGo out and absorb the atmosphere of this laid back Caribbean town, quite different from the inland communitiesPartake in optional activities, maybe boat on the lake, tour to spot the protected manatees or travel to the thermal hot springsPerhaps hike through the Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve, ride a horse through a nearby rubber plantation or travel to Livingston to explore the San Felipe fort

Day
12

Antigua

Travel through Antigua. You won't have much time to do anything as this is just a nightstop, but you'll be coming back here at the end of the trip, so don't stress.Travel to Antigua by local bus (approx. 7 hours), spend the night before continuing to PanajachelMaybe go for a walk and taste Tamales, a local dish served in a corn leaf, or try Pepian, three meats (chicken, beef and pork) in a dark sauce

Day
13

Chichicastenango/San Jorge La Laguna

Chichicastenango's market is really famous, so you should go there before you stay with a family at San Pedro La Laguna. They'll cook you dinner and breakfast, and you will never forget your experience with them. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.Take a local bus to famous market in ChichicastenangoHead to San Pedro La Laguna (approx. 1.5 hours)Meet your host family for tonight's homestay, the mother of the family will cook dinner and breakfast for you, meals are basic but filling

Day
14

Panajachel

Panajachel is surrounded by volcanoes and villages. Here, you can go swimming, wind surfing, hiking, kayaking, horse riding or paragliding. You can visit a local community cooperative or take a boat out to some of the nearby villages. Whatever you do, you'll have a ball.Travel to the neighbor town of PanajachelGo for a swim, wind surf, hike, kayak, go horse riding, or for the really adventurous, paraglidingPerhaps visit a small neighbouring village by boatGo on an optional trip to visit a community cooperative, proceeds from these will return directly to the community

Day
15-17

Antigua

With three nearby volcanoes puffing out white smoke, you won't have been to many places quite like Antigua. You'll regret hitting the beach here about as much as you'd regret buying a winning lottery ticket.Wind up in Antigua, a World Heritage-listed townkPerhaps journey to the summit of one of the nearby volcanoesMaybe take a scenic horse ride, a bike ride or go white-water rafting on one of the highland riversOpportunity to explore the city’s cobblestone streets at your leisure

itin-variation

While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.

trip-grade

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Basic

Our Basic tours offer superb value and are ideal for those who are happy to forgo some creature comforts in favour of an authentic and fun experience. Under the leadership of a fully trained tour leader, you will enjoy all the highlights and freedom of independent travel with the convenience, security and companionship of a small group.

Style Facts

  • Plenty of free time to explore independently
  • Optional activities to suit your budget
  • Freedom to choose your own meals
  • Simple famliy run hotels
  • Mostly public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

This tour is operated by our partners Geckos Adventures

included

  • Expert English-speaking regional leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
  • Orientation walking tour in Caye Caulker, Flores and Antigua.
  • Sightseeing (including entrance fees and local guides): pre-Columbian walled city ruins of Tulum and ancient city of Tikal.
  • Return speedboat ride from Belize City to the palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker.
  • Guided walk to the summit of one of the volcanoes near Antigua.
  • Free time to relax on the beaches of Playa del Carmen and Caye Caulker.

not-included

International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, entrance fees, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

meals

1 breakfast, 1 dinner

single-room-sup

Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.

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