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 : 16
  • Ages : 18 - 39
  • Meals : 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
  • Accommodation : 15 Nights Hotel, 1 Night Homestay
  • Transport : Boat, Local Bus

If you plan to travel before the 1st January 2015 please contact us for details of the itinerary.

highlights1

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

Mexico, Belize and Guatemala – three very tight Amigos. Play like a player in Playa del Carmen and take it easy in Tulum. Delve into island life and underwater worlds alike in Belize. Check out thetemples of Tikal, the markets of Chichicastenango and the lake vistas of Panajachel. 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

daily-itinerary1

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 Geckos 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 evening
  • Tour orientation at 6pm with your guide
  • If you arrive early, check out our list of optional activities for suggestions of things to do
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 Tulum
  • Visit the pre-Columbian walled city ruins (optional)
  • Gain spectacular views over the tropical shores below
  • Discover the Temple of the Frescoes
  • Spend time relaxing on the beach or strolling along the white sandy shore
  • Kick 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 Caulker
  • Enjoy this idyllic island and the nearby reefs during free time
  • Perhaps 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 Ignacio
  • Perhaps take a hand-cranked boat to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre with panoramic views
  • Go 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 Muknal
  • You can also go tubing or canoeing through the region
  • Choose to visit San Ignacio's butterfly garden
  • Try one of the barbecue street stalls for dinner, sit on the street gnawing on a chicken leg
Day
8-9

Flores - Tikal Ruins

Head into Guatemala and camp the night in Tikal National Park (all camping equipment, including sleeping bag, is included)

Visit the the Tikal ruins, which is a bit like the set of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto movie, minus the violence.

  • Pass through dense jungle vegetation
  • Perhaps 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 bus
  • Go out and absorb the atmosphere of this laid back Caribbean town, quite different from the inland communities
  • Partake in optional activities, maybe boat on the lake, tour to spot the protected manatees or travel to the thermal hot springs
  • Perhaps hike through the Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve, 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 Panajachel
  • Maybe 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 Chichicastenango
  • Head 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 Panajachel
  • Go for a swim, wind surf, hike or kayak
  • Perhaps visit a small neighbouring village by boat
  • Go 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.

  • Wind up in Antigua, a World Heritage-listed town
    Perhaps journey to the summit of one of the nearby volcanoes
  • Opportunity to explore the city’s cobblestone streets at your leisure
  • The trip finishes after breakfast on the last day.

included1

  • Gecko's expert English-speaking regional leader throughout the tour, and local guides at some sites.
  • Orientation walking tour in Caye Caulker, Flores and Antigua.
  • Return speedboat ride from Belize City to the palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker.
  • Free time to relax on the beaches of Playa del Carmen and Caye Caulker.

optional-extras

We have chosen a selection of some great optional activities to enhance your travel experience. You will need to cover any additional costs yourself. The below list is not exhaustive and should be used as a guide only. Prices are approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed below have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

  • Antigua - Bicycle tour
    US$30
  • Antigua - Chocolate Museum
    US$24
  • Antigua - Coffee/Macadamia nut plantation tour
    US$20
  • Antigua - Salsa class (per hour)
    US$7
  • Antigua - Santiago Zamora Village tour
    US$10
  • Caye Caulker - Bicycle Rental
    US$5
  • Caye Caulker - Kitesurfing (equipment and instructor)
    US$90
  • Caye Caulker - Manatee watching & snorkelling tour
    US$60
  • Caye Caulker - Sea kayaking (half day)
    US$25
  • Caye Caulker - Snorkel trip (full day)
    US$70
  • Caye Caulker - Snorkelling half day
    US$35
  • Caye Caulker - Stand up paddle board rental
    US$15
  • Caye Caulker - Sunset sail
    US$25
  • Chichicastenango - Market
    Free
  • Flores - Birdwatching boat tour
    US$25
  • Flores - Lake Peten Itza boat tour
    US$6
  • Panajachel - Bike rental
    US$10
  • Panajachel - Collective boat to Santiago, San Pedro or San Juan
    US$8
  • Panajachel - Kayak rental (per hour)
    US$6
  • Panajachel - Lake & village tour
    US$30
  • Panajachel - Mountain bike tour
    US$40
  • Panajachel - San Pedro Volcano Hike
    US$60
  • Panajachel - Zipline ride
    US$35
  • Playa del Carmen - Bicycle rental (per day)
    US$8
  • Playa del Carmen - Cenote Ikil
    US$6
  • Playa del Carmen - Dos Ojos Cenote snorkelling tour
    US$35
  • Playa del Carmen - Ferry to Cozumel
    US$25
  • Rio Dulce - Boat trip to Livingston
    US$30
  • Rio Dulce - Natural hot springs
    US$15
  • Rio Dulce - Quingua Ruins
    US$30
  • Rio Dulce - San Felipe Fort
    US$1
  • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave)
    US$105
  • San Ignacio - Barton Creek Canoeing
    US$80
  • San Ignacio - Bicycle rental (per hour)
    US$3
  • San Ignacio - Butterfly farm
    US$6
  • San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins
    US$8
  • San Ignacio - Caracol Ruins
    US$80
  • San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project
    US$6
  • San Ignacio - Mountain Pine Ridge day trip
    US$75
  • San Ignacio - River tubing
    US$95
  • San Ignacio - Xunantunich
    US$8
  • Tikal - Guided private tour
    US$40
  • Tikal - Sunrise tour
    US$60
  • Tikal - Zip line tour
    US$40
  • Tulum - Bike rental (per day)
    US$8
  • Tulum - Cenote snorkelling
    US$35
  • Tulum - Ruins
    US$8
  • Tulum - Snorkel rental (per day)
    US$10

not-included1

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.

 

tripgrade1

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

 

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.

 

medical-preparation1

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

 

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

 

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

Itinerary 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.

Meals

2 breakfasts, , 2 dinners

Single room supplement

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.

Affordable Adventures

search

271 holidays

  • info If you're searching for a trip to fit in with a larger travel schedule, or simply have an exact idea of the city advanced search
    • Activities & Interests

need help & expert advice?
+44(0)1728862230


Sign-up for our newsletter

tailor-made adventure trips

Our tailor made adventure holidays will truly inspire and delight the senses and will live in your memory for ever.

more info


Last Minute Specials -  Up to 20% Off

Join us on one of our worldwide adventures coming up over the next few months – all guaranteed to depart, all at up to 20% off.

more info