This 16 day Central America holiday will take you back in time to where the monuments and pyramids of pre-Columbian civilisations provide a glimpse at life some 3000 years ago.
From the Aztec and Maya to the Zapotec, Mixtec and Toltec cultures, this Central America holiday unearths the essence of the ancient world and lays bare the artefacts and relics that have long attracted cultural explorers and adventurous travellers alike.
Travelling over the River Usumacinta by boat, peering through the undergrowth at Tikal and Yaxchilan ruins, and keeping an eye out for mischief-making howler monkeys overhead; if you’re looking for Central America holidays then this tour is worth its weight in gold.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Central America holiday
Accommodation & Meals: We use predominantly locally run accommodation, which contributes directly to the local community as local staff are employed and locally produced or sourced goods are bought for the accommodation benefiting the wider community. We try to use accommodations which are aligned with our environmental ethos, too e.g. Hotel Casantica Oaxaca has water saving showers and taps. Where meals are not provided, clients are encouraged to buy locally grown produce and try the abundance of fresh food being made in smaller businesses. For example, your local guide will give an interactive tour of several markets in Oaxaca to give a real impression of Oaxacan cuisine. Clients can even see tortillas, tamales, empanadas, atoles and hot chocolate being made. This is a great chance to support the local community and to gain a really authentic cultural experience.
Conservation: We actively work with local communities and non-profit organizations with missions based in conservation & sustainable development to make good on the promise of ecotourism as a catalyst for sustainable development. We are an active member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and sit on the Board of Advisors of Oceanic Society. We are also working with Grupo Tortugero and RED Sustainable Travel to operate travel experiences that protect the local environment, gather information about the state of the environment, and provide alternative economic activities to traditional resource depleting activities.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Local Crafts & Culture: Mexico has such a deep and rich culture and this is reflected in the variety of handmade crafts on offer. We try to engage with these cottage industries as much as possible- for example, we visit a Zapotec community which makes traditional weavings and pottery in a myriad of colours. Clients learn about the weaving process and purchase handmade products as souvenirs. By visiting this village, we support the continuation of these ancient production techniques which have remained unchanged for centuries.
Group size: This small group tour has a maximum of 15 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to its limited size e.g. Casa Don David, which has its own botanical gardens where clients can learn about the ancient Mayan plants which grow there and their uses.