Mexico, Belize & Guatemala tour, Mayan encounter

“A budget but beautiful journey around Central America’s Mayan marvels. With plenty of beach bliss thrown in. Staying in basic hotels along the way, and travelling in a small group.”

Highlights

Mexico: Playa del Carmen | Yucatan Peninsula | Tulum Belize: Caye Caulker | San Ignacio Guatemala : Tikal National Park | River trip on Rio Dulce | Antigua | Lake Atitlan | Panajachel

Description of Mexico, Belize & Guatemala tour, Mayan encounter

This Mexico, Belize and Guatemala tour is a 17 day odyssey around some of Central America’s magnificent Mayan sites, but also to beaches, cayes, cenotes and national parks. Starting on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, you can chill out after your journey in Playa del Carmen, ready to take on the cultural wonders of Tulum, the first Mayan archaeological site on our trip.

Belize also has a fine mix of coast and ancient culture, and we spend a couple of days on Caye Caulker where you are left to enjoy beach life at your own pace, with everything on hand from snorkelling to manatee spotting. Inland Belize is also wonderful to explore, as you will discover in San Ignacio, where we discover greener, more mountainous landscapes as well as the fascinating mix of Mestizos, Maya and Garifuna cultures.

We spend the rest of our trip in Guatemala, nine days in all, taking in a wonderful array of both culture and nature in this stunning country. Every day offers something completely different, such as Tikal National Park with the ancient Mayan city at its heart, the contemporary Mayan culture in Chichicastenango , the world famous Lake Atitlan and its charismatic capital of Antigua.

We build plenty of free time into our trips, and guests can choose to opt for additional activities if they wish, according to their budgets and interests. We stay in small, locally owned hotels, where friendliness makes up for frills, but where you will gain a sense of real Central American life. We also don’t include most meals on this trip, so you can budget for food in a way that suits you best. There is certainly no shortage of fine food in these three countries, whether it is street or gastronomic.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Holiday type

Small group adventure

What is a small group adventure?
It's a great way to travel! Whether you are travelling 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 travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers 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 holiday.

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 travellers 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 holiday package. Just ask us for a quote including flights when you make your enquiry.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Mexico, Belize & Guatemala tour, Mayan encounter

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 travellers 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 brilliant no-frills itinerary takes in the highlights of the ancient Mayan civilisation, giving travellers the opportunity to visit sites in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Focusing on low impact and even positive impact travel, this trip supports local industry and helps provide employment throughout the regions of Central America we visit. You’ll stay in small, locally owned budget accommodation, from hotels to a unique homestay in the famous market town of Chichicastenango (Chichi) and be accompanied throughout by a professional local group leader. There will be the opportunity during the trip to rent bikes and snorkelling equipment in Tulum, try kite surfing in Caye Caulker, go birdwatching in Tikal and buy local handicrafts at the enormous Chichi Market. Your group leader will help with all these arrangements and their local knowledge will be vital in helping you get the best deal!

Meals on this trip are at your own expense giving all travellers 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.

Travellers wishing to visit the Mayan ruins dotted across the region will find their entrance ticket to the sites helps fund conservation and restoration projects, while the local site guides also benefit from the opportunities tourism brings to their region.

Our emphasis on tour is real life experiences. To this end, on this journey you’ll mainly use local buses to get around, as well as being by far the best option environmentally, this offers great opportunity for cultural interaction with your fellow bus travellers. 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 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 journey that equates to 141kgs of carbon offset per passenger, per departure. We also offer all our travellers the opportunity to offset the cost of their international travel with us. Since 2007 we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year!

In addition to this we encourage all our passengers to take steps to ensure that their trip is environmentally responsible as possible. Your group leader will be on hand to assist with the appropriate disposal of rubbish en route, recycling wherever possible and we encourage all our travellers 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.

2 Reviews of Mexico, Belize & Guatemala tour, Mayan encounter

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 06 Nov 2018 by

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


Visit to Tikal.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Long days of the trip were on the bus.

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


Yes. The experience of living together with a Mayan family in Guatemala was amazing.

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


Very good.

(Translated from Spanish)

Reviewed on 01 Sep 2015 by

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


Snorkelling in a coral reef amongst nurse sharks and other amazing sea life was an experience that we will never forget.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


In spite of being by far the oldest couple in the group, we had a thoroughly
amazing holiday with an excellent tour leader. Try to pack light.

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


Yes, particularly the homestay which provides an alternate income for families
trapped in povery.

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


Excellent.

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