Mexico & Guatemala holiday

“From the Yucatan Peninsula to the Guatemalan Highlands via beaches, Mayan ruins and charming colonial towns, this trip uncovers the cultural gems of Mexico and Guatemala.”


Yucatan Peninsula | Playa del Carmen | Chichen Itza | El Castillo pyramid | Merida | Palenque Mayan ruins | San Cristobal de las Casas | Homestay in Totonicapan | Panjachel | Lake Atitlan | Guatemalan Highlands | Antigua |

Description of Mexico & Guatemala holiday

Arriving into Mexico’s beautiful Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula, this dynamic small group tour takes you on an adventurous journey south to the Guatemalan Highlands, via ancient Mayan civilisations, charming Spanish colonial towns and Lake Atitlan, the deepest in Central America and sunk into a volcanic crater.

Travel through peaceful Mexican villages for a fascinating guided tour of the world-renowned Chichen Itza and its spectacular El Castillo pyramid, the ball court and the Well of Sacrifice. Other ruins you’ll explore on this trip include the mysterious, jungle-clad site near Palenque that dates to AD600 and echoes to the sounds of howler monkeys in the trees, and you might also visit those outside Merida, your next stop with its beautiful old town and ridiculously spicy hot sauce to slather all over your food if you have the nerve.

Merida is also a great place to hit the outdoor markets, perhaps snagging a traditional hammock or other handicrafts before you head further on to San Cristobal de las Casas. Here you can mountain bike through the surrounding Tzotzil and Tzeltal Indian villages, but don’t miss the shamanic cleansing services in San Juan Chamula either.

Enjoy a pleasant homestay later on in Totonicapan, a good way to learn a little about life in rural Guatemala, and a smattering of Spanish will go a long way. Reaching Lake Atitlan, and based in Panajachel, you can swim, kayak or hike around the lake for a couple of days, before continuing on to your final stop: Antigua, Guatemala’s former colonial capital. This is the perfect place to try a little salsa dancing, or enjoy a morning wandering the famous Chichicastenango market where some of the country’s finest handicrafts are available for sale.

This small group tour of Mexico and Guatemala is drenched in vivid colours, unforgettable natural landscapes and encounters with people who, while often living below the poverty line, offer a warm welcome to travellers hoping to get a sense of the real Central America beyond the headlines.

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23 Nov 2020
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21 Dec 2020
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Holiday type

Small group adventure holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - on this particular group trip you'll be with a maximum of 31 like minded travellers and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends it's good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting people from other parts of the world as well as seeing new places!

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

Travelling in a small group enables us to stay in locally-owned and run hotels. We work closely with our accommodation providers to minimise the overuse of linen and towels. Many hotels we stay in display signs asking travellers to reuse their towels and to take short showers to minimise water wastage. Equally, our leaders encourage travellers to turn off electrical appliances like lights and air-conditioning whilst not in their rooms.

Throughout this trip we use local transport for as many mid and long-distance journeys as we can. Travelling on local transport and avoiding flights not only helps to keep the cost of this trip down, but also reduces the use of fuel and the emissions they generate.

Two common environmental issues faced on this trip are littering and single use plastics. All our tour leaders are passionate about responsible travel and are also trained to help travellers identify and implement sustainable practices. These include disposing of rubbish properly, refilling water bottles, and avoiding the use of plastic bags and other disposable plastic goods.

The Impacts of this Trip

This trip has a maximum group size of 16, which allows us to minimise our impact on the places we visit. Over tourism is an issue we’re acutely aware of and we are taking measures to counteract it. For example, in San Cristobal and Antigua, our leaders take travellers on city orientation walks to explore the main highlights as well as lesser known corners that would be impossible to see on mass flag-following style tours.

A small group size also allows us to stay overnight with a local community in Totonicapán, Guatemala to experience a taste of rural living.

In addition, we have a foundation that was set up to empower travellers to have a positive impact on the communities they visit. Our foundation now supports over 50 local, grassroots projects around the world. Over the past 15 years, the foundation has distributed over AU $5 million to projects tackling areas such as sustainable development, human rights, child protection, environmental conservation, wildlife protection, education and healthcare.


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