Central America tours

“A two week road trip and small group tour through Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. In that order, and using public transport. Explore volcanoes, coast, jungles, Mayan heritage and colonial cities. ”

Highlights

Guatemala: Antigua Honduras: Copán | Roatán Island Nicaragua: Leon | Granada | Masaya National Park | Lake Nicaragua | Ometepe Island Costa Rica: San Jose

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Date
Price
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17 Nov 2018
US $ 1339
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08 Dec 2018
US $ 1395
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05 Jan 2019
US $ 1395
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26 Jan 2019
US $ 1395
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23 Feb 2019
US $ 1367
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16 Mar 2019
US $ 1367
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13 Apr 2019
US $ 1367
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04 May 2019
US $ 1367
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01 Jun 2019
US $ 1367
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22 Jun 2019
US $ 1367
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20 Jul 2019
US $ 1367
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10 Aug 2019
US $ 1367
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07 Sep 2019
US $ 1367
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28 Sep 2019
US $ 1367
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26 Oct 2019
US $ 1367
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16 Nov 2019
US $ 1367
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14 Dec 2019
US $ 1422
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Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type
Small group vacations
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, traveling 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 vacation, 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 travelers’ 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?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation 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?
Travelers 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 vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“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 travelers 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 travelers!”
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?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Central America tours

Environment

Where possible, this tour is operated using public transport (ferry, local buses), meaning our carbon emissions and overall environmental impact is lower. When we do need to use private vans we ensure we select vehicles that are an appropriate size when our group sizes vary.

During the time we spend in the Guatemala there are plenty of optional hikes for all levels. Hikes are led by experienced local guides who will encourage visitors not to leave anything but footprints behind whilst sharing their knowledge about the volcanic activity and geology of the area.

We spend 3 nights on Roatan Island where travelers can choose to snorkel or dive on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, however we encourage our passengers to treat the reef and its ecosystem with respect and make sure they are taking appropriate measures to protect the environment at all times. Visits to the island’s eco-friendly Botanical Gardens are also an option during this stay.

Community

We are committed to using local operators, suppliers and specialist guides. This includes using locally owned hotels, local ground agents and guides for excursions and activities and where possible local transport means. Our commitment to these local operators means we are continually investing in community development and ensuring these businesses continue to prosper.

On this tour we spend time in Panajachel, Quetzaltenango and the colonial era capital Antigua. This allows travelers to get an authentic taste of Guatemalan indigenous life as well as appreciate and explore the natural beauty of this region. We will visit Chichicastenango on its market day, an excellent place to explore indigenous artisan traditions. Purchases support local artisans and help to preserve long-standing craft-making customs. We can also observe local life in full swing as villagers descend from the surrounding hills to buy and sell produce.

From Panajachel travelers have the option to explore Lake Atitlan and surrounding villages where it’s possible to watch traditional weaving or delve into the recent history of the area with a visit to Santiago Atitlan, a village which is significant for resistance during the civil war.

This tour includes a guided visit of the Copán ruins, the entrance fee puts money directly towards maintenance of this significant archaeological site, renowned as the most elaborate and artistically advanced of the great Maya cities. This visit also supports knowledgeable local professionals interested in expanding visitors’ understanding of Mayan history.

1 Reviews of Central America tours

3 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 04 Aug 2008 by

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


Roatan was by far the best stopover on this trip. The people on the tour were fabulous as well.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be wary of the long travel days. The dossier online makes each stop seem like a destination spot which is not the case. This tour would benefit from adding some flights from like Roatan to Managua to avoid 12 hour travel days, of which there are many in this tour.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes we took lots of local transportation and really integrated with the local people.

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


I thought the trip was terrific and I have wonderful adventures, memories and friends that will be with me for a lifetime. Trip was fabulous, I'd rate it "good" as I said there was to many long days of bus journeys that were not evident from the dossier.

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