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Tropical Trails
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With 23 days on the clock, get ready and...go! Starting off in the party paradise of Cancun, this trip will take you to the turquoise waters of Caye Caulker, the ancient heights of Tikal, the slow and steady beauty of Antigua, the tree tops of Monte Verde, and more. Think beauty, culture, foodie delights, high octane adventure, and then some.

Latin America
  • Duration: 23 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: 178.361/228514
  • Starts: Cancun, Mexico
  • Finishes: San Jose (Costa Rica), Costa Rica
  • Age requirement: 18 - 35
You will Visit
  • Cancun
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Caye Caulker
  • Tikal
  • Antigua
  • San Jose
  • Tortuguero
  • Sarapiqui
  • Arenal (La Fortuna)
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Monteverde
  • Manuel Antonio

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Cancun

Just incase you don’t know the drill by now, an ice cold cerveza should remind you that Cancun is a hub of wonderful entertainment. Feel like taking things further afield? A day trip to Playa del Carmen could be just the ticket. White sand beaches, snorkelling, colourful cafes lining the streets and classic locals and shopping will see you living the good life and playing local in paradise. The legendary nightlife will certainly whip up yet another storm of dancing and live music back in Cancun tonight, so go on, get out there tonight and hit the dancefloor with the squad. Your Trip Manager knows this party like the back of their hand, your guarantee to be the know on all the best spots to head.

02

Day 2: Cancun

Fun is the name of the game today in this stunning white sand beach spot. Thrillseekers could take a trip to some hidden waters deep in the tropical jungle. A bit of rural island hopping, zipling a stint at Garrafon Natural Reef Park, a visit to some ancient Mayan ruins and finally some more swimming is all on offer. Explore the offshore coral reefs and caves while the sunshine ripples through the crystal clear water. Then back to Cancun where seafood by the seashore is on the menu for a fabulous open-air sunset dinner with the crew.

03

Day 3: Cancun to Playa del Carmen

Get ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen.A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll downPaseo del Carmen shopping centreto spend some pesos?
You won't help but fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. For the food addicts amongst you, a plethora of seaside bars and restaurants are here to blow your mind with their delicious cocktails and local recipes.

04

Day 4: Playa del Carmen

Can't get enough of Playa del Carmen? We thought so! So how about adding something extra to your Mexican extravaganza by experiencing the Caribbean in all its tropical glory? Snorkelling is on the menu for those who want to see the world from an 'underwater' angle

05

Day 5: Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker

Mexico, you've stolen a slice of our hearts forever but with Belize & the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker on the horizon, we're not feeling too sad...
Urr, hello heaven. Rub your eyes, blink and blink again - yes this pinch yourself tropical paradise truly is real, and you're in it! This evening is all about enjoying the last dregs of sunshine, sampling fresh seafood and getting down to some reggae rhythms...

06

Day 6: Caye Caulker

You’ll need a big breakfast today because you’re free to do whatever you want, which could mean a whole lot of exploring! Belize has a spectacular Barrier Reef that is just begging to be discovered, so grab a snorkel and get out there. Back on land, its all about sandy streets flanked by palm trees and dotted with cafes and bars lined with colourful hammocks, painted tables and the most laid back vibes we know. You'll be begging to stay longer, guaranteed.

07

Day 7: Caye Caulker to Tikal via Belize

Water taxis will transport you back to the mainland across the glorious underwater playground you’ve become so well acquainted with over the last few days, landing us back in the arms of Belize City.
It’s a super swift passing by of the beloved Belize City before we take to the road to journey across the border into yet another stunning country, this time, Guatemala.
This leg of the trip will see you travel overland through Guatemala’s Peten forests. This afternoon before we drop anchor at our hotel, you could zoom around the treetops like a monkey but securely attached on a zipline of course! Later on you will doze off to the tranquil sounds of the nature all around you, but in a comfy bed with all the amenities you need.

08

Day 8: Tikal to Antigua

Rise early today to watch daybreak unfold from the top of the Mayan ruin Templo IV. We will take a guided tour of the area before a trip to the island of Flores, where we'll have lunch and time for shopping before flying this afternoon to Guatemala's capital city and then on to beautiful Antigua.
This place is incredibly pretty with a lot of history that you will soak up once you’ve been out and about. You will notice colouful rooftop gardens dotted amongst the old buildings and you’ll hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages that are still a favoured type of transport today. Start with a tour with our guide to learn about colonial buildings, tiny squares, and fountains, ending up with you feeling like a local in no time at all. You’ll be glad to know there are two peaceful nights planned here in the old colonial town set right beneath two massive volcanoes.(We arrive on a very late flight)

09

Day 9: Antigua

Don your explorers cap today and head off for some ME time, the day is in your hands. Being able to choose your own adventure today could take you up Pacaya Volcano on a guided hike. If you’d rather produce those endorphins by making (and eating) your own chocolate, then that is also a rather delicious option where you'll learn about the process from start to end and take home the results of your efforts. Bike rides, coffee plantations, there's more to do that you can imagine. Guatemalan delights tonight? Yes please. We'll get local over chiles rellanos (or peppers stuffed to the brim with vegetables, meat and sauces). You're sure to hear a collective mmmm.

10

Day 10: Antigua to San Jose

This morning we'll take to the skies, Costa Rica bound. Who's ready for some Pura Vida vibes?
Do you know the way to San Jose? Well yeah, we do, cos' here we are! Today we'll head out to explore daily Costa Rican life at the Plaza & sample some local delicacies at the Mercado Central (Central Market).

11

Day 11: San José to Tortuguero

We leave the city's charms behind and make for Tortuguero, which translates as "Land of the Turtles" - a sun-drenched town in the centre of a river-fed rainforest only accessible by boat or small plane.
Though tiny, Tortuguero - with its strong Afro-Caribbean influence - bustles with people all year round. Yet despite the hustle, the vibes are chilled. We'll be staying in a jungle lodge tonight and this will be your first enounter with howler monkeys. Yup, and howl they do - your first realisation that you really are now at one with nature. Take a jungle walk, have a swim and kick back, already living that sweet pura vida life.

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Day 12: Tortuguero

Wake with the howler monkeys and jump in a boat with your expert guide to explore the snaking canals of Tortuguero National Park. Wildlife is abundant here - expect to spot primates, sloths, reptiles and maybe even a caiman, so don't dangle your legs off the edge just in case. Later, laze on the beach, hike in the jungle or, if the season is right, you may have the privilege of watching nesting sea turtles. After the cruise, the day is yours. Maybe head back into town, take advantage of the spa, or sip a cocktail or the national beer, Imperial, by the pool.

13

Day 13: Tortuguero to Sarapiqui

Jungle to jungle - today we head to lush Sarapiquí for an overnight stay in an Eco Camp.
Sarapiquí is renowned for its rich biodiversity and fertile lands thanks to its river, which descends from clear mountain streams and winds through the county. Relax in the rainforest and indulge in a chocolate tour in the Tirimbina reserve (you can eat everything but the guide, basically) - it's here you will learn literally an A to Z of how it's done. Back at the Lodge, it's all about getting into the outdoors. Take a trail walk through the jungle, cross swing bridges over rivers, or hop in the pool for some group hangs pre dinner (a delicious BBQ feast, in case you were wondering). Tonight's home may be an Eco Camp, but we're not talking back to basics. In your comfy bed, with candlelight, you're sleeping to the sound of the jungle. Bliss.

14

Day 14: Sarapiqui to Arenal/La Fortuna

This morning the choice is yours as to how to make the most of the great outdoors. Whitewater rafting on the Saraquipi river, or soaring through the skies on a zipline? The choices are tough when you're living the pura vida life. You're sure to be hungry, so we'll load you up with a delicious local lunch of regional specialities before hitting the road.
We’ll then head towards one of the most incredible volcanoes in Costa Rica; Arenal. This volcano is near perfectly formed and famed for its hot springs and healing properties so you know what that means – spa times and treatments galore. Later, grab some munch in town with the crew, or continue to kick it in the hotel pool.

15

Day 15: Arenal/La Fortuna

Rapelling through a rainforest canyon and waterfalls this morning will be the perfect wake up call. This optional activity is one you won't forget, and if you have a bit of a fear of heights, this is the best way to conquer them. Not keen? No problem. Head back to the pool, grab a delicious coffee, keep those eyes peeled for sloths or practice your Spanish on a friendly local. This afternoon you can spend your free time exploring or to really go local by experiencing the traditional "Tico" mentality at a country estate, La Fortuna. Here, you'll meet with school students and local farmers to learn about their way of life, before enjoying a delicious home-cooked dinner washed down with coffee (and a shot or two of coffee liquor) and some singing and dancing.

16

Day 16: Arenal/La Foruna to Playa Tamarindo

See you later volcano lands, more of Costa Rica is calling and hell yeah we're listening.
Playa Tamarindo has the reputation of being Costa Rica's numero uno surf and party destination, and for good reason. This northern beach town boats tasty waves and golden sands dotted with lounge bars and fabulous restaurants. We're staying right by the beach, and loving every second of it.

17

Day 17: Playa Tamarindo

A bohemian atmosphere permeates every inch of this paradise. Pass the day in the water, snorkelling or scuba diving amongst rainbow fish, or getting amongst the surf. There's an optional catamaran cruise this afternoon, because really who doesn't love getting out there on the water. Whether you opt for this or not, make sure you catch the sunset. Divine. Dinner with the group will top off a perfect day.

18

Day 18: Playa Tamarindo to Monteverde

Shake out your beach towel and pack away those swimmers (for now). Today we're making for the mountains!
With clean air filling your lungs our next spot awaits, and the misty forests of Monte Verde are sure to take your breath away. This leafy wildlife hotspot is home to coffee plantations, countless monkey species and friendly locals who work hard to preserve the balance between nature and tourism. This afternoon, be blown away (by natural beauty, not wind) as we go trekking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. We will hike our way through the cloudforest with our guide pointing out birds and wildlife, delivering an in-depth run through of the nature found here. Nature knowledge at an all time high, we'll be rewarded with views of the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of Costa Rica. You can even feel the air change up here, due to it being on a continental divide...no we're not joking.

19

Day 19: Monteverde

Yes, yes and yes is what you will as we explore the tropical Selvatura Park – most likely whilst ziplining down a mind-blowing 1km long line. But that’s not all on offer. We’ll also be walking the hanging bridges amongst the lush Monte Verde cloudforest – there are eight in total of varying lengths, each offering unparalleled views of the forest floor – then popping in to a butterfly sanctuary to spot just some of the 20 species flying around. This afternoon is all about learning about everyone’s favourite caffeinated friend – coffee. One of Costa Rica’s most famous exports, we’ll learn how the plants are cultivated and the entire process of turning delicious little berries into rich coffee beans. Definitely a gift shopping op for the parents…

20

Day 20: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio via Jaco & Quepos

This morning we'll leave Monte Verde in the clouds and meander our way back to the coast.
On route, we’ll stop off at the gorgeous surf resort of Jacó for some lunch. A cute little fishing town and a great spot to grab a bite and people watch, this is just what we’ll need to cure our sadness at leaving our rainforest paradise behind.
In the spirit of seeing more, we’ll stop again at Quepos, maybe grabbing a coffee or some plantain crisps for a tasty snack en route.
Oceanside Manuel Antonio is a dizzying mix of ancient rainforest, pristine beaches and coral reefs. We’ll arrive at the hotel for some relaxing by the pool (or at the bar) whilst contemplating Costa Rican life, soaking up these last few days in paradise.

21

Day 21: Manuel Antonio

Today is yours to conquer as you will, but with a menu of appetising optionals up for grabs, we reckon you’ll find it hard to resist. So what can we tempt you with? How about a horseback excursion to the luscious Tacori Waterfalls, a ride your own ATV adventure where you can stop for waterfall fun and frolics, or a surf lesson to get you in and amongst the waves. With bleached sandy beaches, an underwater playground just begging to be snorkelled and fresh fish dinners a-plenty to be had, this lazy beach town may just claim your heart.

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Day 22: Manuel Antonio

Hike along the coast up through the mountains with an expert this morning, spotting macaws, toucans and sloths along the way. Don't forget your camera so you can snap all Manuel Antonio National Park's exotic plants and animals and get rewarded with a swim at the end. An optional catamaran cruise is on the cards in the afternoon, where we'll swim and snorkel with dolphins, whales and sea turtles - the salty water hiding our tears at the realisation it's our last night together. We'll end the day with an included dinner, and no doubt a few drinks to toast the trip, and oh what a trip it has been.

23

Day 23: Manuel Antonio to San José

Milk your final morning in Manuel Antonio for all it's worth, squeezing in a kayak or a snorkel before we head back to where it all began: San José.
The trip ends on arrival as we pull back into the gritty city. Costa Rica, you've been a real treat!

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • You and your new amigos will be spending nights in el-swanky twin-share hotels, jungle lodges, and cool eco tents right amongst the action
      Food
    • Refuel on hearty breakfasts, plus a few local lunches and a few cherry picked and munch worthy dinners, on us. Then, the rest of your Latin American food safari is entirely up to you to DIY as you please
      Staff
    • From Day 1 you'll be accompanied by the best Drivers, Trip Managers and English-speaking local Guides around. Whether providing local knowledge or lols, our team members are people you can trust 100%
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Tour Highlights:
  • Cancun: Relax on the white sand beaches,Sunset beach dinner
  • Tikal to Antigua: Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park,Included flight to Antigua
  • Antigua: Guatemalan feast
  • Antigua to San José: Included flight to San Jose
  • Tortuguero: Visit Tortuguero Village,Wildlife boat cruise with a naturalist guide
  • Monteverde: Explore Selvatura Park and visit the hanging bridges and butterfly and hummingbird gardens,Coffee making demonstration and tasting
  • Manuel Antonio: Visit a local market