Caribbean There, Done That
Some essential Spanish to get you by:
- Where can we surf? – Donde se puede hacer surf?
- It is hot, isn’t it? – Hace calor, verdad?
- A glass of red wine – un vino tinto
- I love you Miguel – Te quiero Miguel
Day 1 - Playa del Carmen
- Playa del Carmen's a pretty awesome place to begin a trip. In fact, it's so awesome that the rest of the trip runs the risk of being a disappointment. Luckily, our guys at Geckos HQ strive to make every single trip equally awesome from start to finish. Kind of like a burrito.
- Arrive at any time on Day 1, there are no activities planned until the evening
- Tour orientation at 6pm with your guide
Day 2-3 - Tulum
These are some impressive ruins. They're all crumbly and clinging to a cliff-top over a lovely beach. It's an optional visit, but it's a good visit.
- Take a bus along the Caribbean coast to Tulum
- Visit the pre-Columbian walled city ruins (optional)
- Gain spectacular views over the tropical shores below
- Discover the Temple of the Frescoes
- Spend time relaxing on the beach or strolling along the white sandy shore
- Kick back and watch the waves with a margarita at night
Day 4-5 - Caye Caulker
Head into Belize and catch a boat to Caye Caulker. Free time to dive/snorkel in the second largest barrier reef in the world or swing in a hammock under a palm tree.
- Travel by local bus to Belize (you may have to change bus a few times, approximately 8 hours travel)
- Take a speedboat to the palm-fringed island of Caye Caulker
- Enjoy this idyllic island and the nearby reefs during free time
- Perhaps explore the coral reefs and their abundance of underwater life, or just relax on the beach
Day 6-7 - San Ignacio
- Travel by local bus to San Ignacio, passing through the capital, Belmopan, en route. Here, you can head to Xunantunich, a Mayan ceremonial centre, or wade through the waters of Actun Tunichil Muknal until you reach a whole bunch of 1,400-year-old crystallised skeletons. Creepy and amazing. Cremazing.
- Travel by local bus to San Ignacio
- Perhaps take a hand-cranked boat to Xunantunich, an impressive Mayan ceremonial centre with panoramic views
- Go on an optional day trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls, warm swimming holes and a huge cave system including the Mayan relic in Tunichil Muknal
- You can also go tubing or canoeing through the region
- Choose to visit San Ignacio's butterfly garden
- Try one of the barbecue street stalls for dinner, sit on the street gnawing on a chicken leg
Day 8-9 - Flores - Tikal Ruins
Arrive in Guatemala and stay in Flores, an island town on Lake Peten Itza. There's an optional visit the the Tikal ruins, which is a bit like the set of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto movie, minus the violence.
- Head into Guatemala and visit the town of Flores
- Stroll the cobblestone streets, buy local handicrafts or take a dip in Lake Peten Itza.
- Optional visit the ancient city of Tikal - deserted Mayan ruins in the heart of the Guatemala jungle
- Journey to the temples in Tikal National Park
- Pass through dense jungle vegetation
- Perhaps climb to the peak of Temple IV and take in the spectacular views
Day 10-11 - Rio Dulce
- Kick-ass activities on offer: Boating on the lake, manatee-spotting, thermal hot springs, hiking jungle trails, exploring San Felipe fort, relaxing. Rubbish activities on offer: Absolutely nothing.
- Head to Rio Dulce, the sweet river, by local bus
- Go out and absorb the atmosphere of this laid back Caribbean town, quite different from the inland communities
- Partake in optional activities, maybe boat on the lake, tour to spot the protected manatees or travel to the thermal hot springs
- Perhaps hike through the Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve, ride a horse through a nearby rubber plantation or travel to Livingston to explore the San Felipe fort
Day 12 - Antigua
- Travel through Antigua. You won't have much time to do anything as this is just a nightstop, but you'll be coming back here at the end of the trip, so don't stress.
- Travel to Antigua by local bus (approx. 7 hours), spend the night before continuing to Panajachel
- Maybe go for a walk and taste Tamales, a local dish served in a corn leaf, or try Pepian, three meats (chicken, beef and pork) in a dark sauce
Day 13 - Chichicastenango/San Jorge La Laguna
- Chichicastenango's market is really famous, so you should go there before you stay with a family at San Pedro La Laguna. They'll cook you dinner and breakfast, and you will never forget your experience with them. At least, that's how it's supposed to work.
- Take a local bus to famous market in Chichicastenango
- Head to San Pedro La Laguna (approx. 1.5 hours)
- Meet your host family for tonight's homestay, the mother of the family will cook dinner and breakfast for you, meals are basic but filling
Day 14 - Panajachel
- Panajachel is surrounded by volcanoes and villages. Here, you can go swimming, wind surfing, hiking, kayaking, horse riding or paragliding. You can visit a local community cooperative or take a boat out to some of the nearby villages. Whatever you do, you'll have a ball.
- Travel to the neighbor town of Panajachel
- Go for a swim, wind surf, hike, kayak, go horse riding, or for the really adventurous, paragliding
- Perhaps visit a small neighbouring village by boat
- Go on an optional trip to visit a community cooperative, proceeds from these will return directly to the community
Day 15-17 - Antigua
With three nearby volcanoes puffing out white smoke, you won't have been to many places quite like Antigua. You'll regret hitting the beach here about as much as you'd regret buying a winning lottery ticket.
- Wind up in Antigua, a World Heritage-listed townk
Perhaps journey to the summit of one of the nearby volcanoes
- Maybe take a scenic horse ride, a bike ride or go white-water rafting on one of the highland rivers
- Opportunity to explore the city’s cobblestone streets at your leisure
What to Know
An experienced regional tour guide plus there will be the services of local guides at some sites. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing as indicated.
- International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, entrance fees, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
This tour passes through volcanic areas. In the instance a volcano becomes potentially dangerous and authorities declare nearby towns unsafe for travel, the itinerary will be re-routed. Where possible, Geckos will provide advance notice of such changes. At short notice, when this is not possible, your tour leader will provide up to date information on behalf of Geckos.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price 13 May 2014 - 29 May 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 On Sale Sale: US $892 Book Now 03 Jun 2014 - 19 Jun 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 24 Jun 2014 - 10 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 On Sale Sale: US $836 Book Now 15 Jul 2014 - 31 Jul 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 On Sale Sale: US $1,003 Book Now 05 Aug 2014 - 21 Aug 2014 7+ Available US $1,005 Book Now 26 Aug 2014 - 11 Sep 2014 7+ Available US $1,005 Book Now 07 Oct 2014 - 23 Oct 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 28 Oct 2014 - 13 Nov 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 18 Nov 2014 - 04 Dec 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 09 Dec 2014 - 25 Dec 2014 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 30 Dec 2014 - 15 Jan 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 13 Jan 2015 - 29 Jan 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 20 Jan 2015 - 05 Feb 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 10 Feb 2015 - 26 Feb 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 10 Mar 2015 - 26 Mar 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 31 Mar 2015 - 16 Apr 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 14 Apr 2015 - 30 Apr 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 21 Apr 2015 - 07 May 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 19 May 2015 - 04 Jun 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 09 Jun 2015 - 25 Jun 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 21 Jul 2015 - 06 Aug 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 11 Aug 2015 - 27 Aug 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 01 Sep 2015 - 17 Sep 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 29 Sep 2015 - 15 Oct 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 20 Oct 2015 - 05 Nov 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 01 Dec 2015 - 17 Dec 2015 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now 22 Dec 2015 - 07 Jan 2016 7+ Available US $1,115 Book Now
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