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Playas of Paradise
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Central America, reveal yourself. Over 26 days this trip will see taking in the culture of Mexico City, the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef, the ecologically diverse rainforests of Costa Rica, the ancient mastery of Tikal, and so much more.

Latin America
  • Duration: 26 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Easy
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: MXSJ/199265
  • Starts: Mexico City, Mexico
  • Finishes: Manuel Antonio, United States
You will Visit
  • Mexico City
  • Merida
  • Cancun
  • Playa del Carmen
  • Caye Caulker
  • Tikal
  • Antigua
  • San Jose
  • Tortuguero
  • Sarapiqui
  • Arenal (La Fortuna)
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Monteverde
  • Manuel Antonio

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Mexico City

The theme 'getting out there' will take on a whole new meaning today. Floating gardens, Frida Kahlo and Diego River are the focus for this leg of your journey in this bustling city. We'll even take to the water for a traditional Trajinera boat, where you can grab a drink, do some shopping and watch the world float on past. Tonight, re-fuel with city eats, like enchiladas, tamales, tacos and even head out and get a little loco.

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Day 2: Mexico City to Merida

Now you bid farewell to Mexico City before the finale of the trip where you will meet again. You’ve seen and learnt a lot, but now it is time for a change of scenery and pace – a an included flight out to the white stone city of Merida is on the cards. Soft and beautiful, Merida will take you in its arms and show you the quieter side of Mexico. A walking tour will show off this small town’s gorgeous atmosphere, it won't take you long to feel right at home once you reach the old town. You’ll have some free time to explore the bustling markets, where you will find many treasures to take home. Later, ask your Trip Manager for the best place to head to feast o Yucatan specialities that will delight the tastebuds, before no-doubt dalling into blissful slumber.

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Day 3: Merida to Cancun

Pack up your swag of Mexican trinkets and say goodbye to the calm oasis of Merida and hello yet another incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed site, Chichen Itza. These ancient ruins are the most famous and best preserved of their kind in Mayan history. These iconic ruins are one of the big ticks of this country, and a true sight to behold. With our Local Guide leading the charge, Chichen Itza will provoke questions about the Mayan calendar, the positioning of the sun, the connections of the ruins around the country, and the worlds that came before us - a truly special spot on the trip and a history buff's delight. With more knowledge than you can handle, it's time for a change of scene, and a dip in an Instagram worthy cenote. These underground lakes or waterholes are are refreshing, lush, foliage covered and a much needed break from the sunshine. In stark contrast, next up is Mexico’s super resort – Cancun. With high energy party vibes oozing from its pores, this stop is a no brainer when it comes to getting involved in the nightlife. One suggestion for tonight is dinner at the Mercado 28, a busy market serving true Mexican delights before heading out to get your P-A-R-T-Y on.

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Day 4: 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.

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Day 5: 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.

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Day 6: Cancun & Playa del Carmen

Get ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen. You won't help but fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll down La Isla shopping centre to spend some pesos? 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.

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Day 7: 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 taking a day trip to Cozumel island, to experience the Caribbean in all its tropical glory? Snorkelling is also on the menu for those who want to see the world from an 'underwater' angle.

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Day 8: 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...

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Day 9: 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.

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Day 10: Caye Caulker to Tikal

Enjoy a hearty breakfast before we ride a water taxi to Belize City, then it’s an overland journey to the forests of Guatemala’s Peten! We’ll arrive at our awesome Jungle Lodge inside the park late afternoon, where there’s the option to fly through the rainforest canopy on ziplines… why not! You can also head into the ruins yourself and go exploring, before dinner. Tonight relax as you drift to sleep to the sounds of the forest. Rest up, cause tomorrow has a lot to offer!

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Day 11: 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.

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Day 12: Antigua

From the relaxed Flores to Guatemala’s bustling capital city! Today we’ll skip the queues and make a beeline for the unique beauty and relaxed vibe of World Heritage Antigua. You’ll be shown many of the historic and beautiful facets of town, among rooftop flowerbeds and horse drawn carriages bouncing over cobblestones.

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Day 13: Antigua to San Jose

This morning we'll take to the skies on a flight down to Costa Rica- the land of coffee, sloths, monkeys and Pura Vida! Once we touchdown we'll head out to explore daily Costa Rican life at the Plaza & sample some local delicacies at the Mercado Central (Central Market).

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Day 14: 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 encounter 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 15: 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.

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Day 16: 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.

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Day 17: 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.

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Day 18: 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.

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Day 19: Arenal/La Foruna to Playa Tamarindo

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.

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Day 20: Playa Tamarindo

Get into the laid back vibe of this beach town, try your hand at surfing, snorkelling or diving.� This afternoon join us on an optional catamaran cruise.

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Day 21: Playa Tamarindo to Monteverde

Shake out your beach towel and pack 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.

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Day 22: Monteverde

It's an early start this morning as we visit Selvatura Park to walk the hanging bridges, visit the butterfly Sanctuary and for the thrill seekers opt in for ziplining. This afternoon learn the A-Z about Costa Rica's famous coffee.

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Day 23: Monteverde to Manuel Antonio

It’s all sun & good times this morning, we’re off to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Rican Central Pacific coast! We’ll make a stop in Jaco then Quepos before arriving at Manuel Antonio, a haven for those who love to relax.

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Day 24: Manuel Antonio

This morning is all about doing your own thing. Hit the beach with your iPad & a book, head out to explore the town or just sit with a drink & work on your tan. This afternoon opt in for a horse ride through the jungle & the Tacori waterfalls.

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Day 25: Manuel Antonio

It’s time to get active & walk with our expert guide through the exotic, bio-diverse tropical rainforest of Manuel Antonio National Park. This afternoon join us on an optional catamaran cruise. Set sail on our awesome boat trip to spot many dolphins, whales, sea turtles & birds. Don’t forget your swimming gear for swim stops & snorkelling.

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Day 26: Manuel Antonio to San José

This morning you can relax in paradise or for the adventure lovers get your final fix with a kayak excursion before we head back to San José where your tour ends on arrival. Pura Vida!

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 25 nights in twin share accommodation
    • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
    • Hotel tips, local taxes & service charges
    • Flights
      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%
      Food
    • 39 meals: 26 Breakfasts, 11 Dinners & 2 Lunches
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit a local market
  • Stay in Tikal National Park
  • Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park
  • Learn how traditional products are made & try making some yourself
  • Hike the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Costa Rican coffee making tour