Day 1: New Zealand – – Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Today depart New Zealand for Mexico! On arrival into Cancun, you will be met and transferred to your Playa del Carmen hotel. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. After the meeting with your tour leader, enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 2: Playa del Carmen (B)
Today is yours to explore Playa del Carmen at your own pace. Go out and explore or relax at the beach and enjoy the sunset with a margarita.
Day 3: Playa del Carmen – Tulum (B)
After, breakfast we drive to Tulum, approx. 1.5 hrs. Tulum is a beach paradise on the Caribbean coast, where you can spend your time relaxing on the beach or strolling along the white sands. The town itself is small so your leader will take you on a brief orientation walk upon arrival.
Day 4: Tulum (B)
After breakfast, visit the Tulum Arqueological site. Tulum is quite different from other Mayan sites in that the ruins are situated on steep cliffs overlooking the ocean. The remainder of the day will be at leisure to relax.
Day 5: Tulum – Belize City – – Caye Caulker (B)
Leave Mexico behind early in the morning and head south to Belize. Be prepared for a long day of travel on the road, as the total driving time including the border crossing will take around 8 – 9 hours. Once in Belize City take a water taxi to Caye Caulker, approx. 1 hour. Expect to arrive at Caye Caulker by 5-6 pm. The Belize Cayes are a group of islands that are a short boat ride away from the coast. There are a number of these islands to choose from, Caye Caulker being one of the more popular.
Day 6: Caye Caulker (B)
After breakfast, your guide will take you on an orientation walking tour, followed by a half-day boat and snorkelling excursion, where you will see a variety of marine life, including nurse sharks and stingrays. The remainder of your day will be at leisure to relax and enjoy Caye Caulker.
Day 7: Caye Caulker – San Ignacio (B)
Return to the Belizean mainland by water taxi and travel by road to San Ignacio, around 2 – 3 hours. San Ignacio is the heart and soul of the Cayo District, a vibrant traveller centre from where all roads and activities fan out. Upon arrival, you will take a short orientation walk.
Day 8: San Ignacio (B)
After breakfast, visit Xunantunich ruins. Xunantunich’s means “Sculpture of Lady” in the Maya language and is an Ancient Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 110 km west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, well within sight of the Guatemala border, which is a mere 1 kilometre away.
Day 9: San Ignacio, Belize – Tikal, Guatemala (B)
Today we cross the border from Belize to Guatemala. The driver will take you to the Belize border where a Guatemalan vehicle will be waiting to take you to Tikal Ruins and National Park. Towering above the jungle of the Tikal National Park, the five granite temples of Tikal are an awesome sight and one of the most magnificent Maya ruins. Hidden in the jungle growth is a maze of smaller structures just waiting to be explored. The energetic can climb to the top of the ruins for spectacular views over the canopy. You may even spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds.
Day 10: Tikal – Rio Dulce (B)
This morning, continue to Rio Dulce, on arrival we transfer to our hotel by boat. The easiest way to get back into town is also by boat, which can be organized through the hotel, or by taking a 40-minute walk enjoying the jungle. This is a great place to simply relax on the deck overlooking the water. Now that you are back in a Spanish-speaking nation, this is great opportunity to pick up some Spanish from your leader for your week ahead. Your hotel is in a beautiful surrounding of greens and blues. You will spend two nights at this magical place.
Day 11: Rio Dulce (B)
This morning we head for Izabal Natural Hot Springs – some 25km from Rio Dulce. A natural hot spring waterfall, this is one of Guatemala’s most remarkable natural phenomena. Bathtub-temperature spring water cascades into pools cooled by a separate chilly flow of fresh river water for a unique natural hot shower experience. The afternoon will be at leisure in Rio Dulce.
Day 12: Rio Dulce – Antigua (B)
Say goodbye to Rio Dulce today as we travel to the city of Antigua, which should take approximately 8 – 9 hours allowing time for lunch. The road between Rio Dulce and Guatemala City is one of the busiest in the country, so delays can sometimes make this journey a little longer. On arrival, check into our hotel and head out to explore Antigua, one of the most charming colonial centres in the Americas.
Day 13: Antigua (B,D)
Enjoy a free day exploring this beautiful city. Perhaps check out the ChocoMuseo located on 4th Street West, two blocks away from central park. Otherwise, grab a coffee from one of the many coffee shops in central park and just sit back, relax and enjoy Antigua’s city vibe. In evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.
Day 14: Antigua – – New Zealand (B)
Today your tour comes to an end. At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the airport for your homeward flight.
day 15: In-flight
Day 16: New Zealand
Arrive home today.