Central American Journey

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Playa del Carmen to San José

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Escape the resorts and discover something extraordinary in Central America. Visit six countries on this adventure and experience mighty ruins, clear Caribbean waters, Pacific waves, rainforests, and breathtaking scenery along the way. Explore Indigenous Mayan villages and meet locals for an immersive experience that few travellers get to know. While you're free to choose your own adventure, your accommodation and transportation are included. Our expert CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) will help you make the most of your time. Take a trip that's packed with all the things you need and nothing you don't — 32 days of maximum adventure at minimum cost.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: San Antonio Women's Pottery Cooperative and Local Lunch, San Ignacio Your G for Good Moment: Posadas Mayas Homestay, San Juan La Laguna Your Discover Moment: Playa del Carmen Your Discover Moment: Caye Caulker Your Discover Moment: Antigua Guatemala Your Big Night Out Moment: Antigua Guatemala Your Discover Moment: Monteverde Your Big Night Out Moment: La Fortuna Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna Your Local Living Moment: Coope San Juan Homestay, Cantón de San Carlos Your Foodie Moment: Cooking Demonstration, Cantón de San Carlos
  • Guided tour of Tikal
  • Orientation walk in Antigua
  • Beach time in Caye Caulker and El Palmarcito
  • Free time in Suchitoto, Monteverde, and La Fortuna
  • Coope San Juan homestay
  • Rainforest walk
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Relax on white-sand beaches
  • Explore the mayan ruins of copán and tikal
  • Bargain at the local markets of colourful colonial antigua
  • Meet some local friends at a g adventures for good homestay in guatemala
  • Visit six countries in a month.


Day 1 Playa del Carmen Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Additional Notes: Shuttles and buses from the Cancún airport are easy to find and reasonably priced. You can also take the public ADO bus that has departures every 30 minutes from the airport to Playa Del Carmen for approximately MX 176 ($10 USD). Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Playa del Carmen Start your holiday off with some hardcore relaxation. Enjoy a full day of free time to fill as you wish. Get your ruin on with a visit to Tulum perched atop the sea, explore the fish- and coral-filled seas around Cozumel on a scuba dive, go swimming in a cenote or at the beach, and save some energy for a night out on the town.
Day 3 Playa del Carmen/Caye Caulker Mention Belize and you may conjure up visions of unbelievably clear blue waters, diving and snorkelling along the barrier reef and remarkable marine life. Belize also boasts huge swaths of jungle, ancient Mayan ruins, and above all, friendly, easygoing people. Belize is all this and much more! Included Activities: Border Crossing (Mexico - Belize) Transport: First-class bus (4.00 hour(s), 315km) Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours, 158km) Water taxi (0.75-1.00 hours)
Days 4-5 Caye Caulker Opt to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving or just chill out, Belizean style.
Day 6 Caye Caulker/San Ignacio (1L) From the town of San Ignacio, opportunities abound for exploring Belize’s little known inland scenic beauty. With free time here, choose to explore the area by foot, canoe or horse, take a caving trip, or visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Area and swim in its inviting pools and rivers. Included Activities: San Antonio Women's Pottery Cooperative and Local Lunch Transport: Water taxi (0.75-1.00 hours, 39km) Local bus (3.00 hour(s), 123km)
Day 7 San Ignacio Opt to visit the sacred Mayan cave Actun Tunichil Muknal or check out the seldom-visited Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.
Day 8 San Ignacio/Flores Cross the border into Guatemala and you immediately notice the difference in culture, with its heavy Mayan influence and Spanish language. Here we have entered Guatemala’s northeast jungle Petén region. The descendants of the Maya of Chichén Itzá migrated to the Petén area several centuries after the collapse of the great Mayan cities in the Yucatán. En route to Flores, stop for a guided tour of the ancient city of Tikal. Arrive in Flores, the capital of the department of Petén, a small island located on the second largest lake of Guatemala, Lake Petén Itzá. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Belize - Guatemala) Tikal Ruins Guided Tour Transport: Taxicab (0.25-0.50 hours, 5km) Private Vehicle (1.50-2.50 hours, 100km) Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km)
Day 9 Flores/Rio Dulce A travel day from Flores to Rio Dulce which is located in the department of Izabal, home of the largest lake in Guatemala, Lake Izabal was one of the most important water ways of the Spanish crown during colonial times. We take the road past areas of dense jungle and arrive at Río Dulce, a small town on Lake Izabal and a port stop for boaters around the globe, on their way to/from Livingston and the Caribbean coast. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 210km)
Day 10 Rio Dulce Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat, go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall, take a sunrise kayak to visit groups of noisy howler monkeys, or take a horseback ride through the rubber plantations combined with a visit to the Shaman Tower.
Day 11 Rio Dulce/Antigua Guatemala Today is a travel day from Rio Dulce to Antigua, followed by an orientation walk once you arrive. Plan your activities for the next day and enjoy some of the nightlife this beautiful colonial city has to offer. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.50 hours, 315km)
Day 12 Antigua Guatemala Relax with a massage, climb a volcano, soak up the culture of this colonial town’s many museums and cafes, attend a chocolate workshop, visit one of the local coffee or macadamia nut plantations, or explore the nearby hills and towns by bike.
Day 13 Antigua Guatemala/Panajachel Travel through the hills and fertile fields of the Guatemalan highlands to the shores of Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful spots in Guatemala. Twelve native villages, blue/grey mountains and three volcanoes line the shores of this lake resulting in a wonderful combination of unusual natural beauty and traditional culture. The area is also ideal for outdoor pursuits like swimming, fishing, wind surfing, hiking, bird watching, kayaking, and horseback riding. Additional Notes: Note: Please dress conservatively when visiting the villages and refrain from photographing religious ceremonies, or individuals who do not wish to be photographed. Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km)
Day 14 Panajachel/San Juan La Laguna (1D) Embark on a boat ride across the lake before participating in a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. This area is known for stunning scenery and great shopping for Mayan handicrafts. Opt to bargain for colourful textiles and paintings at the lake's markets. Included Activities: Posadas Mayas Homestay Transport: Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 15 San Juan La Laguna/Antigua Guatemala We return to Antigua to spend more time to explore the city, shop, and check out optional activities in the area. Optional activities include visiting a macadamia nut farm, checking out a coffee plantation, biking around Antigua's surrounding hills or taking a salsa lesson. Included Activities: Big Night Out Transport: Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km) Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 16 Antigua Guatemala Enjoy free time to relax with a massage, explore the nearby hills by bicycle, or visit a local macadamia nut farm.
Day 17 Antigua Guatemala/Copán The colonial highland town of Copán Ruinas is a charming and relaxing place, set along a river in the coffee growing region close to the Guatemalan border. The Mayan ruins of Copán are fascinating, beautiful and unique among Mayan cities. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, Copán contains some of the most important Mayan ruins found to date, and many unusual artistic features, including some of the most detailed carving in the Mayan world. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Guatemala-Honduras) Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00-9.00 hours, 280km)
Day 18 Copán Free time in Copan. Opt to visit the impressive Copan ruins and check out some lesser known Mayan sites along the way. Knowledgable local guides can interpret the many Mayan carvings left here over 1,000 years ago. You can also choose to explore the nearby hills and small villages on horseback or journey through the countryside to some hidden jungle hot springs for a relaxing soak.
Day 19 Copán/Suchitoto Cross the border into El Salvador and stay in the colonial town of Suchitoto. Don't forget to try the delicious pupusas, a local Salvadorian specialty. Additional Notes: Prepare for the long travel day with snacks. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Honduras - Guatemala) Border Crossing (Guatemala - El Salvador) Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 20 Suchitoto Enjoy a free day in Suchitoto.
Day 21 Suchitoto/Concepción de Ataco Travel to the 'Route of Flowers' region with its quaint Salvadorian towns and talented artisans. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 120km)
Day 22 Concepción de Ataco Day hikes, a coffee tour and shopping are some of many options for your time here. Hike El Impossible National Park, swim in the pools of Atzumpa, check out some of the other nearby quaint towns or just explore tiny Ataco. This is a coffee producing region of El Salvador, so be sure to sample some delicious coffee in a local café.
Day 23 Concepción de Ataco/Playa El Palmarcito Enjoy a free morning in Ataco before heading to the coast. The sunsets in this surfing town are stunning. Grab a cold drink and enjoy! Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 100km)
Day 24 Playa El Palmarcito Enjoy a free day in this laidback beach town to take a surf lesson, eat fresh ceviche at the fish market in nearby La Libertad, visit the Tamanique waterfalls, or chill out with a beer in hand.
Day 25 Playa El Palmarcito/Monteverde At 1,400 meters above sea level, Monteverde is literally in the clouds. The Monteverde and Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserves are home to diverse and unique flora and fauna. Sloths, monkeys, kinkajous, tapirs and large cats inhabit the area. There are more species of orchids here than anywhere else in the world. Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 50km) Plane (1.50-2.00 hours) Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 140km)
Day 26 Monteverde The day is free to choose from many optional activities. Fly hundreds of meters above the trees on a zip-lining tour, hike through one of the cloud forest reserves, ride a horse in the mountains, visit a coffee/sugar cane farm, go bungee jumping, drive an ATV on trails in the hills, tour the cheese factory or check out the orchid garden, serpentarium, or frog pond in town.
Day 27 Monteverde/La Fortuna The trip from Monteverde to La Fortuna takes us down from the cloud forest and across Costa Rica's largest lake The town of La Fortuna lies at the base of the Arenal Volcano, which dominates the landscape rising to 1670 meters high. The town has become famous as the adventure sports capital of Costa Rica. Choose your adventure! Canyoneering, white water rafting, hiking, caving, rafting, horseback riding, paddlebording, kayaking, visiting a wildlife refuge, and even more activities are all possible options for you to choose from while we're here. Included Activities: Big Night Out Transport: Shared van (3.50 hour(s)) Boat (0.75 hour(s)) Shared van (0.50-0.75 hours)
Day 28 La Fortuna Choose your adventure! Canyoneering, hiking, caving, rafting, horseback riding, paddleboarding, kayaking, visiting a wildlife refuge, and even more activities are all possible options for you to choose from while we're here.
Day 29 La Fortuna/San Carlos (1D) Enjoy a final free morning in La Fortuna for optional activities. In the afternoon, travel to San Carlos and to the rural community of Coope San Juan. Stay with a local family for an authentic Costa Rican experience. Included Activities: Coope San Juan Homestay Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 30 San Carlos (1B, 1L, 1D) Enjoy a full day with your hosts at the Coope San Juan homestay. Go on a walk through the surrounding forest to learn about flora and fauna in the area, help harvest cassava, and join a cooking demo to make enyucados – a local speciality. In the afternoon, enjoy free time and opt to go mountain biking or fishing, or relax in the village and practice your Spanish. Included Activities: Coope San Juan Homestay Rainforest Walk Cooking Demonstration
Day 31 San Carlos/San José (1B) Return to San José for our final night out. San José has beautiful parks, museums and theatres. Enjoy the view of the surrounding lush mountains from the downtown streets. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 32 San José Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day