Backroads of Central America

18-to-Thirtysomethings, San José to Antigua Guatemala

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Take the road less travelled through Central America with other travellers your own age — so you can be sure to get down with other adventurers that’ll keep up. This is one of our most exciting trips, filled with breathtaking scenery — from tropical rainforests alive with jungle melodies to colonial cities bouncing to a decidedly more human beat. You'll blaze your own path as you discover a region of volcanoes, craters, beaches, and lush forests. Sticking to budget accommodation and public transport will keep costs down and keep you rooted in local life.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Life Monteverde Visit, Monteverde Your Discover Moment: La Fortuna Your Discover Moment: Monteverde
  • Orientation walk around Antigua
  • Beach time in Santa Teresa
  • Free time in La Fortuna, Monteverde, Ataco and Suchitoto
  • Internal flight
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Share a meal with local hosts in a g adventures-supported community co-op
  • Bliss out on a remote costa rican beach
  • Stroll through antigua's colonial streets
  • Explore mayan ruins.


Day 1 San José Arrive at any time. Check into our hotel and enjoy the city. Please try to arrive before 6pm for an important group meeting where you can meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Amid the hustle and bustle of this busy capital, San José has beautiful parks, museums and an ornate National Theatre. Enjoy the view of the surrounding lush mountains from the downtown streets, head to the central plaza, shop for souvenirs and pass the time people-watching. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 San José/La Fortuna La Fortuna, the town near the Arenal Volcano, is an excellent base for adventure. Hike the area’s nature trails, swim in chilly La Fortuna waterfall, or join a canopy tour and catch a bird’s eye view of the forest greenery. Take an unforgettable night hike around the foot of the volcano, accompanied by a soundtrack of monkeys and the rumblings of the volcano. Other optional activities include: full-day Class III & IV white water rafting on the Balsa or Toro Rivers, mountain biking, caving, horseback riding, or a tour of the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge. Like much of Costa Rica, the area is a birders’ paradise, with over 600 species as permanent residents. After a long day of exploring, the Baldi Hot Springs might just be the answer for your tired muscles. Soak in one of the natural thermal baths and hope the clouds part long enough for a glimpse of Arenal´s slopes. Transport: Local bus (3.00-5.00 hours, 150km)
Day 3 La Fortuna Free day to get the adrenaline pumping with rafting and other outdoor pursuits or one of many other optional activities.
Day 5 La Fortuna/Monteverde (1D) Costa Rica is a natural gem because of its breathtaking flora and fauna. Travelling into the cool cloud forest of Monteverde, appreciate how lush ecosystems truly are works of art. Take time to bird watch, ride a horse, mountain bike, or zip line over the forest canopy. Included Activities: Life Monteverde Visit Transport: Shared van (0.50 hour(s)) Boat (0.75 hour(s)) Shared van (2.00 hour(s))
Day 6 Monteverde Opt to visit a cloud forest reserve, fly through the jungle canopy via zipline or tour a coffee plantation.
Day 7 Monteverde/Santa Teresa Journey to the small towns of Playa Santa Teresa and Malpais, which are frequented by surfers. Opt to hit the waves, or visit Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve – take a hike to explore the area or check out the snorkelling at Secret Beach. Transport: Private Vehicle Ferry Private Vehicle (1.50 hour(s))
Day 8 Santa Teresa Check out Cabo Blanco NP to spot some wildlife, hike to the nearby waterfall for a dip or a jump in the local swimming hole or simply lounge on the beach. Take a day trip to the beautiful Isla Tortuga, where you can snorkel along a volcanic rock reef or check out the nearby surf havens of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. Adrenaline junkies can take their pick of activities as well - surfing, ziplining, ATV, boogie boarding, horseback riding or scuba diving are all options. On the other hand, if relaxation is what you seek, opt for a yoga class or take a leisurely hike to search for orchids.
Day 10 Santa Teresa/San José Enjoy a free morning in Santa Teresa before travelling back to the capital for the night. Transport: Local bus (8.00 hour(s))
Day 11 San José/Concepción de Ataco Catch a flight to El Salvador, and travel to the 'Route of Flowers' region with its quaint Salvadorian towns and talented artisans. Transport: Plane Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 12 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 13 Concepción de Ataco/Suchitoto Travel to El Salvador's colonial town of Suchitoto. Don't forget to try the delicious pupusas, a local Salvadorian specialty. Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))
Day 14 Suchitoto Enjoy a free day to discover the cultural capital of El Salvador. Opt to visit nearby waterfalls or hike to caves.
Day 15 Suchitoto/Copán Travel into Honduras and opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Copán. The Mayan ruins of Copán are fascinating, beautiful and unique among Mayan cities. The colonial highland town of Copán Ruinas is a charming and relaxing place. Opt to explore the nearby hills on horseback and check out some lesser known Mayan sites along the way, or journey to some local hot springs for a relaxing soak. Included Activities: Border Crossing (El Salvador - Guatemala) Border Crossing (Guatemala-Honduras) Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 16 Copán Free time in Copan to enjoy optional activities.
Day 17 Copán/Antigua Guatemala After a long travel day arrive to Antigua, where you can stretch your legs during an orientation walk with your CEO. Enjoy the beautiful Spanish colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Additional Notes: This tour arrives to Antigua in the early evening. If you are interested in exploring the city and its nearby attractions, it is recommended you book additional post-trip accommodation nights. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Honduras - Guatemala) Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 200km)
Day 18 Antigua Guatemala Depart at any time. Additional Notes: There is much to see and do in this picturesque town. If you have time, opt to extend your trip to explore more of Guatemala. Included Activities: Departure Day