Mayan Sun–Northbound

18-to-Thirtysomethings, Antigua Guatemala to Playa del Carmen

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Trek though jungle backdrops to Mayan ruins and chill out on white-sand beaches under the Caribbean sun. Check out Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and experience the region’s diversity. Wander colonial Antigua’s cobblestone streets and shop for treasures before experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Atitlán, its Indigenous Mayan villages, and striking volcanoes. One of our most popular trips, this adventure offers natural wonders, excitement, and culture with enough time to socialize and do your own thing.

What’s included

  • Your G for Good Moment: Posadas Mayas Homestay, San Juan La Laguna Your G for Good Moment: Belize Bike with Purpose Tour, Caye Caulker Your Big Night Out Moment: Antigua Guatemala Your Discover Moment: San Ignacio Your Discover Moment: Caye Caulker
  • Orientation walk in Antigua
  • Guided tour of Tikal
  • Beach time in Mahahual
  • Free time in Rio Dulce, San Ignacio, and Caye Caulker
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities


  • Walk along cobblestones in gorgeous colonial antigua
  • Overnight in a local homestay
  • Watch the sunset in caye caulker
  • Bliss out on white-sand beaches
  • Explore ancient mayan sites.


Day 1 Antigua Guatemala Check into the hostel and enjoy this colonial city. Additional Notes: Antigua is only an hour’s drive from the capital, Guatemala City, and the airport. Transfers are easily arranged when you arrive at the airport, either by shuttle or taxi. Please try to arrive before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members. Please note that Antigua's nearest airport is Guatemala City, Guatemala. Don't get caught flying into the Caribbean island nation of Antigua; it's nowhere near the start of this tour! Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Antigua Guatemala Get adventurous and pre-book the Pacaya Volcano Hike on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Big Night Out
Day 3 Antigua Guatemala/San Juan La Laguna (1D) 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. We will overnight at a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. Tonight, the group will be spread out among a number of homes, where dinner will also be provided. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will help you to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day life of the locals in this region. Additional Notes: Please dress conservatively when visiting the villages, and refrain from photographing religious ceremonies or individuals who do not wish to be photographed. Included Activities: Posadas Mayas Homestay Transport: Stretch out and unwind aboard our private ride. Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km) Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 4 San Juan La Laguna/Panajachel Return across the lake and enjoy free time in Panajachel to visit the market or relax. Transport: Boat (0.50-0.75 hours, 25km)
Day 5 Panajachel/Rio Dulce 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 (9.00 hour(s), 400km)
Day 6 Rio Dulce There are plenty of opportunities for R & R. Aside from boating on Lake Izabal, there are optional tours in the area to view protected manatees. You may opt to horseback ride through a rubber plantation, explore San Felipe fort, take the morning monkey kayak tour, relax in the thermal springs, or hike through the jungle-strewn trails in the Chocón-Machacas Natural Reserve area.
Day 7 Rio Dulce/Flores Flores is well-known for its proximity to Tikal—the largest excavated Mayan site. Transport: Private Vehicle
Day 8 Flores/San Ignacio The spiritual centre of Tikal boasts the Mayan’s highest pyramids and abundant flora and fauna in the surrounding jungle. Included Activities: Tikal Ruins Guided Tour Border Crossing (Guatemala - Belize) Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km) Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours) Taxicab (0.25-0.50 hours)
Day 9 San Ignacio 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.
Day 10 San Ignacio/Caye Caulker Hop aboard a local bus, then board a water taxi to the island paradise of Caye Caulker. Later, explore Caye Caulker on the G Adventures-supported Bike with Purpose tour. Included Activities: Belize Bike with Purpose Tour Transport: Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours, 123km) Boat (1.00 hour(s))
Days 11-12 Caye Caulker Enjoy free time to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving, or just chill out, Belizean style.
Day 13 Caye Caulker/Mahahual Leaving Belize and its Caribbean reggae-tinged vibe, head north to the Costa Maya, Mexico, to the beachside town of Mahahual. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Belize - Mexico) Transport: Boat (1.00 hour(s)) Local bus (3.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (2.00 hour(s), 145km)
Day 14 Mahahual Enjoy a free day for beach lounging and sipping seaside margaritas.
Day 15 Mahahual/Playa del Carmen This once sleepy village is quickly becoming a popular destination among sun worshippers and partiers worldwide. Transport: Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s))
Day 16 Playa del Carmen Depart at any time. Additional Notes: Playa del Carmen is located just south of Cancún airport (45 min drive) so you can easily head directly there without returning to Cancún. Included Activities: Departure Day