Best of Central America

33 days,San José to Playa del Carmen

Bliss out on a stretch of remote Nicaraguan beach, walk the colonial streets of colourful Granada and Antigua, experience an overnight homestay in Guatemala and Nicaragua, explore the Mayan ruins of Copán and Tikal, visit seven countries in a month.

From ancient ruins to active volcanoes, get off the beaten track and discover extraordinary Central America—on a shoestring. Make sure your passport has space because this exciting 33-day trip hits most of Central America, as it covers tropical rainforests, volcanoes, colonial cities and all the breathtaking scenery in between. Explore indigenous Mayan villages and soak in the region's incredible culture. Our CEOs will ensure your accommodation and transportation are covered—so you can choose the activities and sights that interest you most—the adventure is yours to choose!

What's Included

  • Homestay experience on Ometepe and Lake Atitlán. Group salsa dancing lesson (Antigua). Guided tour of Tikal. Orientation walks in Granada and Antigua. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 dinners. (Allow USD650-800 for meals not included.)
  • Simple hotels (27 nts), homestay (3 nts) and rustic ecolodge (2 nts).
  • Local bus, boat, van, taxi, ferry, walking.
  • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
  • Small group experience; Max 16, avg 12.
Day 1 San José

Arrive at any time.

Day 2-3 La Fortuna/Arenal

Options abound—soak in Arenal's hot springs or get the adrenaline pumping with whitewater rafting or waterfall rappelling.

Day 4-5 Monteverde

Opt to visit a cloud forest reserve, fly through the jungle canopy via zipline or tour a coffee plantation.

Day 6-7 Ometepe (1B,2D)

Get to know local friends during a 2-night homestay experience on Ometepe. Test out some language skills, and opt to climb a volcano or visit the local swimming hole.

Day 8-9 Granada (1B)

Orientation walk upon arrival. Free day to visit the active Masaya Volcano or kayak the isletas in Lake Nicaragua.

Day 10-11 Poneloya

Enjoy a couple of days of relaxation on a remote beach. Surfing, swimming and relaxing on the sand awaits. Opt to hike Cerro Negro or check out the city of León.

Day 12 Suchitoto

After a long day of travel , arrive to the colonial town of Suchitoto. Try the delicious pupusas, a local Salvadorian speciality.

Day 13-14 Concepción de Ataco

Explore the "Route of Flowers" area with quaint Salvadorian towns and talented artisans. Day hikes, a coffee tour and shopping are some of the options here.

Day 15-16 Copán

Cross into Hondura, and opt to visit the Mayan ruins of Copán or the local hot springs.

Day 17-19 Antigua

Orientation walk in Antigua. Free time to relax with a massage, explore the nearby hills by bicycle or visit a local macadamia nut farm.

Day 20-21 Panajachel/Lake Atitlán (1D)

Travel to beautiful Lake Atitlán and enjoy the views. Embark on a boat ride across the lake before participating in a Planeterra-supported homestay with a local family. Bargain for colourful textiles and paintings at the villages surrounding the lake.

Day 22 Antigua

Included group salsa dancing lesson and practice some fancy footwork on a night out in Antigua.

Day 23-25 Río Dulce/Flores

Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat or go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall. Head north to the quaint island town of Flores.

Day 26-27 Tikal/San Ignacio

Guided tour of the Mayan ruins of Tikal. Free day to visit the sacred Mayan cave Actun Tunichil Muknal or check out the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.

Day 28-30 Caye Caulker

Opt to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving or just chill out, Belizean style.

Day 31-32 Playa del Carmen

Choose to explore the Mayan ruins of Tulúm or the diving mecca of Cozumel. Or just play in the waves and enjoy the beach!

Day 33 Playa del Carmen

Depart at any time.

Find dates, prices, and more trip options.

Book Now