Mayan Encounter

View Itinerary

Trek though jungles to Mayan ruins and relax on white-sand beaches. Get an authentic taste of Belize and Guatemala with an adventure that combines the mystery of ancient ruins with the crystalline waters of the Caribbean. Shop for treasures along colonial Antigua’s cobblestoned streets and get to know the locals from communities where life sometimes moves at a reggae pace. Explore the lost ruins of Tikal, snorkel with stingrays and finish up lounging in gorgeous Caye Caulker. With accommodation and transport arranged by a CEO, this trip offers the perfect way to discover this region’s unique vibe.

What's Included

Antigua orientation walk. Rio Dulce stay. Tikal guided tour. Caye Caulker stay. G Adventures-supported bike tour of Caye Caulker. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Listen to the howler monkeys from the top of Temple IV at Tikal, revel in Caye Caulker sunsets, sway to reggae beats wafting through the Belizean air, wander the colonial streets of Antigua.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. As this trip crosses national borders, please be prepared to pay some border fees for certain countries ranging from $1 to $30 USD. Please check with your local embassy or consulate for up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.

2. Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been travelling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. Please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Public bus, private van, boat.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (11 nts).

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 9-11: Caye Caulker

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!

If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign in the arrivals hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way!

Arrival Complications

We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office San Jose, Costa Rica
During Office hours (Weekdays 9am-5pm Local Time): +506 2224 5560
After hours emergency number: +506 8322 9140

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

What to Take

We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). You must be able to carry your luggage to our accommodations and should be prepared to load it on and off of transportation, as porters are usually not on hand. A good size daypack is also essential.

Checklist

- USD cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover for backpacks
- Concealable money belt
- hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Fleece top
- Sunblock
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Sunglasses
- Small towel and swim wear
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Watch or alarm clock
- Sun hat
- Water bottle
- 2 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Pocketknife
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Sturdy water shoes/Sandals
- Insect repellent
- suggest natural as opposed to DEET based products
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Latin America. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and cards with travellers cheques as backup is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent).

GUATEMALA ATMs: Please note that daily withdrawal limits in this country are extremely low, currently set at 1000 quetzales – less than 140 USD. It is advisable to arrive with enough cash, if your daily needs exceed this amount.

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Guatemala exit tax: 10Q ($1.25USD)

Belize entrance tax: free
Belize exit tax: $18.75USD

Mexico entrance tax: free
Mexico airport departure tax: 262 Mexican Pesos (approximately 24USD)

Tipping

It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $20-25 USD per person, per week can be used.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA

City tour USD20
Bicycle rental/tour USD10/35
Macadamia nut Plantation tour USD5-10
Salsa lessons USD5-10
Massages USD30-60
Chocolate Tour USD20
Volcano Hike USD30-70

FLORES, GUATEMALA

Boat tour: Lake Petén Itzá $12

RIO DULCE, GUATEMALA

Nature Walk $18
Horseback Riding $25
Howler monkey kayak morning tour $10 per person and $14 para e guía (divido en el numero de personas hagan el tour)
Hot Springs $20
Boat trip to Livingston $20 (includes a swim in the hot springs)
El Castillo Fort $5 (minimum 10 pax)
Birdwatch boat tour $5 (minimum 10 pax)

SAN IGNACIO, BELIZE

Chaa Cree Canoe Rental USD25 to 35 per person
Cave tubing USD75
Barton Creek Cave USD50 (4-hour return trip)
Mountain Pine Ridge USD75
Crystal Cave caving with lunch USD90
ATM caving with lunch USD90
Horseback riding USD40-60
Biking Tours USD55.00-75.00
Butterfly farm USD7.50
Xunantunich entrace fee USD5
Caracol Ruins Tour USD95 person

CAYE CAULKER, BELIZE

Snorkel trips USD25-70
Blue Hole dive USD210
Manatee watching tour USD80
Snorkel equipment rental $5 (day)
Windsurfing USD50 (for board & instruction/hour)
Sea kayaking tour USD (2 hours)
Kayak rental USD7
Two-tank dive starting USD100
Sunset Sail Rum cruise USD35

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra’s monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Max Pax

15

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Meal Budget

Allow USD470-615 for meals not included.

Meals Included

No meals included

PRODUCT_LINE: CGME, ID: 22830


Itinerary

  1. Day 1 Antigua

    There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. We recommend booking pre-accommodation to fully experience this charming city.

    Additional Notes:
    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

  2. Day 2 Antigua

    This colonial town has much to offer— opt to visit the museums or cafés, attend a chocolate workshop, visit a local coffee plantation or macadamia nut farm or explore the nearby towns by bike.

  3. Day 3 Antigua/Rio Dulce

    In the morning travel to Rio Dulce, a charming town named after the river on which it’s located. Arrive in the late afternoon and start exploring.

    Take a stroll through the market located in the city centre or enjoy a swim in the hotel pool.

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (6.00-7.50 hours, 315km)

  4. Day 4 Rio Dulce

    Take a stroll in the market located in the city centre or visit Castillo de San Felipe which was a fort used to defend the town from pirates. You also have the option to rent a canoe and peacefully navigate the river. Visit the natural hot waterfall that makes this town famous.

  5. Day 5 Rio Dulce/Flores

    With flexibility on start time today, the group may enjoy some extra time in Rio Dulce or extra time upon arrival in Flores. There may be options for stops along the route.

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle

  6. Day 6 Flores

    Enjoy a guided tour of the nearby Mayan ruins of Tikal. In the afternoon, opt to relax on the lake or hang out at the cafés in town.

    Included Activities:
    Tikal Ruins Guided Tour

    Transport:
    Enjoy the ride out to Tikal and return the same way in the afternoon (1-1.5 hrs one way).
    Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km)

  7. Day 7 Flores/San Ignacio

    Cross the border into Belize. The relaxed atmosphere of San Ignacio allows for options including horseback riding, canoeing, caving, or exploring the Mountain Pine Ridge area.

    Included Activities:
    Border Crossing (Guatemala – Belize)

    Transport:
    Private Vehicle (2.00-3.00 hours, 95km)
    Private Vehicle (0.50-0.75 hours, 13km)

  8. Day 8 San Ignacio

    Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to check out nearby caves, some more Mayan sites or a local conservation project.

  9. Day 9 San Ignacio/Caye Caulker

    Caye Caulker is a relaxed and easy going island with friendly and welcoming local residents. There are dozens of activities around the island and surrounding coral reefs. Try your hand at fishing and barbecue your catch on the beach.

    Included Activities:
    Belize Bike with Purpose Tour

    Transport:
    Local bus (3.00-4.00 hours, 123km)
    Water taxi (0.75-1.00 hours, 39km)

  10. Days 10-11 Caye Caulker

    If the boats aren’t your thing, just relax, Belizean-style.

  11. Day 12 Caye Caulker

    Want to head north to Mexico? Add on the ‘Playa del Carmen Express’ and travel to Playa del Carmen on the departure day with a CEO (hotel night in Playa included). Board a boat in Caye Caulker and transfer to Chetumal, Mexico. From there take a public bus to Playa del Carmen. The Express will leave Caye Caulker at 6:30am and will arrive in Playa del Carmen around 5:30pm.

    Additional Notes:
    This trip finishes on Caye Caulker, which is located 1 hr by water taxi from Belize city (an additional 30 min by taxi to the airport). There are frequent ferry departures between 7:30am and 5pm. You can purchase your return ferry ticket easily once you get to Caye Caulker.

Contact our travel experts for more details

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