Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
La Ruta Maya - Day of the Dead Festival Departure - Reverse tour
Antigua Caribbean La Ruta Maya - Day of the Dead Festival Departure - Reverse Trip
Caye Caulker Palenque La Ruta Maya - Day of the Dead Festival Departure - Reverse Trip

La Ruta Maya - Day of the Dead Festival Departure - Reverse

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4.6 . Excellent
99%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
17 days
From: $ 5,199 $ 306 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Day of the Dead Festival
  • An in-depth exploration of the highlights of the Mayan world
  • Guided visits to the Mayan sites of Palenque, Uxmal, Chichen Itza, Tulum, Tikal and Xunantunich
  • Colourful colonial cities of Antigua, San Cristobal de las Casas, Campeche and Merida
  • Traditional communities in the Mexican highlands
  • Two nights at beautiful Lake Atitlan, surrounded by volcanoes
  • Idyllic Caribbean waters in Mexico and Belize

Short Description

The Mayans forged a powerful and mysterious empire across southern Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. Following ‘La Ruta Maya’ we explore the hidden treasures of this region - magnificent cities, pyramids and temples. These incredible architectural feats have captivated historians since their discovery. The ancient Mayan civilisation is also apparent in the customs, language and dress of the Indian towns and villages we pass through. The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is possibly the most vibrant and colourful tribute to human mortality there is. Citizens pay tribute to the dead, especially close relatives, visiting graves and congregating round the stones to lay edible offerings at the headstones alongside beautiful golden mounds of marigolds, the Flor de Muerto (flower of the dead). Spanning three countries, we discover lively colonial towns, active volcanoes and the palm-fringed Caye Caulker, a paradise for snorkelling and diving, along with experiencing Day of the Dead festivities.Discover lively colonial towns, active volcanoes and the palm-fringed beaches along with experiencing Day of the Dead festivities.

Stride Take

Experience the wonder of one of the most widely celebrated holidays in Mexico - Day of the Dead. This wonderful holiday has many things associated with it, but on this tour you’ll learn about its origins what it really means to the locals of the Mexican and Central American regions you explore.

This tour is fairly extensive, at 17 days. You will have the opportunity to explore many places of cultural and historical significance with the guide, as well as free time to enjoy exploring on your own.


Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Guatemala City
End City Antigua Guatemala

Destinations

Mexico Belize Guatemala

Age Requirement

16

No Single Supplement
See more

Trip Includes

  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

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Itinerary

Flight Inclusive

Day 1 Fly to Guatemala

Fly to Guatemala

Day 2 Fly from Guatemala City to Flores; Visit Tikal.

Early flight at 06.30am from Guatemala City to Flores. Upon arrival, Transfer to Tikal National Park (approx. 1 hour duration) and visit the most famous and probably the most impressive of all Mayan sites (approx. 45 minute drive). Here, in the middle of the jungle are nearly 20 square miles of classic Mayan ruins, surrounded by the dense jungles of Petén. We take a tour of the city, visiting the Q complex, Main Plaza, North and Central Acropolis, Seven Temples and Mundo Perdido (Lost World). Tikal is a superb area for observing wildlife in the jungle environment and visitors regularly see Howler monkeys, Spider monkeys, toucan, Weaver birds, coatimundi and even tarantula (if you know where to look and wish to find one!). In the afternoon we transfer to El Remate (duration approx. 30 minutes), on Lake Peten Itza, where we have the opportunity to learn more about sacred plants in a traditional Mayan garden and enjoy a group dinner. *Standard Hotel*

Day 3 To Belize City via Xunantunich; Boat to Caye Caulker.

After breakfast, we leave the heavily forested and sparsely populated Maya Mountains, encountering some spectacular scenery en route. We cross the border into Belize, and will stop at the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich to explore its temples and palaces. Located on a ridge close, the site has some fine stucco facades as well as several elaborately carved stelae and an impressive 40 metre high pyramid. After looking around the ruins, we cross travel to Belize City, from where we board the water taxi for the 60 minute transfer to Caye Caulker. This laid-back Caribbean Island is just west of the Belize Barrier Reef and offers fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities. There will be some border formalities this morning, but this afternoon has been left free to relax into island life and understand the meaning of Belize's motto: 'no shirt, no shoes, no problem!' The tiny village of Caye Caulker has only three sandy main streets (Front, Middle and Back Street), but they are full of bars and restaurants, many of which serve excellent fresh seafood. Total drive time today is just under 3 hours (2 hours between Belize City and the border with an additional 45 minutes from El Remate to the border). *Standard Hotel*

Day 4 Free day.

Today is a free day for optional excursions and activities, or simply for relaxation. Diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking and fishing can all be arranged locally. As the island is small, it is very easy to complete a circuit on foot. As well as the marine activities there is also a forest reserve in the northern part of the island which offers great bird watching in the mangroves. *Standard Hotel*

Day 5 To Belize city; transfer to Tulum.

We leave Caye Caulker by boat bound for Belize City (approx. 1 hour) and then drive from the coast towards the border with Mexico (around 2.5 hours). We cross the border, stopping for lunch en route, and arrive to Tulum in the afternoon, (approx. 3 hours). This is a fantastic beach community, where we stay for the next 2 nights. Just outside the town lies one of the most photographed sites in the Yucatan; the ruins of an ancient Mayan city that overlook the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. *Standard Hotel*

Day 6 Visit Tulum ruins; swim in a cenote; free afternoon.

This morning we have a short tour of the ancient Mayan fortress of Tulum followed by an optional visit to the sacred underground Mayan waters to cool off in a nearby cenote that is suitable for swimming. The most famous buildings in the complex are the ruins that overlook the lapping waves of the Caribbean, but there are also several temples, ritual platforms and houses to be explored. In common with many other Mayan cities, the whole site is surrounded by a huge defensive wall. This afternoon is free to relax on the beautiful Tulum beach. *Standard Hotel*

Day 7 Visit Chichen Itza; to Merida.

We will spend the morning exploring one of the largest Mayan ceremonial centres at Chichén Itza, located approximately 3 hours from Tulum. En route we will stop in Valladolid to further explore the mix of Mayan and colonial Spanish culture on the Yucatan. The impressive El Castillo Pyramid sits in the middle of the site and is surrounded by temples, palaces and ball courts. Nearby, we stop to visit the Cenote Sagrado ('Sacred Well'), dredged in the early 20th century and found to contain precious gold, silver and jade artifacts as well as the remains of sacrifice victims. After the tour we drive (approx. 2 hours) to the bustling colonial city of Mérida. Many of its buildings were constructed using stones from the Mayan city which existed on the site and these are still visible in the walls of the imposing cathedral. The city flourished following the conquest and the 19th century homes designed in French style contribute to the attractive appearance of the historical centre. We arrive in the middle to late afternoon and will enjoy a walking tour of the city; the main square is particularly impressive when lit up at night. *Standard Hotel*

Day 8 Uxmal and Campeche

From Merida it is around a 1 hour and 30 minute drive to reach the fascinating Mayan ruins of Uxmal. Uxmal dates back to the late classic period, having been built by the Xiu tribe. The site is dominated by the Pyramid of the Magician and the Nunnery Quadrangle which consists of long buildings with elaborately carved façades. There are remnants of a ball court used in ritual games that sometimes ended in sacrifice, and the whole site is quite exposed, which is a real contrast to the ruins of Palenque. After lunch (not included), we travel for around 2 hours the historic fortified city of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boats incredibly well preserved colonial architecture. Most impressive are the city walls, built to protect the city from the constant attacks of English and Dutch buccaneers and pirates during the 16th and 17th centuries. Arrive in the early evening and head out to sample some local cuisine overlooking the Bay of Campeche - seafood is a local specialty and widely available. *Standard Hotel*

Day 9 Drive to Palenque and guided tour.

This morning we drive for around 5 hours to the small town of Palenque, where the Mayan site of the same name is located just on the outskirts. In the afternoon we have a guided tour of the impressive Mayan site of Palenque. The jungle-covered complex is one of the most famous in Mexico and is located in the low hills of Chiapas. The pyramids, sanctuaries and temples, with their sculptured wall-panels and roofs are remarkably well preserved and are probably the finest surviving examples of Mayan buildings. Enjoy an optional trip to El Panchán for dinner this evening, a nearby bohemian rainforest hangout (dinner not included). *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10 Visit Agua Azul Waterfall; to San Cristobal.

Today we ascend from the humid forests of north-eastern Chiapas to the highlands - expect some winding roads but plenty of spectacular scenery en route. We break our journey at the Agua Azul Falls, a glittering series of cataracts which often appear blue due to the high mineral content. In Spanish the name of the falls means 'Blue Water'. (Please note that on the rare occasions where we are unable to visit Agua Azul Falls, we will endeavour to visit the Misol Ha waterfalls instead). We come to the old capital of the region, San Cristobal de Las Casas. This is one of the most attractive colonial towns in Mexico, with many old churches and squares amongst a lively café scene. It is also a major centre for the Tzotzil Indians, each group having different, colourful costumes. The extensive market has some good handicrafts for sale and plenty of interesting foodstuffs on offer! San Cristobal has a very pleasant climate because of its altitude. The total driving time today is approx. 8 hours. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 11 Day of the Dead festivities.

The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is possibly the most vibrant and colourful tribute to human mortality there is. Citizens pay tribute to the dead, especially close relatives, visiting graves and congregating round the stones to lay edible offerings at the headstones alongside beautiful golden mounds of marigolds, the Flor de Muerto (flower of the dead). Today we hope to visit some cemeteries around San Cristobal de las Casas to see the altars and tributes made for loved ones. We also hope to visit local markets and bakeries with ornaments and essentials for the Day of the Dead festivities, with the chance to sample specialties only on offer during this festival. We also plan to visit the Chamulan village Romerillo and will hopefully have a chance to watch the elaborate Day of the Dead parades. The tour leader will be adding special visits regarding day of the dead festivities where ever possible, but we cannot plan those activities much time in advance, they will be spontaneous. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 12 Explore San Cristobal de las Casas and nearby villages.

We visit the nearby Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan this morning. These small communities are very traditional and many of the villagers continue to follow ancient religious practices within the Catholic churches. In the main church of Chamula, where locals practice a blend of Catholicism and Mayan customs, people sit on the pine needle covered floor surrounded by dozens of candles, chanting prayers in an ancient dialect of Tzotzil. Our guide will explain some of the local traditions before we enter the church to see this practice for ourselves. Visitors should note that when visiting churches in the villages, photography of the worshippers and the church interiors is expressly forbidden. Your guide will explain the full reasons behind this, but please remember to exercise discretion when taking pictures, always seeking permission before using your camera. In the afternoon, there will be some free time to explore San Cristobal de las Casas at your leisure. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 13 To Panajachel.

Today we begin early and drive south, crossing the border into Guatemala. The road takes us through rugged mountain scenery before arriving to Panajachel, a small town on the shore of Lake Atitlan. Guatemala's largest lake is dominated by three volcanoes and was formed following an ancient eruption. Many of the villages that exist around the lake are only accessible by boat. Today is a full day drive of around 7 hours plus stops for lunch in a simple restaurant in a small town (not included) and the border crossing. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14 Boat trip on Lake Atitlan.

Today we will explore some of the area surrounding Lake Atitlan. A 60-minute scenic boat ride on the lake takes us to the village of San Juan La Laguna, where we will visit the home studios of local painters and a textile cooperative where women are engaged in hand weaving and natural dyeing processes. We continue by boat to Santiago Atitlan where we can learn about the Mayan traditions and beliefs from our local guides. At certain times of the year, it may be possible to visit a shaman's house to see this fascinating practice, held amidst clouds of burning incense. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 15 Solola Market; Antigua.

After breakfast, we travel to the ancient market town of Solola (approx. 1.5 hours), where centuries-old economic and cultural traditions of the Kaqchikel people continue to thrive. In the early afternoon, we drive to get to Antigua (approx 2.5 hours). Many travellers agree that Antigua is one of the most attractive cities in Latin America. Rightly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the colourful, colonial city attracts visitors from all over for its unique history and renowned Spanish language schools. Above the tiled roofs of pastel houses there are impressive views of the Agua and Fuego volcanoes, standing in excess of 3700m above the city. Antigua was the capital of the Spanish empire in Central America from 1543 to 1773, a highly religious period that left the city with an abundance of convents and churches packed with religious art. Unfortunately many buildings are now in ruins from centuries of earthquake damage - our guided walking tour of the city will bring its fascinating history to life. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 16 The trip ends after breakfast in Antigua for land only passengers. Those on the group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City Airport for their flight home.

The trip ends after breakfast in Antigua for land only passengers. Those on the group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City Airport for their flight home.

Day 17 Arrive London

Arrive London **



Land Only

Day 1 Start Guatemala City

Those on group flights will be met at Guatemala City airport and taken to our start hotel in Guatemala City (approx. 20 minute drive). Those on land only arrangements should make their own way to the start hotel. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 2 Fly from Guatemala City to Flores; Visit Tikal.

Early flight at 06.30am from Guatemala City to Flores. Upon arrival, Transfer to Tikal National Park (approx. 1 hour duration) and visit the most famous and probably the most impressive of all Mayan sites (approx. 45 minute drive). Here, in the middle of the jungle are nearly 20 square miles of classic Mayan ruins, surrounded by the dense jungles of Petén. We take a tour of the city, visiting the Q complex, Main Plaza, North and Central Acropolis, Seven Temples and Mundo Perdido (Lost World). Tikal is a superb area for observing wildlife in the jungle environment and visitors regularly see Howler monkeys, Spider monkeys, toucan, Weaver birds, coatimundi and even tarantula (if you know where to look and wish to find one!). In the afternoon we transfer to El Remate (duration approx. 30 minutes), on Lake Peten Itza, where we have the opportunity to learn more about sacred plants in a traditional Mayan garden and enjoy a group dinner. *Standard Hotel*

Day 3 To Belize City via Xunantunich; Boat to Caye Caulker.

After breakfast, we leave the heavily forested and sparsely populated Maya Mountains, encountering some spectacular scenery en route. We cross the border into Belize, and will stop at the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich to explore its temples and palaces. Located on a ridge close, the site has some fine stucco facades as well as several elaborately carved stelae and an impressive 40 metre high pyramid. After looking around the ruins, we cross travel to Belize City, from where we board the water taxi for the 60 minute transfer to Caye Caulker. This laid-back Caribbean Island is just west of the Belize Barrier Reef and offers fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities. There will be some border formalities this morning, but this afternoon has been left free to relax into island life and understand the meaning of Belize's motto: 'no shirt, no shoes, no problem!' The tiny village of Caye Caulker has only three sandy main streets (Front, Middle and Back Street), but they are full of bars and restaurants, many of which serve excellent fresh seafood. Total drive time today is just under 3 hours (2 hours between Belize City and the border with an additional 45 minutes from El Remate to the border). *Standard Hotel*

Day 4 Free day.

Today is a free day for optional excursions and activities, or simply for relaxation. Diving, snorkeling, sea kayaking and fishing can all be arranged locally. As the island is small, it is very easy to complete a circuit on foot. As well as the marine activities there is also a forest reserve in the northern part of the island which offers great bird watching in the mangroves. *Standard Hotel*

Day 5 To Belize city; transfer to Tulum.

We leave Caye Caulker by boat bound for Belize City (approx. 1 hour) and then drive from the coast towards the border with Mexico (around 2.5 hours). We cross the border, stopping for lunch en route, and arrive to Tulum in the afternoon, (approx. 3 hours). This is a fantastic beach community, where we stay for the next 2 nights. Just outside the town lies one of the most photographed sites in the Yucatan; the ruins of an ancient Mayan city that overlook the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. *Standard Hotel*

Day 6 Visit Tulum ruins; swim in a cenote; free afternoon.

This morning we have a short tour of the ancient Mayan fortress of Tulum followed by an optional visit to the sacred underground Mayan waters to cool off in a nearby cenote that is suitable for swimming. The most famous buildings in the complex are the ruins that overlook the lapping waves of the Caribbean, but there are also several temples, ritual platforms and houses to be explored. In common with many other Mayan cities, the whole site is surrounded by a huge defensive wall. This afternoon is free to relax on the beautiful Tulum beach. *Standard Hotel*

Day 7 Visit Chichen Itza; to Merida.

We will spend the morning exploring one of the largest Mayan ceremonial centres at Chichén Itza, located approximately 3 hours from Tulum. En route we will stop in Valladolid to further explore the mix of Mayan and colonial Spanish culture on the Yucatan. The impressive El Castillo Pyramid sits in the middle of the site and is surrounded by temples, palaces and ball courts. Nearby, we stop to visit the Cenote Sagrado ('Sacred Well'), dredged in the early 20th century and found to contain precious gold, silver and jade artifacts as well as the remains of sacrifice victims. After the tour we drive (approx. 2 hours) to the bustling colonial city of Mérida. Many of its buildings were constructed using stones from the Mayan city which existed on the site and these are still visible in the walls of the imposing cathedral. The city flourished following the conquest and the 19th century homes designed in French style contribute to the attractive appearance of the historical centre. We arrive in the middle to late afternoon and will enjoy a walking tour of the city; the main square is particularly impressive when lit up at night. *Standard Hotel*

Day 8 Uxmal and Campeche

From Merida it is around a 1 hour and 30 minute drive to reach the fascinating Mayan ruins of Uxmal. Uxmal dates back to the late classic period, having been built by the Xiu tribe. The site is dominated by the Pyramid of the Magician and the Nunnery Quadrangle which consists of long buildings with elaborately carved façades. There are remnants of a ball court used in ritual games that sometimes ended in sacrifice, and the whole site is quite exposed, which is a real contrast to the ruins of Palenque. After lunch (not included), we travel for around 2 hours the historic fortified city of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boats incredibly well preserved colonial architecture. Most impressive are the city walls, built to protect the city from the constant attacks of English and Dutch buccaneers and pirates during the 16th and 17th centuries. Arrive in the early evening and head out to sample some local cuisine overlooking the Bay of Campeche - seafood is a local specialty and widely available. *Standard Hotel*

Day 9 Drive to Palenque and guided tour.

This morning we drive for around 5 hours to the small town of Palenque, where the Mayan site of the same name is located just on the outskirts. In the afternoon we have a guided tour of the impressive Mayan site of Palenque. The jungle-covered complex is one of the most famous in Mexico and is located in the low hills of Chiapas. The pyramids, sanctuaries and temples, with their sculptured wall-panels and roofs are remarkably well preserved and are probably the finest surviving examples of Mayan buildings. Enjoy an optional trip to El Panchán for dinner this evening, a nearby bohemian rainforest hangout (dinner not included). *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 10 Visit Agua Azul Waterfall; to San Cristobal.

Today we ascend from the humid forests of north-eastern Chiapas to the highlands - expect some winding roads but plenty of spectacular scenery en route. We break our journey at the Agua Azul Falls, a glittering series of cataracts which often appear blue due to the high mineral content. In Spanish the name of the falls means 'Blue Water'. (Please note that on the rare occasions where we are unable to visit Agua Azul Falls, we will endeavour to visit the Misol Ha waterfalls instead). We come to the old capital of the region, San Cristobal de Las Casas. This is one of the most attractive colonial towns in Mexico, with many old churches and squares amongst a lively café scene. It is also a major centre for the Tzotzil Indians, each group having different, colourful costumes. The extensive market has some good handicrafts for sale and plenty of interesting foodstuffs on offer! San Cristobal has a very pleasant climate because of its altitude. The total driving time today is approx. 8 hours. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 11 Day of the Dead festivities.

The Mexican Day of the Dead celebration is possibly the most vibrant and colourful tribute to human mortality there is. Citizens pay tribute to the dead, especially close relatives, visiting graves and congregating round the stones to lay edible offerings at the headstones alongside beautiful golden mounds of marigolds, the Flor de Muerto (flower of the dead). Today we hope to visit some cemeteries around San Cristobal de las Casas to see the altars and tributes made for loved ones. We also hope to visit local markets and bakeries with ornaments and essentials for the Day of the Dead festivities, with the chance to sample specialties only on offer during this festival. We also plan to visit the Chamulan village Romerillo and will hopefully have a chance to watch the elaborate Day of the Dead parades. The tour leader will be adding special visits regarding day of the dead festivities where ever possible, but we cannot plan those activities much time in advance, they will be spontaneous. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 12 Explore San Cristobal de las Casas and nearby villages.

We visit the nearby Indian villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan this morning. These small communities are very traditional and many of the villagers continue to follow ancient religious practices within the Catholic churches. In the main church of Chamula, where locals practice a blend of Catholicism and Mayan customs, people sit on the pine needle covered floor surrounded by dozens of candles, chanting prayers in an ancient dialect of Tzotzil. Our guide will explain some of the local traditions before we enter the church to see this practice for ourselves. Visitors should note that when visiting churches in the villages, photography of the worshippers and the church interiors is expressly forbidden. Your guide will explain the full reasons behind this, but please remember to exercise discretion when taking pictures, always seeking permission before using your camera. In the afternoon, there will be some free time to explore San Cristobal de las Casas at your leisure. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 13 To Panajachel.

Today we begin early and drive south, crossing the border into Guatemala. The road takes us through rugged mountain scenery before arriving to Panajachel, a small town on the shore of Lake Atitlan. Guatemala's largest lake is dominated by three volcanoes and was formed following an ancient eruption. Many of the villages that exist around the lake are only accessible by boat. Today is a full day drive of around 7 hours plus stops for lunch in a simple restaurant in a small town (not included) and the border crossing. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 14 Boat trip on Lake Atitlan.

Today we will explore some of the area surrounding Lake Atitlan. A 60-minute scenic boat ride on the lake takes us to the village of San Juan La Laguna, where we will visit the home studios of local painters and a textile cooperative where women are engaged in hand weaving and natural dyeing processes. We continue by boat to Santiago Atitlan where we can learn about the Mayan traditions and beliefs from our local guides. At certain times of the year, it may be possible to visit a shaman's house to see this fascinating practice, held amidst clouds of burning incense. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 15 Solola Market; Antigua.

After breakfast, we travel to the ancient market town of Solola (approx. 1.5 hours), where centuries-old economic and cultural traditions of the Kaqchikel people continue to thrive. In the early afternoon, we drive to get to Antigua (approx 2.5 hours). Many travellers agree that Antigua is one of the most attractive cities in Latin America. Rightly declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the colourful, colonial city attracts visitors from all over for its unique history and renowned Spanish language schools. Above the tiled roofs of pastel houses there are impressive views of the Agua and Fuego volcanoes, standing in excess of 3700m above the city. Antigua was the capital of the Spanish empire in Central America from 1543 to 1773, a highly religious period that left the city with an abundance of convents and churches packed with religious art. Unfortunately many buildings are now in ruins from centuries of earthquake damage - our guided walking tour of the city will bring its fascinating history to life. *Comfortable Hotel*

Day 16 The trip ends after breakfast in Antigua for land only passengers. Those on the group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City Airport for their flight home.

The trip ends after breakfast in Antigua for land only passengers. Those on the group flights will be transferred to Guatemala City Airport for their flight home.

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Price Per Day: $ 306 per day
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Oct-22-2019Oct-22-2019$ 5,199Yes1 spots left Reserve

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12,869 Exodus Travels Travel Reviews & Ratings

99%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 9,048
Great 3,136
Average 526
Disappointing 111
Terrible 48
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
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4.6
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4.6
Meals
4.6

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ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was introduced to Antarctica in the most amazing way. When we arrived there
was a blanket of heavy fog the team got us on the zodiac and navigated on
compass bearings. Suddenly like the curtain of a stage being pulled back we
sat in sky of blue surrounded by a wild and pristine environment.
See above. Watching whales breech. Smelling penguins before you could see
them. Filming Leopard seals with my gopro. You truely need to be awake 24hrs
a day and have eyes in the back of your head for this trip.


Shelly and the team were amazing. Their passion and commitment and tirless
effort to show what they love and care about the most was amazing


Do take European travel plugs for Ushuaia as well as American.


Enjoy everything this trip has to offer. Remember this is an expedition and
not a five star hotel as some travellers on my trip thought. Things can go
wrong and weather is unpredictable. A real once in a lifetime trip.


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ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Another fantastic trip to the wilderness that is Antarctica. Brilliant from
start to finish with awesome scenery and wildlife experiences throughout on a
fantastic ship.
Experiencing the beauty of both Oraca's and Humpback whales upclose to to
zodiacs and a brillient night spent camping on the Ice of Antartctica.


Woody was excellent from start to finish, extremely knowledgeable and
passionate about Antarctica, friendly, open and worked brilliantly with
the Ships Captain/Crew to get us lots of fantastic landings and cruising
opportunities. He was ably assisted by the rest of his expedition crew who
were all also fantastic.


Go... A definite must do atleast once in your life. Antarctica is awesome.


Although some people might conside this type of trip as being expensive,
I'd qualify it by saying this was my second trip to Antarctica and
althought it is not a cheap holiday it is great value for money, I
wouldn't have returned otherwise.The Ship is fantastic, food was
excellent and all the crew were so friendly, helpful and ofcourse
knowledgeable.


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ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

5.0
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Value5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A holiday that exceeded all expectations. Stunning scenery, abundant
wildlife, a great team and a superb boat and crew
Seeing that being a penguin parent is true dedication!


"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of
shape....." A quote from a member of the group that sums up Woody.
Excellent does also.


Book it NOW!


I knew we'd see a lot of wildlife and had hoped I'd see an albatross
- there were 6 gliding around the boat on the first day! The excesses just
got greater each dayafter that!


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ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
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Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
An absolutely amazing trip!  It had been a long time coming as I booked
it 18 months previously, but it did not disappoint.
There was so much that was fantastic....the sheer beauty and enormousness
(don’t know if that is a real word) of it all, unspoilt by humans, but
the most inspiring moment was watching an iceberg calve, and then because
its’ centre of gravity had changed, virtually turn over.......and I
think I was the only one sitting there watching it!   And yes,
Paul, I do have photographic evidence!!


Kirsten was professional, and made the best of the weather conditions.


Travelling to Ushuaia is very long and tedious, especially if you are on the
early flight from Gatwick to Madrid (8 hour wait at Madrid), and even if you
have been checked straight through to Ushuaia, you need to collect your
baggage, even if you have the domestic flight from the international terminal
(very confusing....nearly left my luggage at BA airport). 3 days
travelling on board without setting foot on land, can seem a long time, but
there are presentations given by various members of the expedition staff that
give you an insight to the Antarctic region, its wildlife, and history. You
can also go on deck if weather permits, or up to the bridge viewing platforms
to pass the time of day and take pictures of the birdlife, or icebergs on
your journey south.Once you make your first zodiac trip though, everything
previously is forgotten, and take Paul’s advice....don’t have
your viewfinder surgically implanted to your eye, make sure you take stock of
where you are, and enjoy every moment of it.We were lucky with the weather,
and only missed 1 landing, but be prepared that if the weather is bad, you
will not be able to go ashore or do the zodiac cruises, and be prepared for
some ‘iffy’ moments on the zodiacs if the sea is a bit
rough.  It was my first time on zodiacs, and now feels that I could cope
with anything. It didn’t happen to me, but remember the Aerolineas
 Argentinas weight restrictions for hand-luggage; 5kg.  If you can
put your camera equipment in a backpack and have it on your back, they
don’t seem to mind.  Also, leave room in your case/bag for the
Quark Parka.  I wore the inner fleece for flying and packed the outer
shell, but still fairly cumbersome.


Just book it!!  You’ll not regret it.  This was my first
polar trip, but certainly not my last!!


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ANTARCTIC CIRCLE QUEST

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A fantastic trip encompassing magnificent scenery and wildlife viewing.
The whole trip was an incredible experience from start to finish, but for me
the highlight was the afternoon spent kayaking in Paradise Bay.  Imaging
360 degrees of snow capped mountains, blue skies, sea ice and perfect
mountain reflections in the sea and you still won't be close to
experiencing how beautiful the place was.


Kirsten was professional throughout and made sure we experienced the best
that the Antarctic Peninsula has to offer. 


Be prepared for the fact that you have 3 days at sea from Ushuaia before you
reach the Peninsula and 2 days on the way back. There are plenty of
presentations on the ship to help pass the time and prepare you for the trip
but it can seem like a long time since you have left home before you are able
to leave the ship and do some landings.  Having said that, the sea days
are forgotten in an instant as soon as you reach the peninsula and the trip
starts properly.We were incredibly lucky with the weather; there was only 1
landing which we were unable to make as the conditions would not allow it.
 You need to be aware though that if weather conditions aren't
favourable you won't be able to do all of the landings or zodiac cruises
which could potentially detract from the overall enjoyment of the
trip. Aerolinas Argentinas can be quite strict with their luggage
allowances; there is a 5kg limit for hand luggage on the internal flight. If
you are carrying a lot of photographic equipment then your hand luggage will
be way over this.  However, if you have your backpack on your back when
you check in then they do not seem to weigh it; if it is on a luggage trolley
then they will weigh it and potentially ask you to pack some of your hand
luggage into your checked luggage. Do not wear expensive jewellery in
Buenos Aires and leave your valuables locked in the safe in the hotel. 


Go ahead and book the trip - it is truly an experience of a lifetime.


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Lovely country, people, and food.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This review describes the revised, Lombok-less itinerary. So, no Rinjani,
sadly, but Sumeru is a decent (and difficult) substitute if one is willing to
ascend it (the summit is optional).

For me, this trip was a fine mix of culture (food, people, history, temples)
and hiking, with photographic opportunities wherever one looked. We had three
fantastic sunrises, some dynamite sunsets (especially Merbabu), and we got
very lucky with weather, being barely affected by rain. Our only real
disappointment came at Ijen where the gases from the crater would not clear
enough for a good view - but we got a good workout in while testing our
strength against that of the miners whose loads sulphur are very heavy.

There are some long drives, but most of our group found it easy to sleep on
the bus.
Ascending Sumeru. It's a difficult and frustrating climb (like summit day on
Kilimanjaro) but the view from the top is special.


Our guide (Wira) was attentive, helpful, fluent in four bazillion Indonesian
languages, and a damned good multitasker.


Most of the hiking is gentle but very dusty (we were there in the dry season)
so a buff is recommended to avoid "volcano nose" and care is needed to
protect camera mechanisms. The extension at Candidasa was a perfect and
relaxing way to end (I recommend staying as long as you can :)). Indonesians
are very friendly and you will be asked to pose for THEIR travel photographs,
so be prepared to feel like a rock-star.


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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 15

Accomodations

15 nights in a mixture of standard and comfortable hotels, all with en suite facilities
Travel by private minibus, boat and internal flight
Several long drives

Age Notes

Min. Age: 16

Additional Information:

  • 15 nights in a mixture of standard and comfortable hotels, all with en suite facilities
  • Travel by private minibus, boat and internal flight
  • Several long drives
  • Reverse itinerary departure available (AUX)
  • Non Festival departure available (AUR)  

Trip ID#:

exodus-AUXR

Meals Included:

Dinner: All breakfasts, and 1 dinner included Breakfast generally consist of fruits, cereals, beans and eggs. Meals vary from around US$9-12 for lunch and dinner in Guatemala and the Mexican highlands to around US$12 - 19 in the Yucatan area and Belize. A beer costs on average US$3-4.

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