Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Mexico & Guatemala Highlights tour
Antigua Central America Mexico & Guatemala Highlights Trip
Chichen Itza Chichicastenango Mexico & Guatemala Highlights Trip

Mexico & Guatemala Highlights

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
11 days
From: $ 1,250 $ 114 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Revel in the beach vibe of Playa del Carmen
  • Explore incredible Maya pyramids at Chichen Itza
  • Travel along Mexico's amazing Yucatan Peninsula
  • Experience the great outdoors on the banks of Lake Atitlan
  • Trace the lines of ancient history at the Palenque ruins
  • Sample classic Guatemalan fare in Antigua

Short Description

Travel from the beach delights of Playa del Carmen to the Central American highlands on this dynamic Mexico to Guatemala tour. Clamber over ancient ruins at Chichen Itza, explore the pristine shores of the Mexican coast and discover the laidback highland charm of San Cristobal de las Casas. From the Yucatan Peninsula to volcano-studded Antigua, this trip really has it all.

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
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
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 Playa del Carmen
End City Antigua

Destinations

Mexico Guatemala

Activities

N/A

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Itinerary

Day 1 Playa del Carmen

Bienvenidos! Welcome to this beachside playground. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you have time, why not kick off your shoes and walk along one of Playa's beaches. The evening is yours. Full of energy and craving a party? Try one of the many clubs that line the beachfront. Don't despair if you're not a techno-head, you can find a venue for every taste here, from rock and roll to jazz.

Day 2 Chichen Itza / Merida

Rise and shine! At 8 am take a private minivan to the Maya ruins of Chichen Itza, and on the 3-hour journey you can practice your Spanish and spot charming villages. You’ll have a good couple of hours to explore the remains of Chichen Itza, an ancient city that fuses of religion, architecture and geometry. Then, travel on to the Yucatan capital of Merida for a beguiling dose of old-world charm. After a 2-hour ride, take a brief tour of the town centre and main attractions and then do as you please for the rest of the evening.

Day 3 Merida

Founded in 1542, it still retains much of its old-world charm with a well-preserved Old Town, wonderful museums and city streets alive with art and culture. Hang out in the green and shady Plaza Grande, with the twin-towered 16th century Cathedral on one side and City Hall, State Government Palace and Casa Mantejo on the others. For a taste of Merida's 19th century glory go for a walk along the mansion lined Paseo de Montejo. Mornings are the best time to visit the outdoor markets. It's a great place to try out the local food specialities, like cochinita pibil (barbecue pork) or the head-blowingly spicy El Yucateco hot sauce. Merida is also the gateway to the Maya ruins of Uxmal and there is an opportunity to visit these impressive ruins. Little is known about the site's origins but it is thought the city was founded around AD500.

Day 4 Palenque

Today we have an early start in order to jump on one of the very comfortable first or second class buses heading to Chiapas. These buses are equipped with bathrooms and TVs, though you may want to spend your journey staring out the window. There's plenty to admire in the landscape of Mexico's South, particularly once you reach the mountainous region of Chiapas. There will also be time for an informal Spanish lesson. Arrive at your hotel in the evening and get some rest for tomorrow—a day full of archaeological wonder.

Day 5 Palenque Ruins

Today we will hit the ruins with a local guide in Palenque to give you all the information that you need on the impressive Maya city state, entry fee included. The pyramids and structures that formed this once thriving hub are now swallowed by jungle. Whilst walking amongst the ruins it is often possible to hear the eerie calls of howler monkeys echoing from the jungle, giving an added dimension to this magnificent site.

Day 6 San Cristobal de las Casas

After breakfast you'll grab a seat on a bus bound for San Cristobal de las Casas.The roughly 5-hour journey will be broken up with a refreshing dip in the the turquoise waters of the multi-tiered Agua Azul falls. Continue southward to San Cristobal de las Casas and explore this lovely city in a guided tour. With winding cobblestone streets and colonial Spanish architecture, San Cristobal maintains a lovely old-world feel mixed with strong indigenous roots. Maybe make a note of any particular points of interest during your tour, which you can then come back to during your free evening.

Day 7 San Cristobal de las Casas

In nearby San Juan Chamula, you'll find an insular indigenous community where life is heavily informed by a spiritual blend of ancient ritual, animism and Catholicism. Make sure to visit the church, where the floor is covered with pine needles and the air is heavy with incense. Shamans come here to carry out cleansings with firewater, ancient prayer and sometimes chickens. There are also markets with colourful handicrafts for sale. Back in town, why not go for a stroll and try to spot the cafe with the most locals in it for a taste of the traditional 'elote', a corn cob which makes a common snack in the highlands of Chiapas.

Day 8 Lake Atitlan / Panajachel

Now entering Guatemala! From San Cristobal we head down by shuttle bus. It takes about 4 hours to get to the Guatemalan border, just make sure you have your passport ready and the tour leader will give you detailed instructions on what to do once at the border. Continue on to Lake Atitlan, and settle in Panajachel which has a thriving market, good eateries and many water-based activities to enjoy. The surrounding area is dotted with villages which can be reached on foot or by boat. After a leader-led orientation walk, why not pick one and start exploring? In each village the local life has changed little over the last few hundred years. Each village has its own typical dress and make all the textiles themselves in designs passed down through generations.

Day 9 Panajachel

Today is wide open for you to continue exploring this fascinating region of Guatemala. You could go for a swim or hire a kayak, soaking up the sun and the breathtaking mountain views. If you're feeling adventurous, you could jump on the zipline that takes you through lush forest and spits you out over the lake. Just chat to your leader about the various optional activities you can partake in today.

Day 10 Antigua

The old colonial capital of Guatemala, Antigua remains the cultural centre of the country. Its cobbled streets, local markets, colonial buildings, and indigenous marimba music emanating from the many bars and restaurants create a fantastic atmosphere. After a 4-hour drive, an orientation walk will get you started in the city, then it's up to you. If you're into salsa dancing or you'd like to learn some steps, Antigua is the place to be. Many dancing schools offer hourly lessons that give you the preparation to hit the discos at night and show your moves.

Day 11 Antigua

The trip ends after breakfast this morning.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,250
Price Per Day: $ 114 per day
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Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
Oct-15-2019Oct-25-2019$ 1,479Yes7 spots left Reserve
Oct-22-2019Nov-01-2019$ 1,479Yes8 spots left Reserve
Nov-05-2019Nov-15-2019$ 1,509Yes6 spots left Reserve
Nov-19-2019Nov-29-2019$ 1,479Yes8 spots left Reserve
Nov-26-2019Dec-06-2019$ 1,479Yes9 spots left Reserve
Dec-17-2019Dec-27-2019$ 1,720Yes10 spots left Reserve
Dec-24-2019Jan-03-2020$ 1,810Yes10 spots left Reserve
Jan-06-2020Jan-16-2020$ 1,530Yes7 spots left Reserve
Jan-20-2020Jan-30-2020$ 1,300Yes9 spots left Reserve
Feb-10-2020Feb-20-2020$ 1,300Yes11 spots left Reserve
Feb-24-2020Mar-05-2020$ 1,250Yes9 spots left Reserve
Mar-09-2020Mar-19-2020$ 1,250Yes10 spots left Reserve
Mar-23-2020Apr-02-2020$ 1,313Yes6 spots left Reserve
Apr-06-2020Apr-16-2020$ 1,470Yes9 spots left Reserve
Apr-20-2020Apr-30-2020$ 1,415Yes11 spots left Reserve
May-04-2020May-14-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
May-18-2020May-28-2020$ 1,415Yes10 spots left Reserve
Jun-15-2020Jun-25-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
Jul-20-2020Jul-30-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
Aug-17-2020Aug-27-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
Sep-14-2020Sep-24-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-05-2020Oct-15-2020$ 1,415Yes12 spots left Reserve
Oct-26-2020Nov-05-2020$ 1,470Yes9 spots left Reserve
Nov-09-2020Nov-19-2020$ 1,470Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-23-2020Dec-03-2020$ 1,470Yes12 spots left Reserve
Nov-30-2020Dec-10-2020$ 1,470Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-07-2020Dec-17-2020$ 1,530Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-14-2020Dec-24-2020$ 1,530Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-21-2020Dec-31-2020$ 1,530Yes12 spots left Reserve
Dec-28-2020Jan-07-2021$ 1,560Yes12 spots left Reserve
Jan-18-2021Jan-28-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Jan-25-2021Feb-04-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Feb-08-2021Feb-18-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Feb-22-2021Mar-04-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Mar-08-2021Mar-18-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Mar-22-2021Apr-01-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Apr-05-2021Apr-15-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Apr-19-2021Apr-29-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
May-03-2021May-13-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
May-17-2021May-27-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Jun-14-2021Jun-24-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Jul-19-2021Jul-29-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Aug-16-2021Aug-26-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Sep-13-2021Sep-23-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Oct-04-2021Oct-14-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Oct-25-2021Nov-04-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2021Nov-18-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Nov-22-2021Dec-02-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
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Dec-06-2021Dec-16-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-13-2021Dec-23-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-20-2021Dec-30-2021$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
Dec-27-2021Jan-06-2022$ 1,415No12 spots left Reserve
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Stride Featured in

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3,182 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,376
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 38
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Mexico & Guatemala Highlights

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Company Reviews

Highly recommend intrepid

5.0
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Value5.0
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Meals5.0
Recently went on the USA western highlights trek, had the most amazing experience ever, well organised, our guides Jenn and Tyler were amazing, friendly & helpful, can’t wait to book another trip, highly recommend intrepid
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Amazing local knowledge!!

5.0
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Meals5.0
At the airport in Chang Mai at the end of my tour with the amazing Gung. I can’t wait to travel Intrepid again! I was able to still be independent with just the addition of amazing local knowledge!! Gung you are family now xo I also made new friends that I think I will visit over the next couple of years. Thinking Africa on some back to back tours in a couple of years.
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Just finished a brilliant tour

5.0
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Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
Just finished a brilliant food tour of Japan with Intrepid. It was extremely well organised, brillant from start to finish.Our Intrepid guide was very knowledgeable and really made our trip extra special. We are now looking at the next tour!
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Amazing beyond any expectation

5.0
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Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I've sadly just finished the Serengeti Trail. Words cannot describe how amazing this was. We had 13 awesome people in the group and the 3 crew - Benson, Kioko and Kennedy were amazing beyond any expectation. Everything was smooth, no hiccups, campsites and lodgings were fantastic. We saw 4 of the Big 5 and even experienced some things that the crew hadn't seen before. I've learnt so much and now enjoying some downtime in Zanzibar.
If I could suggest 1 thing, would be another electric fridge for our drinks, there is one for the meat. After drinking warm everything for 3 days, we were dying for a cold drink and you couldn't get ice.
Im glad the tour wasn't full too so we could spread out a bit on the truck.
If you are lucky enough to get our crew, you are in good hands.
Recommend single supplement for solo travelers, just makes it a little less awkward and more comfy
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Great first class

5.0
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Meals5.0
Great first class professional staff - great local guides exceptional- the group sizes and mix perfect. We are traveling again soon with intrepid.
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What an amazing group, one big happy

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our 6th adventure with Intrepid and equally as brilliant as our previous 5.
A fantastic 17 day basic tour "Maya encounter".
What an amazing group, one big happy Intrepid family. Our tour leader Jason Atilano was a dream, a truly wonderful man who organised everything and made dreams come true, from arranging local transport, amazing and affordable restaurants, hidden adventures and even a tarantula visit in Tikal.
I love Intrepid tours, simply because they take you into the heart of the community and allow you to absorb the real atmosphere of these beautiful countries in a responsible way. They allow you to step out of your "comfort zones" should you so choose, but it's optional. A home stay with a local family was an absolute honor and a privilage. A night camping under the stars in rain Forrest was a definite highlight. Looking up at the Milky way and an early wake up alarm from the howler monkeys, not something you get to experience every
night.
This is why I always choose Intrepid, every new trip is another new and very memorable adventure. Just like life, you get out of it what you choose to put in.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport Private vehicle,Taxi,Public bus

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accomodations

Hotel (10 nights)

Guides

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader 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 places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • El Carmen Suites
  • 9 Poniente Street #17
  • Antigua
  • GUATEMALA
  • Phone: +502 77910128

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 07 Jan 2020 (QVSJ200107), 10 Mar 2020 (QVSJ200310), 24 Mar 2020 (QVSJ200324)
  • Posada Los Bucaros
  • #94, 7a North Avenue
  • Antigua
  • 03001
  • GUATEMALA
  • Phone: +502 78322346

Trip ID#:

intrepid-QVSJ

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