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Mexico

Mexico Adventure: MEXICO CITY TO PANAMA BOLT

Seven countries in eight weeks packs a serious Central American punch, with calm Caribbean beaches, ancient ruins and cultures, volcanoes, jungles and coral reefs.

Seven countries in eight weeks packs a serious Central American punch. Start with the sparkling beaches and ancient ruins of Mexico before journeying south through the coral reefs of Belize; the Mayan culture of Guatemala; the dense jungle of Honduras; the volcanic wonderland of Nicaragua; the diverse wildlife of Costa Rica and the laid back lifestyle of Panama. Phew!

Included Highlights

  • Visit Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama
  • Toe-tap to a mariachi band in Mexico City
  • Embrace a kaleidoscope of colour at a Mexican market
  • Walk amongst waterfalls and clear limestone pools
  • Escape the Mexican heat in San Cristobal de las Casas
  • Explore the cathedrals of the capital city, Merida
  • Sparkling Caribbean Sea and sprawling jungles
  • Bask on Playa del Carmen's white sand beaches
  • Learn the history of ancient Guatemalan ruins
  • Kick back on the beautiful coast of Belize
  • Experience traditional Guatemalan life with a local homestay
  • Enjoy colonial buildings and surrounding volcanoes in Antigua
  • Haggle in the markets of Chichicastenango
  • Tour through the ancient Mayan ruins at Copan
  • Frolic into warn Caribbean waters off Roatan Island
  • Spot wildlife on Ometepe Island including monkeys and parrots
  • Bargain hard in the markets in Granada and Costa Rica
  • Explore the steamy Monteverde cloud forest
  • Enjoy a laid back day sightseeing in Antigua and Granada
  • Admire the dramatic scenery surrounding San Jose
  • Splash about in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea
  • Enjoy beachside fun at Bocas del Toro
  • Explore the eclectic streets of Panama City
  • Soak up the Santa Catalina surf vibe
  • Dial the relaxation up a notch in Boquete
  • Chill out in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Plus you get...

  • Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
  • All transport by BOLT (Buses or Local Transport)
  • All accommodation - 47 twin share & 7 multi-share hotel nights, 2 sleeper coaches & 1 homestay
  • Maximum group size of 16

What is a BOLT tour?
BOLT (Buses or Local Transport) are a great, affordable way to travel in Central America. You'll stay in a mix of budget hotels and homestays, with most nights on a twin basis, and travel from A to B in buses, collectivos, taxis, ferries and overnight buses. BOLT trips offer plenty of free time, lots of exciting activities to choose from and the freedom to choose meals to suit your budget, all with the help and security of your local tour leader.

Flexible Itinerary
Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops and highlights. However, as local conditions and passenger requests vary, no two trips will ever be the same. With the guidance of your Trek Leader you may modify certain night stops and highlights to give a truly unique experience!

Tour Itinerary
You will meet your tour leader and group at 1800 hrs in the hotel lobby on day 1. Full details will be sent with your final documentation. If you would like to book additional nights before your tour please request at the time of booking.

Day 1-2: Mexico City & Teotihuacan, Mexico
An incredible mix of old and new awaits in Mexico City and as you find out more about your travelling companions and tour leader at your late afternoon welcome meeting your pulse will already be starting to race just that little bit faster. Over the next couple of days you'll have the chance to acclimatise on a guided tour of both the city and the surrounding area with a whole host of archaeological, cultural and exciting options ensuring you really get to hit the Aztec trail at full pace.

There's so much to do in Mexico City that it may take you a while to stop your head from spinning however, once you get your bearings it's time to have fun. Having the option to watch a football match, explore anthropology museums or find out more about the ruins of Teotihuacan all present a wide array of choices. So, best advice is to research, ask your guide and then hit the ground running.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 3-4: Puebla, Mexico
Wave adios to the ancient pyramids and urban excitement of Mexico City as you head further south to the colonial streets and handicraft markets of Puebla. Get ready for plenty of haggling as well as having the chance to hike up a volcano or make the delicious local sauce, mole poblano. Cookery lessons are a great way to learn a bit of the lingo and take home a couple of recipes to attempt to replicate back home. Although sauces like cholula can be a bit fiery to the uninitiated you may be surprised by how your tolerance levels rise by the end of the tour - little by little is often the key!
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 5-7: Oaxaca & overnight bus to San Cristobal, Mexico
Take an afternoon bus to Oaxaca where you'll be met by a mix of native and colonial buildings including the legendary UNESCO site of Monte Alban. This is an exceptional site and an absolute cultural experience to savour no matter what you're into. Monte Alban is literally carved from the rock-face and features: terraces, canals, pyramids and ceremonial alters that pay testament to the ingenuity of the pre-Columbian inhabitants of Oaxaca. Day 7 you are free to enjoy your last impressions of Oaxaca before boarding your overnight bus to San Cristobal de las Casas.
Accommodation: Hotel included + overnight bus transfer

Day 8-9: San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
The effects of Spanish colonialism are littered throughout Mexico, and nowhere is this more evident than the cobbled streets of San Cristobal de las Casas. A bike or horse ride will take you out of the city to discover what life was like before the arrival of the early European explorers. Optional village tours are a great way to explore the local area and renting a bike will allow you to travel at your leisure and experience life at your own pace.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 10-11: Palenque & overnight bus to Merida, Mexico
Wind your way through the jungle to the ancient city of Palenque where you'll find one of the finest collections of Mayan architecture and carvings in existence. This is where things go slightly Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft and as you walk under waterfalls and swim in limestone pools you'll definitely be forgiven for having a little smile to yourself. This is truly an outdoor adventurers' dream and if you're looking for the chance to camp out within the realm of jungle-hidden waterfalls and ancient ruined temples then this is where you have the option to do just that. Boat trips, jungle treks and bike hire are all excellent means of getting closer to the very essence of natural Mexico and if you fancy undertaking a volcano climb then get ready for an experience to remember for the rest of your life. On the evening of day 11 you board your overnight bus to Merida.
Accommodation: Hotel included + overnight bus transfer

Day 12-13: Merida, Mexico
Leave the jungles behind as you explore the museums, galleries and cathedrals of Merida, the capital city of Yucatan. This is a great chance to collect your thoughts amongst the markets and mansions of this cultural hub and if you're still hankering for more Mayan ruins then the site of Uxmal is easily within reach. Cultural activities of a different nature can be found in Merida every Sunday and if you fancy slipping on your dancing shoes then you won't be disappointed. Salsa and Merengue are the order of the day to finish off the weekend and as some of the streets close and turn into dance floors you may not be able to stop yourself from joining in - Brucey eat your heart out!

For some more spectacular sites of a feathered variety then you'll find optional nature tours to be just to your liking with the pink flamingos of Celestun Bird Sanctuary always proving to be one of many colourful highlights.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 14-15: Chichen Itza & Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Chichen Itza is just one of those 'must see' Mayan moments and after you've had your fill of pyramids, inscriptions and gigantic stone staircases then it's time to let your hair down and celebrate in Playa del Carmen. Also, if you fancy letting off a bit of steam then a trip to Xel-Ha Water Park is pretty much up there with the best of them and with a massive aquarium and the chance to swim with dolphins it may be slightly more peaceful than you may have first envisaged. Although close to Cancun, Playa isn't as full-on and if you're hoping for a spot of snorkelling, reef diving or simply watching the sunset with a tropical cocktail or two then why not - you deserve it.
Accommodation: 2 nights hotel included

Day 16-17: Tulum, Mexico
Take a scenic local bus trip south to the gorgeous beaches and warm waves of Tulum. White sand, cocktails and palm trees have never looked so sweet and if you'd like the opportunity to get your first taste of Mayan ruins then Tulum is the best place to start. Renting a mask and snorkel is a great idea and also allows you to find more space in your rucksack as opposed to lugging around your dive gear. One of the best spots for snorkelling is to visit the ruins of Tulum where you can actually swim around some of the ancient walls that have made their way into the sea.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 18-19: Caye Caulker, Belize
Say "adios" Mexico and "what's up?"' Belize as you journey across the border on what promises to be a real culture jolt to remember. Once into Central America you'll be whisked over to the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker where you'll be able to swim, snorkel and surf amongst some of the most incredible marine reserves on the continent. This is pretty much where things go all Captain Jack Sparrow as from grilled shrimp to rum with everything, keep your eyes peeled for the Jolly Roger flag and you won't go far wrong.

If you really have had enough of land-lubbing and fancy a trip out to sea then there are plenty of options to sail, kayak and snorkel out on the ocean wave. Just make sure you're home before the ship sets sail.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 20-21: San Ignacio, Belize
After bidding the manatees and coral reefs a fond farewell it's time to travel in-land as you encounter the forest-covered highlands that sit beyond Belize's capital city, Belmopan. Get ready for rushing rivers, tumbling waterfalls and ancient ruins, with a chance to visit the ceremonial temples of Xunantunich and the incredible caves of Tunichil Muknal. This is a true outdoor adventure playground and for many will prove to be one of the active highlights of the whole tour. Tubing, caving and canoeing are all excellent optional activities for the energetic and the chance to try something new whilst in Belize is going to stay with you for years to come. If you're not that into the extreme side of life then don't panic - there are plenty of more laid-back alternatives with bike hire, butterfly gardens and trips to nearby ruins always proving excellent for learning more about the area. 
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 22-23: Flores & Tikal, Guatemala
Step back in time amongst the farming communities of Flores where you're just as likely to see locals drifting past in a hollowed-out canoe as walking to work across the cobbled streets. The following day is free however, there's no better way to spend it than opting to visit the awesome Tikal temples - don't miss this one! The Tikal temples are pretty much as 'magnificent Mayan' as you're going to get and although the pilgrimage does involve a climb through the jungle the views from the top of the ruins are nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 24-25: Rio Dulce, Guatemala
Next stop is one of the absolute legends of the Central American circuit - the awesome Rio Dulce. This has long been a draw for boaters and if you're looking for things to do on your free day then why not take a tour of Lake Izabel or explore up river in search of manatees and hot springs. If you'd prefer to keep your feet on dry land then there are loads of other choices to do just that. Although the horse trek past the rubber plantation isn't essentially you keeping your feet on the ground. With other options including nature reserves and the San Felipe fort at Livingstone, you're bound to find the right pace to suit your mood and whatever you're into you're sure to come away happy, experienced and hungry for more.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 26: Antigua, Guatemala
Take the rural bus to Antigua for a taste of delicious local street food before settling down for the night in preparation for tomorrow's meeting with your host family and your stay in a traditional Guatemalan home.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 27: Chichicastenango & San Jorge La Laguna, Guatemala
Pick up a gift for your host family at the handicraft stalls of Chichicastenango before heading to San Jorge La Laguna and a real opportunity to practise your Spanish and learn more about the customs and lifestyles of Guatemala. Although living conditions can be pretty basic this is a genuine chance to see what life is like for local people and through a combination of hands, feet and phrase books you'll be surprised what you can learn during just a short period of time.
Accommodation: Local homestay included

Day 28: Panajachel, Guatemala
Say a fond farewell to your new-found friends as today it's time to make the most of Guatemala's natural beauty as you swim, surf, hike or kayak within a stunning volcanic backdrop.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 29-30: Antigua, Guatemala
Check out the colonial cobbled streets of Antigua where you can soak absorb the Spanish architecture, explore vibrant markets and heritage museums and make sure to try tasty local treats like Tamales and Pepian. 
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 31-32: Copan, Honduras
Travel through the wild, dry country of eastern Guatemala as you head to Copan in Honduras. Discover more about the mysterious Mayans with the chance to explore the ancient temples, pyramids and statues of Copan that are famed throughout the land. After a day of travelling there's no better way to relax and feel refreshed other than a dip in the Copan natural springs. Of course, after you've revived your senses then more adventure awaits and optional tours to the Copan ruins and the Macaw Mountain Reserve both provide an excellent means of finding out more about this fascinating area. 
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 33-35: Roatan Island, Honduras
Now to head to the island paradise of Roatan Island and to soak up the laid back vibe., Here you can snorkel, dive, swim and jump into the gorgeous warm waters of the Caribbean or simply chill out on the white sands before cooling off with a cheeky beer in the evening as you get to sample the local night life. Roatan Island is all about the activities and the chance to hire equipment allows for just that extra bit of space in your backpack. Of course, you can also rent a scooter and a stand-up paddle board which are both great ways to spend the day just remember to be careful and always ensure safety first!
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 36: Comayagua, Honduras
Return to the mainland by ferry and local bus and head for the beautiful colonial architecture of Comayagua in Honduras. If you're into your colonial architecture then you'll be spoiled for choice in Comayagua as there are some superb examples of Spanish influence as well as the oldest clock this side of the Atlantic.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 37-38: Granada, Nicaragua
Travel across the border into Nicaragua, where you'll make your way to the ancient colonial city of Granada. Cobbled streets, bustling markets await you with plenty of opportunities to explore the incredible surrounding area of volcanoes and lakes either on foot or by boat. Hiking up the side of a volcano is an incredible experience no matter where you are and if you dare to take on this optional activity then prepare for a trek to remember. Of course, if you prefer to explore at a more leisurely pace then you'll be pleased to hear that you can hire bikes and kayaks without too much bother and the chances to check out Lake Nicaragua by boat is a truly sublime experience.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 39-40: Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
Next stop is the agricultural island of Ometepe which sits in the largest lake in Central America - Lake Nicaragua. This is simply a breath-taking experience and will bring you closer to the wildlife, the people and the volcanic landscapes of this remarkable country. If you can't get enough of that volcanic stuff then there are more optional hikes available up the side of both Maderas and Concepcion however, after all that huffing and puffing a trip to the Ojo de Agua hot springs has got to be just what the doctored ordered.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 41-42: Monteverde, Costa Rica
Wave farewell to the monkeys and beaches of Ometepe Island as you continue your travels south to the lush green cloud forests of Monteverde, Costa Rica. This is the home of hundreds of species of plants, birds and mammals which means that however you choose to explore, by foot, bike, horse or zip-line, you'll be in for a really wild time. There are so many additional ways to enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of Monteverde and from cloud forest walks to night time nature rambles, this is an exciting and captivating area of Costa Rica. Coffee and chocolates or butterflies and insects - you name it and you'll have the opportunity to find out more over this exciting 2 day stop-over.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 43-44: La Fortuna & Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Monkeys, lakes and volcanoes - oh my! This is what it's all about and with a whole host of different activities to try, within the realm of the active Arenal Volcano, you'll never forget Costa Rica. This is pretty much an adventure play-ground for big kids and if you're interested in learning how to paddle board or maybe even canyoneering then where better to give it a go than here?
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 45-46: San Jose, Costa Rica
Do you know the way to San Jose - you most certainly do! Take your time to relax and explore amongst the artisan markets and cultural museums of Costa Rica's capital city. Gold, handicrafts and seafood are all on offer.
Accommodation: 2 nights hotel included

Day 47-49: Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Today is where your adventures start to really hot up as you travel overland by local bus to the coastal town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Over the next couple of days you'll be able to learn to surf, explore the area by bike and get up close and personal to the local animals of Cahuita National Park. Aside from the sloths, monkeys and raccoons at Cahuita NP, animal lovers will no doubt jump at the chance to visit the jaguar rescue centre to find out more about this intrinsically beautiful yet deadly natural born predator. 

Further animal action can be had at the Kekoldi Iguana Reserve which pretty much does exactly as it says on the tin so any lizard lovers out there - you know where to head for. As with many of the projects that you'll encounter, the chance to volunteer and help out is always an option for another trip and if you're hoping to find out more then check with your guide or ask in resort as it's never too late to make good things happen.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 50-52: Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Next stop are the legendary limits of Panama and once you've crossed the border you'll be free to explore an incredible array of white sand and lush green islands that have got exotic paradise stamped all over them. This is where your tour really starts to kick in and the chance to rest and relax amongst such an exceptional environment will no doubt bring home what an absolute pleasure it is to be alive. Touring the islands of Bocas del Toro and Bastimentos will bring you into contact with some incredible white sand beaches and picture postcard tropical views and the chance to see a red poison dart frog in its natural environment is an absolute treat. 
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 53-54: Boquete, Panama
You maybe departing one tropical screen-saver but don't despair as you're heading for another where hot springs, volcano treks and some darn fine coffee are all ready and waiting to make your acquaintance. Boquete is pretty much regarded as one of the finest spots for lovers of nature anywhere on the planet and if haven't already fallen head-over-heels with Central America then you certainly will do now. 
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 55-56: Santa Catalina, Panama
Head out to the Pacific coastline as you use local transport to take you to some of the most remote and undeveloped locations on the Central American trail. This is where those surf lessons in Puerto Viejo come in handy but if you just fancy kicking back and relaxing or visiting beautiful Coiba National Park then you've still got plenty of time left to do so. Although you're nearing the end of the tour there are still plenty of optional activities to try and even if you haven't learned to surf yet, don't worry, Santa Catalina's an ideal spot to get your water wings.
Accommodation: Hotel included

Day 57-58: Panama City, Panama
Your final couple of days will be spent amongst the world-famous sites of Panama City and from the UNESCO World Heritage old quarter of Casco Viejo to the thoroughly modern lanes and locks of the Panama Canal, this is your chance to really absorb every last drop of Central American culture. Tobaga Island, Soberania National Park and Isla Barro Colorado can all be visited on your penultimate day however, if you just want to write your postcards as you sup yet another cup of local coffee then who could blame you?
Accommodation: 1 night hotel included

Our BOLT trips are run by our sister company and there are no age limits on these tours.

 

Duration: 
58 days

Gap Year Vitals

  • Location: Mexico City to Panama City
  • Duration: 58 days
  • Price: 58 days from £2695

Contact

  • Address:
    TrekAmerica Travel Limited
    Grange Mills
    Weir Road
    London
    SW12 0NE
  • Telephone: 0333 999 7951
  • Website: www.trekamerica.co.uk

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