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From
BOLT

Playa del Carmen to San Jose BOLT

  • Code #BPS
  • 32 Days
Duration
32 Days
/31 Nights
Availability
Dec,2016-Dec,2017
Group Size
Max 16
Departure City: 
Playa Del Carmen
Ends in: 
San Jose
Accommodation
Hotel

Trip Overview

Travel from the laid-back good time beach town of Playa del Carmen down to Costa Rica's capital, crossing seven countries and a multitude of diverse landscapes. See smoking volcanoes, spot rare jungle wildlife, uncover the history of the Maya and swim in clear Caribbean waters on this month long Central American journey.

Included Highlights 
  • Visit Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica
  • Travel south through legendary Central America
  • Enjoy sand, sun and fun in Playa del Carmen
  • Learn the history of ancient Guatemalan ruins
  • Kick back on the beautiful coast of Belize
  • Enjoy colonial buildings and volcanoes in Antigua
  • Haggle in the markets of Chichicastenango
  • Tour through the ancient Mayan ruins at Copan (2016 only)
  • Spot wildlife on Ometepe Island
  • 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
  • Experience traditional Guatemalan life with a local homestay
  • Swim in the warm Pacific waters in El Tunco and El Cuco
Treknical Details

Interests

Beaches
Cities
National Parks
Small Group
Wildlife

Accommodation & Transportation

Group Size
Max 16
Camping
1 Night
Budget Lodging
1 Night
Hotel
29 Nights

Food & Meals

  • All meals paid locally

Other Inclusions

  • Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
  • All transport by BOLT (Buses or Local Transport)
  • All accommodation - 25 twin share & 4 multi-share hotel nights, 1 homestay & 1 camping night (no sleeping bag required)

Essential Information

  • Budget approximately US$71 for border-crossing fees (additional fees may apply for air departures). Fees are subject to change.
  • Prices quoted are land only. Call us on 0333 999 7951 for a flight quote (UK only).
  • From 1st January 2017 the age range for this tour will be for travellers between 18 and 29 years old.

Resources

Playa del Carmen to San Jose BOLT
Download Trek Tips

Our routes have been carefully chosen to include the best night stops, highlights, and included experiences, and lots of optional activities to choose from. With stops at some of your tour leader's favourite places and occasional changes to the itinerary no two Trek trips are the same, so get ready for one awesome adventure.

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.

Early arrivals will need to tear themselves from the beach before getting together with fellow travellers at today's late afternoon welcome meeting. Aside from hanging with the locals at the epic beaches there's loads of stuff to do in Playa with snorkelling and an awesome pedal around town, always proving popular.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Bike rental US$10 per day
Dos Ojos Cenote snorkelling tour US$80
Ferry to Cozumel US$28

Take a scenic local bus trip south to even more gorgeous beaches and the 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 to see the colourful fishes up close and personal. One of the best spots for snorkelling are the ruins of Tulum where you can actually swim around some of the ancient walls that have made their way into the sea, this trip just keeps on getting even more epic!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Akumal Bay snorkelling tour US$35
Bike rental US$10 per day
Archaeological site visit US$10
Snorkel rental US$12 per day

Say "adios" Mexico and "what's up?" `Belize as you journey across the border on a combination of public and private transport on what promises to be a real culture jolt to remember. Once in Central America you'll be whisked over to the Caribbean island of Caye Caulker where you'll be able to swim and snorkel amongst some of the most incredible marine reserves on the continent. This is pretty much where things go all Captain Jack Sparrow, from grilled shrimp to rum with absolutely everything, keep your eyes peeled for the Jolly Roger flag and you won't go far wrong. If you've had enough of landlubbing and fancy a trip out to sea then there are plenty of options to sail, kayak and snorkel out on the ocean wave, this is the life!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Guided snorkelling trip US$35-$70
Manatee tour US$60
Sunset sailboat cruise US$37
Bike rental US$15 per day
Stand up paddle board rental US$22 per hour

After bidding the manatees and coral reefs a fond farewell it's time to travel inland by local bus 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 opportunities to have awesome adventures 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

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Actun Tunichil Muknal cave tour incl. transport, guide & lunch US$95
Barton Creek canoe trip US$80
Bicycle rental US$4 per hour
Butterfly farm US$10
Guided Caracol Ruins tour US$80
River tubing US$95
Xunantunich Ruins US$10
Cahal Pech Ruins US$10
Iguana Conservation Project US$9
Mountain Pine Ridge tour (day trip) US$80

Travel by 'collective minibus' and step back in time by opting to visit the awesome Tikal temples - don't miss this one! The Tikal Temples are magnificent 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

Camping included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Guided private tour of ruins US$40
Zipline tour US$45

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. 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

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Natural hot springs US$20
Boat trip to Livingston US$30
Quirigua ruins US$30
San Felipe Fort US$1

Take the 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, things are about to get crazy good!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Bicycle tour US$30
Coffee & Macadamia Plantation US$45
Salsa lessons US$7
Santiago Zamora village tour US$10
Chocolate-making workshop US$24

Pick up a gift for your host family at the handicraft stalls of Chichicastenango before heading by private minibus 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 hand gestures and phrase books you'll be surprised what you can learn during just a short period of time.

Accommodation

Local homestay included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Today it's time to make the most of Guatemala's natural beauty as you swim, hike or kayak within a stunning volcanic backdrop.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

San Pedro Volcano hike US$65
Bike rental US$10 per day
Kayak rental US$6 per hour
Lakes & villages tour US$30
Mountain bike tour US$50
Water taxi to Santiago, San Pedro or San Juan US$8
Zipline ride US$45

Travel onwards by private transport to Antigua. Salsa lessons, coffee tours and strolls over cultural cobbles are all possible in Antigua and as you prepare for the next leg of your journey through this irresistible part of the world, you won't forget Antigua anytime soon.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Bicycle tour US$30
Coffee & Macadamia Plantation US$45
Salsa lessons US$7
Santiago Zamora village tour US$10
Chocolate-making workshop US$24

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 than a dip in the Copan natural springs.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

This morning you may like to pay an optional visit to the Mayan ruins of Copan. Then you cross the border into El Salvador heading south to Suchitoto, a reminder of El Salvador's historical past. A beautiful town with painted houses and cobbled streets, it's a world away from the modern country which El Salvador is today. The town overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande, also known as Lago Suchitlan, which is a haven for migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks. The following day is free for optional activities such as boat or kayaking trips on Lago Suchitlan.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Cihuatan Ruins US$3
Cinquera Forest hike US$35
Lake Suchitlan boat tour US$20

Heading south today, you pass through the nation's capital San Salvador, and head for the beautiful laid-back beaches of El Tunco. Here you'll find a rare side to El Salvador, a place so laid-back and relaxed you'll never want to leave. Go for a surfing lesson, grab a fresh fruit smoothie, try street food (especially a pupusa) but make sure you head to Monkey La La for sunset and a drink, for the perfect end to this awesome day adventure.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

El Cuco is a beach town with dark sand, lined with vendor huts, delicious seafood restaurants and surrounding palms. Take time to enjoy the beach away from the crowds and see a different side to El Salvador. Kayak among the mangroves, give surfing a go or just relax in a hammock, this is beach life at its best!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Mangrove Kayak US$40
Surf Lesson US$10
Surf Trip to Las Flores Beach US$10
Volcan de Conchagua US$30

Today is a full day of travel through Gulf of Fonseca (approx. 14 hrs). A good book, music, snacks and bottled water are a must to have for today's long journey. You'll take a short transfer to La Union where you'll take a boat through the Gulf of Fonseca stopping at one of the islands where you can have lunch and relax before continuing to the Nicaraguan side at Potosi. Once you've had your passports checked you take a minivan to Granada. Nicaragua is a beautiful place that surprises most travellers with its friendly people, impressive natural beauty and for many it becomes their favourite country in Central America. The country has flourished in recent years and is an incredibly vibrant and unique country. Oozing with colonial charm, Granada is the oldest city of the 'New World', having been founded in 1524. The city resides on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and its appearance is a mixture of Moorish and Andalusian. The surrounding countryside includes active volcanoes and lakes. Bargain hard in the markets, hike, cruise and explore the neighbouring landscapes. Wander the cobblestone streets surrounded by colourful buildings, or tour the islets of Lake Nicaragua by boat. Alternatively, take a day trip out to Mombacho or Masaya Volcano National Park to get up close to some steaming giants. There really is so much to do, you won't know where to start!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

City Tour US$55
Laguna Apoyo kayaking tour US$45
Mombacho Volcano hike US$40
Bicycle tour US$15
Kayak rental US$30 per day
Masaya Volcano night hike US$40

Next stop is the agricultural island of Ometepe which sits in the largest lake in Central America - Lake Nicaragua. This is a simply breathtaking 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 springs is the place to be after a hard day exploring the wonderful sights!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Ojo de Agua natural spring US$25
Concepcion Volcano hike US$25
Maderas Volcano hike US$25
Petroglyphs US$20

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 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 two day stopover.

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Butterfly garden and insect farm US$30
Zip lining US$45
Cloud Forest hike US$40
Coffee & Chocolate tour US$35
Frog Pond Museum US$15
Hanging bridges canopy walk US$35
Night hiking US$35
Cloud Forest Train US$60
Orchid gardens US$12
Serpentarium US$15

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 playground for big kids and if you're interested in learning how to paddle board then where better to give it a go than here? This is also the perfect place to rest your bones in the hot springs and relax, Costa Rica has it all including the ever so loveable Sloth!

Accommodation

Hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Hot springs US$25
Fortuna waterfall US$10
Hanging bridges US$65
Nature hike around Arenal Volcano US$50
Rio Celeste Safari Float tour US$70
Stand up paddle board US$50

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 on your final day in Central America and as you bid adios to San Jose don't forget to finally get round to sending those postcards.

Accommodation

1 night hotel included

Meals Included

Meals paid locally

Optional Activities

Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley & Lankester Garden day tour US$90
National Museum US$12
Poas Volcano half day tour US$55
Poas Volcano National Park, Doka Coffee Tour & La Paz Waterfalls day tour US$120
We offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from additional hotel nights, travel insurance, city sightseeing and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place.

Our BOLT tours depart and finish at designated hotels in our gateway cities starting with a pre-departure meeting at 18.00 on the evening of day 1 (check your tour voucher for details) and finishing in the morning of your final day. If you would like to do some extra sightseeing we can request the extra nights for you in our hotels. You must book these hotels in advance either online with your tour or by contacting our friendly sales team

 

PLAYA DEL CARMEN - PLAYA DEL CARMEN HOTEL

Avenida 20 entre 2 y 4 Centro, Centro, 77710 Playa del Carmen

Located near the famous Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue) and only a few minutes away from the dreamy Playa del Carmen Beach.

 

Full room (Your own single or double room)
From £54 | US$77 | Eur65 | AU$98 | NZ$103 
Price per room per night

 

AIRPORT TRANSFER INFORMATION

Playa del Carmen is approx. 1 hour from Cancun Airport. The easiest way to get to your hotel is by taxi. Negotiate the rate with one of the companies outside the customs exit, expect to pay between US$50-60 per cab. Alternatively, catch a mini vans departing every 15-30 mins from the curb outside the International exit for approx. US$18. If you pre-booked an arrival/departure transfer and you can't locate your driver at the agreed time call (+52 998) 167 5011 or (+52 998) 173 8861.

Our BOLT tours depart and finish at designated hotels in our gateway cities starting with a pre-departure meeting at 18.00 on the evening of day 1 (check your tour voucher for details) and finishing in the morning of your final day. If you would like to do some extra sightseeing we can request the extra nights for you in our hotels. You must book these hotels in advance either online with your tour or by contacting our friendly sales team.

 

SAN JOSE - RINCON DE SAN JOSE

Calle 9, Provincia de San Jose, San Jose

This charming hotel comprises 3 renovated colonial mansions and offers tropical gardens, restaurant & free Wi-Fi in public areas.

 

Full room (Your own single or double room)
From £50 | US$72 | Eur60 | AU$90 | NZ$95
Price per room per night

 

AIRPORT TRANSFER INFORMATION

San Jose airport is approx. 20 minutes from down town. While taking a "Tuasa" bus may cost you around US$1, travelling with a backpack on these crowded buses is not in our concept of fun! A taxi will cost approximately US$20 to US$25. You will find the official taxi company booth (Taxis Unidos Aeropuerto) outside the international arrival exit, you will need to buy a prepaid voucher to your hotel and hand it to your cab driver.

Our specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our Trek destinations. We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. 

Why Book Your Flights with Trek?

  • Secure your flight with a deposit of only £125 per person
  • Date changes free of charge (subject to terms)
  • We are ATOL protected and IATA licensed
  • Personal service - you're more than just a number

Call us now on 0208 682 8920 for today's special offers or

Request a flight quote

At TrekAmerica we believe that your safety and enjoyment are the most important parts of your holiday. That's why we recommend you take out insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed. TrekAmerica can offer you comprehensive travel insurance which is completely tailored for your trip and is specially designed to include all the activities listed we do.

If you do not take our policy, you must ensure that the policy you do take offers an equivalent level of protection and covers you for the activities involved - be aware that some policies do not include, or restrict, coverage for this type of travel. ​

See our insurance page or download our insurance tips pdf for more information.

There are loads of exciting optional activities available for you to choose from during your trip giving you the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don't. A list of optional activities and approximate costs are shown at the end of each day by day itinerary descriptions above.

Your tour leader will arrange your chosen activities during the tour so no need to pre-book. You'll also pay for these locally so ensure you budget for the bucket list items!

As local weather conditions and seasonality can change not all optional activities may be available on your trip and prices can be subject to change.

Reviews

What our trekkers say

4 out of 5
Past Trekkers Review

A crazy, wonderful adventure

Reviewed October 2014
I definitely recommend this trip, it gives you a real taste of each country that you visit and there are so many natural beauties to be seen such as lakes, hot springs, waterfalls, volcanoes and of course, the ocean. It was fascinating to learn about each place that we visited and meet so many diffe...
Playa del Carmen to San Jose BOLT From
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