PLAYA DEL CARMEN TO PANAMA

44 days from

Playa Del Carmen to Panama City BPP
DEPARTS PLAYA DEL CARMEN to PANAMA CITY
Trek Code:
BPP
Destination:
Central America
Departs:
Jan-Dec
Accommodation:
Budget Lodging
Age Range:
18+
Best of Trek:
  • > Discover ancient Mayan Ruins
  • > Swim & snorkel in the Caribbean Sea
  • > Enjoy remote island life & volcanoes
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Tour Overview

Travel from the well-travelled Yucatan Peninsula all the way down to the undiscovered beaches and jungles of Panama through seven very different countries. Taste fiery Mexican cuisine, uncover the jungles and volcanic landscapes of Honduras, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, learn the ways of Mayan culture in Guatemala and swim and surf the waters of Belize and Panama!

Included Highlights
  • Visit Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama
  • 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
  • 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
  • Experience traditional Guatemalan life with a local homestay
Plus you get...
  • Services of a professional bilingual tour leader
  • All transport by BOLT (Buses or Local Transport)
  • All accommodation - 35 twin share & 7 multi-share hotel nights, & 1 homestay.
  • Maximum group size of 16
What is a BOLT tour?
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.

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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!

Optional Activities (paid locally)

Various optional activities are available with a selection of the most popular listed below. All activities are arranged and paid locally with your tour leader. Please see the day by day itinerary for a full list of activities available each day.

  • > Snorkelling, Caye Caulker from US$25
  • > Macadamia Nut Plantation, Antigua US$20
  • > Snorkelling tour (half day) US$25
  • > Canopy tour, Roatan Island US$45-$65
  • > Maderas Volcano hike, Ometepe Island US$15
  • > Dos Ojos Cenote snorkelling tour, Playa del Carmen US$35
  • > Ferry to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen US$25
  • > Tulum ruins US$8
  • > Cenote snorkelling, Tulum US$35
  • > Sunset Sailboat cruise, Caye Caulker US$25
  • > Sea kayaking, Caye Caulker US$25 per hour
  • > Bicycle hire, San Ignacio US$3 per hour
  • > Mountain Pine Ridge day trip, San Ignacio US$75
  • > Half-day caving, San Ignacio US$55
  • > Butterfly farm, San Ignacio US$6
  • > Canoe rental, San Ignacio US$20
  • > Sunrise tour of Tikal Ruins US$60
  • > Guided private tour of Tikal US$40
  • > Birdwatching boat tour, Flores US$25
  • > Boat trip to Livingston, Rio Dulce US$30
  • > Natural hot springs, Rio Dulce US$15
  • > Salsa lessons, Antigua US$7 per day
  • > Copan Ruins US$15
  • > Natural Hot Springs, Copan US$20
  • > Masaya Volcano crater lake boat tour, Granada US$40
  • > Kayaking tour, Granada US$15
  • > Bicycle rental, Granada US$10 per day
  • > Ojo de Agua natural spring, Ometepe Island US$7
  • > Scooter rental, Ometepe Island US$30
  • > Butterfly garden and insects farm, Monteverde US$10
  • > Coffee & Chocolate tour, Monteverde US$30
  • > Cloud Forest walking tour, Monteverde US$17
  • > Fortuna waterfall, La Fortuna US$10
  • > Stand up paddleboarding, La Fortuna US$50
  • > Hanging bridges, La Fortuna US$57
  • > Poas Volcano & La Paz waterfalls full day tour, San Jose US$96
  • > Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley, Lankester garden full day tour, San Jose US$80
  • > Bicycle rental, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca US$5 per day
  • > Cahuita National Park, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca US$2
  • > Kekoldi Iguana Reserve, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca US$4
  • > Calderas hot springs, Boquete US$25
  • > Coffee Plantation tour, Boquete US$25
  • > Guided bicycle tour, Boquete US$55
  • > National Museum, San Jose US$7
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.

Itinerary Update

For all 2015 departures we will be spending an extra night on Caye Caulker in Belize and only spending one night in Tikal. Our Tikal overnight will be camping. (Sleeping bag not required).

  • Day 1: Playa del Carmen, Mexico

    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 the sand there's loads of stuff to do in Playa with snorkelling, bike hire and the water park always proving popular.
    Accommodation: Hotel included

  • Day 2-3: 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 4-5: 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 6-7: 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 8-9: 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 10-11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: 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 15-16: 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 17-18: 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 19-21: 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 22: 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 23-24: 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 25-26: 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 27-28: 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 29-30: 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 31-32: 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 33-35: 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 36-38: Bocas del Toro, 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 39-40: 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 41-42: 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 43-44: 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

This BOLT trip is run by our sister company and there are no age limits on these departures. We also offer a range of BOLT tours specifically designed for 18-39 year olds. Please contact us for more details.

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Book Your Trip Online

Comodo Secure Booking Engine

  • > You only need to pay a 10% deposit
  • > Full payment is due 12 weeks before the tour departure
  • > We are an ABTA and ATOL operator offering financial security for our inclusive tours.
  • > If you prefer to book by telephone please contact our UK sales office
  • > Prices below are land only. Call us on 0844 576 1400 for a flight inclusive quote

Essential Information

  • Budget approximately US$71 for border-crossing fees.(Fees are subject to change).
  • You will need adequate travel insurance to join this trip. Download our insurance tips pdf for more information.

ABTA Bonded for Financial Protection

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Contact Us: Seats may be available. Please contact us.

Private Departures

Why not arrange your own TrekAmerica departure? For groups of 8 or more, we can offer private departures on any of our published itineraries enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our classic "Trek" style of travel at special rates. Although tours will run as per our standard itinerary shown here, slight modifications may be considered and dates can be chosen to suit your needs. (Subject to seasonal/operational restrictions). So contact us today and start planning your own adventure.

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Tour Extras

We've offer a whole range of travel extras with everything from city sightseeing, additional hotel nights, insurance and more so you can organise everything you'll need for your trip in one easy place.

Hotels Before and After your tour

Tours begin and end at designated hotels in the departure and arrival cities, starting at 7.30am (check your tour voucher for exact details) and finishing at around 5pm, so it's a great idea to book a room for the night before and after your tour. You can book hotels either online when you book your tour or by call our sales team.

Hotel Cocodrilo

PLAYA DEL CARMEN - HOTEL COCODRILO
Located in the town centre and 3 blocks from the beach, this stylish hotel offers an outdoor pool, free wif-fi and private bathrooms.

  • Twin share: per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room: per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.

 

Hotel Centroamericano

PANAMA - HOTEL CENTROAMERICANO
This hotel offers a friendly atmosphere and facilities including air conditioning, bar, restaurant, room safe, Wi-Fi and laundry facilities.

  • Twin share: per person per night
      Matched with another traveller of the same sex.
       
    Full room: per room per night
      Single or double room for travellers on the same booking.

 

Book Flights

TrekAmerica's specialist flights department can offer UK customers a great airline fare to all of our Trek destinations.

Book Flights

We have preferred contracts with many international carriers and have secured some of the most competitive prices in the industry. We are also ATOL protected and IATA licensed.

Special offers are regularly available, so call us now on 0208 682 8920 or click below to request a flight quote by email.

> Request a flight quote now

Travel Insurance

Before you join your tour you must be covered by adequate travel insurance.

Travel insurance

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.

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


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