PLAYA DEL CARMEN TO SAN JOSE

32 days from

Playa del Carmen to San Jose BPS
DEPARTS PLAYA DEL CARMEN to SAN JOSE
Trek Code:
BPS
Destination:
Central America
Departs:
Jan-Dec
Accommodation:
Budget Lodging
Age Range:
18-39
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 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, Honduras, 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
  • 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
Plus you get...
  • 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)
  • Maximum group size of 16
Download Trek Tips for this tour (2016 departures)

Our Playa del Carmen to San Jose Trek Tips include all you need to know about this Trek. They contain all the trip details, plus information on everything from visas to spending money and what to pack.

Download Trek Tips >

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, 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.

Optional Activities (paid locally)

There are loads of exciting optional activities 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. Below are the most popular activities for this trip which can be arranged via your tour leader and paid for locally. Please note all costs are subject to change. Please note that not all optional activities may available on every tour and prices are subject to change.

  • > Guided Snorkelling trip - Caye Caulker US$35-$70
  • > Coffee & Macadamia Nut Plantation - Antigua US$45
  • > City Tour - Granada US$15
  • > Maderas Volcano hike - Ometepe Island US$15
  • > Dos Ojos Cenote snorkelling tour - Playa del Carmen US$35
  • > Ferry to Cozumel - Playa del Carmen US$27
  • > Entrance to ruins - Tulum US$10
  • > Akumal Bay snorkelling tour - Tulum US$35
  • > Sunset sailboat cruise - Caye Caulker US$37
  • > Sea kayaking - Caye Caulker US$25 (half day)
  • > Manatee tour - Caye Caulker US$60
  • > Barton Creek canoe trip - San Ignacio US$80
  • > Bicycle rental - San Ignacio US$4 per hour
  • > Butterfly farm - San Ignacio US$10
  • > Guided Caracol Ruins tour - San Ignacio US$80
  • > Sunrise tour of ruins - Tikal US$60
  • > Guided private tour of ruins - Tikal US$40
  • > Boat trip to Livingston - Rio Dulce US$30
  • > Natural hot springs - Rio Dulce US$20
  • > Salsa lessons - Antigua US$7 per day
  • > Bicycle tour - Antigua US$30
  • > Santiago Zamora village tour - Antigua US$10
  • > Copan Ruins US$15
  • > Natural Hot Springs - Copan US$20
  • > Macaw Mountain Reserve - Copan US$10
  • > Kayaking tour - Granada US$15
  • > Mombacho Volcano hike - Granada US$30
  • > Bicycle rental - Granada US$10 per day
  • > Concepcion Volcano - Ometepe Island US$25
  • > Ojo de Agua natural spring - Ometepe Island US$7
  • > Scooter rental - Ometepe Island US$30
  • > Night walk - Monteverde US$25
  • > Butterfly garden & insects farm - Monteverde US$10
  • > Coffee & Chocolate tour - Monteverde US$30
  • > Cloud Forest walking tour - Monteverde US$17
  • > Canyoneering - La Fortuna US$55
  • > Fortuna waterfall - La Fortuna US$10
  • > Hanging bridges - La Fortuna US$57
  • > Poas Volcano half day tour - San Jose US$46
  • > Irazu Volcano, Ososi Valley, Lankester garden full day tour - San Jose US$80
  • > National Museum - San Jose US$7
  • > Bike rental - Tulum US$10 per day
  • > Xunantunich Ruins - San Ignacio US$10
  • > Actun Tunichil Muknal cave tour - San Ignacio - US$105 (incl. transport, guide & lunch)
  • > River tubing - San Ignacio - US$95
  • > Zipline tour - Tikal US$45
  • > Quirigua ruins - Rio Dulce US$30
  • > San Pedro Volcano hike - Panajachel US$65
  • > Lakes & villages tour - Panajachel US$30
  • > Kayak rental - Panajachel US$6 per hour
  • > Bike rental - Panajachel US$10 per day
  • > Lake Suchitlan boat tour - Suchitoto US$20
  • > Cinquera Forest hike - Suchitoto US$5
  • > Guazapa Volcano tour - Suchitoto US$60
  • > Cihuatan Ruins - Suchitoto US$3
  • > Mangrove Kayak - El Cuco US$40
  • > Volcan de Conchagua - El Cuco US$30
  • > Surf Lesson - El Cuco US$10
  • > Surf Trip to Las Flores Beach - El Cuco US$10
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: 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 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

  • Day 2-3: Tulum, Mexico

    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

  • Day 4-6: Caye Caulker, Belize

    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

  • Day 7-8: San Ignacio, Belize

    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

  • Day 9: Tikal, Guatemala

    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

  • 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. 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 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

  • Day 13: Chichicastenango & San Jorge La Laguna, Guatemala

    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

  • Day 14: Panajachel, Guatemala

    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

  • Day 15-16: Antigua, Guatemala

    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

  • Day 17: 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 than a dip in the Copan natural springs.
    Accommodation: Hotel included

  • Day 18-19: Suchitoto, El Salvador

    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

  • Day 20: El Tunco, El Salvador

    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

  • Day 21-22: El Cuco, El Salvador

    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

  • Day 23-24: Granada, Nicaragua

    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

  • 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 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

  • 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 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

  • 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 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

  • 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 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

This BOLT trip is run by our trusted local partner and is specifically designed for 18-39 year olds.

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Pay in monthly instalments

  • Book your tour with a deposit per person (no hidden fees)
  • Pay your balance in instalments over the phone or via the website
  • Pay your final balance 8 weeks before departure
  • No additional fees if you choose to pay by credit card
  • We hold ABTA & ATOL licenses offering financial security for your tour

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.


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

For 8 or more travellers, we can organise a totally private departure just for you and your group. We can offer you a departure date of your choice on any of our published itineraries enabling friends, families or organizations to enjoy our classic 'Trek' style of travel. Can't find a trip that suits your needs exactly? Let us tailor one of our traditional trips, or even create a bespoke itinerary. We will work with you to plan your adventure and with the benefit of our in depth knowledge we can build you a unique experience within your budgets and bucket lists!

Read more about arranging your Private Group here >

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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

BOLT tours begin and end at designated hotels in the departure and arrival 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 are unable to make the pre-departure meeting on day 1 or if you would like to do some extra sightseeing either before or after the tour, we can request the extra nights for you in our hotels. Enquire at the time of booking.

Playa del Carmen Hotel

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

  • 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.

 

Rincon de San Jose

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

  • 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

We recommend you take out travel insurance as soon as your booking is confirmed.

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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