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Backroads of Central America

An epic 18-day tour through 4 Central American countries

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Group Size: Max 18.

Trip code: CRSG

Duration: 18 days

18 day guided group trip
Explore 4 countries
Local cultural experiences
Want more flexibility during these uncertain times? With this trip, you get a free date change! Amend your start date up to 31 working days before you travel. Book for travel until 30th June 2021. See full T&Cs here.

Visit four stunning Central American countries and make new friends on this epic 18-day group tour! Starting in colourful Costa Rica and ending in gorgeous Guatemala, we’ll take you to pristine rainforests, surf towns, colonial cities, ancient Mayan sites and active volcanoes! Stay with a local family in Nicaragua, try your hand at white-water rafting and fly through the jungle on a zip-line in Costa Rica, and swim in cool lake waters in El Salvador – it’s an adventure you won’t forget in a hurry!

Trip highlights

  • Spot monkeys, tapirs and sloths in the magical Monteverde cloud forest, Costa Rica
  • Enjoy 2 days of beach bliss in the surfing town of Poneloya, Nicaragua
  • Stay with a local family on remote Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
  • Explore the volcanoes of rugged Cerro Verde National Park, El Salvador
  • Tour the majestic Mayan ruins at Copan, Honduras
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What's included
  • 17 nights’ accommodation
  • 2 breakfast, 2 dinners
  • Free time in the adventure town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica
  • Community guesthouse stay
  • Orientation walk in Granada
  • Orientation walk in Antigua
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Tour guide
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Most meals
  • Border fees
  • Other optional activities
Further trip information

Day 1: Arrive in San José, Costa Rica. There are no activities scheduled so you are free to arrive at any time. 6pm welcome meeting.

Day 2: San José to La Fortuna. Travel to Costa Rica’s adventure town of La Fortuna, which lies at the base of the mighty Arenal Volcano.

Day 3: La Fortuna. Enjoy free time in La Fortuna. Try canyoning, whitewater rafting, hot springs bathing, paddleboarding, cave visits and much more!

Day 4: La Fortuna to Monteverde. Travel to the pristine cloud forest of Monteverde. This lush green reserve is brimming with wildlife, from tapirs to monkeys. Kick back and relax in this out-of-the-way spot.

Day 5: Monteverde. A free day in Monteverde. Explore the cloud forest, or take an optional activity including flying through the jungle on a zipline or a coffee plantation tour.

Day 6; Monteverde to Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. Cross Lake Nicaragua by ferry to get to unspoilt Ometepe. You’ll be spending the next 2 nights in a local homestay – it’s a really authentic cultural experience!

Day 7: Isla de Ometepe. Full day on the island to spend time with your host family and to enjoy optional activities such as hiking up Concepcion Volcano, visiting an ancient pre-Columbian site, and swimming in the lake.

Day 8: Isla de Ometepe to Granada. Travel to the colourful colonial city of Granada by ferry and bus. Wander round the leafy squares and picturesque streets with your guide, before enjoying a cracking night out.

Day 9: Granada. Free day to explore lovely Granada. Take a boat trip round the ‘isletas’ of Lake Nicaragua, rent a kayak, or take one of our optional excursions up Mombacho or Masaya Volcanoes. 

Day 10: Granada to Poneloya. Arrive in the remote coastal town of Poneloya in the afternoon. Surfing, swimming and beach lounging are the order of the day.

Day 11: Poneloya. Spend the day lazing on the beach, or explore the nearby city of Leon. Surf lessons from local experts are available too – gnarly dude!

Day 12: Poneloya to Cerro Verde, El Salvador. Travel to Cerro Verde National Park, the rugged home of the famous trio of volcanoes – Cerro Verde, Izalco and Santa Ana. With panoramic views and rugged good looks, it’s a unique environment.

Day 13: Cerro Verde. Explore Cerro Verde at your own pace today. Opt to hike up to the edge of Santa Ana’s volcano crater for incredible views, or take a dip in Lake Coatepeque.

Day 14: Cerro Verde to Suchitoto. Take a guided tour through the lush surroundings of Cerro Verde National Park this morning before heading to the charming colonial town of Suchitoto. Don’t forget to try the delicious pupusas, a local speciality.

Day 15: Suchitoto to Copan, Honduras. We’ll travel through three countries in one day today on the way to Copan. A beautiful town with cobblestone streets and bright white buildings, Copan is a charming place to spend a day or two.

Day 16: Copan. Free day in Copan. There are some great optional activities on offer, including a visit to Luna Jaguar Hot Springs, a guided tour of the majestic Mayan Copan ruins, and a horseback tour of rural Honduras.

Day 17: Copan to Antigua, Guatemala. Cross another border and travel on to the seductive pastel-toned city of Antigua. Immerse yourself in the markets and vibrant street-life, before enjoying a final night out with your new mates.

Day 18: Depart. Your amazing adventure ends today in Antigua, Guatemala.

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Arrival information

You should arrange your arrival into San Jose International Airport (SJO) on day 1. There are no activities scheduled on this first day, so you can arrive at any time. An airport transfer is not included. There will be a welcome meeting at your hotel at around 6pm, where you will meet your group and guide.

Please note, we can also arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.

Please note, the tour ends in Antigua, Guatemala on day 18. 

Accommodation & meals

17-nights’ accommodation are included on this Central American tour. It will mostly be in single-sex dorm share accommodation of 4-6 per room. Please note that in Central America most accommodation does not provide hot water, so you can expect to have cold water showers on this trip - the perfect way to cool off!

2 breakfasts and 2 dinners are included on this tour. Please bring USD515-670 to cover the cost of other meals on the trip. 

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to join this trip is 18. This trip is designed for travellers aged 18-39.

Costa Rica: British nationals will not require a visa in order to enter Costa Rica, and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to 3 months. You will have to pay an exit tax of USD5.

El Salvador: British nationals do not need a visa to visit El Salvador for up to 90 days.

Honduras: British nationals don’t need to get a visa in advance to enter Honduras, but can get a 30-day tourist visa on arrival. There is an entrance and exit tax of USD3.

Guatemala: British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Guatemala for stays of up to 90 days. There is an USD1.25 entrance tax and a USD3 exit tax in Guatemala.

Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or ask us for more information.

As this trip crosses national borders, please be prepared to pay some border fees for certain countries ranging from USD1 to USD10.

Physical Rating: Average. Some activities on this trip will require a moderate level of fitness.

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