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Central America in 21 Days - 20 Nights Itinerary

Thumbnail Tour Description: By exploring Mayan ruins, trekking through lush rainforests, kicking back on postcard-worthy beaches, and wandering through charming colonial cities, you’ll get a good feel of the enticing Central America region on this 21-day/20-night tour. This journey promises to introduce you to the very best of Central America through amazing outdoor adventures and guided cultural visits in four countries of this fascinating region – Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Staying in 3-star accommodations and enjoying plenty of interaction with the locals, this tour ensures that you will have a truly authentic travel experience. In Guatemala, you will walk the cobblestone streets of Antigua, discover ancient archeological ruins, explore the pristine shores of the Caribbean coast and find yourself enchanted by Guatemala's highlands. Traveling on to the compact nation of El Salvador, you will find it the perfect setting for rafting, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, diving and more. From there, we will head for Nicaragua, one of Central America’s rising stars for adventure sports and eco-tourism. With a history peppered with pirate raids, civil war and invasions, this fragile yet enduring nation is now opening its arms to genuine and willing travelers. As Central America’s largest and least populated country, Nicaragua will provide you have plenty of space and time to enjoy all the bio-diversity has to offer. Concluding this travel adventure, we will head for Costa Rica – a nature lover’s dream. Here you will experience how adventure blends seamlessly into nature's harmony and the array of wonders of this spellbinding nation. It is the consummate destination for exploring ecosystems and connecting with a peaceful culture. Whether discovering fascinating species in any of these four Central American nations, zipping across the rainforest canopy, or relaxing in a volcano-heated hot spring, this 3-week travel experience promises to thoroughly engage you as a world traveler.

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“Thank you again for making our holidays in Ecuador unforgettable. Both of us will definitely recommend Surtrek as well as Cuyabeno Lodge.”Dijana Mitic

Central America in 21 Days: Highlights

Central America, Antigua Guatemala Walking Tour, Lake Village Tour, El Salvador, Los Volcanes National Park, Nicaragua, Leon City Tour, Granada City Tour, Costa Rica

Central America in 21 Days: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in Central America: Guatemala
Day 2: Antigua Guatemala Walking Tour & Free Time
Day 3: Iximche Mayan Site – Transfer to Lake Atitlan
Day 4: Chichicastenango Village and Market
Day 5: Lake Village Tour
Day 6: Antigua Guatemala (Free Day)
Day 7: Arrival in El Salvador – Apaneca Highland Town – El Carmen Finca
Day 8: Los Volcanes National Park – Joya de Ceren Archeological Site – Suchitoto
Day 9: Suchitoto Town Tour – Free Afternoon
Day 10: La Union – Arrival in Nicaragua – Leon
Day 11: Leon City Tour
Day 12: Masaya Village & Market – Granada
Day 13: Granada City Tour – Granada Islets
Day 14: Ometepe Island
Day 15: Ometepe (Free Day)
Day 16: Ometepe – Arrival in Costa Rica – Rincon de la Vieja
Day 17: Rincon de la Vieja (Free Day)
Day 18: Guanacaste (Free Day)
Day 19: Guanacaste (Free Day)
Day 20: Guanacaste – San Jose
Day 21: Departure
Itinerary Map
Mexico Guatemala El Salvador Honduras Belize Nicaragua Costa Rica Panama

Central America in 21 Days: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in Central America: Guatemala

Upon your arrival in Guatemala City (Guatemala), you will be welcomed at the airport in Guatemala City, and driven to Antigua Guatemala, a charming colonial city. You will spend the night in Antigua.

Accommodations: Meson de Maria

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Day 2
Antigua Guatemala Walking Tour & Free Time

After breakfast, we will go on a guided walking tour through the romantic cobblestone streets of this beautiful colonial city.

Accommodations: Meson de Maria

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Breakfast
Day 3
Iximche Mayan Site – Transfer to Lake Atitlan

Following breakfast, you will be driven to Iximche, a pre-Columbian Mayan site in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Iximche was the capital of the former pre-classic Kaqchikel kingdom, which endured from 1470 until it was abandoned in 1524 with the arrival of the Spanish. After this tour, you will be driven to Lake Atitlan, where you will spend the night in the lakeside village of Panajachel.

Accommodations: Hotel Jardines del Lago

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Breakfast
Day 4
Chichicastenango Village and Market

This morning, you will be driven to the village of Chichicastenango to visit the wonderful market there (open on Thursdays and Sundays only). In the late afternoon, you will be driven back to Lake Atitlan and again spend the night in Panajachel.

Accommodations: Hotel Jardines del Lago

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Breakfast
Day 5
Lake Village Tour

Breakfast. Boat transfer to one of the villages on the shores of the lake. Lunch at a local restaurant. Guided walk in the village and transfer back to Panajachel. Land transfer to Antigua, Guatemala, where you will spend the night.

Accommodations: Meson de Maria

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Breakfast - Lunch
Day 6
Antigua Guatemala (Free Day)

Breakfast. Day of leisure in Antigua, Guatemala.

Accommodations: Meson de Maria

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Day 7
Arrival in El Salvador – Apaneca Highland Town – El Carmen Finca

After breakfast, you will be driven to the border with El Salvador, and then continue to the scenic mountain town of Apaneca for a Coffee Tour at the El Carmen finca (farm). Here, you will have the chance to learn about coffee plants, coffee growing, coffee production and agro-forestry at the El Carmen Finca. Your guide will describe each stage of the coffee production process. You will spend the night in an area hotel.

Accommodations: Hotel Fleur de Lis

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Breakfast
Day 8
Los Volcanes National Park – Joya de Ceren Archeological Site – Suchitoto

Breakfast. Today we will visit Los Volcanes National Park, which is comprised of three volcanoes: Izalco, Santa Ana and Cerro Verde. You will have a chance to walk inside of Cerro Verde, an extinct volcano now covered with dense forest. You will be taken to viewpoints where you will be able to see the impressive nearby volcanoes and landscapes. From there we will continue on to Joya de Ceren (“the Ceren Jewel”), a unique Mayan archaeological site that earned the designation of a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site. In the late afternoon, you will be driven to the town of Suchitoto, where you will spend the night.

Accommodations: Hotel El Tejado

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Breakfast
Day 9
Suchitoto Town Tour – Free Afternoon

After breakfast, we will go on a guided walking tour of the town of Suchitoto, visiting the church, the market and corn mill. The afternoon will be at your leisure.

Accommodations: Hotel El Tejado

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Breakfast
Day 10
La Union – Arrival in Nicaragua – Leon

Box breakfast. Early in the morning, you will be driven to La Union, a port city in eastern El Salvador. Here, you take a boat to Potosi, a small port in Nicaragua, and from there you will be driven to the colorful city of Leon. A cultural-historical attraction with an authentic atmosphere, Leon gives visitors an opportunity to easily connect with the locals. You will spend the night there in Leon.

Accommodations: Hotel Austria

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Breakfast
Day 11
Leon City Tour

Breakfast. Explore the rich cultural and political history of one of Nicaragua’s oldest and most influential cities. Defined by its graceful Spanish colonial architecture and fascinating political history, you will soon discover why Leon is considered to be Nicaragua’s historical, cultural, educational and religious capital

Accommodations: Hotel Austria

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Breakfast
Day 12
Masaya Village & Market – Granada

This morning we will head out for the city of Granada, en route visiting the Masaya Volcano, which is actually a volcanic complex composed of a nested set of calderas and craters. After visiting the volcanic complex, you will visit the famous Masaya Market, the very heart of Nicaraguan handicrafts. In this diverse marketplace, you will find unique Nicaraguan products such as hand woven hammocks, embroidered blouses, wood carvings, leather goods, ceramics, paintings and hemp weavings. We will then continue to the beautiful city of Granada, where you will spend the night.

Accommodations: Hotel Pergola

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Breakfast
Day 13
Granada City Tour – Granada Islets

Breakfast. Today we will go on a guided walk tour of Granada, one of the oldest cities in the western hemisphere. The cobblestone streets will take you to the old churches, the convent, and many other old buildings in this charming colonial city. After lunch, you will be picked up at your hotel driven to the harbor, where a private motor boat will take us to the Granada Islets, which is a great way to explore Lake Cocibolca (also known as “Lake Nicaragua”). You will later spend the night in Granada.

Accommodations: Hotel Pergola

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Breakfast
Day 14
Ometepe Island

Breakfast. Today you will be driven to the predominantly indigenous island of Ometepe, which is situated in one of the world’s largest fresh water lakes, Lake Nicaragua. We will take the ferry to Moyogalpa and then transfer to your hotel on the island. Ometepe has served as home to indigenous tribes and cultures for many centuries, which is why you can see many pre-Columbian petroglyphs here. Later, you will spend the night in Ometepe.

Accommodations: Hotel Charco Verde

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Breakfast
Day 15
Ometepe (Free Day)

Breakfast. Day at leisure. Overnight in Ometepe.

Accommodations: Hotel Charco Verde

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Breakfast
Day 16
Ometepe – Arrival in Costa Rica – Rincon de la Vieja

Breakfast. Transfer to Peñas Blancas, on the border with Costa Rica. Upon arrival and crossing, you will be driven to Rincon de la Vieja, one of Costa Rica’s most diverse ecological parks. Known for its stunning diversity of flora and fauna, this national park is home to two volcanoes: the Rincon de la Vieja and the Santa Maria, as well as six different volcanic peaks and 32 two rivers and streams.

Accommodations: Hacienda Guachipelin

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Breakfast
Day 17
Rincon de la Vieja (Free Day)

Breakfast. Day at leisure. Overnight in Rincon de la Vieja.

Accommodations: Hacienda Guachipelin

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Breakfast
Day 18
Guanacaste (Free Day)

Breakfast. Transfer to Guanacaste, a province in northeastern Costa Rica, along the Pacific Ocean. Afternoon at leisure in Guanacaste. Overnight at Tamarindo Beach.

Accommodations: Diria Beach Resort

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Breakfast
Day 19
Guanacaste (Free Day)

Breakfast. Day at leisure. Overnight in Tamarindo Beach.

Accommodations: Diria Beach Resort

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Breakfast
Day 20
Guanacaste – San Jose

Breakfast. Morning at leisure. Transfer to San Jose (about 4-1/2 hours)

Accommodations: Park Inn Hotel

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Breakfast
Day 21
Departure

Breakfast. Transfer to Airport in time for your flight.

Accommodations: -

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Breakfast

Central America in 21 Days: Prices

2017 - Price per person
Room
Included in the price:
  • Daily breakfast
  • English-speaking guides (In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, there are local guides only for the tours)
  • Land transfers and tours as indicated in the itinerary. (Please note the vehicles might change in some destinations due to road conditions or access needs)
  • Accommodations in indicated hotels: Comfortable 3-star facilities (or comparable) in double occupancy
  • Hotel taxes
Not included in the price:
  • Extras at hotels (telephone calls, room service, porterage, laundry, alcoholic drinks, etc.)
  • Alcoholic and bottled drinks
  • Any additional/extra tours or park fees
  • Tips & Gratuities for guide, driver, local guides and service providers
  • Personal and/or medical expenses
  • Any incidentals out of pocket or medical expenses. Please ensure you carry appropriate insurance, which covers all the activities in this itinerary, inherited risks, luggage protection and holiday cancellation
  • Late check-out or early check-in
  • International flights
  • Departure taxes or immigration fees (to be paid at some airports or land borders)
  • Any other service not mentioned in the “included” list or the itinerary
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