• New
  • Escorted Tour

Gems of Central America

Guatemala – Belize – Costa Rica

This new tour offers three contrasting countries in Central America away from the big cities.

Bordered by oceans and dense rainforests, rich in history and marine and wildlife, these less-visited countries will enchant and surprise.

See Mayan ruins, volcanos and the second-largest barrier reef in the world, learn about civilisations dating back to 600BC and the Spanish influence since the 1600s.

The natural scenery and flora and fauna in the National Parks is breath-taking. Wander colourful markets and see agricultural areas and dense tropical forests.

Join Ian Marsh, our escort who knows the area well and has travelled this route several times.

  • Mayan Ruins Guatemala
  • Tour Map
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest
  • Guatemala
  • Caye Caulker

Your travel itinerary

Friday 15 May

Auckland – Houston

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Evening departure on Air New Zealand to arrive late afternoon in the Texas city of Houston. Overnight at an airport hotel.

Saturday 16 May

Houston – Guatemala City

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Return to the airport for a mid-morning United Airlines flight to Guatemala. On arrival transfer to a central hotel. Enjoy a short city tour before a Welcome Dinner.

Sunday 17 May

Guatemala City – Panajachel

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Morning departure to Chichicastenango (Chichi), a small city in the mountains with a colourful market, home to pottery, textiles and jewellery.

Continue on to Lake Atitlán, considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world in a rich agricultural area.

Monday 18 May

Panajachel

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After breakfast, travel by boat across to Santiago Atitlán on the southern shore of the lake. The town is famous for the tocoyal, a long hand-made ribbon worn by the indigenous women. Return to Panajachel late afternoon.

Tuesday 19 May

Panajachel – Antigua Guatemala

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Our first stop this morning is the Mayan site of Iximche in the western highlands. At its peak, it had a population of more than 10,000 but the arrival of the Spanish in the 1500s resulted in the city being abandoned. Continue on to Antigua Guatemala, a colourful, charming town with cobblestone streets, balconies and colonial buildings.
The town is surrounded by three volcanoes making for stunning views.

Wednesday 20 May

Antigua Guatemala

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A morning tour of this picturesque town then time to relax and enjoy this wonderful location. Perhaps take an optional lake excursion to Pacaya Volcano, visit a coffee plantation or a Chocolate Museum.

Thursday 21 May

Antigua – Flores

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Depart from Guatemala City Airport on a short flight to Flores, an island town on Lake Petén Itza. Time to explore the town by foot or by tuk tuk.

Friday 22 May

Flores – Black Rock (Belize)

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Today visit the Mayan city of Tikai, inhabited from 600BC until 869AD and located in the centre of a National Park. We explore the Twin-Pyramids the Lost World complex. Later transfer to Melchor Border Crossing to enter Belize with a short journey to Black Rock near San Ignacio for a three night stay.

Saturday 23 May

Black Rock

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A wonderful birdwatching experience before breakfast followed by a visit to the town of San Ignacio. Farmers and townsfolk descend on the market square every Saturday – a great chance to experience the local culture close up. Continue to the village of San Jose Succotz on the banks of the Mopan River. Cross the river by pontoon ferry to explore the Mayan pyramid of Xunantunich. Lunch at a local favourite with the rest of the day free.

Sunday 24 May

Black Rock

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A day to soak up the jungle atmosphere or choose from a selection of activities.

Monday 25 May

Black Rock – Caye Caulker

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Depart for a visit to Belize Zoo, an ecological home to a cross-section of Belize fauna of all shapes and sizes.
Continue by van and water taxi to the island paradise of Caye Caulker for two nights.

Tuesday 26 May

Caye Caulker

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Sitting on the second largest barrier reef in the world, this idyllic car-free island has a world-class marine reserve and a Caribbean laid back feel. An optional full / half-day boat trips, snorkelling, fishing and other excursions are available or simply soak up the relaxed atmosphere.

Wednesday 27 May

Caye Caulker – San Jose (Costa Rica)

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After breakfast transfer by water taxi to the mainland and on to the airport for a flight to San Jose. Arriving late afternoon and check in to our centrally-located hotel. Remainder of day free.

Thursday 28 May

San Jose

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Enjoy a morning walking tour of the city centre, stopping off at the famous central market, the main pedestrian mall and the National Theatre. Afternoon free.

Friday 29 May

San Jose – Tortuguero National Park

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We begin with an exhilarating bus ride over the mountains to the Caribbean coast and a boat journey to Tortuguero, located on a rain-forested sandbar.

Birdlife includes herons, egrets, spoonbills as well as amphibians and reptiles such as the ‘Jesus Lizard’ which walks on water.

Saturday 30 May

Tortuguero

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A day close to nature as you cruise the canals keeping a watchful eye for monkeys and the colourful toucan birds. Later visit the Caribbean Conservation Centre.
The park’s freshwater canals, wetlands and forests shelter a myriad of wildlife, a wonderful area to become part of.

Sunday 31 May

Tortuguero – La Fortuna

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Depart the coast by boat and road through lush rainforest and palm plantations to the charming town of La Fortuna, gateway to the Arenal Volcano National Park. The volcano sits on the shore of Lake Arenal, created by a hydroelectric Dam. Later time to relax in the hot pools at the base of the volcano.          

Monday 01 June

La Fortuna – Monteverde

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After a short crossing of the lake, ascend to the mountain air of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to explore the town and rain forest. The village was founded by Quakers in the 1950s and is a lovely laid-back community with artist collectives. Optional activities include a sky walk through the jungle canopy, a butterfly garden, Ranarium (frogery) and a zip line for the more adventurous.

Tuesday 02 June

Monteverde

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A morning tour of the Cloud Forest to enjoy either a sky walk or a sky tram experience. Remainder of the day at leisure.

Wednesday 03 June

Monteverde – Manuel Antonio National Park

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Depart the cloud forest and travel via the Pacific Coast Road and national park. En-route, stop at the Tarcoles River to view giant crocodiles on the riverbank and troupes of Squirrel and Capuchin monkeys in the lush forest. Enjoy an evening stroll along Espadilla Beach.

Thursday 04 June

Manuel Antonio National Park

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A morning guided tour of the park with time to possibly take a raft trip down the Savegre River or a kayak tour in the Damas Mangrove Estuary or alternatively relax on the Espadilla Beach.

Friday 05 June

Manuel Antonio – San Jose

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After a leisurely morning, return by coach to San Jose for our final night and Farewell Dinner.

Saturday 06 June

San Jose – Houston (US)

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Departure on a morning flight to Houston and transfer to a downtown hotel.

Sunday 07 June

Houston

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A full day at the NASA Johnson Space Centre for a full informative tour including the Enterprise Orbiter. Afternoon free to explore the city at your leisure.

Monday 08 June

Houston – Auckland

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A morning city tour includes the Museum District, downtown, NRG Stadium and Memorial Park which stretches along the water train system. There will be time in the museum area.
Return to the hotel with an early evening check-out and transfer to the airport for flight home to Auckland.

Option to continue to New Orleans

Wednesday 10 June

Arrive Auckland

Inclusions

  • Economy Class Airfares Auckland – Houston / Houston – Guatemala City / – Guatemala City – Flores / Caye Caulker – San Jose / San Jose – Houston / Houston - Auckland
  • Accommodation as per itinerary
  • Meals as specified
  • Sightseeing and as per itinerary
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Boat cruises
  • English speaking guides where applicable
  • Three nights Houston post tour – includes city tour, NASA Space Centre visit,
  • Transfers as specified
  • Pukekohe Travel escort subject to 15 persons travelling

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle 
   $14,451     $17,817
Business Class Upgrade +$7,795           
Premium Economy Class Upgrade +$2,315
Early Booking Discount ( 30 September 2019) $150
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $100

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Airport & Security taxes (NZD460 approx)
  • Travel Insurance – please ask us for a quote
  • Gratuities for tour guides, drivers etc
  • Items not specified

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 per person will secure a place on this tour
  • Full payment due by 06 March 2020

Cancellations

  • From date of booking until 06 March 2020 – loss of deposit
  • After 06 March – no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

Documentation

  • A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
  • No visa is required for New Zealand passport holders to visit Guatemala, Belize & Costa Rica
  • An ESTA visa is required for entry into US (Houston). We can assist with this (USD14)
  • All other passport holders - please ask

Climate - Temperatures May - June)


Houston                                   32˚c                 21 ˚c
Guatemala                             27˚c                 17 ˚c
Belize                                      32˚c                 23˚c    

Costa Rica                              24˚c                 11˚c                

 

Currency
Houston          
USD                                         Costa Rica      Costa Rican Colon

Belize              Belize $                                    Guatemala     Guatemalan Quetzal

 

Clothing
This time of the year is reasonably dry, but variable. A jacket is advisable

 

 

Health and Fitness

  • No mandatory inoculations are required
  • A good standard of health is required and clients should be independently mobile with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces and negotiate stairs.

 


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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