Guatemala & Costa Rica

  • days: 24
  • from $13,295

Save $500!

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Guatemala
  • Costa Rica

Description

NEW TOUR!

Delve into the ancient history of the Mayans, explore pristine national parks, stroll along white sand beaches and enjoy incredible wildlife viewing. From archaeological ruins and colonial towns to tropical rainforests, simmering volcanoes and surreal cloud forests, Guatemala and Costa Rica are just waiting to be discovered.

A GUATEMALAN ADVENTURE

Arrive into Guatemala and discover the amazing ancient Mayan city of Tikal. Famous for its great stone monuments and temples, Tikal is set amidst lush tropical rainforest which hid the city for centuries, only to be rediscovered in 1848. Enjoy the serenity of scenic Lake Atitlan in Panajachel and discover the lake’s traditional villages and fascinating culture. Visit the largest and most vibrant market in Central America, Chichicastenango, then experience the baroque-influenced architecture of beautiful Antigua.

A CARIBBEAN ESCAPE

You’ll feel like you’ve arrived in the Caribbean when you step off the boat in Livingston. Home to the Garifuna, this coastal town has a completely different vibe to the rest of Guatemala. Stroll along the white sand beaches of Playa Blanca, admire the gorgeous blue water of the Siete Altares waterfalls and soak up the culture before heading back to Guatemala City.

CAPTIVATING COSTA RICA

Head into the wilderness of Costa Rica! Cruise through the beautiful rainforest of the Tortuguero National Park, exploring the canals and backwaters and spotting sloths, iguanas, frogs, monkeys and colourful birds. Travel to the famous Arenal Volcano, once the country’s most active, take a short hike and soak in the natural hot springs. Make your way through the cloud forest to Monteverde, get a bird’s eye view of the forest canopy from the Selvatura Sky Walk. Explore the beaches and mangroves of Manuel Antonio National Park and spot the many sloths and monkeys for which the area is famous.

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia - Arrive Guatemala City

Bienvenido a Guatemala! We arrive in Guatemala City and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2. Guatemala City - Flores

Spend the morning discovering the National Archaeology Museum and Historic Centre, before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon we fly to the small town of Flores. This town is actually located on an island in Lake Petén Itzá and is connected to nearby Santa Elena by a causeway. [B,L]

Day 3. Tikal National Park Excursion

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Special Experience: Visit the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal, nestled amidst lush rainforest. The largest of Mayan cities during the Classic period a thousand years ago, it represents one of the Mayan civilisation's most impressive achievements. [B,L]

Day 4. Flores - Rio Dulce - Livingston

We depart Flores this morning, and it will feel like you've been transported to the Caribbean when you arrive in the beautiful Rio Dulce. Here we'll board a boat and cruise through the beautiful waters to Livingston, where the rest of the day is at leisure. [B]

Day 5. Livingston - Puerto Barrios - Guatemala City - Antigua

Stroll along the white sand beaches of Playa Blanca this morning, and admire the Siete Altares, a series of seven waterfalls with gorgeous blue water. We'll then take a boat to Puerto Barrios, before flying back to Guatemala City and driving to Antigua. [B]

Day 6. Antigua

Known for its baroque-influenced architecture, we’ll tour the sights of colonial Antigua including the Ciudad Vieja, San Antonio Aguas Calientes and the Cerro de La Cruz. The afternoon is at leisure. [B]

Day 7. Antigua - Panajachel

En route to the lakeside town of Panajachel, we'll stop at Iximché. This pre-Columbian archaeological site features several pyramid temples and Mesoamerican ballcourts. [B]

Day 8. Panajachel

This morning we cruise out on beautiful Lake Atitlán, meeting locals at the villages of Santiago Atitlán and San Juan la Laguna. [B]

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Special Experience: Travel by tuk tuk to the home of the Mayan god, Maximón, and witness a traditional ceremony. 

Day 9. Panajachel - Chichicastenango - Antigua

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Special Experience: An early start to visit the incredible colourful market of Chichicastenango - the biggest and best in Central America. 

We also visit the Church of Santo Tomas before making our way back to Antigua. [B]

Day 10. Antigua

Today is at leisure before we enjoy a group dinner and folkloric show to farewell Guatemala. [B,D]

Day 11. Antigua - San José

Today we fly to Costa Rica, arriving in the country's historic and colonial capital of San José. [B]

Day 12. San José

We’ll discover the city on a sightseeing tour this morning, seeing the National Theatre, National Library and the Gold Museum. There will be some free time to explore at leisure this afternoon before tonight's group dinner at a local restaurant. [B,D]

Day 13. San José - Guápiles - Tortuguero

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Special Experience: Today we venture into the Costa Rican wilds, boarding a boat on the fringe of Tortuguero National Park to enter the flooded forest and travel to our lodge. [B,L,D]

Day 14. Tortuguero 

Exploring the canals and backwaters of Tortuguero National Park, we’ll spot a huge variety of wildlife. Keep an eye out for agoutis, iguanas, sloths, frogs, monkeys and hundreds of colourful birds and crabs. We may even spot the sea turtles that the area is famous for between June and October. [B,L,D]

Day 15. Tortuguero - Arenal

Today we make our way to Arenal, stopping for lunch at a local restaurant in Guápiles along the way. Take some time to relax in the natural hot springs once we arrive at our hotel. [B,L]

Day 16. Arenal Volcano National Park

Walking-man

Arenal Volcano National Park is a 12,000-hectare area comprising rainforest, savannah and two volcanoes. On a short hike to the summit of the lava trails this morning we’ll learn about Arenal, which was once the country’s most active volcano. [B,L]

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Special Experience: Learn to make authentic tortillas like a local and enjoy a shared lunch. 

Day 17. Arenal - Monteverde

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Special Experience: As we make our way towards Monteverde, we'll stop to enjoy a typical farmer's lunch and try our hand at fishing for tilapia 

After lunch we'll continue up through the highlands to the cloud forest. [B,L]

Day 18. Monteverde

Walking-man

No need for the binoculars today as we explore the cloud forest from the Selvatura hanging bridges suspended high in the rainforest canopy. The afternoon is at leisure for you to relax or discover more of the beautiful surroundings. There is a nearby butterfly park, you could organise a night walk or, for the more adventurous, you could zip line through the misty canopies. [B]

Day 19. Monteverde - Manuel Antonio

This morning we depart for Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica's Pacific coast. On the way we stop at the Tarcoles River to observe one of the largest populations of American crocodiles in the Guacalillo Estuary, and discover the hidden gems of the mangroves before enjoying a shared lunch. [B,L]

Day 20. Manuel Antonio National Park

Walking-man

Today we’ll explore Manuel Antonio National Park, home to many of Costa Rica’s endangered species, but sloths and white-faced capuchin monkeys in particular. We’ll have some time at leisure to swim and enjoy one of the most pristine beaches in Central America, located right in the park. [B]

Day 21. Manuel Antonio - San José

Enjoy the morning at leisure before we make our way back to San José. Enjoy a shared farewell dinner this evening. [B,D]

Day 22. Depart San José

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 23. In transit

Day 24. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Central America. Taxes included
  • 2 Economy-class flights in Guatemala 
  • Economy-class flight from Guatemala to Costa Rica
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles
  • Tipping Made Easy, $265pp pre-paid 

Accommodation & Meals

  • 15 nights in 3-4 star hotels
  • 4 nights in a former convent in Antigua
  • 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortuguero National Park
  • 21 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 5 dinners, including group welcome and farewell meals 

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based guides

Sightseeing

Delve into Guatemala's ancient history

  • Take a sightseeing tour to discover Guatemala City, including a visit to the National Archaeology Museum.
  • Spend 2 nights on quaint Flores Island in the middle of Lake Peten Itza, connected to the mainland by a 500 metre long causeway.
  • Visit the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal.
  • Enjoy a picturesque lunch inside Tikal National Park.
  • Cruise through the beautiful blue waters from Rio Dulce to Livingston. Located on the edge of the Caribbean sea and home to the Garifuna people, Livingston has a very different culture to the rest of Guatemala.
  • Take in the scenery of the beautiful Siete Altares, a series of seven waterfalls with picturesque azure water, and enjoy a walk along the white sand beaches of Playa Blanca.
  • Travel by boat from Livingston to Puerto Barrios.
  • Spend 4 nights in a boutique hotel that was a former convent in Antigua.
  • Tour the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Antigua including visits to the Ciudad Vieja and Cerro de la Cruz. Then enjoy a walking tour of the Central Plaza, the Cathedral, Municipal Government building, Palace of the Captain's General and a jade factory.
  • Stop at the archaeological ruins and former capital of the Maya kingdom, Iximche, en route to Panajachel.
  • Spend 2 nights in one of Guatemala's finest and most charming boutique hotels, surrounded by botanical gardens, right on the shore of scenic Lake Atitlan.
  • Take a boat trip on stunning Lake Atitlan to visit the picturesque lakeside villages of Santiago Atitlan and San Juan La Laguna.
  • Travel by tuk tuk to visit the home of the Mayan god, Maximon, and witness a traditional ceremony.
  • Visit the vibrant and buzzing market - the best in Central America - as well as the Church of Santo Tomas in Chichicastenango.
  • Enjoy a dinner and Guatemalan folkloric dance show.

Discover the abundance of wildlife in the rainforests of Costa Rica

  • Take a city tour of San Jose, Costa Rica's colonial capital, visiting museums and monuments including the National Theatre, National Library and the old Sabana Airport.
  • Spend 2 nights at a rainforest lodge in Tortugero National Park, nestled between Tortugero Lagoon and the Caribbean Ocean.
  • Tour the village of Tortugero with its strong Afro-Caribbean roots. Wander around the school and other areas of the village and visit the Caribbean Conservation Corporation to learn about the sea turtles the park is famous for.
  • Learn about Tortugero's history and how to cook using coconut during the coconut tour.
  • Explore Mawamba Lodge Park with a naturalist guide including visits to 2 butterfly farms, a frog garden and river turtles area.
  • View the amazing wildlife and exuberant flora during a boat trip on the waterways in the flooded forest of Tortugero National Park.
  • Soak in the volcanic thermal springs and enjoy the views of Arenal Volcano from your hotel.
  • Hike the lava trail at Arenal Volcano National Park.
  • Experience a Tortilla cooking lesson and lunch at a local house.
  • Take the scenic road - boat - road transfer across stunning Lake Arenal from Arenal to Monteverde.
  • Experience a local farmers' lunch and try your hand at Tilapia fishing at El Dos de Tilaran.
  • Discover the Monteverde cloud forest from the Selvatura hanging bridges, suspended high in the rainforest canopy.
  • Cruise along the Tarcoles River and see one of the largest populations of American Crocodile. This area is also one of the most important conservation areas for the Scarlet Macaw in the country and home to Jesus Christ Lizards, Kingfishers and much more.
  • View the abundant wildlife and enjoy the pristine beaches (considered some of the most beautiful in all of Central America) in Manuel Antonio National Park.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
15/02/20 09/03/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
18/04/20 11/05/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
20/06/20 13/07/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
15/08/20 07/09/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
26/09/20 19/10/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
28/11/20 21/12/20 $500 $13,295 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane
Other departure cities: Clients ex Adelaide, Perth & Hobart add $100pp
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $265pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $605pp
Single supplement: from $3,250
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies are shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips (if applicable). Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here.

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
Our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently-minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces, on any given day
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Optional Excursions

Guatemala

Pacaya Volcano Hike – 7hrs – $90pp US
Get up close and personal with a Guatemalan volcano! Pacaya Volcano is one of the country’s most active. Hike through volcanic vegetation and surreal landscapes on your way to the top, enjoying impressive views of three nearby volcanic peaks, including Agua, Fuego and Acatenango at the summit. Your excursion from Antigua to the volcano includes round-trip private transportation from your hotel, an adventure guide and a local guide, entrance fees and a box lunch with soft drinks.

Please Note: All optional tours are based on a minimum of 2 participants (unless otherwise stated) and are subject to availability. The length of tours advised is an approximate only. Tours can be booked on tour directly with your guide. We recommend arranging the booking at the beginning of the tour to avoid disappointment. Prices are a guide only and are subject to change without prior notice. Payment is preferred by cash to your guide; however, credit cards may be accepted. Fees and exchange rates are at the discretion of your bank.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Radisson Hotel & Suites, Guatemala City

Located in Guatemala City’s Zona Viva district, this stylish hotel offers a gym and a rooftop hot tub with panoramic city views. The Radisson is situated in popular shopping area, surrounded by embassies, restaurants and bars. La Aurora International Airport is a 5-minute drive away. 

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; tea & coffee making facilities

Hotel Isla de Flores, Flores

Situated in the heart of Isla de Flores, with the central park on its doorstep, Hotel Isla de Flores offers charming accommodation in a colonial style building. It features an outdoor pool and rooftop terrace, as well as a restaurant, and is located just a 3 minute drive from the main square.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; outdoor swimming pool

Villa Caribe, Livingston

The beautiful, Caribbean-style Villa Caribe is set in gardens overlooking Izabal Lake and the Caribbean sea. Each room has a balcony providing wonderful views. The hotel has private beach access and on-site restaurant serving delicious local dishes and seafood.

Facilities: air-conditioning; free wifi; safe deposit box; swimming pool; private beach access

Hotel Casa Santo Domingo, Antigua

This luxurious hotel is located only a few minutes walk from the centre of Antigua. Housed in a former convent, it offers an outdoor pool, spa and gym, as well as several museums and galleries. Set within pretty gardens, the spacious rooms at Hotel Museo Casa Santo Domingo feature elegant décor, a fireplace and scenic views. The gourmet El Tenedor restaurant serves breakfast and traditional cuisine and guests can enjoy snacks and refreshments on the terrace from the El Cabido bar.

Facilities: wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Hotel Atitlan, Panajachel

Hotel Atitlan is one of Guatemala’s finest and most charming boutique hotels surrounded by botanical gardens. The hotel is situated 10 minutes from the main town of Panajachel on what was once the estate of a family owned coffee plantation. It is wonderfully decorated with hand-carved wood furnishings and ornate ceramic tiles. The design and décor reflect the elegant Spanish colonial style of an 18th century Guatemalan plantation. Outside, the gardens are abundant with roses, orchids, bougainvillea and azaleas. An infinity pool gazes onto Lake Atitlán and over to the majestic Atitlán, Toliman and San Pedro volcanoes in the distance.

Facilities: wifi; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities (public area)

Hotel Presidente, San Jose

Hotel Presidente offers an incomparable location in the centre of it all, literally seconds away from San José's most famous landmarks. Rooms are among the most spacious hotel accommodation in downtown San José. Why not pedal off on one of the complimentary bicycles and explore more of the city at your own pace? And be sure to spend time on the green roof terrace – a venue unlike anything in the city, with native greenery and unparalleled views.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; safe deposit box

Mawamba Lodge, Tortuguero

Refreshing and relaxing, exquisitely evergreen, the Tortuguero canals are a must-see while in Costa Rica. Mawamba Lodge, amidst this exotic spot, and whose front yard is the Tortuguero canals and its backyard the Caribbean Ocean, blends with the surrounding natural richness to welcome you to this tropical sanctuary. On site you will also find 'Mawamba Park' with two butterfly, frog and iguana gardens.

Facilities: wifi (public areas); safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool

Arenal Springs Resort, Arenal

The Arenal Springs Resort is located just outside the quaint town of La Fortuna, near the Arenal Volcano. The resort is surrounded by lush, green, natural beauty that abounds here and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, the Arenal Volcano. There are 3 restaurants and other amenities include natural hot springs and an outdoor pool with a swim-up bar and sun-loungers. An open-air spa also offers a hot tub, plus massages and body treatments.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities 

Fonda Vela Hotel, Monteverde

Just 1.5km from Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve lies the Fonda Vela Hotel. At the hotel you will find an indoor pool, restaurant, terrace and a bar. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surrounding areas. There are also beautiful gardens to explore, with a variety of places to go bird watching.

Facilities: wifi (public areas); indoor swimming pool; tea & coffee making facilities

Hotel Parador Resort & Spa, Manuel Antonio

One of Costa Rica’s most prestigious eco-hotels, Parador is the epitome of 'responsible luxury'. The resort is located on the Punta Quepos promontory in Costa Rica, surrounded by 12 acres of wildlife-rich tropical rainforest with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Manuel Antonio. With such close proximity to a national park, it is no wonder the hotel gardens receive any number of very unique visitors on a daily basis, including several species of monkeys, sloths and a wonderful variety of birds. This Costa Rica resort features well-appointed rooms and suites, several restaurants featuring diverse menus, multiple bars and lounges, a world-class spa, a tennis court, three ocean-view pools and generous meeting facilities.

Facilities: air-conditioning; wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box; outdoor swimming pools; tea & coffee making facilities

Weather

Weather

Guatemala City

Dry Season: December to April

Wet Season: May to October

Antigua

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F

M

A

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A

S

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Ave Max C

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Ave Min C

11

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Rainy Days

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2

3

5

15

23

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18

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4

San Jose

Dry Season: December to April

Wet Season: May to November

San Jose

J

F

M

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Ave Max C

24

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Ave Min C

14

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15

15

Rainy Days

3

0

2

7

19

22

23

24

24

25

14

6

Currency

Currency

Quetzal

The official currency in Guatemala is the Quetzal (Q)

  • 1/100 = Centavo
  • Notes are in denominations of Q200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1
  • Coins are in denominations of Q50, 25, 10, 5, and 1

Colon

The official currency of Costa Rica is the Colon (C; ₡).

  • 1/100 = Centimo
  • Notes are in denominations of ₡50000, 20000, 10000, 5000, 2000, and 1000
  • Coins are in denominations of ₡500, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, and 1

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
    • A visa waiver is required for travel to the USA. Please note this E-visa also needs to be completed if you are transiting through the USA to reach your required destination. This can be applied for here: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

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Special Experiences!

  • Visit the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal, nestled amidst lush rainforest. The largest of Mayan cities during the Classic period a thousand years ago, it represents one of the Mayan civilisation's most impressive achievements. 
  • Travel by tuk tuk to the home of the Mayan god, Maximón, and witness a traditional ceremony.
  • Wake early to visit the incredible, colourful market of Chichicastenango - the biggest and best in Central America.
  • Venture into the Costa Rican wilds, boarding a boat on the fringe of Tortuguero National Park to enter the flooded forest and travel to our lodge.
  • Learn to make authentic tortillas like a local and enjoy a shared lunch.
  • As we make our way towards Monteverde, we'll stop to enjoy a typical farmer’s lunch and try our hand at fishing for tilapia.

Trip Info

Group Size

Max: 20

Transportation

Coach, plane, boat & tuk tuk

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $265pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

• Explore the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal, nestled amidst lush rainforest • Visit the Caribbean town of Livingston, home to the Garifuna people • Take a boat trip on stunning Lake Atitlan • Visit the vibrant and buzzing market Chichicastenango Market • Venture into the Costa Rican wilds in Tortuguero National Park • Meet endangered wildlife like sloths and white-faced capuchin monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park

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