Mexico City Merida Chichen Itza Tortuguero Arenal Manuel Antonio

From the colonial treasures and Mayan mysteries of Mexico to the breathtaking national parks and wildlife of Costa Rica, this itinerary is a wonderful snapshot of Central America. The journey takes in the history, art and culture of Mexico City before you fly to the Mayan heartland of Merida and the Yucatan Peninsula. Explore the ancient temples of Uxmal and Chichen Itza amidst beautiful golden-age architecture before you continue to Costa Rica to visit the steamy channels of Tortuguero and magnificent Arenal Volcano & National Park. The itinerary culminates with the glorious beaches and national park of Manuel Antonio.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Immerse yourself in the artwork of Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo
  • Visit Chichen Itza, one of the 7 Wonders of the World
  • Enjoy a nature walk along the “hanging bridges ” of Arenal
  • Paddle through the lush channels of Tortuguero
  • Take a cruise along the picturesque coastline of Manuel Antonio

What’s included

  • Private tours for most included activities
  • Meet & greet airport service
  • Luxury or boutique accommodation at your chosen level
  • Expert guides in each destination


This is an example itinerary. It is fully flexible; you can add or detract days and include hotels at your chosen budget. It departs daily.



Price Guide

$9150 – $12500 pp

Our quotes are bespoke for your customised trip. The prices displayed are indicative only, read more

Day 1

Fly to Mexico

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Day 2-4

Mexico City

Arrive into Mexico City and stay 4 days within the historic centre recovering from the jetlag and exploring the highlights. There is so much to see and do in Mexico’s buzzing capital, a city renowned worldwide for its museums, galleries and monuments. Tour the colonial zocalo home to the national palace, cathedral and Aztec Templo Mayor or head out to the charming, bohemian suburb of Coyoacan to visit the “Casa Azul” museum and former house of Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo. For traditional culture, take a boat trip through the floating gardens of Xochimilco or simply spend a day browsing the plethora of museums – the Museo Nacional de Antropología is unmissable. No visit to Mexico City is complete without touring the extraordinary site of Teotihuacán, home to the world’s 3rd and 4th largest pyramids, the enormous Temple of the Sun and the Moon.

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Day 5-7


Fly to Merida and stay at a sumptuous colonial hacienda. Merida is a beautiful colonial city adorned with graceful architecture, historic churches and monuments and surrounded by vast henequen estates that once filled the coffers of the Spanish throne. Explore the city on foot, delve into the Mercado Lucas de Galvez market before venturing out to visit the magnificent Mayan sites of Uxmal and Kabah. For history buffs, you can visit historic haciendas cooling off in nearby “cenote” sinkholes while birders may choose instead the nearby Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve that boasts some 304 species of resident and migratory birds including thousands of breeding pairs of flamingo.

Day 8

Chichen Itza

Mexico’s iconic Mayan site! Today, you head east to the vast temple complex of Chichen Itza, one of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”. On route, you might like to visit Izamal, the picturesque “city of three cultures”, home to the eye-catching San Antonio de Padua convent built atop an earlier Maya temple. Energy-allowing, you can climb the “Firebird” pyramid for breathtaking views across the surrounding countryside. Chichen Itza is the largest Mayan site in the Yucatan, a stunning complex that graces the covers of many travel magazines. Here, you tour the key highlights – the Temple of Kukulkan (“El Castillo”), the Observatory, the Temple of Warriors and the famous Ball Court. Travel during the summer solstice and you can join the crowds and watch the shadow of a serpent descending the Kukulkan pyramid.

Day 9-10

San Jose

Transfer to Cancun airport for an afternoon flight to San Jose, the bustling capital of Costa Rica. Spend a couple of nights in the highlands, a stunning area of coffee plantations, cascading waterfalls and mist covered mountains, a wonderful introduction to the country. For a dose of culture, you may like to head into the city centre to browse the markets, galleries and museums or alternatively head off walking, biking, paddling and rafting.

Day 11-12


Fly to Tortuguero in the north-western corner of Costa Rica, a vast area of mangrove swamps, tropical rainforest and sheltered channels that tumble onto Costa Rica’s Caribbean coastline. Dubbed the “Amazon” of Costa Rica, Tortuguero is one of the country’s wildlife hotspots with over 375 species of birds and gains its name from the giant sea turtles that come to nest each year on its dark sands between July and October. Based at a comfortable, river-front jungle lodge, you will enjoy a daily program of excursions that may include bird-watching, boat tripos and nature walks.

Day 13-15

Arenal Volcano

Continue by river and road to reach the spectacular volcano and national park of Arenal. Arenal sits amidst 7000 hectares of tropical rainforest, tumbling waterfalls and crystal-clear rivers home to an incredible array of wildlife. Here, you can enjoy guided nature trails, spot the resident sloth, join boat trips through the Caño Negro Reserve or explore the forest canopy along the famous “hanging bridges”. For adventure enthusiasts, there are countless options – you can hike, bike, paddle, raft or even swim under La Fortuna’s picture-postcard waterfall. In the evening, what better way to bid farewell to Arenal than by enjoying dinner at a hot-spring resort under the shadow of the magnificent volcano itself!

Day 16-18

Manuel Antonio

Transfer south to Manuel Antonio on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coastline. Manuel Antonio features the best of both worlds – pristine, tropical beaches bordered by a breathtaking national park that brims over with exotic wildlife that counts 200 species of birds, over 100 species of mammals (including two- and three-toed sloths) as well as all four species of Costa Rica’s monkeys. On the coast, walking trails spill onto isolated beaches where dolphins and even migrating whales (depending on the season) can all be spotted just off the shore. Here, you can do as much or as little as you like. For wildlife enthusiasts, you can enjoy nature trails and bird-watching in the national park or for something more leisurely, you can join a catamaran cruise around the nearby tropical islands where you can swim, snorkel among coral reef and explore deserted beaches.

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Day 19

Depart Manuel Antonio

A note on price

The prices outlined above are a rough guide to give you an idea of costs and enable you to budget for your trip.

Guide prices are generally for private arrangements based on twin share, in well located, good quality accommodation (excluding international flights).

Please note costs are indicative and may vary due to a number of factors such as; travel date, hotel choice, room category, number of people travelling and prevailing exchange rates.

Price Guide $9150 – $12500 per person

When to travel

jan feb mar apr may jun jul aug sep oct nov dec

Costa Rica enjoys a tropical climate year round which can be divided into a distinct dry and rainy season. The dry “summer” period runs from December to April and is the most popular time to travel. The wet season then corresponds from May to December and coincides with tempestuous downpours. Average temperatures range between 26°-28° throughout the year although it is obviously cooler in the highlands along the spine of the mountains.

Add on’s

There are a multitude of add on holiday options to this itinerary. Extend your time in Mexico and you can visit the pretty highland town of San Cristobal and the Mayan gem of Palenque. Or for the ultimate overland journey, you could stretch this out further and route to San Cristobal via Puebla, Oaxaca and then on to Merida via Campeche.

In Costa Rica, you could easy tie in the Osa Peninsula or even combine it with the Galapagos for the ultimate wildlife experience.

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