Heart of Central America

Trip Code: QBSKC

Why we love it

Take a guided tour of the Copan ruins and archaeological site – a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilisation.  , Visit an Indigenous artists’ village in Nicaragua to meet with a local artist who makes traditional masks – an important part of the history of the country's revolution. , See the lava flow and crater at Masaya Volcano National Park – the first and largest national park in Nicaragua and a fascinating place to explore. , Visit Chichicastenango market – known as Chichi for short – and pick up your very own huipils (a traditional Mayan garment worn by women and girls) or some handmade jade jewellery. , Take a scenic boat ride on Lake Atitlan to Santiago Atitlan, with 95% of the population of Mayan descent, and meet the shamanic keepers of Maximon and share a bottle of local spirits with them as they tell you stories of local life.

Is this trip right for me?

As this trip covers destinations across four countries, you’ll make several border crossings. While these are usually straightforward, please prepare to be patient while local authorities process papers. 

Central America is tropical, so expect a hot and humid climate. Protect yourself from the sun, wear comfortable, light clothing and stay hydrated – especially when out on walking tours. Air conditioning may not always be available in your rooms. Occasionally, properties may require an additional charge for air conditioning. 

Important information

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1 in Granada. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please be careful when booking flights to Granada; make sure you fly to Managua - Augusto C. Sandino International Airport [MGA]. Managua’s Airport is the closest airport to Granada. Please do not book flights to Granada Airport [GRX] as this is in Spain.
4. Please be careful when booking flights from Antigua; make sure you fly from Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do not book flights from Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
5. As per updated Nicaragua entry requirements, customers are currently required to supply a copy of their passport front page to their booking agent no later than 15 days prior to departure.
6. Should you have any questions or need assistance with the Honduras pre-registration, your leader will be able to assist on Day 1 of your tour. For more information, visit the ‘Passports, visas and entry requirements’ section of the ‘Essential Trip Information.’

What to bring/pack

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on.

Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL:
- Warm as well as light clothing. Central America is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer
- Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings
- Sun protection - hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (reef-safe sunscreen for swimming)

RECOMMENDED:
- Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary
- Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments
- Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com)
- Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and Band-Aids.
- Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both
- Swimwear
- Travel beach towel
- Tissues &/or toilet paper &/or wet wipes
- Insect repellent
- Camera with a spare memory card, charger &/or batteries

OPTIONAL:
- Earplugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate
- Phrasebook

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden.

LAUNDRY:
Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo).

Physical rating

 
2

None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Cobblestones and uneven roads are common and you may be required to walk in hot and humid conditions. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

Joining your group

Hotel Colonial Granada, Parque Central, 25 mtrs al Oeste. Calle La Libertad, Granada, NICARAGUA

Hotel Colonial is a tranquil oasis located just 50 meters beside the Cathedral and Central Park. The Hotel is a new build hotel. It opened his door on June 1st in 2000. The construction keeps in mind the Colonial style of the older houses in Granada.

Alternate Joining Point


Joining instructions

Intrepid offers a pre-arranged arrival transfer service from Managua International Airport [MGA] at an additional fee. If you have pre-booked this service, please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. If you plan to arrive earlier, this transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.

If you have pre-booked this service; please look for the Intrepid with the Intrepid brand and your name on it after exiting customs. If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Intrepid Emergency number listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, Managua Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There are also several information desks and tourist information desks around if you require further assistance.

Otherwise, you can travel from the Managua Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use the authorised taxi services organised from inside the terminal. They will charge you approximately C$770-925 (USD$25-30) for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 60 minutes depending on traffic.
Alternatively, there are shuttle buses departing once every hour for approximately C$470-620 (USD$15-20).

Finishing your trip

Posada Los Bucaros, #94, 7a North Avenue, Antigua, 03001, GUATEMALA, Phone: +502 78322346

Posada Los Bucaros
#94, 7a North Avenue
Antigua
03001
GUATEMALA
Phone: +502 78322346

An arrival transfer from Aurora International Airport to Posada Los Bucaros is available if arranged at the time of booking. Please advise your flight details at least 14 days prior to your trip start date. If you plan to arrive earlier, this departure transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
If you have booked an airport transfer, a driver holding an Intrepid sign with your name will be waiting for you outside the luggage collection area. If you have any problems locating your transfer please contact the emergency number listed in the essential trip information document.

Alternatively, a taxi to the hotel should cost approximately USD 25-35 and take between 40 minutes to more than 1.5 hours depending on traffic.. Otherwise, door to door shuttle buses operate from the airport to Antigua and it costs USD 10-15. These shuttles operate outside the luggage collection area and depart the airport once they have enough passengers.

Alternate Finish Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
16 Nov 2024 (QBSKC241116)
30 Nov 2024 (QBSKC241130)
11 Jan 2025 (QBSKC250111)
25 Jan 2025 (QBSKC250125)
15 Feb 2025 (QBSKC250215)
08 Mar 2025 (QBSKC250308)
12 Apr 2025 (QBSKC250412)
10 May 2025 (QBSKC250510)
05 Jul 2025 (QBSKC250705)
09 Aug 2025 (QBSKC250809)
27 Sep 2025 (QBSKC250927)
01 Nov 2025 (QBSKC251101)
15 Nov 2025 (QBSKC251115)
29 Nov 2025 (QBSKC251129)
13 Dec 2025 (QBSKC251213)
Casa Florencia Hotel
7A Avendia North #100
Antigua
GUATEMALA
Phone: +502 78320261

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 3

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader or local representative will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule, our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.
Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance, etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets, we understand your dietary requirements are important, however, sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

Climate & seasonal information

Please note that Hurricane season is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office:

Intrepid local operator : Available for phone call on +506 4113 9300

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Transportation