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Tropical Trails

(until Feb 2019)

COUNTRIES
4
DAYS
23
FROM
$4,919
Discoverer
3.7
3 reviews
3 reviews
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Save your space with only $200 deposit
WHAT YOU GET
22 nights accommodation
18 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Contiki Special Stay, 2 nights in Lodge
You and your new amigos will be spending nights in el-swanky twin-share hotels, jungle lodges, and cool eco tents right amongst the action.
34 included Meals
22 Breakfast, 10 Dinner, 2 Lunch
Refuel on hearty breakfasts, plus a few local lunches and a few cherry picked and munch worthy dinners, on us. Then, the rest of your Latin American food safari is entirely up to you to DIY as you please.
Team
Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides
A highly trained Trip Manager who brings your adventure to life. An expert driver who knows foreign roads better than Google Maps. Local Guides who make tourist traps a thing of the past. This is your team. Smart, friendly, fun, and integral to everything we do.
Transport
All transport included during the trip
Getting around Latin America is half the fun, and all transport is included for the duration of your trip. Private, air conditioned mini coaches allow you soak up all that scenery in style, but it's our unique, local forms of transport that make the journey all part of the adventure.
Your group
Travel with other 18-35 year olds from around the world
Our trips are exclusively 18-35. This means you'll be travelling with people just like you, from all over the world- laughter and friendships always guaranteed.
Experiences
18 included, 21 optional that you can add
Apart from transport, accommodation and meals along the way, we provide sightseeing tours of all major areas as well as access to gorgeous sights aplenty. We'll take you to the Belize Barrier Reef, provide a locally guided tour of Tikal National Park, take you on a sightseeing tour of colonial Antigua and introduce you to some amazing wildlife, just for starters.
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With 23 days on the clock, get ready and...go! Starting off in the party paradise of Cancun, this trip will take you to the turquoise waters of Caye Caulker, the ancient heights of Tikal, the slow and steady beauty of Antigua, the tree tops of Monte Verde, and more. Think beauty, culture, foodie delights, high octane adventure, and then some.
Travel is best shared. This is a small group adventure of 12-30 people, aged between 18-35 exclusively, giving you the perfect balance of new friends to travel with and access to even more authentic experiences.
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December 2018

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26
  • Wednesday 26th December
  • Thursday 17th January
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January 2019

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  • Wednesday 23rd January
  • Thursday 14th February
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February 2019

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  • Wednesday 20th February
  • Thursday 14th March
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TROPICAL TRAILS (UNTIL FEB 2019)

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itinerary
Map
Itinerary

ITINERARY

Nights spent per location
2
2 nights
Cancun
2
2 nights
Playa del Carmen
2
2 nights
Caye Caulker
via
via
Belize
1
1 night
Tikal
2
2 nights
Antigua
1
1 night
San Jose
2
2 nights
Tortuguero
1
1 night
Sarapiqui
2
2 nights
Arenal (La Fortuna)
2
2 nights
Playa Tamarindo
2
2 nights
Monteverde
via
via
Jaco
via
via
Quepos
3
3 nights
Manuel Antonio
San Jose
+6 more
see detailed itinerary
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Map
Itinerary
  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • Bus route
  • River route
  • Plane route
  • Traveller Photos
DAY 1 - Cancun
Cancun
Just incase you don’t know the drill by now, an ice cold cerveza should remind you that Cancun is a hub of wonderful entertainment. Feel like taking things further afield? A day trip to Playa del Carmen could be just the ticket. White sand beaches, snorkelling, colourful cafes lining the streets and classic locals and shopping will see you living the good life and playing local in paradise. The legendary nightlife will certainly whip up yet another storm of dancing and live music back in Cancun tonight, so go on, get out there tonight and hit the dancefloor with the squad. Your Trip Manager knows this party like the back of their hand, your guarantee to be the know on all the best spots to head.
DAY 2 - Cancun
Cancun
Fun is the name of the game today in this stunning white sand beach spot. Thrillseekers could take a trip to some hidden waters deep in the tropical jungle. A bit of rural island hopping, zipling a stint at Garrafon Natural Reef Park, a visit to some ancient Mayan ruins and finally some more swimming is all on offer. Explore the offshore coral reefs and caves while the sunshine ripples through the crystal clear water. Then back to Cancun where seafood by the seashore is on the menu for a fabulous open-air sunset dinner with the crew.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Relax on the white sand beaches
Sunset beach dinner
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Jungle Maya Expedition & Zipline
US$110.00
DAY 3 - Cancun to Playa del Carmen
Cancun
Get ready for your next adventure this morning as we're heading to the beautiful shores of Playa del Carmen. A bit of retail therapy never hurt anyone, so how about a stroll down Paseo del Carmen shopping centre to spend some pesos?
Playa del Carmen
You won't help but fall head over heels for this sun-kissed seashore town. For the food addicts amongst you, a plethora of seaside bars and restaurants are here to blow your mind with their delicious cocktails and local recipes. 
DAY 4 - Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen
Can't get enough of Playa del Carmen? We thought so! So how about adding something extra to your Mexican extravaganza by experiencing the Caribbean in all its tropical glory? Snorkelling is on the menu for those who want to see the world from an 'underwater' angle
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Snorkelling
DAY 5 - Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker
Playa del Carmen
Mexico, you've stolen a slice of our hearts forever but with Belize & the Caribbean Island of Caye Caulker on the horizon, we're not feeling too sad...
Caye Caulker
Urr, hello heaven. Rub your eyes, blink and blink again - yes this pinch yourself tropical paradise truly is real, and you're in it! This evening is all about enjoying the last dregs of sunshine, sampling fresh seafood and getting down to some reggae rhythms...
DAY 6 - Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
You’ll need a big breakfast today because you’re free to do whatever you want, which could mean a whole lot of exploring! Belize has a spectacular Barrier Reef that is just begging to be discovered, so grab a snorkel and get out there. Back on land, its all about sandy streets flanked by palm trees and dotted with cafes and bars lined with colourful hammocks, painted tables and the most laid back vibes we know. You'll be begging to stay longer, guaranteed.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Kayak the crystalline Caribbean
US$30.50
Barrier Reef Dive
US$215.00
Snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef
US$65.00
Sunset Sail
DAY 7 - Caye Caulker to Tikal via Belize
Caye Caulker
Water taxis will transport you back to the mainland across the glorious underwater playground you’ve become so well acquainted with over the last few days, landing us back in the arms of Belize City.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Stay in Tikal National Park
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Jungle ziplining experience
US$30.00
Belize
It’s a super swift passing by of the beloved Belize City before we take to the road to journey across the border into yet another stunning country, this time, Guatemala.
Tikal
This leg of the trip will see you travel overland through Guatemala’s Peten forests. This afternoon before we drop anchor at our hotel, you could zoom around the treetops like a monkey but securely attached on a zipline of course! Later on you will doze off to the tranquil sounds of the nature all around you, but in a comfy bed with all the amenities you need. 
DAY 8 - Tikal to Antigua
Tikal
Rise early today to watch daybreak unfold from the top of the Mayan ruin Templo IV.  We will take a guided tour of the area before a trip to the island of Flores, where we'll have lunch and time for shopping before flying this afternoon to Guatemala's capital city and then on to beautiful Antigua.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Locally guided tour of Tikal National Park
Included flight to Antigua
Locally Guided Sightseeing tour of Colonial Antigua
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Native Chocolate Museum
US$23.00
Antigua
This place is incredibly pretty with a lot of history that you will soak up once you’ve been out and about. You will notice colouful rooftop gardens dotted amongst the old buildings and you’ll hear the clip clop of the horse drawn carriages that are still a favoured type of transport today. Start with a tour with our guide to learn about colonial buildings, tiny squares, and fountains, ending up with you feeling like a local in no time at all. You’ll be glad to know there are two peaceful nights planned here in the old colonial town set right beneath two massive volcanoes. (We arrive on a very late flight)
DAY 9 - Antigua
Antigua
Don your explorers cap today and head off for some ME time, the day is in your hands. Being able to choose your own adventure today could take you up Pacaya Volcano on a guided hike. If you’d rather produce those endorphins by making (and eating) your own chocolate, then that is also a rather delicious option where you'll learn about the process from start to end and take home the results of your efforts. Bike rides, coffee plantations, there's more to do that you can imagine. Guatemalan delights tonight? Yes please. We'll get local over chiles rellanos (or peppers stuffed to the brim with vegetables, meat and sauces). You're sure to hear a collective mmmm.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Guatemalan feast
Locally Guided Sightseeing tour of Colonial Antigua
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Hike the Pacaya Volcano
From US$65.00
Make your own chocolates from locally-sourced cacao
US$23.00
Bike Ride and Plantation
US$50.00
Make your own chocolates from locally-sourced cacao
US$23.00
DAY 10 - Antigua to San Jose
Antigua
This morning we'll take to the skies, Costa Rica bound. Who's ready for some Pura Vida vibes? 
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Included flight to San Jose
San Jose
Do you know the way to San Jose? Well yeah, we do, cos' here we are! Today we'll head out to explore daily Costa Rican life at the Plaza & sample some local delicacies at the Mercado Central (Central Market).
DAY 11 - San José to Tortuguero
San Jose
We leave the city's charms behind and make for Tortuguero, which translates as "Land of the Turtles" - a sun-drenched town in the centre of a river-fed rainforest only accessible by boat or small plane.
Tortuguero
Though tiny, Tortuguero - with its strong Afro-Caribbean influence - bustles with people all year round. Yet despite the hustle, the vibes are chilled. We'll be staying in a jungle lodge tonight and this will be your first enounter with howler monkeys. Yup, and howl they do - your first realisation that you really are now at one with nature. Take a jungle walk, have a swim and kick back, already living that sweet pura vida life.
DAY 12 - Tortuguero
Tortuguero
Wake with the howler monkeys and jump in a boat with your expert guide to explore the snaking canals of Tortuguero National Park. Wildlife is abundant here - expect to spot primates, sloths, reptiles and maybe even a caiman, so don't dangle your legs off the edge just in case. Later, laze on the beach, hike in the jungle or, if the season is right, you may have the privilege of watching nesting sea turtles. After the cruise, the day is yours. Maybe head back into town, take advantage of the spa, or sip a cocktail or the national beer, Imperial, by the pool.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Visit Tortuguero Village
Wildlife boat cruise with a naturalist guide
DAY 13 - Tortuguero to Sarapiqui
Tortuguero
Jungle to jungle - today we head to lush Sarapiquí for an overnight stay in an Eco Camp.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Locally guided chocolate tour
Visit the Tirimbina Reserve
Sarapiqui
Sarapiquí is renowned for its rich biodiversity and fertile lands thanks to its river, which descends from clear mountain streams and winds through the county. Relax in the rainforest and indulge in a chocolate tour in the Tirimbina reserve (you can eat everything but the guide, basically) - it's here you will learn literally an A to Z of how it's done. Back at the Lodge, it's all about getting into the outdoors. Take a trail walk through the jungle, cross swing bridges over rivers, or hop in the pool for some group hangs pre dinner (a delicious BBQ feast, in case you were wondering). Tonight's home may be an Eco Camp, but we're not talking back to basics. In your comfy bed, with candlelight, you're sleeping to the sound of the jungle. Bliss.
DAY 14 - Sarapiqui to Arenal/La Fortuna
Sarapiqui
This morning the choice is yours as to how to make the most of the great outdoors. Whitewater rafting on the Saraquipi river, or soaring through the skies on a zipline? The choices are tough when you're living the pura vida life. You're sure to be hungry, so we'll load you up with a delicious local lunch of regional specialities before hitting the road.

NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
See Arenal volcano
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Hot Springs Visit
US$30.00
Arenal (La Fortuna)
We’ll then head towards one of the most incredible volcanoes in Costa Rica; Arenal. This volcano is near perfectly formed and famed for its hot springs and healing properties so you know what that means – spa times and treatments galore. Later, grab some munch in town with the crew, or continue to kick it in the hotel pool.
DAY 15 - Arenal/La Fortuna
Arenal (La Fortuna)
Rapelling through a rainforest canyon and waterfalls this morning will be the perfect wake up call. This optional activity is one you won't forget, and if you have a bit of a fear of heights, this is the best way to conquer them. Not keen? No problem. Head back to the pool, grab a delicious coffee, keep those eyes peeled for sloths or practice your Spanish on a friendly local. This afternoon you can spend your free time exploring or to really go local by experiencing the traditional "Tico" mentality at a country estate, La Fortuna. Here, you'll meet with school students and local farmers to learn about their way of life, before enjoying a delicious home-cooked dinner washed down with coffee (and a shot or two of coffee liquor) and some singing and dancing.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Lost Canyon Adventures - Canyoneering (Waterfall Rappelling)
US$80.00
Casona Rio Fortuna
US$70.00
DAY 16 - Arenal/La Foruna to Playa Tamarindo
Arenal (La Fortuna)
See you later volcano lands, more of Costa Rica is calling and hell yeah we're listening.
Playa Tamarindo
Playa Tamarindo has the reputation of being Costa Rica's numero uno surf and party destination, and for good reason. This northern beach town boats tasty waves and golden sands dotted with lounge bars and fabulous restaurants. We're staying right by the beach, and loving every second of it.
DAY 17 - Playa Tamarindo
Playa Tamarindo
A bohemian atmosphere permeates every inch of this paradise. Pass the day in the water, snorkelling or scuba diving amongst rainbow fish, or getting amongst the surf. There's an optional catamaran cruise this afternoon, because really who doesn't love getting out there on the water. Whether you opt for this or not, make sure you catch the sunset. Divine. Dinner with the group will top off a perfect day.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Catamaran Cruise
US$80.00
DAY 18 - Playa Tamarindo to Monteverde
Playa Tamarindo
Shake out your beach towel and pack away those swimmers (for now). Today we're making for the mountains!
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Guided tour of the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde
With clean air filling your lungs our next spot awaits, and the misty forests of Monte Verde are sure to take your breath away. This leafy wildlife hotspot is home to coffee plantations, countless monkey species and friendly locals who work hard to preserve the balance between nature and tourism. This afternoon, be blown away (by natural beauty, not wind) as we go trekking in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. We will hike our way through the cloudforest with our guide pointing out birds and wildlife, delivering an in-depth run through of the nature found here. Nature knowledge at an all time high, we'll be rewarded with views of the Caribbean and the Pacific sides of Costa Rica. You can even feel the air change up here, due to it being on a continental divide...no we're not joking.
DAY 19 - Monteverde
Monteverde
Yes, yes and yes is what you will as we explore the tropical Selvatura Park – most likely whilst ziplining down a mind-blowing 1km long line. But that’s not all on offer. We’ll also be walking the hanging bridges amongst the lush Monte Verde cloudforest – there are eight in total of varying lengths, each offering unparalleled views of the forest floor – then popping in to a butterfly sanctuary to spot just some of the 20 species flying around. This afternoon is all about learning about everyone’s favourite caffeinated friend – coffee. One of Costa Rica’s most famous exports, we’ll learn how the plants are cultivated and the entire process of turning delicious little berries into rich coffee beans. Definitely a gift shopping op for the parents…
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Explore Selvatura Park and visit the hanging bridges and butterfly and hummingbird gardens
Coffee making demonstration and tasting
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Selvatura Park Ziplining
US$55.00
DAY 20 - Monteverde to Manuel Antonio via Jaco & Quepos
Monteverde
This morning we'll leave Monte Verde in the clouds and meander our way back to the coast.
Jaco
On route, we’ll stop off at the gorgeous surf resort of Jacó for some lunch. A cute little fishing town and a great spot to grab a bite and people watch, this is just what we’ll need to cure our sadness at leaving our rainforest paradise behind.
Quepos
In the spirit of seeing more, we’ll stop again at Quepos, maybe grabbing a coffee or some plantain crisps for a tasty snack en route.
Manuel Antonio
Oceanside Manuel Antonio is a dizzying mix of ancient rainforest, pristine beaches and coral reefs. We’ll arrive at the hotel for some relaxing by the pool (or at the bar) whilst contemplating Costa Rican life, soaking up these last few days in paradise.
DAY 21 - Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Today is yours to conquer as you will, but with a menu of appetising optionals up for grabs, we reckon you’ll find it hard to resist. So what can we tempt you with? How about a horseback excursion to the luscious Tacori Waterfalls, a ride your own ATV adventure where you can stop for waterfall fun and frolics, or a surf lesson to get you in and amongst the waves. With bleached sandy beaches, an underwater playground just begging to be snorkelled and fresh fish dinners a-plenty to be had, this lazy beach town may just claim your heart.
NO REGRETS INCLUSIONS
Visit a local market
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
Tacori Waterfalls Horseback riding
US$60.00
DAY 22 - Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Hike along the coast up through the mountains with an expert this morning, spotting macaws, toucans and sloths along the way. Don't forget your camera so you can snap all Manuel Antonio National Park's exotic plants and animals and get rewarded with a swim at the end. An optional catamaran cruise is on the cards in the afternoon, where we'll swim and snorkel with dolphins, whales and sea turtles - the salty water hiding our tears at the realisation it's our last night together. We'll end the day with an included dinner, and no doubt a few drinks to toast the trip, and oh what a trip it has been.
FREE TIME ADD-ONS
ATV Tour
US$65 double & US$100 single
Surf Lessons Tour
Coastal Kayak / Snorkeling
US$65.00
DAY 23 - Manuel Antonio to San José
Manuel Antonio
Milk your final morning in Manuel Antonio for all it's worth, squeezing in a kayak or a snorkel before we head back to where it all began: San José.
San Jose
The trip ends on arrival as we pull back into the gritty city. Costa Rica, you've been a real treat!
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Anonymous
Traveled Jul 2018
Did not realise this tour was different tour groups bought together. We thought we would be with the same people the whole trip. People got on and off at different places. Need more information on what to take. e.g.; rain jackets and swim shoes for Costa Rico. In Mexico meals need to be included as it was very expensive. We all took travel cards to find out we had to pay cash for activities and not on credit cards etc.
Traveled Jul 2018

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Sara Jones
Traveled May 2018
Mexico was a bit expensive but other than that I definitely felt it was worth for money!
Traveled May 2018

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Wesley
Traveled May 2018
In short, the destinations visited on this trip were cultural, exciting and had lot's of history. Contiki did a great job fitting in a lot of destinations within each country and offering activities to get involved amongst, although be aware that these activities are not cheap. Although I had a few big nights on the drink myself, Contiki highly revolved around having the expectation of drinking/partying every night. If you choose not to get drunk with the group on most of these occoasions then you may be made or feel to be on the 'outer of the group/click' which was not enjoyable. I felt there was a school yard mentality when it came to making friends and rumors. For these reasons I will not be taking another holiday with Contiki, but putting these reasons aside, my Contiki itinerary was fantastic given the destinations visited, length of time spent at each location and avaliable activities (Ziplining, Cave Snorkling, Repelling, Speedboating, Volcano Hiking, Wildlife, Waterfalls).
Booked from Brisbane Traveled May 2018

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