Private Journeys

Highlights of the Mayan world

13 days from £2,680pp

Belize / Guatemala / Mexico

Palenque

Essentials

Transport

One domestic flight, 6 scenic road journeys mostly on paved roads.

Accommodation

For this holiday we have chosen simple or mid-range, countryside lodges which blend into the natural environment with bird- and exotic foliage-filled grounds. At Chichén Itzá you stay at a hacienda-style resort hotel and in Mérida a converted historic building. 

Meals

Breakfast daily, lunch days 5,11.

Summary Of Nights

13 days, 12 nights:  Mountain Pine Ridge 3, Tikal 2, Frontera Corozal 1, Palenque 2, Merida 2, Chichén Itzá 1, Cancún 1.

Journey Grade

There are no long days of travel on this trip. This holiday is suitable for couples; friends; single people; families with older children, history, archaeology and wildlife  enthusiasts. 

Guides

We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 35 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by clients on their return.

Climate

The best weather conditions are during the dry season December to May. It can be cool in the highlands in winter, while the jungle areas and the Yucatán are hot and humid all year round. There’s a low risk of tropical storms or hurricanes from June to November.

Clothing And Special Equipment

Bring plenty of light, loose and preferably cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes, trainers or sports sandals. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitos  may be. 
Protection against the sun (sunblock, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying sun block, water and any extra layers. Binoculars are strongly recommended. 

Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts.

What Is Not Included In The Journey Price

• International flights to Latin America.
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.

Currency

The unit of currency in Belize is the Belize dollar which is always 2 to 1 US dollar (US dollars also accepted); in Guatemala the quetzal, in Mexico the Mexican peso..

How To Take It

Cash machines are available Belize Airport and in Mérida  and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is a convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip. In some of the hotels, as well as shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds. We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.

The Belize exchange rate is fixed at $2 Belize dollars to 1 $US. Both currencies are widely accepted in cash and credit cards can be used at the hotels. 

Daily Spend

It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$45 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir.

Tipping

Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.

Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 – 12% in restaurants.

Insurance

Travel insurance is essential. 

Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.

Vaccinations

Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets.  For specific requirements you must consult your GP.

You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.

Visas

Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.

If flying to the US, or via the US you will need to fill in your online ESTA application.

Country info

When is the best time to visit Belize?

The best weather conditions are during the dry season Dec-May. It can be cool in the highlands in winter, while the jungle areas are hot and humid all year.

For more detailed information visit our When To Go section.

What's the official language of Belize?

English.

How do I get local currency in Belize?

Belizean dollar. Notes can be obtained from money exchanges and also from banks which will supply advances on a debit or credit card. There are ATMs in Belize City where you can use a UK credit or debit card. You may have to get authorisation from your bank first, and withdrawal amounts may be limited.

What's the time difference between Belize and UK?

GMT -6 hrs

What places combine well with Belize?

A visit to neighbouring Guatemala, with its Latin and Maya cultural heritage, there’s a road link to the Mayan ruins at Tikal in the Petén jungle; southern Mexico, crossing the land border at Chetumal. 

What are the festivals and cultural and sporting events in Belize?

Belize Carnival, (Feb/Mar). Lively celebrations especially in San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye.

Lobster season:  Lobster season starts Jun-Jul, with lobster on offer in all its forms, with drinking and partying.

Belize Independence Day: throughout the country, 21 Sep.  Parades, processions and parties.

Garifuna Settlement Day, Dangriga, 19 Nov. Includes parades, live music, drumming, dancing, and prayers in celebration of the first Garifuna Afro-Caribbean settlers.

How long is the flight to Belize from UK?

There are flights via US and European hubs, the journey from London taking around 15.5 hours.

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Caracol Mayan ruins, Rio Frio pools
  • Visit to Yaxha ruins
  • Guided tour of Tikal archaeological site
  • Excursion to Bonampak and Yaxchilán Mayan sites
  • Half day tour of Palenque abandoned Mayan city
  • Guided tour of Chichen Itzá site

What's included in the price

  • Services of our team of experts in our London office
  • Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides
  • All land and air transport within Latin America
  • Accommodation as specified
  • Meals as specified
  • Excursions as specified, including entrance fees

Included Excursions

  • Guided excursion to Caracol Mayan ruins, Rio Frio pools
  • Visit to Yaxha ruins
  • Guided tour of Tikal archaeological site
  • Excursion to Bonampak and Yaxchilán Mayan sites
  • Half day tour of Palenque abandoned Mayan city
  • Guided tour of Chichen Itzá site

Inspired by this trip

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

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Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration

Real Latin America Experts

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Expert

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours sales team.

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Expert

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Expert

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Expert

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Head of Sales.

  • Carrie Gallagher
    Carrie Gallagher - Travel Expert

    A former JLA tour leader, Carrie brings a wealth of on-the-ground experience to our London-based Tailor-made and Group Tours department.

  • Lina Fuller
    Lina Fuller - Travel Expert

    Lina's passion for the continent where she was born really took off when she moved to Córdoba (Argentina) to study, spending the holidays travelling between Argentina and her native Colombia.

Meet the team