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La Ruta Maya

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
This tour is operated by
La Ruta Maya - Exodus Travels
La Ruta Maya - Exodus Travels
Good
20 reviews
Starts
Guatemala City
Destinations
+24
Ends
Guatemala City
Map

Highlights

  • Explore Lake Atitlan surroundings by boat
  • Visit colonial city San Cristobal de Las Casas
  • Take a tour to jungle-covered Mayan pyramids and temples
  • Enjoy the Caribbean lifestyle of Caye Caulker
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
15
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
Discovery
Start and end in Guatemala City! With the discovery tour La Ruta Maya, you have a 15 day tour package taking you through Guatemala City, Guatemala and 23 other destinations in Latin America. La Ruta Maya is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

20 Reviews

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  • GP
    Written on April 19, 2017
    2.0 - Rather poor

    Really disappointed with this trip. The Guatemalan segment was amazing with a great guide and fascinating sites. But the Mexican guide was terrible and the dry sub tropical scenery was interminably boring and the Mayan sites were too busy with tourists. The Belize island was not the tropical paradise as billed and should be cut from the trip. My recommendation? Just take two weeks in guatemala and spend more time at each location!
    Show detailed ratings

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 2
    Written on April 25, 2013
    1.0 - Bad

    Places and people were lovely, but the promised 'Premium Adventure' was not delivered.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Watching nature on Caye Caulker; the lesser known Mayan sites outshone their more famous siblings; the Palm Sunday parades in Antigua were something to experience.What did you think of your group leader?Not up to the standard I have experienced on Exodus trips in other parts of the world. Very poor judgement in recommending restaurants; mostly poor quality food at premium prices. I'm a foodie and experiencing the local cuisine is an important part of travelling for me.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Booked this 'Premium Adventure' back to back with 'Beyond the Mayan World' thinking that a bit extra comfort would be great for the second fortnight. What I experienced was that the median standard of comfort delivered by the 'Premium Adventure' was no higher than that of the standard adventure. If I had to choose which set of hotels I would revisit I would go with those from the standard tour. I got a standard tour at a premium price.Is there anything else you would like to add?As a standard tour this would have been great.

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 3
    Written on January 10, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    We had a wonderful holiday.  Very well organised itiniary, an excellent tour leader and very good hotels.  Will certainly book with Exodus again.  Thank you What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?A number of great moments.  Lake Atalan was beautiful.  Mayan sites breathtaking.  Cay Caulker very laid-back and relaxing.  A great mix of experiences.What did you think of your group leader?He was very informative and helpful.

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 4
    Written on June 11, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    Exodus trips always have an interesting itinerary and good local guides:  this was only exceptional because the guide was brilliant.  The third factor is always unknown -  one's fellow travellers - on this occasion the most fun group I have travelled with.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Difficult to decide - from the first evening in Antigua seeing the spectacle of a shrine being carried through the streets to the sounds of fire crackers exploding, to to laid back Belize (and who would have missed the Sundowner Cruise?)... it was all fascinating.The Mayan sites, history and culture were wonderfully explained by local guides.   The different religious practices (including Maximon) came as a complete surprise.  The variety of locations - from the very Latin Guatemala and Mexico, to hippy Belize - all inspirational.What did you think of your group leader?Excellent:  not only very open in explaining Central American culture but also a great companion, entering into the fun of the trip with all of us.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go for it

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 5
    Written on May 29, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This is the first time we have been on an organised tour, and usually prefer independent travel.  However, given time pressures for organising this trip, we decided to give it a go and we were not disappointed at all!  It was an excellent trip, encompassing a large portion of the Mayan World.  We had brilliant experience from start to finish and we learned a lot about this facinating part of the world.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There are too many to mention, but they include seeing Palenque and Tikal and of course, Machimon.What did you think of your group leader?Diego Miranda was an excellent tour leader, he was very knowledgeable and professional and a really great person to get to know.  He adapted quickly and efficiently to the different needs of the group and was always approachable.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you go near or in the wet season take a rain mac or poncho.  Also, proper walking shoes are adviseable.  Expect some long periods of time travelling to places - this is to be expected given the large area to be covered in a relatively short period of time.Is there anything else you would like to add?The best coffee and rum can be found in Guatemala - trust us!It's fascinating to see the cultures, landscapes, beliefs and lifestyles change as you move through the three countries visited on this trip.

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 6
    Written on April 23, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    This trip delivered all that I had hoped for it.  Well planned, well run and a great way to understand a little of the history of the MayaWhat was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The first sight of a Mayan pyramid at Palenque.  The realisation of just how huge the Mayan cities had been and the fascinating fact that they were 'lost' under jungle growth - at Palenque what we saw, what had been cleared, was a small fraction of the structure in the whole site.And then we saw five others, all different and all fascinating.What did you think of your group leader?Armando was magic.  I had the unfortunate experience of having my wallet pickpocketed and he was brilliantly helpful.  He was an excellent organiser, well versed in the histroy of his country and of the Maya and a wonderful guide and friend to us all.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Don't carry your wallet in your back pocket!Is there anything else you would like to add?I would recommend this trip to anyone.  The hotels chosen were all excellent and individual.  Each was different but all were nice places to stay.  There were no anonymous business hotels, undifferntiateable from any other such hotel!  The physical requirements of the visits were OK for an older person such as myself. It was HOT.

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 7
    Written on April 20, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    A really great experience, packed with culture, history, interesting towns and beautiful sights along the way. I loved the combination of different countries and the changing scenery. It sounds like a cliché but I've never seen such colourfully dressed locals as in Guatemala - the rural areas gave a real taste of traditional life.  What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Crossing Lake Atitlan by boat to visit the small community of San Juan La Laguna, where a women's co-operative showed us the weaving and dying process of cotton using flowers and other traditional plants. I loved San Cristobal and the church in nearby San Juan Chamula, where locals sat in rows on a floor covered in pine needles, lit by tiny burning candles with incense swirling in the air around.   Swimming into and standing under the invigorating spray at Misol-Ha waterfall, an extra stop that our guide managed to fit into one of the day's activities to cool everyone down! Visiting the Mayan ruins of Palenque early in the morning, before the heat of the day had taken hold. Our guide explained the history and culture of the Mayan civilsation in a way that really brought it to life and made it easy to understand.What did you think of your group leader?He was great - very friendly, organised and fun to be around. He had a good knowledge of the local areas and made great choices for restaurants and additional activities throughout the trip. We were also joined by specialist guides at each Mayan site which enhanced the experience.  Do you have any advice for potential travellers?This trip covers quite a distance and some of the journeys are on windy roads, particularly at the start in Guatemala. However, the great views out of the window made up for the fact that reading to pass the time was nearly impossible! Beware that sometimes the 'pico gallo' (Mexican salsa) can be ridiculously spicy and yet also strangely addictive, so your mouth and tongue will be on fire but you won't be able to stop eating! Generally the food was great with lots of fresh fish and an amazing dish one day called 'cochinita pibil'- slowly roasted pork, cooked on coals underground for 2 hours. Apparently it was traditional to finish this meal with tequila...  when in Mexico!Is there anything else you would like to add?I had a great time; "Viva Mexico!"

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 8
    Written on November 30, 2011
    3.0 - Average

    Interesting trip with beautiful scenery in Guatemala, fascinating Mayan ruins in Mexico (but take a good archaelogical guide like Michael Coe's "The Maya" 11th edition, 2011) interspersed with old colonial Spanish towns and great snorkelling and boat trips to see manatees and dolphins near the mangrove islands off Caye Caulker, Belize. Lot of travelling in the bus but worth it on balance.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with its towering volcanos is incredibly beautiful at all times of day. Seeing the manatees off Caye Caulker was special as well and, although one does get tired of Mayan ruins, they are pretty amazing objectively especially Palenque and Tikal. Chitzen Itza gets too busy with tourists to feel specialWhat did you think of your group leader?He was fine though not as good as the leaders we have had on other trips. This was his last trip working for Exodus so slightly akward situation.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?My main points would be:- (a) Someone on a previous exodus trip advises people to take pesos as difficult/not good rate to change.  We followed this advice but found it to be wrong. It was easy to change money on our trip and US dollars could be used freely in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Some of our party used ATMs. (b) Remember country entrance/exit fees. They add up though you are not always charged when leaving Guatemala. (c) If you love textiles, buy them at Lake Atitlan (or Santiago Atitlan/San Marcos La Laguna). You just dont see as good/as great a variety elsewhere on the trip. There is a school shop near where you get the boat to Santiago Atitlan that sells lovely things in aid of the children's education(d) Aquashoes useful as beaches quite stony. Quite a variation in temperature so need warm jumpers for altitude/night but light clothes for day. Binoculars a must for bird life and sea scanning for manatees. (e) Vegetarian options can be a bit limited and traveller's diarrohea can hit hard even when taking care with handwashing/sanigel or equivalent!Is there anything else you would like to add?Its quite a hard trip by way of the amount of bus travel and you really have to accept that or the trip is not for you. The Guatemalan highlands/Mexican border is lovely but a lot of Mexican travel is on plains that is not that interesting in itself. I wished I had some Spanish to make for a better interaction when saying 'no thanks' re people travelling to sell stuff. As said earlier a good academic book about the Mayan ruins that is up to date will add to the trip as you can look up detail/ reinforce understanding when on the long bus journeys. I wouldnt have enjoyed the ruins nearly as much if I hadnt had Coe's book with me as our guide wasnt that clear about the differences between the sites and the key features of the ruins to note. Would thoroughly recommend the all day manatee/snorkelling trip with lunch at St George's (private aquarium there that you can visit for $2.50 that has lion fish, puffer fish etc.) Karly Bischoff aged 10 showed us round and he was brilliant. Really knew his stuff!!

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 9
    Written on November 30, 2011
    3.0 - Average

    Interesting trip with beautiful scenery in Guatemala, fascinating Mayan ruins in Mexico (but take a good archaelogical guide like Michael Coe's "The Maya" 11th edition, 2011) interspersed with old colonial Spanish towns and great snorkelling and boat trips to see manatees and dolphins near the mangrove islands off Caye Caulker, Belize. Lot of travelling in the bus but worth it on balance.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with its towering volcanos is incredibly beautiful at all times of day. Seeing the manatees off Caye Caulker was special as well and, although one does get tired of Mayan ruins, they are pretty amazing objectively especially Palenque and Tikal. Chitzen Itza gets too busy with tourists to feel specialWhat did you think of your group leader?He was fine though not as good as the leaders we have had on other trips. This was his last trip working for Exodus so slightly akward situation.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?My main points would be:- (a) Someone on a previous exodus trip advises people to take pesos as difficult/not good rate to change.  We followed this advice but found it to be wrong. It was easy to change money on our trip and US dollars could be used freely in Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Some of our party used ATMs. (b) Remember country entrance/exit fees. They add up though you are not always charged when leaving Guatemala. (c) If you love textiles, buy them at Lake Atitlan (or Santiago Atitlan/San Marcos La Laguna). You just dont see as good/as great a variety elsewhere on the trip. There is a school shop near where you get the boat to Santiago Atitlan that sells lovely things in aid of the children's education(d) Aquashoes useful as beaches quite stony. Quite a variation in temperature so need warm jumpers for altitude/night but light clothes for day. Binoculars a must for bird life and sea scanning for manatees. (e) Vegetarian options can be a bit limited and traveller's diarrohea can hit hard even when taking care with handwashing/sanigel or equivalent!Is there anything else you would like to add?Its quite a hard trip by way of the amount of bus travel and you really have to accept that or the trip is not for you. The Guatemalan highlands/Mexican border is lovely but a lot of Mexican travel is on plains that is not that interesting in itself. I wished I had some Spanish to make for a better interaction when saying 'no thanks' re people travelling to sell stuff. As said earlier a good academic book about the Mayan ruins that is up to date will add to the trip as you can look up detail/ reinforce understanding when on the long bus journeys. I wouldnt have enjoyed the ruins nearly as much if I hadnt had Coe's book with me as our guide wasnt that clear about the differences between the sites and the key features of the ruins to note. Would thoroughly recommend the all day manatee/snorkelling trip with lunch at St George's (private aquarium there that you can visit for $2.50 that has lion fish, puffer fish etc.) Karly Bischoff aged 10 showed us round and he was brilliant. Really knew his stuff!!

  • La Ruta Maya reviewer 10
    Written on March 29, 2011
    1.0 - Bad

    Exodus do describe this trip clearly, so maybe it’s our fault for not appreciating that it does try to cram too much into too short a time. As a result the abiding memories are that: (1) We had too many long stints on less-than-luxurious buses. (2) There were so many visits to so many Mayan ruin sites that they all seem to telescope together and become one jumbled memory, and (3) We always seemed to arrive at overnight stops too late, and leave too early to enjoy the quite nice hotels (although one was absolutely dire) and the seductive towns we stopped at.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?My wife says that if it hadn’t been pouring with rain, and if we hadn’t spent the previous night at a dreadful hotel, the visit to Palenque would have been “inspirational”. She also makes positive noises about Uxmal and Tikal. But, for me, although I enjoyed Campeche, Tulum and Caye Caulker, there really was nothing on this trip that I'd call “inspirational” – and I frequently found myself wondering why we’d forked out all that money. (We’ve done quite a bit of long-haul travel, and a great deal within Europe; and we have found most of these "inspirational". But this was our first ever guided group tour, and I’m still not sure whether it was the group structure, the guidance or the location that made it one of our least satisfactory trips.)What did you think of your group leader?José was knowledgeable, well-meaning and a nice guy. But he was clearly nervous and during the first few days his management and organisational skills were sadly lacking. His briefings were rambling, unclear and incomplete, and his many jokes ceased pretty quickly to be funny; he was also bad at keeping the group together, and came close to losing people. By the end of day 5, most of us had “taken him to one side for a chat”, and it was noticeable that his performance improved significantly thereafter.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Buy your local currency (with a “buy-back guarantee”) before departure. The exchange rates you’ll get “in country” can be pretty poor, and, the currency exchange process is hugely time-consuming and irritating. Despite what the Exodus trip notes tell you, the US$ is not king (although it works well in Belize); you will need local currency for most things in the countries you visit. We found that £30 per head per day covered everything (including many cocktails for Herself!). A lot of the places this trip calls at are at quite high altitude, and it’s worth reinforcing that, if you’re travelling outside high summer, you’ll definitely need something warm for the evenings, as well as some seriously good but light rain gear. Watch your luggage like a hawk at all times (one of our party only just managed to stop their luggage being accidentally loaded onto the wrong tour bus !) All the hotels we stopped at had free wi-fi, but phone coverage is very patchy (3G almost non-existent) and very expensive.Is there anything else you would like to add?Here are some worthwhile improvements Exodus might consider: - Instead of making us spend ½ an hour on our first morning filling out forms (listing insurance policies, passport details, medication, next of kin, etc), supply the forms in advance, so that those who want to can fill them out before departure. - Each morning at breakfast hand out a brief typed “plan for the day” (where we’re going, where and when we’ll stop, where and when to meet, what kit we need – eg swimming gear, walking shoes, etc – the name and address of that night’s hotel, and so forth [we found it nigh impossible to extract this information from José in the early stages of the trip]). - Tell us in advance what sort of money to lay aside for tips (it transpires that you’re expected to tip the Group leader, three bus drivers, the bell boys at each hotel, a tour guide at each of the sites you visit, and sundry others - at many of the “comfort stops” you’ll have to pay to go to the loo!). - Use buses suitable for European-sized people to sit on for long stretches.

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Antigua.
  2. Day 2: City tour; to Panajachel.
  3. Day 3: Boat trip on Lake Atitlan.
  4. Day 4: To San Cristobal de las Casas.
  5. Day 5: Explore San Cristobal de las Casas and nearby villages.
  6. Day 6: Visit Agua Azul Waterfall; to Palenque.
  7. Day 7: Tour of Palenque; to Campeche.
  8. Day 8: To Merida via Uxmal ruins.
  9. Day 9: Visit Chichen Itza; to Tulum.
  10. Day 10: Visit Tulum ruins; swim in a cenote; free afternoon.
  11. Day 11: To Belize city; boat to Caye Caulker.
  12. Day 12: Free day.
  13. Day 13: Boat to Belize City; to El Remate via Xunantunich.
  14. Day 14: Visit Tikal; fly from Flores to Guatemala City.
  15. Day 15: End Guatemala City.

What's included

Expand all
  • Accommodation

    Rated Rather poor by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Rather poor by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Rather poor by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Rather poor by past passengers
  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

Download PDF Brochure

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  • Ellen22nd July 2018
    Booking on line was easy and all confirmation details, including invoice, deposit and final payment was informative.

About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

Q
Quetzal
Guatemala
Peso
Mexico
$
Dollar
Belize

Plugs & Adapters

Guatemala, Mexico and BelizeGuatemala and BelizeGuatemala

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for Guatemala and Belize. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Guatemala. Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an infected area for Belize. Ideally 10 days before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Guatemala City.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 22 November 2018 the full payment of $0 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $0 for La Ruta Maya, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 2,191 km.
  • Guatemala City (Guatemala)
  • 71 km
  • Chichicastenango (Guatemala)
  • 23 km
  • Panajachel (Guatemala)
  • 15 km
  • San Juan La Laguna (Guatemala)
  • 269 km
  • San Cristobel de Las Casas (Mexico)
  • 8 km
  • San Juan Chamula (Mexico)
  • 4 km
  • Zinacantan (Mexico)
  • 9 km
  • San Cristobel de Las Casas (Mexico)
  • 80 km
  • Agua Azul (Mexico)
  • 19 km
  • Cascada Misolha (Mexico)
Show all destinations

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1 Genuine Review
All reviews are verified from travellers who went on La Ruta Maya