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Search Walking Holidays

Guatemala & Mexico

A journey through the varied landscapes and rich Mayan history of Central America.

From£3,425

  • Guatemala

    Mexico

  • 15 nights
  • Pioneer

    Sightseeing

  • Feb

    Apr

    Nov

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 46250

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4

Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.

Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.

Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Discover colourful Antigua City on a guided tour with a local.
  • Explore the lower slopes of Guatemala’s volcanoes.
  • Uncover the impressive Mayan site of Palenque on foot.
  • Join a boat tour through the Mexican mangroves at Celestun.
  • Visit Chichen Itza, one of the New Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
  • Local guides throughout for expert knowledge and guidance.

We start in Guatemala, a country shaped by volcanoes where Antigua City is our first stop. From there we explore Pacaya, one of Guatemala’s youngest volcanoes and enjoy a chocolate workshop. At Panajachel on Lake Atitlan, a boat ride takes us to visit a Mayan village to learn about local traditions and beliefs on a guided tour.

We then cross into Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, staying in San Cristóbal, one of Mexico's most attractive colonial towns. From here we can visit many typical Mayan villages and hike in the Arcotete Ecopark. Next is Palenque to discover its Mayan heritage, the jungle-covered complex is probably the finest surviving Mayan site in Mexico.

We continue to Mérida to enjoy the flamingo sanctuary at Celestun. Our last stop is Chichén Itzá to uncover the famous pyramids, one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’.

This tour combines two of Central America's most diverse attractions, history and unique flavours. Come experience for yourself because the world is more beautiful on foot!

  • Flights from Heathrow to La Auroa, Guatemala via Madrid (Iberia), returning Cancun, Mexico to Gatwick (British Airways).
  • Airport transfers.
  • En suite accommodation with breakfast in some lovely characterful hotels.
  • Dinners taken in local restaurants each night.
  • English speaking local guides throughout.
  • All entrance fees.
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Antigua

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We depart the UK for our flight to Guatemala via Madrid. On arrival we transfer to our centrally located hotel in Antigua. The transfer takes about an hour and a half depending on traffic.

Transfer Time = 90 minutes

Day 2

Antigua

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We begin the tour at the cathedral, which was built in 1680, where our local guide will explain the history of the city through the colonial architecture. Next, we visit the San Francisco el Grande Church which was built in 1702. It is one of the best-preserved churches in Antigua and the resting place of the first saint in Central America, Hermano Pedro. We then walk to the beautiful baroque church of Nuestra Señora de la Merced, one of Antigua’s most beautiful colonial-style churches, and finished in 1767.

The tour ends in a jade factory where we learn about the different types of jade, the history of jade in Guatemala and understand how long it takes to make just one piece. To the ancient Maya, jade represented things like maize (corn), the wind, breath and the soul. They made jade into belts, nose decorations, mosaic masks, tooth inserts, beads and ear spools (a kind of earring that looks like a spool).

Later in the day, we visit a coffee farm to learn about the history of coffee and its production.

Day 3

Antigua

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    1.5 hours

  • Distance

    3.5 - 4 miles

  • Ascent

    402m

Today, we will hike Pacaya, one Guatemala’s youngest volcanoes. A relatively easy climb of 1.5 hours brings us to the fertile shelf just below the cinder cone called “la Meseta.” Once you are on the Centro de Visitantes (the starting point of the hike) the vegetation is initially very lush but still good views if you look back. Continuing up the ground becomes sandy and vegetation more sparse, and eventually, closer to the crater, it is completely bare.  From here we get a stunning view of recent lava flows. We will explore these lava fields, and as the smoking crater looms above, the environment quickly changes to resemble that of an extra-terrestrial setting. 

We have plenty of time to enjoy the views before we make our way back down. We return to Antigua, where we will enjoy a chocolate workshop. The workshop lasts approximately 2 hours and offers a chance to learn all the steps from the harvest to eating. Starting with cacao beans we roast them, peel them, and grind them into a paste. This cacao paste is used to prepare the first known cacao drink (invented by the Mayas), the traditional chocolate. In the end, from refined chocolate, you will prepare your own chocolate.

Day 4

Panajachel

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

After breakfast, we depart from Antigua towards Panajachel. En route, we will visit Chichicastenango’s market, held twice a week and reputed to be the largest in Central America. We have 2-3 hours here with time for lunch. The town’s census population is about 45,000, but the day before each market day many people stream in from the surrounding area to set up shop. Many of the vendors, often whole families, flock into town the evening before with their wares and bed down in their stalls space. And since the town is about 6,500 feet above sea level–this is the Guatemalan highlands–it can get pretty chilly at night for those sleeping in the street stalls. The local population is mostly K’iche’ Maya (hence the “Chichi” part, which is attached to the root “tenango” meaning roughly “place of”). Most of the locals speak one of the 31 Maya languages as their first language and Spanish as a second language. English, to the extent it’s there at all, is mostly market English. A further drive of 1.5 hours brings us to Panajachel, a small town on the shore of Lake Atitlan. Guatemala's largest lake is dominated by three volcanoes and was formed following an ancient eruption. Many of the villages that exist around the lake are only accessible by boat.

Day 5

Panajachel

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we will explore some of the area surrounding Lake Atitlan. A 60-minute scenic boat ride on the lake takes us to the village of San Juan La Laguna, where we will visit the home studios of local painters and a textile cooperative where women are engaged in hand weaving and natural dyeing processes. We continue by boat to Santiago Atitlan where we can learn about the Mayan traditions and beliefs from our local guides. It may be possible to visit a shaman's house to see this fascinating practice, held amidst clouds of burning incense. Later we board the boat in Panajachel and transfer to Santa Cruz. 

At Santa Cruz we walk to Jaibalito (approx. 1 hour). Many villages on the shore of Lake Atitlan have no true road access so we will hike along ancient paths that have been used by the Kachekel Maya for centuries. We will observe villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maize and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world. Our hike will offer us breathtaking views of the famous volcanoes. In Jaibalito we reboard the boat and transfer to San Juan La Laguna to explore and finally return to Panajachel.

Day 6

San Cristobal

Meals

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we begin early and drive north, crossing the border into Mexico's southern state of Chiapas. The road takes us through rugged mountain scenery before we come to the old capital of the region, San Cristobal de Las Casas. This is one of the most attractive colonial towns in Mexico, with many old churches and squares amongst a lively cafe scene. It is also a major centre for the Tzotzil Indians, each group having different, colourful costumes. The extensive market has some good handicrafts for sale and plenty of interesting foodstuffs on offer! San Cristobal has a very pleasant climate because of its altitude. Today is a full day drive of around 11 hours including stops for lunch in a simple restaurant in a small town and the border crossing.

Day 7

San Cristobal

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    2 hours

  • Distance

    3.1 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    256/156m

There are many Mayan villages near San Cristobal and today we visit San Juan Chamula. This is a fascinating typical native town, where the local people have retained traditions, language, customs, beliefs as well as their social structures. Arriving here feels like stepping back 500 years. We will start our expedition in Chamula with a visit to San Juan Bautista church, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. A simple white church with turquoise-coloured trim, you find the pagan beliefs of the indigenous Mayan people intermingled with the Catholic faith. Stepping into the dimly lit church you see families in colourful costume huddled in small groups on the floor, praying behind an assortment of candles. Occasionally you hear the squawk of a chicken that is being sacrificed to the gods. It is almost unbelievable that such old customs still exist however the scene is real. This is not something laid on for tourists. 

We begin the trek on a rural path that takes us through various crop fields before arriving to the woods toward Na Joj Mountain, best known to the locals as “the raven house”. As we walk to the top of Na Joj, we will learn about ancient medicinal plants used by the original Mayan people. Once we reach the summit, we are rewarded with amazing views of the village. We will also visit a local family, where you will have the chance to learn how to make tortillas.

Day 8

San Cristobal

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Explore the streets with a local guide and learn about the history of the city and the indigenous populations who call it their home. Observe the city´s iconic yellow and red cathedral set in the main plaza (Zócalo) and visit the Santo Domingo church, with its large open-air craft market. We will traverse the local fruit and vegetable market, discovering the colorful local ingredients. The city is characterized by its peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, coupled with an artistic and bohemian flair. The colonial streets and alleyways lined with red-roof tiles and white-washed walls invite exploration to discover the nooks and crannies. Alleyways open into picturesque arcades and plazas showing off their authentic colonial architecture and hosting churches, museums, cafés, restaurants, and artisan workshops, among other delights. As we journey through the streets, our local guide will give information about the historical houses and churches, as well as seeing all the locally produced textiles and amber products for sale in the city’s shops and markets.

In the afternoon, we will hike in the Arcotete Ecopark. Here we will walk amongst rock formations and caves created by the river that flows through the park.

Day 9

Palenque

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    1 hours

  • Distance

    1.8 miles

  • Ascent

    87m

We set off for Palenque today, stopping our journey after around 2.5 hours at the archaeological site of Tonina. Less well known than some of Mexico's other sites it tends to have relatively few visitors. Tonina is an impressive site with two ball courts, one that is sunken and, at 60 metres long, one of the Mayan world's largest. Another has an altar where it is thought that sacrifices took place. We will enjoy a challenging hike through this site. A 3.5-hour drive this afternoon brings us to Palenque where we check into our hotel for the next two nights.

Day 10

Palenque

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

This morning we have a guided walking tour of the impressive Mayan site of Palenque. The jungle-covered complex is one of the most famous in Mexico and is located in the low hills of Chiapas. The pyramids, sanctuaries and temples, with their sculptured wall panels and rooves are remarkably well preserved and are probably the finest surviving examples of Mayan construction. We will take a walk through the dense jungle along a beautiful path that takes us past waterfalls and smaller ruins. Although quite steep in parts, the steps and paths are in good condition. We then visit the local Museum, where a duplicate of the tomb of Pakal is exhibited. 

Day 11

Uxmal

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We leave the hotel around 07:45 after breakfast and drive for around 5 hours to the historic fortified city of Campeche, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boasts incredibly well-preserved colonial architecture. Most impressive are the city walls, built to protect the city from the constant attacks of English and Dutch buccaneers and pirates during the 16th and 17th centuries. We should arrive early afternoon and head out to sample some local cuisine overlooking the Bay of Campeche - seafood is a local specialty and widely available. Later we continue to Uxmal, where we will stay in the authentic Hacienda Uxmal.

Day 12

Merida

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Right after breakfast, we will take a hike through the archaeological site of Uxmal, in order to be the first visitors of the day. The terrain is quite uneven and there are steps and climbs involved. Uxmal dates to the late classic period, having been built by the Xiu people. The site is dominated by the Pyramid of the Magician and the Nunnery Quadrangle consisting of long buildings with elaborately carved facades. There are remnants of a ball court used in ritual games that sometimes ended in sacrifice, and the whole site is quite exposed, which is a real contrast to the ruins of Palenque. 

From Uxmal we travel for around 30 minutes to reach Kabah. This small archaeological site set deep in the jungle is roughly 200 meters square. Kabah is thought to mean ‘strong hand’ in ancient Maya and while the area was inhabited from 3rd century BCE, many of the structures date from the 7th-11th centuries CE. The most unique and striking structure at Kabah is the Palace of the Masks, with its intricately detailed facade made up of 260 masks of Chaac the rain god, his long nose protruding prominently. The building design is unusual for the area but since there are no cenotes (sinkholes) around Kabah, the inhabitants relied solely on the rain that they collected in underground wells and therefore Chaac was highly revered. 

From Kabah it is around a 2hr drive to the bustling colonial city of Mérida. Many of its buildings were constructed using stones from the Mayan city which existed on the site. These are still visible in the walls of the imposing cathedral. The city flourished following the conquest and the 19th-century homes designed in French style contribute to the attractive appearance of the historical centre.

Day 13

Merida

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

We drive approx 1.5 hours to the Flamingo sanctuary at the Celestun Biosphere Reserve. Here we explore the mangroves by boat among the great congregations of birdlife, this should take around 1 -1.5 hours. This afternoon, we enjoy some free time on the Sea of Campeche coast under a beachfront Palapa before returning to Merida. The city was founded in 1542 by the Spaniard Francisco de Montejo over the ruins of the Mayan city T'ho. We will visit the Cathedral of San Ildefonso built with the huge stones dismantled from the pyramids. Merida is known as the White City, nowadays one of the most tranquil and safest cities in Mexico. 

Remote Mayan roots, superb colonial monuments and the splendour of the turn to the XIX century architecture, has made Merida a captivating mixture of cultural influences.

Day 14

Chichen Itza

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today we will start with a visit to the traditional Maya village of Tixkokob to see how local families still practice the age-old tradition of hammock weaving. Afterward, we will continue on to the Magic Town of Izamal to explore the mysterious Yellow  City. We will have the chance to climb and walk the Kinich Kakmoo pyramid before continuing to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Chichen Itza. 

We will overnight very close to the archaeological site.

Day 15

In flight

Meals

Breakfast

We have an early start to explore one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, World Heritage Chichen Itza.  The famous Mayan pyramids of Chichen-Itza are over 1500 years old and are located only 75 miles from Mérida. The name Chichen Itza is a Mayan word: CHI (mouth) CHEN (well) and ITZA (of the Itza tribe). Today it is one of the most popular and recognized tourist sites of Mexico and as of 07/07/2007, it is one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. Built by the Maya between  1000 and 1200 AD, "El Castillo" served as a temple to the god Kukulkan and is believed to have served as a calendar. Later we travel to the airport in Cancun. 

Day 16

In flight

Meals

In-Flight

We arrive back in the UK.

From (GBP)£3,425

Departure dates for your selected tour

3rd Feb 2020 - 18th Feb 2020 (15 Nights)

9th Nov 2020 - 24th Nov 2020 (15 Nights)

8th Feb 2021 - 23rd Feb 2021 (15 Nights)

26th Apr 2021 - 11th May 2021 (15 Nights)

15th Nov 2021 - 30th Nov 2021 (15 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Flights from Heathrow to La Auroa, Guatemala via Madrid (Iberia), returning Cancun, Mexico to Gatwick (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers by road c.90mins
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights Premium Economy, Business or First Class and most low-cost carriers have extra legroom seats. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Las Farolas

The Hotel Las Farolas is located at the heart of our Antigua. Built on the grounds of an old coffee plantation and inspired by a large colonial house, the hotel offers 32 comfortable rooms. The hotel is surrounded by a lush tropical garden, the only one of its kind in the town.

Hotel Jardines del Lago

Offering a beautiful setting on Atitlán Lake, Hotel Jardines del Lugo has attractive rooms. Set in gardens, it features a restaurant, a terrace with lake views and an eco-swimming pool within the lake. Each bright room has modern décor. There is free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a private bathroom. Guests can enjoy a continental or traditional Guatemalan breakfast in the Jardines del Lago’s restaurant.

Hotel Casa Mexicana

Hotel Casa Mexicana is a colonial-style building located 100 yards from Santo Domingo Church, in the historic centre of San Cristóbal de las Casas. It offers a charming central garden and free Wi-Fi. Rooms at the Casa Mexicana have wooden floors and balconies overlooking the garden. Each room has flat-screen cable TV, a telephone and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries.

Hotel La Aldea del Halach Huinic

Hotel la Aldea del Halach Huinic is set in tropical gardens on the edge of Palenque National Park, 1.2 miles from Palenque centre. It offers an outdoor pool and free Wi-Fi zone. The rustic, air-conditioned rooms feature wooden beams and have a private balcony. There is a restaurant to enjoy a drink in tranquil tropical surroundings.

Hotel Hacienda

Just across the street from the Uxmal Pyramids, and a 40 minutes' drive from Merida. This historic resort offers 2 outdoor pools and a working plantation filled with fruit trees. Rooms at Hacienda Uxmal Plantation & Museum feature a blend of traditional Mayan and Spanish décor, and have terraces overlooking the pools and tropical gardens. Some also have plantation views. All rooms offer air conditioning, a ceiling fan, flat-screen satellite TV and a private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi is available in most rooms, terraces and public areas.

Hotel Caribe

The Hotel Caribe is full of Hispanic character and charm, with such features as a pretty inner courtyard and a pool that has magnificent views of the Cathedral and the Principal Plaza. It is well located in the historical part of town and a block away from the main plaza. The old exterior belies modern and clean rooms that include, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, TVs, en-suite bathrooms, safes and phones. The restaurant and bar serves traditional Mexican and international flavours.

Mayaland Hotels and Bungalows

Located in the heart of the Chichen Itza Archaeological Park, this world-class jungle resort offers extensive tropical gardens, 3 outdoor swimming pools, a hot tub and spa treatments. The Mayaland features spacious air-conditioned rooms, bungalows and suites, all with satellite TV and bathrooms with free toiletries. Some rooms have views of the Mayan observatory or temples. Exotic wildlife can be found right outside the doors of the hotel.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade Sightseeing/4 moderate holiday includes half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and a substantial element of sightseeing as well. For more details of the walks please see the itinerary. We take walks through some beautiful countryside but particularly in Guatemala. In Mexico the walking is often combined with exploring pre Hispanic sites which can cover vast areas.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Holiday Currency

The currency in Guatemala is the Quetzal and in Mexico is the Mexican Peso. It is preferable to obtain money from ATM’s using a debit card. It is worth mentioning to your bank in the UK that you will be using your card in Guatemala and Mexico as we have had reports of the banks anti-fraud screening causing cards to be stopped. 

It is useful to have some American dollars cash with you on the holiday as well. Sterling is very difficult to change. The few places that will change sterling will only accept mint £20 notes. 

There are banks in most of our centres all with ATM machines. The hotels accept credit cards. 

To cover general expenses, the odd coffee, glass of wine, lunches, tips, etc think in terms of £ 10-15 per person per day. Souvenirs will add to this but can often be purchased on a credit card.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high.  In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff & to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

We fly from London Heathrow to Guatemala via Madrid on Iberia Airlines and return from Cancun to London Gatwick with British Airways. Please be aware of the different London airports when making travel plans. 

The transfer from Guatemala City airport to our hotel in Antigua will be by coach and will take approximately 90 minutes depending on traffic.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Holiday/Country Passport Advice

In both Guatemala and Mexico a valid passport is required. Passports should be valid for at least the proposed duration of your stay. Holders of British passports do not require a visa.  On arrival in Mexico you will be issued a Tourist Card. The tourist card allows you to stay for up to 30 days. Please take care of the card as a replacement costs 295 MXN (about £ 12.00).

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 15 are included in the holiday charge. Meals start with dinner on Day 1 and finish with breakfast on Day 15. Dinners will be taken in hotels and local restaurants allowing us to sample the huge variety of regional cooking in Guatemala and Mexico.

Vegetarian diets can easily be catered for as can anybody preferring a more familiar menu. Lunches are not included apart from on Day 6 on the transfer to San Cristobal.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in Mexico

Electricity is supplied at 110 Volts at 60Hz. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a two pin North America style adaptor with flat pins. (Supplies in some places can be at 220V).
More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for Guatemala & Mexico

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Guatemala or  Mexico.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.

Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid immunisation is recommended. You might also like to consider immunisation against Diphtheria.

There is a risk of Malaria in low altitude regions and a very low risk at higher altitude. 

Dengue fever, Zika virus and Chikungunya virus also exist; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites. 

Seek pre-travel Zika virus advice from your health care provider 6-8 weeks in advance of travel, particularly important if you are pregnant or planning pregnancy.  

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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Mexico

  • Capital

    Mexico City

  • Currency

    Mexican Peso

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC -05:00, UTC -06:00, UTC -07:00

  • Flight duration

    11hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No visa required for a stay of up to 180 days

Average weather

  • January

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • February

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 20mm

  • March

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 17mm

  • April

    22°C

    Avg. Rain: 25mm

  • May

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • June

    24°C

    Avg. Rain: 142mm

  • July

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 167mm

  • August

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 166mm

  • September

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 172mm

  • October

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 90mm

  • November

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 36mm

  • December

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 28mm

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