Mayan Sun Northbound: Cobblestones & Caribbean Culture
16 days from Antigua Guatemala to Playa del Carmen
From $ 1257
Duration16 days

Trek though jungle backdrops to Mayan ruins and chill out on white-sand beaches under the Caribbean sun. Check out Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico and experience the region’s diversity. Wander colonial Antigua’s cobblestone streets and shop for treasures before experiencing the natural beauty of Lake Atitlán, its Indigenous Mayan villages, and striking volcanoes. One of our most popular trips, this adventure offers natural wonders, excitement, and culture with enough time to socialize and do your own thing.

This tour is operated by

  • Duration: 16 days
    Service level: Basic
  • Starts in: Antigua Guatemala
    Physical Grading: Average
  • Ends in: Playa del Carmen
    Ages: 18+
Mayan Sun–Northbound - Tour Map


Expand all
Day 1: Antigua Guatemala
Check into the hostel and enjoy this colonial city.
Arrive at any time. Antigua is only an hour’s drive from the capital, Guatemala City, and the airport. Transfers are easily arranged when you arrive at the airport, either by shuttle or taxi. Please try to arrive before 18:00 for an important group meeting where you will meet the Chief Experience Officer (CEO) and the other group members.

Please note that Antigua's nearest airport is Guatemala City, Guatemala. Don't get caught flying into the Caribbean island nation of Antigua; it's nowhere near the start of this tour!
Day 2: Antigua Guatemala
Get adventurous and pre-book the Pacaya Volcano Hike on the checkout page to include this optional activity on your tour or ask your GCO or travel agent for assistance.
Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt to relax with a massage or soak up the culture in one of many cafés.
Day 3: Antigua Guatemala/San Juan La Laguna
Travel through the hills and fertile fields of the Guatemalan highlands to the shores of Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful spots in Guatemala. Twelve native villages, blue/grey mountains, and three volcanoes line the shores of this lake, resulting in a wonderful combination of unusual natural beauty and traditional culture.

We will overnight at a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family. Tonight, the group will be spread out among a number of homes, where dinner will also be provided. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will help you to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day life of the locals in this region.
Travel to beautiful Lake Atitlán and enjoy the views. Take a boat across the lake to a G Adventures-supported homestay with a local family in a Mayan Tz'utujil village. Tour the village with a local guide to learn more about daily life and see some artisan workshops. Please dress conservatively when visiting the villages, and refrain from photographing religious ceremonies or individuals who do not wish to be photographed.
Meals: D
Day 4: San Juan La Laguna/Panajachel

Start place: San Pedro La Laguna

Return across the lake and enjoy free time in Panajachel to visit the market or relax.
Day 5: Panajachel/Rio Dulce
Take the road past areas of dense jungle and arrive at Río Dulce, a small town on Lake Izabal, and a port stop for boaters around the globe on their way to/from Livingston and the Caribbean coast.
Travel across Guatemala to Rio Dulce.

End place: Rio Dulce

Day 6: Rio Dulce

Start place: Rio Dulce

There are plenty of opportunities for R & R. Aside from boating on Lake Izabal, there are optional tours in the area to view protected manatees. You may opt to horseback ride through a rubber plantation, explore San Felipe fort, take the morning monkey kayak tour, relax in the thermal springs, or hike through the jungle-strewn trails in the Chocón-Machacas Natural Reserve area.
Opt to visit the coastal town of Livingston by boat, or go for a swim in a natural hot waterfall.

End place: Rio Dulce

Day 7: Rio Dulce/Flores

Start place: Rio Dulce

Our final stop in Guatemala is Flores, a picturesque town surrounded by Lake Petén Itzá. Flores is well-known for its proximity to Tikal—the largest excavated Mayan site.
Head north to the quaint town of Flores.

End place: Flores

Day 8: Flores/San Ignacio

Start place: Flores

Head north to the ancient city of Tikal before venturing into Belize. The spiritual centre of Tikal boasts the Mayan’s highest pyramids and abundant flora and fauna in the surrounding jungle.
Learn about Mayan culture and history on a guided tour of Tikal before crossing into Belize.

End place: San Ignacio

Day 9: San Ignacio

Start place: San Ignacio

From the town of San Ignacio, opportunities abound for exploring Belize’s little known inland scenic beauty. With free time here, choose to explore the area by foot, canoe, or horse, take a caving trip, or visit the Mountain Pine Ridge Area and swim in its inviting pools and rivers.
Opt to visit the sacred Mayan cave Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), or check out the seldom-visited Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.

End place: San Ignacio

Day 10: San Ignacio/Caye Caulker

Start place: San Ignacio

Hop aboard a local bus, then board a water taxi to the island paradise of Caye Caulker. Later, explore Caye Caulker on the G Adventures-supported Bike with Purpose tour.

End place: Caye Caulker

Day 11-12: Caye Caulker

Start place: Caye Caulker

Enjoy free time to snorkel with stingrays and nurse sharks at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, go diving, or just chill out, Belizean style.

End place: Caye Caulker

Day 13: Caye Caulker/Mahahual

Start place: Caye Caulker

Leaving Belize and its Caribbean reggae-tinged vibe, head north to the Costa Maya, Mexico, to the beachside town of Mahahual.
Travel north along the Caribbean up to Mexico.

End place: Mahahual

Day 14: Mahahual

Start place: Mahahual

Enjoy a free day for beach lounging and sipping seaside margaritas.

End place: Mahahual

Day 15: Mahahual/Playa del Carmen

Start place: Mahahual

Head north to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, the de facto centre of the Mayan Riviera. This once sleepy village is quickly becoming a popular destination among sun worshippers and partiers worldwide.
Head up the coast to Playa del Carmen for a final night with the group.

End place: Playa del Carmen

Day 16: Playa del Carmen

Start place: Playa del Carmen

Depart at any time. Playa del Carmen is located just south of Cancún airport (45 min drive) so you can easily head directly there without returning to Cancún.

End place: Playa del Carmen



  • Your G for Good Moment: Posadas Mayas Homestay, San Juan La Laguna Your G for Good Moment: Belize Bike with Purpose Tour, Caye Caulker Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group Your Discover Moment: San Ignacio Your Discover Moment: Caye Caulker Your Big Night Out Moment: Caye Caulker
  • Orientation walk in Antigua
  • Guided tour of Tikal
  • Beach time in Mahahual
  • Free time in Rio Dulce, San Ignacio, and Caye Caulker
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
  • Transport

    Public bus, Boat, Private vehicle, Taxi, Walking
  • Accommodation

    Simple hotels/hostels (14 nts, most multi-share), Local homestay (1 nt)

Dates & availability: Mayan Sun Northbound: Cobblestones & Caribbean Culture

Departing Finishing Catalog Price Sale Price Seats left
Departing Fri, 10/30/2020 Finishing Sat, 11/14/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 11/06/2020 Finishing Sat, 11/21/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 11/13/2020 Finishing Sat, 11/28/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Sun, 11/15/2020 Finishing Mon, 11/30/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 11/20/2020 Finishing Sat, 12/05/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 11/27/2020 Finishing Sat, 12/12/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Sun, 11/29/2020 Finishing Mon, 12/14/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 12/04/2020 Finishing Sat, 12/19/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 12/11/2020 Finishing Sat, 12/26/2020 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book
Departing Fri, 12/18/2020 Finishing Sat, 01/02/2021 Catalog Price $ 1399 Sale Price $ 1399 18 Book

Save up to 50% on tours! Get exclusive access to members-only deals by email.

Subscribe to our newsletter