MEETING OF THE MAYANS WEEK THREE:
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3 - SUNDAY FEBRUARY 11 2024
Central America just sounds exotic doesn't it?
You can choose your favorite week, come back and take a different leg each year, or join us for the entire expedition at once. Whatever you choose, I promise you will return home with a completely new outlook on one of the most incredible places on earth and the people who call it home. Put Meeting of the Mayans on your yearly vacation list and let us blow your mind!
NEW ARRIVALS: Saturday February 3, 2024
NEW ARRIVALS FOR WEEK 3: You'll need to book a one-way arriving flight from the US into Belize City International (BZE) and your one-way return flight from Roatan nternational (RTB) and we'll take care of the rest! *If you are continuing beyond week 3, you'll book a one way into Belize City and exit the expedition later in the trip. All major US carriers fly here and most flights arrive within a couple hours of each other around noon. BZE is a very small airport and easy to navigate. We will have shuttles waiting upon your arrival to transport you to the resort. We recommend booking with Southwest Airlines at least to Belize City if possible as they do not charge for international baggage and most of our group would be on the same flight arriving at the same time, but you are free to book whichever US carrier you'd like. Please note that Southwest does not currently fly to Roatan.
TIP: If you don't already have a Southwest Rewards credit card you can enough free points from their signup bonuses to cover round trip for two on any of these flights for our event. We use ours all the time and in our opinion, it's one of the best points cards on the market. If you're thinking about signing up, please use this link and we'll get some bonus points for referring you. Thanks!
WEEK 2 STOWAWAYS CONTINUING FROM SAN PEDRO
If you are already with us from the second week in San Pedro (Jan 27 through Feb 3rd) and continuing for week 3 (or any part of it) you will fly from San Pedro to Belize City municipal airport Saturday morning (included) and board our shuttle vans for the 2 hour drive to San Ignacio where we will meet up with the new arrivals flying into BZE and taking a separate shuttle to the hotel.
Please click the "I am a week 2 stowaway" box on your order form so we know who you are for our planning.
WEEK 2 CONTINUING ONLY FOR THE FIRST PART OF WEEK 3
If you are only joining us for the San Ignacio and Guatemala portion of week 3 and plan to fly back home on Thursday February 8th, please choose the "week 2 extended package" option on your order. This eliminates the Roatan portion of the trip and your week ends in Belize City on Thursday February 8th. Please make sure to book your US return flight from Belize City (BZE) on Thursday February 8th or later.
Please click the "I am a week 2 stowaway" box on your order form so we know who you are for our planning.
NOTE: IF YOU ARE A WEEK 2 CARRY OVER WHO WILL NOT BE JOINING US FOR THE FIRST FIVE DAYS OF WEEK 3 (SAN IGNACIO BELIZE AND GUATEMALA) or IF YOU WANT TO PICK UP WITH ROATAN WITH A DIRECT FLIGHT FROM THE U.S. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO BE DIRECTED TO THE PROPER ORDER FORM.
WEEK 3 RESORT #1-MIDAS, SAN IGNACIO BELIZE
Welcome to the jungle baby! Actually it's much cooler than you think...literally we're up in elevation, so it's always a few degrees cooler and surprisingly, not many mosquitoes! We’ve got an amazing resort tucked into the jungle but right in the heart of San Ignacio to kickoff week 3. Midas Resort is locally owned by our good friend Mike Midas and you just have to see it to believe it! You’ll have your own private casita nestled among the trees and vegetation with howler monkeys in the distance and even the occasional visit from a toucan. Each bungalow is cozily furnished with a mini fridge, coffee maker, cold AC and ceiling fan with a variety of beds (see below) and even a hammock on your front porch! The resort is a short 1/4 mile walk to the town’s shopping, restaurants and bars and features an on site bar and very large pool and sunbathing area. It’s the perfect place for a week of adult summer camp!
The bed types for the casitas vary quite a bit at the resort, but at minimum, they do at least have two double beds. Some have a queen, some have two doubles and an additional single, some have a queen and a single, and some have two doubles. Please let us know if you have a specific need and we will do our best to accommodate on a first come basis. If you are fine with what you get, we will be assigning the bed types as orders come in and please note that all of the bed types are comfortably adequate for two people as well as each casita having plenty of space for two or three people.
WEEK 3 MOTM ITINERARY
Saturday February 3- Arrival Day
After arriving at the resort, you will have a few hours to relax and get into vacation mode. Saturday night we waste no time getting you into the jungle as we shuttle the group 15 minutes to one of the coolest places you'll ever see..The Bluff for Mike's Saturday night welcome party show. Words truly can't describe this place or the amazing locals that hang out here...you really just have to see it with your own eyes! Here you'll have dinner (not included) and Mike's show before returning to the resort that night.
Sunday February 4- River Pontoon Party
Sunday morning we will load the shuttles for a drive out in the bush and a day on the river pontoon. We're not gonna lie, the "roads" getting there are pretty rough and the final stretch we have to switch to 4x4's to get down to the water, but the reward is a day on the river on a huge pontoon boat big enough for our whole group and exploring waterfalls on a jungle river! We'll have a delicious lunch grilled right on the boat and spend the day swimming and exploring the backwoods and river. It's a tiring day, but a favorite among our previous year's guests. Sunday night we'll return in time for dinner (not included) and a much needed sleep night!
Monday February 5- Free Day
Monday is yours! The hotel offers several excursions including zip lines, cave hiking, more cave tubing, a day trip to Mountain Pine Ridge Forest and Big Rock Falls (a 1000ft waterfall), or grab a taxi to the San Ignacio Iguana Sanctuary in town where you can let the little critters crawl all over you. You might also plan an excursion down the road to visit Xunantunich Mayan site with breathtaking views of the valley or a smaller in town tour of Cahal Petch Mayan Site. These trips and many others can be booked directly with the resort upon your arrival and a basic internet search will help you decide. You can stroll into town and go exploring, or simply lay by the pool sipping umbrella drinks all day. It's your vacation, you get to decide!
Tuesday February 6- Tikal Guatemala Group Field Trip
Tuesday we load the passenger bus early morning for an amazing day long trip to visit the ancient Mayan city of Tikal and our second passport stamp of the trip in Guatemala (included). We will cross the border and enjoy the 2 hour drive in a comfortable bus through the Guatamalean countryside directly to the visitors center. On this professionally guided tour, we will visit the main sights of the Tikal Mayan complex which is estimated to have over 3,000 structures dating back to 406 AD; including palaces, temples, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, plazas, causeways, and reservoirs. See several of the main temples including the tallest structure which measures 212 feet. This trip includes lunch at a local restaurant and we will return to the resort around dinner time.
Tuesday evening will be an open dinner night.
Wednesday February 7- Cave Tubing and move to Belize City
Wednesday morning we'll pack out of San Ignacio and head out for an afternoon of cave tubing and adventure! This is a very relaxing and easy float for all ages with only minimal hiking on flat ground, we recommend water shoes as opposed to flip flops for this activity. When we are done (changing rooms on site) we will continue on to Belize City for the night to make Thursday's departure much easier. Please note: if you do not with to participate in the cave tubing, you will take a shuttle directly to the hotel in Belize City.
Thursday February 8- Moving Day: Belize to Honduras (or flying home to US)
Thursday we'll have all morning to relax and get ready for the moving day. From BZE, we will say goodbye to our "week 2 extended" guests, but the majority of our week 3 group will board our private charters for a 1hr hop flight over to the amazing island of Roatan Honduras for our third passport stamp and a minimum of three more nights of bliss! We will clear Roatan customs in early afternoon and load the shuttles for a quick jog over to our beach resort in paradise! Here you will have a minimum of four days and three nights to explore West End Village and the exciting shops, restaurants and nightlife of our new island home. There is an option to stay in Roatan longer if you wish (please see below) Thursday night will be a free night to explore.
Friday February 9- Roatan, Honduras
The group will be staying in the West End Village area of the island at a "dive hotel" (don't worry, it's the other kind of diving) for at least Thursday thru Sunday in Roatan. Many of our group choose to stay until at least Tuesday though week 3 "officially" ends on Sunday.
The West End of Roatan is perfect for our group as it is the tourist epicenter of town-within walking distance of everything you'll need and want. We will have three nights and days in heart of it all to fit some beach time into your vacation and Mike will be playing a show on Saturday night at Sundowners within stumbling distance of the hotel. We've made some great friends here and can help you book diving trips (even deep water dives), snorkeling, fishing or pretty much anything you have in mind. The plan is there is no plan. Roatan is the perfect compliment to the jungle half of week 3 and the perfect hop on point for newcomers or returns from a previous year...as well as being the perfect exit point if you've run out of steam after two weeks on vacation.
Saturday February 10- Roatan, Honduras
Free Day & Mike Nash Evening Show at Sundowner’s
Sunday February 11- End of Week 3 and U.S. Return Flight Options:
FROM ROATAN: Sunday is the official end of "week 3". However, we know that for many of you, a few days in Roatan is just not enough. Therefore we are offering an easy option to stay up to four more nights at our group rate and hotel (just make your selection on the order form and choose your number of extra nights). If you are exiting the trip at any point from Roatan, we will have luggage stewards and a shuttle driver to take you from the hotel to the airport in time for your flight home and we will be on site to help until Tuesday. On Tuesday, we will personally be leaving to head toward Costa Rica for week 4, but you'll be well taken care of for a few more days in Roatan if you decide to stay longer. We'll have the shuttle driver ready to return you to the airport whenever you need it and you'll know the area like the back of your hand. (please see connector options below)
Please email us at Tropications@gmail.com with any questions.
ALL IN ONE PRICING: WEEK 3
As with all of our trips, we like to package everything together to make your vacation planning a lot easier. This out the door price includes your ground transport from BZE to San Ignacio, your private casita in San Ignacio from Saturday through Wednesday, room for Wednesday night in Belize City, as well as your room in Roatan Thursday through Sunday (option to add nights), Saturday's show at The Bluff, Sunday’s San Ignacio River party, Tuesday's Guatemala trip, Wednesday's cave tubing, your hop flight from Belize to Roatan, all group activities and event tee shirt for each person in your booking (week 3 bookings only). Your expenses beyond this will be your US flights and all non-included meals, tips, drinks and shopping you do on your own. All taxes and fees are included. Please note that all of our pricing is in US dollars.
Full Week $2650 for two ($2050 for one)
WEEK 2-EXTENDED PACKAGE ONLY (SAT-THU IN BELIZE)
FOR GUESTS NOT CONTINUING TO ROATAN
Please choose the appropriate selection on your order form (Week - Extended Package) for the correct pricing. Please note that this package price excludes all fees associated with continuing to Roatan and is priced for you to fly home from Belize City (BZE) on Thursday February 8th. It is priced to include the following:
your ground transport from BZE to San Ignacio on Saturday February 3rd, your private casita in San Ignacio from Saturday through Wednesday, your room for Wednesday night in Belize City, Saturday's show at The Bluff, Sunday’s pontoon float, Tuesday's Guatemala trip, Wednesday's cave tubing, and your airport transfer to BZE on Thursday. Please note that this package does not come with a tee shirt as you will already have yours from week 2.
Your expenses beyond this will be your US return flight and all non-included meals, tips, drinks and shopping you do on your own. All taxes and fees are included. Please note that all of our pricing is in US dollars.
First half of week 3 (no Roatan) $1650 ($1250 for one)
NOTE: IF YOU ARE A WEEK 2 CARRY OVER WHO WILL NOT BE JOINING US FOR THE FIRST FIVE DAYS OF WEEK 3 (SAN IGNACIO BELIZE AND GUATEMALA) or IF YOU WANT TO PICK UP WITH ROATAN WHERE YOU LEFT OFF BEFORE PLEASE CLICK HERE TO BE DIRECTED TO THE PROPER ORDER FORM.
WEEK 3 CONNECTOR TO WEEK 4:
The expedition is officially in limbo from Sunday in Roatan to Friday in Liberia Costa Rica where we start back with week 4. There are several options to connect from Roatan to Liberia and fill your week up with as much or as little adventure as you'd like. We personally will be staying in Roatan for a few more days to relax and take a much needed break from the schedule before flying a combination of hop flights and big flights to Liberia Costa Rica to prepare for week 4....but that doesn't mean you have to!
Whether you are a new arrival who's chosen Roatan as your hop on point to begin your Mayan adventure, a week 1, 2 or 3 stowaway continuing on, or a return guest from previous year picking up where you left off- we have several options for your Sunday through Friday from Roatan to Liberia Costa Rica. We can help you make all of the arrangements, the travel and adventure are up to you! Please see more below:
CONNECTOR WEEK OPTION A: "GoGo Week" Includes: 2 nights each in San Salvador and Panama choose this option and you'll leave Roatan on Monday for an hour hop flight to San Salvador (El Salvador) where you'll spend two nights (more or less if you wish) exploring on your own (or with the members of the group who also chose this option). There is a lot to see and do here and most importantly you'l check off that rare El Salvador passport stamp that not many have done. Wednesday you'll take the 2 hour big jet flight on COPA Airlines from San Salvador to Panama City for two more nights to explore the city and canal. COPA airlines allows up to a four night "overnight layover" for a $100 fee which saves you having to book a separate flight out. Your original flight will continue a short one hour on Friday to meet up with us and the rest of the group in Liberia Costa Rica to start week 4 (or you can fly home from Panama City if you wish). If you are interested in this option, please click the "GoGo Week" box on your order form and we will contact you at a later date to work out the details and pricing.
CONNECTOR WEEK OPTION B: "Chill + Panama" includes extra days in Roatan and two nights in Panama: this option basically eliminates El Salvador and includes as many extra days in Roatan as you'd like, followed by a short 30 minute hop flight to San Pedro Sula Honduras whatever day of the week you choose. In San Pedro, you'll have a few hour's layover and then board the big jet flight with COPA Airlines early afternoon for a 2hr flight to Panama City where you can "overnight" for up to four nights to explore the city and canal. Your original flight will continue Friday for a quick one hour to Liberia Costa Rica to meet up with the group and begin week 4 (or you may fly home directly from Panama City). If you are interested in this option, please click the "Chill + Panama" box on your order form and we will contact you at a later date to work out the details and pricing.
CONNECTOR WEEK OPTION C: "Tag along to week 4" We will personally be staying in Roatan until Tuesday morning and then taking the short 30min hop flight to San Pedro Sula Honduras where we have a 2 hour layover. From SAP we will board the COPA airlines big jet for a two hour flight to Panama CIty where we have a quick one hour layover and subsequent flight directly to San Jose Costa Rica all in the same day. It is a total travel day of around 12 hours from hotel to hotel and not for those who aren't well traveled. When we land in San Jose, we stay at a Marriott close to the airport for Tuesday night. Wednesday morning we personally take another hop flight to Liberia, but you can rent a car in San Jose and go explore on your own, or book several tours through our local tour guide friend to visit Arenal Volcano, Rio Celeste and Tenorio Volcano, take a hop flight to visit Puerto Viejo, or a slew other options (on your own, or with any of the group who has chosen this option) and book your hop flight or transport to Liberia later in the week. We will meet back up in Liberia Costa Rica on Friday afternoon to pick up the week 4 arriving group and head to the hotel in Playas Del Coco. If you are interested in this option, please click the "Tag along to week 3" box on your order form and we will contact you at a later date to work out the details and pricing.
FINALLY: you do have the option of flying back to the U.S. from Roatan, overnight in Houston or Miami, and book a subsequent flight to Liberia (LIR) on any days of your choice. Sadly, this seems to also be the most expensive option. Way to go USA! =/
Please click here for more info on week 4 booking
Email us at any time with questions at: Tropications@gmail.com
THINGS TO BRING
PACK LIGHT: It's 85 degrees and sunny just about every day of the year in these destinations! You don't need to bring nearly as much as you think. We recommend packing as light as possible (a smaller suitcase is even better) not only for ease of carrying your luggage around (especially for the WEEK 3 folks as we are moving around quite a bit) but it will also leave room to take home souvenirs. There are cheap laundry services at every location as well if you have the need.
SNACKS: If you're like me and love your American snacks, I recommend packing them in your suitcase or carry on (yes you can bring food on to a plane, just not liquids). They have grocery stores in these countries(not exactly like a Wal Mart mind you) but most American things are tourist priced accordingly as the locals don't eat what we eat. Also I like to bring my own coffee just cause I'm a coffee snob like that....feel free to bring anything you think you can't live without for a week. There are plenty of food trucks, restaurants and grocery stores around with pretty much the same selection you'll find back home.
BUG SPRAY: It's expensive here for a reason. Bring it...you'll thank me on a breezeless day!
(by the way, it's better if it has deet in it)
SUNSCREEN: (see bug spray above..bring it!)
SLEEP: Eye blinders can be a big plus when traveling to these destinations. The sun goes down at 6pm and comes up at 6am every day of the year and some of the rooms don't have much in the way of black out drapes. You'll thank me!
LIQUOR: Duty Free on your way is is the cheapest place you'll find top shelf brands. We personally drink the local rum and vodka as well as beers and rum, and they are cheap. If you drink anything else you'll want to hit duty free on the way in and bring it as it can be pricey in town at these places.
BACKPACK COOLER OR SMALL COLLAPSIBLE COOLER YOU CAN FIT IN YOUR SUITCASE: This one pretty much explains itself!
MONEY: The exchange rate is pinned at 2 Belizean dollars for 1 US for cash. Roatan is about 24:1 and Costa Rica is around 550:1 (don't get too excited though, they price things accordingly). There isn't much need to exchange your US dollars as they are accepted right along side of the local currency everywhere we will go. They might give you change in the local currency, and of course they won't always be able to break a hundred, so I'd recommend bringing smaller bills if you're going the cash route. $20's and below are fine. US credit cards are accepted nearly everywhere (with the exception of street vendors and some souvenir shops) but keep in mind you'll want to bring cash for tips and things you cannot buy with credit card. You can usually add a tip to the credit card bill as well but it's always good to have a little cash on hand. Do check your bill before tipping though as many bars and restaurants will add a 10% gratuity automatically which is a fair amount for this trip. Don't forget to make sure you have "no foreign transaction fees" on the card you'll be using and call to let your cc company know you'll be traveling abroad. Credit cards in Belize actually run a bit less than 2:1 but it's not a big issue unless you're making a large purchase. Roatan and the other countries run concurrently with the daily exchange rate at the bank.
SNORKEL GEAR: If you've got room, feel free to bring it. You can of course rent it at the places we go, but if you have your own you can just jump in the water and swim out a bit to the reef...it's not that far from shore.
WATER SHOES/HIKING GEAR: You will want to bring comfortable walking shoes for our group excursions and Maya ruins exploring. Bring water shoes if you plan to zip-line and river raft. For the Costa Rica week, these are a must.
STAYING CONNECTED: The arrival airports do have free wi-fi (though it can be spotty) so you shouldn't need to turn your phone off of airplane mode the entire trip unless you just want to. Most US carriers will work in all of the countries we will visit (Verizon for $10, AT&T and T-mobile are free) but we've found we rarely need the actual phone and there's free high speed wi-fi everywhere so (as much as it sucks not to take off that electronic leash) you won't have to worry about being un-connected very often.
please note that there will be no cancellations allowed after September 1, 2023. If you anticipate any issues, we recommend purchasing travel insurance from an independent source.