MEETING OF THE MAYANS WEEK THREE:
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 3 - THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8 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 your round trip flight from the US to/from Belize City International (BZE) 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.
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 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 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 Costa Rica (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 guests returning to the US and board a series of flights to get to Costa Rica for week 4!
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, Saturday's show at The Bluff, Sunday’s San Ignacio River party, Tuesday's Guatemala trip, Wednesday's cave tubing, 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.
Week 3: $1650 (for two) or $1250 (for one)
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 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.