Top Picks for Touring in Mexico and Central America
While Mexico and Central America is an ideal place for independent travel, the following tour operators offer some exclusive and local treats that you might miss if you are on your own.
Set yourself loose to explore Mayan ruins, rainforest and the Caribbean Coast.
Photo Courtesy of SkyTrek
Culture, nature and history combine to make On the Loose Expeditions Belize and Guatemala adventure a holiday you won't forget. The tour takes you to Mayan ruins and deep into the tropical rainforest. Light hiking and walking complement relaxing on the beach, flatwater canoeing and enjoying Belize's world-renowned reefs.
Visit Tikal, learn about tropical flora and fauna from an expert on medicinal plants and visit the bioresearch center at Possum Point, the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Pete Shear, specialist in Latin American archaeology and colonial history, is your guide. Price $1695. Trip is rated gentle: some physical fitness required.
- Tour the Treetops
SkyWalk and SkyTrek offer a bird's eye view of the Costa Rican cloudforest.
Skywalk takes you along winding paths and over six suspension bridges through the Monteverde Cloud Forest. The bridges crisscross forest canyons 130 or more feet off the ground. Your local guide introduces you to the complexities of the rainforest ecosystem as you peer down through the trees to rushing rivers, and catch glimpses of vibrant tropical birds darting through the colorful and complex canopy.
For those who want a more adventurous voyage through the canopy, SkyTrek is a thrilling ride on a series of zip lines. SkyTrekkers are outfitted with helmets and harnesses. Your guides assist you in quick crossings, sending you on a speedy slide on suspended cables. The scenery is similar to SkyWalk, and the tour also includes suspended bridges and forest paths. www.skywalk.co.cr.
- Study Spanish and Learn a Whole Lot More
The traveler who considers travel an educational opportunity should consider Conservation Internationals Eco-Escuela de Español. Based in San Andres, on the edge of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, the school offers Spanish language training with a twist. Classroom work (four hours a day) is combined with field projects. Youll have a chance to learn first hand about forest ecology, conservation methods, community development, and sustainable forest use. There are weekend field trips to conservation projects and archaeology sites. And, the price is right. $50/week pays for your language instruction.
- Have You Kissed a Grey Whale today?
Between January and March almost 3000 whales can be found frolicking in the Laguna San Ignacio and Laguna Ojo de Liebre in Baja, Mexico. Baja Jones has been taking visitors close enough to touch these friendly whales for over ten years. Groups are small (not more than nine people) and accommodations are clean and simple. Spend five days feasting on seafood, enjoying the wildlife of Baja, and experiencing local culture. Trips run January through March. Cost is around $1200. firstname.lastname@example.org or greywhale.com.
- Surf the Atlantic on Monday, the Pacific on Tuesday
Few locales can offer surfers the opportunity to ride Atlantic waves and Pacific waves in one vacation. Costa Rica can. Through Alacran Surf Tours, you can book your personalized Costa Rican surfing tour, complete with individual instruction. Alacran will take care of all the details, plus provide you with up-to-date surf conditions reports. alacransurf.com.
- Bike Mexico
If the thought of biking along the Pacific Coast near Puerto Vallarta appeals to you, contact Bike Mex. This company can arrange everything from equipment to tours. The varied setting of ocean and the foothills of the Sierra Madre make for an unforgettable peddling experience. Bike Mex, Calle Guerrero # 361, Col, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
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Copyright 2006. Berne Broudy. All rights reserved
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