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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Central American Highlights CAQ

Tour Duration 16 Days
  • Arenal
  • La Recoleccion Church in Leon, Nicaragua
  • Ancient Temple at Copan
  • Ball Court of Copan
  • Colourful Chichicastenango market
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Full On
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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14 reviews for this tour

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Central American Highlights tour available at present.

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10 Alisa Loudon, 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The scenery was spectacular with volcanoes, rainforests and old colonial cities. The birds around the lakes and mangrove swamps were the highlight of the tour. Seeing hundreds of crocodiles basking in the sun was memorable and all the optional excursions to hot springs, islands and the womens' refuge gave excellent added value.

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10 Elizabeth Wormell, 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

I loved the mix of indigenous, colonial and modern struggle for identity, the volcanoes that have shaped the geography and the fantastic range of wildlife and activities. I had a 1:1 pupusa cookery lesson in Spanish and others enjoyed the indigo dying. Water is everywhere whether lakes, mangrove swamps or the ocean and the bird life is wonderful. There is a lot of traveling and you cross the Honduran border 3 times which is hot and time consuming but there is a lot to see and tourism is relatively undeveloped. Costa Rica is the most tourism aware but Cano Negro and La Virgen are remote and pretty untouched. San Jose is not great but even there I found a tour of the 1897 National Theatre. I am glad that I went

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8 , 13/01/14

Name

Lynne

Tour Name

Central American Highlights

Tour Code

CAQ

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

El Salvador in general - so unspolit by tourism.. Cascada Los Tercios, a 30 metre waterfall with rectangular basalt formation which looks manmade. Struggle to the bottom, sheer rock to climb back and being accompanied by 2 animated local police ... Or zip wiring at Miravale - what an exhilaration and the guides were fantastic! And finally being in Honduras on election night and the following day as the celebrations went on, and on, and on...

Tour Leader Name

Lou

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Lou was knowledgeable friendly and extremely competent. She took time out with every member of the team to get to know them and share quality time. She is so well known, and loved,throughout the region that her contacts make for smooth transitions across borders and in hotels and additional extras come easily. Such a shame we lost her halfway through when she was robbed :-(

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Its not as expensive as you first think bearing in mind you have no meals - I didnt scrimp and only spent $600 for all food drink laundry and souvenirs when I budgeted $1000. Be prepared for 2 very long days on the bus and be patient at hotels and restaurants who aren't used to large groups and everyone having different requests.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Buy your souvenirs in Guatelama - the best and the cheapest. Summary 5 countries (well 6 if you count the fact that we transited through Madrid), 7 border crossings, 27 sandfly bites, 22 volcanoes (11 active and 1 to climb) 11 canopy zip wires, 264 metres on a canopy walk way, 30 ft sheer rock climb up a waterfall, 1 massive tropical rainstorm

 
10 Victoria, 18/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Visiting a ritual in Guatemala as well as all the colours of the clothes of the Guatemalan people. The bird watching too was great as Lou, our leader, is an expert on all the birds in all 5 countries. The night in the posg tents in the rain forest even though it rained all the time we were there so we saw no birds but after all it is a rainforest and an experience in itself.

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6 Hamish Wheeler, 17/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Granada, Antigua, Suchitoto, Copan ruins.

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Our Response

We are aware that the lack of included breakfasts on our Central American holidays is an issue for some of our customers.  The reason for this is that the hotels in this region do not routinely offer breakfasts as part of a package, and they would have to be booked separately by us.  Given that this would involve both ourselves and our local agent in extra costs, the addition to the overall price of the holiday would be disproportionate.  We continue to bear this in mind, and if we can manage to get the breakfasts included at a reasonable price, we will do so.

We have noted your feedback about the included elements of the tour, and we are currently reviewing this with our Operations Team. 

 
10 Roberta Son-ye Wong, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Climbing 2 volcanos, seeing Ridley turtles hatching and making their way to the sea under a full moon, riding a zip line, spending 13 Baktun in Mayan site of Cihuatan and having site all to myself, visiting Copan again after 25 years - loved it all.

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4 Derek Coxhead, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Concert in the square in El Salvador

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Our Response

We have found that many of our customers who travel over Christmas do so to get away from the festivities, but we ask our tour leaders to assess the mood of the group on this topic at the start of the tour, in order to decide whether to mark the day in some way.  However, a meal, whether festive or not, does need to be pre-booked in many countries where Christmas is observed as a holiday, and our agent is being reminded of this also.

 
10 Dianne, 27/11/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Great trip - wonderful mix of lakes, jungle, birds, volcanoes, cities, etc., etc.  Copan will live long in the memory; Antigua's colonial architecture; gentle, laid back Suchitoto; visit to the folk saint, Maximon, at Santiago, Lake Atitlan; zip wiring in Nicaragua; wonderful birds/wildlife on the lagoon at Cano Negro.

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10 Simon Cain, 28/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Where do you start there were so many....  The boat trips, the bird watching, the mangrove swamps, the pacific rollers, the deserted beaches, the volcanos, scree running, canopy tours and zip wire.....my superman was something to behold! White water rafting (nice and gentle), the colonial towns, Copan and the mayans. El Salvador was a little gem, as was Nicaragua and after breakfast............

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Our Response

We are aware that the lack of included breakfasts on our Central American holidays is an issue for some of our customers.  The reason for this is that the hotels in this region do not routinely offer breakfasts as part of a package.  We continue to bear this in mind, and if we can manage to get the breakfasts included at a reasonable price, we will do so.

Travelling through colonial Central America, many of the sites will be quite similar and Leon & Granada are 2 of Nicaragua’s colonial cities so would be alike.

We keep the length of the holiday to 2 weeks as this is generally the holiday period customer like to take. We understand your view that a couple of extra days would be beneficial, however our CAE tour does offer a longer tour which is similar for customers who would like more time experiencing Central America.

 
10 Phil Simms, 28/05/12
This trip lived up to all my hopes and expectations. Varied from Mayan ruins to zip wires through the jungle canopy by way of wildlife spotting and Spanish colonial architecture. All wonderfully choreographed by the Tour Leader Lou.She makes it seem effortless but I know that is because of her professionalism.  Highly recommended.
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0 v.k.m., 30/04/12
A great trip to discover the highlights, of these delightful countries. Starting in Antigua {Guatemala }Discover the delights of this lovely old town. Next we went to Copan, all you expect from this lovely ancient sight, plus more. Chicicastentenango market is like nothing you have ever seen before.. El Salvador next, and what a delight it was. Don't want to say to much, just let it all unfold. Nicaragua, also a fantastic place, so much to see and do. A very varied country, with every thing from volcanos, forests, citys and beach. Last stop Costa Rica, more National Parks, more birds and animals then you can count, all in all makes a great trip. And if you are lucky enough to get lou as your tour leader, she is great.
 
0 Ruth Martin, 27/10/11
Variety.  Excellent tour leader.  Zip wire and white water rafting (CAQ -28th July 2011)
 
0 Denise McGoochan, 27/10/11
This was my first Explore holiday and I was unsure what to expect.  I had always wanted to visit Nicaragua but had a few pre-conceptions of anywhere else on the tour or what to expect from an Explore holiday.  Sitting at home having just returned it will be take a while to sort through in my mind all the amazing things that we saw.  Although there is a lot of travelling, 5 countries in 16 days, the amount that you see and experience was way beyond my expectations.  Tour highlights?  El Salvador:  a beautiful country with such friendly people. Nicaragua: watching the sun set at Juan del Sur beach, hearing the howler monkeys whilst camping (in some style) in Costa Rica, seeing Mayan temples in Honduras - I could go on.  A wide range of people and ages and an absolutely fabulous tour leader in Lou, whose enthusiasm for the people and countries shone through. An amazing experience - I want to go back. (CAQ -28th July 2011)
 
0 Prue Payne (Explore Staff), 20/09/11
This was a brilliant tour of five countries in Central America. I have lots of highlights, but they include white water rafting in Costa Rica, zip-wiring in Nicaragua, the wildlife of the countries, Granada was really fun and El Salvador was a fantastic experience. Our tour leader was great and really brought the countries to life! (CAQ - August 2011)
 
 
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