Pick your vibe: rest and rum punch? Non-stop doing stuff? Geeking out over ancient ruins? From beach days to jungle action, this trip’s got it all. Pack your SPF, your sneakers, and your spontaneity—you’re in for one gran aventura.
Sunning like a mermaid on white-sand beaches
Marveling at the majesty of ancient Maya ruins
Snorkeling at the world’s second largest barrier reef
Canoeing through soaring underground caves
Gorging on tamales, fry jacks, and ceviche
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers (or book 'em yourself)
9 nights in handpicked accommodations
An expert Tour Director
Entrance to Tikal National Park
- Day 1: Arrive in Playa del Carmen + Welcome Dinner
¡Bienvenido a México! Paradise—sorry, Playa del Carmen—is a coastal Caribbean haven on the Yucatán Peninsula dripping with palm-lined beaches, ancient Maya ruins, nightlife for days, and traditional Mexican culture.
- Meet an EF representative and fellow travelers as they arrive at the airport.
- Transfer to your hotel to check in and check out your room.
- Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot.
- Day 2: Tour of Playa del Carmen + beach day
Stroll through Playa (as the locals call it) with your Tour Director. Then bask in el sol on one of the area’s beautiful beaches for the afternoon.
- Join your Tour Director for a local tour of Playa del Carmen.
- Check out the shops, bars, street vendors, and performers on La Quinta Avenida, the city’s pedestrian-only main street.
- Laze the rest of the day away on the sand—and slather on the SPF, pls!
- Day 3: Free day or optional Chichén Itzá tour
Rise and shine, time to ruin the day! If you’re up for it, you’ll set out for a full day tour to Chichén Itzá, where some of Mexico’s most well-preserved Maya ruins date back well over 1,500 years. If you wanna hang back, you’ve got yourself a free day in Playa del Carmen.
Chichén Itza ruins tour (extra cost)
Experience the grandeur of Chichen Itza, home to many Maya temples including the iconic El Castillo.
- Day 4: Cenote Abierto + travel to southern Quintana Roo region via Tulum
Put on your adventure pants (i.e. bathing suit) for a morning visit to El Cenote Abierto, a beautiful natural swimming hole near Playa del Carmen. Then it’s on to the laid-back vibes of Tulum before finishing the day in the southern Quintana Roo region.
- Snorkel and swim your heart out at El Cenote Abierto.
- Take in views of the Caribbean Sea on a quick bus ride to Tulum.
- Absorb all the history on a spin through the city with your Tour Director.
- Continue on to the southern Quintana Roo region for an overnight.
- Day 5: Los Rapidos lazy river + ferry to Caye Caulker, Belize
Remember the lazy water-park rivers of your childhood? Yeah, this is not that. Spend the AM floating through the turquoise waters of Los Rapidos. Then cross another country off your bucket list—you’re headed to Belize, a.k.a the Jewel.
- Laze the morning away at Los Rapidos, a narrow freshwater channel of Bacalar Lagoon that’s flanked by rare mangroves.
- Wave goodbye to Mexico as you board a water taxi bound for the isle of Caye Caulker off the coast of Belize.
- Breathe in the salty air as you approach the island’s brightly painted buildings. Tomorrow, we snorkel.
- Enjoy an included dinner with your group.
- Day 6: Morning snorkel at Hol Chan Marine reserve
Make an expedition to the warm waters of Hol Chan off Ambergris Caye for an AM snorkel sesh with a local guide. And don’t worry, everyone looks funny in goggles.
- Glide by the colorful coral formations Belize is known for as you snorkel through the world’s second largest barrier reef.
- See turtles, nurse sharks, sting rays, jacks, tarpon, and many other marine species you've prob only seen on the Discovery Channel.
Free time suggestions
The Split: Formed by Hurricane Hattie in 1961, this quirky geological accident is a popular spot to people watch, paddleboard, or play cornhole at the Lazy Lizard.
Beach it: “Ugh, more beaches” said no one ever. Grab a book, download a podcast, order a rum punch, and plop yourself down on the golden sand.
- Day 7: Travel to the Cayo district
Trade easy, breezy island life for the inner-Belize region of Cayo, the country’s largest district, known for wildlife, national parks, and—oh look, more spectacular Maya ruins!
- Get one last look at Caye Caulker from your ferry to Belize City, where you’ll board a westbound bus.
- Watch from the window as the landscape shifts from coast to rainforest. Welcome to the jungle.
Free time suggestions
Belizean cuisine: The food in Belize is kinda like Mexican, with a unique twist from Mayan, Garifuna, Kriol, and other cultures. Try ceviche, conch fritters, fry jacks, whatever looks tasty!
- Day 8: Visit the Maya ruins of Guatemala
Tikal, Guatemala, once rivaled ancient Rome in size and splendor. Today you’ll explore its impressive Maya temples, ball courts, and the many excavated buildings that housed over 100,000 people.
- Wake up to the sounds of the Belizean rainforest.
- Collect another passport stamp as you enter Guatemala.
- Join a local guide for a tour of Tikal’s six magnificent ancient pyramids.
- Fuel up with an included lunch—much needed after climbing 221 feet to the top of Temple IV.
- Day 9: Canoeing at Barton Creek Cave + waterfall hike
Your last day in Belize is an epic one. If exploring the cathedral-esque splendor of Barton Creek Cave isn’t enough, you’ll also hike to a massive waterfall in the middle of the jungle. Casual.
- Catch a power nap on a quick bus ride to Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.
- Canoe through Barton Creek Cave, a subterranean wonder once used for ceremonial Maya rituals.
- After an included lunch, hike through the rainforest to the magnificent 150-foot flume of Big Rock Falls.
- Share some laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included Farewell Dinner with your group.
- Day 10: Fly home
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 3 authentic traveler reviews
Very Outstanding and Mesmerizing!Paola, traveled Oct. 2023
It was my first tropical vacation and I got to say I was not disappointed. There is a lot of nature to be discovered and very active! If you like nature’s beauty and very active, this one is definitely worth it. I loved the caves and beaches and the jungle altogether. Something to get away from the city. Our Tour director Roberto was so nice and outgoing! He... See more
Best trip ever!Helen, traveled Oct. 2023
This trip was amazing!! Our tour director Roberto was the best ever! He made this trip the best trip I’ve ever taking. Mexico and Belize was just so much fun! You get the eat and drink so many yummy things!!! The activities are so much fun!! Like the cenotes and caves!!! You should definitely do this tour! You won’t regret it!
Mexico & BelizeAnonymous, traveled Oct. 2023
This trip was a lot of fun, with enough free time to explore in between tours of famous locations. Anyone who is interested in history (ruins) will find this tour interesting. If you love beaches, there’s no shortage of them either! This trip is a good balance between learning and relaxing. We were not able to travel to Guatemala for a day, but we took that ... See more