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Diving Group Tour

15 days from £2978pp

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Diving Group Tour

15 days from £2978pp
 

Group Journey

 

UK clients depart, arriving Cancun the same day.
 

Day 1

Transfer to your hotel in Tulum.
 
Transfer to Tulum at the southern end of the Caribbean Riviera Maya. This low-key beach alternative to the major resorts will be your base for the next 3 nights to explore the surrounding area. Small thatched palapa-style hotels and guesthouses flank the main road that cuts through town

The nearby beaches are simply superb with sugary white sand and enticing turquoise waters. To cap it all, the Mayan ruins of Tulum are spectacularly perched on a cliff behind the delightful main beach.
Tulum Ruins

Day 2

Afternoon tour of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
 
After a morning to relax we make an afternoon visit to the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. It is a small ecotourism and education centre, an example of sustainable development in sensitive tropical ecosystems. Hike through the jungle and discover the historical site of Muyil, an impressive Mayan temple. Cross the lagoon by boat while your guide will explain more about the reserve's ecosystem and wildlife. You even have the opportunity to swim and float on the freshwater stream through the channels.

Day 3

Dive the famous freshwater cenotes.
 

How many of us can say we have dived in one of the world’s largest freshwater cave systems? This truly is an experience like no other.

The Yucatan peninsula is a huge porous limestone shelf where fresh water flows into underground river and cave systems. Parts of the shelf have collapsed over thousands of years creating sinkholes or cenotes. These underwater caves and caverns popular among divers today were believed by the ancient Mayans to be entrances to the mystical underworld.

Each cenote is different - some are completely underground, others semi-underground - in many the roof allows sunlight to penetrate, creating a magical feeling and intense aquamarine colour.

The cenotes are located in the middle of the jungle close to Tulum, so it is not uncommon to see iguanas, colourful birds and other wildlife while you are gearing up. The day includes two dives in two different cenotes, with free time in the afternoon to visit the Tulum archaeological site perched high on a cliff overlooking the white sand beach. Or you can do a third dive if you’re hooked already.

Although you will be guided by a certified cave diver, these are not technical dives and can be enjoyed by divers of all experience levels.

Cenote diving

Day 4

Travel by road and boat to Caye Caulker in Belize.
 
Heading south for 3 hours we reach the border town of Chetumal. From here we board a water taxi for the two hour journey to Caye Caulker.

The 'no shirt, no shoes, no problem' signs that crop up in the numerous bars epitomises the easy-going vibe of this charming small coral island. It’s been a long-time favourite with backpackers, but now a broader range of visitor is discovering the island’s unique barefoot atmosphere. There are next to no cars and people mainly get around on foot, by bike or golf buggy.

Day 5

Dive one of the world’s most famous sites – The Great Blue Hole.
 

Since Jacques Cousteau declared The Blue Hole - or The Great Blue Hole - one of the world’s Top 10 dive sites in 1971 it has been ever present on every diver’s bucket list, and for good reason. This remarkable coral-fringed limestone sinkhole – which is even visible from space – measures 300m across and 120m deep and is a UNESCO World Heritage site

Here, advanced open water divers can venture to the limits of recreational scuba diving to see and swim through Cousteau’s giant and ancient crooked stalactites at 40m. Open water divers with fewer than than 25 dives can dive to 24m where you will experience the immense drop-off and likely enjoy the company of reef sharks and colourful fish.

After the Great Blue Hole dive, it’s a 25-minute boat ride to Half Moon Caye Wall for the second dive of the day. Along the walls, which drop beyond 400m, you’ll see colourful sea fans, giant barrel sponges, turtles, eagle rays, eels, octopi, reef sharks and sting rays hiding in the sand flats. Half Moon Caye is a picturesque Caribbean island with a bird sanctuary observation deck that overlooks a red-footed booby colony. We have lunch on the Caye and explore the island before heading out for our third and final dive of the day, Long Caye Aquarium.

While the Blue Hole is a bucket list item, often the other two sites on Lighthouse Atoll are the highlight of the day as the marine life is very healthy and abundant.

Blue Hole

Day 6

Day at leisure.
 

Relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere swinging in a hammock, or sitting on one of the wooden piers watching the lilac and tangerine sunset with a beer. Lobster fishing has long been an important activity here and the fresh lobster you can order in the many little restaurants is delicious and cheap!

Day 7

Head to mainland Belize and fly to the Honduran island of Roatan.
 
It’s back in the water taxi for the short hop to the mainland and Belize City. It’s a brief visit as we head straight to the airport for a flight to another archipelago and the Honduran island of Roatan.

Roatán is situated 50km off the north coast of Honduras and is the most developed of the Bay Islands. It was once a hideaway for pirates and the infamous captain Henry Morgan made it his lair. Its people are a mix of Afro-Caribbean, European and Garífuna indian descent with English the principal language spoken. Fishing is still its main economic activity although in recent years it has become a top international destination for scuba diving and snorkelling.

Day 8

Day of diving.
 

Roatan’s fringing coral reef is part of the giant Mesoamerican Barrier Reef - the second largest barrier reef in the world which runs from Mexico past Belize and Guatemala to Honduras.

This diverse ecosystem is found just a few hundred metres from shore, offering exhilarating diving without the long bumpy boat rides!

Wall diving on Roatan is truly impressive and is what the island is most famous for. Vertical drop-offs offer some of the best visibility and variety of marine life. Giant sponges, sea plumes, deep water sea fans and black corals provide habitat for a wealth of creatures and the proximity to greater depths means encounters with larger pelagics such as eagle rays, hammerhead sharks and large jacks are possible.

Overhangs, cracks, canyons, deep channels and ravines can be found on several dive sites and are excellent hiding places for many shy species of fish and creatures such as spotted drum, groupers, eels, lobsters, crabs and shrimp and our local guides have a keen eye for the littlest of creatures.

We will do three dives today, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. There is also the option of a night dive for a chance to see the globally rare ‘string of pearls’ phenomenon which regularly occurs in Roatán – tiny strings of crustaceans that light up like underwater fireflies to attract a mate. A truly remarkable and unforgettable sight.

Roatan Diving

Day 9

Day at leisure.
 

A day to unwind and relax, however for those wishing to see a little more Roatán offers a wide variety of adventures from zip-lining to swimming with dolphins and horse riding to sunset sails. Kayaking, fishing, glass-bottomed boat tours: there's something to appeal to everyone.

Roatan beach

Days 10-11

Travel to Copán and visit the famous Mayan ruins.
 
The journey continues today with a flight to the busy city of San Pedro Sula, where you’ll be met and transferred south-east for 3 hours by road to Copán. Copán is home to one of the most impressive of the Mayan ruined complexes. This region of western Honduras is a remote province of velvety green hills and rushing rivers, dotted with whitewashed colonial villages where the horse is still the main form of transport. Its genial atmosphere comes in part from its relative prosperity gained through trade in coffee and tobacco, and through the tourism generated by the Mayan ruins.

Spend the night at Copán Ruinas, an attractive cobbled village close to the site. There is time for a short hill walk, but the main attractions, of course, are the archaeological site and the superb new museum, both of which you visit the following day.
Copan

Days 12-14

Overland to Guatemala and the beautiful city of Antigua.
 

The Guatemalan border is a 10 minute drive from Copán. From here you continue to Antigua. There is a marked change in temperature as you climb into the highlands. 'Land of eternal spring' is an accolade adopted by Guatemalans to describe the climate of this western highland region, where the heat is benign and nights are pleasantly cool.

Guatemala is unique in Central America; a mysterious, timeless country in which half of the population is Mayan indian. Many, especially women in the highlands, still dress in their traditional hand-woven clothing, similar to that which was worn over a thousand years ago. Antigua is a colonial city of cobbled streets, overhanging tiled roofs and a beautiful, leafy central plaza. There is an abundance of huge, ruined churches, convents and monasteries, testament to a time when Antigua was the country's capital and its main religious centre. It seems that every doorway opens onto a leafy tiled courtyard.

A dramatic backdrop of smouldering volcanoes reminds you how the city was destroyed by an eruption in 1773. Antigua is a welcoming place to relax and unwind, do some shopping and enjoy some excellent food, or just to wander around the ruined convents and enjoy the flowers in their beautifully tended gardens.

Two whole days here means you will even have time to venture further afield should you wish to hike an active volcano, visit some local villages, a coffee farm or even the picturesque waters of Lake Atitlán.

Volcano over Antigua

Day 15

Travel to Guatemala City for your international flight home.
 

UK clients arrive home the following day, Sunday.
 

15 days from £2978pp

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About Group Tours

Our small escorted group journeys are led by award-winning tour guides and follow tried and tested routes that we have been refining for over 30 years. 

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