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Customer Reviews

Average Rating: Red-stars

Total number of reviews: 1,843

Central American Explorer CAE

Tour Duration 25 Days
  • Arenal
  • Colourful Chichicastenango market
  • Roatan Island sunset
  • Chichicastenango Market, Guatemala
  • Canoeing in the Caribbean
  • Tour Style: Classic
  • Tour Type: Small Groups
  • Tour Pace: Full On
  • Tour Comfort: Standard
 

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7 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 Explorer tour available at present.

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6 , 18/12/13

Name

Chris Longman

Tour Name

Central American Explorer

Tour Code

CAE

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Trekking up the side of a Volcano in Guatamala and driving up in the tour bus to the edge of a Volcano in Nicaragua.

Tour Leader Name

Roberto Darce

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Awesome, very informed, very good English (Nicaraguan by birth). Most helpful tour guide I have come across. Shame he did not hand out his mobile number though.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Don’t go in the rainy season, hard to spot any wildlife, beaches are drab, windows in bus steam up. Travel out a day early to get over jet lag. Check FCO website; it’s up to you to see if there is a state of emergency in any countries as Explore will not tell you unless the FCO advise against travel there. Know about Dengue fever and the day biting mosquito. Get a list of hotels from Explore and see what trip advisor says about them. Some hotels have severe damp problems in ground floor rooms and some people caught bad coughs from mould spores in these rooms. Consider taking a mozi net for jungle lodges as there are none provided. Take off any silver or gold rings in the sulphurous hot springs, they may turn black. Check you are issued up to date tour notes. If you book independent flights know that you need to have proof, in the form of an air or bus ticket of when you are leaving the country, tours notes alone are not satisfactory. Make sure you get the local guide’s mobile number so when you get separated from the tour you can contact him. Be aware you will need to hand over USD80 in cash at the start of the tour for tips, $40 for baggage handlers and $40 for smooth border crossings. Finding ATM’S was not a problem. Save unused currency and give to guide at end for a tip.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Research the optional trips before you go, (trip advisor is very good) the guide will brief you the night or morning before and often he needs to know before arrival so he can book tours. Occasionally he will provide a picture or a map but mostly the information he gives is just a description of the trip. (Ideally the guide would have a comprehensive folder with detailed information, or even a DVD which he could play on his laptop or the TV which are on some tour buses).

Our Response

Thank you for your comments; there is some good advice in there.  It is true that we will usually only cancel a trip if the FCO advise against all but essential travel to a region – we are aware that customers invest a great deal of planning and expectations in their holidays, and we will always try to go ahead. Occasionally, even if the FCO does not advise against travel, our local agents may do so, and then we would make the decision to cancel a tour.  But beyond that, our agents are as aware as we are of the need to keep our customers safe, and this always remains a priority.  We would not run a tour if events in a country would render it unsafe, and if issues arise whilst on tour which would compromise customer safety, then we will ensure our customers are transferred to safety as soon as possible. Our agent is aware that there have been aspects of some hotels which were unsatisfactory, and these have been addressed.

 
10 , 15/08/13

Name

Howard Pearce

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Very difficult to say as there was such a great variety of experiences spread across 5 countries: culture, scenery, history, wildlife and beaches.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Byron was a very friendly and caring person. He had great knowledge of all the 5 countries we visited, which he imparted to us throughout each day. He had a wonderful sense of humour and always had a smile on his face. If we didn't have any plans for meals, then he would always give us some good suggestions. We were always invited to join him at the restaurant of his choice. If we had any questions or problems then he would always do his best to resolve them. All in all a brilliant leader. Thank you Byron

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Don't take too much clothing - take items that can be easily washed and dried. Be prepared for some early starts and long journeys in a bus. Although there were ample toilet and food stops provided. It would be helpful to learn a little Spanish.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Some of the buses were cramped for 16 people plus their luggage, which couldn't always be put on the roof of the bus.

 
6 Jenny Scholes, 22/03/13

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

Omotepe Island - beautiful setting in Lake Nicaragua.  Fascinating Mayan Ruins at Copan.  Antigua, the old capital of Guatemala is a quaint town. The weather (and the sea) was lovely and warm so February / March is a good time to travel. But we didn't see that very much bird or wild life as the group was too large and we didn't go at the right time of day.

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Our Response

We’re not sure whether our general age range has changed dramatically – the average age has probably risen a little, as we have so many repeat customers who are getting older with us.  

 

 
0 Cath Proud, 02/04/12
We had such a varied and amazing trip during our journey to Central America! Highlights for me was the Panama Canal, Boquete in the mountains and Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean in Panama: The beautiful Sarapiqui River, Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica: Ometepe Island and Granada in Nicaragua: Roatan Island and Copan Ruinas in Honduras and Antigua city in Guatemala. Overall highlights - snorkelling in the crystal clear water of Roatan - you only needed to swim 100m from shore just opposite the Marine Park office where you could hire equipment - where you could see shoals of fish and corals of many colours. Next best experience was the night walk at Monteverde where we saw mammals, reptiles and many birds.  The towns we stayed in provided well for visitors in the range of shops, restaurants and tours available, particularly Antigua, Guatemala where some of our group climbed one of the volcanoes.  As a nature lover I was astonished by the variety of birds, wildflowers, animals and fish we saw - I just wish I'd had an underwater camera for Roatan and Bocas del Toro!
 
0 Sylvia Currie, 19/12/11
Just returned from this trip. Its been a great experience. Although as explained in the trip notes there are a few long days it really didnt matter as, the distances were well thought out so breaks were often and flexible.  The countries visited were all different but amazing in their own ways. Too many highlights to write on here....but ometepe island and zip wiring have to be my favourite parts.  Theres a right mix of countryside, rain forests, culture and town life....Its a very informal trip so ladies its all about casual skirts and shorts. There's a few times to get a wee bit more dressed up but mainly casual is the order of the day.  The only down side I would say is I went in October (rainy season) but the rain was exceptional; so we had a LOT of rain for most of the days so I would suggest tryng to go at another time of year. However, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute including the mud and rain......In summary, fabulous trip, very diverse and its left me with a thirst for more of the Americas.....and if you are lucky enough to have Byron as your tour leader you will be assured of a great trip and lots of smiles.....(CAE - 1st October 2011)
 
0 Elaine Edmondson, 18/10/10
A very enjoyable trip visiting the highlights of Central America. The trip is varied and covers wildlife, culture, city sightseeing, seaside and mountains so whatever you enjoy, you will most likely find it on this trip. Be warned that the distances covered are quite large and so there are some long driving days on poor roads but the scenery compensates for this. The highlights for me were the wildlife of Costa Rica, the fascinating history of Nicaragua but most of all I enjoyed 'volcano bagging'. There are so many active volcanoes on this trip that if you, like me, are fascinated by them then this is the trip for you. We ended our tour on New Years' Eve by climbing Volcan Pacaya in Guatamala which was very active at the time and the lava flows were amazing. The accommodation on the trip is of a good standard including some very interesting places like La Quinta in Costa Rica which had its own wildlife garden. Don't forget that it can rain at any time of the year in this part of the world so a cagoul is essential as are good shoes/boots for walking up volcanoes! You also need quite a bit of stamina as this trip is non-stop. Recommended. (CAE - 7th December 2007)
 
0 Jenny, 14/10/10
We did this trip as our honeymoon which some people may find strange- spending our honeymoon with a group of strangers! We loved travelling as a group, there was always someone to talk too and we never ran out of conversation. Highlights for us were Bocas del toro- snorkling and the atmosphere on the island. Trekking up Volcan Pacaya in Guatemala, the volcano was oozing lava it was amazing to see and you could get so close to it- I will remember that forever as one of the most amazing things I have ever done. Also zip wiring on Volcan Masaya in Granada and the early morning river trip in Costa Rica, we saw over 20 different species. I loved this trip, I was crying on the way to the airport coming home I didn't want it to be over.    My advice- if taking more than one bag split your clothes over the bags- my bag got left in Atlanta by the airline and I didn't get it back until 3 days later I didn't have any clothes at all but if I had put half of mine in my husbands bag and vice versa I would have managed okay. (CAE 8th Janaury 2007)
 
 
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