18 to 30’s Backroads of Central America G Adventures 18 day Tour
Discover the real Central America, hitting the backroads of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. A trail of craters, community guesthouses, wildlife, beaches and more.
18 to 30-something tours are designed by G-Adventures to deliver exactly how you would like to experience as much of Central America as you can handle in 18 days!
- Prices subject to availability and dates. There may be fluctuations at some times, including further discounts. Feel free to contact us here at Twister Travel for the best possible deals!
- Duration: 18 days
- Start/Finish City: San José Costa Rica to Antigua Guatemala
- Service Level: Basic. Simple and clean hotels and hostels; affordable public and private transport; lots of optional activities.
- Physical Grading: 3 – Average. Some tours may include light hiking, biking, rafting, or kayaking in addition to walking.
- Travel Style: 18-to-Thirtysomethings. Fast, fresh, and fun adventures that never slow down, made for young, budget-minded travellers.
- Trip Type: Small Group. Small group experience; Max 18, avg 14.
- La Fortuna
- Monteverde Cloud Forest
- G Adventures-supported community guesthouse stay, Isla de Ometepe
- Poneloya beachfront stay
- Cerro Verde camping
- Mayan ruins
- Optional extra adventure activities, relaxation pursuits, party nights!
- Arrival transfer
- Sea Turtle Conservancy Experience, Tortuguero
- Lecture from a researcher at the Monteverde Institute
- Tortilla making and home cooked meal in La Fortuna
- Monteverde Institute lecture & Reforestation Project
- Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative Tour, Sarapiquí
- Boat tour and wildlife viewing in Tortuguero National Park
- Guided nature walk in the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve
- Guided excursion to Manuel Antonio National Park.
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Hotels (11 nts), rustic jungle lodge (2 nts)
Solo travellers: this tour is designed for shared accommodation, so a single supplement does not apply.
Couples: Please note that due to the variety of accommodation on this tour, couples may be split into separate rooms when we use multi-share hostels with same-sex dorms.. Pending availability, couples may be able to pay extra while on tour to have their own room in some destinations.
Please note: you will be travelling through countries where cold water showers are the accepted normality. To be fully authentic, most of the hotels will not have hot water showers.
2 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Allow US$445-580 for meals not included.
Just ask us about booking extra tours and adventure add-on packs to secure your place in some of these experiences, before embarking on your tour!
Tour Bookings and Enquiries
DepartureSan Jose / Antigua
Day 1 San José
- Accommodation: Selina Hostel San Jose (or similar)
Day 2 San José to La Fortuna
- La Fortuna Waterfall Swim - Access a waterfall close to La Fortuna via a jungle walk, a taxi or horse ride to the gates. There is a fee before reaching the falls 500 steps below. Immerse into cool waters and sounds of nature. Be sure to look out for the irridescent blue morpho butterflies here. (Approximately US$15).
- Baldi Hot Springs
Awaken your senses and let the naturally heated outdoor pools soak your muscles while, you kick back doing little but breathing the pure rainforest air.
- Accommodation - Selina Hostel La Fortuna (or similar)
Day 3 La Fortuna
- Venado Caves Exploration La Fortuna The Venado Caves are a natural exhibition of stalactites, stalagmites, underground rivers, and caverns. Inhabited by bats, frogs, and spiders. (Approximately US$78)
- Whitewater Rafting Arenal In the hands of expert leaders, command the rushing rapids as they pull the raft in a wild ride through unbelievable scenery. Classified Level 2 - 4 rapids, make sure you are ready for this! (Approximately US$61-86)
- Lost Canyon Adventures - canyoning tour of waterfalls, swimming, trekking through rivers, daring hanging bridges. See the environment from a viewpoint just as the local wildlife do! (Approximately US$90)
- Mountain Biking Opt for an independent or guided cycling exploration. (Approximately US$79)
- La Fortuna Waterfall Swim Access a waterfall close to La Fortuna via a jungle walk, a taxi or horse ride to the gates. There is a fee before reaching the falls 500 steps below. Immerse into cool waters and sounds of nature. Be sure to look out for the irridescent blue morpho butterflies here. (Approximately US$15 plus).
- Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge Tour A trip north to a wildlife refuge which is close to the Nicaraguan border. This outing comes complete with a guided tour by covered boat through one of the world's most important wetlands, which hosts a vast diversity of plants, birds, reptiles, fish and mammals you will be in awe of. ( Approximately US$60 )
- Birdwatching La Fortuna Design your own bird watching expedition, you can even take along a local expert. Depending on the season, explore around Arenal Volcano and Lake, visit El Silencio Nature Reserve, or Finca Luna Nueva. The area around Arenal is home to a vast array of bird species. This is your opportunity to view toucans, parrots, Montezuma Oropendolas, colourful tanagers, and parakeets in their habitats.
- Accommodation at Selina Hostel La Fortuna (or similar)
Day 4 La Fortuna to Monteverde
- Accommodation Hotel El Sueño (or similar)
Day 5 Monteverde
- Santa Elena Cloud Forest Visit Monteverde Take a trek with your head in the clouds, your feet skipping the trails. Be amazed by unique orchids and over-sized ferns. Around 12km of walking trails through the mystical forest to cover. You can look out for wildlife, as you hike to the top of the observation tower. Listen out for the call of the bellbird, maybe catch sight of the brilliant green and red resplendent quetzal. Know that while you enjoy the reserve, your park fees are helping it's preservation, as well as contributing to the quality of local schools. ( Approximately US$17 )
- Ziplining Monteverde 3-4 hours Zip in amazement in a cloud forest wonderland of exotic birds and plantlife, high in the forest canopy. ( Approximately US$50 )
- Monteverde Fair Trade Coffee Plantation Tour Get involved in picking and observe the processing of coffee beans from plant to cup at Cafe Monteverde. The Santa Elena coffee co-op prides itself on sustainable practises. They recycle processing water, use coffee pulp as fertilizer, send plant fibers and husks for paper-making. ( Approximately US$35 )
- Accommodation: Hotel El Sueño (or similar)
Day 6 Monteverde to Isla de Ometepe
- Accommodation: Puesta del Sol Homestay (or similar)
- Meals included: Home cooked breakfast and dinner.
Day 7 Isla de Ometepe
- Swimming Isla de Ometepe Experience why Lake Nicaragua is known as Mar Dulce, or 'sweet sea'. More than 40 rivers find their way to this freshwater lake, the largest in Central America. Local swimming holes fed by networks of underground springs are also easy to find. Enriched with therapeutic minerals, float back and relax while also invigorating the senses. (Free!)
- Hike Concepcíon Volcano Isla de Ometepe An extreme challenge that takes a dedication of 10-12 hours for the round trip. The steep terrain of this active volcano make Concepción the most difficult climb in all of Nicaragua. Be prepared for sweaty, muddy, humid and windy climbing. Equip yourself with adequate water and food. Be rewarded with the spectacular, breathtaking views only achievable from the summit of the volcano. Take in the isthmus of Ometepe, Maderas Volcano, Chontales, and reflect back across Costa Rica to the south. See vegetation unique to Concepcion on this climb. (Approximately US$45)
- Ometepe Island Cultural and Pre-Columbian Petroglyphs Tour, Isla de Ometepe Discover Ometepe’s pre-Columbian petroglyphs (rock carvings) and stone statues. Find out about the history and significance of found artefacts such as pieces of ceramic urns and utensils, dating back to 1000 BC. Stopover at hot springs and the beach on this 3 - 4 hour tour. (Approximately US$40)
- Accommodation Puesta del Sol Homestay (or similar)
- Meals provided are home cooked breakfast and dinner.
Day 8 Isla de Ometepe to Granada
- Accommodation could be at Hostel Lemon Tree Granada (or similar).
- Breakfast included.
Day 9 Granada
- Mombacho Volcano Trails - Hike Volcán Mombacho 4 1/2 to 5 hours A convenient truck will carry you from the base of Mombacho Volcano, to slowly make your way up the steep road. Hike the muddy paths at the top of this extinct volcano. At the windy summit, lay four dormant craters, all covered in dense cloud forest. If it's clear day, you may get a qlimpse of Granada, las Isletas, Laguna de Apoyo, and Lake Nicaragua below. ( Approximately US$35 per group )
- Masaya Volcano Day Excursion Experience the energy and excitement of an active volcano! Walk through a surreal terrain of lava rocks and stunted shrubbery. At the visitor’s centre, learn about the history of Masaya and many other volcanoes of Nicaragua. A bonus stop at the Masaya Artesan Market filled with ceramics, woodcrafts, hammocks, and hand-crafted cigars will delight. Topped off by a view from the Laguna de Apoyo lookout, then ending this compact tour in San Juan de Oriente, a local pottery and ceramics workshop. ( US$35 per person)
- Accommodation at Hostel Lemon Tree Granada (or similar)
Day 10 Granada to Poneloya
- Surfing Poneloya Rent a board if experienced, or go for a private lesson. Harness the waves and ride! (Around US$20)
Day 11 Poneloya
Day 12 Poneloya to Cerro Verde
- Accommodation: Camping Cerro Verde campground (or similar)
Day 13 Cerro Verde
- Santa Ana Volcano Hike Trek to the edge of Santa Ana’s Volcano crater. Reaching the peak, relax and absorb the unique views of a sulfur green lagoon inside the crater. Take in the surrounding Coatepeque Lake and the Pacific Ocean while indulging in a handy supplied lunch.
- Accommodation: Camping Cerro Verde campground (or similar)
Day 14 Cerro Verde to Suchitoto
- Accommodation: Posada Alta Vista Hotel (or similar)
Day 15 Suchitoto to Copán
- Accommodation: Hotel Brisas de Copan (or similar)
Day 16 Copán
- Luna Jaguar Hot Springs Visit A scenic drive through the back roads of Copán Ruinas leads you to Luna Jaguar hot springs in the mystical jungle. (Approximately US$45)
- Horseback Riding Copán Ride languidly through rural Honduras. Check out Copán Valley and river, looking out for exotic birds and wildlife. Head up into the hills to meet friendly local farmers. (Approximately US$25)
- Copán Ruins Guided TourCopán 2-3 hours Ruins dating back over 1,000 years in history to discover, at the ancient Mayan site of Copán. Admire the artistry and scale of the temples, structures, statues and well-preserved hieroglyphic stairway and appreciate this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Be sure to visit the museum to see Mayan artifacts and a life-sized replica of the Rosalila Temple. (Approximately US$25)
Day 17 Copán to Antigua Guatemala
- Accommodation: Antigua Lemon Tree Hostel (or similar)
Day 18 Antigua Guatemala
How to PackIt is recommended to use a medium sized backpack for your convenience, as there are some short moments during this tour when you will be required to carry your own luggage. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage. Some suggested items to take include: Essential Items
- Binoculars (optional)
- Camera/ or phone with camera
- Cash, credit and debit cards
- Day pack
- First-aid supplies
- Hoodie or sweater
- Outlet adapter
- Personal entertainment
- Reusable water bottle
- Small travel towel
- Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Waterproof backpack cover
- Windproof rain jacket
- Costa Rica Water Activities:
- Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
- Sport Sandals or Water Shoes (if you plan to do waterfall rappelling and/or rafting)
DocumentsYou need to keep hold of:
- Flight info - Costa Rica will not permit entry into the country without proof of a departure ticket to next destination. If you are travelling through a few countries in Central America, you will need to show proof of your itinerary and a departure ticket from your last destination. Please print the itinerary and voucher and bring it with you.
- Insurance details
- Vaccination certificates
- Visas - currently no visa is required for up to 90 days for all countries visited on this tour, if travelling from Australia, please check locally or just ask us if you are unsure for your country of origin.
Local CultureCentral America is as friendly as it is scenic. Take normal precautions in cities, particularly when out at night.
For Your Health
- Take along some Mosquito repellant for your own convenience - natural organic products may be better, and are available for purchase locally.
- Any regular medications, asthma inhalers, vitamins.
- Yellow Fever - It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering Costa Rica and Nicaragua if you have travelled to certain countries with Yellow Fever risk prior to arriving.
- For in-depth health and safety data, (including up to date vaccinations info) please visit https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/americas/costa-ric Or your local equivalent.