CGAC Mayan Sun

Central American volcanoes, cities and markets; Mexican Mayan history and Caribbean beaches and rainforests.

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CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby redtraveller » Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:14 pm

Hello,
Has anyone been on this trip already? Any feedback on the experience?
I am taking the tour in December and would love to get tips on the overall experience and the optional activities.
Thanks
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby yfstafford » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:17 pm

I did this trip last December in reverse (CMCA) and had a blast. Tikal was definitely impressive but there's a bit for everyone. I actually think my favorite set of ruins were at Xunantunich, a couple miles from the lodge in San Ignacio. Three of us from my group walked there and found it completely deserted. It's not as big as Tikal but it was really cool being the only ones there. The views from the top of El Castillo was definitely memorable too.

In terms of optional activites, you can't really go wrong. I was interested in Mayan culture so visited Chichen Itza, Tulum, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Xunantunich and Tikal but there was also opportunity to snorkel, hike and kayak. One of the volcanoes had recently erupted so tours up were limited, though. Antigua and Chichi are just two really flavorful cities to visit and the chicken buses are certainly an experience too.

A word of warning - if you have a sensitive stomach, be careful what you eat/drink. We had a couple girls get pretty sick for three or four days to the point it was restricting their activities.

If you have any specific questions or anything in particular you're interested in, let me know. I'd be more than happy to help. :)
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby redtraveller » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:59 pm

Thanks for the tips. I am definitely interested in seeing the Mayan culture.
Any comments on the home stay? Was anyone on your trip taking malaria pills?
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby yfstafford » Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:58 pm

We actually didn't get to take a home stay... not sure why as it was originally listed on the itinerary but not on the "final" itinerary. Still, all had a good time and feel like the trip was plenty authentic.

I think there were a couple of girls taking malaria pills but I didn't really notice a problem with bugs. I don't believe our CEO was. Some people had packed mozzie nets but I didn't really find need for one even in the "jungle lodge" we stayed at. I would consider bug spray (or long sleeves) to be safe, however.
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby smaley » Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:51 am

I did the Mayan Adventure last year, and the Mayan Sun is a section of that tour. I was advised by my Travel nurse to absolutely take Malaria tablets for that region of Guatemala, as do travel health websites The tablets that you need to take for that part of the world are very cheap (my entire amount cost less than £2) you have to take them before during and after your trip, but only one pill a week. I had absolutely no side effects from taken them. I would never risk going to a malarial risk area without them. I did get some pretty bad bites, including one one my face in the jungle, which made my eye swell up, and this was depsite the fact that I took all the precuations necessary - long clothing, deet etc... its personal choice but I am glad I was taking my pills.
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby redtraveller » Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:24 pm

Thanks for the input. I will definitely be bringing malaria pills. I wasn't sure if they were needed since when I went to Costa Rica, they were prescribed to me but no one else on the trip was taking them. Better safe than sorry!

Smaley-did your trip do the homestay? I'd be interested to hear about it.
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby smaley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:24 am

Hi

I dont ever ask if anyone else is taking Malaria tablets, I just do the safest thing for me, am sure not everyone on my trip was but I just dont take risks, I am particularly juicy to Mosquitos!!!
We did not do a homestay on our trip, it was not part of the itenerary at all, where is it that you may do one?
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby redtraveller » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:01 am

Its on Day 4 Lake Atitlán homestay. I have done a homestay on a previour tour in Peru and it was fine. I just wanted to get some feedback, but it seems that they just remove this aspect from the final itinerary.
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby smaley » Thu Aug 18, 2011 3:57 pm

hi
there was definitly no home stay mentioned.on any trip notes or in the brochure. maybe its a new thing if you have seen it mentioned recently. I have done home stays before and I would definitly remember if I was expecting one and it didn't happen! you will have a fab time out there its beautiful. am not jealous at all!!!
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby mistie » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:02 pm

I think this tour isn't part of Mayan Adventure anymore. Mayan Adventure: "trip combines our Mayan Trail CMTM and Mayan Encounter CGME tours."

"The Mayan Sun tour is a component of our Great Mexico and Central American Journey JXP."

My plan is to book Mayan Adventure for March 2012 :)
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby Fieter » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:46 pm

aha! Very nice to read the comments!!
Any advice is very welcome... shoe-wize as well!!!
I'll probably be going on the Mayan adventure in March as well.. I know, we're not supposed to post this here, but I couldn't resist!!! :D
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby nod » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:22 am

Hi I have just finished the tour and it was brilliant. perfect amount fo travelling and settling in locations. we adjusted out tour to stay longer in caye caulker as we loved it so much,
The home stay we great, take gifts for the children/adults as they really appreciate it. you can buy them out there or if there is anythign from where you live you feel they would enjoy then i recommend doing that.

Take malaria tablets and 50% deet...and wear it as they will bite you everywhere! take walking shoes or trainers because there is opportunity to use them a lot! - volcano climbing, mountain biking, hiking etc.

anything else just ask
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby redtraveller » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:59 pm

thanks for the tips nod.
Did you hike up Pacaya Volcano? any feedback?
I have only ever been on Classic Standard trips. How was the YOLO?
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby aussiegypsy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:43 pm

If you can, do the Pacaya trek in the morning. If it's going to rain or be cloudy, it's always in the afternoon and then you'll won't see much when you get to the top. It's a steep climb but anyone can do it. You'll need good shoes however.

YOLO is supposed to be more catered for independent, solo travellers but I found this is certainly not the case. My last YOLO tour was in central america and everyone else on the tour came in couples or small groups of their own (I was the only solo), and therefore they were always off doing their own things. But this particular tour was probably a exception. It all comes down to luck really, some YOLO tours will be a rowdy drunken fest with lots of adventure, some you'll end up eating on your own because everyone else came with their own friends.

Guatemala is certainly a very beautiful country with rich culture. We did the homestay and it was a great experience. Although the language barrier made it a little difficult so definitely learn some spanish! The house mother got us really involved in making the dinner etc.

Also, I personally wouldn't bother with the anti-malarial tablets as you are going in the dry season, so there'll be far less mosquitos around. Also, the Central American region is a low risk area. I went during the wet season and hardly got bitten (I did not take tablets). But if it gives you the peace of mind, take them.
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Re: CGAC Mayan Sun

Postby Zuleika » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:24 pm

There is no malaria in the areas you are going on this tour - check the CDC http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.htm

I did Mayan adventure - no one on our tour took antimalarials, - personally if its not recommended I prefer not to take these things, but its your choice.

Anyway - its an amazing tour - you'll have loads of fun!
"Live the life you love, Love the life you live"
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