The 3rd Maya Classic Rally 2018
February 24 to March 25, 2018
Back by popular demand for 2018 is the Maya Classic Rally which takes in eight countries in the space of 30 days but includes plenty of time to see the great Mayan monuments as well as enjoy the road, the countries and the people.
Join us on this superb journey across Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and the USA in February/March 2018.
For vintage and classic cars it offers great roads, superb scenery, history, Mayan archaeological sites, Rainforests, Volcanoes, Spanish colonial towns, Classic hotels, wonderful people, unique flora and fauna, authentic and unspoiled locations. From the famous Panama Canal we go from one great sight to another on the roads less travelled, visit towns not on the tourist routes and meet people who have never seen a classic car.
It’s a truly remarkable journey which is open to anyone with a car dated pre-1980 – we will take more recent cars if they are true classics. Please call us now to reserve you a place.
Starting in Panama we head north, spending the first night on the road in the bowl of a defunct volcano at Bocquete which reputedly has one of the healthiest climates in the world. Travelling through the quite countryside we head for the border where we cross into Costa Rica before stopping in Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coastline.
The next day is a superb drive through the mountains to the fantastic resort of La Fortuna where you can bathe in the hot volcanic waters of the Arenal volcano. We have a free day to try the zip wire experience, the butterfly farm and local restaurants.
Driving around Arenal dam we head for the border and Nicaragua where we see more volcanoes in the near distance, great lakes and fantastic countryside. It’s a brief two days stay in Nicaragua before we drive to Honduras and the oddly named capital, Tegucigalpa for one night. The next day we get our first sight of some of the great Mayan ruins at Copan, one of the most southerly fingers of the Mayan empire.
It’s Guatemala and Antigua after that, one of the great stop-overs of the event. Here we stay in the Casa Santo Domingo with its own museum and ruins. The town is preserved in aspic with some of the most interesting scenery on the trip.
Driving north we head for Flores where there are the Tikal Mayan ruins. On this day the lush greenery makes a welcome change from the parched central plains.
From Tikal we head for another border where we cross into Belize and stay in Belize City.
Crossing into Mexico the next day is one of the more straightforward borders with good roads and a great destination in Tulum.
Following that we drive to the world famous town of Chichen Itza where we see some of the best preserved Mayan ruins. From there it’s an easy drive to Campeche before a great dash through the Yucatan to Palenque where there is one of the most original sets of ruins on the journey.
After that we drive to San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec on the way to Puebla, a fantastic old colonial town in the heart of Mexico.
Heading north we drive to Mineral de Pozas, once a gold and silver mining centre. From here we drive to Saltillo before crossing the border into the USA, where we stop at Alice, Port Arthur and finally the great New Orleans.
Panama – Costa Rica – Nicaragua – Honduras – Guatemala – Belize – Mexico – USA
Feb 24 & 25 – Panama City, Panama
Panama City was the launch pad for the expeditions that conquered the Inca empire in Peru and was the main port for the export of the gold and silver. It is also the start point of the Maya Rally 2018. We include a visit to the amazing Miraflores canal locks .
Feb 26 – Boquete, Panama
Our first day on the road is to Boquete which in Spanish means ‘gap or opening’. It was through this volcano bowl that curious gold seekers trekked looking for a cheaper and quicker way to the Pacific.
Feb 27 – Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
After we cross the border into Costa Rica our first stop is on the coast at Puerto Viejo. Without any doubt, the most famous visitor that arrived at this piece of paradise was Christopher Columbus. A peace loving country, Costa Rica has no army.
Feb 28 & Mar 1 – La Fortuna, Costa Rica
La Fortuna, in the shadow of the towering Arenal Volcano is a major attraction in Costa Rica. From a volcano observation post to hot water springs – it has it all.
March 2 & 3 – Granada, Nicaragua
Granada drips with photogenic elegance, a picture postcard at every turn. With its cobbled streets and variety of churches it is truly a wonderful stop off.
Mar 4 – Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Tegucigalpa was founded by Spanish settlers in 1578 on the site of an existing native settlement. The city was a mining centre for silver and gold but has left its past behind. Now it’s a bustling capital city.
Mar 5 & 6 – Copan, Honduras
Copan, near to the Guatemalan border, is the site of a major Maya kingdom, Xukpi, which flourished from the 5th century AD to the early 9th century. We have time to enjoy the ruins.
Mar 7 & 8 – Antigua, Guatemala
Antigua was founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 m above sea-level it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. Beautiful stop over.
Mar 9 – Flores, Guatemala
Flores is the nearest town to Tikal , a Mayan city of great power and size, – the largest during the ‘Classic Era’ over 1000 years ago. Many beautiful buildings have been uncovered and many more wait to be discovered. An extraordinary site.
Mar 10 – Belize City, Belize
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is the only country in Central America without a coastline on the Pacific Ocean and the only one in the region with English as its official language. Here also is arguably the best preserved coral reef in the world.
Mar 11 & 12 – Tulum, Mexico
Tulum’s spectacular coastline – with all its bright white icing sugar sands, jade-green water, balmy breezes and bright sun – makes it one of the top beaches in Mexico. We visit Xcaret from here
Mar 13 – Chichen-itza, Mexico
Chichen-Itza is one of the most famous and visited Mayan sites in Central America. Having some of the finest and best preserved ruins it is a must see on the Maya Rally.
Mar 14 – Campeche, Mexico
Campeche was discovered by the Spanish in 1517. The name of Campeche comes from the Mayan word Ah Kim Pech, which means The Place of Boa Serpent.
Mar 15 & 16 – Palenque, Mexico
The site of Palenque had been abandoned by the Maya people for several centuries when the Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century. A great stop off with unique architecture.
Mar 17 – San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, Mexico
San Juan Bautista Tuxtepec, literally “on the hill of rabbits” in the local language is a convenient and photogenic stop on our way to Mexico City.
Mar 18 & 19 – Puebla, Mexico
A stunning a well preserved colonial town. The hotel is magnificent and the local architecture spectacular.
Mar 20 – Mineral de Pozos, Mexico
Originally a gold and silver mining town it has preserved its character with colonial houses, cobbled streets and flamboyant festivals.
Mar 21 – Saltillo, Mexico
It grew ro prominence in 19th century and now has a diverse modern manufacturing economy. Interior designers know Saltillo for its famous thick, lightly glazed, earthen ceramic floor tiles, and the brightly coloured shawls known assarapes.
Mar 22 – Alice, Texas, USA
So good they named it three times! It started life as Bandana, then became Kleberg and finally Alice after the daughter of a famous rancher.
Mar 23 – Port Arthur, USA
Conceived as a resort centre it has become a major port on the south coast of the USA.
Mar 24 & 25 – New Orleans, USA
Needs no introduction. We stay at one of the top hotels in the French Quarter, just one block away from Bourbon Street. A truly perfect place to end a great adventure.
By charting our way via the various Mayan sites we have discovered excellent roads, navigated the rivers and found some of the best accommodation along the way. Each night you will have a hotel room. Breakfast is included each day, so are most of the evening meals.
We will provide the mechanical back-up and will be taking a medic for those little ailments.
All roads have been checked and the route is completely open. It is virtually all tarmac so is suitable for all types of vehicles. There are speedbumps so a good ground clearance is preferable.
It goes without saying that although we are going at the best time of year, it is still a hot and sticky environment and you should expect some rain from time to time. In the hills of course it will be cooler and less humid while on the coast expect it to be hot and dry.
An incredible journey
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Hotels and breakfasts
Our experienced team
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