We Can Tell You Everything About Central America.
Central America & Mexico
Different payment options
Explore and learn Spanish
Hotels with character
What vaccines do I need in Central America and Mexico?
It is important to consult your doctor for the most up-to-date advice on the recommended vaccines before traveling to Central America and Mexico. Generally, it is wise to get the following vaccines: tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, polio, tetanus-diphtheria, and typhoid. If you will be traveling to the coast or the jungle where most of the important Mayan cities are located, it is also recommended that you have anti-malarial medicine. You may want to check our Coronavirus Travel Guidelines. For more information about this and Coronavirus Disease, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What are the most common diseases that travelers face while traveling in Central America?
The most common illnesses here are stomach problems such as diarrhea, especially while adapting to the local food and drinks. If the condition persists for more than two or three days you might have a bacterial infection, parasites, or amoebas. In this case, it is recommended to visit a local clinic that will be able to diagnose and treat your problem. This is the safest and fastest way to recover and continue to enjoy your time in Central America and Mexico. Other common illnesses include sore throat, colds, and the flu. The best prevention for these is to have the proper clothing against the cold and the rain. Please, check the Suggested Packing List in our Travel Guide for Central America.
How can I prevent stomach problems while traveling?
By following some simple advice, you will be able to avoid suffering from stomach problems while traveling.
- Avoid street food.
- Do not drink tap water.
- Do not eat salads or raw fruits and vegetables unless you are sure they have been properly disinfected and prepared.
- Always wash your hands before eating.
- Ask our tour guides for recommendations on where to eat. They have plenty of suggestions for you.
Can I find pharmacies while traveling in Central America?
There are many pharmacies and clinics in Central America and Mexico that offer a wide range of medicines. However, if you need a very specific medicine, you may not find it here. For this reason, we recommend that you bring enough of your prescription medications for your entire trip.
What if I have diabetes, asthma, etc.?
There are many doctors such as general practitioners and specialists in Central America and Mexico, many of whom speak English. Mayan Gateway has contact with doctors that we can recommend in cases of emergency during your stay. As always it is advisable to speak with your doctor at home before your trip so that he/she can recommend specific medicines and precautions to take during your time here. Additionally, please make sure that your Travel Insurance covers any medical assistance you may need while traveling.
Is it safe to travel to Central America and Mexico?
We understand this question very well: being far away from home may seem scary not knowing how safe it is here. In general when you travel to another country you need to be careful especially when you are not familiar with the country or language. However, in most places in Central America, there is relatively little crime and it generally occurs away from the areas that travelers explore, like National Parks for example. Just as in many other tourist cities of the world, tourists will occasionally be targeted for small robberies, but there have been very few violent crimes against tourists in the area.
For this reason, we recommend that you do not carry too much money or your original passport, credit, or debit cards when not necessary, and keep a close eye on your belongings. Regular common sense should suffice to help you have an incident-free vacation. For more information read our Travel Safety page.
Where can I exchange money?
There are many banks and other local money exchange offices where you can change dollars, euros, and traveler’s checks. To do this you must have your passport with you at the time of the transaction. Debit and credit cards are widely accepted and there are many ATMs where you can receive the local currency. It is better if you don’t exchange money at the airports because they don’t have the best exchange rate.
How much do the tours and programs cost?
The guests of Mayan Gateway benefit from some of the best package deals and prices in the region. Also, we have seasonal promotions and special discounts for groups. Contact us for more information.
When should I pay Mayan Gateway?
To confirm the trip; we will ask you for a first payment. The percentage will depend on the type of tour chosen or you have customized with one of our agents. Due to the extensive organization involved with touring, a strict cancellation fee will be applicable to compensate for costs and lost revenue. The first payment to confirm any tour is nonrefundable, however because of the pandemic you can reschedule your trip if you inform us with enough time in advance.
What are the Payment Methods?
We receive payments worldwide through Paypal, all Credit and debit cards, and Bank transfers. The medium changes depending on the client’s preference. These are the payment methods:
- Bank transfer.
- Credit or debit card.
- Payments with PayPal: You don’t have to have an account to be able to pay through PayPal, you may also pay with your credit or debit card.
- Another option would be to transfer funds from your bank account using an ACH bank debit -an electronic version of a paper check. This option comes with a 1% transaction fee. Finally, you can also do bank transfers from your account in the United State. This is the electronic transfer of funds from one bank account to another bank account in the same country. This option also has a 1% transaction fee
There may be processing fees that need to be added to your invoice. Once you know which method you prefer, we will give you further details.
What types of volunteer work are available?
In Central America there is a wide range of projects in which you can volunteer. For example:
- Educational: art, English classes, Math, helping with homework, etc.
- Health-related: medical assistance to rural villages, physical therapy, etc.
- Social work: orphanages, promoting artisans, etc.
- And other projects such as Ecotourism and reforestation.
What is the minimum time needed to volunteer?
This depends on the individual project, but generally, you need to commit to work for at least two weeks.
Is it possible to study Spanish and volunteer at the same time?
Yes, however, the majority of volunteers study in the mornings and then volunteer in the afternoons. Travelers who wish to volunteer in the mornings can receive Spanish classes in the afternoon.
Is it possible to volunteer without studying Spanish?
Yes, however, the majority of the projects require a certain Spanish level since communication is a fundamental part of participating in these projects. If you do not already speak Spanish, you may be required to study Spanish before taking a volunteer position.
Do I need to pay to volunteer?
No, you just need to have an intention and desire to help out the projects with whatever tasks they need to accomplish.
What type of Spanish programs does Mayan Gateway offer?
Mayan Gateway offers a large variety of programs for students with particular requirements and needs. We offer programs for volunteers, travelers, social workers, interns, university groups, medics, lawyers, missionaries, students of any age, children, families, and groups. You also have the option to obtain your DELE Spanish Certificate. All while exploring the Mayan world, the Mayan living culture, and all the amazing Natural Wonders Central America has to offer.
How much time will it take to learn how to speak Spanish?
If you have never spoken Spanish before, you should be able to have short conversations after one week, using the present tense to express your basic needs and feelings. After three or four weeks your Spanish level should be intermediate: you will be able to have conversations in the present, past, and future tenses and learn a fair amount of the most commonly used vocabulary. After the seventh week, you will reach the advanced level. Gradually you will perfect the different tenses and grammar, becoming closer to fluency. The time necessary to reach this level will vary depending on your interest and practice outside of school.
I already speak basic Spanish. Can I progress to a more advanced level and obtain my certificate?
All of our classes are customized and each teacher has experience working with students of every level of Spanish. After an initial assessment of your abilities, your classes will be developed around your specific abilities and needs. If you are interested in getting your certification, your instructor will work with you to determine your level of proficiency and plan accordingly.
How can I obtain university credits for my study?
Many universities and colleges grant credits to students that take part in this type of language study. To receive the credit you must contact your university or college beforehand to obtain their requirements. We will gladly provide you with all the help you need to complete any additional information or requirements that you may require. If you need special grammar content or other specific programs to satisfy your university or college, we will help you to meet these requirements.
Do you offer an airport pickup service?
We want to provide the best service and make sure that your trip goes safely and smoothly. For this reason, we can send one of our representatives to pick you up at the airport and take you directly to your hotel or the next destination on your itinerary.
Will I have internet access?
Yes, most of our hotels provide unlimited internet and WIFI access. However, at some of the more remote locations, internet access may not be available. We recommend that you bring your cellphone, even though you will not have a local SIM card, you will be able to use Apps such as WhatsApp. You will be able to reach our guides, drivers, and staff very quickly through this application.
What kind of hotels will I stay in?
Mayan Gateway has carefully selected all of the hotels included in our tours. Aspects like the quality of the rooms, location, service, restaurant, and capacity, among others have been evaluated. There are many types of hotels in Central America, Bed and breakfast, Jungle Lodges, Hostels, Boutique Hotels, Sustainable oriented, Eco Hotels, Luxury, amongst others.
Should I purchase travel insurance?
It is always important to have suitable cancellation and travel insurance when you go abroad. We strongly recommend you purchase Travel Insurance with Trip Cancellation Protection. The travel insurance is not included in the prices of our tours and trips. You may visit Travelex or World Nomads to request a quote.
Take A Long Walk Around And Talk To Friendly People. Continue exploring, we will help you with that.