Guatemala is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the Americas. We roam throughout its rugged geography, from colonial Antigua to the pristine jungles of the Peten. There is also time to interact with the Guatemalans, one of the most friendly and hospitable people you will ever met, in their traditional markets and participate in local ceremonies dedicated to their Maya gods. Later we move to neighboring Belize where we ride horses in the lush forests, canoe down tranquil rivers, explore the Maya underworld on a fascinating cave tubing adventure, and wrap it up with a three-night stay at Ambergris Caye, "La Isla Bonita".
Arrive in Guatemala (Antigua) After clearing customs and immigration, proceed to the reception area, where our local representative is holding a board with your name on it. You will be greeted with a “Bienvenidos a Guatemala” and immediately transferred to the colonial city of Antigua, located one hour from Guatemala City. Free time to get acquainted with the surroundings and savor the delicious local cuisine in one of the beautiful colonial restaurants. Overnight.
Stroll the city (Antigua) This morning meet our guide after breakfast and depart on a leisurely walking city tour of this stunningly beautiful and elegant colonial town. As you stroll around this ancient city you will learn about its main architectural monuments and interesting history and take punctual visits of some churches and monasteries. The rest of the day is free to join the locals at the central plaza, peruse the numerous galleries, or visit a coffee plantation. (B)
On to Atitlan (Lake Atitlan) This morning depart on a two-hour overland transfer to Lake Atitlan. Aldous Huxley labeled Lake Atitlan as the most beautiful lake in the world when he visited it. The lake is flanked by three spectacular volcanoes and surrounded by 12 small Indian villages named after the apostles forming a setting of incomparable beauty. Upon arrival, cross the lake on a local boat to Santiago Atitlan, where we will embark with our local guide on a fascinating visit of the village, with its lively market and its strange Maya God Maximon, which locals revere and perform rituals in front of to bring good luck…and at times bad. Take a pleasant walk or ride the typical flete to the traditional Posada Santiago, where a hearty lunch is waiting. After some free time we will cross the lake to our hotel. Free evening. (B,L)
At leisure (Lake Atitlan) Free day to enjoy the lake on your own. Adventurous spirits may wish to kayak around Santiago Bay, hike around the lake, or trek San Pedro Volcano. You may also visit the hippie market in Panajachel, tour nearby authentic Maya villages, or relax in full view of Atitlan’s famous lake and surrounding volcanoes. (B)
Bargaining in Chichi on our way to Peten (Tikal) Chichicastenango is the most famous Indian market in Central America. This bustling market is the gathering point where hundreds of craftsmen and villagers from all over the highlands sell their wares every Thursday and Sunday. Stalls display colorful hand-woven textiles, hand-carved masks, small nativities, jade works, musical instruments, and even wicker furniture. The town is also famous for the famous church of Santo Tomas, a true colonial gem built in 1540, where shamans usually perform Maya rituals on behalf of people in their community. After some free time to roam the market, you will enjoy lunch at the quaint Santo Tomas Hotel. In the afternoon your English-speaking driver will take you to Guatemala City in order to board the evening flight to Tikal. Upon arrival, our local team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Overnight. (B,L)
Skyscrapers in the jungle (Tikal) Tikal, once the most powerful city in the Americas, is a huge complex comprising more than 3,000 structures including temples, altars, pyramids, and palaces that reach out to the sky among a sea of green foliage. The surrounding national park is home to several endangered species such as jaguars, pumas, monkeys, deer, tapir, and anteaters as well as more than 260 species of birds, 130 species of medicinal plants and 300 orchids’ species. We get up early and tour the site in the company of our knowledgeable guide while we listen to the sounds of the jungle. After learning about the great history of Tikal and its mysterious decline, we hike up to one of the towering temples for an outstanding view of the surrounding jungle. After lunch, there will be some free time to revisit the site on your own or peruse the local museum. Later we return to the hotel. (B,L)
At leisure (Tikal) Free day to enjoy the hiking trails around the hotel on your own, kayak in the lake, or relax by the pool. We recommend you visit the new Ixpanpajul Natural Park, a protected land of 450 hectares, where you can climb to the top of the trees and experience the thrill of soaring over the forest canopy on a safe canopy tour. (B)
To Belize via Yaxha (Cayo District) This morning, after breakfast, depart for a journey deep in the rainforest to visit the atmospheric Mayan site of Yaxha, located on the shores of a peaceful lake. You will tour the site and then climb up to the top of the main temple from where you will be rewarded by breathtaking views of the surrounding rainforest and Lake Yaxha. Later continue to the border with Belize. After clearing customs we will proceed to nearby Cayo District where we will arrive in time for lunch. Spend the rest of the day learning about Maya medicinal plants or relaxing at the spa. (B)
Maya villages on horseback. Plus canoeing on the Macal River (Cayo District) After a restful night and a hearty breakfast, we saddle up and join our resident naturalist guide who will be leading our morning excursion. For two to three hours you will be exploring the surrounding forests, learning about its secrets, scouting for wildlife in the exuberant foliage and coming across some interesting Mayan ruins. This afternoon we suggest you board one of the canoes available at the resort and paddle up the Macal River, enjoying the quietness and extreme surrounding beauty before leisurely drifting back to Chaa Creek. (B)
To the Cayes! Cave tubing enroute (Ambergris Caye) After breakfast we transfer to Jaguar Paw, on the way to Belize City, for a fascinating cave tubing excursion. The atmosphere inside the caves is eerie, magical, almost supernatural. Your light will be flickering upon strange shapes, the echo of your voice bouncing off the distant walls… and the ultimate darkness beyond. We explore this underworld network by inner tubes as we float gently down a subterranean river catching glimpses of Maya pottery, artifacts, spectacular rock formations and the occasional bat. An exceptional experience not to be missed. Then we continue to the airport in Belize City for the scenic flight to Ambergris Caye. (B,L)
Shark Alley and Hol Chan Marine Park (Ambergris Caye) This memorable day will have us snorkeling at two of the most famous spots in the Caribbean: Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Park. We will have the opportunity to interact with nurse sharks and playful Southern Sting Rays, in what is a really unforgettable experience. Then we will continue to Hol Chan, a protected reserve featuring a natural break that gives rise to striking coral formations. Besides the corals, expect to encounter large numbers of all kinds of colorful tropical fish, spiny lobsters, huge black groupers and even moray eels. (B)
At leisure in La Isla Bonita (Ambergris Caye) A full day to enjoy La Isla Bonita, as Madonna labeled it, at you own pace. You may spend the day at the beach, dive in the world famous Blue Hole, join a sunset cruise, visit the sleepy community of Caye Caulker or search for manatees and snorkel in other locations. (B)
Depart Belize Today a hotel representative will be transferring you to the airport in time for your departure flight. We wish you a pleasant trip back home and hope to enjoy your company in another exciting adventure very soon. (B)
From: $3,518 per person in double occupancy
Departure: Sundays and Wednesdays year round
Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Type of services: Private services with local English-speaking guides except for the cave tubing and the snorkeling tour, which are operated in small groups.
Highlights: The colonial city of Antigua; traditional Mayan villages in Lake Atitlan; colorful Chichi market; the ancient Maya city of Tikal; horseback riding and canoeing in Cayo; cave tubing; snorkeling in the second largest reef in the world.
Travel documents: American, Canadian and European Union citizens only need a valid passport for stays of up to 30 days.
Inclusions: All ground and air transportation at the destination; lodging, meals and tours per itinerary; hotel taxes; English-speaking assistance.
Not included: International airfares; airport departure taxes; tips of any kind; incidentals at hotels; any meals not included in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages; souvenirs.
It is the travelers responsibility to have all proper travel documents which can include passports and foreign visas. Learn more here: Passport & Visa Information
Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect your travel investment and for any emergencies that could occur while traveling. Learn more here: Travel Insurance
All rates are “From Prices”
and correspond to the lowest season in the year.
Expect moderate to high increases for high season
and holiday periods. Low season dates vary from
destination to destination. Please inquire for details.
All rates on this website are per person and based
on double occupancy, unless otherwise indicated.
If a hotel included in a program is not available
at the time of the reservation, we will substitute
it for a hotel of similar category.
Room and cabin upgrades are available at most hotels
and cruises. Please inquire at the time of reservation.
Most programs can be customized.
All itineraries are subject to change without notice.