Guatemala and Costa Ricafrom
The very best of Central America connecting Guatemala’s cultural heritage and Costa Rica’s natural wealth.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
- Explore 2 UNESCO World Heritage sites: Antigua and Tikal
- Enjoy Guatemala’s indigenous background
- Discover the Garifuna culture in Livingston
- White water rafting adventure
- Hike to visit the Cabecar indigenous group in Costa Rica
- Search for the elusive Resplendent Quetzal
go to “itinerary” above for the day by day description
Arrival to Guatemala. Transfer to Antigua
Arrival to Guatemala Airport.and transfer to Antigua (x 2 nights)
Antigua Walking Tour
“Exploring Antigua Guatemala is like stepping back in time … cobbled stone streets, sprays of bougainvillea bursting from crumbling ruins, pastel façades under terracotta roofs, parks with fountains … amidst a dramatic setting surrounded by three volcanoes, Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.” These are some of the reasons why Antigua was declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”. Present-day Antigua´s focal point is the lovely Parque Central, surrounded by the Cathedral, the Captain-Generals Palace, the City Hall and the Portal de las Panaderas. Today you will visit by foot the Historic Center of Antigua.
Antigua/Lake Atitlán (Boat trip to San Juan La Laguna)
Transfer to Lake Atitlán which is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes (San Pedro, Atitlán and Tolimán) and 12 picturesque Maya-Cakchiquel and Maya-Tzutuhil villages. Arrival to the town of Panajachel and boat trip to the town of San Juan La Laguna. Visit several artisan workshops interacting with the indigenous people and learn more about their traditions, cosmovision, textile production processes.
Chichicastenango Market/PM continue to Guatemala. Flight to Flores
Departure to Chichicastenango, where you will see the most colorful and picturesque outdoor market in Guatemala. Every Thursday and Sunday locals from the region, gather to buy and sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, animals, textiles and handicrafts. Afternoon continue to Guatemala for the flight to Flores.
Tikal/Río Dulce (Boat to Livingston)
The majestic city of Tikal, considered the largest and most monumental of all sites discovered in the Mayan World, was declared by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”. Enjoy a guided walking tour to visit the most important plazas, complexes, temples, ball courts, palaces and stelae. Also enjoy the tropical forest, nesting place of hundreds of exotic birds and the habitat of a wide variety of wildlife. Afternoon transfer to Río Dulce and continue by boat to the Garífuna town of Livingston.
Boat to Puerto Barrios and continue to Quiriguá, a unique archaeological site surrounded by the largest banana plantation in Central America. Quiriguá is a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO and is famous because here you can find the tallest stelae in the Maya World. Continue to Guatemala City.
Transfer to Airport. Flight to SJO. Welcome to Costa Rica.
Transfer to the airport to board the flight to Costa Rica (flight not included). Arrival and transfer to the Hotel in San José. Rest of the day at leisure.
Turrialba/Rafting on Río Pacuare/Lake Angostura
Turrialba is a small agricultural town situated at the banks of Río Turrialba in the wake of the 3,340 m high Turrialba volcano, which has been dormant for more than a century following a period of violent activity in the 1860s. The town is renowned for its coffee and Central America’s best white water rafting on Río Reventazón and Río Pacuare. Enjoy rafting adventure on Pacuare River: Class III-IV A worldwide top-5 rafting river. (x 2 nights)
Valle de Moravia Hike/Cabecar Encounter
Four hour hike on the rainforest located at Hacienda Moravia de Chirripo, located on a hill in the middle of the Moravia Valley. This hacienda protects 680 hectares of rainforest with excellent trails. This hike includes a visit to the Cabecar Indians, the second largest indigenous group in Costa Rica. The encounter is a great opportunity to discover and learn about Costa Rican indigenous culture.
San Gerardo de Dota
Departure to San Gerardo de Dota. Located in a valley furrowed by Río Savegre it is famous for being one of the best sites for Quetzal watching. (x 2 nights).
In search of the Resplendent Quetzal
Quetzal quest : Early morning walk to seek for the incredible Quetzal and look for flora and fauna in the area.
San Gerardo/Bahía Ballena
Bahía Ballena lies within the marine boundaries of the Marino Ballena national park, which was created in 1990 to protect coral and rock reefs in 5,375 hectares of ocean around the Isla Ballena. The island has nesting colonies of magnificent frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and other seabirds, as well as many green iguanas and basilisk lizards. (x 3 nights)
Bahía Ballena (Whale watching and Dolphin Encounter)/Snorkel
Embark in a small boat from Punta Uvita beach and cruise around the islets of Whale Tale, Ballena Island, Tres Hermanas and the Ventana sea caves. Along the way, enjoy the company of Humpback and Pilot whales as well as three resident species of dolphins. Go under the sea and snorkel around the coral rock reefs while observing the wonderful marine life. Enjoy the scenic view of Costa Ballena and observe a plethora of pelagic birds. (Note: there is a higher possibility of encounter from the end of December to April, as well as from July to September).
Caño Island Biological Reserve
With turquoise blue waters and colorful coral reefs, Caño Island Biological Reserve is one of the best places for snorkeling in the South Pacific. The Caño Island tour departs from Punta Uvita at 7:00 AM and arrives at Cano Island 1.5hrs later. It is a magical trip and when fortunate you can watch whales, dolphins, and other marine animals while in transit to and from the island. Arriving at the island you will snorkel for approx. 1.5 hrs in the best spots of the reserve, where you can observe a great variety of marine species, many of which are in endangered.
Jungle River and Crocodile sighting/PM San José
The adventure takes place on the Tárcoles River, one of the four rivers flowing out into the Nicoya Peninsula, home to one of the world’s largest wild crocodile populations, with individuals up to fifteen feet long. Over fifty different kinds of birds can be seen along the route, including the very rare scarlet macaw and a great variety of resident and migrant waterfowl. Iguanas and water-walking lizards are very common as well. Heading downstream, the boat will take you into the Estero Guacalillo, a mangrove system featuring four different species of mangrove trees. Approx. 2hr ride. Continue to San José.
See you soon
At the time specified, transfer to the International Airport.