Northern Central America (GUA,ESA,HON,BZE)from
Explore 5 World Heritage Sites. Immerse into the indigenous market of Chichicastenango. Live the traditions at Lake Atitlan. Relax at the beach in Belize.
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Challenging
- Explore five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Colonial Antigua; the most important city of the Maya World of Tikal; the site of Quiriguá with the tallest carved stelae; Copan with its rich background and Joya de Ceren known as the Pompey of the Americas
- Immerse into the indigenous market of Chichicastenango
- Take a boat trip on Lake Atitlan, surrounded by 3 volcanoes
- Relax on the beach or enjoy scuba diving in Belize home to the world’s second largest barrier reef
go to “itinerary” above for the day by day description.
Welcome to Guatemala
Arrival to Guatemala City and transfer to the hotel.
Santiago Atitlán and San Antonio Palopó
Departure to Lake Atitlán. Boat ride to the Maya-Tzutuhil village of Santiago Atitlán, famous for Maximón, a character that is widely worshiped by its inhabitants. Santiago also offers a variety of handicrafts, colorful textiles, woodcarvings and naïf paintings. After the visit, we continue by boat to San Antonio Palopó, well known for its handicrafts and ceramics. (x 2 nights)
Chichicastenango Indigenous Market
Visit to the famous indigenous market, where every Thursday and Sunday locals from the surrounding villages gather to buy and sell all types of products. In the afternoon return to Atitlán.
Tecpán/Iximché Archaeological site
Today we drive through Guatemala´s Highlands leaving Lake Atitlán and heading towards Sololá and onto Tecpán. Here we will visit the archaeological site of Iximché, former ancient capital of the Maya-Cakchiquel, place where in 1524 was founded Guatemala´s first capital by the Spanish conqueror Pedro de Alvarado. Continue to Antigua. (x 2 nights)
Antigua Guatemala + Coffee Farm
Antigua Guatemala tour. Visit the main monuments of this colonial beauty, along with a visit to a nearby Coffee Estate to learn about the coffee history and production in the region.
(El Salvador) San Andrés/Joya de Cerén/San Salvador
In the morning we depart from Antigua crossing the border to El Salvador. We head to the archaeological site of Joya de Cerén, which holds the country’s most important archaeological vestiges. It is believed that this Maya village was inhabited for a short time, only approximately 1 century until the eruption of the Laguna Caldera Volcano that destroyed and preserved the remains of the village covering it by more than 10 feet of volcanic ashes, over 1,400 years ago. This site, considered the “Pompey of the Americas” was declared by UNESCO “World Heritage Site. We will also visit the archaeological site of San Andrés before continuing to San Salvador. (x 2 nights)
Suchitoto – (boat on Lake Suchitlán)
The population of the region surrounding Suchitoto is from pre-Columbian origin, belonging to the nahuatl ethnia. Suchitoto was the place where the Spanish conquistadores founded the Villa de San Salvador in 1528 by Diego de Alvarado in the Valley of la Bermuda. Walk around town visiting the Plaza Central or Centenaria where the Church of Santa Lucía is located. Afterwards enjoy a boat ride on Lake Suchitlán “place of flowers”. This lake was formed due to the damming of the Cerrón Grande hydroelectric power station.
(Honduras) Copán Tour
Early in the morning we depart to Honduras; to the picturesque town of Copán Ruinas. Copán is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Maya World was declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. This site presents a sophisticated architectural style and a unique art for stone carving. Visit the main plazas, complexes and monuments.
(Guatemala) Quiriguá/Puerto Barrios/Livingston
On the way to Puerto Barrios we will visit Quiriguá, a unique archaeological site surrounded by the largest banana plantation in Central America. Declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”, Quiriguá is famous for having the tallest stone-carved stelae in the Maya World. After the visit, continue to Puerto Barrios, where you will take a boat ride to the Garífuna town of Livingston, located where Río Dulce meets the Caribbean Sea. Livingston is the only town in Guatemala where the African Caribbean Culture has survived with all its traditions since the first settlers came at the end of the 15th Century, and today it is a peaceful, colorful and relaxed town.
Río Dulce (Panoramic view of San Felipe Fort)/Flores
Morning departure by boat to Río Dulce. Admire the lush tropical forest, hundreds of birds and the impressive Río Dulce Canyon. Once we arrive to Río Dulce we will have a panoramic view from the river, of the Castillo de San Felipe. In the early XVI century, the commercial activity between Guatemala and Spain flourished throughout the former Golfo Dulce. This fortress was built to protect the merchandise from the pirates of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue to Petén. (x 3 nights).
Yaxhá Archaeological Site
The Northern part of Guatemala was the birthplace of the great Mayan Civilization. In the morning transfer to the archaeological site of Yaxhá (“Turquoise Water”), considered an important civic and ceremonial Mayan site. It is settled on a hill overlooking the beautiful Laguna de Yaxhá and Laguna Sacnab. Epigraphic evidence assures that it had important relationship with Tikal, as a “satellite” of Tikal during the Classic Period (300-950 A.D.). Yaxhá is the only site in Petén, besides Tikal, that has a “Twin Pyramid Complex”.
Tikal National Park
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 “Cultural and Natural Heritage of Humankind”. 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. In the afternoon, we return to Flores.
(Belize) Ambergris Caye
In the morning we head to Melchor de Mencos border. After short border formalities we drive to Belize City to board the “water taxi” to San Pedro (Ambergris Caye). Rest of the day at leisure. (x 2 nights)
Day at leisure
Day at leisure to enjoy the Belizean Caribbean.
Flight San Pedro/Belize City. See you soon
At the specified time, transfer from the hotel to San Pedro’s airstrip to board the flight to Belize City International airport.