DAY 1 : DEPART USA / ARRIVE ANTIGUACASA SANTA DOMINGO
Upon arrival in Guatemala, you are met and transferred to Antigua. This charming colonial city is a mélange of tranquil cobblestone streets, impressive 16th and 17th century Spanish colonial architecture, luxurious shops, colorful Indian markets, fine international restaurants and lively nightlife. Your hotel is a 350-year-old colonial monastery.
DAYS 2-3 : ANTIGUACASA SANTA DOMINGO
Antigua was the third most important Spanish settlement in all of the Americas. Viewed and guarded as a national treasure, this beautifully preserved colonial city looks much as it did 200 years ago. Take an architectural and historical tour with visits to the main square, palace, Cathedral, Capuchinas Convento, the Iglesia San Francisco, St. Clara and the colonial art museum. See local woodcarvers in Jocotenango and visit the fabulous Azotea Coffee Farm & Maya Traditions Museums. Afternoons are free for independent exploration. (B)
DAY 4 : ANTIGUA / LAKE ATITLANCASA PALOPO
Morning drive through the lush Guatemalan highlands to the colorful authentic market at Comalpa. The market is famous for its primitive painting galleries, a wonderful local bakery and famous town mural painted by the local children to celebrate the signing of the peace accords. Continue to Lake Atitlan with lunch at a traditional restaurant. (B,L)
DAY 5 : LAKE ATITLANCASA PALOPO
Take a scenic boat ride across Lake Atitlan to the village of Santiago. Learn about the Maya God Maximon and the spiritualism and beliefs of the T’zutujil Maya. Lunch is at a local restaurant. The afternoon is at leisure. (B,L)
DAY 6 : CHICHI MARKET / TIKALLA LANCHA
Travel to the famous market at Chichicastenango. There is plenty of time for shopping in this fabulous craft market and to witness the Mayan rituals being performed in the Catholic Church before transferring to Guatemala City for the evening flight to Flores. Your hotel is in the midst of a rainforest. (B)
DAY 7 : YAXHALA LANCHA
Morning visit to the archaeological site of Yaxha, situated on the shores of the beautiful Yaxha lagoon. There are wonderful views over the rainforest canopy from atop the main temples and plenty of wildlife such as howler monkeys and toucans. The afternoon is on your own. (B)
DAY 8 : TIKALLA LANCHA
Situated deep within protected national rainforest, Tikal is the largest and most spectacular Mayan site yet uncovered. Over 3,000 separate temples, shrines, ceremonial platforms, ball courts and plazas make up this impressive archaeological discovery, with the largest temples towering 70 meters above the rainforest canopy. It is common to see howler monkeys, wild turkeys, toucans and pizotes (a raccoon-like animal). The Peten region of Northern Guatemala contains over 800 species of trees, 57 species of reptile, and 500 species of birds. Tapirs, peccaries, and jaguars still roam the emerald forests. There is a full day to explore the complex, including many of its discrete treasures and hidden corners. Lunch is included during the day. (B,L)
DAY 9 : TIKAL / GUATEMALA CITYHOTEL QUINTA REAL
Take a free morning and return to Tikal for additional exploration on your own, or simply relax at La Lancha by savoring the treasures of the surrounding Peten rainforest. Return flight to Guatemala City. (B)
DAY 10 : GUATEMALA CITY / USAEN ROUTE
Depart this morning on your return flight to the USA. Welcome home!
For those interested in the Maya People, textiles, traditions & markets, travel to the small village of Totonicapn, famous for its wood crafts, ceramics & textiles. Here guests enjoy a traditional dance demonstration and dinner before spending the night with a local Mayan family in their home. Visit other colorful market towns in the area.
Take a flying or driving excursion into Honduras to visit the great Mayan ruins at Copan with its famous hieroglyphic staircase, ball court and tunnels. Tour the tropical bird park where you learn about the remarkable work being done to save tropical birds and to educate people about the importance of protecting them. Dinner is included at the house of the archaeologist Sedat.
Transfer to Sayaxche and board a local boat for a picturesque river journey down the La Pasion river to the site at Ceibal. Climb to the site through a tree forest. Visit the lesser known site of Aguateca, unusual in that it contains the only known Maya bridge. Stay in a rainforest lodge on the shores of Lake Petexbatun.
COST OF ADVENTURE PER PERSON
Please contact Destinations & Adventures at 1-800-659-4599 and one of our expert travel consultants will prepare pricing for your own custom-designed journey based on exact dates of travel and number of persons traveling.