Guatemala is a country of many contrasts. Geographically, it,™s a land of dramatic mountains and volcanoes, and vast lowland jungles that guard important Mayan archaeological treasures such as Copan Ruinas, Quirigua and Tikal. The country,™s colonial past is reflected in the beautiful city of Antigua. In the highlands, experience the rich cultural traditions of the country,™s indigenous groups. This package combines visits to the ancient Maya cities of Copan, Quirigua and Tikal with an ambitous itinerary, which gives you a great introduction to the highland cultures and their colorful markets, as well historic Antigua and Copan.
- All air and ground transfers
- 3 nights Guatemala City
- 1 night Chichicastenango
- Tour of the market
- 1 night Lake Atitlan
- 1 night Antigua
- 1 night Copan, Honduras
- Tour of the ruins
- 1 night Livingston
- 1 night Rio Dulce
- Tour of QuiriguÃ¡ ruins/li>
- 1 night Tikal
- Tour of ruins & museum + lunch
- Daily breakfast
Day 1 – Arrive Guatemala City:
Arrival greeting and transfer to your selected Guatemala City hotel. Overnight.
Day 2 – Guatemala City to Chichicastenango:
Early morning departure from your hotel for a 2.5 hour drive to Chichicastenango’s fabulous market (held every Thursday and Sunday) where you will see a stunning array of handicrafts, including textiles, wood carvings, and ceramics. Within the market is the historic Church of Santo Tomas, built over 400 years ago on a Mayan temple site. The Church represents a blending of the Christian and Mayan religions. Afternoon at leisure to explore and shop. Overnight Chichicastenango.
Day 3 – Chichicastenango to Lake Atitlan:
After breakfast, depart for the village of Solola, an important regional market center on Tuesdays and Fridays. Here you will be able to see the distinctive costumes from the nearby villages. Continue to the lakeside town of Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. This scenic lake covers 50 square miles and is surrounded by three volcanoes. Overnight Lake Atitlan.
Day 4 – Lake Atitlan to Antigua:
After breakfast, take an excursion by boat on Lake Atitlan to the lovely village of Santiago Atitlan, known for its textiles. Return to Panajachel for lunch (on your own) and more shopping time before continuing the drive to the colonial city of Antigua. Overnight at your selected Antigua hotel.
Day 5 – Antigua to Guatemala City:
Morning sightseeing tour Antigua. Founded in 1541, this colonial city was once the cultural center for all Central America. It is a lovely city of cobblestone streets, colonial buildings and churches. There will be free time for exploring the city on your own. In the afternoon, transfer back to Guatemala City to your selected hotel. Breakfast. Overnight Guatemala city.
Antigua Sightseeing Tour
Departures: Daily except Thursday, Sunday and Holidays
Pickup time: 2:00pm
Pickup Location: Hotel
Drop-off Location: Hotel
Duration: 4 Hours
Special Notes: All entrance fees included
Founded by the Spaniards in 1543, now Antigua Guatemala is a beautiful blend of ruins, restored colonial buildings, and new buildings in colonial style. It was declared Monument of America in 1965. Visit the Central Plaza, that is surrounded by the antique Cathedral, the Municipal Government Building, and the Palace of the Captains General; colonial churches and monasteries, primitive foot-looms where colorful textiles are woven, and a jade factory where this stone is worked into beautiful jewelry.
Day 6 – Antigua to Copan:
Get up early to travel the 5 hours from Guatemala City to Copan. After crossing the border into Honduras, you’re only a 1/2 hour from Copan. Rest of the day and evening at leisure to explore this quaint colonial village. visit Copan Ruinas, the ‘Paris of the Mayan Empire’. Much of these ruins were destroyed in flood of the river that runs behind it, but the major sites have been spared and it certainly worth an extensive visit. Copan has the most sculptures of any Pre-Colombian city and the stellae are impressive. Be sure to visit one of the main temples for it’s heiryoglypic stairway. Breakfast. Overnight Copan.
Day 7 – Copan to Livingston:
Rise early to travel to Quirigua.
QuiriguÃ¡ is one of the smallest Mayan cites but is know for its splendid series of monuments. The site includes temple, heiryoglyphics and eleven large stele, plus the largest stele ever discovered in the Mayan world. After visiting the ruins, you continue to Puerto Barrios to stay, or take a boat for your transfer to Livingston.
Overnight in Livingston or Puerto Barrios.
Day 8 – Livingston to Rio Dulce:
Depart Livingston for a boat tour up Rio Dulce, this is one of the most beautiful parts of the trip. Rio Dulce is a jungle river with cliffs and dense vegetation. A wide variety of birds and other animals can be seen while traveling up river. Breakfast. Overnight Rio Dulce.
Day 9 – Rio Dulce to Tikal:
Early morning transfer to Flores via boat then continue by bus to Tikal for a tour of the ruins. Looming out of the dense jungle, the massive temples of Tikal are an unforgettable sight. It is the height of these pyramids and the quantity of constructions an estimated 3000 scattered throughout 10 square miles that distinguishes Tikal from other Mayan sites. Finish the tour with a visit to the museum, which displays a collection of artifacts discovered at the site. Late afternoon transfer to your selected Tikal hotel.
Shared Tikal Tour w/ Lunch
Pickup time: 5am
Pickup Location: Hotel
Drop-off Location: Hotel
Includes: All transfers, entrance fees, lunch, and guides
Not included: Personal expenses, guide and driver tips, fuel charge and local airport tax.
Today you will go back more than 2,000 years in time when you visit the Tikal National Park. You will be picked up at your hotel for transfer to the Mayan City of Tikal, which is located in the center of the National Park that bears its name, and extends 222 square miles from the center. Tikal was inhabited from 600 BC., till 869 AD. Its height was between 690 till 850 AD, a time period known by archaeologists as the Late Classic. Visit the Twin-Pyramid Complexes Q and R, the Lost World Complex where the Great Pyramid and Temple 5C-49 are the most important. Also, visit Temple III and the Palace of the Windows, the Great Plaza, squared off with the pyramids of the Grand Jaguar and the Masks, the Palace of the Nobles, and Pyramid IV. This one is the highest of the Mayan pyramids, from its top, a complete view of Tikal and its surrounding jungle can be enjoyed though it does take a certain level of fitness to climb the pyramid. t distinguishes Tikal from other Mayan sites. Finish the tour with a visit to the museum, which displays a collection of artifacts discovered at the site. Late afternoon transfer back to your chosen hotel to relax.
Day 10 – Tikal to Guatemala City:
You may choose to do an optional return visit (not included in the price) to Tikal to further explore on your own. Transfer back to the airport in Flores for late afternoon flight to Guatemala City. Transfer to your selected Guatemala City hotel. Overnight Guatemala City
Day 11 – Depart Guatemala City:
Transfer to the airport for your return flight or continue on to your next Avanti destinaiton.