Day 1 - Thursday - Arrival in Guatemala
Meet & Greet on arrival at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua
for a two night stay at Casa Capuchinas or Casa Santo Domingo..
Day 2 - Friday - Antigua - (B)
Antiqua, founded by the Spaniards in 1543, is a true colonial gem, a beautiful blend of ruins, restored Colonial buildings, stylish arcades, cobbled streets and a festive central market area. After breakfast you will be taken on a sightseeing tour including visits to La Concepcion, the Palace of the Captains General and the Church of San Francisco.
The afternoon is free to wander the cobblestone streets of this charming colonial town.
Day 3 - Saturday - Antigua and Chichicastenango - (B)
This morning starts with a half day tour into the countryside surrounding Antigua. This fascinating trip includes the site of Guatemala's first capital; the Indian Village of Aquas Calientes and a Macadamia and Coffee Plantation. Continue high into green mountains to the Indian town of Chichicastenango where you will visit some of the simple colonial churches. Preparations will be in progress for tomorrow's market and village streets transformed into a
massive, colorful array of stalls piled high with goods for sale. Overnight stay at the historic and delightful Mayan Inn.
Day 4 - Sunday - Chichicastenango - (B)
Today is market day in Chichicastenango but first we suggest you rise early in order to witness the unique Indian religious ceremonies at the Church of Santo Tomas. Then you can enjoy the largest open-air market in Central America. Nowhere else in Guatemala will you find such a wealth of handicrafts, blankets, belts, masks, clay pots, gourds, machetes and locally grown foods at incredibly low prices (use your best bargaining skills!)
The Most Beautiful Lake in the World!!
After you have "shopped til you have dropped" there will be a late afternoon transfer to Panajachel via the village of Solola located 1,700 feet above the most beautiful lake in the world - Lake Atitlan - surrounded by three volcanoes and famous for its spectacular sunsets. The next three nights are spent at the colonial-style Hotel Atitlan.
Day 5 - Monday - Lake Atitlan - (B)
13 multi-coloured Indian settlements are to be found on the lake shore and today you will enjoy a Boat Trip on the Lake to several villages including the picturesque lakeside village of Santiago Atitlan, the ancient capital and religious center of the Tzutuhiles. There will be time to stop and explore before returning to the hotel.
Day 6 - Tuesday - Lake Atitlan - (B)
Today is a free day to relax at the lovely hotel or explore on your own. This area is ideal for hiking, volcano climbing and you can even scuba dive in the lake.
Day 7 - Wednesday - Lake Peten Itza, Flores - (B,L,D)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight to Isla Flores in the Peten Region, the heart of Guatemala's rainforest.
You will be met on arrival and transferred to the La Casona de la Isla Hotel on the edge of Lake Peten Itza for a two night stay. There will be time to explore the colonial cobbled streets filled with tiny shops for Guatemalan goodies before enjoying a sunset boat ride on the lagoon.
Day 8 - Thursday - THE TEMPLES OF TIKAL - (B,L,D)
Today you will experience one of the main highlights of this tour, a fabulous trip to the magnificent Mayan Temples and Pyramids of Tikal, set in the incredible jungle scenery of the Tikal National Park.
Hidden for 1,000 years in the midst of rainforests teeming with wildlife are enormous ceremonial cities with magnificent Temples
and Pyramids built by the mysterious Mayan people. THE TEMPLES OF TIKAL in the Peten region of Guatemala is the most fabulous site of all!
Of the park's 222 square miles only 10 square miles of central Tikal has been mapped and over 3,000 separate buildings
have been revealed: temples, shrines, ceremonial platforms, residences, ball courts, terraces, causeways and plazas. Imagine the colourful ceremonies where human sacrifices were offered to the Gods.
"America, say historians, was
peopled by savages; but savages never reared these structures; savages never carved these stones." John Lloyd Stephens, Explorer (1839)
Listen carefully and you
will hear the still-beating heart of a dying Civilisation . . .
Day 9 - Friday - Back to Guatemala City or onwards to Belize - (B)
This morning after breakfast you can either fly back to Guatemala City for the end of the tour or to Belize. This is an ideal tour prior to a relaxing stay on one of the idyllic cayes of Belize where you can enjoy superb snorkelling or scuba diving.