You will also travel off-the-beaten-path to the village of Rio Dulce and visit the multi-cultural village of Livingston. Start with two nights in colonial Antigua and a full day with a choice of optional excursions.
Then transfer by private vehicle to Lake Atitlan with a stop at the Comalapa Market and ruins of Iximiche. Two nights at a lakeside hotel on Lake Atitlan and a day tour. Return to Antigua with a visit to the Chichicastenango Market.
Travel overland and across the border with Honduras for two nights in the quaint town of Ruinas Copan with a day at the Copan ruins. Return to Guatemala and travel overland to the town of Rio Dulce where you will spend the night and visit the coastal of Livingston.
Lost World Adventures itineraries can be tailor-made according to your plans and preferences: budget, hotel selections, travel dates, optional excursions, length of trip, etc.
On arrival in Guatemala City, after clearing Customs and Immigration, you will be met by your local driver and guide and drive about 45 minutes to Antigua.Overnight Antigua hotel, daily breakfast included - 2 nights.
Today you will have the choice of one of the following excursions:
Antigua Walking Tour Half Day
You will be met at your hotel by your private guide to begin your half day walking tour of Antigua. Your tour will cover the architectural and historical highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents, and cathedrals.
Entrances are included to the Iglesia San Francisco, the Cathedral, Central Park, and La Merced Church. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide.
If you wish to visit other monuments you will need to pay the entrances directly. At the end of the tour your guide can accompany you back to your hotel or take you to a place of your choosing.
DLG Fairly Traded Coffee Tour
You will be met by your bilingual driver for a short transfer to the small town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua. In town you will be met by a local guide from De La Gente (DLG). DLG is a charity working to support small independent coffee producers and promotes environmentally responsible agriculture in Guatemala.
This tour takes you to visit some of the families supported by this organization where you can work side-by-side with small coffee farmers in their daily coffee processing, pick, pulp, ferment, wash, dry, trilla, sort, and grade the coffee (depending on the season), roast coffee over an open fire and grind by hand on a grindstone before sampling their handiwork.
Coffee Season is Nov to Mar. This tour includes a donation to DLG Lost World Adventures also supports on an annual basis.
You will be met at your hotel by your private driver and depart for the 1-hour transfer to the town of Comalapa. On arrival you will see the famous painted mural that the school children of the town painted depicting mayor events in Guatemala's history up to the signing of the peace accords in 1996.
From here you will visit some local painters who continue the tradition of naïve paintings that the town is so famous for. You can then visit the wonderful authentic market of Comalapa where the local people go about their daily life buying produce and goods for the rest of the week still dressed in the traditional textiles of the area.
You can also visit the small museum dedicated to the composer who wrote Guatemala's national anthem who came from Comalapa. Guests will enjoy a local lunch before heading off to explore the Mayan ruins of Iximiche.
After exploring the site you will continue by car to Lake Atitlan.Includes private transfer, bilingual driver, entrance fees to Comalapa and Iximiche site, donation to painters, lunch. Overnight Lake Atitlan hotel, daily breakfast included.
You will be picked up from your hotel and transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you will visit a local textile cooperative, see the back strap loom in use and see how natural dyes are used.
You may also visit a local medicinal nursery where natural medicines, soaps and shampoos are produced. Following the cooperative visits, you will board the boat to the village of Santiago for lunch.
After lunch you will go with your guide to the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes.
Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed (at additional cost).
After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. Afterward, you will transfer back to your hotel.Lunch and entrance fees are included.
This morning you will be pickup up at your hotel by your private driver and guide for the 1.5 hour transfer out to the highland town of Chichicastenango.
Along the way you will pass through the central highland region and see the local Maya people in their traditional dress going about their daily lives - working in the fields, collecting firewood, traveling between markets, selling their wares.
Upon arrival at Chichicastenango your guide will take you to explore this famous market - both the local areas with fruit, vegetables and everyday items as well as the craft area where you can find endless variety of beautiful textile, wooden and ceramic crafts.
Guests can also visit the famous St Tomas Church where local Maya people come to perform Maya rituals within the Catholic church - demonstrating the interesting way the two faiths have combined in recent times.
You may also hike up the hill to the Pascaul Abaj ritual site to see if any local shaman are performing rituals and/or to the cemetery on the outskirts of town. Lunch is included. Afterward, you will transfer to Antigua. Overnight Antigua hotel, daily breakfast included.
You will be transferred from Antigua to Copán Ruínas, Honduras. Here, you'll find cobblestone streets, a picturesque plaza, and a smattering of good hotels and restaurants. Not far from town, you can also visit coffee and cardamom farms, as well as the Macaw Mountain Bird Reserve & Nature Park. Overnight Copan Ruinas hotel, daily breakfast included.
Half-Day Copan Ruins Tour
Today, you'll travel to the Copan archaeological site for a privately guided, three-hour tour. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, and one of the ancient Maya's most lavish cultural centers, Copan is well-known for its intricately carved stelae and incredible hieroglyphic stairway.
Your bilingual guide will accompany you on a private walking tour of the main areas in these ancient ruins. Some of the main sites will include the acropolis, the ball court, the hieroglyphic stairway, the great plaza of the Stelaes, as well as the well known Museum of Mayan Sculpture.
A highlight of the museum is the exact replica of the famed Rosalila Temple, discovered in 1989, which was perfectly preserved underground. After the tour you will return to Copan Ruinas for lunch. Includes lunch and entrance fees.
Transfer Copan - Rio Dulce With Quirigua
You will be picked up at your Copan hotel and transferred to Rio Dulce. Along the way you will stop for a visit to the ruins of Quirigua. You will be on your own to explore the ruins (no guide).
Quiriguá, famous for its intricately carved stelae, appears to have been constructed within a period of 65 years (745-810 AD), and was once the capital of a thriving state. Its ruins include 12 tall monuments carved from single blocks of stone called stelae, enormous carved stones of mythological animal shapes called zoomorphs, carved calendars, temples, a palace, a ball court and a plaza.
The largest of the stelae is an impressive 35 feet tall and weighs about 65 tons. The hieroglyphics sculpted upon the stelae recount the history between this city and the ancient city of Copan in Honduras. In 1,979, Quiriguá was declared “monument of the Worlds’ Heritage” by UNESCO.
Lunch will be provided a local restaurant just off the road. Includes entrance fee and Lunch. Overnight Rio Dulce hotel, breakfast included.
Rio Dulce and Livingston Tour
This morning, you will be met at your hotel by your guide and boat captain. Today's tour will be accompanied by your guide as well as a local guide from the area. Take a private cruise along the Rio Dulce River through the central canyon and down to the Garifuna town of Livingston on the Coast.
On the way, you will be able to appreciate the bird island - a close growth of mangroves and trees in the river, creating the perfect living conditions for a variety of birds. Next up the captain will slow down and gently float past the entrance to the Biotopo Chocón Machacas in the hopes of glimpsing the elusive Manatee.
From here, guests continue on through some of the riverside villages, perhaps seeing some of the local children canoeing, enjoying the extensive water lilies and seeing people go about their daily life, until arriving at the hot springs, where there will be time for a swim.
When ready, continue the trip on to the Ak Tenamit project. Ak Tenamit is an educational project for the local children, that allows them to go to school and become professionals, studying in Spanish and English whilst still maintaining their Mayan roots and heritage, practicing local traditions, language and ceremonies.
Here guests will have a chance to visit the school and some of the local artisans of the area. Finally, we will arrive at the Garífuna town of Livingston, on Guatemala's Caribbean Coast where there will be time to explore before boarding the boat to return to Rio Dulce.
Upon arrival in Rio Dulce you will have lunch at a local restaurant before heading off to Flores.Includes entrance fees, lunch. Overnight Flores/Lake Peten Itza hotel, daily breakfast included - 3 nights.
Morning at leisure.
Yaxha Sunset Tour
This afternoon you will be met at your hotel and transferred with guide and driver to Yaxha, a seldom-visited Mayan city. Yaxha is the third largest Mayan site in Guatemala, and has only just been extensively investigated; though little has yet been restored.
The view from the top of Temple 216 over the jungle lagoon is inspiring. Sunset drinks are then enjoyed at the end of the tour on top of the main temple with views over the surrounding rainforest and nearby lake Yaxha. You will then trek back through the jungle with torches as it starts to turn dark - perhaps spotting some nocturnal wildlife along the way - and return to your hotel.
Tikal Day Trip
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to Tikal National Park for a privately guided tour.Tikal is the grandest of all Mayan Ruins, and the stunning beauty of this tropical paradise will leave you breathless.
Along with your private guide you will tour the ruins. Lunch at a local restaurant is included.Perhaps the most visually stunning and impressive of all Maya sites, Tikal’s five monolithic temples pierce the jungle canopy (Temple IV reaching a height of almost 230 feet) and ancient plazas, stelae and ball courts tell of a rich and powerful history when Tikal’s population reached almost 100,000.
By the beginning of the Classic Period (AD 250) Tikal was competing for regional domination with Uaxactun and Calakmul, and later Tikal was briefly conquered and subjugated by a powerful alliance of Caracol and Calakmul between AD 562 until AD 682. From AD 682 onwards Tikal flourished again under Lord Ah Cacau and continued to dominate the region into the 9th Century.
Today the site is justifiably recognized as one of the archaeological wonders of the Americas.
Its unspoiled jungle setting within the Tikal National Park makes it a paradise for birders, nature lovers and amateur archaeologists.While here, climb to the top of the "Temple of the Jaguar" rising above the jungle to overlook the many temples and main plaza to imagine yourself in the hey-day of this thriving ancient city.
Your guide will give you an excellent overview of the discoveries made here, an insight into the Mayan way of life, and the historical significance of the ruin.
You will also encounter many species of birds and the rich flora of tropical hardwoods like mahogany and teak, along with countless ornamentals and edibles flourishing here. You will be driven back to your hotel by your driver when ready.
Hotel pickup and transfer to the Flores Airport for your flight to Guatemala City.
|Price from||$4,908.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
9 nights accommodations
Meals as specified on itinerary
International and domestic airfare
Meals not included on itinerary
Tips for guides and drivers
Our travel agent from a Latin American tour company planned our trip to Guatemala and Belize. We so enjoyed the Mayan ruins, rain forest and dive sites that we are talking of returning to the region next year.
All details had been expertly handled so we could relax and enjoy every moment. During our trip when we had questions we got immediate responses, even on New Year's Day.
Our travel agent clearly listened to what we wanted and he delivered. His knowledge of the region, people, culture and history were obvious and were greatly appreciated. The most sincere endorsement of this travel company is that we have recommended you both to friends and look forward to working with you again.
- Leslie P, Jan 2014