Arrive into Guatemala City where you will be met by a guide and transferred (approx.1 hour) directly to your hotel in Antigua. Accommodation in the hotel.
Free time to spend enjoying this magical colonial town, considered by some to be the most beautiful in the world. Walk its romantic cobble stone streets and enjoy fine cuisine at one of the many excellent gourmet restaurants in the area.
The old capital of Guatemala-Antigua (Antigua Guatemala), is located in the wide mountain valley of Panchoy, between Agua, Acatenango and Fuego volcanoes.
Founded in 1524, the city became one of the largest cities of the Spanish Empire, and was as the administrative center of Central America. The city reached its prosperity in the middle of the XVIII century. In 1773, Antigua was destroyed by the great Santa Marta earthquake, during which almost all buildings, monasteries and architectural structures were destroyed, many of which are now restored and are museums. In 1979, Antigua was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and now Antigua is the main tourist center of the country.
After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing tour in Antigua Guatemala visiting the ruins, museums, monasteries, markets, art galleries and squares of this colonial city. The main attractions of the city are the Central square of the Park Central, the Cathedral de San Jose; the Palace of the Captains-General (1558); Ayuntamiento – Municipality, built in 1740; the ruins of La Capuchinas, the largest and most impressive of the convents of the city; the Santa Catalina arch preserved from the monastery; La Merced Church with a wonderful carved facade.
Must –see places are: the impressive Church of San Francisco, one of the oldest churches in Antigua; the magnificently restored colonial Casa Popeno mansion, the Museo de Santiago in the old city prison building, containing an extensive collection of colonial period objects, the Museo del Libro Antigua, the Museum of Colonial Art in the old University building (collection of religious art), the green Union Park with an open textile market, as well as two churches around its edges-the western church of San Pedro and the eastern Santa Clara, a former convent.
In the afternoon, transfer to Panahachel. (1 hour)
This morning you will take a sightseeing boat tour to the “place where the rainbow takes its colors”. So you are heading to Lake Atitlan (30min approx.). Lake Atitlan surrounded by mountains and 3 of the volcano: San Pedro, Atitlan, Toliman, is located in the central part of Guatemala. Its area exceeds over 130 square kilometers, and it is 340 m deep, it is the deepest lake in Central America.
Since 1955 the surrounding area of Lake Atitlan has been a national park.
This mountainous region is known for its indigenous traditions and folklore of Mayan people.
You will also go to the village of San Juan La Laguna, where you visit a women’s textile cooperative and see the hand weaving and natural dyeing process.
Next visit is to the workshops of local Naif artists. Then the tour will continue to the town of Santiago.
In the evening transfer to Guatemala City.
In the morning, transfer to the airport for your flight to Flores, Peten. The capital of El Peten Flores was built on a small island on the lake Lago de Peten Itza, and is connected with a half-kilometer bridge with the town of Santa Elena on the shore. In Mayan times, on the site of Flores was the capital of the imperial province of Tayasal, which was later completely destroyed. During the colonial period, no one knew about the city, until Tikal was discovered.
This small picturesque town, with its colorful Government House, other buildings and a church on the main square, is famous for the caves of Actun Can or La Cueva de La Sapiente, the colorful villages of San Andres and San Jose, the ruins of the classic Maya period in Motula and the picturesque views of Lake Lago de Peten Itza.
Today, you will enjoy a guided tour along the trails and main squares of the most important Mayan city in the world. Here you will notice how perfectly nature and archeology are combined. You will be able to see the rich wildlife, the Mayan forest, the thousand-year-old temples that are mute witnesses of the birth and splendor, as well as the collapse of one of the most ancient civilizations on the planet.
Breakfast. A bus transfer to Yaxha National Park (about 1 hour). Yaxha means the color of the sea wave. This urban center of the Mayan civilization is located between two lagoons – Skanab and Yashha. The famous monuments of the Yaxha are: the complex of buildings known as the Royal Palace, the Northern Acropolis, the Astronomical Complex, two ball stadiums, the Eastern Acropolis, the Square of Shadows and the Complex of the Twin Pyramids. All these buildings are connected by a system of roads and paved sidewalks. More than 500 structures have been discovered in Yaxha. The local flora and fauna iare extremely rich and diverse.
Here we take a walk through the lush tropical forest, where the howling monkeys fill the atmosphere with voices. We conclude the day in the highest part of Temple 216, the tallest building, where we will enjoy an unforgettable time listening to the birds singing.
After lunch, transfer to the border of Belize, then transfer to your hotel in the Pine Ridge Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge. Blancaneaux Lodge is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest. It features an outdoor pool, a garden with organic plants, and 2 restaurants. The charming bungalows and villas offer beautiful river views from their balconies. Surrounded by pine trees, Blancaneaux Lodge offers an orchid-lined walkway. The lodge administration can organize hiking trips to the nearby waterfall and caves.
Today you will enjoy an exciting tour! The first stop is at the pools and waterfalls, where you can cool off by swimming in the pool or sitting in the natural hot tubs.
After this stop, we will continue our tour to the archaeological ruins of Caracol.
Situated high on the Vaca Plateau deep in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol is the most extensive Mayan site in Belize and was only re-discovered as recently as 1936. The site of Caracol covers over 80 square miles with 30,000 structures and at its peak supported a population in excess of 150,000. Situated at 1600 feet above sea level (one of the highest located sites of the southern uplands region) with no natural water body close by, it remains a mystery why such a huge population centre like Caracol evolved where it is. However, the close proximity to both extremely hard stone and copal, two commodities highly prized by the Mayas may help explain this enigma.
At the heart of the site lies the massive pyramid of Caana (Sky Palace) which is now almost fully restored and reaches a height of over 135 feet. From the top you can enjoy breath taking panoramic views over the forest clad mountains. The drive to the site in the early morning occasionally allows guests to take a glimpse of tapirs, jaguars or ocelots, as they break their forest cover to cross the road. The sprawling site contains huge Ceiba, Mahogany and Sapodilla trees and is superb for birding (the rare Keel-billed Motmot is one of the many residents of the site). Wildlife such as Howler and Spider monkeys, the Oscellated Turkey, Coatimundi, Gibnut and Grey Fox are often sighted while quietly wandering along the site’s causeways or along trails connecting the plaza groups. Upon conclusion in the afternoon return to your hotel.
Transfer to Cayo district. Actun Tunichil Muknal “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher” is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean Rainforest, this cave was a sacred place to the pre-hispanic Mayas of Belize, who first began to use the entrance during the early classic period (300-600AD.) The cave system consists of a series of chambers, ending in a 300 by 50 meter Cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Visitors to this cave have the opportunity to travel into the Maya past and witness a living museum where the human sacrifices and artifacts can be viewed in their original context. On the tour, guests will drive to the trailhead and trek for 45 minutes through dense Jungle in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, wading across three streams and learning about the flora and fauna of the Jungle. At the entrance of the Cave guests are outfitted in the necessary equipment. Some swimming will be required and also climbing and caving activity. Guests will spend 3 hours in the cave after which they may also visit a nearby dry cave to see ancient inscriptions and handprints of which the origins are unknown. This is a first class caving and archaeological experience.
Evening transfer from Cayo to Belize city, then a water taxi transfer to San Pedro Ambergris Caye. (1.5 hours).
The largest of Belize’s islands, Ambergris Caye runs parallel to the magnificent Belize Barrier Reef. Once home to the ancient Maya (they created the island by digging a channel between it and Mexico), Ambergris is located 56 kilometers (35 miles) northeast of Belize City and is accessible by boat or plane. It’s a popular destination for diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing; trips to nearby Caye Caulker and the mainland are easy to plan, too. Formerly a fishing village, San Pedro is the island’s only town; its sandy streets are lined with waterfront restaurants, hotels, tiki bars, and dive shops.
Today you will have a unique adventure, don’t miss a chance to swim with nurse sharks in Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Hol Chan means Little Channel in Mayan and is a natural break on the barrier reef where ocean depth ranges from 3 to 30 feet. Here guests will enjoy seeing the breathtaking myriad of marine life and huge coral garden, among which are flourishing staghorn corals and sea fans. Shark Ray Alley is a shallow water snorkel where guests will enjoy swimming with the harmless nurse sharks and southern stingrays – this trip is a famous snorkel trip and a “must do” for Belize.
7One more day of snorkeling in Ambergris Caye. You will enjoy seeing the breathtaking myriad of marine life and huge coral garden, among which are flourishing staghorn corals and sea fans./
Optional: You can book Blue Hole Flyover Tour from San Pedro Ambergris( in a group)
Duration of the fly: approx. 1 hour.
The price of the tour:$ 360 USD NET per pax.
After lunch transfer to Belize city by water taxi, arrival and transfer to Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina.
In the morning you will have a city tour, then at the mentioned time transfer to the airport for your flight home.
It’s said that Belize City was built on a foundation of wood chips, coral, and empty rum bottles. Whether or not that’s true, this city of 80,000 people certainly has a storied past. Over the centuries, it’s served as a Maya settlement, a pirate stronghold, a British logging town, and the British Empire’s Central American seat of power. More recently, it was the capital of the country until Belmopan took the title in 1970. Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea on three sides, Belize City comprises faded Victorian mansions, cinder block buildings, and traditional Creole eateries. It’s divided in two by Haulover Creek. The northern side is home to popular sights like the Fort George Lighthouse, the Museum of Belize, and Baron Bliss Memorial; the south side is an urban rigmarole of banks, businesses, and markets.