10 overnights in good country-typical 3* hotels or basic accommodation where indicated
10 American or typical Chapín breakfasts
all ground transportation, boat transfers and entrance fees as indicated in tour itinerary
German-Spanish or English-Spanish speaking guide services Day 1-10, other languages upon request
hotel taxes and VAT
Not included: Other meals, drinks, tips, other transfers or extra guided tours, border fees, departure tax.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AIR TRANSFER AND ENTRANCE FEES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE ANY TIME. ALTERNATIVE ARRIVAL TUES POSSIBLE. TRANSPORTATION BASED ON PRIVATE AND SEAT-IN TRANSFERS. THIS TRIP REQUIRES LOW TO MEDIUM PHYSICAL CONDITION, ACCEPTANCE FOR EARLY DEPARTURES AND LONG DRIVING HOURS.
Day 1 (Friday):
Reception at airport and transfer to hotel in Antigua. Depending on your arrival time, you can still enjoy a relaxed evening walk through the cobble stone streets of this colonial town. Overnight.
Day 2 (Saturday):
Walking tour through the colonial city – La Merced church, Santa Catalina arch, Central Plaza with cathedral and Palacio de Los Capitanes, San Francisco church with the shrine of Guatemala´s only saint – Hermano Pedro. Antigua Guatemala served as capital of all Central America from 1543 until 1773, when destroyed by an earthquake and the capital subsequently moved to its present location. The city was original known as La Muy Noble y La Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de los Caballeros. In the afternoon, learn about coffee processing at Finca Filadelfia Coffee Plantation in San Felipe de Jesús. Overnight.
Day 3 (Sunday):
Transfer from Antigua to Chichi. The colorful town of Chichicastenango hosts every Thursday and Sunday one of the biggest indigenous markets in Guatemala, attracting traders from the highlands offering beautiful traditional textiles and handicrafts. Visit the colorful market, observe Mayan rituals in Santo Tomás church, and alternatively hike to nearby ceremonial site Pascual Abaj. Afterwards continue to Panajachel and boat transfer to El Jaibalito. Overnight.
Day 4 (Monday):
FREE DAY to swim and relax. A natural treasure is the sapphire-blue Lake Atitlán, surrounded by 3 dormant volcanoes in the Western Highlands. Located around the lake’s shore are 14 picturesque indigenous villages which are home to Kakchiquel and Tzutuhil families and where Mayan dialects are first language. Optional activities include: a) hike San Pedro Volcano, or b) hike at lakeshore to nearby villages. Afternoon boat transfer to Pana. Upon arrival, take taxi to hotel (not included). Overnight.
Day 5 (Tuesday):
Walk down to public boat pier and start boat tour visiting 3 villages at lakeshore – Santiago Atitlán with its great art galleries and the Maximón sanctuary, San Antonio Palopó and Santa Catarina Palopó, both offering a great selection of typical pottery and hand woven products. Afterwards transfer to Antigua. Overnight.
Day 6 (Wednesday):
Early transfer to Copán (Honduras). Visit Copán archeological site (local guide, museum & excavation tunnels not included). The archeological site of Copán (Honduras), 7 miles from the Guatemalan border, shows the most elaborately decorated monuments & steles of all Mayan cities. Copan was declared a heritage of humanity site in 1980 by UNESCO. Optional: Visit to Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve showing a variety of local bird and plant species. FREE evening to explore the charming little town of Copán ruins. Overnight.
Day 7 (Thursday):
Transfer to Quiriguá. Visit archeological site. Quiriguá, a smaller site, about 25 miles from Copán, offers enormous carved rocks & huge steles, amongst them the tallest ones found in the Mayan World. Then continue to Rio Dulce. Boat transfer to Aktenamit Project (approx. 1 h 45 min). Start 48-hour-program to observe life in a rural Mayan village and to learn about how this NGO works in the sector of community development. Aktenamit is an EU-sponsored NGO focusing on health & education, organic agriculture, gender equity, integral community development amongst others. All income from eco-tourism and handicrafts is channeled directly to community members!!!! Hike to Mayan community PG Q’equchi (approx. 1 h 45min). Upon arrival, you can observe making of local handicrafts out of banana leafs. Dinner. The day ends with a typical Mayan fire ritual that is frequently performed for curing and protection purposes. Overnight in community guesthouse.
Day 8 (Friday):
Guided jungle hike with community members to local ceremonial caves, alternatively hike to the pristine waterfalls of Seven Altars, or just observe the community members at their daily duties in agriculture, cooking, farming. Return to Mayan village. Dinner. Traditional Q'equchi'es dance & folkloric music. Overnight in community guesthouse.
Day 9 (Saturday):
Hike to Livingston (approx. 1 h 30min). Brief walking tour in Garífuna town. The Garífuna are descendents of African slaves who intermarried with the local Indians. They have their own distinct language, music, art and cuisine. Board boat launch that takes you to main project site and visit the boarding school, the hospital and the other facilities that Aktenamit puts at service for the local communities. Boat transfer to Rio Dulce. Continue to Tikal. Overnight.
Day 10 (Sunday):
Optional early morning bird-watching tours or canopy tours available. Start guided tour of Tikal archeological site, visiting Complex Q, Main Plaza, North and Central Acropolis, Complex Lost World, Temple IV. Once the ceremonial center of the ancient Maya, the ruins at Tikal were rediscovered in 1955 and comprise the largest collection of Mayan ruins ever excavated. Now, a National Park covering 358 square miles of prime rainforest, Tikal is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, including spider and howler monkeys, ocelots, jaguars, and almost 250 bird species. UNESCO declared Tikal a World Heritage site in 1979 due to its exceptional natural and cultural value. Afternoon transfer to Melchor Mencos (for Belize extension packages) or to airport in Flores and flight to Guatemala City. Transfer to centrally located hotel in Guatemala City. Overnight.
Day 11 (Monday):
Optional half-day City Tour visiting National Palace, Cathedral, Museums Popol Vuh and Ixchel, and the Relief map of Guatemala, otherwise FREE TIME. Then it is time to say good-bye. Drop-off at airport approx. 2 hours before departure time of your flight.
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