Day 1: Guatemala City - Antigua
Upon arrival our representative will meet assist and transfer you to Antigua Guatemala, city of immense cultural and historic value. (50 minutes trip) Balance of day at leisure.
Day 2: Antigua
Breakfast. Antigua resembles a living ruin. Mammoth ruins of churches and palaces tell the story of Antigua's past glory, and restored fascades speak of a bright future for this wonderful city. This morning we tour the city and admire Antigua's gilded cathedrals, the Metropolitan Cathedral, Merced Church, San Francisco Church, the Cultural Center La Azotea, the Great Plaza, , Jade Factory, Coffee Plantations. The streets of Antigua are an encounter with rich colonial architecture, framed by its splendid museums and unequaled landscapes. (B)
Day 3: Anitgua – Chichicastenengo - Lake Atitlan
Breakfast. Today we rise early to visit the famous market of Chichicastenango. This beautiful town, surrounded by valleys and shadowed by mountains, has many spiritual and ceremonial overtones. Its large market brings villagers from throughout the region, who often arrive the night before and sleep on blankets in the market square. Rising early, they set out their colorful fruits, vegetables and handicrafts. The main plaza is home to one of the most authentic markets in the highlands, and we'll spend some time wandering through the stalls, admiring the palette of colors created by mounds of fruits, vegetables, meats, housewares and clothing. Be witness of religious rites at Santo Tomas Church, which was built in 1540 on top of archeological remains of pre Hispanic temple. In the afternoon your tour continues to Panajachel, , a small settlement surrounded by spectacular volcanoes on the shores of Lake Atitlán, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Overnight.(B)
Day 4: Lake Atitlan - Antigua
Breakfast. This is a free day, and you're welcome to explore as you wish. Go canoeing on the lake, horseback riding to a nearby cloudforest, rent a mountain bike or visit Maya Saints in the brotherhood houses and watch some of the day's rituals. Villagers in Santiago Atitlan still adhere to the traditional lifestyle of the Tz'utuhil Maya and we'll see many people cloaked in brightly-colored, handwoven clothing. Along Santiago's main street are art galleries filled with oil paintings depicting busy market scenes and typical life in the highlands. Lake Atitlán is surrounded by many colorful Villages. Each Village has a dress with a special design and pattern. Panajachel is the most important village of the area, and therefore most of the hotels, restaurants, discotheques and stores are located there. Many of the villages can be visited by boat. Before the end of the day transfer to Antigua. Overnight. (B)
Day 5: Antigua – Flores (Tikal)
Breakfast. Early morning transfer to the airport to take your flight to Flores,to explore the magnificent Tikal ruins in the steamy jungles of the El Peten region. Tikal's towering pyramids rise above the thick jungle canopy like stoic sentinels of ancient mysteries. The ancient Maya began building this city around 600 B.C., and for the next 1500 years the area was an important religious, scientific, and political center. Pyramids to honor dead kings were built, administrative buildings rose, storage houses appeared and houses for royalty were carved out of the jungle. Tikal became one of the greatest centers of Maya culture and sprawled over 46 square miles with more than 4000 structures in the core city center alone. Today, the pristine forest engulfing the ruined city is home to howler and spider monkeys, white lipped peccary, brocket deer, coati-mundis, toucans, scarlet macaws, parrots, ocelots and the seldom seen jaguar. Lunch will be served in the park. (B, L)
Day 6: Flores – San Pedro, Belize (Ambergris Caye)
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your flight to San Pedro. Upon arrival you will be transferred to Sundiver Beach Resort.
Day 7 & 8: Ambergris Caye
Daily continental breakfast. Free days at leisure to enjoy this beautiful beach resort. You will take the “Holchan Snorkling Tour” . The resort offers a free scheduled boat service to and from town. Whether you stay in its charming beach nooks, second floor suites or in one of its luxurious villas, you'll treasure the view from your windows. The resort gives you all that a Belize vacation has to offer: mysterious Mayan ruins, world class fishing, spa treatments, boating, jungle exploring, snorkeling, some of the best scuba in the world, and plain old beach bumming. (optional tours are not included)
Day 9: San Pedro – Belize - USA
Breakfast. Transfer back the airport at the indicated time for your flight back home.(B