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Guatemala & Belize Explorer

Itinerary in Brief:  Experience the Best of These Two Fascinating Countries

  • Explore charming colonial Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Spend two nights on beautiful Lake Atitlan
  • Visit the bustling market at Chichicastenango
  • Walk amidst the magnificent Mayan ruins at Tikal
  • Soak up the sun on the southern Belize coast and try world-class snorkeling & diving
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English-speaking private guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates, and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

(The start day is flexible; we provide the days of the week so you can see which days are market days)

Day 1       Sunday Arrive Guatemala / transfer to Antigua

Upon arrival in Guatemala City, you will be met at the airport by a local representative holding a sign with your name on it for transfer to the colonial town of Antigua (1 hour scenic drive). This local representative will welcome you to the country, answer any questions you have, and help you get situated in Antigua. Antigua is a remarkable town set beneath a towering volcano.
Posada del Angel

Day 2       Monday Antigua

Today you have a morning walking tour of this historic and beautiful small city. For more than two centuries from the mid 1500s to the late 1700s, Antigua was the finest city in the region and was the capital of Spain’s Central American colonies, until it was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1773. Now fully reconstructed and renovated, Antigua has wonderful restaurants, patio cafes, shops and galleries in which to relax, numerous ruins to explore, and interesting museums and exhibitions to visit. After your walking tour, you will have the afternoon free to do some exploring on your own or just relax.
Posada del Angel (B)

Day 3       Tuesday Lago Atitlan

Today you continue your trip to Lake Atitlan, set between 3 volcanoes, about 2.5 hours drive from Antigua. En route, you will stop to see the Mayan archeological site of Iximche. Upon arrival at your hotel on Lake Atitlan, you will have the balance of the day to relax around the lake and enjoy the spectacular surroundings.
Casa Palopo (B)

Day 4        Wednesday Lago Atitlan / San Juan La Laguna / Santiago

Today you have a full day of exploring the small, traditional villages around Lake Atitlan. First you will visit San Juan La Laguna, a town located on the opposite side of Lake Atitlan. You will visit several local artisan workshops, including a textile cooperative where you will witness a back strap loom demonstration. You will then continue on to Santiago, a traditional town on the opposite side of the San Pedro Volcano. The Maya language of Tz’utujil is spoken in Santiago, and this is a place where the local people hold strongly to their beliefs and rituals. This village is also famous for its beautiful woven “huipiles” (women’s blouses or tunics). After this excursion you return to your hotel.
Casa Palopo (B,L)

Day 5       Thursday Chichicastanengo / Las Lagunas

In the morning you will transfer to Chichicastanengo where you will have a chance to explore this sprawling, colorful market at your leisure. In the afternoon you will transfer back to Guatemala City for your flight north to Flores from where you will be transferred to your hotel located on the shores of Lake Peten.
Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (B,L)

Day 6       Friday Tikal

Today you have a full day, private excursion to the ruins of Tikal, one of the most impressive of Mayan achievements, a complex of hundreds of buildings, some towering over the jungle canopy. The site is also home to a wide variety of tropical wildlife, including monkeys, toucans, and many other species. After your tour you will have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel.
Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (B,L)

Day 7       Saturday Transfer to Southern Coast

After enjoying your final morning at Las Lagunas, you will be picked up for transfer down to the Caribbean coast to the southern part of Belize. The drive goes down the Hummingbird Highway, one of the most beautiful drives in all of Central America, where you will drop down from the highland to lowland rainforest and have great views of the mountain range that runs through the center of Belize. You’ll have the chance to stop to swim in the Blue Hole (a limestone cenote) along the way.
Turtle Inn (Seafront Cottage; 2 bedroom Seafront Villa also available for families) (B,L)

Day 8        Sunday Snorkeling on the Barrier Reef

Today you have a full day, private snorkeling trip out to the barrier reef (the second longest in the world after the Great Barrier Reef). During your snorkeling excursion you will make a series of stops at classic spots, and also make a visit to one or two of the small islands that dot the sea out around the barrier reef. You will enjoy a barbeque lunch before returning to your hotel.
Turtle Inn (B,L)

Day 9       Monday At the Beach / Barrier Reef

Today you have a variety of activities arranged through your hotel such as snorkeling on the barrier reef, sea kayaking, visiting the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (world’s only jaguar preserve, though your chances of seeing one are slim), and other nature and cultural excursions. You will be able to review a full list of optional activities at the hotel.
Turtle Inn (B)

Day 10       Tuesday Depart for Home

In the morning you will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Placencia airport for your flight to Belize City International Airport where you can connect with your international flight back home.