Archaeology Beaches Colonial Ethnic Nature Grand Central America

5% discount with advance purchase
Duration
28 Days

Visit all Central American countries on a Once in a lifetime Vacation

Classic itinerary, soft hikes, recommended for middle age and mature travelers
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  • Tour Plan
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  • Additional Info
  • Tour Map
Enjoy all aspects of this marvelous isthmus that links North and South America, including all seven countries in the region, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama; visiting the most iconic tourist attractions, from impressive national parks, incredible archaeological sites, colonial town, vibrant cities and ethnic communities.

What's included

Departure Location
BELIZE CITY, BELIZE - Philip Goldson International (BZE)
Return Location
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA - Tocumen International (PTY)
Tour Start Date & Time
December 7, 2019 View other Times
Price includes
  • Admissions
  • Airport transfers
  • All meals and local drinks at Sonsonate
  • Breakfast daily
  • Domestic flight Flores - Guatemala City
  • English speaking guide
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Hotel taxes
  • Local guides
  • Lunch at Tikal & Lake Yojoa
  • Lunch on full day tours at Panama
  • Regional flight San Jose - Panama City
  • Sightseeing tours listed
Price does not include
  • Airport taxes
  • Any meals not mentioned as included
  • Expenses of personal nature
  • Gratuities for guides, drivers, porters or waiters
  • International flights

Maya Archaeological sites

Learn more about the long-lost Maya civilization that once inhabited northern Central America, while visiting some of the most important ancient Maya sites, such as  Xunantunich in Belize, Tikal in Guatemala and Copan in Honduras.

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Spanish Colonial Heritage

Admire some impressive colonial spanish architecture, as we visit several historically relevant towns and cities, touring its beautiful churches and some interesting museums in Antigua, Guatemala, Comayagua in Honduras, Leon and Granada in Nicaragua, among others.

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Engage with Living Cultures

Whether you walk around the colorful Chichicastenango indian market in Guatemala or enjoy a boat ride out on the Chagres river, to visit  an Embera tribe village in Panama, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the many ethnic groups that keep their languages, customs and cultures almost intact, throughout the region.

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Breathtaking Natural Beauty

Contemplate one the most diverse natural scenery in the world, exotic flora and fauna encompassed in lush cloud, rain and dry forests see both rumbling and dormant towering volcanoes, as well as incredible mountains, valleys, lakes and waterfalls; take a beach break on the Pacific to gather your strength and observe an astonishing sunset.

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  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10
  • Day 11
  • Day 12
  • Day 13
  • Day 14
  • Day 15
  • Day 16
  • Day 17
  • Day 18
  • Day 19
  • Day 20
  • Day 21
  • Day 22
  • Day 23
  • Day 24
  • Day 25
  • Day 26
  • Day 27
  • Day 28
Day 1

Arrival Day

Arrive at Belize City, transfer to hotel, evening free, overnight at Belize City. 

Day 2

Belize to San Ignacio

Tour Belize City, which today remains the commercial capital of the country, In addition to other historic buildings, you will see the Supreme Court buildings flanked by cannons used in the Battle of St. George’s Cay in 1798.Then you’ll be driven 40 minutes up the Western Highway to Belize’s wonderful natural wildlife habitat, the Belize Zoo, which gives you the unique opportunity of viewing Belize’s prolific wildlife in one location. In the afternoon, we will be driven to San Ignacio for overnight.

Day 3

Barton Creek

Today, we will visit the Barton Creek, a remote underground water cave system, which the Maya once used for rituals and ceremonies. While canoeing with a local guide, we will see large and colorful formations, skeletal remains and artifacts left behind by the Maya centuries ago, archaeological excavations are ongoing.  After exploring the cave, we visit the nearby Green Hills Butterfly Ranch where you will experience Belize’s biggest and best butterfly exhibit. later we return to San Ignacio for overnight.

Day 4

San Ignacio to Flores

After breakfast, we are on our way to Guatemala, in route, we will tour Xunantunich Maya site, we will cross the Mopan River on a hand cranked ferry and proceed up a steep incline to the site. The excavated temple, El Castillo, is one of the highest structures in all of Belize and boasts an awe-inspiring view, a reconstructed frieze, a number of stele, and a ball court, Later, we continue onto Lake Peter-Itza in Guatemala arriving late afternoon. Evening free and overnight.

Day 5

Tikal, fly to Guatemala City

After breakfast, the tour continues with a one-hour drive until you reach Tikal, in its heyday 700 AD, Tikal was the capital of a vast Mayan empire. Today, the site is one of Guatemala’s premier tourist attractions. Its unspoiled jungle setting makes it a special destination for discerning travelers, particularly archaeology enthusiast, naturalists and bird watchers; we will tour the ceremonial plazas and see the pyramids that rise above the forest canopy. Mid-afternoon we will head back to Flores, then, transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Guatemala City, TAG113 departing at 6:30 PM arriving at 7:30 PM), upon arrival, transfer to your hotel, evening free, overnight at Guatemala City. 

Day 6

Guatemala City to Antigua

In the morning we will have a brief city tour of Guatemala including the historic district and the center of government, in the afternoon, we will drive to Antigua Guatemala, the city founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 meters above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but its main monuments are still preserved. Evening free, overnight at Antigua.

Day 7

Antigua

In the morning, we will explore this beautiful colonial town, nestled in a valley surrounded by the peaks of three towering volcanoes. Over time, Antigua Guatemala became the most important city in Central America, adorned with monasteries, churches and other monuments built in the Spanish Colonial architectural style; we will have a chance to see both the restored buildings as well as those left as ruins, among the intricate buildings and interesting museums to be visited on the tour are the ornate La Merced church, the ruins of the Capuchinas convent and the San Francisco Cathedral, In the afternoon; rest of the day free to explore on your own or just relax. Overnight at Antigua. 

Day 8

Antigua to Lake Atitlan

Today we are driving to Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, known as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, here we will have a boat tour on Lake Atitlan and visit the communities along the shore like Santiago de Atitlan and San Juan Laguna, were we will find a Quiche Indian population that descend from the Mayas and walk around this colonial villages Evening at leisure and overnight at Panajachel.

Day 9

Chichicastenango to Sonsonate, El Salvador

At 7:00 AM, drive to Chichicastenango, where we will enjoy the Indian market day, reputedly the largest outdoor market in Central America, it attracts buyers and sellers from near and far every Thursday and Sunday. A great variety of handicraft and souvenirs are for sale here, from colorful Mayan fabrics and ceremonial masks to genuine leather goods, jewelry and accessories; Also, we will have a chance to observe the Maya/catholic rituals that take place at the Santo Tomas church. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Sonsonate, El Salvador, arriving before sunset, here we will spend a couple of night to get some rest and gather our strength at an all-inclusive seaside resort.

Day 10

Sonsonate

Day at leisure at Sonsonate. 

Day 11

San Salvador to Copan, Honduras

At 7:00 AM we drive to San Salvador, in route, visit to Joya de Ceren, declared world heritage by UNESCO in 1993 for being the only maya archaeological site where one can appreciate the day to day life style of the pre-Columbian inhabitants, due to the fact that all remains were well preserved, buried under the ashes of the volcanic eruption; then, we will explore the capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador, driving through the streets and avenues of residential and historical districts, we will first visit the David Guzman Museum of anthropology, we will pass Zona Rosa on our way to the Divino Salvador del Mundo monument at Plaza Las Americas, then, we will drive up to a viewpoint located in Planes de Renderos, allowing for a sweeping view of the city and surroundings. In the afternoon, we our heading to the Maya ruins of Copan in Honduras, we drive back into Guatemala briefly to enter Honduras via El Florido border station, arriving at Copan before sunset.

Day 12

Copan

In the morning, we will have a guided tour of the main archaeological site located just one mile away from town, here we will see the hieroglyphic staircase, the ball court, the main ceremonial plaza and its famous high relief carved stelas among many other structures; We will also visit the Museum of Maya Sculpture and museum of archaeology. Evening free and overnight at Copan.

Day 13

Copan to San Pedro Sula

No visit to Copan can be complete without a close encounter with the quarters of the royal families at “Las Sepulturas” site, we will end our Copan visit with a tour of the Macaw Mountain Bird park, afternoon drive to San Pedro Sula arriving around 6:00 PM. Evening free and overnight. 

Day 14

San Pedro Sula to Tegucigalpa

At 8:00 A.M.  We are on our way to central Honduras, admiring the green and mountainous scenery while we head to the capital city Tegucigalpa, in route, we will visit the impressive Pulhapanzak waterfall, we will have lunch at beautiful Lake Yojoa and also visit colonial former capital city Comayagua, where we will see the oldest functioning clock in the Americas. We will arrive in Tegucigalpa late afternoon, evening free and overnight.

Day 15

Tegucigalpa to Choluteca

Tegucigalpa is not only the capital city of Honduras but further a colonial town of abundant history, we will enjoy a morning tour of both modern and colonial districts, the Basilica of Suyapa and a sweeping view of the metropolitan area at the foot of the giant figure of Christ located at Picacho hill. We will finish our tour visiting two charming old mining colonial towns, Santa Lucia and Valle de Angeles that are home to the local artisan’s school and many souvenir shops, midafternoon, drive south to the city of Choluteca, near the Nicaraguan border, for overnight.

Day 16

Choluteca to Leon, Nicaragua

In the morning, we will enter Nicaraguan territory and shall arrive at the colonial city of Leon around noon, later, enjoy a city tour of Leon, explore the rich cultural and political history of one of Nicaragua’s oldest and most influential cities, much of its charm lies in the narrow colonial streets, museums, restaurants and cafes. In this guided walking tour, you will visit revolutionary murals, baroque and neoclassical churches including the Basilica de la Asuncion, surprisingly interesting Museum of Legends, arts and poetry and the Museum of Art Ortiz Gurdian, in addition, you will get to climb the rooftop of Central America’s largest cathedral and enjoy the amazing views over the city and surrounding Maribios Volcanic Chain. evening at leisure, overnight at Leon.

Day 17

Leon to Granada

Early morning, depart for Granada, in route driving tour of the capital Managua and Masaya Volcano National Park, arriving at Granada at noon, in the afternoon enjoy a carriage / walking tour of Granada, Granada is considered to be one of the oldest colonial cities in the Western hemisphere. On this guided walking tour, you will explore the San Francisco Church and neighboring San Francisco Convent built in 1529. Now functioning as a museum, the Convent is home to an impressive collection of pre-Columbian art. Continue on to the beautiful Merced Church where you will have the opportunity to climb to the top of the bell tower and take in spectacular views over the city, Lake Nicaragua, and Mombacho volcano; evening free. Overnight at Granada.

Day 18

Granada to Liberia, Costa Rica

Today we will enjoy a hiking tour of Mombacho volcano and Natural reserve, departing at 8:00 AM, we will reach the summit in about an hour, Mombacho is truly one of the most imposing attractions of the country. The Volcano Natural Reserve is covered by exuberant nature, typical of the tropical rain forest and a singular dwarf forest where you will admire the flora and fauna as well as the majestic crater at an altitude of 1,345 meters above sea level, then, we will enter to Costa Rican territory, ending our day at Liberia, the second largest city in the country, where we will spend the night.

Day 19

Liberia to Monteverde

After breakfast, we will drive to Monteverde natural reserve, here, we will take the sky tram / sky walk, spectacular combination of suspension bridges with easy and well maintained walking trails built in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and above the tropical forest canopy, enjoy the natural surroundings and relax. overnight at Monteverde. 

Day 20

Monteverde to La Fortuna

We will drive to the town of La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, near Arenal Vocano National Park, we will take an informative, beautiful walk, you’ll learn about the behemoth Arenal Volcano, the secondary and primary tropical forest surrounding it and the interesting wildlife of the area. Once we finish the walk, we’ll head to a view point to see more of this famous volcano (note that the volcano has not been very active in the last few months but you can hear the volcano and often see flumes of gases), we will also visit La Fortuna waterfall before returning to town, late afternoon we will relax at the hot springs, overnight at La Fortuna. 

Day 21

La Fortuna to San Jose

Today, we are on our way to San Jose, Costa Rica, we will have a chance to admire the beautiful scenery, arriving around noon, in the afternoon, we will take a city tour of San Jose, the tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of San José. It begins with an orientation and drive through the beautiful Sabana Park. Next, visit the historic National Theater. Completed in 1897, the theater is a masterpiece in art and architecture. Afterwards we will visit one of the many unique museums of Costa Rica. We will continue heading to the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court and various sites of interest. A brief stop will be made in a beautiful art craft shopping store allowing you to browse through it before returning to your hotel, overnight at San Jose.

Day 22

Irazu Volcano

In the morning, we will take the Pan-American Highway South, to start ascending the large “Iztaru”. The winding road travels through fertile lands cultivated with all kinds of vegetables as we observe a lovely panoramic view. At the top of the Irazu volcano you can observe the main craters and on a clear day both Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can be seen. As we descend to the city of Cartago we will stop at the Virgin of the Angels Basilica which according to religious custom is a peregrination site for many believers. return to San Jose midafternoon for overnight.

Day 23

Fly to Panama City

At 8:00 AM, we will drive you to the airport to catch your regional flight to Panama City, AV699, departing at 10:50 AM and arriving at 1:00 PM, upon arrival transfer to your hotel, overnight at Panama City.

Day 24

Gatun Lake

Drive to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. From here we take a boat across Gatun Lake in the canal, passing gigantic cargo ships in route – an astonishing contrast with the natural surroundings. Along the way, we will have the opportunity to spot Green iguana and Three-toed sloth resting on tree branches, Crocodile, Osprey in the hunt for Peacock bass, Snail kite and Keel-billed toucan among other wildlife. We will return to the Hotel midafternoon, evening at leisure, overnight at Panama City.

Day 25

Panama City and Canal

At 8:00 AM, we will enjoy a city tour, including, Panama Canal Miraflores locks, The Casco Antiguo district as well as those sites, streets and places of interest, travel back in time as you visit France Plaza, Las Bovedas, and the Flat Arch; next, we will head to Amador Causeway, a man made connection of three islands, a bustling tourist attraction, where you will have a breathtaking view of the city and have time to purchase from handicrafts to electronics in Duty Free stores; we will head to your hotel around noon, rest of the day at leisure, overnight at Panama City. 

Day 26

Chagres River and Embera Village

Travel to Madden Lake and board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) to travel up the Chagres River to the Embera indigenous village of Embera Drua. The boat journey takes us through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park and along the Chagres River, we may be able to spot Little Blue and Green Heron, Great Egret, Anhingas and kingfishers among otherspecies. At the Embera village we learn about Embera customs and their relationship with nature, and have the chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. After a picnic lunch we visit the nearby waterfall where we can take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Chagres River before heading back to Panama City for overnight. 

Day 27

Portobelo

At 8:30am, we depart to Portobelo, founded in 1597 and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1980. It is located on a bay and is considered the most important and rich fortification of the colonial times. The canons, showing the importance of this defensive structure, can still be seen at the fort. The church ‘San Felipe de Portobelo’ is home to the Black Christ, patron saint of the region. The museum holds the general information of the colonial time. Today Portobelo has more than 3.000 inhabitants descendent from Afro-Caribbean slaves, which allows the visitor to experience the colorful lifestyle and, in the summer, the conga music in the central square at the old customs house. After lunch we take a 45 min. ride into the city of Colón, founded in 1853, with its many preserved historic features of Afro-Antillean culture, and take a brief tour of the Washington Walkway and the Central Ave., which in the Guinness Book of Records is considered the longest park in Latin America. At 4:30pm we head to the train station of Colón, from where we travel for about 1 hour alongside the canal through the heart of ‘Soberania National Park’, arriving in Panama City late afternoon. Pick and transfer to the hotel. 

Day 28

Departure Day

At the appropriate time, transfer to the Panama City’s International airport. 

 

THIS TOUR CAN BE OPERATED PRIVATELY AND IS FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE.

FOR RESERVATIONS AND INFORMATION CONTACT US

More about this tour

  • Guaranteed departures on the first Saturday of every month throughout the year
  • 4 hotel categories to choose from available, superior, moderate, economy and budget
  • Single room accommodations available with a supplement
  • Discounts and special deals are usually available on certain dates and for advance purchase
  • This tour can be operated on a private basis, for rates and details please contact us.
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