Archaeology Beaches Colonial Ethnic Maya World Tour

5% discount with advance purchase
Duration
19 Days
Destination
Central America

explore the most iconic archaeological sites of the ancientMaya civilization

Properly paced, soft hikes, recommended for middle age and mature travelers
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What's included

Destination
Central America Discover Central America
Departure Location
CANCUN, MEXICO- Cancun International (CUN)
Return Location
TEGUCIGALPA, HONDURAS - Toncontin International (TGU)
Tour Start Date & Time
October 30, 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 Chichen Itza, Tikal & Lake Yojoa
  • 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 Mexico and northern Central America, while visiting some of the most important ancient Maya sites, such as Chichen Itza and Tulum in Mexico, Xunantunich in Belize, Tikal in Guatemala and Copan in Honduras.

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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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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 and Tegucigalpa in Honduras, among others.

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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 1

Arrival Day

Arrive at Cancun, Mexico, airport pick and transfer to the hotel, evening at leisure.

Day 2

Chichen Itza

From your hotel in Cancun, you’re picked up in the morning for the drive to Chichen Itza, considered the most important archaeological zone in the Yucatán. En route to the ancient Maya capital, stop to explore the natural wonders of a nearby cenote — either Ik Kil or Hubiku — depending on which area is less populated on the day of your tour. You’ll have almost one hour to play in the deep, aquamarine waters of an underground swimming hole formed from a collapsed limestone cavern, before you continue on to Chichen Itza. Around midday, start your 1.5-hour tour of significant locations at the World Heritage site, including the ball court, el Castillo (the Castle), the Pyramid of Kukulkan and Temple of the Warriors. You’ll learn from your certified guide why the extraordinary architectural beauty and geographical location have led to Chichen Itza's designation as one of the New Wonders of the World. After some time to enjoy the ruins on your own, head to a local restaurant for a buffet lunch of fresh salads, soups, rice, meat, chicken, fish, vegetables and other regional fare (drinks at own expense). While eating, watch a festive show of traditional dances performed to folklore music. Your full-day tour ends with return transport to your Cancun hotel.

Day 3

Cancun to Chetumal

Depart from your hotel in Cancun and drive 1 hour and 45 minute south, to begin your cultural excursion to the walled maya city of Tulum. Feel your excitement heighten as you arrive at the park and greet your informative and interesting guide; marvel at the ancient city’s breath-taking location above the crashing waves of the Caribbean Sea before setting out to explore the sacred structures. Listen as you guide explains the social hierarchy and fascinating history of Mayan culture; wander the site for 45-minutes with your group then explore independently, capturing the staggering seaside location on camera. Then, we continue our trip south to Chetumal, located right at the border with Belize arriving late afternoon, evening free.

Day 4

Chetumal to Belize City

At 8:00 AM, we are headed for Belize territory, after crossing the border, we will drive for about 2 hours until we reach Altun Ha (Maya for "Rock Stone Water") a small site thrived as a trading post to the Maya World during the Post-Classic and Classic periods, then, we continue to Belize City just 1 hour away to arrive early afternoon, rest of the day and evening free.

Day 5

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 6

Barton Creek

Today we will visit the Barton Creek Cave.  Glide through a remote underground water cave system in a canoe equipped with powerful spotlights. It is believed that the Maya once used this cave for ritual ceremonies. While canoeing by a local guide through the cave see large and colorful formations, skeletal remains and other cultural artifacts left behind by the Maya centuries ago.  Barton Creek is a large river cave over 4 miles long. The cave consists of giant passages covered with numerous large stalactites and stalagmites. These cave features have made it a popular Belize travel destination.  Artifacts found at Barton Creek Cave suggest that the cave was used for a variety of purposes by the Maya people including agricultural rituals, fertility rites, ritual bloodletting, and even human sacrifice. Archaeological excavations are ongoing.  After exploring the cave, visit the nearby Green Hills Butterfly Ranch where you will experience Belize’s biggest and best butterfly exhibit. The knowledgeable staff will present an excellent synopsis of the butterfly life cycle, but the main attraction is the enclosed flight area where scores of gorgeous tropical butterflies flutter around you; later we should return to san Ignacio for overnight. 

Day 7

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 Flores in Guatemala arriving late afternoon. Evening free and overnight.

Day 8

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 9

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 10

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 11

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 12

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 13

Sonsonate

Day at leisure at Sonsonate. 

Day 14

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 15

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 16

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 17

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 18

Tegucigalpa

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, mid afternoon, Evening free and overnight.

Day 19

Departure day

At the appropriate tine, transfer to the airport. 

 

THIS TOUR CAN BE OPERATED PRIVATELY AND IS FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE.

FOR RESERVATIONS AND INFORMATION CONTACT US

More about this tour

  • Several guaranteed departures available throughout the year, please enquire for dates
  • 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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