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This program was designed as a great all round trip and could be ideally for families or a small group of friends on a budget. Aside from the most favoured sites such as Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu, nature lovers will love this trip as it includes a 3 day side trip to the Peruvian Jungle and a fantastic introduction to the Amazon.
The hotels and Amazon lodge are rated as 3 star and aimed to be family-friendly but also cater well for just about anyone looking at this standard of accommodation
In this 10-day journey we will offer you to gain an unforgettable experience that would be difficult to plan yourself independently in the time given!
Most would agree that the mix of time in the mountains and Jungle is just right!
The starting price of this tour is based on 6 people as for this tour our focus is on families or a group of friends, the price will go lower at the booking page if more than 6. If you are just 1, 2 or 3 people then the trip will be offered at a higher cost than the starting offer – please send an enquiry to us for exact costs.
Also, those who wish to extend their trip by a few more nights see options below and enquire for more details.
OPTIONAL TRIP EXTENSIONS BELOW:
• Copan/Honduras 2 nights ($395 per person) includes some activities, accommodation and 4 star hotel with breakfast, Copan ruins tour + 1 other activity
Departing: Guatemala City/Antigua
Finish: Guatemala City
Today, someone would meet you from your international flight at any time then transfer to your centrally located hotel in the safe town of Antigua. The transfer takes around 1 hour depending on the time of day and level of traffic.
Overnight 4* Las Farolas or similar, Antigua
We pick up at 9am in order to do a sight-seeing in the ancient capital of Gutemala. This is a UNESCO World hertiage city and full of beautifal buildings and other attractions. We go around the downtown by foot with our private guide.
In the afternoon, you can further explore on your own. or maybe take a walk to the viewpoint or we can also arrange an excursion to a nearby Volcano (Pucaya).
Overnight 4* Las Farolas or similar, Antigua.
Today we continue across to Lake Atitlan taking around 3-3.5 hours.
We intend to arrive by around 2.30pm so you can enjoy a sunset over the lake. This evening you can either stay at the hotel for dinner, or take a tuk tuk to the nearby town of Panajachel, where there are many iconic restarants over-looking the lake.
Overnight 3*+ hotel Villa Catarina, lake Atitlan
In the morning after breakfast you will start by visiting the village where you are staying Santa Catarina Palopo. A colourful town with a small artisanal centre. Then you will travel across the lake by boat to other villages. We could visit Santiago to pay to a visit to the Maximon – also called San Simón, is a Mayan deity and folk saint represented in various forms by the Maya peoples of several towns in the Guatemalan HighlandsIdeally we could stop at San Pedro De Laguna for lunch as there are many options there.
On San Juan Del Laguna we can meet with a local who will introduce to their lifestyle. You will learn about traditional Maya practises passed down through the generations such as weaving, their cacao plantations, bee keeping, native plant medicines and their uses.
Finally we will then go the meet our local Shaman and commence the tree-planting ceremony before our boat back to Lake Atitlan. Around 4pm we will then take a short walk outside of the village to a location in the rural countryside where we will initiate a Ancient Mayan Practice of tree planting.
Mayan tree-planting ceremonies are part of a local ancestral tradition in giving back to the land and by asking for blessings from Pacha Mama (mother Earth) where we can be allowed to initiate to cultivate. They believe that all living things, birds, animals, insects and trees all need to be in harmony and that by tree-planting this allows to give back the harmony with nature. As part of the ceremony we burn candles or effigies in order to connect from the land to the gods of the skies and mountains.
This practise is done with local farmers and a form of respect in look after our land.
Each person (or couple) will be given a baby tree to plant wherever they choose.
We then return early evening back to our hotel on the other side of the lake.
Overnight 3*+ Villa Catarina, lake Atitlan
After an early breakfast, we shall start our drive back to La Aurora International airport in Guatemala city. Taking about 3.5-4 hours depending on traffic.
If Thursday or Sunday, then there could be the chance to visit the town of Chichicastenango on market day. This is an optional detour and an appropriate tip for the driver should be considered for extra driving and fuel.
The flight to Flores will depart around 3.30pm and we will arrive 1 hour later.
Upon arrival, we transfer just a few minutes onto Flores Island itself and after a brief orientation we can suggest somewhere for a dinner.
Overnight 3*+ Isla De Flores, Flores Island
Today is our main visit to Tikal. We have included the entry to the ruins and a guide. This was famously the setting for the Star Wars film – Return of the Jedi. However, it’s one of the most marvellous Mayan cites to see in all central America. Further to this it’s setting in the forest means there’s monkeys and birds to spot as well.
Overnight 3*+ Isla De Flores hotel
Once we have taken breakfast, we then transfer around 4 and a half hours to Rio Dulce. When we arrive to Rio Dulce town we will need to take a 5 minute boat-shuttle to the property across the water in a small boat or water taxi to the private accommodation and marina.
If we arrive in the afternoon (once settled into the lodge and taken lunch) we can take a motorised boat to Castillo de San Filipe – extra cost. Entry fee to the fort is around $10 per person.
A Spanish colonial fort for several centuries, during which time it was invaded and destroyed numerous times by mostly English pirates. After the Spanish departed the area, the fort was abandoned and again rebuilt in 1956.
It is also surrounded by a park where you can have a picnic and offers incredible sunset views.
Overnight 3*+ Tortugal Boutique River lodge and marina
We can take a relaxed morning to enjoy our surroundings at Lake Izabel/the beginning of Rio Dulce.
If you would like, you can go take a (tandem) Kayak across lake.
We can take a relaxed morning to enjoy our surroundings at Lake Izabel/the beginning of Rio Dulce or explore around the lake in a courtesy Kayak.
In the late morning, we take a private motor boat to cruise along the river, hopefully we can spot an array of bird-life such as Egrets and cormorants as we pass by Mangroves and water lilies.
MAYA COMMUNITY VISIT WITH MEAL INCLUDED
We will then spend time at a Maya communities project located alongside the river.
First, we will receive a welcome reception by the community – traditional music with Marimba followed by some walks on nearby trails where we can then visit the ceremonial site and Educative centre of Ak’Tenemet community. Where we will receive the background to the incentive of the rural community tourism prokect a visit Ak Tennamit’ community project is an Non-for profit focused on teachings to surrounding local ethnic groups about sustainability, preserve Mayan traditions, literacy and numeracy, as well as many other things. Our visit helps fund their education and has a positive social impact. Also, we learn how to Cook traditional food and make tortillas at a gastronomy workshop and some local dancers (some of the students) provide a warm welcome.
We then arrive to the Garifuna fishing town of Livingston – a mix of different cultures including Afro-Caribbean.
This is the only place in the country where you can experience Garifuna culture and have a taste of a different kind of Caribbean. This town is real and for real travellers. Unpolished, raw, rough around the edges. You have to be prepared for the uncharted territories, enjoy discovering other cultures and not be scared of meeting a very simple life face to face. Livingston is a town of extremes. You will meet extremely kind people eager to tell you about the town and welcome you to the community. You will witness the very simple way of life, where women gather and wash the clothes by hand on the street. Don’t expect the town to be the perfect beach destination, a dream-like Caribbean town, waterfront full of stands with coconut water and fancy cocktails and postcard white sand beaches – you can save the pretty beach for the trip the next day. But if you are looking for some truly authentic experience, interesting markets, places to eat street-food, and to understand more about the Garifuna culture then you will enjoy it.
Hotel Villa Caribe 4**** Livingston
We will first go to visit the Cascades (over a half-dozen different pools where you can swim). These are known as the 7 alters and it is a series of freshwater pools and waterfalls formed by nature, surrounded by the lush vegetation of the Caribbean coast. It is a magical and tranquil place where you can spend a day relaxing and swimming in the refreshing water. You will really appreciate it after a hot and sticky walk around the town.We then continue on to Playa Blanca – probably the best beach on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. We can see the coast-line of Belize from here. It is a private beach that can be only accessed by water, and this is where you will be able to enjoy paradises like white sand and turquoise sea beach. It is a peaceful beach where you can relax, swim in the warm Caribbean sea, play volleyball or enjoy some seafood lunch.
Overnight 4* Villa Caribe, livingston
The next morning after breakfast, we go by boat around 7.30am to Puerto Barrios (around 35 minutes) transfer to airport 15 minutes. 1 hour morning flight to Guatemala city.
Depending on your international flight you can either stay at the airport until your connection or find a nearby hotel for an extra night.
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