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MAYAN WORLD

Guatemala City-Antigua-Honduras

9 Nights 10 Days

Overview

Depending on who you talk to, Guatemala City (or Guate as it's also known) is either big, dirty, dangerous and utterly forgettable, or big, dirty, dangerous and utterly fascinating. Either way, there's no doubt there's an energy here unlike anywhere else in Guatemala. It's a place where dilapidated buses belch fumes next to BMWs and Hummers, and where skyscrapers drop shadows on shantytowns.

Included in price:

Private Airport & City Transfer (As per itinerary)

4Nights in Antigua,2Nights in Guatemala City,2Nights in Honduras,1Night in Flores,Peten

Included as mention in itinerary

Sightseeing & Excursion (As per itinerary)

Itinerary & Road Map

No meals included

Arrival at La Aurora International Airport. You will be met at the airport in order to transfer to Antigua. Overnight at Hotel in Antigua.

Guatemala City

Antigua

Antigua

Breakfast Included

After breakfast at the hotel, we will embark on a city tour to discover the rich history and culture of Antigua. Established in 1543 as the third capital of Guatemala, the city flourished in the 18th century with a population of up to fifty thousand people and a construction boom that tripled. Despite experiencing three strong earthquakes in 1773, Antigua still boasts 25 churches, 5 women's and 8 men's monasteries, and a stunning cathedral constructed in 1680. We will explore the city's streets to learn about its history and visit the Indigenous village of Santiago Zamora to interact with the Maya-Kaqchiquel culture and the Ixoki’ aj Quiema’ group of women artisans. We will spend the night at a hotel in Antigua.

La Cathedral St Joseph

Santa Catalina Arch

Colonial Buildings

Breakfast Included

After breakfast, Our itinerary starts with a visit to the archaeological site of Iximché in Tecpán. This site holds great historical significance as it was the capital of the Maya-Kaqchikel and played a vital role in the formation of the modern state of Guatemala. After the Spanish conquest, Iximché served as the first capital of Guatemala under Pedro de Alvarado. During our visit, we will explore the ruins and learn about the rich history and culture of the ancient Maya civilization. Following our visit to Iximché, we will continue our journey to Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Guatemala. The lake is surrounded by three volcanoes, and its picturesque setting has made it a popular tourist destination. Once we arrive, we will check in at a hotel in Antigua and have the rest of the day to relax and explore the charming town. In the evening, we can enjoy a beautiful sunset over the lake and experience the local cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area. The hotel will provide us with comfortable accommodations for the night, and we will wake up to stunning views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Our itinerary promises to be a unique and memorable experience, where we will learn about the rich history and culture of Guatemala while enjoying the natural beauty of Lake Atitlán. Overnight in Antigua.

Iximché

Iximché

Lake Atitlán

Breakfast Included

Breakfast at the hotel. Today's itinerary will take us to the most fascinating cities where the Maya Tzutujil community still lives around Lake Atitlan. Our first stop is San Juan, which we will reach by a 30-minute boat trip. San Juan is known for being the cleanest and neatest town around the lake and has several art galleries featuring artists who paint in a Naive or Primitivism style. From there, we will take another boat ride to Santiago Atitlan, which is the largest city with a population of 32,000, and 95% of its inhabitants belong to the Maya Tzutujil community. The locals rely on fishing, farming, and crafting kayukos (local canoes), while the artisans specialize in painting, woodwork, and weaving. Santiago is also the city of worship for Maximon, a pagan deity or god of the Mayan people, and offerings are given in the form of alcohol and cigars. We will visit the local Catholic church, where Catholicism and Mayan beliefs have merged, and stroll past the local city hall, where the elders of the city sit wearing white striped shorts with birds embroidered at the bottom. We will return to Antigua for the night.

San Juan La Laguna

Santiago Atitlan

Maya Tzutujil.

Breakfast Included

After breakfast, we will head to Chichicastenango, the largest highland Mayan market, open only on Thursdays and Sundays. Located in a picturesque setting surrounded by mountains and valleys, the town's narrow cobbled streets and red-tiled roofs create a fairytale-like ambience, especially when shrouded in fog. The Catholic patron of the town is St. Thomas, and the town was built in his honour in 1540 after the Catholic missionaries destroyed the original Mayan temple. The 18 steep steps leading to the church are the only remnants of the temple and symbolize the 18 months in the Mayan solar calendar. The church's unique religious symbiosis makes it a must-see. The market is known for its textiles and masks, so be sure to bring enough money for souvenirs. We'll return to Guatemala City for the night.

Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango

Chichicastenango

Breakfast Included

Breakfast at the hotel before check out. Discover the rich cultural and historical heritage of Guatemala at the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The museum boasts over 20,000 archaeological artefacts and 5,000 ethnological pieces across 3,000 sq m (32,291.7 sq ft) of exhibition space. Established in 1898 by governmental decree, the museum has been at its current location since 1946. Explore pre- and post-classical artefacts, Maya art, textiles, tools, and exhibits showcasing indigenous Guatemalan culture. Later, transfer to Honduras and stay overnight at a hotel in Copan, Honduras.

Maya Artefact at Guatemala NMAE

Maya Artefact at Guatemala NMAE

Maya Artefact at Guatemala NMAE

Breakfast Included

After breakfast, Explore the fascinating ruins of Copan, one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan civilization. Known as the "Athens of Mesoamerica," Copan is renowned for its intricate stelae, which display an unreal beauty and accuracy of art. Marvel at the intricate details on the stelae, some of which are even made in three dimensions. One of the most impressive features of Copan is the Mayan Staircase, considered a true work of art. During the classical period, each of its 63 steps was decorated with complex letters, while the balustrades on the sides are adorned with images of snakes and birds. Aside from the remarkable architecture, Copan provides a glimpse into the ancient Mayan culture. Stroll through the ruins to discover the history of this once-thriving civilization, and learn about their daily lives, beliefs, and rituals. With so much to explore, you will surely be captivated by the wonders of Copan. After a day of discovery, retreat to your hotel in Honduras for a well-deserved rest.

Mayan ruins of Copan

Mayan ruins of Copan

Mayan ruins of Copan

Breakfast Included

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you will check out and embark on a transfer and tour to Quiriguá Archaeological Site. This ancient Mayan city is located on the west bank of the Motagua River and is famous for its remarkable stelae - the largest and best-preserved of the Mayan World. The majority of the city's monumental constructions, including the acropolis and stelae, were built during the 60-year reign of the new Quiriguá dynasty. This dynasty held power over the region of the Copán River and the Motagua River. Stela E is particularly notable as it is 10 meters high and weighs 55 tons, making it the largest sculpture in the Great Plaza, a ceremonial space where you can appreciate the exceptional collection of sculptural monuments. The park also features zoomorphic altars of outstanding artistic quality, contributing to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. Additionally, the 34-hectare archaeological park serves as a crucial preservation site for tropical rainforest and the native species that reside there. After exploring Quiriguá, the tour will continue on to Flores where you will spend the night at a hotel in the Peten region.

Quiriguá Archaeological Site

Quiriguá Archaeological Site

Quiriguá Archaeological Site

Breakfast Included

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, the next stop is the magnificent Tikal, located 64 km away from Flores, the charming capital of Peten situated on an island in Lake Peten Itza. Tikal is the largest pre-Columbian settlement in the Americas and is translated as "a place where the voices of spirits are heard". It was inhabited from 700 BC until 900 AD, and after its abandonment, it was slowly consumed by the tropical jungle until its rediscovery in the early 20th century. The urban complex of Tikal was massive, covering an area of approximately 16 square kilometers, with over 3,000 buildings, and its six pyramidal temples were built in a distinct style not found anywhere else in Mesoamerica. Archaeologists have even dubbed Tikal the "New York of the Mayan civilization" due to the towering pyramids. The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, and Tikal National Park now covers an area of 575 square kilometers. After exploring the awe-inspiring ruins of Tikal, return to Guatemala City via a short flight. Spend the night in a comfortable hotel in Guatemala City, reflecting on the unique and unforgettable experiences of the day.

Tikal

Tikal

Tikal

Breakfast Included

After breakfast at the hotel and check out. Transfer to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City.

Guatemala City

Guatemala City

Guatemala City

Departures
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