11 Days Mayan Expedition Tour
The journey begins in Antigua Guatemala, a city inspired by the Italian Renaissance, continuing to the Western Highlands of Guatemala and then visiting the Caribbean Coast and three of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan civilization.
You´ll have the chance to appreciate the differences of architecture, art and majesty of the Mayan constructions and monuments. In one day you´ll have the opportunity to visit the Santo Tomas Church where the famous Popol Vuh was founded, the first capital of Guatemala, Iximche and the open market of Chichicastenango. This journey has unequal diversity to explore all the beauties of Guatemala, “The land of the eternal spring” named like that because of its perfect climate.
Day 1: Guatemala City – Antigua Guatemala
Reception at the airport “La Aurora”. Transfer to your hotel in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 2: Antigua Guatemala
Visit to the most important and significant attractions of the city including Antigua’s most beautiful churches, monasteries, convents, and the cultural center. In the afternoon visit a coffee plantation by bike where you will experience the entire coffee process considered one of the best in the world in quality and flavor.
Overnight accommodations in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 3: Pacaya Volcano
Visit to the most active volcano in Guatemala, its 2500 mts. above the sea; the environment is formed by humid forest and rocks. This is one of the most exciting experiences in Guatemala, where you will enjoy from impressive views of the lagoon of Calderas and other three volcanoes: Agua, Fuego and Acatenango and landscapes as if you were on the moon. It is readily accessible and you don’t need to be in good shape to climb it, however you need to wear good hiking boots and wear long pants. Early in the morning around 8 a.m. transfer to Pacaya Volcano for a 5 hours visit. Free Afternoon.
Overnight accommodations in Antigua.
Day 4: Iximché and Chichicastenango
Visit to the archaeological site of Iximché, also known as “The Land of Corn”. Experience for yourself a place fulfilled with mysticism, being the city that witnessed the conquer of the Spanish and a place for Mayan rituals. After the visit you’ll be transferred to Chichicastenango’s market, the most colorful and exciting place in the Mayan Highlands and the only place in Guatemala of 100% Quiché population.
Transfer to Panjachel for overnight accommodations.
Day 5: San Juan La Laguna & Santiago de Atitlán
Visit to Lake Atitlán, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The word “Atitlán” is a Mayan word that translates as “the place where the rainbow gets its colors”. Upon arrival discover the magic that surrounds all its greatness while taking a boat to cross the Lake and visit two different Tzutuhil Villages. Visit a small town around the lake, where you’ll be able experience the Mayan culture to the purest. Then transfer to Santiago where you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by different people of different ethnicities who come to ask health and prosperity in their lives. Whether you believe in it or not, make sure to enjoy this magical experience. Transfer back to Panajachel by boat to have lunch.
Transfer to your hotel in Guatemala City.
Day 6: Copán
Located in Honduras, near the border of Guatemala, ground transfer to the village of Copán that is a quiet, peaceful place that is best known its artistic ruins. Copán is a tranquil oasis of ancient culture and sublime nature nestled in the foothills of western Honduras. Our tour begins with a visit to the Mayan site of Copán or the “Kingdom of the Sun”, that dates from the Maya Classic period (300 to 900 AD) where can still be seen several stone sculptures, specially dedicated to the ruler “18 Rabbits”who was beheaded in Quiriguá Guatemala One of the most impressive characteristics are its well preserved structures and paintings that still can be found.
Overnight accommodations in Copán.
Day 7: Quiriguá
Visit to the archaeological site of Quiriguá known for the tallest stelae in the Mayan World. The name “Quiriguá” is modern and taken from the name of a nearby town. This site is best known for the excellent stelae and zoomorphs found here. It is very important to show Stela “C” which talks about the start of the fifth Maya cycle that began some 3,000 years before Christ until December 21st 2012. The end of the Mayan Calendar gives emphasis to the Maya civilization and the world.
When finished transfer to Rio Dulce for overnight accommodations.
Day 8 Río Dulce
Time to enjoy a boat trip from Río Dulce to Livingston, which is a river running from Lake Izabal, in the eastern part of Guatemala, to the Carribean. On the way visit to the Isle of Birds and the Ak-Tenamit Project, that is a Kekchi origin population. Then the excitement continues with a half an hour stop in the area of hot waters, near the entrance of the canyon of Río Dulce.
At the end of the journey the river mouth will reach the Caribbean Sea “La Buga” Livingston, a population of African origin that was originally called La Buga which means La Boca. Livingston is a fun and interesting Carribean town that is populated by the Garífuna people of African origin with a laid-back Carribean attitude, their own language (though they tend to speak Spanish and English as well), and a style of dancing known as “Punta” that requires the hips to move faster than lightening.
Transfer to Tikal or Flores for overnight accommodations.
Day 9: Tikal
Transfer to one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan World, Tikal, its name means “Place of Voices”, built during the Maya Classic Period. There are places on this earth that are so stunning that it is impossible to capture them in words or photographs. Tikal is such a place and is considered the second largest city in the Maya world.
Tikal has the distinction of being the first site in Guatemala declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Upon arrival at Tikal archaeological site, our guide will show you the layout of the complex of Temples and Acropolis. Visit to the Complex Q and R, then to the Central Acropolis, Temples I “El Gran Jaguar and the Temple II” Los Mascarones “, regarded as the first and one of the most important monuments in the complex. Visit to the Lost World.
Transfer back to Flores or Tikal for overnight accommodations. De Luxe and Standard: Jungle Lodge or similar
Day 10: Yaxhá
Be one of the first people, who can experience watching the sunrise from the Lost World. After breakfast transfer to Yaxhá in horseback ride, a former ceremonial center and city of the Pre-Columbian Maya Civilization After we finish the tour, transfer to the airport to take flight back to Guatemala City.
Day 11: Guatemala City
Transfer to the airport to take flight back to your country.