Discover Guatemala and Belize

14 days

Discover Guatemala and Belize, two remarkable gems you must visit in Central America; since they are wildly different travel destinations, this trip certainly promises many unforgettable experiences.  

Guatemala is an excellent melting of Mayan and natural treasures. An exceptional historical heritage and rich biodiversity come together to offer travelers an authentic and unique experience. The varied colors of Mayan markets and the fine needlework of their local clothing are the perfect setting for the breathtaking background of the volcanoes, lakes, and endless mountain ranges. 
In Belize, explore caves, and forests and snorkel in the fascinating Barrier Reef Reserve System, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.

Nature and culture

Mayan City of Tikal

Antigua Guatemala

Caye Caulker, Belize

Highlights

A perfect vacation package to enjoy the beauty of colonial cities, discover one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, explore jungles, impressive Mayan Ruins, hike active volcanoes, and visit indigenous villages. In Belize, swim in the Great Barrier Reef, and relax on its beautiful white sandy beaches. To sum up, Guatemala and Belize are a part of the world you cannot miss.

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival 

Upon your arrival, a guide will welcome you in the international airport of Guatemala City. You will drive today to Lake Atitlan. Three volcanoes and rolling mountains paint an unforgettable landscape of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

No trip to Guatemala is perfect without time to experience Lake Atitlan, proclaimed by Lonely Planet as “the closest thing to Eden on Earth.” Your driver will take you to Panajachel, where you will take a boat transfer across the lake to your hotel, located in a small town bordering Lake Atitlan.

Day 2. Lake Atitlan

Today, you will take a boat tour to explore Lake Atitlan and the indigenous towns along its shores. These towns are beautiful for their colorful streets and crafts but also for their breathtaking views. While you enjoy the unparalleled views of this natural wonder, you can also have a closer look at the living Mayan culture, exploring some of the many beautiful little villages on the lake basin.

Even when its inhabitants have had to adapt to modern life, these towns preserve their traditional costumes, ancestral traditions, and culture. Their friendly people, handicrafts, and traditional cuisine will make this experience unforgettable.

To put the cherry on the cake, the experience today will culminate with an authentic Mayan cooking class. A local Mayan instructor will take you on an exciting journey through traditional Mayan cuisine, from the ingredients to the final plate. Learn how to make a Guatemalan dish and enjoy delicious food made with your own hands.

Day 3. Chichicastenango

Today, we will drive to Chichicatenango. Every Thursday and Sunday, the largest market in Central America takes place. In the Chichicastenango market, its streets are packed with color and variety. This traditional market offers the most extensive variety of Guatemalan handmade goods, sold directly from the hands of its producer, from crafts to medicinal plants or even chickens. Later we will drive to Antigua Guatemala, where you will have a free evening.

Day 4. Antigua Guatemala

To begin the day, you’ll go on an exciting tour of a coffee farm and taste the best organic coffee in the world. You’ll hike through coffee fields, learn to process and roast your favorite beverage, and finally, make your fresh cup of coffee.

You’ll discover Antigua Guatemala, a jewel of colonial and modern urban architecture that maintains all the characteristics of a magnificent colonial city stopped in time. Antigua is famous for its well-preserved Spanish architecture and many stunning ruins of colonial convents and churches that will amaze your senses.

Its churches, ruins, cobblestone streets, and the city’s famous cathedral will make you feel like you are in another era. Besides the beautiful architecture, its three volcanoes form a majestic background to this unique city.

To conclude this exciting and varied day, you will have a Chocolate mini-workshop. Chocolate is very special to the Mayan culture because it was a ceremonial drink reserved for the kings, and you will learn today how to make your handmade chocolates, a delicious way to end the day.

Day 5. Colonial towns

You’ll explore colonial towns surrounding Antigua and experience these small towns and their colorful streets and friendly locals. Besides offering an exciting look at Guatemala’s traditions and unique culture, you will enjoy some of the most beautiful textiles and woodwork. Their unique handicrafts made by Mayan hands, especially women who inherit their techniques from generation to generation, make them special.

After a delicious traditional lunch, we will drive to Guatemala City, where you will take a one-hour domestic flight to Flores Island.

Day 6. Yaxha National Park

Today we will discover the hidden ruins of Yaxha, the third-largest known Mayan city in the lowlands of Guatemala and one of the oldest. Located north of the Yaxha Lagoon, the park combines biodiversity and pre-Hispanic cultural heritage.

Its lagoons are the most important water bodies of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and its wetlands are essential for their global importance as a refuge for several migratory birds.

Yaxha contains massive clusters with pyramidal temples, more than 500 structures at its center, 40 steles, commemorative altars, several temples, ball courts, palaces, and domestic residential complexes.

Day 7. Mayan City of Tikal

A guide will pick you up from the hotel in the morning and take you to Tikal National Park to explore the largest excavated site on the American continent. The ruins at Tikal are known for the numerous structures that still stand firm, a quality that visitors to the Plaza of the Seven Temples will genuinely appreciate. This high degree of preservation is a credit to the builders of Tikal.

The tree-covered temples and palaces frequently encountered at Tikal have been preserved this way for almost a millennium. Located in the nucleus zone of the Mayan Biosphere Reserve and containing some of the fascinating archaeological remains of the ancient Mayan civilization, Tikal is undoubtedly captivating for anyone.

The sight of its impressive temples in the middle of a tree sea has fascinated characters like George Lucas, who even used the Tikal landscape as one of the settings for the movie “Star Wars, Episode IV.” After Tikal, you may choose to return to Flores Island or visit the National Park Ixpanpajul. This park offers several activities, such as horseback riding or a canopy tour.

Day 8. Mountain Pine Ridge

The Mountain Pine Ridge reserve has streaming rivers and mysterious limestone cave systems. First, we’ll drive to Belize, after we’ll take a two-and-a-half-hour ride from San Ignacio up harsh dirt roads, passing through small Mayan settlements and dramatic surroundings, we will enter the reserve.

The Mountain Pine Ridge is undoubtedly the most stunning landscape in the Cayo District, if not Belize. The route will take you through pine woods, cascading water pools over granite stones, and the distant Maya mountains.

Explore scenic waterfalls and immaculate woods, visit the mystic river Frio, and swim in a series of natural pools. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch before going to Big Rock Falls, a 150-foot (46-meter) waterfall that gives a refreshing spray of mist as it goes down into a bright, deep swimming hole. At the end of this expedition, your driver will take you back to your jungle lodge.

Day 9. ATM Cave

This incredible experience will take you on a journey into the Mayan underworld into a geologically beautiful cave with crystal clear waters, a natural museum of Mayan artifacts, and a sacred burial place.

After a short hike through the jungle, you will find the cave entrance; you will swim to the other side before continuing. Once across, you will see several Mayan treasures and the bones of sacrifices in a ceremony by the Mayans; this cave tour promises to be one of the most epic and unique experiences of your life.

Day 10. Cayes of Belize

Today, you will have an early birdwatching tour in your jungle lodge. Later, you’ll go to Belize City, where you will take a domestic flight to one of the dazzling Cayes of Belize.

There are more than 400 little islands in the Barrier Reef of Belize, the world’s second-longest reef. The islands are known as Cayes; you can include the lively Ambergris Caye or the laid-back and smaller Caye Caulker in your itinerary.

Day 11. Snorkeling tour

Today you will take a sailing and snorkeling tour. This fantastic tour includes a few different stops and an excellent opportunity to see waving corals, brightly colored tropical fish, and aquatic plants. You will have the chance to look for over 350 species of fish.

These all lie along the most significant barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. Swimming near friendly sharks and feeding rays in the clear blue tropical waters of the Caribbean will undoubtedly be an experience you will not forget.

Day 12 – 13 Free time

The Cayes of Belize offer great locations for snorkeling and diving trips. If you have a diving certification, you can take a dive tour to venture into Belize’s best deep-sea diving.

Day 14. Return home

You’ll take a domestic flight to the international airport of Belize for your international flight back home. Today marks the final day of your journey to discover Guatemala and Belize, but it doesn’t have to end just yet. Perhaps you would like to try Spanish language lessons or continue north to explore the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Contact one of our knowledgeable agents to begin customizing your tour vacation package today.

map, expenses & price

Discover Guatemala and Belize.

Expenses included:
-Ground transportation and domestic flights
-Thirteen nights of hotel accommodations.
-Local professional guides.
-All park entrance fees.
-Tours and excursions as listed.
-Daily breakfast (except in Caye Caulker).

Per person starting at $2,750

Extensions

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Volcano Acatenango

The overnight hike to Volcano Acatenango is the best plan to experience the volcano as it allows climbers to take in astonishing nightfall views of flowing lava. Although challenging for even the most seasoned hiker, search no further than this hike to have the best that Guatemala offers adventure-seekers. Hiking Volcano Acatenango to watch a nearby Volcano de Fuego erupt through the night is an epic experience and a must-do when traveling to Guatemala.

Volcano de Fuego erupts at night
The Great Blue Hole in Belize

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The Great Blue Hole

The Great Blue Hole is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it is nearly altogether circular; it measures 300 meters (984 feet) across and 108 meters (354 feet) deep; it is in the Lighthouse Reef – a magnificent coral atoll. It is the most fantastic sea hole in the world. Recognized divers have described the Blue Hoel as one of their preferred dive sites. In 2012 the Discovery Channel ranked the Blue Hole as the number one most incredible place on the planet.

A sail boat is next to a little island in Belize

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Island hopping

This is an unprecedented adventure to explore the most isolated parts of the Belize barrier reef to experience some of the best snorkeling areas. This fantastic expedition is an island-hopping adventure for all who want to explore this unoccupied Caribbean heaven.

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