Guatemala & Belize

Mayan Gateway

Belize and Guatemala are two absolute gems you must visit in Central America, since they are so wildly different travel destinations, this trip certainly promises many unforgettable experiences. Have a glimpse into the most representative Mayan cities in Guatemala, and the amazingly beautiful Barrier Reef Reserve System in Belize, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.

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, visit indigenous villages, swim in the Great Barrier Reef of Belize, and relax in its beautiful white sandy beaches. To sum up, Belize and Guatemala are without a doubt a part of the world you have to visit.

Lake Atitlan

Antigua Guatemala

Mayan City of Tikal

Caye Caulker, Belize

Highlights

Lake Atitlan

Antigua Guatemala

Chichicastenango Market

Mayan City of Tikal

ATM Caves

Belizean Barrier Reef

Itinerary

Day 1. Lake Atitlan

Upon your arrival, a guide will welcome you at 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. Boat excursion

On this day tour, you will take a boat tour to explore Lake Atitlan and the indigenous towns located along its shores. These towns are especially attractive for their colorful streets and crafts, but also 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 basin of the lake. 

Even when its inhabitants have been forced to adapt to modern aspects of life, these towns are characterized by preserving their traditional costumes, their ancestral traditions, and culture. Their friendly people, handicrafts, and traditional cuisine will surely 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 the traditional Mayan cuisine, from the ingredients to the final plate. Learn how to make a traditional Guatemalan dish and enjoy delicious food made by your own hands.

Day 3. Mayan market

Today, we will drive to Chichicatenango. Every Thursday and Sunday, the largest market in Central America takes place: The Chichicastenango market, its streets are filled with color and variety. This traditional market offers the largest 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

In the morning, we will lead you through an exciting tour of a coffee farm. This will be followed by a lovely hike through coffee fields, learning to process and roast your favorite beverage, and finally, making your fresh cup of coffee! Then, your guide will take you back in time to get to know the beautiful colonial city of Antigua.

Antigua Guatemala, truly 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, as well as 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, the three volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, form a majestic background to this unique city. 

To conclude this interesting and varied day, you will have an interesting Chocolate mini-workshop, this delicious fruit is also 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.

Later, we will drive to Guatemala City where you will take a one-hour domestic flight to Flores Island

Day 5. Mayan City of Tikal

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

The tree-covered temples and palaces, so 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 most fascinating archaeological remains of the ancient Mayan civilization, Tikal is certainly impressive for anyone. 

The sight of its impressive temples in the middle of a tree-sea has fascinated characters like George Lucas who even used 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 you may visit the National Park Ixpanpajul. In this park, there are several activities to enjoy such as horseback riding or a canopy tour.

Day 6. Hidden ruins

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 to the north of the Yaxha Lagoon, the park is a fantastic combination of biodiversity and pre-Hispanic cultural heritage. 

Its lagoons are considered to be the most important water bodies of the Maya Biosphere Reserve and its wetlands are recognized for their global importance as a refuge for several migratory birds. Yaxha contains monumental clusters with pyramidal temples, more than 500 structures at its center, 40 steles, commemorative altars, several temples, ball courts, and palaces, and domestic residential complexes. Afterward, we will drive to San Ignacio, Belize

Day 7. ATM Cave

Today you will visit the 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 entrance of the cave, you will then swim to the other side before continuing the hike. Once across, you will see several Mayan treasures and the bones of those who were once sacrificed in a ceremony by the Mayans, this cave tour promises to be one of the most epic and unique experiences of your life. 

In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Belize City where you will take a water taxi or domestic flight to the beautiful island of Caye Caulker where you will relax at your hotel and can explore the beautiful island in the evening.

Day 8. Snorkel excursion

Today you will take a sailing and snorkeling tour. This amazing tour includes three different stops: the Hol Chan Channel, Shark and Ray Alley, and the Coral Gardens, a wonderful opportunity to see waving corals, brightly colored tropical fish, and aquatic plants. You will have the opportunity to look for over 350 species of fish. 

These all lie along the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. Swimming near friendly sharks and feed rays in the clear blue tropical waters of the Caribbean sea will certainly be an experience you will not forget.

Day 9. Self-discovery

The four-mile-long island of Caye Caulker offers great locations for snorkeling and diving trips. If you have a diving certification, you will be able to rent complete diving equipment and a guide to venture into Belize’s best deep-sea diving.

Day 10. Return home

A water taxi will take you to the shore to be transferred to the international airport where your flight departs out of Belize City. You also have the option of taking a domestic flight. 

Today marks the final day of your Guatemala and Belize journey, but it doesn’t have to end just yet! Perhaps you would like to try Spanish language lessons or to continue north to explore the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Contact one of our knowledgeable agents to begin customizing your tour vacation package today.

Expenses included

10 days & 9 nights

$1,600* per guest

Private transportation, door to door service

 Domestic flights: Guatemala City – Flores Island, one way

9 nights accommodation: jungle lodges and small boutique hotels

Local certified onsite guides

All park entrance fees

Boat transfers and ferries

Daily breakfast

Taxes

Not included: international flights, travel insurance and other expenses than indicated.

Extensions
Standup paddle-boarding

On a paddleboard, you feel like you are walking on water. You will feel like you will be chilling out, being active, and moving overall at the same time which is a good combo. Our guides will have you paddling like a pro in a matter of minutes. Our excursions offer incredible value for money including 2+ hours of stand-up paddle-boarding, equipment, guides, and a short lesson included. Duration: 2+ hours. Price per guest from $25

Colonial towns

A charming visit to these small towns and their colorful streets and friendly locals. Besides offering an interesting look at some of the traditions and unique culture of Antigua Guatemala, you will be able to enjoy some of the most beautiful textiles and woodwork in Guatemala. Its unique handicrafts made by Mayan hands, especially women that inherit their techniques from generation to generation, make them so special.

Island-hopping expedition

This is an unexampled adventure to explore the most isolated parts of the Belize barrier reef to experience some of the best snorkeling areas. This amazing holiday is created as an island-hopping adventure for all those who want to experience this unoccupied Caribbean heaven.

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