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 more 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 to experience all the wonders they have to offer.

Beautiful lake Atitlan and volcanos. Best things to do in Guatemala. Travel Guatemala

Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

The arc street with Volcano de Agua in the background in Antigua Guatemala

The Arc, Antigua Guatemala

View of one of the temples in the Mayan city of Tikal in a Guatemala tour

The Temple of the Masks, Jungle Tikal

Canoeing in the Coral Barrier Reef of Belize

Barrier Reef of Belize

Highlights

Coffee Tour of a local farm

City tour of Antigua Guatemala

Lake Atitlan and Maya villages

Market of Chichicastenango

Mayan City of Tikal

Mayan site of Xunantunich

The barrier reef of Belize

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival.
Upon your arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel in 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 a number of stunning ruins of colonial convents and churches that will amaze your senses.  Besides the beautiful architecture, the three volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, form a majestic background to this unique city. 

Day 2. Colonial city and coffee tour.
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 own fresh cup of coffee! Then, a private guide will take you back in time to get to know the beautiful colonial city of Antigua. Its churches, ruins, cobblestone streets and the city’s famous cathedral will make you feel like you are in another era.  

To conclude this interesting and varied day in the beautiful colonial city of Antigua, your private guide will take you to a interesting Chocolate mini-workshop, this delicious fruit was 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 own handmade chocolates, a delicious way to end the day. After your morning adventures, a vehicle will transfer 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 3. Lake and indigenous villages.
On this day of your Guatemala and Belize tour, you will take a boat tour to explore Lake Atitlán and the indigenous towns located along its shores. These towns are especially attractive for their colorful streets and crafts, but also for their breathtaking views. Three volcanoes and rolling mountains paint an unforgettable landscape of Lake Atitlán, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

While you enjoy the unparalleled views of this natural wonder, you can also have a closer look of 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, its ancestral traditions and culture.  Its friendly people, its 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. You will have a lot of fun in this cooking adventure.  Learn how to make a traditional Guatemalan dish and enjoy a delicious food made by your own hands.

Day 4. Colorful market.
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!  After a tour of the market, private transportation will take you to the Guatemala City airport for your domestic flight to Flores Island in Petén, one of the most visited places in Guatemala for its Mayan history.

Day 5. Fabulous 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. Mayan ruins, off the beaten path.
Today’s tour will take you to 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 its global importance being 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, so you’ll have more than enough to explore and enjoy on your way to San Ignacio, Belize.

Day 7. Explore the caves of ATM.
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 to Caye Caulker where you will relax at your hotel and can explore the beautiful island in the evening.

Day 8. The great barrier reef.
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. Free time and optional activities.

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. Also available on the island are snorkeling and sailing excursions to the second biggest barrier reef of the world.

Day 10. International airport of Belize.
A water taxi will take you to the shore to be transferred to the international airport where your flight departs out of Belize City.  Today marks the final day of your Guatemala and Belize tour, 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

$1,550 per guest

Private transportation, door to door service

 Domestic flights: Guatemala City – Flores Island, one way

9 nights hotel accommodation: hoteles carefully selected

Local certified onsite guides

  Entrance fees for the tours listed in the itinerary

Boat transfers in Lake Atitlan and Lake Peten

Daily breakfast

Taxes

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

Extensions

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 this colonial city, 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, makes them so special. You will also visit the Museum of Indigenous Costume with beautiful samples of the colorful and meaningful costumes of several ethnic communities that inabitates throughout Guatemala. Visit also the Jade Museum, the beautiful semi-precious gemstone that was so important to the Mayan culture, was used both in art and in religious and ceremonial pieces. Duration: Haft day. Price per person from: $50

Cooking classes at a local community

Whether you are traveling with a friend, your family or traveling alone, our classes are great for all travelers – for guests of all ages and for all cooking skills. Our local instructors have an unbelievable list of recipes and techniques including many for vegetarians and dessert admirers. For 3-4 hours, you will receive a lot of hands-on fun learning how to cook three original Guatemalan dishes. We start with a little excursion to the market to buy ingredients and to meet resident vendors and producers. Then we make our way to the kitchen to start cooking. Duration: Approx. 3 hours. Price per guest from: $30

Stand-up paddle-boarding on Lake Atitlan

On a paddleboard, you feel like you are walking on water. You will feel like you will be chilling out, being active, and moving over all 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

Island hopping expedition.

This is an unexampled adventure to explore the most isolated parts of the Belize barrier reef to experiment some of her best snorkeling areas! This amazing holiday is created as an island hopping adventure for all those who want to experience this unoccupied Caribbean heaven. Duration: 3 days & 2 nights. Price per guest from: $450

Similar trips
Marvelous view of the Brava Lagoon in the mountains of Guatemala.
Mexico, Guatemala & Belize

22 days & 21 nights

Fantastic view of Lake Atitlan and its volcanoes from Panajachel.
Sustainable Travel Itinerary

14 days & 13 nights

Aerial view, Blue Hole.,Aerial view, Blue Hole.
Belize Adventure Tour

10 days & 9 nights