Classic Guatemala & Belize

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-GTM001

From: £3485.00

On this 13-day tour, you'll discover the highlands and jungle of Guatemala and the turquoise waters of Belize's Caribbean coastline. See the full kaleidoscope of Guatemala's highlights – colonial towns, colourful markets, sparkling Lake Atitlan and the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal. Combine the heat of the jungle with the breeze of the Caribbean in Belize, which has a simply stunning coastline. Whether you want to dive, snorkel or just lie on the beach and relax after your adventure, these two countries make a perfect combination.

Itinerary

Day 1 Fly via the USA to Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua. Spend a total of 3 nights in the heart of this beautiful city at Posada del Angel. This small hotel is located close to the centre of Antigua, and the rooms are full of Guatemalan character. The hotel has a small pool, and offers wonderful views of Antigua from the rooftop terrace.

Day 2 Enjoy a half day walking tour around Antigua to take in its cobbled streets, colonial churches and attractive squares. Until the major earthquake in 1773, Antigua was Guatemala's capital city. Founded in 1543 it grew to be one of the finest in Central America and the tour includes many of the great buildings and churches. You will visit Iglesia San Francisco, the Cathedral, Central Park, and La Merced Church.

Day 3 A free day in Antigua to explore on your own. Visit the colourful local markets which sell everything from handicrafts to clothing, or enjoy some Guatemalan coffee in a café overlooking the main square. Antigua is surrounded by volcanoes, the most famous of which is Volcan Pacaya at 2552m, and makes for a great day trek depending on its level of activity.

Day 4 Transfer by land through the highlands to Panajachel on the shore of Lake Atitlan and stay at the charming Hotel Atitlan. Each room has its own private balcony, and the rooms are decorated with traditional tiles and fabrics which are sourced from the nearby villages. The hotels grounds are teeming with wildlife, and over 250 different species of birds have been spotted.

Day 5 Free day to explore the lake area or take an optional full day boat tour of Lake Atitlan stopping of at local villages such as San Juan la Laguna and Santiago Atitlan. The lake has a beautiful setting, and the southern side has three volcanoes (Atitlan, San Pedro and Toliman). The many of the surrounding villages are still fiercely traditional, and it is still common to see women wearing traditional dress (which varies from village to village).

Day 6 Free morning to relax by the lakeside before transferring to Guatemala City for a evening flight to Flores. Transfer to Ni’tun Eco lodge which overlooks Lake Peten Itza. This small hotel (just 4 rooms) is committed to the environment and sustainability, and offers a number of different excursions to local sites.

Day 7 Enjoy a full-day guided tour of Tikal, immersed within the tropical rainforest. Explore the temples and ruins, and you climb several of the temples to enjoy spectacular views. Tikal is also a great spot to see a variety of wildlife, and the jungle around Tikal is home to Spider and Howler monkeys, deer, fox, coatis, toucans, and a huge variety of birds.

Day 8 Road transfer into Belize and onto the Cayo District. Spend two nights at the award winning Chaa Creek lodge next to the Macal River. The lodge is set in its own private nature reserves, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including over 300 species of birds.

Day 9 Free day to explore. The lodge offers a variety of on site activities. Perhaps visit the nearby Maya ruins of Caracol, which is located in a remote part of the Belize Jungle. Alternatively visit the Mountain Pine Ridge forest reserve, with undulating pine wood forest, waterfalls and rare wildlife such as Cougars and Jaguars.

Day 10 Road transfer to Belize City for your short flight to the crystal clear waters and white sands of Ambergris Caye. Transfer to Victoria House for 3 nights where many of the rooms have views out across the turquoise Caribbean waters. The hotel has a pool, and serves excellent local seafood.

Day 11 Spend time relaxing on the beach or enjoy a spa treatment and massage at the hotel from a variety of options. The nearby marine park of Hol Chan is one of the most bio diverse in the world, and is home to sharks, turtles, tropical fish and manatees and snorkelling trips are a real highlight. For scuba divers, venture out and dive in Belize’s famous Blue Hole, one of the most famous sites in the world.

Day 12

Day 13 Take the short flight back to Belize City, before connecting with your flight to the UK via the USA.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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