(Mountain Pine Ridge)
Stan Creek & South Coast
Take advantage of this premium tour, fully equipped with your own private guide and vehicle, as the top sights in Guatemala and Belize are showcased. Arrive Guatemala City and enjoy a leisurely exploration of the main historical sights of the colonial city. Take a domestic flight to Flores and enjoy a tour of the Tikal ruins, set in the heart of the Guatemalan Jungle! Listen to the Howler Monkeys roar in the distance as you climb to the top of these ancient ruins. Tikal was an important Mayan settlement for over 1500 years, starting about 700 BC. Travel by private car to Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize. This 300 square mile forest reserve features Caribbean Pine and bracken ferns instead of the typical tropical forests which cover most of the rest of Belize. Explore the nature preserve of Mountain Pine Ridge before visiting Belize's largest Archeological site, Caracol. Conclude the tour in Placencia, a lush tropical paradise where you can explore the jungle while admiring the ocean views!
Upon your arrival you will be met by a local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Transfer to Antigua by private vehicle and professional English-speaking driver.
You will be met at your hotel reception by your private guide to begin your half day walking tour of Antigua. Your tour will cover the architectural & historical highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents and cathedrals. Entrances are included to the Iglesia San Francisco (church), the Cathedral, Central Park and La Merced Church.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the airport in Guatemala city for your international or domestic flight.
Enjoy a short flight from Guatemala City to Flores.
Upon arrival to the airport you will be met and transferred to La Lancha.
Pick up from your lodge and begin your privately guided tour of Tikal National Park. Tikal was one of the major cultural and population centers of the Maya civilization. Though monumental architecture at the site dates to the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, ca. 200 AD to 900 AD. Some of these pyramids are over 60 meters high (200 feet). Enjoy some free time at the site and return to your hotel after lunch at a local restaurant.
You will be picked up at your hotel and transferred to the Belize boarder at Melchor Mencos. Once you arrive here you will cross the boarder on foot, approximately 10 meters, (your driver will assist you but will not cross with you).
Meet your driver for a private transfer to Mountain Pine Ridge area and hotels
Be sure to pre-book your local excursions through us to ensure you make the most out of your time in Belize. Optional activities include: Xunantunich & Cahal Pech Maya Ruins Tour, Crooked Tree Reserve and Baboon Sanctuary, Caracol and Rio Frio, Cave Tubing and Zip Line Adventure, Barton Creek Cave and Butterfly Farm) and more!
Transfer to Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, a 106,000 acre protected national park. In the 1950's, 60's, and 70's, many Belizeans were employed as timber cutters in this area and on our tour we will see testament to that history. Arrive at the beautiful Maya site of Caracol (which means The Snail), named by archeologists because they found numerous snails on site. The original name is Oxwitza which means the sky place. Caracol is the largest archeological site in Belize, covering 30 square miles in thick, high canopy jungle, and includes five plazas, an astronomic observatory and over 35,000 buildings that have been identified. The loftiest among them, a massive pyramid (Caana) capped by 3 temples and rises over 140 feet above the jungle floor. Guests enjoy a private guided tour of the site with entrances and picnic lunch included. We then return to the hotel and on the way back guests can choose to stop and explore the Rio-on Pools and Rio Frio Caves if they wish.
Transfer to Placencia by private vehicle and professional driver.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred to the dock where you will board a boat. Here, you will take a river cruise up a lush jungle river keeping an eye out for crocodiles, green iguanas, a menagerie of birds. Explore Monkey River by boat observing howler monkeys, coastal and wetland birds, iguanas, crocodiles and many other species of wildlife. With your experienced nature guide at the helm you will slowly weave through the maze of mangrove islands that hug the shoreline. This will follow with an enjoyable moderate 40 min jungle hike in which you can look for howler monkeys, birds and other wildlife. Lunch is included in this tour at a restaurant in the local village where you can get a traditional meal (including vegetarian options). After lunch you can enjoy a tour of the village itself before heading back to Placencia. On the way back to Placencia, the captain will move slowly along the lagoon and mangroves to give you a chance to spot Manatees.
Enjoy some leisure time on the tranquil shores at Placencia. Optional activities are available at your resort (scuba diving, watersports, snorkelling, kayaking).
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver to/from Airport/Turtle Inn.
Enjoy a direct flight from Placencia to the Belize City International Airport.
Situated on one of Antigua’s famed cobblestone streets, in front of the superb 18th century Capuchin convent, El Convento is a sanctuary from which to discover the city’s magnificent sites. The all-suite El Convento gracefully marries the ancient with the modern. Combining artisanal brick vaulted ceilings, exposed stone walls and hand-crafted doors with the simple elegance of contemporary design. Whether unwinding in the deep-set living room sofas or stopping by for a glass of wine beneath the domed cupula of the bar, staying in can be just as tempting.
Set in the rainforest high above the shores of Lago Petén Itzá is La Lancha, a quaint, 10-room lodge decorated with artwork and furniture from Bali, as well as fabrics and carvings from Guatemala personally selected by the Coppola family. Beyond the clear water of the lake is Tikal, the epicenter of Mayan spirituality. Buried deep within the rainforest, the ruins include more than 3,000 structures where moss clings to the steps of ancient temples and plazas. With its beautiful lakeshore setting, relaxed ambiance and close proximity to the lost world of Maya, La Lancha is an ideal destination to both enjoy a languid pace and explore the many adventures of the Petén region.
A Francis Ford Coppola Property. A marvelous taste of nature awaits those who visit Blancaneaux Lodge, in the Mountain Pine Ridge nature reserve near San Ignacio. The dreamchild of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, the lodge is broken up into deluxe villas and cabanas, each possessing a rustic air accompanied by rich furnishings and fabrics. The use of natural building materials aids in this effect. Villas promise a personal attendant to pamper guests, and private pool for tranquility. Cuisine is an array of sumptuous specialties, with fresh textures and quality that is hard to find outside the jungle. Take advantage of the adventure possibilities and bathe in the river. Visit the Mayan ruins or simply explore the rainforest and all its creatures. Great for bird lovers!
A Francis Ford Coppola Property.Turtle Inn is sandwiched between the Garifuna settlement of Seine Bight and the Creole fishing village of Placencia at the tip of a narrow 26-mile long sandy peninsula. To the east, the Caribbean Sea is studded by a patchwork of coral cayes and the Belize Barrier Reef UNESCO World Heritage site. Directly behind Turtle Inn to the west lie the calm waters of the Placencia Lagoon and spectacular views of the Maya Mountains and Victoria Peak. South of the Placencia Peninsula is the Monkey River formed from the Swasey and Bladen rivers that flow from the jungle clad peaks of the Maya Mountains across the coastal savanna out into the extensive mangrove flats and barrier islands that hug the coastline.
Bob More ,
April 21, 2014
"Every detail was taken care of, and all connections were on time. We were extremely pleased, couldn't stop telling everyone about our great trip. Each room / hotel was better than the last. Wow great holiday!"
Steve Walling ,
January 20, 2014
"We are home safe and sound from the best vacation I can remember. It seemed seamless to us but I know that you worked very hard to make our experience so good.
The guides and drivers were always punctual and reliable. They were very knowledgeable, personable, and funny. They provided us with very helpful information and helped us work on expanding our Spanish. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful and the rooms were very nice.
I especially appreciate our ability to update our plans while we were in Costa Rica. The zip lines were the highlight of our trip. I hate to think we almost missed out by not including it in our original plan.
You have made a friend and supporter for life. I will certainly recommend you to anyone I know going to Costa Rica.
Merrel Bowles ,
November 07, 2013
"I would highly recommend this company for overseas travel. We had personal drivers that spoke perfect English and were also very knowledgeable in conversation pertaining to their country. Drivers were always early and eager to please. Your wish was their command!!!Every tour included educated guides who knew how to make our experience fun and exciting! I loved having personal drivers and guides, as well as many inclusive meals. We will definitely use this company for future travels."
April 09, 2013
"Our Costa Rica trip was amazing. The whole family thinks its the best we've ever taken! Kensington did an excellent job of organizing everything. The two hotels they picked were amazing.
Arenal -- The Springs Resort & Spa was almost too good since as soon as the family saw it they wanted to cancel activities so they could take full advantage of all it offered. We ultimately did cancel the safari to give us a free day to spend a day at the spa, pools and Club Rio (riding the river in innertubes!). The activities Kensington setup were excellent and very adventurous. Our favorite was canyoneering (repelling), We were all terrified at the first drop-off! It's more thrilling the zip lining (also lots of fun) and river rafting (a blast as well).
Manuel Antonio -- The Preserve at Los Altos was very nice. It was like staying in a 3 bedroom apartment at a boutique hotel (same feel as Athenum in London but nicer). The drive to get there was a bit long but worth it when our driver made a surprise stop at the the "crodillio bridge". The tour through Manuel Antonio National Park is a must do for nature lovers (3 types of monkeys, sloths, etc). Our guide was excellent. If you go MA NP, try Kapi Kapi for dinner.
I'd highly recommend using Kensington (Brandi was our rep) for a Costa Rica trip. Thanks for hooking us up with them.
L Huber ,
April 03, 2013
We returned yesterday from our wonderful Costa Rican vacation and I wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it. We loved staying at the El Silencio (the kids would have liked to stay even longer so we could have taken some of the nature hikes). Being surrounded by the cloud forest was an amazing sensation that really helped us to feel that we were in a completely different world and was a perfect way to begin the trip. Maria Lucia was a very kind tour guide and showed us the all sites in a huge day (the waterfalls, Poas volcano, the coffee plantation & Sarchi). The staff at El Silencio was wonderful and Jeff and I very much enjoyed the food and the very elaborate wine tasting there.
In La Fortuna the activities ruled. We loved everything, the exhilarating waterfall rappelling, the zip lining (& tiger swing - the kids LOVED IT) the volcano hike and we had a FANTASTIC time on the river safari with Gerald and his friend Tom. Gerald was a great guide and was able to share many stories while letting us see the wildlife. We saw a spectacular Toucan flock and of course the monkeys were a huge hit. Ending up at the farm was a fun end note to the trip. Of course we enjoyed the hot springs at the Tabacon - they are pretty amazing. Jeff and I had a chance to have a massage at the Tabacon spa and it was spectacular. The service at the hotel was lovely and our room did have a beautiful view of the volcano. I think the hot springs & spa are far superior at the Tabacon.
Alex drove us from both El Silencio to La Fortuna and then from La Fortuna to Punta Islita (that is a lot of driving and he did a great job - he was so friendly and made the travelling very enjoyable). On the way to La Fortuna he made a point of showing us the Iguana restaurant and it was a great wayside stop for everyone.
Punta Islita was stunning. Our villa Ilan Ilan was ideal, the view and the setting were spectacular. The kids loved the pool (when they weren't swimming & playing in the ocean), Jeff loved being able to finally drive around a bit like a native (the villa came with a small 4 wheel car), and I enjoyed waking up every morning to see the sunrise over the cliffs at the ocean's edge, and hear the incredible variety of birds (and on the last day even the howler monkeys). We enjoyed so many of the activities the hotel had to offer. Andrey & Hector and the whole staff were so warm and hospitable. They really worked hard and made every effort to make our stay so much fun. Hector helped us plan some more zip lining, surf lessons, a dolphin sighting/fishing boat trip and a sunset horseback ride which was the perfect way to wrap up the trip.
Ronald picked us up and got us to the airport in plenty of time. Ronald was very interested in showing us the wildlife as we drove through the different areas and we really enjoyed that.
Everywhere we went the people were absolutely wonderful, kind, and proud to show us their country and it made our trip spectacular.
Erika, thank you for all you did to help make the trip such a huge success.
Brian Blades ,
April 24, 2013
"Very prompt at getting information back to us and very helpful with any changes we wanted.
This trip was as good as the last trip we did with Kensington, could'nt have been any better. Our guides were excellent, especially Gerald.
Stephen Strom ,
April 22, 2013
"The transfers went flawlessly; the guides were all superb (knowledgable; thoughtful; sensitive; responsive to our needs). The recommended hotels were, with one exception (see below), also first rate and well matched to our needs and temperaments.
Our thanks for providing 3 wonderful guides: Gary Ortiz (Antigua); Carlos Antonio Lopez (Tikal and Yaxha); and Israel Canto (Belize). All of them understood that we have ‘peculiar’ tastes (for example: photographing lichen covered tree trunks while the magnificent structures at Tikal were but meters away!). It is really critical that guides not try to make sure that we see every ‘important’ thing, but recognize instead that ‘importance’ is very much a personal thing.
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