(Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Flores)
Wipe the sweat from your brow as you climb to the top of ancient Tikal ruins deep in the steamy Guatemalan jungle and proudly claim your reward of panoramic views over the rainforest canopy.
Here in Flores you’ll encounter this important Mayan settlement that dates back to 700 B.C. and survived as a thriving metropolis for 1,500 years. Now shrouded in deep jungle, howler monkeys climb amongst the vines and their distinctive calls echo around the eerie ancient ruins. Elsewhere in this incredible country, you’ll trek to reflective lakes and slumbering volcanoes in Atitlan; learn about the ancient rituals and mysticism of the local tribes people; and explore the colonial sites of charming Antigua – declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
From behind-the-scenes peeks at ruined cathedrals to meeting artisans at vibrant local markets and hiking to secret waterfalls, your experienced team of English-speaking guides and private drivers will be at your side to ensure you get the most out of the many experiences this trip has to offer. And you’ll have ample time to rest and recharge at your collection of luxury accommodation that spans Spanish villas, peaceful village hotels and beautiful natural retreats.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
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.
Like many of the hotels in Antigua, the Spanish influence is still obvious in the Villa Colonial. An old, quaint ambiance surrounds this 50 room hotel, where traditional decor and modern necessities ensure a comfortable and pleasant stay. Enjoy an array of fresh fruits and juices at breakfast, along with other staples for a satisfying start to the day. Be sure to try the nearby restaurants to have a taste of the region's specialties firsthand. Lounge in the courtyard, mingle with other guests, or simply take in these beautiful surroundings. The center of town is a bit of a walk, and a short taxi ride away, but it is important to discover the history of these old walls and buildings when free time arises.
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.
The Chichicastenango Market tour includes a visit to the famous Maya market. This service will drive you from your hotel to Chichicastenango (2.5hrs) where you will enjoy free time to enjoy the market. The small Mayan town of Chichicastenango lies on the crest of mountain tops two thousand meters high and is home to one of the most colorful native markets in all of the Americas where you can make some great bargain buys including textiles, ceramics, wood items, flowers, and more! You can also visit the famous St Tomas Church where local Maya people come to perform rituals within the Catholic church. You can also hike up the hill to the Pascual Abaj ritual site to see if any local shaman are performing rituals and/or to the cemetary on the outskirts of town. This tour departs on Thursdays and Sundays only. Return to your hotel in Antigua after the end of the tour.
Hotel Atitlan, located in the beautiful Panajachel region, with a wonderful position overlooking the lake and its surrounding villages. The 62 rooms are set amongst gardens of flowers and gorgeous caged birds, providing an exotic setting for guests. The rooms embrace a traditional, native outlook on decor. Dine at the hotel restaurant, over fresh seafood cooked with local ingredients. Meals taken outdoors make for a heavenly experience like no other. Spend time sipping on mojitos and tropical cocktails or visit the nearby marketplaces. Also make use of the wonderful swimming pool and hot tub.
This morning you will be met at your hotel by your private guide and driver and will be transferred to Reserva Atitlan. Here, you will enjoy a moderate hike in the tropical forest with enchanting waterfalls and bridges. The reserve contains a variety of interesting plants and animals, including monkeys, the raccoon-like coatis and exotic birds, such as Guatemala's national bird, the quetzal. The Nature reserve also has an enclosed butterfly preserve with a breeding laboratory with approximately 200 living specimens of nearly 20 species of native Guatemala butterflies. Later, if you are in for a bit more adventure, end your hike with an exciting canopy tour. During the canopy tour you will have to hike uphill for approximately 30 minuts on a steep trail, however, are rewarded with lovely views of the lake whilst on the canopy ride of which the longest cable is over 200 meters.
Pick up from your hotel in Atitlan and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in Antigua with a professional English-speaking driver..
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver.
Enjoy a short flight from Guatemala City to Flores.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer with your driver and guide to Yaxha National Park. Enjoy the sites and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this wildlife area. Sunset drinks are then enjoyed at the end of the tour on top of the main temple with views over the surrounding rainforest and nearby Lake Yaxha. The site has more than 500 structures, including 40 stelae, 13 Altars, 9 Temple Pyramids, 2 Mesoamerican ballcourts, and a network of sacbeob (causeways) that connect the central, northern (Maler), and eastern 'acropoleis', and the Lake causeway that was the main entrance in the past. The top of Temple 216 (restored) provides a view of the two lakes on one side and the jungle and the stepped-pyramids on the other. Trek back through the jungle with torches as it starts to turn dark (perhaps spotting nocturnal wildlife along the way). Return to your hotel in the evening.
A haven of wildlife and nature's secrets, the Villa Maya sits on the shores of Petenchel and Monifata about 45 minutes from the Tikal National Park. The huge private reserve plays host to the villa's 56 rooms, which are designed to offer the most modern living conditions while still keeping to the rustic, pleasant side of adventure getaways. This means there are no televisions or phones in the rooms. Friendly service goes hand in hand with tasty local and international dishes utilizing ingredients from the region. This beautiful environment features monkeys, deer, birds and insects of all sorts, for guests are practically left to play in the jungle. Roam the lagoons, swim in the pool, and simply discover Villa Maya.
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.
Take a domestic flight from Flores to Guatemala City. Approximate duration is 30 minutes.
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. Thank you, again.
Steve and Andrea
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.
Anthony Sokol ,
March 11, 2013
We are home with many good memories from our stay in Panama.
We found your guides and drivers to be always on time and very instructive, especially in David/Bouquette/Amistad. We liked the Panamonte Hotel in Bouquette.
Since the Amistad Park was closed due to rain on the day we arrived, we toured a Race horse breeding farm, Cerre Punte, which was magnificent and might be a consideration for your future guests
Your choice of itinerary in Panama City was quite informative and complete considering the limited time we had.
All in all, we were quite pleased with Kensington Tours in general.
Anthony and Barbara
Karen Werner ,
February 12, 2013
P and I want to thank you so much for all of your help in setting up our trip! It was a wonderful week in Panama--we loved every minute. And we especially appreciated you taking care of the hotel reservation glitch. Your partner in Panama was really great to work with--they did a wonderful job and were very professional. Everything worked like clockwork with them. We look forward to working with you again!
K and P Werner "
January 13, 2013
"My husband and I are "Boomers" and veteran world-wide travelers, from our early days with Eurail passes and VW Vans to the present! As such, we are not content with the group tours that "herd" you around and show you the tourist photo-op sites. However, as a busy medical professional I don't have time to carefully put together the type of trip that we want to have in places we have never been before. What a delight and relief to have discovered Kensington tours! Our trip to Costa Rica was the epitome of personalized, professional, and exceptional service. All our drivers and guides were wonderful - Barbara Franz, our naturalist guide in Manuel Antonio National Park was a standout. Our hotels and lodges in San Jose, Tortuguero, Monteverde, and Manuel Antonio were unique, lovely, and very comfortable. We are recommending Kensington to all our friends and are already trying to decide where we will go next. Maybe Africa, maybe New Zealand! We cannot say enough about Kensington's commitment to excellence! When it can be hard to wade through the mediocre, such professionalism is refreshing. Thank you Brandi for all you did to make our trip memorable!"
jack Lester ,
February 06, 2013
"Had a wonderful experience with Kensington and our agent Nella. Everything went very smoothly and we loved the accommodations. The trip was an adventure we will never forget and Kensington made it a worry free trip.
Kimberly Dellinger ,
August 22, 2012
Ariana & I absolutely LOVED our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was even better than we had hoped or expected. The quality of the different hotels was excellent, and I was quite frankly surprised at how "deluxe" our rooms were when I was expecting more "average" type of lodging. We were thrilled & loved each place we stayed and we have told all our friends & family about this exceptional customer service. The tour guides were AMAZING, so knowledgable, friendly, spoke great English, & were willing to help us learn Spanish & the culture. We were so happy that we were able to do the different activities-- Canyon Rappelling in Arenal, Venado Cave Tour near Arenal, ziplining in Monteverde, The Springs, and the different rainforest tours. All these activities-- and the other activities along the way-- were WONDERFUL, and we felt very safe and well-cared for during our excursions. The travel arrangements & private vehicles were great- we were very comfortable & the drivers were very professional & prompt. We were treated so well that we felt like royalty!
I am telling all my friends, co-workers, family members and my patients ( I work in a dental office) about how wonderful the Costa Rica trip was with my daughter & how great the service & planning was with Kensington Tours. I have given your name to several people & hope that you'll get referrals from those I've talked with! I am definitely planning on traveling abroad again and plan to go through you and Kensington Tours when I do. My next goal is to plan a trip (maybe Europe or return to Costa Rica?) for my teenage son & I to do together in the next year or so.
My sincerest gratitude to you for making our Costa Rica trip SPECTACULAR! Well done! Below, you will see my responses to the survey (as you can see, I'm not very prompt about checking email, but eventually I get around to it!) you sent a few days after we arrived back home. Let me know if there's any problems reading my responses-- I rated everything "excellent" because that's what it was/is!
Kimberly (& Ariana) Dellinger
Dana H ,
July 09, 2012
"The trip was excellent and everything was very smooth. The hotels & guides were all great. I would definitely travel with Kensington Tours again & recommend it to family & friends! Additionally, I would like to start thinking about planning my Africa trip. I am interested in Kenya & Tanzania."
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