(Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Flores)
This tour walks the footsteps of the Maya from Antigua to Lake Atitlan, to Tikal and arguably the most important of all Mayan sites; Copan. The Mayan culture had respect for all aspects of nature, including the sun and the moon. On this tour you will experience the full moon (dates and weather pending) at one of the more remote and less travelled Mayan Archeological sites; Uaxactun. Here you will spend 1 night camping amongst the ruins of the jungle. Also included are guided visits to Tikal & Copan.
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.
Drive to the village of Jocotenango just on the outskirts of Antigua where you can visit the local workshops of the traditional woodcarvers of the area to see them work. Also see the interesting pink & white façade of the Jocotenango Church before arriving to the wonderful Azotea Coffee Farm and the museums. Take a guided tour of the coffee farm and the museums covering Mayan traditional music and costumes. Learn about the importance of coffee in Guatemala's history and its impact today as well as hearing about the Maya way of life. Later return back to the hotel. Tour includes entrance fees.
Transfer 1hr from Antigua to the famous Maya archaeology site of Iximche for a tour of this fascinating site. Explore the Mayan ruins of Iximche, once the Kaqchiquel Maya capital and a Guatemala must-see attraction. Upon entering the ruins, you'll see four ceremonial plazas, which are surrounded by tall temple structures and two ball courts. Tour the site with your knowledgeable guide and discover the ancient history of Guatemala. Continue on to Lake Atitlan. The lake is surrounded by astounding natural beauty, it floats in the sky, a mile above sea level, relying on 3 majestic volcanoes to hold gravity at bay(1.5hr).
You will be picked up from the hotel & transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you visit a local textile cooperative to see the back strap loom in use and to see how they still dye with natural dyes. You will also visit the home and workshop of local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for lunch. After lunch walk with your guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed. After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. When guests are ready they will be transferred back to their hotel.
Pick up from your hotel in Lake Atitlan and a private transfer to Guatemala City (2.5 to 3 hours).
Enjoy a short flight from Guatemala City to Flores.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver.
Guests are picked up from their hotel and transferred to the Ixpanpajul Nature Park in the rainforest near the town of Flores. (1hr) At the park guests can choose between a Canopy walk Way trail or an exciting zip line adventure through the canopy. On either trip guests will be able to appreciate the local flora & fauna and hopefully see a variety of tropical wildlife. Guests then transfer with their driver and guide to Yaxha National Park (1hr) where they have lunch and enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited, atmospheric site. Guests can enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colorful tropical birds and other mammals in this area which is rich with wildlife. 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. Guests then trek back through the jungle with torches as it starts to turn dark - perhaps spotting some nocturnal wildlife along the way - and return to their hotel.
You will be met at your hotel in Flores and transferred to the Uaxactun site. We will tour the archaeology site and the community and learn more about the chicle process and the different crafts. The community has also a small interesting archaeology museum which will be visited. At sunset visit the the lookout tower for Sunset Drinks (included). If you are lucky you will be able to see the ruins from Tikal rising above the jungle! After drinks we will head back to the campsite where there will be a simple local candlelight dinner at the camp site. The night will be spent in tents in this impressive site in the middle of the jungle.
Included in this overnight trip: transfers, guide, entrance fees for Uaxactún & Tikal, Uaxactún Camping Tent, Uaxactún Camping Donation, Uaxactún Camping Meal Package and Uaxactún Sunset Drinks.
The Full Moon Experience: 03:40AM -06:09AM During this time you will be able to observe the full moon at Uaxactun Archeological Site.
Later in the morning we will have breakfast at the campsite before our transfer to Tikal National Park where we will receive a private guided tour of this fabulous site with huge temples rising up through the jungle canopy and a variety of tropical animals and birds on show. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the howler and spider monkeys as well as many colourful tropical birds and other mammals. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Flores.
Take a domestic flight from Flores to Guatemala City. Approximate duration is 30 minutes.
Pick up from your hotel in Guatemala City and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in Copan, Honduras.
You will be picked up from your hotel by your transferred by your private vehicle and driver to the Archaeology site at Copan. Here you will enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful site which is famous for its intricately carved stelea and amazing hieroglyphic stairway. Tour also includes visit to the famous museum and the tunnels. When ready you will return to the town of Copan unguided to enjoy lunch in a local restaurant and before being transfered back to your hotel.
You will be picked up at your hotel buy your personal guide and transfered to the Copan Bird Park just outside of town in your private vehichle and driver. Here you will enjoy a walk in the lush, shady river valley location of the Copan Bird Park where your private guide will accompany you to learn, see and interact with a number of beautiful tropical birds that have been rescued from locales all over Honduras. When ready you will be transferred to Copan Village where you will stroll around with your guide & visit the local museum. After the visit of the Village of Copan you will be transferred to Hacienda San Lucas where you will have a wonderful gourmet lunch. After lunch you can relax before visiting the small yet interesting site at Los Sapos - a famous fertility site and hiking in the trails close to the Hacienda. When ready you will be transfered back to your hotel.
Pick up from your hotel in Copan and transfer to San Pedro Sula by private vehicle and English-speaking driver.
Since its genesis, Casa Santo Domingo was one of the most grandest convents of America: the one that sheltered the followers of the order of Santo Domingo de Guzman. Casa Santo Domingo is an important part of the beautiful colonial reliquary that preserves the treasures from the baroque period of ancestral America. Each corner of this house, each stone, each image and each piece that composes this unequalled whole of works becomes a lost page in time, which one by one is joined forming a beautiful chapter of the grand book of history. Once you step through the doors of Casa Santo Domingo be prepared to be whisked away to another time and place. This innovative Hotel Museum offers 128 guest rooms with special characteristics. The decoration includes works of art from renowned Guatemalan fine art artists and handmade textiles with traditional-contemporary designs.
Encompassed by mountains and volcanoes, immersed within our 100 acre nature reserve, our luxuriously natural eco-resort is perched on the shores of the beautiful and mystical Lake Atitlan. Entry into this Mayan world begins by boat. Inspired by nature, the lodge is built from volcanic stone, adobe, wood and palm, with indigenous antiques throughout. A lakeside sauna, jacuzzi and sunbathing deck command dramatic views.
Seated on the banks of Lake Peten Itza, the Nitun Private Reserve and Lodge promises a delicious, warm experience in this scenic and calming region of Guatemala. The 4 cabanas provide rooms that have built in the native style, with local materials and foundation that assign a rustic, traditional air to the lodge. Authentic Guatemalan art and specialty pieces add to this effect, while still keeping things comfortable by offering the necessities of home. The friendly staff prepares meals from fresh ingredients that are succulent and full of flavor, with a sincere, home-cooked outcome. Roam around the jungle reserve, take hikes and learn from guides how these animals interact. Otherwise, watch the sun set from the private lake terrace and dock.
The site of Uaxactun is famous for the oldest complete Maya astronomical complex found and is one of the longestoccupied Maya sites. It´s also the community where the "Chicleros" (gum collectors) have lived for over 100 years. Many of Uaxactún's residents nowadays make their living from gathering forest products such as chicle (exported to Japan), allspice and xate palm leaves (ornamental plant exported to the US and used for floral arrangements). Camping will be in semi-permanent tents with single beds raised off the ground. There is a toilet/shower block nearby (within short walking distance). Meals will be served at the campsite (outdoors) at a table.
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.
The Hotel Marina Copan is gorgeous and well-maintained, surrounded by quaint homes, and just within walking distance of the central plaza. The 50 rooms are clean and accommodating, with all the basics of home and a welcoming atmosphere. They are exceptionally spacious, featuring balconies overlooking the roofs of the city. Meals may be taken at any of the hotel's 3 restaurants, with remarkable service and mouthwatering cuisine. There are plenty of local restaurants to check out a few steps away, as well. Visit the Copan ruins, world-renowned as a historical marker for the Mayans. Take part in some bird watching, visit the museum, and simply bask in the nature and culture this town has to offer.
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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