(Lake Atitlan, Antigua, Flores)
In the year of 2012 the Mayan Calendar will complete its 5, 126 year (estimated) cycle; honor this incredible culture with a visit to the Mayan sites of Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Begin your journey in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala - visit the home of Maximon, an ancient Mayan god, and meet the local Shaman responsible for his home. Continue on to Antigua, Guatemala with a visit to the Azote Coffee farm and the Maya Museum. The following day travel by plane deep into the jungles of the Remate area, home to the infamous Mayan site of Tikal. Enjoy a sunset tour of the Yaxha National Park, search for wildlife amongst incredible scenery. A visit to Flores would not be complete without a private, guided tour of the Tikal ruins. Tikal is one of the largest archeological sites of the Mayan civilization, and arguably one of the most powerful kingdoms of the Maya. Continue overland to Belize and the area of the Cayo District, home to many Mayan ruins. Visit Xunantunich; home to the legenday "Stone Woman" who is said to inhabit the site and to Actun Tunichil Muknal; the "Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre" which houses skeletons, ceramics and stoneware. While in the "mayan mountains" of Belize take part in an adventure filled day of cave tubing and zipling! Travel overland to Orange Walk in northern Belize and enjoy a three night stay at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge. Daily activities are your choice and include: jungle hikes, canoe expeditions, sunset cruises, nature safaris, fishing, birding, and more! During your stay arrange a visit the ruins of Lamanai; a name meaning "submerged crocodile" in honor of those who inhabit the surrouding area of the site. After an incredible few days in the jungle travel overland to Cancun, your final journey in the footsteps of the Maya. The last stop of this tour includes a private, guided visit to one of the largest Mayan cities; Chichen Itza. Explore at your leisure the history of this incredible people. A well deserved day leisure awaits you on the shores of Cancun before your departure flight home.
Upon arrival you will be met by our local representative who will help you locate your vehicle.
Pick up from your hotel in Guatemala City and transfer to your hotel in Atitlan.
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.
Pick up from your hotel by your private guide and driver and transfer to Santiago village. (For guests in staying in Casa Palapo, Hotel Atitlan or Hotels in Panajachel this includes a 30min scenic boat ride across the lake). Upon arrival in Santiago you will visit the house where the Mayan God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God. 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, in order to have a personal ceremony. After visiting Maximon, you can visit the local church to 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 the area. Take a ride in a local "flete" to get to Hotel Posada Santiago for lunch and then return to your hotel after the tour.
Pick up from your hotel in Atitlan and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel in Antigua with a professional English-speaking driver..
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.
The Hotel Casa Santo Domingo opened its doors in June 1989. It’s located 45 kilometres from the capital city (50 minutes by car) and barely 10 minutes walking distance from the center of La Antigua Guatemala.
Meet your driver for a private transfer from Antigua to Guatemala City.
Enjoy a short flight from Guatemala City to Flores.
Meet your driver for a private transfer to El Remate Area
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.
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.
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 San Ignacio area
San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a private resort that shines elegantly in the Cayo sunlight, in Belize. Newly renovated, the 25 rooms are welcoming, with widespan views of the surroundings and exceptionally comfortable beds. Cable TV and air conditioning are relaxing following a day of activities. Dine at the hotel’s steakhouse, for succulent grilled meats and mouthwatering spices. Have a few drinks at the Stork Club and enjoy the live entertainment. The hotel organizes a range of activities, including walks and hikes around the property. Make use of facilities such as the tennis court and swimming pool. Otherwise, check out the nearby archaeological sites and take a trip to Tikal.
Your tour begins with a visit to the famous sites of Xunantunich – situated on the banks of the Mopan River with private guide and driver. Xunantunich means "stone woman" in Mayan. Xunantunich was a thriving city near the end of the Classic Period (300-900 A.D.) with large plazas ringed with pyramids. After lunch you will continue to the site at Cahal Pech "Place of the Ticks", just outside the town of San Ignacio. The site center sits on the crest of a steep hill on the west bank of the Macal River and the central acropolis, approximately 900 feet above sea level, provides a commanding view of the Maya Mountains to the south and the fertile valleys of the Belize River to the northeast. This ceremonial center includes pyramid temples, palaces, and a ball court as well as five stelae and an altar (plain). The site shows a gradual architectural growth and indicates occupation probably running through the entire Classic Period. After a private tour you will return to your hotel.
Actun Tunichil Muknal "Cave of the Stone Sepulcher" is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya Lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean Rainforest, this cave was a sacred place to the prehistoric Maya of Belize, who first began to use the entrance during the early classic period (300-600AD). The cave system consists of a series of chambers, ending in a 300mx50m cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Visitors to this cave have the opportunity to travel into the Maya past and witness a living museum where the human sacrifices and artifacts can be viewed in their original context. After an exciting drive to the trailhead, guests will trek for 45 minutes through dense jungle in the Tapir.
Mountain Nature Reserve and wade across3 streams, and learn about the plants and animals of the jungle. At the entrance of the cave guests are outfitted in the necessary equipment preparing you for the Caving Adventure ahead. Some swimming will be required and also climbing and caving activity. This is a 1st class Caving and Archaeological experience. Time in the cave is 3 hours before returning back to the vehicle and to the hotel.
Transfer to Jaguar Paw, begin a short hike upriver. At the "put in point " begin the scenic & tranquil journey down river floating on inner tubes and enjoy the views of the surrounding rain forest and the river cave formations. In the afternoon climb into the rainforest canopy to take part in the exhilarating zip lines from where you get a birds eye view of the lush vegetation and tropical wildlife of the area. Tour includes entrance fees, lunch and equipment.
Transfer to Belize City by private vehicle.
You will be dropped off at the local office of Lamanai Outpost Lodge in Belize City where you will be met by a driver who is the representative from Lamanai Outpost Lodge and transferred to the Lodge. The transfer is a combination of vehicle and car and boat and it takes about 2 hours.
Menu of *Activities at Lamanai Outpost Lodge:
* Your package includes up to two activities per day. Other activities may be added at an extera charge at the lodge on arrival. Following is a list of activities that are included in your package:
Jungle Dawn As dawn breaks and the mist rises through the canopy, explore the jungle as it awakens. In the company of a naturalist guide you’ll learn about the intricacies of a habitat that is home to creatures as diverse as the jaguar, the impressive Black Howler monkey, the Jaguarundi and the vividly-colored Keel-Billed toucan.Duration: 1.5 to 2 Hours Minimum Participants: 2
Sunrise Canoe Expedition Strike out across the lagoon in exploration of Dawson’s Creek and its surrounding tributaries. Keep an eye out for manatees, otters, crocodiles and endemic parrots to name but a few. Sure to thrill the nature-loving side of all who participate in this adventure.Duration: 2 to 2.5 Hours Minimum Participants: 2 Lamanai Maya Ruins In the company of an expert guide explore the mysterious jungle-shrouded temples of this once powerful 3000 year old civilization where nature and ancient history coexist. The ruins of Lamanai encompass over 700 structures, a visitor’s center and museum. Truly fascinating! Duration: 3 Hours Minimum Participants: 2
Maya Medicine Trail As the only resource for medicinal aid, indigenous people have long used a wide variety of local plants for their powerful and effective medicinal properties. Unlock the secrets and learn first hand how basic potions and salves are prepared and used to this day in Belize’s jungle villages. Duration: 1.5 Hours Minimum Participants: 2
Sunset Cocktail Cruise There can be no finer way to end the day than on the New River Lagoon surrounded by tropical forest and wildlife with a well-stocked cooler, snacks and your own personal bartender as you watch the sun disappear below the treetops from a 30 foot pontoon boat. Drinks not included. Duration: 1.5 to 2 Hours Minimum Participants: 2
Nature Walk Enjoy a nice walk around the lodge and reserve to observe nature at work; butterflies, orchids, and the wildlife. Duration: 1 – 2 hours Minimum participants: 2
Spotlight Nature Safari After dinner, climb aboard one of our comfortable custom built river safari boats and head out into the night. This exciting adventure gives you the opportunity to encounter anything from the Morelet’s crocodile to the elusive and endangered jaguar. All this plus close up views of some of Belize’s fascinating river birds as they roost on the water’s edge make this a not-to-miss adventure!Duration: 1.5 to 2 hours Minimum Participants: 4 Night Walks Experience the jungle under the evening stars or by the light of the moon. Listen as the owls and bats come out to hunt and gather, and the troupes of Howler monkeys speak to each other across the canopy. Sounds come from everywhere as many species such as frogs and tarantulas, other mammals and species of birds thrive in the late hour of the evening. You will meet your guide in the dining area around 8:00pm to depart. We recommend you wear long pants, and bring a small flashlight. Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours Minimum participants: 2
Lamanai Outpost Lodge is situated on the banks of a 28 mile long spring fed lagoon amid the remnants of a major Maya city. It is surrounded by an incredible variety of habitats that facilitate unsurpassed nature-based and soft-adventure activities that depart right from your cabaña’s doorstep without the need for day-trips. Enjoy 2 standard activities per each night of stay. All meals are included and guests can pick from a selection of tours each day which are operated on a collective basis.
Enjoy the activities included in your package!
Enjoy another day at Lamanai Outpost Lodge.
Travel by boat from Lamanai Outpost Lodge to Tower Bridge drop off point for your land transfer.
You will be met at the Tower Bridge pick up point by your English speaking driver. Transfer by private vehicle to Cancun, Mexico.(Distance 270 miles/430 kms) Duration of transfer is approximately 7 hours (lunch not included). Please let your driver know if you would like to stop along the way for lunch.
Please note that a departure tax of $18.75 USD per person must be paid before exiting Belize.
The Hyatt Regency Cancun hotel is located in Punta Cancun, right on the Caribbean Sea and just steps away from the best beaches, shopping, restaurants and nightlife in Cancun, Mexico. A 5 star luxury hotel in Cancun, Hyatt Regency Cancun enjoys a unique seafront location on the tip of the peninsula. Hyatt Regency Cancun has 295 rooms and suites with private balconies and luxury amenities such as wireless Internet access and 24-hour room service.
Experience the wonders of the ruins at Chichen Itza on a private guided tour. Chichen Itza was a major regional center in the northern Maya lowlands from the Late Classic through the Terminal Classic and into the early portion of the Early Postclassic period. The site exhibits a multitude of architectural styles, from what is called “Mexicanized” and reminiscent of styles seen in central Mexico to the Puuc style found among the Puuc Maya of the northern lowlands. The presence of central Mexican styles was once thought to have been representative of direct migration or even conquest from central Mexico, but most contemporary interpretations view the presence of these non-Maya styles more as the result of cultural diffusion. Archaeological data, such as evidence of burning at a number of important structures and architectural complexes, suggest that Chichen Itza's collapse was violent. Following the decline of Chichen Itza's hegemony, regional power in the Yucatán shifted to a new center at Mayapan. The ruins of Chichen Itza are federal property, and the site’s stewardship is maintained by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Leisure time in Cancun. Be sure to pre-book your local excursions to ensure that you make the most of your time in Mexico. Options include: Chichen Itza Tour, Coba and Mayan Villages Tour, Tulum Ruins Tour, Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fishing and more!
Airport transfer with private vehicle, and driver.
Depart from international airport. End of itinerary.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Belize for the most up to date visa information.
VISA/PASSPORTA valid U.S. passport is required for all U.S. and Canadian citizens, regardless of age, to enter Guatemala and to depart Guatemala. Even if dual nationals are permitted to enter Guatemala on a second nationality passport, U.S. citizens returning to the United States from Guatemala are not allowed to board their flights without a valid U.S. passport. An exit tax must be paid when departing Guatemala by air. The exit tax (currently $30) is generally included in an airline ticket price, but may be charged separately. There is an additional airport security fee (20 Quetzales, approximately $2.50) that all travelers must pay at the airport. Canadian citizens using Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter Guatemala for stays under ninety days. In June 2006, Guatemala entered a “Central America-4 (CA-4) Border Control Agreement” with El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Under the terms of the agreement, citizens of the four countries may travel freely across land borders from one of the countries to any of the others without completing entry and exit formalities at immigration checkpoints. U.S. citizens and other eligible foreign nationals, who legally enter any of the four countries, may similarly travel among the four without obtaining additional visas or tourist entry permits for the other three countries. Immigration officials at the first port of entry determine the length of stay, up to a maximum period of 90 days.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Guatemala for the most up to date information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is required. Medical facilities are poor quality and not widespread. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/guatemala.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Guatemala City. Government: Republic. Gained independence from Spain in 1821. Language: The official language is Spanish. There are also 22 indigenous languages. Religion: About 60% of the population are Catholic. Most of the remaining population are Protestant. Some indigenous communities hold services combining Catholicism with pre-Columbian rites. Time: GMT - 6. Electricity: 115-125 volts AC, 60Hz. There are some regional variations. Plugs are the flat two-pin American type. Telephone: Country code: 502. Most public phone booths accept phone cards. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. Coverage is increasing. Internet: Internet cafes are available in the main tourist areas.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the Embassy of Mexico for the most up to date visa information.
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