Central America-Terra Incognita
PANAMA, COSTA RICA, NICARAGUA, El SALVADOR, HONDURAS & GUATEMALA
A cultural mix of pre-Columbian, Mayan and Spanish colonial heritage...
An incredibly beautiful landscape with jungles, volcanoes and lakes...
Towns and villages with vibrant local cultures...
The hiker's paradise in wildlife-rich cloud forest...
19 days / 18 nights
Small Group with English-speaking guides
Tour starts in Panama City:
2018: MARCH, 23
In this tour:
- Three Panama Cities in Panama: Old Panama, Casco Antiguo, and New Panama.
- Partial Transit down the Panama Canal.
- The Embera Native Village at Chagres National Park.v
- The Volcano Poas National Park.
- La Paz Waterfalls Park - Must See in Costa Rica!
- Walking tour across "heavenly" hanging bridges of Arenal.
- Visit the La Fortuna waterfall.
- Pleasant relaxation time in an unforgettable world of best thermal spas in Costa Rica, where you can bathe in relaxing hot baths of multiple natural pools, surrounded by strikingly colorful tropical vegetation.
- Visit Rincon de La Vieja National Park, the only place in Costa Rica, where you will be able to see incipient geysers and volcanoes.
- Stop on a Nicaraguan shore of a Pacific Ocean for a short relaxation and a swim in its warm waters.
- Stop in a port-village San Jorge, which is a departure point to an amazing Ometepe Island, located on the magnificent Lake Nicaragua. Take pictures of volcanoes Concepcion and Maderas, dominating the landscape of Ometepe Island.
- Visit to the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve. All of the craters are covered with cloud forest. Must See in Nicaragua!
- Amazing journey among picturesque little islets of the Nicaragua Lake.
- Visit an old part of Granada, which has seen all rulers of this land - from Spanish conquistadores to Sandinista chiefs.
- Visit to the Masaya Volcano National Park.
- Visit to the town of Masaya-the capital of the Nicaraguan culture, known for its craftwork wonders.
- Visit to the romantic village of Catarina and the Apoyo lagoon, a former crater of an extinct volcano.
- Sightseeing excursion around San Salvador.
- Visit to the Volcanoes National Park with the main three impressive volcanoes of Santa Ana, Izalco and Cerro Verde.
- Visit to the Coatepeque Lake was nominated one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
- Enjoy a Salvadoran shore of Pacific Ocean on the lovely Salinitas Beach. Discover the magic of the all-inclusive hotel with the spectacular salt-water pool filled daily by the ocean tides, amazing tropical gardens and beautiful ocean sunset! You will find unlimited food, unlimited drinks and spirits.
- Discover El Salvador, Living its live towns:the arty Salvadorian Villages of Ataco, Ahuachapan and Santa Ana- little jewels along The Flowers Road. Unique and Must See in El Salvador!
- Beautiful journey the Honduras land to Copan Maya Ruins - the most artistically advanced and elaborate of all the Maya cities.
- Trip to Rio Dulce Canyon - a place was chosen to film the very first Tarzan movie: it is the very essence of "jungle"! Must See in Guatemala.
- Trip to Livingston- a small town on the Caribbean side of Guatemala.
- Trip through the jungle to reach the Seven Altars-amazing Guatemala nature, a set of waterfalls forming seven pools of turquoise water for swimming and paddling.
- Visit to Tikal - a dream- come- true for archeologists and naturalists, a wonderful combination of nature and temples! Must See in Guatemala.
- Discover Antigua -a city often called "American Venice", a City of Romance!
- Magical Panajachel and Lake Atitlan - "a child" of a large volcanic eruption and the very beautiful lake on the planet.
Day 01. Panama City. Arrive in Panama City and transfer to your hotel. Accommodation for 3 nights. Enjoy a welcome drink and general orientation with your Tour Guide. Balance of the day at leisure.
Day 02. Panama City Tour. Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing tour to Panama City. Mindboggling skyscrapers and colonial mansions, colorful city markets and modern commercial centers, five-century old ruins and controversial elite living projects-Panama is a city of contrast; city, which will definitely amaze you. Today there are three Panama Cities in Panama: Old Panama, Casco Antiguo, and New Panama. In the Old Panama, also known as Panama La Vieja, there are ruins of cathedrals from early XVII century, monasteries and bridges, is the site of the original city founded by Pedro Arias de Avila in 1519. New Panama is a modern city, whose special feature is a well-preserved part Old Casco Antiguo, where there are numerous constructions from the colonial era. An old part of New Panama, Casco Antiguo was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Panama City has the tallest skyscrapers in the region. In a "millionaire spot", there are more of them than in the entire Central America. Panama is growing right before our eyes: American investments, second in the world in its size (after Hong Kong) offshore zone, third in the world in the amount of actions banking center. Today you will visit an inhabited zone of the canal-an ex zone which was populated by Americans that were building the canal- and one of the most beautiful streets in the capital-Balboa Boulevard, which stretches along the coast of the Panama bay. This boulevard connects yesterday's Panama with an area of magnificent skyscrapers: 50th street, banking center, regions Punta Paitilla and Punta Pacifica. You will visit mysterious ruins Panama La Vieja, Casco Antiguo-a picturesque region with narrow streets, squares and parks, where to this day the majority of the history of the country, which survived rebirth and reconstruction, got preserved. Casco Antiguo has a mix of architectural styles, including Caribbean, Republican, Art Deco, French, and Spanish Colonial.You will spend great time in one of the most interesting regions-San Felipe, which is a location for a three hundred year old Presidential Palace. It is also called Palace of Herons-Palacio de Las Garzas. Not far from the Presidential Palace on a cathedral square, there is a magnificent church with two towers, encrusted with mother of pearl, sparkling under the bright tropical sun. You will stroll down the Square of France, visit San Jose Church, and find out about the history of rescue of its unique golden altar. After that, you will follow to the foot of a historical mount Ancon, which is topped by a flag of the country. Here you will get acquainted with a unique little place-Mi Pueblito, located on the very edge of Panama City, serves as a museum under the open sky - a replica of antique populated areas: typical Panamanian, Antillean and Indian. After that, you follow to the Amador Causeway -the most amazing neighborhood in Panama City, which used to be three separate islands in the ocean: Naos, Perico, and Flamenco.They are connected together exactly by the same rocks which were broken off the mountain during the digging of the Panama Canal. There is a road leading to Amador, on both sides of which there are palm trees reaching for the sky and an endless Pacific ocean. In the evening, you are awaited by a folk show with dinner. Music of Panama consists of a mix of Indian instruments and rhythms, Spanish colonialists, African slaves, and other nationalities that arrived for the construction of theCanal. All this brought forth the development of one of the most beautiful and energetic rhythms in Latin America. It is an allegorical play featuring music of Panama and taking place in a hall with amazing acoustics. Dancer girls wear traditional outfits - polleras-hand embroidered dresses covered with jewels. An unforgettable evening will leave you with the best impressions of the culture of Panama and its beautiful musical population. Night in Panama City. (Breakfast and dinner included)
Day 03. Panama City - Partial Transit down the Panama Canal. Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will take a unique trip down the Panama Canal. The boat will go only half way between two oceans through two groups of locks: "Miraflores" and "Pedro Miguel". It raises and then lowers 80 feet above the sea level. In the program of the tour, you will see Lake Gatun-one of the largest manmade lakes, and a part of it called Gallard is one of the narrowest parts of the canal, and go under bridges "Las Americas" and "Centenario". Lunch and refreshments aboard. Time in transit-5 hours. Arrival at your hotel upon the end of the tour. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 04. The Embera Native Village at Chagres National Park - Alajuela (Costa Rica). Breakfast at the hotel. Today you will visit one of the most exotic places in Panama- National Park Chagres. You will be awaited by an excursion to an Indian tribe Embera-Vounaan-an unforgettable adventure. Crossing the lake by boat and then taking a pirogue down the river Chagres, then overtaking the jungle vegetation, you will get to National park where there is an Indian settlement, which preserved their ancient traditions. At first, you will be delivered to a small waterfall, where you will perform a small water feat-swim across a small lake and receive a light shower with clear streams of walling waters.The path to the waterfall is not easy, rocky and leads along a little river with picturesque shores. Mellow-paced young Indians will let you enjoy swimming in the lake to the fullest. Here you will be honorably met with an orchestra of tom-toms and other musical instruments and guided to a local restaurant in the open air, where you will try Indian food, take part in rituals and dances. Return to the hotel, checkout and transfer to the airport. Flight to Costa Rica. Arrival to Alajuela. Meet and greet at the airport. Transfer to your hotel. Accommodation for 1 night. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 05. Alajuela - Poas Volcano-La Paz Waterfalls - Arenal. Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to the Volcano Poas National Park. Volcano, whose crater's diameter reaches 1mile, periodically spews columns of steam and gas from its depth; however, the climb to its crater is completely safe. Poasis surrounded by a tropical rain forest: ancient trees here neighbor with beautiful orchids and bromeliads. A rare Gunnere got its name here "umbrella for the paupers", thanks to its huge leaves. There is a bright green lake located inside the crater. After that, departure to the La Paz Waterfalls Park. Here we will not only see waterfalls, but also a bird garden with bright toucans, vocal parrots, different kinds of humming birds, a tree frog sanctuary, terrarium, amazing butterfly laboratory showing their cycle and development, typical Costa Rican house with natural peasant cheese, colorful painted carts pulled by buffalos and breathtaking trees, whose trunks are completely covered with orchids and lianas. It is impossible to describe the beauty of surrounding natural world -it's a "must see" in Costa Rica! Lunch at a mountain restaurant with natural cascades of a nearby river flowing down the mountain. After the lunch, you will follow to a region of an active Arenal volcano. Evening arrival to the hotel, accommodation for 2 nights. Your hotel located at the foot of volcano Arenal is an amazing corner of tropical nature with outlandish plants and trees, manmade intimate pools with cascading water, ponds with exotic colorful fish, natural mini-zoo and a huge well-maintained territory for excellent relaxation. (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 06. Arenal-Hanging bridges-La Fortuna waterfall-Thermal streams Tabacon. Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, you depart to a private sanctuary for a walking tour across "heavenly" hanging bridges of Arenal lasting about 2 1/2 hours. Hanging bridges are stretched across untouched jungle and located at different levels, which allows for excellent viewing of various palms and liana covered trees. Your eyes will be introduced to a completely unexpected beauty of the endless greenery of the jungle with colossal trees, which look completely different from above than from down below, a view, which you are used to. It is almost as if you will be hovering above the crowns of giants of this "green ocean." Then you will visit the La Fortuna waterfall. The whole trip you will be accompanied by the omnipresent Arenal volcano. As you rise into the evergreen shaggy mountains, you will observe colorful natural landscape. Cascading down flow of water creates a beautiful lagoon-a natural pool with cool clean water-it is exactly here where you will definitely feel the whole joy of being in Costa Rica! You will come down to the foot of a waterfall and bathe in its cool waters. After such wonderful activity- filled time there will be a pleasant relaxation time in an unforgettable world of best thermal spas in the country, where you can bathe in relaxing hot baths of multiple natural pools, surrounded by strikingly colorful tropical vegetation. Four main life elements gathered here, creating a heavenly spot for getting away from earthly problems, for physical and mental relaxation and replenishment of personal energy. This is a bustling energy of Arenal, plus thermal pools of the river taking its place right at the foot of the volcano, plus charming flora and fauna of the surrounding moist tropical forest and peaceful aroma of the air. Verily speaking, this is the place where Gods gather for their relaxation and games. Here we will spend the rest of the day and have dinner in best traditions of the country, overlooking the nighttime Arenal. During a clear cloudless evening, you can watch a unique show of natural fireworks, observing the explosive activity of the volcano with eruptions and exit of ashes and lava. The eruptions are harmless for viewing from the side. It is very rare when the volcano completely shows itself from beyond the clouds, so it is impossible to predict whether you will see the lava or even a top of Arenal's cone. Evening return to your hotel. (Breakfast,lunch and dinner included)
Day 07. Arenal-Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Rincon de La Vieja National Park,the only place in Costa Rica, where you will be able to see incipient geysers and volcanoes. Rincon de La Vieja is an active volcano, which is 5900feet in height and has several craters. Walking tour around the National Park with visitation of the most interesting places-fumarols, mud volcanoes, waterfall, small volcano and thermal baths. Mountain forms here have various cracks, seeping hot streams and forming fumarols.An integral part of today's journey-applying natural masks from the mud volcano, a unique blend of mineral salts, organic organisms, micro-elements and a bio complex of natural origins. Cosmetologists have proved a long time ago the effectiveness of their biological impact on human skin and hair conditions. Accommodation for 1 night on the park's territory. (Breakfast included)
Day 08. Rincon de La Vieja-Puerto San Jorge-Granada. Breakfast at the hotel. Today our goal is to cross the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, see the charmingLake Nicaragua with two magnificent volcanoes, whose cones like obelisks raise from the lake waters. A definite plus during the visit to Nicaragua will be the pristine wilderness of local landmarks, where every one of you has all means to become pioneers. Nicaragua takes the cake in its amount of volcanoes in theCentral-American region. Its territory hosts twenty large volcanoes of various activity levels and they all are located in a party of the country, which holds almost 90% of its population. Your way to Nicaragua lies across the Pan-AmericanHighway through farmlands of northern CostaRican province Guanacaste. Arrival at the border, going through border formalities and continuing the journey down the Nicaraguan land. You will make a stop on a shore of a Pacific Ocean for a short relaxation and a swim in its warm waters. Besides that, these places have a rich history of a project for building theNicaraguan Canal between Pacific and Atlantic oceans, which could havebecome an alternative to a Panama Canal. Further, you will make a stop in a port-village San Jorge, which is a departure point to an amazing Ometepe Island, located on the magnificent Lake Nicaragua. You will be able to take pictures of volcanoes Concepcion and Maderas, dominating the landscape of this island. After that, you will continue your travel to the most beautiful city in the country-Granada. Evening arrival to Granada and accommodation for 2 nights. (Breakfast included)
Day 09. Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve -The Granada Islets. Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to the Mombacho Volcano Nature Reserve, unique for the beauty of landscapes, richness of flora and fauna, occupied by countless amount of colorful birds.The Mombacho volcano has four craters. All of the craters are covered with cloud forest. This type of forest is only found on one other spot in the Pacific, and that is on the Maderas Volcano in Ometepe. On the way, you will see exotic plants, ancient trees, and a farm where coffee is grown in vast amounts on fruitful volcano slopes. During the time of ascending, you will enjoy panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean coast. Upon the arrival to the top there will be a walking promenade down the trails of a "cloudy" forest with its orchids and bromeliads to the viewing platform, which opens up to a view of the City of Granada, Lake Nicaragua and its islets. When the Mombacho Volcano erupted thousands of years ago, it threw huge rocks into Lake Nicaragua. Because of this violent eruption, 365 islets were formed in front of Granada. These islets are a final destination of you beautiful day trip today. In the port of Granada, you will get in a boat and take a journey among picturesque little islets of the Nicaragua Lake, which is considered second largest in Latin America afterTiticaca Lake in Peru. Many of these islets are populated, and some of them are private property of the richest Nicaraguans and politicians in the country. Waves, archipelago made up of 356 strewn around the lake and completely covered with wild vegetation, multitude of fish and even fresh water sharks, plentiful in these waters, remind more of a sea than a lake.Possible encounter with crocodile caimans as well as hanging drowning in lush greenery two fingered sloths and monkeys. The beauty of surrounding nature is enhanced by views of Mombacho volcano, inevitably wedging itself into all your pictures. After that, a walk down the streets of an old part of Granada, which has seen all rulers of this land-from Spanish conquistadores to Sandinista chiefs. (Breakfast included)
Day 10. Masaya Volcano National Park - Town of Masaya - Apoyo Lagoon-San Salvador. Breakfast at the hotel. Visit to the Masaya Volcano National Park with a volcano by the same name, which is still active and regularly erupts with ashes and lava. The Masaya Volcano National Park includes two volcanoes and five craters.Even from afar, you can see a smoky cloud ahead-it is the breathing from the Santiago's crater. Four other craters of a volcanic complex of Masaya are inactive and their notch cliff edges have already been overgrown by vegetation. The road gently ascends and leads you directly to the comb of a top of the volcano, towering 2000 feet above the sea level. An amazing view will open up before your eyes-right below you behind a little concrete fence-a crack in the earth over a half-mile in diameter! The cone of the trench goes deep inside the earth, and below each layer of the trench below the white sheet of vapors, you can see another layer, then another one. All around you are layers of solidified lava and dried vegetation. The Spanish, which discovered these lands in the beginning of the 16th century, assumed that it was the entrance to hell and called the Masaya volcano a "hell throat". For protection from evil spirits and trying to stop the volcanic eruptions, the conquistadores erected a large cross on top of the tall ridge. However, long before that Indians also tried to appease the fire goddess, living in the fumaroles, by throwing virgin girls into the mouth of craters of spewing hot lava volcanoes. Further transfer to the town of Masaya-the capital of the Nicaraguan culture, known for its craftwork wonders. Here in an ancient castle there is a huge market, where people can buy carnival costumes and colorful masks, leather hats and cowboy boots, woven rugs and carved jewelry boxes, rum and excellent coffee, and frightening leather bags with caiman heads and famous Masaya hammocks.Next, head over to the romantic village of Catarina and enjoy a magnificent view on the Apoyo lagoon, a former crater of an extinct volcano. Transfer to the Managua airport, evening departure to El Salvador.Arrival to San Salvador-the capital of Republic of El Salvador, one of the most dynamically developing countries of Latin America, which takes up second place after Chile in economical standards. The currency denomination of El Salvador for a long time has been a US dollar, with lowest on the planet inflation rates. Meeting at the airport, transfer to your hotel. Accommodation for 1 night.
This city-millionaire is used to live large: in number of luxurious shopping centers, restaurants, and boutiques it is considerably ahead of capitals of its neighboring countries. (Breakfast included)
Day 11. San Salvador- The Volcanoes National Park - Coatepeque Lake - Salinitas Beach. Breakfast at the hotel. Sightseeing excursion around San Salvador. It is located almost in the center of the Salvadoran territory and framed by the volcano of San Salvador, hills of Candelaria and Amatepec or Hill of San Jacinto. It was baptized by the Spaniards with the name of "Valley of the hammocks" because of the mobile nature of the floor. It has an elevation of 682 meters over sea level. You continue your travel to the Volcanoes National Park with the main three impressive volcanoes of Santa Ana, Izalco and Cerro Verde.They have altitudes range from 500 to 2380 meters above sea level.El Salvador, in the belt of fire of the Pacific, is a volcanically very active country. A 90% of its territory is conformed by volcanic materiales. Historically, the Izalco Volcano had been known as the lighthouse of the Pacific. For many years, its eruptions provided a beacon to ships crossing the ocean at night. It is also one of the youngest volcanoes in Latin America, born in 1770. Cerro Verde Volcano is located between the Izalco Volcano, baffling with its classical beauty with its sharp black cone touched by clouds, and the Santa Ana Volcano. Many local legends are connected with these two volcanoes. You will go through the path known as, a window to nature, inside the Cerro Verde's crater. After a 30 minute walk, you will find yourself immersed in the oldest forest area inside the park and will be able to spot some 300 year old trees climbing to amazing heights. There are many species of animals living inside the park; among them are many types of hummingbirds and the black birds known as "chara". In addition to the three impressive volcanoes, you will visit the bright blue Coatepeque Lake formed thousands of years ago by the collapse of volcanic cones. The Coatepeque Lake was nominated one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The scenic road to the Volcanoes National Park, known as the "panoramic highway" for its marvelous views, curls along the steep ridge of the crater giving you glimpses of the broad fertile valleys on one side and the lake on the other.You will be amazed by the beauty of the surrounded nature-gray shadows of the clouds rush across green hills, dive into intensely blue volcanic Coatepeque Lake on an eastern slope of Santa Ana, crawling from the lake white and fluffy.You will pass a few lookout points that are great for taking panoramic pictures! Cool climate, beautiful landscape, clean mountain air, aroma of excellent coffee and wonderful views of surrounding mountains attract here the richest people of El Salvador. Along the shore of the Coatepeque Lake, there are several private beach houses as this is a popular weekend get-a-way.Then, you will drive to the Pacific coast to the lovely Salinitas Beach. Since El Salvador only borders the Pacific Ocean and not the Caribbean, there is no threat of hurricanes. Here you will discover the magic of the all-inclusive, a concept that has painted smiles, providing the best experience in warm scenery and beautiful landscapes that inspire rest and relaxation, where you can fully enjoy the sensual aroma of the ocean. Accommodation at the All Inclusive Hotel for 1 night. Enjoy your holiday without restriction in the best safe location with spectacular tropical gardens, the great warm pool in the ocean and beautiful ocean sunset! You will find unlimited food, unlimited drinks and spirits. Head down to the water and enjoy a day at the private beach. Spend your time in any of the four fresh water pools, or even in the spectacular salt-water pool filled daily by the ocean tides while taking advantage of the all-inclusive drinks at any of the four distinctive bars. Enjoy the fitness center or the Spa Temascal facilities, including beachside massages. Take a fun and very safe sea kayaking or tropical bike riding. (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 12. Arty Salvadorian Villages of Ataco & Ahuachapan-Santa Ana. Breakfast at your hotel. Check out and departure to the arty Salvadorian villages. There are several distinct towns strung like little jewels along the route.Concepcion de Ataco and Ahuachapan are among them. While following the route, you will find authentic arts and crafts, beautiful panoramic views of mountainside coffee plantations, dense forests, and breathtaking lagoons. Stop by the cheerful village of Ataco and see coffee beans and streaming sunshine in the distinctive painting style that covers many of the walls in this village. Ataco is a very quiet and secure feeling town with great friendly locals, amazing picturesque houses and art shops, full of cultural tradition and splendid natural appeal. Then, through volcano-ringed coffee plantations, you will following to Ahuachapan- bohemian awesome little town of unique very special mural style with bright and always smiling characters. Stop for a coffee break at the famous La Casa de Mamapan House and enjoy its history. Then, you will driving to the town of Santa Ana, the second town in importance of El Salvador with the precious colonial architecture and the ancient history. Walk by the center of the Santa Ana town and find interesting historic places of great architectural value, as the National Theater, The Cathedral and the Municipal City Hall. The theater of Santa Ana constitutes a true artistic jewel. The Cathedral is the maximum attraction of the town by its mixture of similar Byzantine and Gothic style to many European cathedrals. Accommodation for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 13. Santa Ana - Copan (Honduras). Breakfast at your hotel. Departure to the border between El Salvador and Honduras. Arrival at the border, going through border formalities and continuing the journey down the Honduras land to Copan Maya Ruins. Copan has always been referred to as the most artistically advanced and elaborate of all the Maya cities. Copan was declared a heritage of humanity site in 1980 by UNESCO, and continuous study of the city by archaeologists for over a century make it the most studied city of the Maya. You will see the principal attractions: The Ball Court considered the social center of the city, The Great Plaza with its stelas and altars that are scattered around this immense plaza, The Hieroglyphic Stairway- the longest known text left to us by the ancient Maya civilization and The Acropolis. Following to the town of Copan and accommodation for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 14. Copan - Rio Dulce Canyon - Livingston. Breakfast at your hotel. Departure to the border between Honduras and Guatemala. Arrival at the border, going through border formalities and continuing the journey to Rio Dulce where you will get a boat to travel to Livingston. You spend the day traveling by boat down the Rio Dulce, exploring little enclaves with indigenous sites, hot springs, and if you are lucky, freshwater dolphins. The Rio Dulce has a great reputation for the beautiful and impressive canyon that forms the lower Rio Dulce. The view of Canyon is breathtaking: you will enter to an exotic natural corridor where the Rio twists through a deep gorge. Thick jungle canopy is interspersed with massive white limestone walls. These features rise up steeply for hundreds of feet into neighboring mountains. Bright dashes of color from bromeliads, blossoming trees, and other flora brighten the vivid panorama of tropical greenery. It is easy to see why this place was chosen to film the very first Tarzan movie: it is the very essence of "jungle." Arrival to Livingston, a small town on the Caribbean side of Guatemala. Livingston is inhabited by the Garifuna, direct descendants of African Slaves whose roots can be traced to the island of Roatan in Honduras. They were brought to Honduras after a revolt on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent in 1795. The relocated slaves eventually spread into the western Caribbean, intermarried with Mayan and Caribe Indians and developed their own Garifuna language comprised of African, Indian and European elements. Accommodation for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 15. The Seven Altars - Rio Dulce - Flores Island. Breakfast at your hotel. Guided tour through the jungle to reach the Seven Altars. This nature reserve is characterized by a set of waterfalls forming seven pools of turquoise water for swimming and paddling. Walk around the reserve to spot wildlife and take in the atmosphere of the jungle. Then travelling by private boat to Rio Dulce. Transfer to Flores Island - the island in the middle of a large Lake Itza. Accommodation for 1 night. Evening visiting the island of Flores. (Breakfast included)
Day 16. Flores - Tikal - Guatemala City - Antigua. Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Tikal-archeological complex of the ancient Mayan city, producing a very strong emotional impression. Ascending to the top of the pyramids will give you an otherworldly feeling that we all are part of one universe and are endowed with unlimited power. In contrast with western civilizations, where churches are represented by closed, internally oriented spaces, places like Tikal are open to the world. In Tikal, which is declared "legacy of humanity" by UNESCO, everything breathes under an open sky. Tikal is a dream- come- true for archeologists and naturalists, a wonderful combination of nature and temples. The pyramids and temples are strewn around the jungle at great distances. It is not surprising if during the walk down the shadowy trail, you will hear the roar of a jaguar-the ruins are located on a territory of a natural national park. You will visit Complex Q, Temples I, II, III, IV, V, the Lost World and Central Square. Then, transfer to the airport and flight to Guatemala City. Arrive in Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua - a city often called "American Venice". Here there are no gondolas, water canals, nor noticeable Italian presence, but cobblestone streets and monumental, covered with bright bougainvillea ruins of ancient monasteries and churches breathe with passion and charm. In this city with curiously weaving streets, romance itself lives in its cafes, restaurants, churches, colonial hotels, museums and private mansions. Accommodation for 2 nights. (Breakfast included)
Day 17. Antigua. Breakfast at your hotel. Author's sightseeing excursion around Antigua. It is best to acquaint yourself with the city by leisurely walking down its streets.It appears that the city froze in the 16th century. Antigua is a city of walls. The key is get behind the walls where all the life of this lovely city resides.The walls and fascinating doors are colored in ochre, yellow, white, and other colors.The city of Antigua was founded in 1543 and was home to the residence of Spanish colonial administration of Guatemala Kingdom, which included countries from Costa Rica to south of Mexico. This unique city was declared by UNESCO as a Cultural legacy of humanity.Pan-American institute of geography and history called Antigua "Monumental city of America." Today it is more known to be a City of Romance. Many offers of hand and heart have been made in this beautiful city. Be it under the slopes of the famous arcade, or a tower with clock from Santa Catalina monastery, or the most risky offers of hand and heart only several yards from crawling boiling lava, flowing from a crater of one of the twins-volcanoes of the city: Fuego and Acatenango. Visit Santo (Breakfast included)
Day 18. Antigua - Panajachel - Santiago Atitlan. Breakfast at your hotel. Today you will head towards the Lake Atitlan, whose shore serves as a location for a town of Panajachel. Lake Atitlan is "a child" of a large volcanic eruption and is considered the most beautiful on the planet. The region of Panajachel is the best place to get acquainted with local culture of a mountain part of Guatemala. Arrival to Panajachel. Accommodation for 1 night. Then, you will take a trip down the Atitlan Lake in a private boat and visit Santiago-a town on the other side of the lake. Here Mayas preserved the originality of their ancestors and real pride of their people-textile manufacturing, which flourished even during the times of Spanish conquests. A walk down antique streets and multiple Indian shops. Observing non-tourist life of local population. Colorful rainbow from psychedelic combinations of purple, pinks and blue excite all senses. Local traditions have been forming by Maya people for centuries. You will be able to see how the ancestors of Mayans used to live and do so to this day, experience the originality of magical Guatemala. Later-transfer back to Panajachel. Your hotel is ideal spot to relax and enjoy a glass of wine while watching reflections of majestic volcanoes in the lake. Panajachel is a tourist center with a market that is open 7 days a week. Its streets are lined with markets, overflowing with textile wares; here the locals sell their artwork, crafts items, hand-woven blankets, fabric, and clothes. Panajachel also has a good selection of restaurants and bars, and small bicycle-taxis circulate back and forth down the streets. (Breakfast included)
Day 19. Panajachel - Guatemala City. Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to Guatemala City. Now here is the big decision: Go home... or stay on? If you must return home, transfer to the airport for your international departure flight. (Breakfast included)
However, if you decide to stay on, that is great; there is a lot to choose from. Tell us what YOU want and we do the legwork.
|Rates per person in USD***|
|Double occupancy DBL||$4680|
|Single occupancy SGL||$5850|
***If the travel company creates and pays the group of 21, 22 place is available free of charge in double occupancy. In this case, you will need to pay only intercontinental flights and what is not included in the tour price according to the program.
The price includes:
- Hotel accommodations 4* (18 nights) with hotel taxes and daily breakfast.
- 3 flights according to the program: Panama City to Alajuela (Costa Rica) / Managua to San Salvador / Flores to Guatemala City.
- 5 lunches according to the program.
- 3 dinners according to the program.
- Excursions, visits and navigation according to the program.
- All entrance tickets according to the program.
- Surface and overland travel as indicated.
- Comfortable transport.
- English-speaking guides throughout the whole route.
- Luggage handling at airports.
- Hotel bellboys.
The price does not include:
- Intercontinental flights.
- Trip insurance. We offer an excellent insurance for an additional fee.
- Tourist visas fees.
- Tips for the guides and drivers.
- Meals not specifically indicated as included.
- Foreign departure taxes.
- A full payment of a group tour is required 90 days before the beginning of the tour. Failure to make full payment on time may result in automatic cancellation of reservation.
- Tour payments are only accepted in bank transfers to the bank account of Milavia International, Ltd, in a bank in the USA. Credit cards are not accepted as a method of payment.
- The payment for the tour should only occur after the Buyer is provided with a final invoice. The Tour Operator Milavia International provides a Buyer with a final invoice, which indicates the deadline for the payment. The Buyer is required to comply with the deadlines for the payment, or his/her order is automatically terminated. The fee for the reinstating of the order is US$250.
Cancellation policies of the tour and return of the monetary funds:
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 89-50 days before its start: full monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 49-31 days before its start: 50% monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 30 days before its start and a NO SHOW: no monetary refund would be offered.
- Flight cancellations: Milavia International is not responsible for monetary refunds for unused airline tickets and does not refund the payments for cancelled domestic flights. The Buyer has the right to use the purchased tickets within one year. If the ticket cost for new dates during the year increases, the Buyer must pay the difference in the ticket cost. Air schedules are subject to change and Milavia International cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by such changes and delays.
- Milavia International strongly recommends purchasing the tour insurance and offers it for an additional fee.
- Tour cancellation due to force-majeure: no monetary refund would be offered.
- The Buyer of the tour has the right to choose any insurance company.
- The Buyer is fully responsible for tour insurance purchasing or refusal of thereof.
- Any claim must be made in writing within 15 days after the tour.
- Vouchers for the paid service are sent out electronically 10 days before the start of the tour.
- If the passenger has health problems or physical limitations of any kind, it is essential to let Milavia International, Ltd know at the time of booking.
- Passengers with ortopaedic problems are not recommended to this tour.
- Milavia International, Ltd reserves the right to remove any individual at any time during the tour if she/he is physically incapable to participate in the planned activities.
- Milavia International, Ltd. assumes no responsibility for special arrangements.
Passports and Visas:
- Passengers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after date of travel.
- Additionally, all passengers are required to hold a valid visa wherever required. It is the passenger's responsibility to check with the appropriate consulates as to the visa requirements and obtain proper travel documents before the trip. Visa fees are not included.