Classic Guatemala and Belize

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Belize, Guatemala

Best time to go: January to April, November to December

13 Nights | from £3,790pp

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Holiday type: Tailor-made

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Snap away in picture-postcard-pretty Antigua and get lost in its colourful streets and shady courtyards
  • Gaze across hypnotic Lake Atitlan from your little boat en route to visit a local shaman
  • Marvel at the most impressive of all Mayan sites, Tikal, with its skyscraper pyramids set deep in the jungle
  • Trek to the Rio Frio cave system in Belize’s Cayo district Dive deep into the crystal water of the world’s second largest reef at Ambergris Caye

Day 1 London / Antigua
Landing in Guatemala City whizz straight from the airport to the gloriously relaxed, sophisticated and downright beautiful Antigua. This gorgeous ancient capital oozes laid back charm being one of the prettiest, and oldest cities in Central America. Step back in time amongst the prettily painted buildings and whitewashed monasteries. Bed down in more lovingly restored splendour in a history-soaked converted convent in the old town; full of historical charm it offers delightful cobblestone views.
Posada Del Angel | Meals: None

Day 2 Antigua
It’s beauty is reason itself to spend a day snapping away at this UNESCO city with it’s oh-so-pretty terracotta coloured buildings, sparkling fountains and dreamy courtyards. The walls breathe fascinating histories so let our great guide help you uncover them whilst they show you around some of the not-to-miss sites including the Central Plaza, the beautiful Cathedral and San Francisco Church. In the afternoon there is a heady array of museums, galleries and boutiques to browse and a fabulous craft filled market. Relax in one of the super cute cafés producing addictive chocolaty espressos and some spectacular coffee brownies!
Posada Del Angel | Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Antigua / Lake Atitlán
A scenic morning drive up into the highlands takes you via the colourful market villages of Solola and Comalapa to beautiful Lake Atitlán. Enveloped by three show stopping volcanoes and numerous Indian villages, guidebooks have likened it to Eden, and you will understand why when you gaze over its velvety green and blue hues. Laze on your sun drenched balcony looking down upon the lake’s shores where women wash their colourful clothes and fisherman bring in the day’s catch on rickety looking rafts! Trees bloom brightly, butterflies flit and insects buzz in this deeply seductive Narnia-esque landscape perfected by those mighty volcanoes winking down upon the astonishingly beautiful scene.
Casa Palopa Atitlan | Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Lake Atitlán
Dreamily cruise across the lakes sacred waters and cross to it’s southern shore and the ancient village of Santiago, home to the country’s folk saint ‘Maximan’ it’s a deeply spiritual place. Here stoically traditional locals thrive in their traditional customs and culture; be prepared for giggling children who will want to show you where Maximan currently resides (he moves every year) and don’t forget to pack some offerings – rum and cigarettes are his favourites!
Casa Palopo Atitlan | Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Chichicastenango / Guatemala City
It’s a startlingly dramatic drive to the remote village of Chichicastenango, which, surprisingly houses the country’s largest and most fabulously atmospheric traditional market. Local traders appear from the many villages scattered amidst beautiful mountains. Laden with their wares they show off a dizzying array of arts and crafts, intricately woven textiles and delicious fruits and vegetables. The twice-weekly market (Thursday and Sunday) is an intoxicating scene played out upon chaotically colourful cobbled streets in a hidden-away jungle setting. Soak in this rich indigenous cultural hub, which is also famous for its unabashed mix of Christianity and Paganism within its many churches. Tuck into your fresh fruit bargains as you continue your drive through verdant mountains to reach Guatemala City.
Vista Real Guatemala City | Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Guatemala City / Flores
You will take the short flight from Guatemala City to land in pretty Flores, with it’s colourful cubist houses tumbling down to the waters of beautiful lake Peten Itza. Leave its Mediterranean charm behind to visit the fabulous archaeological site of El Ceibal - it’s the journey that really makes it unforgettable and as you take a boat ride downriver deep into the forest you will be greeted by jumbles of jungle vines, howling monkeys and screeching rainforest birds before a narrow rocky path makes for a truly wonderful arrival. The ruins are perched above the river offering easy exploration before we whizz you off to your jungle lodge.
Bolontiku | Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 Tikal
The most impressive of all Mayan sites will wow you today towering high above the rainforest it seems to inhabit it’s own jungle lair. The sheer scale of its towering limestone pyramids will amaze but it is the truly spellbinding atmosphere produced by it’s jungle setting that really sets this apart from other sites. As you enjoy a guided tour roaming over jungle vines and mounds of ancient rubble you will be amazed by nature’s noises; monkeys howl, toucans screech and flocks of parakeets will whizz through the ancient ruins, an auditory reminder that you really are in a simply extraordinary setting.
Bolontiku | Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Flores / Cayo District
Collect another exotic passport stamp today as you cross the border into romantic Belize. The Cayo district is brimming with unique activities explored within a magical landscape of winding rivers, majestic waterfalls, mysterious caves and hefty mountains that engulf the grand Mayan cities. Particularly famed for it’s many underwater caves and sink holes, waterfalls and sparkling rivers, it’s a great place to hide out for a couple of days and get your jungle fix.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek | Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 - 10 Cayo District
The Cayo District holds a wealth of unique activities. Accompanied by our expert guide create your perfect itinerary over two adventure packed days. The eerily beautiful Mayan Burial caves are a true adventure. We recommend a trip to the Rio-Frio Cave system, whose huge 70-foot arches lead to a cathedral like vault of dripping stalactites all the colours of the rainbow. Then there’s Actun Tunichil Muknal, the ATM cave as it is helpfully known which hides ‘The Crystal Maiden’ a bewitchingly beautiful but downright spooky skeleton glittering with crystals which keep her preserved in her cave setting. She lies here together with ceramics, skeleton sisters and stoneware left by the Maya who inhabited these lands.
The Mayan sites of Xunantunich and Caracol should not be missed, the first reached by a hand-cranked ferry leads to a complex set of plazas and temples where rainbow hued birds and butterfly’s flit. Day time adventures over, head back to your lodge for romantic evening’s feasting on one of the many delicious local dishes (of which we highly recommend Tamales or Cochinita Pibil!)
The Lodge at Chaa Creek | Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 – 13 Cayo District / Ambergris Caye
It’s time to put your jungle explorations behind you and head off to tropical island paradise, just off Belize's Caribbean coast the wonderful relaxed island atmosphere of Ambergriss Caye awaits. This long skinny island will enchant with it’s myriad of water-sports, gloriously laid back vibes and stunning beaches. Spend your days sipping fresh island juices, soaking in the sites of sunny San Pedro and of course uncovering the colourful universe of the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef. Just offshore 3 superb reef atolls are waiting to be explored with some superb snorkelling or diving. When you have had your fix of the fabulous marine life, gardens of coral and rainbow hued tropical fish, relax in your boutique beach retreat, or simply saunter into San Pedro for a fresh seafood dinner and gaze at the stars.
Portofino Beach Resort | Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Ambergris Caye / London
Hop on a small plane to fly up and away from the Caye to Belize City where you will connect to board your flight home; hopefully sun kissed and relaxed, head full of plenty of awesome Mayan facts with which to wow your friends.
Meals: Breakfast

Pricing
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 14 day suggested holiday will cost from £3,790 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights.

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Our Latin America team Graeme, Charlie, Melissa, Kelly, Kerry and Elli – are experts in designing the perfect holiday in Latin America to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.

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Useful info

Best time to be there

Belize is hot and humid throughout the year but also has distinct seasons. The wet season runs from mid-May to November and the dry season from February to April. In between, temperatures are at their coolest.

Fly to

Belize City - daily via Miami

flying time

12 hours 30 minutes

time difference

GMT -6 hours

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever if arriving from an infected area


Best time to be there

Known as the country of eternal spring, Guatemala is good to visit all year round but the dry season is November to May. The climate also varies according to altitude. The low-lying jungle areas such as El Peten are generally hot and sticky, in contrast to the highlands which are pleasantly warm during the day but can be very cool at night.

Fly to

Guatemala City - daily via Miami

flying time

12 hours

time difference

GMT -6 hours

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever if arriving from an infected area


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