Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Immerse yourself in the bygone cultures and impossibly beautiful wilderness of Guatemala and venture across the border to Honduras.

Journey Overview

Immerse yourself in the bygone cultures and impossibly beautiful wilderness of Guatemala and venture across the border to Honduras. Home to Maya ruins, towering volcanoes and vibrant indigenous cultures, Guatemala is utterly surprising. Stroll the cobblestone streets of colonial towns soaking up the history, admire the rich and colourful handicrafts and seek out jungle-cloaked temples.

Journey Highlights

  • Weave colourful textiles in a village on the shores of Lake Atitlán
  • Glimpse rare creatures like jaguars or manatees as you drift along the Rio Dulce
  • Learn the secrets of coffee and cacao farming on a family-owned finca in Honduras
  • Feast on the sight of the jungle-cloaked UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tikal
  • Bask in an unfolding panorama as you hike towards the summit of Pacaya Volcano
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Antigua, Guatemala

Receive a warm A&K welcome and proceed to your luxury boutique hotel in the beautifully preserved Spanish colonial city of Antigua, located one hours’ drive from the airport. One of the most enchanting colonial towns in Latin America, Antigua, in the shadow of a towering volcano, is fascinating and deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage site. Drop your bags and after freshening up, ease into local time with a stroll on your own through the 500-year old streets.
Posada del Angel (Standard Room)

Day 2: Antigua.

Take a short drive to San Miguel Escobar, a quaint town situated at the base of Volcán Agua. Meet families supported by De La Gente (DLG), a non-profit organisation supporting small independent coffee producers. Work side-by-side with farmers as they husk the fruit, ferment, wash and dry the beans, sort and roast the beans, and – finally – taste. Later, enjoy a traditional lunch prepared and served in a family home. Return to Antigua and join your guide on a wonderful private walking tour. Explore the colonial city’s cultural, architectural, and social history with a behind-the-scenes look at some of Antigua's ornately decorated churches, Spanish colonial-era ruins, and the tomb of the first Guatemalan saint. Wander through the streets and elegant plazas punctuated by flowering trees, red-tiled roofs and church bell-towers of what was once Central America’s most powerful city. 
Posada del Angel (Standard Room) | Meals: BL

Day 3: Antigua.

Adventure awaits those who trek Guatemala’s active Pacaya Volcano. Bask in the unfolding panorama as you climb from the foothills through a lush pine forest. Step over the barren moonscape to marvel at the fiery glow of lava and steam rising from vents that dot the forever-changing landscape. Savour views of the summit (2,300 metres) as you feast on a well-deserved picnic lunch, before an easy walk down. Return to town where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Posada del Angel (Standard Room) | Meals: BL

Day 4: Antigua – Lake Atitlán.

Journey through rolling farmland and villages to the highland town of Chichicastenango. Nestled in the El Quiché valley, “Chichi” may seem like a tranquil, sleepy village outside of market days, but twice a week it comes alive as Mayan people from the whole country gather for the largest market in Central America. Follow the chaos of vibrant, almost endless stalls running from the central square, up through the stairs of the Santo Tomás Church, and beyond. From the rich textures of native textiles to smells of traditional incense, this market promises a feast for the senses. Later, visit the surprisingly colourful cemetery, and hike up the hill to the Pascual Abaj, an ancient carved stone venerated where a local shaman will perform a Maya ceremony for you. Sample local delicacies over lunch before continuing onwards to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala’s geological show-stopper and your intimate hotel overlooking the lake.
Casa Palopó (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BL

Day 5: Lake Atitlán.

Surrounded by Mayan villages, Lake Atitlán is Guatemala’s highland jewel.  Cruise across the crystal-clear lake to the shore-side village of San Juan La Laguna. Meander through this petite Tz’utujil Maya town to admire impressive murals, galleries and artisan shops. Step inside a local artist’s studio to spark your creativity with naïf paintings. Visit one of the women’s cooperatives for a demonstration of how backstrap looms and all-natural dyes are used to make some of Guatemala’s richly colourful textiles. Following a traditional lunch at one of the cooperatives, try your hand at weaving richly coloured textiles in a workshop led by a women’s cooperative. Return by boat to your hotel.
Casa Palopó (Deluxe Room) | Meals: BL

Day 6: Lake Atitlán – Guatemala City.

Lose yourself in the magic of Lake Atitlán during your morning at leisure before the journey continues to Guatemala City. With the largest population in Central America, Guatemala City (known as Guate) is a big, bustling capital set in a valley surrounded by mountains and volcanoes and is home to a handful of great museums. With a free evening to explore, venture into the city’s bohemian hub of Cuatro Grados Norte for surprising street art, artisan cooperatives and chef-owned restaurants.
Westin Camino Real (Standard Deluxe Room) | Meals: B

Day 7: Guatemala City – Copán, Honduras.

Journey to the Honduras border and on to the town of Copán Ruinas, home to Copan, the most southerly point of the ancient Maya Empire and one of their most lavish cultural centres, now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue to your lovingly restored hacienda, perched on the hillside overlooking the picturesque Copán Valley and temple tops of the ancient site itself. Step outside on one of the walking trails or head into town and discover cobblestone streets, picturesque plaza and local restaurants.
Hacienda San Lucas (Standard Room) | Meals: B

Day 8: Copán.

Breathe life into this ancient city as you explore with your private guide. Unravel the mysteries behind the intricately carved pillars, marvel at the large ball court, and venture into the two excavated tunnels under the ruins. Later, continue to Las Sepulturas, once a residential area for Copán’s nobility, and Rastrojón, an ancient Maya defensive fort only recently opened to the public. For a more in depth and valuable insight into the military strategies of the ancient Maya, consider joining with a professor of Harvard University and the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and history who led a six-year excavation and learn about the fascinating discoveries.
Hacienda San Lucas (Standard Room) | Meals: BL

Day 9: Copán.

Travel into the Copán Valley and spend the day in the warm hospitality of the Castejón family at Finca El Cisne. Together with your host, Carlos, take an easy horse ride through the forests and fields, and learn the secrets of coffee, cardamom and cacao farming. Gather around the family table for a hearty farmhouse lunch, prepared by Carlos’ mother from home-grown produce. Before you return to Copán, take a soothing dip in steaming thermal pools hidden in the forest.
Hacienda San Lucas (Standard Room) | Meals: BL

Day 10: Copán – Livingston, Guatemala.

Cross back into Guatemala and spend your morning decoding beautifully engraved monuments at Quiriguá, a UNESCO World Heritage site. View the impressive and largest stelae and uncover the history between this city and the ancient city of Copan. Following lunch at a local restaurant, travel onwards to Puerto Barrios to board your boat to Livingston, a wonderfully strange and captivating fishing enclave at the mouth of the Río Dulce. Relax into the Caribbean-infused pace of life of the Garífuna people, descendants of shipwrecked African slaves. Move to the hypnotic beat of bongo drums, conch shell horns, turtle shell drums and maracas that echo from street corners. Tonight, enjoy a dinner based on seafood, like Tapado (seafood stew) a traditional recipe from this small fishing village.
Villa Caribe (Junior Suite) | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Livingston – El Remate.

Journey to Rio Dulce and cruise along mesmerising blue-green waterways past coastlines lined with pines, Casa Maria trees and mangroves. Along the way, go ashore at the Ak' Tenamit project, which allows indigenous children in river communities to go to school and acquire job skills. Stop at the school, meet some of the locals and browse the colourful textiles. Then, drift silently towards an aptly named Bird Island and scan the shoreline for jaguars or manatees, before docking at your rainforest lodge, a creation of Francis Ford Coppola, for the night.
La Lancha (Rainforest Junior Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 12: El Remate.

Be transported to an ancient world in Uaxactun, one of the oldest complete Maya astronomical complexes yet discovered. Roam the many treasures of this site, before a traditional lunch prepared by locals. Venture further into the jungles of El Peten where the awe-inspiring pyramids of Tikal’s ruined temple complex rise through the rainforest. Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the majestic Great Plaza and Temple of the Jaguar, as howler and spider monkeys look on from the dense jungle. Witness sunset at Temple IV for one of those never-to-be-forgotten moments at this UNESCO World Heritage site.
La Lancha (Rainforest Junior Suite) | Meals: BL

Day 13: El Remate – Flores – Depart Guatemala City.

Take your early morning private transfer to Flores for your connecting flight to Guatemala City and your onward arrangements.
Meals: B

Our range of ready-to-travel private journeys can all be personalised to your individual requirements. Please contact our Travel Specialists who will work with you to create an unforgettable bespoke journey.

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Accommodation/Partners

Accommodation/Partners

Posada del Angel

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Posada del Angel was one of the original boutique hotels in Antigua and is still one of the best offering a private ambiance with excelle ... Read more

Casa Palopó

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Overlooking Lake Atitlan, described by author Aldous Huxley as the 'most beautiful lake in the world', this hotel occupies a truly privil ... Read more

Westin Camino Real

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Located in the heart of Guatemala City’s Zona Viva, the capital’s hub of business, shopping and entertainment, and just minutes from the ... Read more

Hacienda San Lucas

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

A Spanish colonial hacienda set in the blue-green hills of the Copán valley, San Lucas is within walking distance of the ruins, set on 30 ... Read more

Villa Caribe

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Located between the Caribbean Sea and the Rio Dulce inlet, Villa Caribe, set in tropical gardens, has many conveniences and comforts, inc ... Read more

La Lancha, Tikal

Guatemala & Copan Discovery

Set in the rainforest high above the shores of Lago Petén Itzá is La Lancha, a quaint, 10-room lodge decorated with artwork and furniture ... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this Private Journey can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey

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