Guatemalan Highlands and the Mayan ruins of Copan - Guatamala & Honduras

7 days / 6 nights from Guatemala City to San Pedro Sula
guaranteed and daily departures with 2 passengers only

Day 1: Guatemala City - Chichicastenango - Lake Atitlan (Guatemala)
In the morning your guide awaits you at the hotel reception to drive with you to the western highlands of Guatemala. In Chichicastenango we visit a colourful Mayan market which is famous beyond the boundries (takes place on Thursdays and Sundays). Since pre-Hispanic times Chichicastenango has been one of the largest trading centres in the Maya area and so it attracts vendors from all over Guatemala. They represent many of Guatemala's linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others, each hawking his or her products in a riotous cacophony of colors, dialects and costumes, flavours, and smells. After a tour through
the open-air market, we visit the 400-year-old church of Santo Tomás, where catholic and pagan rites take place in a mystical atmosphere. Afterwards we continue to Lake Atitlan. 2 overnights in Panajachel at the lake.

Day 2: Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan - the world's most beautiful lake according to the German natural scientist Alexander von Humboldt - is volcanic in origin. It fills an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. On its southern shore it is flanked by three volcanoes that create a breathtaking panorama. Early in the morning we start a boat ride to the Tzutuhil town of Santiago Atitlan, located between the volcanoes. This small town still keeps the Mayan traditions and culture. We visit the local market and the town's church. In the afternoon we return by boat to Panajachel, where you can relax in the hotel garden or at the pool.

Day 3: Lake Atitlan - Antigua
Leaving the Lake Atitlan we enjoy a stunning panoramic view with volcano peaks reaching up to 3,500 m. Afterwards we tour the Pacific lowlands, famous for its vegetables and flowers. We continue passing through big coffee and sugar cane plantations to the colonial gem of Antigua. Founded in the 16th century as Santiago de Guatemala, Antigua was the seat of the Spanish colonial government for the Kingdom of Guatemala, which included Chiapas (southern Mexico), Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. After a severe earthquake in 1773, which damaged great parts of the town, the capital was moved to Guatemala City. 2 overnights in Antigua.

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Day 4: Antigua
In 1979 Antigua has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list as an outstanding example of preserved colonial architecture and of cultural value. Until today the principal monuments built before the earthquake are preserved as ruins. Much of the architecture today dates from the 17th and 18th centuries. During our tour we visit the Main Square, the Cathedral, the Capuchinas Convent, the churches San Francisco and La Merced as well as other buildings and colonial spots.

Day 5: Antigua - Copan Ruinas (Honduras)
Early in the morning we set out for Honduras. After a scenic drive through the Motagua valley, we arrive at the Honduran border in the afternoon. Having dealt with the customs formalities we transfer to Copan Ruinas where we check in our hotel, located in the centre of the village. The rest of the afternoon is left free to enjoy and explore the picturesque village. The various small shops and stalls offer all kinds of handcrafts as well as excellent coffee, which is produced in this area. 2 overnights in Copan Ruinas.

Day 6: Copan Ruinas
After breakfast we leave the village to explore the nearby archaeological Park of Copan. At its height (from 200 to 900 A.D.) Copan had about 24,000 inhabitants. It wasn't one of the largest Mayan cities. However, it was the principal cultural centre of the Maya region due to its advanced development of sculpture, astronomy, and hieroglyphic writing. The sculptures and stelaes are among the most artistic of all Mayan sites. The main site is famous for the Hieroglyphic Stairway, which is 30 m long and 10 m high. The lengthy inscription on the Hieroglyphic Stairway is of considerable historical significance. Later we visit the sepulchers, a residential and burial site of the Mayan nobles located at about 2 km from the main group.

Day 7: Copan Ruinas - San Pedro Sula
Transfer to San Pedro Sula in time for your international departure flight.

Remarks:
* You can book this tour in the opposite direction without additional costs. You can also extend or shorten it or propose program changes.
* We suggest an extension stay on the Bay Islands or a combination with one of our Honduras itineraries. Don't hesitate to ask for the different options.

 

Services Included
6 nights lodging including breakfast
Mesoamerica Travel Guide
Entrance fees, excursions & transfers according to itinera
Local taxes
Rates valid until 16.12.2017
Price Per Person
2 persons U$ 1395.-
3 persons U$ 1079.-
4 persons U$ 959.-
5 persons U$ 849.-
6 persons U$ 775.-


Wholesalers and Retailers please ask for special conditions.