CENTRAL AMERICAN DISCOVERY

25 Days Central American Discovery


Central America s most probably still one of the last undiscovered destinations for most people. This Central America Discovery tour covers 6 of the most iconic countries in the region Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. This tour itinerary has been specially created based on the rich cultures and history of each country and the beauty of this tour is that there is only 1 set of international flights and 1 internal flight which means that you actually get to see the countries from the ground and experience the Journeys from your heart.
The itinerary is a patchwork of stunning landscapes with modern cities and indigenous tribes living side by side, Treacherous Jungles & Rain forest, Beautiful wildlife, Surreal waterfalls, Lakes and spectacular Volcanic ranges and Amazing Thermal Spas.
Among the top sites in the tour you will see the Panama City, Panama Canal, Las Cavernitas Waterfall, San Jose, Sarchi, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Arenal Volcano, Sky Tram, Granada, Leon, San Salvador, Joya de Ceren, Suchitoto, Copan, Rio Dulce, Flores, Tikal, Guatemala City, Atitlan, Antigua and many more wonderful experiences.

Prices from £5693.00 per person on a minimum of 16 People

Including tips

Departure: 5 January, 18 May & 9 November 2020

Single Supplement £946.00 Per Person

Book early to avoid disappointment

ITINERARY

Day 1 DEPART LONDON

Depart London for Panama City.

Day 2 PANAMA CITY – mIRAFLORES LOCKS – CASCO VIEJO (L, D)

Arrival at Panamá International Airport and transfer to hotel in Panama City. Upon arrival, the group will be greeted at the airport. Then we will continue to the hotel for luggage drop and to use the restroom in the lobby (SINCE CHECK IN AFTER 2PM). Then, we will continue for a Panamá city tour. The city of Panamá was founded on August 15, 1519, by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dávila. The city was the starting point for expeditions that conquered the Inca Empire in Peru. It was a stopover point on one of the most important trade routes in the history of the American continent, leading to the fairs of Nombre de Dios and Portobelo, through which passed most of the gold and silver that Spain took from the Americas. We will enjoy a panoramic tour of its main highways and streets overlooking the impressive modern buildings.
Afterwards we will visit the infamous Panama Canal. Located on the east side of the Miraflores Locks, the Miraflores Visitor Center will allow us to observe transiting vessels from a distance of only a few meters and learn firsthand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in the world markets, and the importance of its watershed.
Later, we will visit the charming Casco Antiguo. Declared a Historical Monument by UNESCO in 1997, El Casco Antiguo or Casco Viejo is the name given to the place where the city of Panama was moved in 1673. It is a place where the historical and the modern coexist in harmony. It is one of the most emblematic places in Panama, where each street tells a meaningful story for Panamanians. We will walk along the charming streets enjoying its museums, squares, walks, theaters, and cathedral, with a lot of history and unique architecture. Welcome dinner in a restaurant of Casco Antiguo. Return to hotel.

Day 3 PANAMA CITY – EMBERAS VILLAGE TOUR – PANAMA CITY (B, L, D)

After breakfast our morning starts with a visit to the Charges National Park. Modern Panama is home to seven indigenous tribes, and the Emberá is one of its most well-known native groups. Part of the Emberá tribe migrated from the Choco region of modern day Colombia to Panama in the late 18th century. The indigenous people retain their own language, cuisine, culture, and customs, many of which can be seen on a visit to an Emberá village. Traditional houses are typically built on stilts and often on the riverside, where they are organized into a small community with a communal house at its center. The Emberá also keep their own government and family structures. We will be able to access and visit one of the villages through the Chagres National Park, once we reach the park we will travel by boat. We will be part of an immersive experience as the Emberá people live sustainably in the middle of the rainforest and for the most part have resisted modernization; a visit to an Emberá village offers a unique glimpse at a preserved way of life, music and dance, traditional clothing, and indigenous foods.
We will also have some time to enjoy the Chagres river, which is also an experience in itself.

Day 4 PANAMA CITY – PENONOME - BOQUETE (B, L, D)

Today after an early breakfast we will start heading towards the western side of Panamá. Our first stop will be two hours after departing. The town is Penonomé, which retains a Spanish-Colonial charm. Not many tourists pass by this town, but it is worth the stop. The town center is active and colorful. A specific characteristic in this town is the elaboration of the famous “Sombrero Pintao”, which is a typical hat that a short time ago joined the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List. The hats are made in this town and we will be able to see the process and probably buy some as souvenirs.
Then we will continue our trip. Our second stop would be for lunch. We would be arriving Boquete in late afternoon. This area is a natural scenery with cool temperatures that will invite you to taste the world quality coffee that is grown in this area.

DAY 5 BOQUETE – GEISHA COFFEE – BORDER CROSSING – LAS CAVERNITAS WATERFALL - GOLFITO (B, L, D)

Today after breakfast we check out, we will learn the processes and live the mystical experience to taste the flavors and fragrances through a tour of the coffee plantations and tasting of coffee at Finca Lérida; where we will find Geisha coffee, which is one of the most exclusive varieties among coffee lovers around the world and one of the most expensive; Its harvest is made from the highest lands of the province of Chiriqui. The environment in which this variety is produced is so special that it has given the best qualities in the world of coffee. The quality is due to the climate, its volcanic soil, its altitude and the people who work it.
After an early lunch we will start our transfer to the border with Costa Rica. After border crossing, we will stop in Las Cavernitas Waterfall, in the Claro River of Golfito in Puntarenas, surrounded by a garden and easily accessible trails, it is the ideal place to connect with nature. In just 1 kilometer of trails you can enjoy, walk and bathe in more than 20 waterfalls ranging from 1m to 17m in height. Continue to the town of Golfito.

Day 6 GOLFITO – LOS CUSINGOS PARK – SAN GERARDO DE DOTA (B, L, D)

Today after breakfast we will start our journey towards Central Costa Rica direction San Gerardo De Dota. On the way we will stop at Dr. Alexander Skutch Bird Refuge "Los Cusingos". It is a private reserve of 78 hectares and a bird sanctuary of great diversity, as it covers altitudes between 800 and 3820 meters above sea level. Dr. Skutch was a famous ornithologist and botanist. After visiting several areas of Central America in the 1930’s and 40’s, he decided to move to Costa Rica to study birds purchasing the land that currently is the reserve. His book A guide to the birds of Costa Rica is considered by many as the best resource for the study of birds in Costa Rica. We will walk through one of its trails allowing us to see several species of birds in the area.
We will then continue to our hotel in San Gerardo for leisure time to relax.

Day 7 SAN GERARDO DE DOTA – OROSI VIEWPOINT – SAN JOSE (B, L, D)

At early morning, 6AM departure, we can provide the option for a Quetzal Quest experience. The Quetzal is one of the most beautiful birds in America, and San Gerardo is home to a big population. It is a sacred bird for many indigenous civilizations all through Central America. The whole trek takes about 2 hours and it is a MILD difficulty level.
After breakfast we will transfer to the capital city of Costa Rica, San José. On the way, we will stop at the Orosí viewpoint which is only 5 km from the center of Orosí town. This natural setting offers a beautiful view of the valley and the Rio Grande. It is the ideal place to make stunning photographs of the Orosí Valley in all its splendor.
Then, we will learn about the culture and history of Costa Rica experiencing the beauty of the museums and historical sites of San José. Our first stop will be in the magnificent National Theater; this cultural symbol of a century old is the pride and joy of all Costa Ricans as it represents an important era of economical, artistic and cultural changes of their heritage. Afterwards we will stop by one of the many unique museums of Costa Rica to continue discovering the heritage of peaceful tradition. We will continue heading to the University of Costa Rica and the Supreme Court.

Day 8 SAN JOSE – SARCHI – LA PAZ WATER FALL GARDEN - ARENAL (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will head to Sarchí. Sarchí is the capital of artisanship in Costa Rica. Sarchí is well recognized for their skilled labor and talented artistry; albeit, known primarily for the famous ox carts that are build there. These ox carts are ornately decorated and bursting with intense colors, such as oranges and reds, come in various sizes and treasured worldwide for their unique beauty. We will be able to test our artistic skills while painting our own design.
Then we will continue to La Paz Waterfall Gardens, a privately owned ecological attraction in Costa Rica featuring beautiful waterfalls and a rescued wildlife preserve with over 100 species of animals. The park offers five waterfalls, cloud forest and rain forest, safe hiking trails, aviary with numerous species of birds, toucan feeding demonstration time, insect exhibit, butterfly observatory, capuchin monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, hummingbird garden with 26 documented species, hummingbird hand feeding demonstration time in the mornings and afternoons, serpentarium, jaguars, pumas, ocelots, margays, ranarium, orchid and heliconia exhibits.
Then, transfer to Arenal. Transfer to hotel.

Day 9 ARENAL – SKY TRAM/ HANGING BRIDGES – HOT SPRINGS - ARENAL (B, L, D)

Arenal is probably the most famous volcano of Costa Rica. Until 2010, it was one of the most active in the world. Today it is dormant but still offers a beautiful view. In order to admire the best views of the area, we will visit Sky Adventures Park. The Sky Tram are gondolas that rise smoothly through the forest. It will offer amazing views of the surrounding forests. While ascending, you will also be able to admire distinctive flora and fauna that might be only spotted from above. Then, we will enjoy the Hanging Bridges in Arenal, which have an extension of 3.1 kilometers, crossing fourteen bridges, 8 fixed and 6 in suspension, ranging from 8 to 98 meters in length and reaching up to 60 meters in height, from which we can appreciate the admirable flora and fauna characteristic of the place. The view of the Arenal Volcano from the bridges is really beautiful.
The afternoon is for relaxing in amazing hot springs. We will visit the Hot Spring in Tabacón. Hot springs are considered a natural expression of Earth's inherent energy. Geologically, thermal natural springs are 97% rain-based and 3% magma-based. Rainwater enters the earth through fissures on the surface and is then heated by magma found in the earth's core. Once heated, the waters rise to surface, taking with them minerals found in the earth's rocky stratus. Thousands of gallons of water heated by Arenal Volcano emanate per minute into several beautiful pools surrounded by dense vegetation and gardens. We will enjoy lunch at Tabacón and after dinner, we will transfer back to our hotel.

Day 10 ARENAL – BORDER WITH NICARAGUA – TRANSFER TO GRANADA NICARAGUA (B, L, D)

Today we will start our trip towards the border with Nicaragua at Peñas Blancas. Nicaragua is known as the “Land of Lakes and Volcanoes”.
Before crossing the border into Nicaragua, we will stop for lunch.
At arrival in Granada, free time to relax after long trip.

Day 11 GRANADA – ISLETS BOAT TOUR – CIGAR FACTORY – WALKING TOUR OF GRANADA (B, L, D)

We will begin our day with a relaxing boat ride around some of the enchanting islands of Lake Nicaragua. There are 365 islands which are a product of huge rocks that were expelled by Mombacho Volcano when it erupted thousands of years ago. Some islands are small, others are very big. A local community of about 1,000 people lives here, most of them fishermen. As we pass by the different islands we will be able to see and interact with the local people doing their day to day activities. We will also enjoy the beautiful landscape and the abundant wildlife of the area.
After lunch, we will walk through the streets of colonial Granada, founded by Captain Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1524, named after the city of Granada in Spain, and considered as one of the colonial jewels in America. It is located in a strategic position on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, but this also made her the victim of many pirate attacks during the colonial times. Granada has many colonial churches, winding lanes, and grand colonial homes with traditional tiled roofs. Walk around the main plaza of the city and see "La Merced" church, the famous "Casa de Los Tres Mundos" and the San Francisco convent. Due to the historical and cultural value of the city, it is in the process of being declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
We will stop at a cigar factory, since Granada is famous for producing high quality cigars. We will learn about and see the actual process and you will be able to make your own cigar.

Day 12 GRANADA – MASAYA VOLCANO – MANAGUA - LEON (B, L, D)

Today we will continue heading west towards León. On the way, we will first stop at Masaya Volcano National Park, located 20 km south of Managua. It is Nicaragua´s first and largest National Park including two volcanoes and five craters in an area of 54 km². The indigenous people and the Spanish conquerors feared the constant eruptions of the volcano and therefore the Spanish baptized the active volcano "La Boca del Infierno" or "The Mouth of Hell". In order to exorcise the Devil, in the 16th century they established a cross on the crater lip, "La Cruz de Bobadilla" (named after Father Francisco Bobadilla).
The nature of the Park is rough but at the same time provides a peaceful atmosphere. The eruptions have had a dramatic impact on the surroundings since rocks and volcanic ashes still cover the surrounding area. Different types of vegetation appeared after the eruptions. An amazing experience is that you will be able to peek over the edge at the Masaya Volcano, and look into the impressive crater, which is continuously emitting smoke and sulfur gases.
Then, we will continue to Managua, the largest city in Nicaragua and located on the southwestern shore of Lake Xolotlán or Lake Managua. Managua became capital city in 1852, when the newly independent nation decided to end the eternal competition between the colonial cities of Granada and Leon, which had been capital cities in previous times. We will visit the historical center which still preserves some attractions around 'Plaza de la Revolución' (Revolution Square) like the National Palace of Culture and Centro Cultural Managua. Both buildings work as the headquarters of the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture (INC) and include public places like art galleries, the National Museum and the National Film Archive. The ruins of the old cathedral are also part of this square, but remain closed due to its fragile state. Furthermore, what used to be the presidential house, known as the 'Casa de los Pueblos', is also located here. The square is enclosed by a nice Central Park that has benches, lots of trees, kiosks and mausoleums.
After lunch, we will continue to León, on the way, we will visit Nagarote, specifically Quesillos Gourmet Restaurant "Mi Finca". We can enjoy the famous quesillo (a type of cheese rolled in a tortilla, to which cream, onion and salt is added) inside a large and fresh ranchón, located right next to the new road to León. In addition, we can make our own tortillas. Arrival to León.

Day 13 LEON – FLOR DE CANA RUM TOUR – LEON CITY TOUR (B, L, D)

The tour of Flor de Caña begins with a visit to the plantation in Chichigalpa, where Flor de Caña, known as the world’s finest rum, grows their sugar cane. You will then visit the production facility to learn about the history, production, and conservation of the product and taste the award-winning rum.
In the afternoon you will go back to Leon for a city tour. The city of León is a cultural-historical city with an authentic atmosphere where visitors can easily connect with the locals. León offers a quiet, relaxed and pleasant atmosphere that comes to life at night owing to the city´s large student population. In the evenings you can enjoy parties, live music, folkloric performances and much more. The center with its colonial buildings, beautiful churches and the cathedral which has been declared as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, are only some of León´s many attractions. Visit revolutionary murals, baroque/neoclassical churches and an art museum with works of internationally renowned artists. Explore the local market and colonial buildings; the tour ends with a visit to the picturesque rooftop of the largest cathedral of Central America.

Day 14 LEON – POTOSI PORT – GULF OF FONSECA BOART CROSSING TO EL SALVADOR – SAN SALVADOR (B, L, D)

AfterIn the morning we will start our trip from Leon towards the Port of Potosí where a boat will be waiting for us. The Cruce del Golfo (Boat Gulf Crossing) is not only the fastest, but also the most scenic route between Nicaragua and El Salvador. Nonstop, the boat trip takes about 2 hours and allows us to witness the beautiful scenery of the Gulf of Fonseca, which includes wildlife, several islands and volcanoes in the background. On the way to La Union it is possible to watch fishermen, busy with their daily fishing routine. In between leaving Potosi and entering the harbor of La Union in El Salvador the boat will make a stop at one of the islands for lunch. The setting is simple but beautiful. Then we will continue our trip and upon arrival in La Union, we will head to customs for the procedures of entering El Salvador and then continue our trip by land to our hotel in San Salvador.

Day 15 SAN SALVADOR – JOYA DE CEREN – INDIGO WORKSHOP – SUCHITOTO – SAN SALVADOR (B, L, D)

Today on our journey we visit the archaeological site of Joya de Ceren, which was declared world heritage by UNESCO in 1993 for being the only location in the whole Maya culture where you can appreciate the day to day living styles of the popular pre-Columbian inhabitants. “Joya de Ceren” was a village not a ceremonial site and was buried by several eruptions of volcanoes and the village lies under 14 layers of ash. For this reason, the village has been very well preserved. The villagers were apparently able to escape in time as no bodies have been found, although they left behind utensils, ceramics, furniture, and even half-eaten food in their haste to escape. The site is full of architectural remains, grouped into compounds that include civic, religious and household buildings. All structures are made of earth and important features like thatch roofs and artefacts found in-situ have been recovered.
Then we will transfer to Hacienda Los Nacimientos where we will enjoy an Indigo Workshop experience. Indigo is a natural colorant extracted from the Xiquilite plant. It was a very important element for the Mayans since they used it for magical/religious rituals, as a medical plant, for pottery, and for painting. When the Spanish “Conquistadores” arrived to El Salvador in 1524, Indigo became the new source of wealth in the region. Pedro de Alvarado noticed how the Indians used several shades of blue in their clothes. In 1558, the Habsburg King Charles I ordered the territories of Guatemala and Cuscatlán (El Salvador), to produce indigo for Spain. The commercial route was through Granada, then to Cartagena de Indias from where it travelled to Spain. In the XVII century the ounce of indigo was as valuable as gold. El Salvador indigo has always been recognized as top quality worldwide. Travelers will learn the process of indigo as well as art techniques used on clothing as they experiment in designing their own scarf.
Afterwards, we will stop by Suchitoto to enjoy late lunch and explore a bit of this colonial town.

Day 16 SAN SALVADOR – VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK – SHARE SMLE ACTIVITY - COPAN (B, L, D)

Today we will drive to Los Volcanes National Park; here come together the volcanoes of Izalco, Santa Ana and Cerro Verde. The volcanoes are located within beautiful scenery and have a wide biodiversity. You will have a short walk of an hour through the park with local guide and have very stunning viewing points to Izalco volcano and Lake Coatepeque.
Then, we will arrive to a private property located in the middle of the three volcanoes, offering amazing views of Izalco crater with the Pacific Ocean in the background. In here we will enjoy a Pupusas workshop experience. Pupusas is the typical dish of El Salvador that consists of corn tortillas stuffed with beans and cheese and several other ingredients. A “pupusera”, someone who makes pupusas, will be at the property along with her equipment in order to make the pupusas. We will be able to see how they are done and will also make our own pupusa.
Finally, we will engage in a brief “Share Smiles” activity with children from the community. Share Smiles is our own non-profit organization whose aim is to help children in rural areas complete high school. For 15 years Share Smiles has provided children in local communities with school supplies, transportation to school, leadership and development programs and English classes. Share Smiles also offers children exposure to the tourism industry, so that after high school graduation they can benefit from the economic opportunities of a growing industry in their country.
Then, we will transfer by land to Copán, Honduras. At the indicated time, we will depart towards Copán. Upon arrival we will transfer to hotel.

Day 17 LA PAZ – COPAN – ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE – CACAO PRESENATION - COPAN (B, L, D)

Today we will visit Copan Archaeological site: The Paris of the Mayans and one of the most distinguished cultural monuments in the world. In 1980, Copán archaeological park was declared a World Heritage Site. Mayan influence is seen starting at around 300 A.D. By 400 A.D. it became one of the most important Maya cities in Mesoamerica, developing its own art and architecture. Arguably, Copán is the most beautiful Maya City. It doesn´t have the verticality of Tikal or the huge buildings of Uxmal or Palenque, but each stone of Copán reveals the majesty of the rulers and the skills of the craftsmen. A local guide will travel with us and explain the history behind all the temples, sculptures, hieroglyphics and tunnels.
After lunch, we will have a cacao presentation with the archaeologist who discovered the tomb of the founder of Copan. We will learn about the importance of cacao for the Mayan tribes in the Pre-Hispanic era, with curious details about this cacao tree and we will be able to taste the different types of cacaos that they cultivate in the region.

Day 18 COPAN – QUIRIGUA – RIO DULCE (B, L, D)

Today we will head towards Guatemala, the country of eternal spring. The border is very close from Copan. After entering Guatemala we will start our trip towards Rio Dulce. On the way, we will stop at Quiriguá Archaeological Site, located west of Grande River which was an important “highway” of communication among the Mayas. This Maya city is best known for its magnificent “Estelas”, which are the biggest and best preserved in the Maya World; like for example Estela E, with a height of 10 meters and a weight of over 55 tons. Originally, Quiriguá was under Copan rule, but around 740 AD they were able to separate and even subjugated Copan. It was during this time that Quiriguá reached it maximum splendor. The site is surrounded by tropical rainforest which is home to a wide variety of fauna.
Then we will continue to the town of Mariscos for lunch. From there, we will board the boat to cross Izabal Lake, which is the biggest in Guatemala. The lake also offers a wide variety of fauna including the manatee. The boat will take us to Rio Dulce, where our vehicle will be waiting along with the luggage to take us to the hotel.

Day 19 RIO DULCE – FLORES – YAXHA SUNSET TOUR – TIKAL (B, L, D)

Breakfast at hotel. Morning transfer to Flores. At your arrival to Flores meet with your local guide for your Yaxha Sunset Tour. Yaxha, meaning "green water", is located 73 km from Flores. This Mayan site, discovered in 1904 by architect Teobert Maler, is situated within the Mayan Biosphere Reserve along the sites of Nakum and El Naranjo. From the major pyramid you can enjoy a great view of Yaxha lagoon, and another Mayan site called Topoxte. Receiving fewer visitors than other sites, Yaxha remains peaceful and there are wonderful wildlife watching opportunities. The sunset on top one of the temples on a clear day is simply stunning! Overnight accommodations at hotel.

Day 20 TIKAL - ARCHAEOLOGICAL TOUR – FLORES – GUATEMALA cITY (B, L, D)

We are now in the area of Petén, where we will experience the greatness and splendor of the Maya Civilization. In the morning we will depart the hotel towards Tikal, which means “place of voices”.
Tikal is currently the largest known and studied Mayan City. The entire park has an extension of 576 square kilometers. UNESCO established it as a World Heritage site in 1979. Tikal is the highest point of the Maya Civilization; when visiting the main square, one is powerfully moved by its majesty. The vertical dimension of the pyramids is impressive as well. We will explore its main temples (such as the Big Jaguar Temple built around 700 A.D. reaching an altitude of 45 meters above the main square, and Temple IV, 70 meters high, and from which we will have spectacular panoramic views of the Park ) and plazas along with a local and knowledgeable guide.
Then, transfer to airport for flight to Guatemala City and transfer to hotel.

Day 21 GUATEMALA CTY – CHICHICASTENNANOGO MARKET – HIPTIPICO VISIT – LAKE ATITLAN (B, L, D)

Today we will start heading to “El Altiplano” in Western Guatemala, where the indigenous Maya live culture is more present and vivid. The region also offers several natural wonders and beautiful landscapes.
We will first visit Chichicastenango, famous for its iconic market. Every Thursday and Sunday merchants come down the mountains to the Central Plaza with all types of products for an impressive indigenous market that little has changed during the centuries. They sell handicrafts, food, flowers, pottery, wooden boxes, condiments, medicinal plants, candles, pom and copal (traditional incense), cal (lime stones for preparing tortillas), grindstones, pigs and chickens, machetes, and so much more.
After lunch we will continue to Lake Atitlán, but before we make it to our hotel, we will learn about the artisanal background of this area through Hiptipico. Hiptipico is an ethical fashion brand based in Panajachel, Guatemala showcasing Maya artisans and their handmade creations. Every Hiptipico item is thoughtfully handcrafted by indigenous communities, using high-quality sustainable materials. We will be able to visit a local woman artisan at her house, where she will share her background and process to create every piece, as well as how she is sharing and passing this tradition to her family.
Lake Atitlan is at an altitude of 1,560 meters above sea level and is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Its indigenous name means “between waters”. It is “guarded” by three majestic volcanoes: Tolimán, Atitlán, y San Pedro. Beyond the natural beauty of the lake, on its shores lie a dozen of indigenous villages of prehistoric origin where life has changed little or not at all over the centuries. The people who inhabit these towns give the life and spirit to the lake where much of the Maya culture remains intact.

Day 22 LAKE ATITLAN – BOAT TOUR – ANTIGUA GUATEMALA (B, L, D)

Today we will wake up with an amazing view of Atitlán Lake. We will enjoy a boat tour crossing Atitlán Lake to visit the Maya towns: San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán, where we will be witness of their local traditions and crafts.
San Juan is a community that serves as beacon of Sustainable Tourism in the area and in the region. As we walk through, we will be able to see artisan women dye its fabrics with diverse natural colorants. In this town, we will visit Jocelyn and her Family. Jocelyn is 16 year-old renowned painter, whose art has made it all the way to galleries in Prague. Jocelyn comes from a family of artists and together with her family, they own a gallery in San Juan. We will have the chance to listen to Jocelyn's family history, we will be able to see her dad work at the shop, and admire the works of this highly creative family.
Upon return to Panajachel, we will transfer to Antigua Guatemala.

Day 23 FULL DAY ANTIGUA GUATEMALA AND MAYA SPIRITUAL CEREMONY (B, L, D)

Antigua Guatemala was the third capital city established by the Spaniards. It was founded in 1543. In 1773 it was completely destroyed by an earthquake. Even though a new capital was established at a different location, people slowly started to give life back to Antigua Guatemala, which is now one of the main attractions of Guatemala due mainly to its colonial architecture where it seems like if time has stopped. Antigua Guatemala is located at the Panchoy Valley and is surrounded by three volcanoes and mountains with coffee plantations.
With its cobblestone streets and ancestral edifications, it provides a marvelous setting for cultural and religious traditions. A gem of urban planning and colonial architecture, Antigua’s features has been well preserved. Because of its immense historical and cultural value it was declared a World Heritage site in 1979. We will enjoy a walking tour in the town. For lunch, we will go just outside Antigua, to enjoy a homemade meal with a local family. Don Manuel will welcome us into their home, where we will get to meet his wife and beautiful daughters, and together we will share a traditional-every-day Guatemalan meal.
Afterwards, we will be part of a Mayan spiritual ceremony. For this community, the core of the Mayan worldview is spirituality. From spirituality comes duality and from duality the balance between sources or contrary energies that provide an ideal state to achieve health, physical and spiritual well-being. This spirituality considers man and woman as part of nature, like all other beings who live in it. We all owe respect and worship to a supreme energy, because we are part of that whole. The creative, formative energy that is the heart of heaven and earth. AJAW. For this we will have the opportunity to celebrate an authentic Mayan spiritual ceremony, with a spiritual guide Maya Kakchikel known as an ajq'ij, Calixta Gabriel, while she explains the materials for the sacred fire, the importance of the sacred Mayan calendar still in use in our days and other aspects of Mayan spirituality around the sacred fire. Finally, we are going to have a farewell dinner.

Day 24 ANTIGUA – GUATEMALA CITY (B)

Free morning in Antigua Guatemala.
Transfer to airport for departure flight.

Day 25 LONDON

Arrival at London Heathrow and say goodbye to our new friends.

- END OF PROGRAMME -

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

- Return International and Internal flights
- 4* accommodation as stated
- All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles
- Tour manager from the UK and local ENGLISH speaking guides
- All entrance fees as per program
- Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program + 1 Soft Drink (Local food, Set Menu):
- Boat Crossing Gulf of Fonseca.
- Border crossing fees: Panama/Costa Rica, Costa Rica/Nicaragua, Nicaragua/El Salvador, El Salvador/Honduras, Honduras/Guatemala
- All Tips

TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:

- Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
-Extra Drinks
- Early check-in or late checkout
- Insurances
- Optional excursions and activities
- Additional transfer required due to an emergency situation
- Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverages…)
- All not mentioned above
- Excess baggage charges

HOTELS (4*)

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