Reception at the International Airport of El Salvador (Comalapa) and transfer to San Salvador. Overnight in San Salvador.
Day 2: San Salvador / Boqueron / Suchitoto
Today we will visit El Boquerón which is the name of the crater of San Salvador’s Volcano. Locals say that it has this name since the crater resembles a big mouth (boqueron = Big Mouth). At approximately 1,700 meters above sea level, it provides a cool climate in between 15 – 23 ºC. We will be able to walk to the edge of the crater and admire its beauty. Then we will continue to Suchitoto town, one of El Salvador’s colonial towns. Its name means the place of the Flower Bird. We will walk along the charming cobblestone streets surrounded by lovely old colonial homes. In the afternoon, we will experience an Indigo Workshop. 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. El Salvador indigo, has always been recognized as top quality worldwide. We will learn the process of indigo as well as art techniques used on clothing as we experiment in designing our own scarf. Overnight in Suchitoto.
Day 3: Suchitoto / Joya de Ceren / Volcanoes National Park / Flower Route
El Salvador is part of the Mayan World, and today we will visit its main archaeological site. Joya de Cerén was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993, and it is known as the “Pompeii of the Americas”. This agricultural community was buried by the ashes of Volcano Caldera back in 600 AD. Thanks to the excellent preservation, this site allows us to witness the everyday lives of the Mesoamerican agricultures of such time period. There is also a comprehensive museum on site.
Then we will continue to Volcanoes National Park, where three amazing volcanoes (Izalco Volcano, Santa Ana Volcano and Cerro Verde) embrace beautiful Coatepeque Lake which fills a crater of another volcano. Izalco Volcano is one of the youngest volcanoes in America given that it was born in the 1700’s, whereas Santa Ana Volcano is thousands of years old. Izalco Volcano was known as the “Lighthouse of the Pacific” since its lava guided the ships on the Pacific Ocean Coast. No lava is currently flowing, but both volcanoes are still active since constant fumaroles are present. In Cerro Verde, located in the middle of the other two volcanoes, we will walk around its extinct crater providing breathtaking views of Izalco and Santa Ana Volcanoes and Coatepeque Lake.
After this, we will continue to the Flower Route, which is a coffee plantation area in the Western side of El Salvador. It is composed by 4 main towns and it has a comfortable weather due to the altitude. The towns are Nahuizalco, Juayua, Apaneca and Ataco. The region also offers amazing views of mountains and volcanoes. The region offers crafts, coffee tours, charming towns, markets, and adventure options. Overnight in Flower Route.
Day 4: Flower Route / Coffee Tour / Flower Route
Today we will visit a coffee plantation and if the tour takes place within coffee season (DEC – MAR), we will be able to collect coffee along with the locals. After this experience, a guided tour will explain each step of the coffee process at the coffee mill. Travelers will be able to buy coffee products and crafts as souvenirs. Optional: travelers will be able to enjoy adventure options such as horseback riding, mountain bike, ATV tour, or a zip line tour. Overnight in Flower Route.
Day 5: Flower Route / Antigua Guatemala
Transfer to Antigua Guatemala. In the afternoon we will visit Cerro de La Cruz, he was previously known as Cerro del Manchén. It is a very beautiful place to see the city of Antigua Guatemala from another perspective, you can see the structures, tile roofs, the blue, red or yellow walls of the houses that are there. Also in the background, you can appreciate the majesty of one of the guardians of this city Agua Volcano. Overnight in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 06: Antigua Guatemala
We will visit to the most important and significant attractions of the city including Antigua’s most beautiful churches, monasteries, convents, and the cultural center. Antigua is among the world’s best conserved colonial cities. It is a magical and captivating small town that will make you feel time stopped some 300 years ago. From its colonial architecture to its beautiful surroundings; strolling through town on the cobbled streets, you will experience the splendors of ancient times. Overnight in Antigua Guatemala.
Day 07: Antigua / Chichicastenango / Panajachel
We will transfer to Chichicastenango’s market, the most colorful and exciting place in the Mayan Highlands and the only place in Guatemala of 100% Quiché population. Admire the historical and mystic Church of Santo Tomás, where the Mayan bible was discovered. Be the witness of Mayan ceremonies inside the church, where you can presence their gifts to the Mayan God’s. Transfer to Panajachel. Overnight in Panajachel.
Day 08: Panajachel / San Juan La Laguna & Santiago de Atitlán / Guatemala City
We will take a boat tour to Atitlán Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The word “Atitlán” is a Mayan word that translates as “the place where the rainbow gets its colors”. Panajachel is an 800 year old town of about 14000 people, mostly Kaqchikel Mayas and some foreigners from every corner of the globe, living inside that rainbow. Upon arrival discover the magic that surrounds all its greatness while taking a boat to cross the Lake and visit two different Tzutuhil Villages. We will visit a small town around the lake, where you’ll be able experience the Mayan culture to the purest. Then transfer to Santiago where you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by different people of different ethnicities who come to ask health and prosperity in their lives. Transfer back to Panajachel and then to Guatemala City. Overnight in Guatemala City.
Day 09: Guatemala city / Tikal / Guatemala city
Early in the morning we take a flight to Flores, Petén. Upon arrival transfer to one of the most important archaeological sites of the Mayan World, Tikal, its name means “Place of Voices”, built during the Maya Classic Period. There are places on this earth that are so stunning that it is impossible to capture them in words or photographs. Tikal is such a place and is considered the second largest city in the Maya world. Tikal has the distinction of being the first site in Guatemala declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Upon arrival at Tikal archaeological site, the guide will show you the layout of the complex of Temples and Acropolis. Visit to the Complex Q and R, then to the Central Acropolis, Temples I “El Gran Jaguar and the Temple II” Los Mascarones “, regarded as the first and one of the most important monuments in the complex. Visit to the Lost World. Transfer to the airport to take flight back to Guatemala City. Overnight in Guatemala city.
NOTE: During days 10-12 we will have two options to continue our circuit.
Day 10: (A) Guatemala City / Copan Ruins
Transfer to Copán Ruins, In the afternoon we will visit Hacienda San Lucas this restored 100 year old farmhouse were you will relax enjoying some breathtaking lovely views of the town and the valley while enjoying a refreshing cold beverage or a savory cup of Honduran coffee, you will take a horse back riding or hiking where you will visit the small archaeological site known as Los Sapos. Overnight in Copan.
Day 10: (B) Guatemala City / Quiriguá / Rio Dulce
We will transfer to the archaeological site of Quiriguá known for the tallest stelae in the Mayan World. The name “Quiriguá” is modern and taken from the name of a nearby town. This site is best known for the excellent stelae and zoomorphs found here. It is very important to show Stela “C” which talks about the start of the fifth Maya cycle that began some 3,000 years before Christ until December 21st 2012. The end of the Mayan Calendar gives emphasis to the Maya civilization and the world. When finished we will transfer to Rio Dulce. Overnight in Rio Dulce.
Day 11: (A) Copán Ruins
Breakfast and transfer to the Main Archaeological Site, the Acropolis, the Ball Court, the Hieroglyphic Stairway and the Great Plaza of the Stelae; as well as the Museum of Mayan Sculpture, acclaimed by experts as unique in the Mayan World. A masterpiece within the museum is the exact size replica of the famed Rosalila Temple, discovered in 1989. In the afternoon, we will visit Macaw Mountain Bird Park, is an innovative tropical bird reserve in Copán Ruins that cares for rescued and endangered birds of the American tropics. It offers a first class experience in an unspoiled part of the world. Here you learn about and interact with the intelligent, colorful birds of Central America. Overnight in Copán.
Day 11: (B) Río Dulce / Livingston / Rio Dulce
Time to enjoy a boat trip from Río Dulce to Livingston, which is a river running from Lake Izabal, in the eastern part of Guatemala, to the Carribean. On the way visit to the Isle of Birds and the Ak-Tenamit Project, that is a Kekchi origin population. Then the excitement continues with a half an hour stop in the area of hot waters, near the entrance of the canyon of Río Dulce. At the end of the journey the river mouth will reach the Caribbean Sea “La Buga” Livingston, a population of African origin that was originally called La Buga which means La Boca. Livingston is a fun and interesting Carribean town that is populated by the Garífuna people of African origin with a laid-back Carribean attitude, their own language (though they tend to speak Spanish and English as well), and a style of dancing known as “Punta” that requires the hips to move faster than lightening. Transfer to Rio Dulce. Overnight in Rio Dulce.
Day 12: (A) Copan Ruins / Tela
Breakfast and departure to Tela. On the way, we will stop at Finca Santa Isabel for the Copan Coffee Tour. Here you will hike downhill through nice trails and see with your own eyes the process of growing, harvesting and roasting coffee, the traditional shaded grown way, from the plant nursery to the last processing of the coffee beans. We will have lunch at a nice venue within the forest, close to a small waterfall. After lunch, transfer to Tela. Overnight at Tela.
Day 12: (B) Rio Dulce / Omoa / Tela
We will transfer to Tela. On the way, we will stop at the Spanish Fortress of San Fernando de Omoa. We will go back in time and experience a period of time when the buccaneers roamed the Caribbean Sea and attacked the Spanish center in the New World. This fortress was built by the Spaniards during the Colonial period throughout the most important ports to defend themselves. The Fortress of Omoa is the most impressive of such constructions in Central America. In the afternoon we will transfer to Tela. Overnight at Tela.
Day 13: Tela / La Ceiba
After Breakfast, we will transfer to Punta Sal, Jeannette Kawas is a fantastic park in Tela accessible only by water. It is a unique reserve with abundant bird life, which is divided into two basic areas: The Península and the Lagoon of Los Micos. The Península is home to a tropical rain forest, and is inhabited by various interesting animals, the most visible of which is the howler monkey. You will go on board of a motorboat which will take you to the Jeannette Kawas National Park. En route, with some luck you will see some dolphins. You will cross the Península by feet during a 25 minutes hike over flat land to arrive at the very secluded cove of Puerto Escondido, reputed to have been a pirate hang out, where you will aboard the boat back. En route, you may see different birds and with luck, some of the noisy howler monkeys, which inhabit the area. Lunch will be served at a pretty beach. At the end of the tour we will transfer to La Ceiba. Overnight at La Ceiba.
Day 14: La Ceiba / Roatan
After breakfast you will have the choice between three tours:
1) Cangrejal Whitewater Rafting, Some of the best white water rafting in Central America can be done right here in La Ceiba. The Cangrejal River offers class II, III and IV rapids, all within a short 45 minutes distance from downtown La Ceiba. With lot’s of drops, waterfalls, and narrow passages.
2) Pico Bonito National Park, Unquestionably one of the most diverse parks in Honduras, Pico Bonito covers an extension of land that goes from sea level to as high as 2,378 meters and in effect boasts the largest change of altitude in Honduras.
3) Cuero y Salado Wildlife Refuge, this wildlife refuge is especially dedicated to the preservation of the habitat for the endangered manatee. The park protects about 35 species of animals, including manatees, jaguars, jabirus, whiteface monkeys and other species of monkeys, as well as alligators and a great diversity of fish species. In the afternoon we will transfer to Roatan Island by ferry boat. Overnight at Roatan.
Day 15 & 16: Roatan
These days you will have free time to enjoy the different activities the Island offers. Roatan is the largest and most developed of the three islands of the Bay Islands, where you can enjoy one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean. The mountainous terrain of Roatan, in addition to the white sand beaches, turquoise waters, rich marine life is awesome, sports activities, theme parks and museums and cruise ship docks. Roatan is best to concentrate on the Caribbean, paradise where summer never ends. Overnights at Roatan.
Day 17: Roatan
Transfer to the airport to take flight back to your country.