Belize & Guatemala Explorer

  • Trip Type
  • Adventure
  • Length
  • 16 Days / 15 Nights
  • When to Go
  • November - August

  • The sacred lands of the Mayans

    Discover the diversity and magic of Belize and Guatemala on an immersive adventure through charming, picturesque landscapes filled with warm and inviting people. Stroll colonial streets and devour delicious street foods in Antigua, marvel at the local markets and lakeside calm of Lake Atitlán, and climb ancient pyramids in Yaxha and Tikal. Next up is beautiful Belize, where the mysterious Actun Tunichil Muknal cave awaits, followed by lush rainforest and idyllic beaches to wrap up a truly memorable journey.

    Trip Highlights

    lush jungle & deserted beaches • colonial cities & ancient ruins • street food & historical walking tour in Antigua • coffee tour • weaving & artisan cooperatives • Chichicastenango market • Tikal ruins • exotic wildlife • caving Actun Tunichil Muknal • cave tubing • beach time • snorkeling Silk Caye

    Full Package per person from:

    $4,350.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $4,500.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: Antigua - Arrival

      When you touch down in Guatemala City, a driver will be waiting to whisk you away to Antigua, located 30 minutes away in a valley surrounded by towering volcanoes. Check into the stately El Convento Hotel, and settle into the lap of luxury in one of the country's most iconic locations.

    • Day 2: Antigua - Get a taste of Guatemala, with a foray into Antigua's street food scene and a walking tour to introduce you to Antigua's spectacular colonial history

      In a city where the old stands side by side with the new, nowhere offers a better introduction to Guatemala than Antigua. Step back in time on a private walking tour of the city. Meander your way through labyrinth cobblestone streets, passing through fascinating and majestic ruins of convents and churches, and catching an authentic glimpse of modern Guatemalan culture as you uncover secrets of Antigua’s ancient past.

    • Day 3: Antigua - Explore fair trade coffee production, and enjoy unforgettable sunset views over the valley

      Today, head to Antigua’s center to embark on a tasty adventure in the scenic hills surrounding the town. Climb aboard a Unimog to take you up a steep dirt road to Finca Filadelfia, a working coffee farm whose hilltop location affords stunning panoramic views over the valley. Visit the plant nursery, where coffee and fruit plants are carefully tended until they are ready to be planted on the farm. Discover the process used to splice together Arabica and Robusta varietals to make a tasty yet hardy plant, before heading out to the farm where you’ll have the opportunity to handpick bright red coffee cherries right off the plants! Next, head to the processing plant where the beans are sorted, dried, and roasted, and finally, finish up with a cupping session and a tasting of some of the estate’s premium roast.

      Dinner tonight will be unforgettable. Savor artfully prepared cocktails and cuisine while soaking in the estate’s romantic colonial atmosphere and enjoying magnificent panoramic views of nearby Volcan de Agua as you dine.

    • Day 4: Antigua to Lake Atitlán - Discover the splendors of a volcanic crater lagoon

      On a pristine cobalt-colored lake bordered by three volcanoes, the beauty of your next stop, Lake Atitlán, is legendary. So too is the luxurious Casa Palopó, where you’ll spend the next three nights. Settle in for the evening, reveling in sweeping views from your private deck as you watch the sky darken and the stars come out.

    • Day 5: Lake Atitlán - Discover lakeside life in local villages, journey through San Juan La Laguna on a tour of weaving workshops, Mayan art galleries, and fair trade cacao and honey farms

      Get a tantalizing taste of Maya culture on an exploration of Lake Atitlán today. Explore the colors of the villages of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán on a private boat tour, starting with the cobblestone streets of San Pedro, and the region’s oldest church, followed by sweeping lake views at a hilltop vista. Next, visit San Juan La Laguna, a colorful artisan village with walls decorated with murals. Your guide will take you to a women’s cooperative to learn about the unique traditional textiles created here, and see hand weaving and the natural dying process up close, before leading you to a cacao cooperative to taste delicious local chocolate in its many forms.

      Uncover your next stop at Santiago Atitlán for a delicious local lunch overlooking the lake, and end your day at a traditional market, where you’ll pay your respects to Maximón (also called San Simón), a Mayan deity and folk saint who wears colorful garlands and scarves before boarding a boat to take you back to the lodge.

    • Day 6: Lake Atitlán - Browse the wares of the largest outdoor market in the Americas at Chichicastenango

      After a hearty breakfast, climb aboard a lancha bound for Panajachel. From there, depart for the colorful open-air market of Chichicastenango for a truly authentic glimpse of daily life in the Maya highlands. Every Thursday and Sunday, local vendors from all over the region make their way to Chichicastenango to hawk their wares – anything from fruit and vegetables to flowers, pottery and even livestock – and local families visit their favorite vendors to gather ingredients and goods for the week.

      Spend a couple of hours perusing the market stalls, then visit the cathedral of Santo Tomás, built in 1540 atop the foundation of a pre-Hispanic temple. Finally, enjoy a delicious local lunch in the market center before returning to the lodge as the sunset bathes the landscape in a dusky pink light.

    • Day 7: Lake Atitlán to Tikal - Gateway to ancient wonders

      Get an early start this morning with a two-hour transfer from Lake Atitlán to Guatemala City, where you'll catch a flight north, bound for Tikal, an ancient metropolis situated deep in the heart of the Maya jungle. When you land, a driver will be waiting to transport you to La Lancha Lodge, an intimate and romantic retreat along the shores of beautiful Lake Petén Itzá.

    • Day 8: Tikal - Relax & rejuvenate on Lake Petén Itzá

      Today, spend a day exploring La Lancha’s beautiful lakeshore property, perched on the shores of Lago Petén Itzá, the second largest lake in Guatemala, known for its dramatic color changes, shifting from cobalt blue to a green turquoise hue in an instant. The May believed these cool waters contained almost magical healing powers, bringing a sense of rejuvenation to those who swim in the lake.

    • Day 9: Tikal - Echoes of an ancient empire at Tikal

      Tikal, the City of Echoes, was the greatest metropolis in the Maya kingdom. A UNESCO World Heritage site located in Guatemala’s largest protected area, Tikal’s ruins comprise more than 3000 structures, scattered over 54 square kilometers (21 square miles).

      Wander through the extensive ruins, learning about Maya life as it existed from before 1000 BC until the civilization collapsed in 1000 AD. Take a gentle amble through primary rainforest as the howler monkeys whoop and call overhead, keeping your eyes open for spider monkeys, toucans, and other species of brightly-colored tropical birds.

    • Day 10: Tikal to Cayo District - Crossing into Belize

      Take a three-hour transfer across the border from Guatemala to Belize, where you'll check into the wild, wonderful and impressively luxurious jungle retreat at Chaa Creek.

    • Day 11: Cayo District - Serene rainforest surroundings

      Today will be spent making the most of the lodge’s facilities. In need of some R&R? Chaa Creek’s beautiful rainforest-view infinity pool is a great place to start. For more adventurous souls, there’s an extensive network of self-guided trails that crisscross 400-acres of private reserve, or if you’d rather try your hand at paddling, you can set out down the river in a canoe. Prepare to unleash your inner ornithologist – more than 350 species of birds have been spotted here.

    • Day 12: Cayo District - Discover a temple of treasures in the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal

      Today you’ll embark on a journey into Xibalba (pronounced shi-bal-ba), the Mayan underworld. Begin with a trek that will take you through rainforest and across three river crossings before you arrive to the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher, a spectacular cave held sacred to the Maya who began to use the entrance during the Early Classic period. In later years, as a devastating drought swept over the region, the Maya traveled deeper into the cave to conduct ceremonies and ritual sacrifices.

      The cave consists of a series of chambers that ends in a large cathedral space where individuals were sacrificed to the gods of the underworld, and where their remains still lie. Travel into the past in this living museum, where skeletal remains and Mayan artifacts still rest as they were originally placed thousands of years ago.

    • Day 13: Cayo District - Float down a lazy aquamarine river that winds an 11-km path underground and through lush jungle

      Trek along subtropical trails, wade through a river and pass through two caves before you reach a stunning lagoon surrounded by steep limestone walls. Here, climb into an inner tube and let the current carry you into two large chambers – impressive sanctuaries used by the Maya for sacrificial rituals. Plunge into darkness and listen to the sounds of the cascading waterfalls and churning rapids. Once you exit the cave, continue your float along the river until you arrive back at the starting point, and head back to the lodge.

    • Day 14: Cayo District to Placencia - Discover paradise

      After breakfast, trade jungle for pristine Caribbean Sea. Take a scenic drive through Belize's lush rolling hills to Placencia, a quiet fishing village on the coast. Check in to the beautiful Naia Resort, and let the sounds of the waves breaking on the sand gently lull you to sleep.

    • Day 15: Placencia - Silk Caye coral reefs & soft Caribbean sands

      After breakfast, you’re off to one of Belize’s best kept secrets, the blissful Silk Caye. This picturesque little island is surrounded by miles of turquoise waters. Spend your day swimming and snorkeling alongside vibrantly-colored tropical fish, curious sharks, and mingling with spotted eagle and stingrays gliding through perfect, clear water. You may even rub elbows with a turtle or two!

    • Day 16: Placencia - Departure

      Bid farewell to turquoise waters and powdery sands, with a short flight to Belize City, where you will depart on your international flight home.

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    Your trip includes everything you want & need, plus a few surprises along the way. Unique, unforgettable destinations; tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations & new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; blissful relaxation; romantic touches; and a feeling of total freedom. ROAM takes care of everything so that you can enjoy a hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup
    • All hotel accommodation
    • Meals as indicated
    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide
    • All special events and tours
    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off
    • All baggage transportation
    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Belize.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • If departing Belize by air, most major airlines include exit taxes in the price of your airfare.

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.

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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Belize’s international airport: Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City (airport code: BZE). Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Belize from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.

    When you arrive in BZE, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your first destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

    Ready to book, or just want to get more information? Let's get started! Fill out the form below, and we will send you a no-obligation quote.

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