Guatemala Mayan Ruins

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Guatemala Mayan Ruins

Mayan Ruins in Guatemala, display a culture that flourished here between 700 BC to 900 AD. The most important of these are the Tikal National Park in the rainforests of northern Guatemala. Yaxha National Park near Tikal, has over 500 structures, most of which are still covered by the forest. Other Mayan ruins include Aguateca and the nearby Ceibal/Seibal, both approachable from the city of Sayaxché, make a fun excursion for archaeology enthusiasts. 

Begin with a walking tour of Antigua, Guatemala. Explore its surrounds and travel to Lake Atitlan. Visit a nature reserve and hike in the tropical forest with interesting flora and fauna. In Aguateca and Ceibal, take a boat for a picturesque river journey. Take canopy tour to Ixpanpajul Nature Park’s rainforest or visit ARCAS wildlife and rescue centre on the shores of Lake Petenitza, near Flores. Then visit Mayan Temple site at the Tikal National Park.

TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 12-DAY GUATEMALA TOUR…
And, explore its Mayan sites, nature parks and wildlife.
 

What We Love
  • Birdwatching around Lake Atitlan, referred as the world's most beautiful lake
  • Understand Mayan archaeology with a tour of the Mayan ruins of Yaxha
  • Explore Tikal, a magnificent archaeological site that dates back to 700 BC
  • Designed with the best luxury accommodation and services available. 
  • This tour is designed to provide maximum outdoor experience.
 
What to Know
  • This is a relaxed tour but may require walking on rough surfaces. 
  • We can arrange informal lectures on history and culture by prominent local professors. 
  • For comfortable transportation, we can arrange helicopter transfers.
  • Charity tours will include the community guide fee and donation to the respective charity.
  • We strongly recommend that you take travel insurance for this holiday.

Review

Antigua & Atitlan: Antigua is a 16th century town whose colonial monuments, churches, and monasteries were destroyed in the 1773 earthquake. But it still remains to be a pleasant town with cobblestone streets, pastel-hued homes, luxe boutique hotels, and an exceptional selection of smart restaurants. Almost 2 hr by drive in the Guatemalan highlands is lake Atitlan filled with shimmering water. Lakeside villages practice local customs and the region offers great opportunities to kayak, bike, hike and zip-line. The journey to Lake Atitlan allows visit to Chichicastenango (Chichi) market visited by locals from nearby villages. 
 
Guatemala’s Natural Life: Guatemala is considered the fifth Biodiversity Hot Spot in the world. The country has 14 eco-regions ranging from Mangrove forest (4 species), in both ocean littorals, Dry forest and Thorn bushes in the Eastern Highlands, Subtropical and Tropical rain forest, Wetlands, Cloud Humid forest in the Verapaz, Pacific Piedmont, and other regions,  Mix, Quercus and Pine forest in the Highlands.   
 
El Petén: The El Petén region, located north of Guatemala City, once held over 3,000 temples dominating the skyline. Today, a large tract of El Petén belongs to the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a wildlife haven that stretches from Belize through Guatemala to Mexico. Archaeological sites addition to the Tikal include Yaxhá, Ceibal, Aguateca, and Uaxactún. 
 
At the ancient Maya City of Yaxhá , you can climb to the upper platform of a 30-metre-high pyramidal temple and see above the forest canopy onto the ruined city's nine plazas and the island-spotted lake below. At Ceibal, you can view the carved decorations, considered among the most beautiful in the Maya region. At Aguateca, is where the Maya dynasty made its last stand, probably because of its protected site at the top of an escarpment. And at Uaxactun, you can see the series of aligned structures that form an astronomical observatory, the first of its kind in the Maya world.
Getting There

Most flights to Guatemala from the UK are routed via US hub cities: Atlanta, Houston, New York or Miami. Airfares always depend on the season, with the highest being from Christmas to February, around Easter and in July and August. Other options include flying via Madrid on Iberia, via Amsterdam and Panama with KLM, or via Mexico with a number of airlines and then on to Guatemala with a Mexican airline. Flores airport, near Tikal, has a few flights from Belize City and Cancún.
 

 
Guatemala Mayan Ruins Guatamala

Guatemala Mayan Ruins

Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Ceibal, Yaxha, Tikal
(12 Days – Travel Any Day)


Day 1 – Arrive
Antigua, Guatemala Meet and greet on arrival at Guatemala City airport and private transfer to Antigua.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice
Recommended: El Convento – Junior Suite (B)

Day 2 – City Tour & Surrounds
Antigua With your private guide and driver, you will explore Antigua and surrounds. You will have a choice to select one of the two half-day tours; the Fair Trade Coffee tour or Antigua Walking tour.

Fair Trade Coffee Tour: This tour begins with a short transfer to the small town of San Miguel Escobar, just outside of Antigua. With your private guide from As Green as it Gets (AGAIG), a local charity you will visit some of the families supported by this organisation. You can work alongside coffee farmers in their coffee making process. Coffee Season is Nov to Mar. This tour includes a donation to AGAIG which is also supported by our ground operator.

OR
Antigua Walking Tour: This tour will cover the cultural, historical & social highlights of this colonial city with a behind-the-scenes look at some of the many ruined churches, convents, and cathedrals. This tour is flexible and if you have specific sites that you wish to see please notify your guide.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 3 – Birdwatching Tour
Lake Atitlan After an early morning bird watching in the surrounding of Antigua we transfer to the Atitlan Reserve. Here you will enjoy an easy hike in the tropical forest with enchanting waterfalls and bridges. The reserve contains interesting plants and animals, including monkeys, the raccoon-like coatis and exotic birds, such as Guatemala's national bird, the Quetzal.

The Nature Reserve also has an enclosed butterfly preserve with a breeding laboratory with approximately 200 living specimens of nearly 20 species of native Guatemala butterflies. If you are in for a bit more adventure end your hike with an exciting canopy tour.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 4 – San Juan Culture Tour
Lake Atitlan A full day tour of San Juan & Santiago. Transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you visit a local textile cooperative. You can also visit the local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for lunch. After lunch you will visit the house where the Maya God Maximon. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 5 – Chichi Market Tour
Flores Today you’ll be visiting the famous market at Chichi.  This is the biggest and most colourful market of Mesoamerica with enough time for shopping. You will also have an opportunity to see Maya rituals being performed in the Catholic Church. Transfer to Guatemala City for your evening flight to Flores. On arrival, transfer to your jungle hotel.
Overnight: Hotel of your choice (B)

Day 6 – Wildlife Tour
Sayaxche With your private wildlife guide and driver, transfer to Sayaxche (1.5hr). Board a local boat for a picturesque river journey down the La Pasion River (30min) to the site at Ceibal, once the largest archaeological site in the southwestern Maya Lowlands.

After a pretty steep climb up to the site through a Ceiba tree forest your guide will explain you about the latest findings in the area which contains some of the most ornate & well preserved carved stelae. En route enjoy many opportunities to see wildlife before we continue by boat to your rainforest lodge on the shores of Lake Petexbatun,(1hr)
Overnight Chiminos Lodge (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Aguateca Tour
Flores Transfer with your private guide by boat to the lesser visited yet unique site at Aguateca (30min). This site is unusual in that it contains the only known bridge formed in Maya civilization and is surrounded by a natural moat fortification formed by a fault line. There are many opportunities to see wildlife today both during the boat ride and whilst walking around the site. Later, transfer to Flores by boat & land.
Overnight Nitun Lodge (B, L)

Day 8 – Canopy Adventure
Flores Today you will be picked up from your hotel and transferred to the Ixpanpajul Nature Park in the rainforest near the town of Flores. At the park choose between a Canopy walk Way trail or an exciting zip line adventure through the canopy. Appreciate the local flora & fauna en route and hopefully you will see a rich variety of tropical wildlife.

Later, transfer to Yaxha National Park (approx 1hr) to explore this atmospheric lakeside site ending with refreshments & wonderful views at sunset over the rainforest canopy from atop the main temples.
Overnight Nitun Lodge (B, L)

Day 9 – ARCAS Rescue project
Flores Transfer this morning to the ARCAS wildlife and rescue centre on the shores of Lake Petenitza. You will enjoy a guided tour of the centre with a member of the ARCAS team so that they can learn about their work about how they manage to rehabilitate wild animals back into the rainforest environment.
Overnight Nitun Lodge (B)

Day 10 – Peten Rainforest
Uaxactun Transfer today deep into the Peten rainforest to the community and archaeology site at Uaxactun. With your private guide and the community guide will explain about the various development programs ongoing in this community aimed at decreasing deforestation and finding alternative sources of income.

Later visit the wonderful Maya archaeology site of Uaxactun and local lunch in the community restaurant.
Overnight Jungle Lodge (B)

Day 11 – Mayan Ruins
Guatemala City Today you will be guided on an extraordinary  tour to explore the amazing UNESCO protected Mayan Temple site of Tikal where huge Mayan temples rise above the jungle canopy and monkeys and tropical birds are abundant in the surrounding rainforest.  

For centuries this city was completely covered under jungle. The most prominent surviving buildings include six very large Mesoamerican step pyramids, labelled Temples I - VI, each of which support a temple structure on their summits. Follow in the footsteps of Maya royalty and commoners to such sites as the majestic Temple of the Jaguar (44mtrs), Temple of the Masks (38mtrs), the Acropolis and much more.

Day 12 – Depart
Guatemala City Private transfer to the airport for your flight to Guatemala City.
Connect with your onward flight or extend your tour to Belize Beach locations.
 

 

Make this your holiday

  • Exclusive Tour: your own private multilingual guide throughout the trip  
  • Price Guarantee: costing 25-30% less than similar tours of the same flexibility and quality
  • Tailor Made: customised itinerary to create your dream holiday
  • Duration: shorten or lengthen the tour to suit your wishes
  • Dates: depart and return whenever you choose
  • Hotels: change hotel grade to suit your budget
  • Group Discounts: call 020 8350 6199
     

When to go Guatemala has a very good weather all year round and for that reason is called "The Land of Eternal Spring". In reality there are only two seasons, the dry season (from November to April) and the wet season (from May to October).

The best time to visit Guatemala is during the dry season; however, being summer holidays, this is also the busiest time. The rainy season isn’t that bad and you may consider planning your trip during this time of the year. Trips during this period are less expensive and there is so much to see on your own.  

November through April (Dry): This is Guatemala’s dry season with dazzling blue skies and warm sunshine to Antigua and Lake Atitlan. The tourist high season runs December through March, when demand for accommodation can be high; hence booking in advance is advised.

May through October (Wet): The rainy season runs roughly from May to October. The busiest times for tourism during this season are July and August. During this time you can often expect sunny mornings and showers falling predominantly in the afternoon, usually lasting no longer than a couple of hours, with the worst of the rain falling in September and October.

Visas British citizens don’t need a visa to visit Guatemala for up to 90 days. If you wish to extend your visa, you must submit an application to the Migration Directorate in Guatemala City.

Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Guatemala.

For further information contact the Guatemalan Embassy in London.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk