The Lure of Central America 1480 , 13 Days

On this two-week adventure through Central America we discover colonial towns in Nicaragua and El Salvador, explore bustling local markets in the Guatemalan highlands and enjoy the secluded beached of Ometepe Island in Nicaragua. Cruising along Lake Atitlan we visit local villages - home to the Tzutujil Maya people. We also explore the ancient site of Copan in Honduras, and uncover the rich history of the Maya kingdom.
 

Highlights:

♦ Antigua - explore this elegant colonial city, overlooked by three volcanoes
♦ Guatemalan Highlands with the impressive Mayan site of Iximche and Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan
♦ Copan - an archeological site from the ancient Maya culture at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the greatest Maya ruins in the Americas
♦ Suchitoto - charming colonial town on the shores of Lake Suchitlan 
♦ Ometepe Island - isolated from the rest of Nicaragua by the Cocibolca, the indigenous name for the Lake of Nicaragua, feels far away from the rest of the world.
♦ Leon and Granada - lively colonial cities, historically rivals for the title of capital city of Nicaragua
 


Itinerary:

Day 1. Antigua (Guatemala)
Arrival in Antigua and check-in the hotel. Famed for its well-preserved Spanish Mudejar influenced Baroque architecture, the stunning city of Antigua de Guatemala is set in a beautiful valley between the volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. This graceful old colonial city is UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its cobbled streets and lovely old buildings, it's one of the most charming in the country and one of the most picturesque in Central America.

Day 2. Antigua
This morning's we do a walking tour with visit to the churches of San Francisco, Santa Clara, La Merced and Las Capuchinas. Despite the devastation by earthquakes, the city retains its charm, its buildings and ruins giving it the air of a snapshot in time. Free afternoon to continue exploring at your own pace.

Day 3. Antigua - Iximche - Panajachel - Atitlan Lake
Today we head to the town of Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan visiting the remains of the impressive Mayan town of Iximche on our way. We continue to Atitlan Lake - an old volcanic caldera, which is justifiably considered to be one of the most spectacular lakes in the Americas and is certainly the deepest in Central America. Overnight in San Pedro La Laguna.

Day 4.  Atitlan Lake
Encircled by the volcanoes of Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro, the lake's fertile shores are sprinkled with small communities of farmers and fishermen who still uphold the traditions of their Maya ancestors. This morning we head out by boat to explore one such village, that of San Juan La Laguna, home to the Tzutujil Maya people. Afternoon is free to enjoy the lake and its beautiful surroundings.

Day 5. Atitlan Lake - Copan (Honduras)
Today we head north, driving towards neighbouring Honduras, crossing through a landscape of lush vegetation and mountainous valleys. Our destination is Copan, a lovely village of adobe buildings very near to the magnificent Mayan ruins of Copan.

Day 6. Copan
In the morning we visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a local guide. Explore the marvellous scenes and objects from the Classic Mayan period (5th-9th century AD). Starting from the Great Plaza with the greatest collection of Mayan sculptures anywhere in Meso-America; passing to the Acropolis where royal power was once concentrated and ascending to the famous Hieroglyphic Stairway. Composed of some 2500 individual glyphs, its sides flanked by serpentine birds and snakes, this is the New World's longest inscribed Pre-Colombian text.

Day 7. Copan - Suchitoto (El Salvador)
This morning we take a scenic drive towards the El Salvador border. We then continue to the colonial city of Suchitoto, travelling by way of the handicraft markets of La Palma. In the afternoon, we set off for a boat tour on Suchitlan lake.

Day 8. Suchitoto
Free day to explore Suchitoto. Nestled between the mountains and Suchitlan Lake, Suchitoto a charming town of cobblestone streets and pretty houses. A rapidly developing centre for art and culture, Suchitoto is filled with colonial elegance, craft shops and many historic and cultural highlights, making it a wonderful place to explore.

Day 9. Suchitoto - Leon (Nicaragua)
We drive through rich agricultural land until we reach the border with Honduras. We follow the Gulf of Fonseca until we cross into the Pacific lowlands of Nicaragua before completing our journey to the stunning colonial town of Leon. Arrival in Leon and check-in at the hotel. 

Day 10. Leon, Leon - Ometepe Island
Today we make a walking tour to explore the town. One of the old colonial capitals, Leon lies in the shadow seven volcanoes and is still considered the intelectual centre of Nicaragua. Leon was the countries capital for 200 years and today its old buildings and its massive cathedral, all add to an elegant atmosphere of a city that seems almost to have been trapped in time. In the afternoon, we depart towards Ometepe Island. 

Day 11. Ometepe Island - Granada
We spend the day at the island of Ometepe rising from the lake. Formed by two volcanos, connected by thin isthmus, the island has the shape of an hour glass. Called the "Oasis of Peace", the island is fascinating place, full of stunning sights and activities. We visit El Ojo de Agua - two swimming pools with thermal spring water in the forest; Playa Santo Domingo - 4 km long sand beach and Charco Verde with many quiet and scenic beaches with dramatic views to the volcano Concepcion. In the afternoon, we return to Granada.

Day 12. Granada
City tour in Granada. The city is perfect to explore on foot, wandering narrow lanes and alleyways and discovering hidden delights amongst the lush greenery and historic buildings. It is possible to visit Las Isletas by boat or sea kayak, a group of tiny islands dominated by the Volcano Mombacho and located just offshore. Another optional is an evening visit to the active Masaya volcano.

Day 13. Granada - Managua
In the morning, transfer to Managua and departure.


Price Includes:
private transportation according the itinerary
English Speaking tour guide throughout the trip
12 overnights accommodation at hotels in double / twin rooms
daily breakfast
activities as mentioned in the itinerary: tour of Antigua Guatemala; Leon and Granada; boat tours on Lake Atitlan and in El Golfo; visit to the Mayan Site Iximche; Copan Ruins tour incl. entrance ticket; visit to EL Ojo del Agua; Charco Verde and Playa Santo Domingo
group airport transfers
tour-leader from Penguin Travel at min. 8 participants

Not Included:
international flight tickets
lunches and dinners
optional trips and activities
entrance fees
insurance
tips
phone calls
laundry and other personal expenses

Additional Services:
single supplement: 550 EUR
additional nights in Antigua Guatemala


Gallery


The Lure of Central America (Rated 4.79 / 5 Based on 237 Reviews.)
Price
1480 EUR
Duration
13 Days
Single Supplement
550 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
1480 EUR
Duration
13 Days
Single Supplement
550 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-12
Reservation System Code
Central America
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