The Lure of Central America 1680 , 13 Days

Embark on an incredible adventure through Central America, where the vibrant cultures of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua await your discovery! From exploring ancient Mayan ruins to strolling through colonial cities, we'll dive into the heart and soul of this diverse region. Get ready to indulge in delicious local cuisine, soak up the warmth of Central American hospitality, and be mesmerized by breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Join us for a journey filled with unforgettable experiences and endless opportunities to connect with the beauty and charm of Central America.

Highlights:
♦ Antigua - a charming colonial city, overlooked by three volcanoes
♦ The impressive site of Iximche, the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom, dating back to around the 15th century AD.
♦ Copan - one of the greatest  Maya ruins in the Americas
♦ Suchitoto - a charming colonial town on the shores of Lake Suchitlan
♦ Ometepe Island - renowned for its lush forests, tranquil beaches, and a rich array of wildlife

View Route Map

Itinerary:

Day 1. Antigua (Guatemala)
Arrival in Antigua and transfer to the hotel. Free time to explore the city on your own. -/-/-

Day 2. Antigua
Today we will explore the charming city of Antigua. It is renowned for its stunning examples of Spanish Colonial architecture, which include elements of Mudejar influence. The term "Mudejar" refers to the style that emerged in Spain during the Middle Ages, blending Islamic and Christian design elements. In Antigua, this unique architectural fusion is evident in features like horseshoe arches, intricate tilework, and ornate stucco decorations. Some of the sites we will visit today include San Francisco Church, Santa Clara Convent, The Church and Convent of La Merced and others. After we finish the walking tour, you will have some trime to continu exploring the city on your own and enjoy its enchanting atmosphere. B/-/-

Day 3. Antigua - Iximche -  Atitlan Lake
After breakfast at the hotel, we are heading to the ruins of Iximche.  Iximche was once the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom and served as an important political and religious center during the late Postclassic period. Exploring the ruins will allow us to step back in time and gain insights into the ancient Maya civilization and its achievements. Afterwards, we continue our journey towards Atitlan Lake - an old volcanic caldera, which is justifiably considered to be one of the most spectacular lakes in the Americas. Its deep blue waters reach depths of over 1,000 feet (300 meters), making it one of the deepest lakes in Central America.We will spend the night in a town (Panajachel) on the shores of the lake and have some free time to enjoy the scenery. B/-/-

Day 4.  Atitlan Lake
Today we will take a boat to explore the beautiful surroundings. Lake Atitlán is surrounded by indigenous Mayan communities, each with its own distinct language, traditions, and customs. The lake's shores are dotted with villages where you can experience traditional Mayan culture, including artisanal crafts, clothing, and cuisine and today we will visit some of them. B/-/-

Day 5. Atitlan Lake - Copan (Honduras)
Today we are heading north and will cross the border into Honduras. Honduras was part of the ancient Maya civilization, and it is home to several important archaeological sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan, which will be the main hihglight of our visit to the country. We have a long day of driving and will arrive in the lovely village of Copan in the evening. B/-/-

Day 6. Copan
Our day today is dedicated to exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan - UNESCO World Heritage Site with a local guide. The Copan ruins are renowned for their intricate carvings, stelae, altars, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. One of the most significant sites here is The Hieroglyphic Stairway - an intricately carved staircase composed of approximately 2,500 individual hieroglyphic glyphs, the longest Mayan hieroglyphic inscription known. The inscriptions are accompanied by elaborate carvings depicting mythological creatures, deities, and ceremonial scenes. Another intriguing part of the complex is the Ballcourt, used for playing an ancient ballgame, which held ritual, ceremonial, and sometimes political significance in Maya society. After we finish our guided tour of the site, you will have some free time to visit some of the museums nearby to dive even deeper into Mayan history and culture. Another option for your free time is to visit the Macaw Mountain Bird Park - a bird rescue, rehabilitation and release center, where you can see dozens of different local bird species and learn more about the Honduras bird diversity. B/-/-

Day 7. Copan - Suchitoto (El Salvador)
After breakfast at the hotel, we will start driving towards our next country - El Salvador (crossing first into Guatemala and then to El Salvador). In the afternoon, we will arrive to our final stop for the day, the charming colonial town of Suchitoto. Suchitoto is known as a cultural hub in El Salvador, attracting artists, musicians, and writers from across the country. The town is home to numerous art galleries, craft shops, and cultural centers, where you can explore local artwork and learn about Salvadoran culture and history. Suchitoto overlooks the picturesque reservoir Lake Suchitlán, which contributes to the tranquil atmosphere of the town. After a short city tour with a local guide, you will have time to continue exploring the town on your own. Overnight in Suchitoto. B/-/-

Day 8. Suchitoto - Gulf of Fonseca
We will start our day with an early morning boat trip on Suchitlan lake to enjoy a breattaking sunrise. Lake Suchitlán is an artificial lake created by the construction of the Cerrón Grande Dam on the Lempa River. The dam was built in the 1970s for hydroelectric power generation and flood control purposes. It is an important ecological area, home to a diverse array of flora and fauna. The lake and its surrounding wetlands provide habitat for numerous bird species, including herons, egrets, kingfishers, and migratory birds. It is considered one of the most important birdwatching sites in El Salvador. Afterwar the boat tirp, we will start our drive towards the Gulf of Fronseca. The gulf is known for its picturesque coastline, rich biodiversity, and its importance as a fishing area for the countries that surround it. We will spend the night in a hotel in the region. B/-/-

Day 9. Gulf of Fonseca - Leon (Nicaragua)
Today we are headin to La Union Port, from where we will board a boat to cross into Nicaragua. After arriving in Potosi (Nicaragua), we will continue our drive to the city of Leon, where we are expected to arrive in the later afternoon or in the evenning. Nestled beneath the shadow of seven volcanoes, León stands as one of Nicaragua's venerable colonial capitals, retaining its status as the intellectual nucleus of the nation. Overnight in a hotel in the city. B/-/-

Day 10. Leon, Leon - Ometepe Island
We will start our day with a city tour of the hihglights of Leon with a local guide. The most important site of the city is the Catedral de León - а UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Central America's largest cathedrals. The cathedral is a stunning example of colonial architecture and visitors can climb to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscape. After the tour, we are heading to the town of San Jorge, from where we will take an afternoon ferry to Ometepe Island. Ometepe Island is a stunning natural gem located in Lake Nicaragua, Central America's largest lake. Dominated by two majestic volcanoes, Concepción and Maderas, the island is renowned for its pristine natural beauty, with lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque beaches.Overnight in a hotel on the island. B/-/-

Day 11. Ometepe Island - Granada
Today we will explore some of the highlights of the island. We will start the day with a visit to Ojo de Agua -  a natural spring-fed pool surrounded by lush vegetation, where you can swim in the crystal-clear waters and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere. We will then continue with a hike (3-5km) in the Charco Verde Nature Reserve. The trail offers several viewpoints and scenic vistas that overlook Lake Nicaragua and the surrounding landscapes. We will enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the lake, nearby islands, and the iconic twin volcanoes of Ometepe. After lunch, we will take the ferry back to San Juan and then continue to Granada, where we will arrive in the evening. B/-/-

Day 12. Granada
Today we will explore the highlights of Granada. The city is renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture, with colorful buildings, historic churches, and elegant mansions lining its cobblestone streets. In the free time, you can take a walk along La Calzada - the bustling pedestrian street, which is the heart of Granada's nightlife and dining scene, lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. In the evening, you can join an optional trip to Masaya Volcano - one of Nicaragua's most iconic natural attractions, located just outside the city of Masaya (about 40-50 mins drive from Granada). It is one of the few volcanoes in the world where you can peer directly into its active crater. It's a rare opportunity to witness the raw power of nature as you observe the molten lava glowing and churning within the crater. Overnight in a hotel in Granada. B/-/-

Day 13. Granada - Managua
In the morning, transfer to Managua airport for departure. B/-/-


Price Includes:
accommodation in standard hotels (rooms with en-suite facilities)
ground transportation as per program
individual airport transfers on day 1 and group airport transfer on day 13 (airport transfers outside the standard itinerary can be arranged against an additional fee)
entry fees for the following sites: Iximche,Copan,sites included in the city tours of Antigua,Leon and Granada and Ometepe Island
local English-speaking guides
tour leader from Penguin Travel (at min 8 people)
meals according to the itinerary (B-breakfast,L-lunch,D -dinner)
boat tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary

Not Included:
international flight tickets
visa fees if applicable
insurance
optional trips and activities
entrance fees not mentioned in "included" and associated with optional activities
meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
tips
personal expenses


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The Lure of Central America (Rated 4.79 / 5 Based on 383 Reviews.)
Price
1680 EUR
Duration
13 Days
Single Supplement
360 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
Price
1680 EUR
Duration
13 Days
Single Supplement
360 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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