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Highlights of Central America

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Highlights of Central America (16 days)

Trip includes travel to five Central American nations including - Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.


2017 Departure Dates and Costs

Departs each Monday or Thursday

Tour Costs:
$3,670 USD p/p standard room accommodation based on twin share
$4,170 USD p/p superior room accommodation based on twin share

Domestic fare additional: Guatemala to Flores one way $165
Single supplement: Standard $555 / Superior $995


Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival
Arrival to Guatemala City and transfer to the hotel in Antigua (x 2 nights)

Day 2: Antigua Walking Tour (B)
“Exploring Antigua Guatemala is like stepping back in time … cobbled stone streets, pastel façades under terracotta roofs, parks with fountains … amidst a dramatic setting surrounded by three volcanoes, Agua, Fuego and Acatenango.” These are some of the reasons why Antigua was declared by UNESCO “Cultural Heritage of Humankind”. Present-day Antigua´s focal point is the lovely Parque Central, surrounded by the Cathedral, the Captain-Generals Palace, the City Hall and the Portal de las Panaderas.

Day 3: Antigua/Lake Atitlán (Boat trip to San Juan La Laguna) (B)
Transfer to Lake Atitlán which is surrounded by three impressive volcanoes (San Pedro, Atitlán and Tolimán) and 12 picturesque Maya-Cakchiquel and Maya-Tzutuhil villages. Arrival to the town of Panajachel and boat trip to the town of San Juan La Laguna. Visit several artisan workshops interacting with the indigenous people and learn more about their traditions, cosmovision, textile production processes, etc.

Day 4: Chichicastenango Market / PM drive to GUA. Flight to Flores (B)
Departure to Chichicastenango, where you will see the most colorful and picturesque outdoor market in Guatemala. Every Thursday and Sunday locals from the region, gather to buy and sell fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains, animals, textiles and handicrafts. Afternoon continue to Guatemala for the flight to Flores.

Day 5: Tikal National Park/Río Dulce (Boat to Livingston) (B,L)
The majestic city of Tikal, considered the largest and most monumental of all sites discovered in the Mayan World, was declared by UNESCO as a “World Heritage Site”. Enjoy a guided walking tour to visit the most important plazas, complexes, temples, ball courts, palaces and stelae. Also enjoy the tropical forest, nesting place of hundreds of exotic birds and the habitat of a wide variety of wildlife. Afternoon transfer to Río Dulce and continue by boat to the Garífuna town of Livingston.

Day 6: Livingston (Boat to Puerto Barrios)/ Copán Tour (Honduras) (B)
Boat to Puerto Barrios and continue to Copán (Honduras), one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Maya World. Copán was declared “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO, and presents a sophisticated architectural style and a unique art for stone carving. Visit the main plazas, complexes and monuments (entrance fee included only to the archaeological site, not to the tunnels or sculpture museum).

Day 7: Copán/Esquipulas/La Palma/Suchitoto (El Salvador)
Drive to Esquipulas in Guatemala. This city is famed for being the center of catholic pilgrimage in Central America since it is here where the Black Christ of Esquipulas is venerated. Continue to La Palma in El Salvador, a picturesque town of cool climate and beautiful scenery. La Palma “Cradle of Peace”, so called because they played a key role in negotiations between the guerrillas and the government during the civil war. Afternoon drive to Suchitoto.

Day 8: Suchitoto (visit) /Ilobasco (visit)/ La Unión (B)
Morning visit of Suchitoto and afterwards continue to Ilobasco. “San Miguel de Ilobasco” is settled on top of a hill and is known for its ceramics. It is one of the oldest artisan towns in the country. Most of its population is of Lenca origin. Continue to La Union, a port located on the east of El Salvador.

Day 9: La Unión/ Border crossing (ESA-HON)/ Border crossing (HON-NIC) / León (visit) (B)
Early departure on the way to “El Amatillo” Border (El Salvador/Honduras). Afterwards, continue for approx. 2 hrs in Honduras towards “El Guasaule” Border (Honduras/Nicaragua). After border formalities, we head through Nicaraguan territory to León, the second largest city of Nicaragua. It was founded in 1524 and severely destroyed by an eruption of nearby Momotombo volcano. Walking visit of this city home to several interesting colonialchurches: La Merced, El Calvario, San Francisco, etc.

Day 10: León/Volcán Masaya / Granada City Tour (B)
Morning visit to Masaya Volcano National Park, the first and largest National Park in Nicaragua. Afterwards continue to Granada, one of the oldest cities in Central America. Also known as “La Gran Sultana” by its Moorish and Andalusian appearance, Granada has a rich colonial heritage. Afternoon city tour. Includes entrance fees to Masaya and Granada Cathedral.

Day 11: AM free in Granada/San Juan del Sur (B)
Free morning to further explore Granada on your own or take a nice boat trip through the “Isletas” (recommended). Drive from Granada to San Juan del Sur, a beautiful and picturesque bay on the southern part of Nicaragua. It was discovered by the navigator Andrés Niño in 1522 and its original name was San Juan del Mar del Sur. (x 2 nights)

Day 12: Day at leisure in San Juan del Sur (B)
Day at leisure to enjoy the beach or take surfing lessons.

Day 13: San Juan del Sur/ Peñas Blancas Border (NIC-CR) / Caño Negro (B)
Drive to the nearby border with Costa Rica. Continue to Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge. Afternoon walking tour, enjoying the tropical rainforest with its rich flora and fauna, a paradise for nature lovers.

Day 14: Caño Negro/Muelle de San Carlos/La Virgen/Pozo Azul (B)
In the morning you can further enjoy the area or take an optional boat trip of Río Frío. Evening drive to Pozo Azul.

Day 15: Pozo Azul/San José (B)
Morning free to choose from the various optional tours: Rafting; Canopy Tour; Horseback riding; Guided walking tour. Afternoon drive to San José.

Day 16: End (B)
Transfer to the International Airport.