Explore Guatemala & Belize

National Geographic Journeys, Guatemala City to Caye Caulker

Image by G Adventures

Tour description provided by G Adventures

Embark on a 17-day adventure that's packed with jungle and coastal adventure in Guatemala and Belize. Roam among the Mayan ruins at Tikal and swim off Belize’s islands and atolls. Hike across the foot of a volcano outside Antigua and sail between remote lakeside communities on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán. Everyone's got an inner explorer; connect with yours in this exciting part of the world.

What’s included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Antigua Historical Walk, Antigua Guatemala National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Lakeside Cooking Class, Flores National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Howler Monkey Experience, San Ignacio National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Garifuna Drumming Lesson and Performance, Hopkins G Adventures for Good: Lake Atitlán Boat Ride and Community Visit, Lago de Atitlán G Adventures for Good: San Antonio Women's Cooperative visit with Pottery Class and Local Lunch, San Ignacio Hands-on: ChocoMuseo Tour and Workshop, Antigua Guatemala
  • Arrival transfer
  • Walking tour of Antigua
  • Visit to a chocolate museum and make your own chocolate
  • Boat ride around Lake Atitlán
  • Visit to San Juan la Laguna community for a local Mayan lunch and tree-planting ceremony
  • Guatemalan cooking lesson
  • Guided tours of the Mayan sites Tikal and Lamanai
  • Visit to a women's co-operative with lunch and demos
  • Visit to a hot sauce factory
  • Drumming demonstration and lesson
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Highlights

  • Take a walk through antigua's cobblestone streets with a historian guide
  • Enjoy a cooking lesson with a local chef
  • Enjoy a traditional cayo lunch at a women's cooperative in san antonio
  • Learn how to drum with a lesson at the lebeha drumming center

Itinerary

Day 1 Guatemala City/Antigua Guatemala Arrive at the Guatemala City airport and transfer to your hotel in Antigua. There are no planned activities during the day, so check into the hotel and enjoy this charming city. It is a short 45km (28 mi) from Guatemala City on a lovely winding road. The natural scenery is some of the most beautiful anywhere with high mountain peaks surrounding deep valleys, and nearly every inch of land covered with lush growth. Additional Notes: Antigua's nearest airport is Guatemala City, Guatemala. Don't get caught flying into the Caribbean island nation of Antigua; it's nowhere near the start of this tour! Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s))
Day 2 Antigua Guatemala (1B) Walk through quiet cobblestone streets, past restored Spanish colonial stucco homes with heavy, beautifully carved wooden entrances. Explore the museums and churches, then have an ice cream and people-watch in the central park. Antigua offers three specialties that make shopping here very worthwhile. Textiles sold here and in the nearby towns are of the highest quality, beautifully designed and woven on foot looms or the traditional back strap loom. Jade, in carved statues and jewelry, is sold in several factories and shops in town and silver jewelry is also sold in the better shops and a nearby silver factory in San Felipe de Jesus. The city offers good buys in ceramics and antiques as well. Included Activities: Antigua Historical Walk
Day 3 Antigua Guatemala/Jaibalito (1B, 1L) Our home at the lake will be in the tranquil town of Jaibalito. This tiny village sits on the north shores of breathtaking Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes. There are no paved roads leading into Jaibalito, but the paths weaving across the slopes offer rewarding views of the lake. Test your communication and bargaining skills in the colourful local markets, of which there are many. There are also a number of weaving cooperatives that you may wish to visit. The proceeds from the sales return directly to the community and are a significant contribution to the local economy. Included Activities: Lake Atitlán Boat Ride and Community Visit Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s), 80km) Boat (0.50 hour(s))
Day 4 Jaibalito (1B) Free time for outdoor pursuits such as fishing, hiking, bird watching, and kayaking.
Day 5 Jaibalito/Antigua Guatemala (1B) Return to Antigua and visit a chocolate museum to take a hands-on workshop to learn about the ancient Mayan process from bean to bar. Opt to take a salsa dance class. Included Activities: ChocoMuseo Tour and Workshop Transport: Boat (0.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 6 Antigua Guatemala/Flores (1B, 1L) This charming town, with its pastel-coloured buildings, enjoys a scenic setting on Lake Petén Itzá. There will be time to stroll through the streets, buy local handicrafts, or take a swim in the lake. Despite the recent growth in Petén, Flores remains the same small island town, with narrow, cobblestoned streets, small, brightly painted houses, and friendly people. Included Activities: Lakeside Cooking Class Transport: Private Vehicle (0.75-1.00 hours, 45km) Plane (1.00-1.50 hours, 550km)
Day 7 Flores (1B) Take a guided tour of the famous Mayan ruins of Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site set in the heart of the jungle. Included Activities: Tikal Ruins Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km) Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours, 64km)
Day 8 Flores/Burrell Boom (1B) Cross the border into Belize and continue to the village of Burrell Boom. Included Activities: Border Crossing (Guatemala - Belize) Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 9 Burrell Boom (1B, 1L) Enjoy a full day excursion to the Lamanai ruins, a renowned Mayan ceremonial site consisting of over 800 structures surrounded by lush jungle. Return to our lodge to relax at the patio bar and pool, visit the spa, or walk the grounds to spot local wildlife. Included Activities: Lamanai Ruins Guided Tour
Day 10 Burrell Boom/San Ignacio (1B, 1L) The town of San Ignacio is situated on the banks of the Macal River. It is a perfect location to visit the surrounding countryside. All activities here are optional, so the choice is yours: explore the Mayan cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal, containing relics dating back 1400 years, visit the butterfly gardens, or go tubing or canoeing through the natural limestone caves of the region. Included Activities: San Antonio Women's Cooperative visit with Pottery Class and Local Lunch Howler Monkey Experience Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours)
Day 11 San Ignacio (1B) Enjoy two free days to visit the sites of the surrounding countryside. There are several activity options including an exploration of the Mayan cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal or ruins of Xunantunich, visiting the butterfly gardens, and tubing or canoeing through the natural limestone caves of the region.
Day 12 San Ignacio (1B) Enjoy two free days to visit the sites of the surrounding countryside. There are several activity options including an exploration of the Mayan cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal or ruins of Xunantunich, visiting the butterfly gardens, and tubing or canoeing through the natural limestone caves of the region.
Day 13 San Ignacio/Hopkins (1B) This is your chance to visit a part of Belize that has not yet hit the well-trodden tourist trail. Opt to rent a bike to explore the area or enjoy talking to the locals in what some call the friendliest village in Belize. Included Activities: Marie Sharp's Hot Sauce Factory Visit Garifuna Drumming Lesson and Performance Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))
Day 14 Hopkins (1B) Enjoy the day in the laid-back village of Hopkins. Opt to visit the palmed Tobacco Caye nearby and do some snorkelling, venture to a wildlife sanctuary, or explore the area by bicycle.
Day 15 Hopkins/Caye Caulker (1B) Caye Caulker is a long thin limestone caye off the coast of Belize. Fewer than 2,000 people live here full-time – an eclectic mix of Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mennonites, along with a few hippies and retirees. The main street is a sandy pathway and people get around on foot, by bike or golf cart. Apart from eating some sensational seafood (lobster is a local specialty), the main activity is snorkelling and boating along the nearby Belize Barrier Reef. Additional Notes: Caye Caulker is very small and has a limited number of accommodations available. For this reason, we often use different hotels, depending on the departure and time of year. Accommodations are a bit rustic, and rooms will have ensuite, electricity and hot water, but due to the remote location, there may be occasional interruptions to these services. The stunning location and natural beauty of this off-the-beaten-track island more than make up for a few minor inconveniences. Included Activities: Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours) Ferry (1.00 hour(s))
Day 16 Caye Caulker (1B, 1D) The barrier reef off Caye Caulker is a true wonder of nature. Optional snorkel trips get you up close and personal with nurse sharks and rays, to name a few of the wondrous resident creatures.
Day 17 Caye Caulker (1B) Should you wish to have additional post nights in Caye Caulker or Belize City, please ask your sales CEO. Additional Notes: This trip finishes on Caye Caulker, which is located one hour by water taxi from Belize City (an additional 30 minutes by taxi to the airport). There are frequent ferry departures between 7:30am and 5:00pm. You can purchase your return ferry ticket easily once you get to Caye Caulker. Included Activities: Departure Day
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