Guatemala & Beyond

Sale!

Guatemala & Beyond

Was From $ 1,440 AUD
Now From $ 1,235 AUD
Sale!

Description

From beautiful black-sand beaches to tropical forests alive with jungle melodies, this pocket of Central America is something of a natural paradise. Whether you’re shopping in colonial Antigua, exploring the intricately carved structures at Copan or relaxing by the sea in El Salvador, you’ll get a wonderful insight into Central America during this incredible adventure.

Trip Name
Guatemala & Beyond
Last Updated
2019-12-12
Days
9
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • See the sights and engage in a wide range of optional activities across four different countries on this epic Latin adventure.
  • Discover Central America, a land of mysterious Mayan ruins, active volcanoes, idyllic beaches and emerald jungles.
  • Experience an El Salvador of the past in the colonial town of Suchitoto, a haven for architectural buffs, before savouring the blissful present on its black sand beaches. 
  • Absorb the 24/7 buzz of Leon, a Nicaraguan city of colourful streetscapes, fiery debate, eclectic art galleries and pulsating nightlife. 
  • Dive into the heart of Grandada, possibly the most laid-back and accessible city in Central America, fully imbued with color and culture.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Antigua
Welcome to Antigua, Guatemala. With crumbling churches, vibrant markets and bohemian cafes set against the backdrop of monumental volcanoes, Antigua is the perfect place to ease into your Central American adventure. Speaking of adventure, yours officially kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today at the hotel. If you do decide to arrive in the city a little early (smart move!), there's plenty to do. Maybe satisfy your cravings and learn the art of old-world chocolate production at the ChocoMuseo, or sit by the fountain and people watch in Central Park. After the welcome meeting, the night is yours, so perhaps head out with some of your fellow travellers for a tamale: a classic staple of Mesoamerica that sees dough, meat and sauces steamed and served in a corn husk.
Day 2 - Copan
Rise and shine for a day of travel, leaving at around 4 am to beat the rush-hour traffic around Antigua. All up you'll be spending around 8 hours driving to Copan by private vehicle, and while the scenery is breathtaking in sections, it's a good idea to pack a book or have some snacks ready to make the journey more comfortable. During the drive, your group leader will run an informal Spanish lesson, providing you some useful phrases to break the ice with the locals. Head into Honduras through the wild countryside of eastern Guatemala, arriving in the charming town of Copan in the early afternoon. While most people use Copan as a base to explore the nearby ruins, there are plenty of other points of interest, both along the cobblestone streets and set into the lush surrounds. Maybe get started in the Central Plaza and follow your nose to café, or perhaps head to the nearby natural hot springs. This optional tour gives you hours of soak time in mud, steaming natural baths and refreshing pools in the lush jungle, with an included dinner.
Day 3 - Suchitoto
This morning, take a visit with your group to the World Heritage-listed ruins of Copan, the remnants of the southernmost of the great Maya sites for which Central America is famous. Unique because of the numerous elaborate stelae – carved columns – still intact on site, there are also temples, excavated vaults and walls inscribed with ancient faces. Otherwise, nature lovers may wish to travel 2 kilometres out of town to the Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. Dedicated to the conservation of the Central American macaw, the reserve also houses toucans, motmots, parrots, kingfishers and orioles. Wave goodbye to Copan early in the afternoon and head across the border to El Salvador by private vehicle. There's another substantial amount of time spent on the road this afternoon (approximately 7 hours). Depending on traffic and conditions, you are expected to reach the colonial town of Suchitoto in the evening, just in time for a late dinner.
Day 4 - Suchitoto
Begin the day with a guided orientation walk of Suchitoto – widely considered the cultural capital of El Salvador. Stroll past gorgeous colonial facades and get your bearings. Birders will want to crane their necks; Suchitoto lies on a bird migration path. The rest of the day is all yours to get among the optional activities on offer. Suchitoto overlooks the Embalse Cerron Grande. Also known as Lago Suchitlan, this freshwater lake is a haven for the aforementioned migrating birds, particularly falcons and hawks. Maybe hustle a crew of 4 or more together and take a boat trip to Bird Island, or perhaps grab a historically-minded quartet for a guided walk through Cinquera Forest, where guerrilla fighters used the forest as cover during the civil war.
Day 5 - San Miguel / El Cuco
This morning, get your chef’s hat on with a pupusa making session in a private home. These thick cornmeal flatbreads are a classic Salvadorian recipe from the Pipil culture, and are stuffed with some delicious ingredients, like cheese or chicharron (fried pork). Later on, head to coastal El Cuco (approximately 5 hours). There are some great dark-sand beaches close to town, including the beautiful Playa El Esteron and Playa Las Flores – one of the best surf spots in the country. Maybe head to a beach for a swim under the palms and relax with a beer while you wait for sunset. As night falls, you could enjoy a seafood dinner along the water – the local crab are some of the best in the country.
Day 6 - El Cuco
Today you're free as a bird to explore the beautiful coast around El Cuco at your own pace. If you and a few others feel like getting active, you could take a trip to see nearby Conchagua Volcano. The views from the lookout are stunning, but you'll need a minimum of 5 people to take part. Alternatively, you might prefer to take a boat out on the ocean, find some inner peace during a free yoga class at the resort or simply relax in a hammock on the beach. Life’s good.
Day 7 - Leon
Rise early for a full day of travel by private vehicle. Leave El Cuco at around 8 am and drive to El Amatillo border crossing (approximately 1.5 hours) before a 2.5 drive by of Honduras (including a stop for lunch) to the next border crossing Guasaule, and finally reaching Leon after another 2.5 hours. Upon arrival your leader will take you on a walking tour of this charming city. Though it's the second largest in the country, Leon is relatively free of tourists, making strolling the mural-lined streets a real pleasure.
Day 8 - Granada
Make the most of Leon in the morning. The street food behind the Lady of Grace Cathedral is some of the best in town, so why not grab a 'Nica taco'. Made with maize, rolled and then deep fried, these beauties are usually served with shredded cabbage and smothered in cream. Otherwise a thrilling volcano sand boarding adventure could be on the cards! Board a local bus bound for Granada at 2 pm, making the 3-hour journey to the oldest city in the 'New World'. Featuring Moorish and Andalusian architecture and oozing colonial charm, the city is set on the banks of Lake Nicaragua and is surrounded by active volcanoes. Set out on a walking tour with your leader on arrival. Visit busy markets, the leafy Parque Central and 'La Calzada': a lively pedestrian street with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Day 9 - Granada
This Central American adventure comes to an end this morning. There are no activities planned for the final day. If you'd like to stay in Granada, our travel specialists can help arrange additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
27-12-201904-01-2020AUD $ 1,400-
03-01-202011-01-2020AUD $ 1,296-
10-01-202018-01-2020AUD $ 1,375-
14-02-202022-02-2020AUD $ 1,325-
21-02-202029-02-2020AUD $ 1,325-
06-03-202014-03-2020AUD $ 1,270-
03-04-202011-04-2020AUD $ 1,235-
26-06-202004-07-2020AUD $ 1,270-
03-07-202011-07-2020AUD $ 1,270-
14-08-202022-08-2020AUD $ 1,325-
09-10-202017-10-2020AUD $ 1,325-
06-11-202014-11-2020AUD $ 1,325-
20-11-202028-11-2020AUD $ 1,375-
11-12-202019-12-2020AUD $ 1,375-
18-12-202026-12-2020AUD $ 1,375-
01-01-202109-01-2021AUD $ 1,270-
08-01-202116-01-2021AUD $ 1,270-
12-02-202120-02-2021AUD $ 1,270-
19-02-202127-02-2021AUD $ 1,270-
05-03-202113-03-2021AUD $ 1,235-
19-03-202127-03-2021AUD $ 1,235-
02-04-202110-04-2021AUD $ 1,235-
14-05-202122-05-2021AUD $ 1,235-
25-06-202103-07-2021AUD $ 1,235-
02-07-202110-07-2021AUD $ 1,235-
13-08-202121-08-2021AUD $ 1,235-
08-10-202116-10-2021AUD $ 1,235-
05-11-202113-11-2021AUD $ 1,235-
19-11-202127-11-2021AUD $ 1,235-
10-12-202118-12-2021AUD $ 1,235-
17-12-202125-12-2021AUD $ 1,235-
31-12-202108-01-2022AUD $ 1,235-

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle,Local bus,Taxi

Map