This dynamic two-week journey through Central America combines the multifaceted beauty and cultural highlights in Guatemala with an unforgettable delve into Belize’s underwater world from a beachfront hideaway on the sun-bleached sands of Placencia. Further inland from Belize’s world-renowned reef and unspoilt coastline, you will discover an incredible country crammed full of diversity: dense tropical rainforests, jaguar sanctuaries, exquisite thousand-year-old caves and numerous archaeological gems.


  • Watching for jaguars, iguanas, humming birds and toucans in the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Exploring the Maya ruins of Tikal National Park, against a backdrop of howler monkeys.
  • Browsing the textiles, handicrafts and antiquities in the markets at Chichi.
  • Kayaking across Lake Atilan.
  • Snorkelling in the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.
  • Private helicopter flight over volcanoes and coffee plantations.
per person

Price from

Destination Expert Charlie Lockwood


Latin America Specialist


  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Arrive Guatemala City and transfer to Antigua

    Arrive in the cosmopolitan colonial city of Antigua, overflowing with vibrant markets, delicious authentic food and bright multicoloured buildings lining cobblestone streets. The delightful Posada del Angel, originally a Spanish casona is a characterful boutique hotel secretly cloistered behind closed doors just a short walk from the central square. Its seven bedrooms are positioned around a rustic veranda, with a small lap pool and pretty garden.

    Overnight: Posada del Angel

  3. Day 2 Antigua

    Dive into Antigua’s cultural, architectural and deep-rooted history with a behind-the-scenes look at some of Antigua's ornate churches. Explore the market stalls selling handmade and locally produced textiles and refuel with some classic Guatemalan sustenance.  We highly recommend a local dish, ‘Chiles rellenos’ (Chilli peppers stuffed with rice, cheese, meat and vegetables, served with tortilla).  After lunch drive 20 minutes south to San Miguel Escobar and visit a nonprofitmaking coffee producer. Experience a typical day on the coffee production line and enjoy a steaming cup of delicious coffee at the end.

    Overnight: Posada del Angel

  4. Day 3 Antigua to Lake Atitlán

    After breakfast drive north west to the magnificent Lake Atitlán, where you’ll meet local communities, who maintain their strong centuries-old traditions and culture, including traditional dress.  You’ll drive through some spectacular scenery, past volcanoes and through farmland, stopping at the notable town of Chichicastenango (Chichi).  Chichi has the largest market in the country and a vast array of local textiles, handicrafts and antiquities, as well as an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. Arrive at Casa Palopo overlooking the lake and surrounding volcanoes, in time for a dip in the pool. 

    Overnight: Casa Palopo Atitlan

  5. Day 4 Lake Atitlán

    Experience the vast splendour of this majestic lake by kayaking across its sparkling surface, perhaps encountering local fishermen.  For the more adventurous, hike to the summit of Cerro de Oro (1,636m) where you’ll be richly rewarded with stunning views over Lake Atitlán. Hop aboard a boat to San Juan to visit weaving co-operatives, medicinal herb gardens and Naïf painters. After an eventful day, head back to the hotel in time for an evening drink watching the sun set.

    Overnight: Casa Palopo Atitlan

  6. Day 5 Lake Atitlán

    Highlights today include a visit to Santa Cruz la Laguna, a small Kaqchikel village 600m uphill from the lake’s waterfront (and scuba diving centre!).  Only accessible by boat or on foot, its inaccessibility is no doubt responsible for its rugged unspoilt beauty.  Either explore by foot or head up the hill by tuc tuc to see children dance and sing. After your walk (or tuc tuc ride), you’ll be rewarded with the most dramatic views of Lake Atitlán and its three surrounding volcanoes. 

    Overnight: Casa Palopo Atitlan

  7. Day 6 Lake Atitlán to Tikal via Guatemala City

    After a leisurely morning, board a private helicopter back to Guatemala City. This scenic flight affords a very privileged view over the landscape with a bird’s-eye view over the volcanoes, lakes and terraced coffee plantations below. Fly north from Guatemala City to Flores in the El Remate region, famed for its wildlife, significant archaeological sites and most famously home to the Tikal National Park. 

    Overnight: La Lancha

  8. Day 7 Tikal

    Spend a day exploring the world-renowned Tikal National Park, where nearly 3,000 ancient structures rise from the rainforest floor. This remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to numerous tropical birds and animals including raucous howler monkeys and spider monkeys, with their disproportionally long limbs. Walk in the paths of Maya royalty with a guided tour of the majestic Great Plaza and its Temple of the Jaguar and enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the Mayan ruins.  

    Overnight: La Lancha

  9. Day 8 Tikal to Mountain Pine Forest, Belize

    Explore Yaxhá, one of the largest Mesoamerican archaeological sites in Central America with over 500 ruins. For a sublime 360 degree panoramic view over the rainforest canopy, climb to the top of Temple 216, which is 37m tall.  As the sun starts to descend towards the horizon, board an evening’s boat transfer to cross the border into Belize, bidding farewell to Guatemala. 

    Overnight: Blancaneaux Lodge

  10. Day 9 Actun Tunichil Muknal

    The day starts with a trek through dense jungle within the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, to reach Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulchre). One of the most impressive caves in the Maya lowland, it consists of a series of chambers, ending in a 300m by 50m ‘cathedral’ where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Alternatively, you may prefer to visit Barton Creek and watch flocks of butterflies at Belize’s Butterfly Farm.  Head into the Upper Barton Creek community for a slower-paced adventure through watery caves, gently paddling though its cathedral-like chambers. 

    Overnight: Blancaneaux Lodge

  11. Day 10 Caracol and Rio Frio Cave and Pools

    Drive out of the Mountain Pine Forest Reserve to the spectacular Caracol ruins.  As you walk in the footsteps of Maya rulers, climb up the steps of the huge Caana pyramid whilst taking in the seemingly-endless views over the rainforest canopy. On the way back to your hotel, stop at the striking Rio Frio Cave and prepare yourself for its dramatic entrance.  Flooded with beams of natural light, cascading water and pools, this is a wonderful place to cool off after a steamy day in the jungle.

    Overnight: Blancaneaux Lodge

  12. Day 11 Mountain Pine Forest to Placencia via Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary

    Head south west to Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary. Created in 1990 as the first wilderness sanctuary for the jaguar, it is now regarded as one of the top jaguar preservation sites in the world.  Spanning a 250,000-acre protected area, it’s jam-packed with creeks, waterfalls and thick forest; keep your eyes open and alert to spot their tracks, although the elusive, stealth-like mammal tends to stay out of sight.  You are, however, more likely to see humming birds, toucans and iguanas along the way.  Continue the drive south to the coast and arrive at Turtle Inn, for a swim in the sea. 

    Overnight: Turtle Inn

  13. Day 12 Placencia, An underwater world

    Hop aboard a motorboat for a half hour spin out to the glorious Belize Barrier Reef. The world’s second largest coral reef after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the reef is an extremely diverse ecosystem, with hundreds of species of colourful fish and coral.  It is estimated that 90% of the reef still needs to be researched and that only 10% of all species have so far been discovered.  Enjoy a well-deserved beach barbecue for lunch, before heading back out onto the water to explore further. After an unforgettable day of reef snorkelling, return to the boat and speed back to the mainland.

    Overnight: Turtle Inn

  14. Day 13 Placencia

    Enjoy your final day as you wish; a chance to relax with unscripted time on this beautiful coastline.  Loll in a hammock under a palm tree with a juicy read, swim in the hotel’s fabulous pool or grab a bicycle and head to the charming sea-front fishing village of Placencia, where local artisan shops and delicious local food can be enjoyed. Alternatively, head back into Belize’s magical underwater world, with an excursion to the Great Blue Hole.  Made famous by Jacques Cousteau, who declared it one of the top ten diving sites in the world, you can dive or snorkel with a plethora of tropical fish and coral formations alongside sharks and stalactite-filled caves.   This barrier reef, the largest in the northern hemisphere will not disappoint.   

    Overnight: Turtle Inn

  15. Day 14 Depart Belize City

    Fly back to Belize City before connecting with your flight home. 

  16. Depart


  • All transportation by private vehicle.
  • The service of a private English-speaking guide.
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast
  • Internal flights
  • National Park entry fees


  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.

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