my_location Day 1: GUATEMALA CITY (ARRIVAL) – ANTIGUA
Arrive into Guatemala City at (time to be confirmed), where our driver will be there to greet you and transfer you directly to your hotel in Antigua. Spend the afternoon and evening to explore Antigua at your own leisure or perhaps go on a city tour, Coffee & market tour (by the bean tour), chocolate making tour, etc. Antigua, the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage city is one of the “must visit” places in Guatemala. This is a magical, colonial village. You can visit its monuments, museums, go shopping, eat on the many restaurants, enjoy the view and relax all through the cobble stone streets and beneath three volcanoes. Thanks to the many visitors this is a multilingual town, and due to the multiple Spanish schools, this is an excellent spot to learn the language. Antigua is famous for its well-preserved Spanish Baroque-influenced architecture as well as a number of ruins, many of the buildings were restored following a 1773 earthquake that ended Antigua’s 200-year reign as Guatemala’s colonial capital. Notable architectural examples include baroque La Merced, La Catedral at central park and many others. The city was laid out in a square pattern, with streets running north to south and from east to west, with a central square. Both church and government buildings were designated important places around the central plaza. Between 1549 and 1563, property southeast of the square was sold to the crown and occupied by the first president of the Real Audiencia de los Confines: the lawyer Alonso Lopez Cerrato, who also served as governor and captain general. The original building was small and paneled with portal, tile roof and adobe walls. In 1566 King Felipe II of Spain gave it the title of "Muy Noble y Muy Leal" ("Very Noble and Very Loyal"). Central Park “Parque Central” is the heart of the city. The reconstructed fountain there is a popular gathering spot. Off to the side of the Central Park, the Arco de Santa Catalina is among the many notable architectural landmarks of La Antigua. La Antigua is noted for its very elaborate religious celebrations during Lent (Cuaresma), leading up to Holy Week (Semana Santa) and Easter (Pascua). Each Sunday in Lent, one of the local parishes sponsor a Procession through the streets of Antigua. Elaborate and beautiful artistic carpets predominantly made of dyed sawdust, flowers, pine needles and even fruits and vegetables adorn the processions' path (if you are interested on visiting during this time of year, make sure to book in advance since all the hotels book up immediately) Antigua also holds a sizeable retirement community from the US as well as Europe. All year round Antigua is a great destination, since it has the perfect weather, never too cold, never too hot. So enjoy this Guatemala Second interesting capital.
my_location Day 2: ANTIGUA – PACAYA VOLCANO (TOUR)
Our tour starts with a morning transfer (1hr) to the foothills of the active Pacaya volcano. Pacaya is an active complex volcano in Guatemala, which first erupted approximately 23,000 years ago and has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish invasion of Guatemala. Pacaya rises to an elevation of 2,552 metres.
The hike then begins with a fairly strenuous hike through wonderful pine forest up to the trickier volcanic ash section and finally to the sulfur smoking cone, the hike usually takes 2.5 hours. On occasions you can even see small eruptions and lava flow depending on the activity of the volcano. From the summit we can enjoy great views of the nearby volcanos: Agua, Fuego & Acatenango, the pacific lowlands and all the way to El Salvador. This is an unforgettable adventure. To ensure your safety, you won’t be able to visit the crater, but you will get an amazing view of red-hot lava flowing and steam baths created by the heat of Pacaya. Take a break and relax here as you take in more scenic views before hiking back to the base of the volcano.
Back at the base of the volcano to be transfer back to Antigua.
my_location Day 3: ANTIGUA – COPAN RUINAS (HONDURAS)
Today you will be picked up at your hotel early in the morning for transport to Honduras' border and the lovely colonial town of Copan.
The town of Copán Ruinas, often just called Copán, is a beautiful place, paved with cobblestones and lined with white adobe buildings with red-tiled roofs, picturesque plaza, and smattering of reasonable restaurants, hotels, and shops—most within a block of the plaza—it’s an ideal spot to decompress or to strike out to see the region’s other sites. It's also one of the most charming and traveler-oriented places in Honduras, with a friendly local population. Many people come here just to see the famous nearby Maya ruins, but with plenty of other attractions in the town and nearby, there's reason enough to linger.
Highlights include visits to local coffee and cardamom farms and the Macaw Mountain Bird Reserve & Nature Park, a home for rescued tropical birds.
Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing in your deluxe hotel or walk the charming town of Copan, visit its many shops as well as its lovely restaurants and side walk cafes. Rest up and get ready for an awe inspiring day of archeology.
my_location Day 4: COPAN RUINS (TOUR)
Copán was one of the ancient Maya’s most lavish cultural centers during its seventh century. Located in western Honduras, just 60 kilometers, not far from the Guatemalan border. It was the capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD. The city was located in the extreme southeast of the Mesoamerican cultural region, on the frontier with the Isthmo-Colombian cultural region, and was almost surrounded by non-Maya peoples. In this fertile valley now lies a city of about 3000, a small airport, and a winding road.
It’s less grandiose than it is a detailed work of art and is particularly well-known for its intricately carved stelae.
The Copán site is known for a series of portrait stelae, most of which were placed along processional ways in the central plaza of the city and the adjoining acropolis, a large complex of overlapping step-pyramids, plazas, and palaces. The site has a large court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame. In two parallel buildings framing a carefully dimensioned rectangle lies the court.
The site is divided into various groups, with the Main Group and the Cemetery Group in the site core linked by a sacbe to the Sepulturas Group to the northeast. Central Copán had a density of 1449 structures per square kilometer (3,750/sq mi), while in greater Copán as a whole this density fell to 143 per square kilometre (370/sq mi) over a surveyed area of 24.6 square kilometers (9.5 sq mi).
The Main Group represents the core of the ancient city and covers an area of 600 by 300 meters (1,970 ft × 980 ft). The main features are the Acropolis, which is a raised royal complex on the south side, and a group of smaller structures and linked plazas to the north, including the Hieroglyphic Stairway and the ballcourt. The Monument Plaza contains the greatest concentration of sculpted monuments at the site.
The Acropolis was the royal complex at the heart of Copán. It consists of two plazas that have been named the West Court and the East Court. They are both enclosed by elevated structures
One of the best preserved phases of Temple 16 is the Rosalila, built over the remains of five previous versions of the temple. Archaeologist Ricardo Agurcia discovered the almost intact shrine while tunneling underneath the final version of the temple. Rosalila is notable for its excellent state of preservation, including the entire building from the base platform up to the roof comb, including its highly elaborate painted stucco decoration.
The Sepulturas Group is linked by a sacbe or causeway that runs southwest to the Monument Plaza in the Main Group. The Sepulturas Group consists of a number of restored structures, mostly elite residences that feature stone benches, some of which have carved decorations, and a number of tombs
The North Group is a Late Classic compound. Archaeologists have excavated fallen facades that bear hieroglyphic inscriptions and sculpted decoration.
The Cemetery Group is immediately south of the Main Group and includes a number of small structures and plazas.
my_location Day 5: COPAN – LA CEIBA – ROATAN
Depart in the morning for the lush and beautiful Caribbean coast of Honduras with our destination being La Ceiba. After arriving, you will be taking a boat to get to Roatan.
Roatan is the largest of the eight Bay Islands that lie some 40 miles off the Caribbean coast of the Honduras, an archipelago patchwork that is all that remains of an ancient submerged volcanic mountain range, known as the Bonacca Ridge.
You can also snorkel, sail, fish, take guided island tours, visit an iguana farm, or just swing gently in a beachside hammock with a good book and a local beer. Dive the pristine, turquoise waters of the Bay Islands, and you’ll experience a spectacle of marine species and incredible coral formations. Located on the southern end of the second-longest coral reef system in the world, the Roatán, Utila, and Guanaja islands attract advanced and new scuba divers from all over the globe.
my_location Day 6: ROATAN (FREE DAY)
Today you decide what to do on your free day, you can tour the East, West, and South sides of the Island and even free time for relaxing or snorkeling on the beach, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. Some ideas for stops include attractions such as the iguana farm, botanical gardens, monkey stop (you can hold a baby monkey!), canopy zipline, butterfly gardens, glass bottom boat, horseback riding, or visiting local schools and orphanages.
my_location Day 7: ROATAN – LA CEIBA – TEGUCIGALPA
Today you will be heading back to La Ceiba, and a local bus will take you to Tegucigalpa on an overnight journey (7 hours drive approximately).
Ringed by forested hills in a highland valley, sprawling Tegucigalpa enjoys a relatively fresh, mild climate and a spectacular setting. It's a bustling and dynamic place. Tegus (Hondurans in general, and people familiar with the city, shorten it to "Tegus", while most locals actually use the full name...) it's a fascinating place, with some good museums, restaurants and the air of a place on the up. Keep your ear to the ground and you'll discover a dynamic young urban scene led by emerging artists, musicians, DJs and designers.
Of course, the city, a 400 year-old mining center, has a depth that is there for those with time and nerve to find it. It has a plethora of interesting, if decaying, old colonial buildings, and many old stone streets winding intriguingly up steep hills to hidden parks, stone steps, and old houses.
my_location Day 8: TEGUCIGALPA – LEON (NICARAGUA)
You will be travelling today to Leon; this is about 8 hours drive.
Intensely political, buzzing with energy and, at times, drop-dead gorgeous, León is what Managua should be. Many people fall in love with Granada, but most of them leave their heart in León. León is located along the Río Chiquito, some 90 kilometres (56 miles) northwest of Managua, and some 18 km (11 miles) east of the Pacific Ocean coast.
An unpretentious city with stunning colonial streetscapes, León is among Nicaragua’s most culturally rich communities. Once the site of political uprisings, today’s León has a vibrant, artistic feel. There’s street art and murals, crumbling 300-year-old houses, an awe-inspiring cathedral (the burial place of Nicaragua’s famous literary son, Rubén Darío), art galleries, a prison-turned-museum, and several old churches—indeed more than 16. The city also boasts a cosmopolitan edge with a generous mix of restaurants and an active nightlife.
León is also an important industrial, agricultural, and commercial center for Nicaragua, exporting sugar cane, cattle, peanut, plantain, and sorghum.
Upon arrival you will check in to your hotel.
my_location Day 9: LEON – CERRO NEGRO VOLCANO HIKE (TOUR)
Today our local expert part will meet you in hotel to take by 4x4 truck to transfer you in Volcano Cerro Negro and hike to the Cerro Negro crater and then back to you hotel in Leon
The volcano is located in a rural area, 25 kilometers northeast of León. The Cerro Negro volcano is a young and unique volcano. It is also a unique tourism scenario providing a stunning natural setting, the opportunity to hike an active cone and see its crater, and canopy lines available for visitors at an additional cost.
The steep slopes of this black volcano lack any vegetation. On and around the volcano lies a big layer of volcanic ash and rocks. An eruption in 1999 has left a wide border of black, volcanic material around the Cerro Negro and there are two smaller craters right next to the volcano which were recently formed.
Climbing the Cerro Negro is not like any other volcano in Nicaragua. The volcano is only about 500 meters high (726 meters above sea level), but the ascent is steep and tough. There is no paved trail; just a merely natural path along a rim that leads to the top. The ascent takes about one hour to the top, and although it requires some effort the superb views are certainly rewarding. The absence of trees provides fantastic scenery, and upon reaching the top visitors have a 360-degree view of the area.
The crater – often emitting smoke and gas – can be observed from above, and the crater rim leads to the other side where the imposing volcanic chain can be seen with several volcanoes (including the Telica and San Cristóbal) lined up one after another. You will enjoy the view before starting the descent. This is a whole other adventure by itself.
One of the volcano’s slopes is too steep to climb – but consequently great for a fast descent! Instead of large rocks this side only has volcanic sand, providing a great surface for running downhill. This thrilling experience takes less than ten minutes before reaching the bottom, but for the less athletic hikers it is also possible to walk more slowly while again enjoying the superb views. In any way, the Cerro Negro provides a unique and intense experience that can be enjoyed by anybody in a fair shape.
The most important difficulties are the heat and intense sun. Be sure to bring enough water and sunscreen but most importantly plan this trip as early on the day as possible. Travel around sunrise to climb the volcano when it is still warming up. It is furthermore useful to bring good clothing: a pair of pants and solid hiking shoes or boots to provide protection against the sharp volcanic rocks.
Visitors should be in a fair shape and able to hike a steep, rocky path. The whole hike (ascending, exploring, and descending) takes relatively a little compared to other volcanos, making the Cerro Negro more accessible than many other, higher volcanoes which require much longer hikes.
my_location Day 10: LEON (FREE DAY)
Free day to enjoy the city. There is always something interesting to do in León, whether it be a city tour, kayaking around Juan Venado Island, or a trip to the nearby beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas. If you’d prefer to just wander through the streets, you’ll find several politically-charged murals depicting Nicaragua’s turbulent history and several good museums in the area, including one dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of the Sandinista movement.
my_location Day 11: LEON – GRANADA
Today you will be taking a 3-hour bus to Granada to later check in to your hotel.
Nicaragua boasts both incredibly friendly people and impressive natural beauty. Granada’s colonial charm is complimented by the surrounding active volcanoes and lakes, making day trips a fun and easy option. Hike, cruise, or just explore the city’s markets and museums.
Granada is a Nicaraguan city on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. It’s home to multiple Spanish colonial landmarks that have survived repeated pirate invasions. The city’s main plaza, Central Park, is dominated by the colorful, neoclassical facade of the Cathedral of Granada, originally dating to 1583. The Centro Cultural Convento San Francisco nearby is famed for its displays of pre-Columbian statues.
my_location Day 12: GRANADA (CITY TOUR)
Today you will enjoy the city on a sightseeing tour though the museums and remains of the colonization time.
my_location Day 13: GRANADA – SAN JUAN DEL SUR
You will be picked up from your hotel to start a journey to low-key San Juan del Sur for some serious relaxation by the sea. Located on the southern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is a laidback beach town offering some of Central America’s best waves. Set on a stunning horseshoe shaped cove between two volcanic bluffs, this fishing village is the perfect place to combine two of Nicaragua’s best features – its beautiful beaches and its award-winning Flor de Caña rum! Plenty to do from here, take surf lessons, try your luck at fishing, go ziplining on the hills above San Juan del Sur, or just lounge on the beach. A short boat or taxi ride away, the deserted beaches of Playa Maderas and Majagual to the north and Playa Remanso to the south are calling out to be explored. In the evenings take advantage of the relaxed seaside nightlife with the friendly locals.
my_location Day 14: SAN JUAN DEL SUR (FREE DAY)
Free day to enjoy the beach and do what ever you feel like doing.
my_location Day 15: SAN JUAN DEL SUR – PENAS BLANCAS – MONTEVERDE (COSTA RICA)
Travel to Costa Rica and into the misty cloud forests of Monteverde, make sure you have your documents on hand since you will through Penas Blancas (official border crossing into Costa Rica).
Monteverde (or “Geen Mountain”) is a town in mountainous northwestern Costa Rica. It’s renowned for its biodiverse forests in the clouds. The famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve shelters countless wildlife species, including jaguars, ocelots and the colorfully plumed resplendent quetzal (400 bird species, 100 mammal species and more than a thousand amphibian and reptile species). The reserve’s marked trails cut through ferns and orchids, and way overhead, suspended bridges allow walks above the forest canopy. Inside the reserve you can explore the virgin forests and multi-century old strangler fig trees on your way to a viewpoint which sits on the continental divide. On a clear day you can see both the Caribbean and the Pacific coasts.
my_location Day 16: MONTEVERDE ZIPLINE (TOUR)
Today you will be picked up by your tour leader to take you to Monteverde national park for an extreme adventure
my_location Day 17: MONTEVERDE – LA FORTUNA
Travel to La Fortuna, located at the foot of Arenal Volcano.
La Fortuna is the name of a district and a small city located in San Carlos, in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica. "La Fortuna" ("The Fortune"), and aptly named due its ample supply of tourist attractions and extremely fertile lands. The town got its name due to its sparing from the Arenal Volcano's eruptions.
For most of its history, La Fortuna has been a sleepy agricultural town, 6km from the base of Cerro Arenal (Arenal Hill). In 1968, Arenal erupted violently after nearly 400 years of dormancy, and buried the small villages of Pueblo Nuevo, San Luís and Tabacón. Suddenly, tourists from around the world started descending on La Fortuna in search of fiery night skies and that inevitable blurry photo of creeping lava. La Fortuna is still one of the top destinations for travelers in Costa Rica, even though the great mountain stopped spewing its molten discharge in 2010.
Other than the volcanos, La Fortuna has tourist attractions such as the La Catarata de la Fortuna, a waterfall that falls from a height of 70 meters, several resorts with natural hot springs temperate enough to bathe in, other day spa services, and day-trips which involve horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hanging bridges, a "sky tram," zip-lines, mountain biking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboards, ATV or dirt bike rentals, "butterfly farms," the Venado Cavern tours, bungee jumping, Laguna Cedeno, El Salto Swimming Hole, and canyoneering.
my_location Day 18: LA FORTUNA SPRINGS (TOUR)
You not miss today to take a very warm tour, souk you up in Warm spring are in La Fourna,
Immerse you self in really relaxing warm hot wáter.
my_location Day 19: LA FORTUNA – SAN JOSE (DEPARTURE)
Today we will be ending our services by transferring you to San Jose on a local bus.