The Maya World - Guatemala and Honduras
£2,995 excl. flight
- Maya mega-cities of Copan and Tikal
- Lake Atitlan and the living Maya culture
- Behind the scenes access at Copan
- Have dinner with Mayan archaeologist David Sedat.
This tour traces a great triangle through the spectacular Maya World. Beginning with ancient Takali’k Abaj, cradle of the Maya empire, head to impressive Copan, the Athens of the Maya world, before culminating with Tikal, the pinnacle of the Maya Empire. Along the way this tour visits some of Central America’s most scenic locations and explores the rich and vivid Maya culture, ancient and modern.
On day 9 visit Copan which is also David Sedat’s hometown, in the evening he invites you to dine at his house with a presentation on his groundbreaking archaeological work. David has been a Mayan archaeologist for over 30 years. He specialises on the origins of the Maya and the development of Maya writing, undertaking pioneering fieldwork in Guatemala and Honduras.
Day 1 London/ Guatemala City, Antigua – On arrival transfer to colonial Antigua.
Day 2 Antigua - Visit the village of Santiago and the coffee project As Green as it Gets (AGAIG).
Day 3 Antigua, Takali’k Abaj – Drive to Takali’k Abaj, a major Maya centre of commerce, which saw the early development of the Maya calendar and hieroglyphic writing.
Day 4 Takali’k Abaj, Quetzaltenango, Lake Atilan – Explore highland Quetzaltenango (Xela), considered by some to be the ‘capital of the Maya’. Travel onto Lake Atitlan, the deepest lake in Central America.
Day 5 Lake Atitlan – The lake is surrounded by villages in which the Maya culture is still prevalent and traditional dress is still worn. Full day boat tour visiting San Juan and Santiago villages.
Day 6 Lake Atitlan – Day at leisure
Day 7 Lake Atitlan, Iximche, Antigua – Visit the palaces and temples at Iximche, an important highland Maya ceremonial site, and experience a traditional shaman ritual. Afterwards, transfer back to Antigua.
Day 8 Antigua, Copan - Drive to Copan (Honduras), considered by many to be the most spectacular ancient Maya city. Dinner hosted by your lecturer at his home with discussions.
Day 9 Copan – Full day exploring Copan, famous for its intricately-carved stelae, archaeological tunnels and excellent museum. Presentation with David Sedat, a Maya archaeologist for over 30 years.
Day 10 Copan, Quirigua, Livingston – Visit Quirigua for the tallest stone sculptures ever erected in the New World. Travel on by boat along the Caribbean coast to the port of Livingston.
Day 11 Livingston – Day at leisure.
Day 12 Livingston, Lake Peten Itza, Yaxha - A boat trip through Rio Dulce Canyon, then drive to Lake Peten Itza, with a visit to the Classic Maya site of Yaxha at sunset.
Day 13 Lake Peten Itza, Tikal - Travel to Tikal, pinnacle of the Maya Empire. Explore Tikal’s towering temples, royal palaces, pyramids and platforms.
Day 14 Tikal/Guatemala City, Antigua – Return to Tikal in the morning for further exploration before flying back to Guatemala City, and on to Antigua by road. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 15 Guatemala City/ Madrid – Fly back to London, via Madrid.
Day 16 Madrid/ London - Arrive in London.
For more than 15 years, Carlos Vivar has helped clients explore the rich local cultures, Maya history, and natural beauty of Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Mexico.
Carlos grew up in the remote, northern Guatemalan department of El Petén in the village of Uaxactún and close to an ancient site of the same name. He spent his childhood running amongst the temples and listening to the stories his grandfather told him about their ancestors.
It was at the age of 14 Carlos left his family and community of chicleros (collectors of natural gum) in search of schooling. He sat outside a school daily until he was invited in by a teacher who Carlos describes as his ‘guardian angel’. Carlos’ commitment and dedication earned him not only an education but eventually a guide license. Over time he learnt English, practicing with clients, and, today, is perfectly fluent (though, you might detect a Southern drawl; he has a penchant for country music from the States)!
Over the years, Carlos has been recognised by tour companies and clients alike for his exceptional guiding skills and warm personality. He’s also kept strong ties to the community where he grew up and the 23km walk home every weekend from school taught him about the jungle and all that lived within it. Indeed, for Carlos, his village and the ancient Maya temples will always be his first home.
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.