Day One / Two
Depart UK and fly to Guatemala via USA, on to Antigua.
All day discovering the beautiful colonial city of Antigua: before the real adventures begin....
Drive east, visiting the National Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography in Guatemala City, with superb collections including the throne depicted above right; on to Copàn.
Copán lies amongst the gentle uplands of Honduras, a city which developed rapidly around AD 450.
Quirigua, important Classic Maya city with gigantic carved stelae. Once vassal state to Copán, Quirigua came to prominence when its ruler ‘Cauac Sky’ captured his overlord, ‘18 Rabbit’. Continue to Livingston on the coast and arrive by boat at the hotel gardens.
A journey inland by motor-launch up the Rio Dulce, through jungle and mangrove swamps, to Castillo San Felipe. Continue by road to Tikal.
All day in the incomparable Maya metropolis of Tikal, a site occupied continuously from 800BC to AD900. For long periods Tikal was the most powerful political force among the Maya. The architecture here is very fine.
We stay close enough to Tikal to rise early and climb the highest temples to witness the surrounding jungle coming to life, a wonderful experience, not to be missed, free afternoon.
By boat to the city of Yaxhá (= blue-green water), with magnificent vistas from its temple tops of rain-forest and lakes. The important Maya site of Topoxte occupies an island in one of the lakes. Continue across the border into Belize.
Head further into the forests to the impressive Maya city of Caracol, with its awe-inspiring temples, including the ‘Canaa’ or ‘Sky Palace’, the tallest pyramid in Belize. A lengthy and bumpy but exciting journey with an extraordinary goal.
Smaller vehicles to visit Xunantunich, with its well-known stucco friezes, and then on to the Classic period site of Cahal Pech, by the banks of the Macal River. Continue to Belize City and the collections of the National Museum.
Explore the Classic period site of Altun Ha; by motor-launch to Lamanai (Place of the Crocodile), cruising through luxurious vegetation rich with birdlife. We stay in the delightful eco jungle lodges here and fall asleep amidst the rumour of howler monkeys and other forest noises.
Day exploring the remote jungle remains of Lamanai, the ruins spreading along the shore of the lagoon. The long, uninterrupted occupation of Lamanai from 1200BC to the time of the conquest makes this a most unusual city. A highlight here is the extraordinary Mask Temple. Free time in our lodge and its gardens.
Boat from Lamanai, drive to Belize City for flight Belize to USA, then to London.
Arrive in London.
- Flights - Scheduled flights London to Guatemala City; Belize City to London, both via USA
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach; off-road vehicles; motor launch; boat
- Guide Lecturer - David Drew. Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations (we normally manage to circumnavigate these) but otherwise the guides are just that.·They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 29 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them.
- Tour Manager We never know how best to call the very special people whom we choose to accompany you on your tour. They are usually employed in this capacity only by us, and have been trained to do things in the Andante way - unobtrusive, friendly and quietly efficient.
- Local Guide
- Meals - All meals included except 1 lunch; drinks (except water) are not
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme.
2 nights in a pleasant converted colonial house hotel in Antigua;
2 nights in Copán, in a very attractive hotel with pool;
1 night in Livingston, plain and comfortable with panoramic views over the estuary and good pool;
3 nights in a stylish cabana hotel near Tikal;
2 nights in a good hotel in San Ignacio;
1 night in Burrell Boom;
2 nights in the jungle in remote eco-lodge at Lamanai
(Great variety & enjoyable hotels)
|Tue 1st - Wed 16th Apr 2014 with David Drew