Guided walking & cultural holidays
Touring: Guatemala and Costa Rica
GUATEMALA and COSTA RICA
Wander the cobblestoned streets of charming colonial Antigua.
Sail on beautiful Lake Atitlán and visit traditional
Discover the jungle temples of Tikal, a stronghold of the
Visit San Jose, lively capital of Costa Rica, surrounded
by coffee plantations.
Navigate the jungle waterways of Tortuguero on the Caribbean
Explore the lava trails on Arenal Volcano and relax in the
Discover the amazing diverse wildlife of the Monteverde Cloud
DAY 1: 16 OCT - WELCOME TO GUATEMALA!
Met upon arrival at the airport and transferred to our hotel in
the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, a UNESCO World Heritage
Centre, just 45km from Guatemala City.
DAY 2: 17 OCT - ANTIGUA, GUATEMALA (B, D)
Antigua Guatemala is protected by the surrounding eternal guards,
the Volcanoes of Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango. Founded in 1543, it
was partially destroyed by earthquakes in 1773. Be guided through
the cobblestoned streets to visit the Plaza de Armas, Palace of the
Captains, the Cathedral, churches, and monasteries. Shopping opportunities
await with locally produced jade and handcrafts in the markets. Welcome
lunch following the tour then remainder of the day at leisure.
DAY 3: 18 OCT - SAN ANTONIO, AGUAS CALIENTES - CIUDAD VIEJA
A morning visit to the lovely towns around Antigua. San Antonio
Aguas Calientes is home to unique and beautiful weaving. Ciudad
Vieja, founded in 1527, met its demise in 1541, when Volcán
Agua emptied the water from its crater. The water deluged the town
with tons of rock and mud, leaving only the ruins of La Concepción
DAY 4: 19 OCT - CHICHICASTENANGO-ATITLAN LAKE
Drive through the Guatemalan Highlands to the Indian village of
Chichicastenango, where pre-hispanic and catholic rituals abound,
centred on the 400-year-old church of Santo Tomas, built on the
remains of a Mayan Temple. Its Market day and a great chance
to breathe in the atmosphere (and incense) that impregnates the
area with mysticism, as the market explodes with colour, tradition,
Later well transfer to Panajachel on the shores of beautiful
Lake Atitlan, with three volcanoes Atitlan, Tolimán, and
San Pedro protecting it. Our charming hotel is one of Guatemalas
finest, surrounded by Botanical Gardens.
DAY 5: 20 OCT - BOAT RIDE IN SANTIAGO ,ATITLAN
A morning boat trip to Santiago Atitlán. This village is
located on the south part of the lake, on the slopes of the Atitlan
Volcano. Visit the church of Santiago Apostol and the confraternity
of Maximón. Afternoon is at leisure.
DAY 6: 21 OCT - ATITLAN LAKE. FLY TO FLORES (B)
Well have this morning in Atitlan before flying to Tikal where
well stay in Tikal National Park in the Peten Guatemala. The
hotel sits on the edge of the jungle and is only a ten-minute walk
from the Mayan Ruins.
DAY 7: 22 OCT - SUNRISE TOUR IN TIKAL - FLORES
Discover the Tikal National Park and appreciate the jungle from
the top of a Mayan pyramid. Our tour starts at 4:00 am, visiting
Temple IV, the best view of one the most amazing sunrises well
ever see. Watch the awakening of the creatures of the Maya jungle
and well see and hear the jungle and its resident fauna come
to life, with cheerful bird songs. After breakfast well tour
the archaeological site, visiting the main Plaza and the Temple
of the Great Jaguar, central acropolis, Mundo Perdido and temple
IV from where we can observe the majesty of the city and the emerald
green jungle. After lunch well fly to Guatemala for our overnight
DAY 8: 23 OCT - TO COSTA RICA (B)
Fly to Costa Rica where well be met and taken to our hotel.
Converted from a Tropical Victorian mansion, the hotel exudes the
warmth and comfort of a private home, with original art and Spanish
fountains gracing the halls and atriums.
DAY 9: 24 OCT - SAN JOSE (B,L)
Well spend the day being guided around San Jose and its surroundings.
After learning about its history and culture in downtown, well
then visit the principal monuments, parks, and the heart of San
DAY 10: 25 OCT - TORTUGUERO (B,L,D)
A morning drive through the Braulio Carrillo National Park showcases
the biodiversity of this astonishing, protected area, and leads
us to a delicious typical breakfast, with some of the locally grown
fruits. A boat ride lets us appreciate this exotic paradise as we
glide along through the Tortuguero canals to our lodge. Well
visit the picturesque town, the green turtle center and the beach,
before returning to the lodge for dinner.
DAY 11: 26 OCT - EXPLORING THE FOREST (B,L,D)
Tortuguero is a network of lakes, rivers and canals that are a great
for spotting wildlife such as birds, monkeys, two and three-toed
sloths, American crocodiles and caimans. The canals also provide
shelter to endangered animals such as the Oriental Indian Manatee,
crocodiles, a large variety of crustaceans and about 30 species
of sweet water fish, including the Gaspar, considered a living fossil.
Today well take a guided morning walk through the forest,
and this afternoon explore the canals in small boats.
DAY 12: 27 OCT - TORTUGUERO CHOCOLATE -
Well take the boat back to Caño Blanco and let our
taste buds guide us to a chocolate producing factory, stopping for
lunch on the way. Well enter across a suspension bridge to
a former cacao-tree plantation, where our guide will reveal the
secrets of transforming cacao fruit into chocolate. Watch the process,
and sample the final product, organic rainforest chocolate! Our
private hotel is surrounded by the La Palma River, an ideal refuge
for birds, and with panoramic views of the volcano.
DAY 13: 28 OCT - COSTA RICAN CULTURE (B,L)
A day all about Costa Rican culture. Delve in to the traditions,
and the way of life in the country today, combining the beauty of
nature with the local population. Visit the market to buy local
ingredients then help prepare them for lunch. Well stroll
through orchards and gardens, and help prepare Tico-style coffee
and traditional corn tortillas. Well spend time with a local
farming family at their authentic country house, visit the rural
settlement of Sonafluca and watch some folk dances from children
in a local school.
DAY 14: 29 OCT - QUAKERS, COFFEE AND SUGAR (B,L,D)
This morning we visit Monteverde, established in the 1950s
by a group of Quakers from the USA, who have devoted themselves
to producing milk and quality cheeses. Then well visit a coffee
farm to see how the delicious Monteverde coffee is made. Sugar production
is also on the list including the extraction of guaro, a Costa Rican
alcohol made from sugarcane and, traditional Costa Rican sobado
(type of fudge) and caramel. Continue to our hotel for the next
DAY 15: 30 OCT - MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST RESERVE
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, is one of the most famous conservation
areas in Central America. A tropical rain forest, called a cloud
forest due to its elevation (1,400m) and characterised by nearly
100% humidity. Here in Monteverde, the warm trade winds from the
Atlantic condense to form clouds, bathing the forest in a constant
soft mist. It is home to rare and unusual wildlife, such as jaguars
and pumas, and over 450 species of birds including the stunningly
beautiful quetzal birds.
The Treetop Walkway is a 3km trail through the cloud forest, making
it both the longest and strongest bridge system in Costa Rica. The
treetop walkways are a fantastic way to view the forest and with
our guide will be a great experience.
DAY 16: 31 OCT - CARARA NATIONAL PARK. (B,L,D)
Carara is one of Costa Ricas most popular National Parks,
in large part due to its proximity to San José. We walk the
trails of a transitional forest, a cross between a dry tropical
reserve and humid jungle. Its the home of many mammals, as
well as the rare scarlet macaw and a vast number of species of plants
and trees. Observe enormous crocodiles basking along the side of
the Tárcoles River. Our hotel is perched high above the Pacific
on twelve acres of tropical rainforest.
DAY 17: 1 NOV - DAMAS ISLAND ESTUARY. (B,L,D)
A boat tour will take us through the complex and beautiful estuary
system of Damas Island. Our naturalist interpreter will describe
a variety of biological relationships between many organisms in
this delicate habitat, such as white faced monkeys, herons, snakes,
crocodiles, iguanas, just to name a few!
This evening well recap and remember our fabulous journey
with a farewell dinner.
DAY 18: 2 NOV - SAN JOSE - DEPART (B)
Today well drive back to San Jose airport (approximately 3
hrs) for our onward travel.
END OF ARRANGEMENTS
18 day private tour
Dave Best as your Tour Leader
All (3) internal flights
English speaking guides throughout
Good quality accommodation with daily breakfast
Entrance fees for monuments and National Parks
35 Meals as listed (shown as 17-B,11-L,7-D)
One bottle of water per day in Guatemala, and a souvenir
Oxo-biodegradable water bottle in Costa Rica
Gratuities for local guides and drivers
LIMITED TO JUST 16 PLACES
DATES AND COSTS
Guatemala and Costs Rica
16 October - 2 November, 2017
Cost per person AUD$8,980 twin share
Single AUD$10,750 .
Best Travels, 82 Bellevue Street, CAMMERAY, NSW
tel (61+) 2 9929 9391 firstname.lastname@example.org