Central America Explorer - 18 days, 17 nights

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  • Aerial view of San Salvador
  • Maya pyramids at Tazumal, El Salvador
  • Arco de Santa Catalina at Antigua, Guatemala
  • Indigenous women at Chichicastenango, Guatemala
  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
  • Jaguar pyramid at Tikal, Guatemala
  • Main archaeological site at Copan, Honduras
  • Pulhapanzak waterfall at Honduras
  • Basilica de Suyapa at Tegucigalpa, Honduras
  • Masaya volcano crater at Nicaragua
  • Panoramic view of Granada, Nicaragua
  • Hanging bridges at Monteverde, Costa Rica
  • Arenal Volcano at Costa Rica
  • National Theater at San Jose, Costa Rica

ITINERARY

DAY 01

Arrive at San Salvador, one of our representatives will be waiting for you at the airport, overnight at San Salvador.

DAY 02

Today we will explore the capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador, driving through the streets and avenues in the residential and historical areas. We will first visit the David Guzman Museum of Anthropology where we will have a guided tour of this historical location. We will see the famous Zona Rosa on our way to the Divino Salvador del Mundo monument at Plaza Las Americas. We shall go to a viewpoint located in Planes de Renderos, which will place us at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. At this height we will have a magnificent view of the city as well as access to a gallery of handcrafted artifacts. In the afternoon, we will visit El Tazumal, which is the biggest pyramid that has been discovered in the country. Its architecture will definitely impress you. After this we shall continue to Joya de Ceren. Joya de Ceren was declared world heritage by UNESCO in 1993 for being the only location in the whole Mayan culture where you can appreciate the day to day living styles of the popular pre-Columbian inhabitants. All was well preserved thanks to the ashes of the volcano’s eruption. We will return to the city through the Pan-American Highway going up and through the mountains that belong to El Balsamo´s Mountain Range. Overnight at San Salvador.

DAY 03

Today we will enter Guatemalan territory, heading up north to Antigua Guatemala, a city founded in the early 16th century. Built 1,500 meters above sea-level, in an earthquake-prone region, it was largely destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but its principal monuments are still preserved as ruins. Overnight at Antigua.

DAY 04

In the morning, we will discover the timeless colonial city of Antigua Guatemala, nestled in a valley surrounded by the peaks of three towering volcanoes. Over time it became the most important city in Central America, adorned with monasteries, churches and other monuments built in the Spanish Colonial architectural style. While in Antigua you will explore both the restored colonial buildings as well as those left as ruins throughout the city. Among the intricate colonial buildings and interesting museums you will visit on our tour, you will explore the ornate La Merced church, the ruins of the Capuchinas convent and the San Francisco Cathedral, Mid afternoon you will be transferred to the community of Chichicastenango for overnight.

DAY 05

Today, we will visit the Chichicastenango Indian market, reputedly the largest outdoor market in Central America, which attracts buyers and sellers from near and far every Thursday and Sunday. Many great souvenirs can be found here, from colorful Mayan fabrics and ceremonial masks to genuine leather goods, jewelry and accessories. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Panajachel for overnight.

DAY 06

In the morning, we will have a boat tour on Lake Atitlan and visit the communities along the shore like Santiago de Atitlan, were we will find a Quiche Indian population that descend from the Mayas and walk around this colonial towns, in the afternoon, you will be transferred to Guatemala City for overnight.

DAY 07

Today we will we will catch an early domestic flight to Flores. The tour continues with a one-hour drive until you reach Tikal. Tikal in its heyday 700 AD, was the capital of a vast Mayan empire. Today, the site is one of Guatemala's premier tourist attractions. Its unspoiled jungle setting makes it special for discerning travelers, particularly Archaeologists, Naturalists and bird watchers. Mid afternoon we will head back to Flores for overnight at Hotel Petén Esplendido.

DAY 08

Early morning we will start our journey to Copan Ruins, in route we will visit Rio Dulce and Quirigua Ruins, a small Mayan site located in the Motagua River that was apparently ruled by an offshoot of Copan's ruling dynasty during most of its history and served to secure Copan's access to the Motagua river and the trade routes to the cities further north. Quirigua features the tallest stela in the entire Mayan world. We will be reaching Honduran territory in Copan Ruinas late afternoon for overnight at Hotel Marina Copan.

DAY 09

In the morning, we will have a guided tour of the main archaeological site that features the hieroglyphic staircase, the ball court and the famous stelas, in the afternoon, discover the various artifacts and art work carved in stone at the museum of Maya sculpture and the museum of archaeology, evening is at your disposal to stroll around the cobble stone streets of the town of Copan and visit its numerous restaurants, coffee and souvenir shops, Hotel Marina Copan.

DAY 10

Discover Honduras through mountainous scenery while we head to the capital city of Tegucigalpa, in route we will visit our famous Pulhapanzak waterfall, we will have lunch at beautiful Lake Yojoa and also visit colonial former capital city Comayagua, where we have the oldest functioning clock in the Americas. We will arrive in Tegucigalpa late afternoon, overnight at Hotel Clarion.

DAY 11

Tegucigalpa is not only the capital city of Honduras but further a colonial town of abundant history, we will enjoy a morning tour of both modern and colonial districts, the Basilica of Suyapa and a sweeping view of the metropolitan area at the foot of the giant figure of Christ located at Picacho hill. We will finish our Honduras mainland tour visiting two charming old mining colonial towns, Santa Lucia and Valle de Angeles that are home to the local artisans school and many souvenir shops, evening is free, overnight at Hotel Clarion.

DAY 12

Today we are heading south to the Fonseca Gulf on the Pacific, which is shared by El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, before entering Nicaragua territory we will visit the old town of Choluteca, we shall arrive at the city of Leon mid afternoon, we will have a city tour of Leon Viejo including the Art Museum and the magnificent Leon Cathedral were we will have a chance to go on the roof top and observe the volcanic chain in the far ground, overnight at Hotel El Convento.

DAY 13

Early morning depart for Granada, in route touring of Masaya Volcano National Park, Laguna de Apoyo, the village of Catarina and the Masaya Market, arriving Granada midafternoon, overnight at Granada.

DAY 14

Morning tour of Granada, a chariot / walking combination to visit the many old colonial building and churches, at 1:00 PM we are on our way to Costa Rica, we will arrive at Monteverde National Park before sunset, evening free, overnight at Monteverde.

DAY 15

Today we will hike Monteverde National Park, we will take the sky tram / sky walk, spectacular combination of suspension bridges with easy and well maintained walking trails built in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and above the tropical forest canopy, in the afternoon, we will drive to the town of La Fortuna in northern Costa Rica, near Arenal Vocano National Park, overnight at La Fortuna.

DAY 16

Today, we will take an informative, beautiful walk, you’ll learn about the behemoth Arenal Volcano, the secondary and primary tropical forest surrounding it and the interesting wildlife of the area. Once we finish the walk, we’ll head to a view point to see more of this famous volcano (note that the volcano has not been very active in the last few months but you can hear the volcano and often see flumes of gases), in the afternoon, you will be driven to capital city San Jose, arriving late afternoon for overnight.

DAY 17

Today, we will take a city tour of San Jose, the tour immerses you in the rich Costa Rican culture and history by experiencing the beautiful museums and historical sites of San José. It begins with an orientation and drive through the beautiful Sabana Park. Next, we will take a walking tour through the historic National Theater. Completed in 1897, the theater is a masterpiece in art and architecture. Afterwards we will visit one of the many unique museums of Costa Rica. We will continue heading to the University of Costa Rica, the Supreme Court and various sites of interest. A brief stop will be made in a beautiful art craft shopping store allowing you to browse through it before returning to your hotel, overnight at San Jose.

DAY 18

At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport to catch your international departure flight.

SERVICES INCLUDED

Accommodations at 4-star hotels in double occupancy, all breakfasts, private ground transportation in A/C vehicle, english speaking guide, sightseeing tours listed with admissions, local guides, airport transfers and hotel taxes.

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Contact Us

Explore - Turismo de Centroamerica
TOLL FREE: 1-877-889-1510      
info@explore-panama.net