A flight to Guatemala via Frankfurt and Costa Rica. Arriving in Guatemala. Transportation to Antiqua.
In the morning we will travel to Lake Atitlan, visiting the largest Latin American market – Chichicastanango.
Lake Atitlan is surrounded by three majestic volcanoes (Atitlan, San Pedro and Toliman) and it is repeatedly described as the most beautiful lake in the world. It is 1562m above the sea level, 132 km in diameter and 305m in depth. The water of the lake reflects purple shades of the mountains, small churches with glowing white facades and emerald green flora. The lake shore is home for 12 Mayan Indian communities that have retained their own language, culture and their own way of life. On the way to Atitalan we will visit the market of Chichi Kastanango. It is the largest market in Guatemala, which opens each Thursday and Sunday and extends over the entire town. People come here from almost all of Latin America. Chichicastanango, often shortened to “Chichi” is the main shopping center in Guatemala. Here you will find a wide variety of goods, ranging from fabrics, textiles, clothing to wood, ceramics, and even fireworks. It is just impossible to get out of the market empty handed. The city is also famous for its festivals, fiestas and celebrations that attract masses of tourists from all over the world.
In the morning we will take a boat to visit the Atitlan Lake villages and tribes living in them. In the afternoon – a short flight to see Tikal pyramids.
Tikal is one of the largest Mayan cities. It was inhabited about 600 years BC. The ancient city of Tikal had 50,000 residents and it used to be one of the biggest political and commercial centers, but around the year of 900 Tikal and other Mayan cities suffered a mysterious collapse. It is believed that it happened due to overpopulation, disease, wars, or the depletion of reserves. Tikal was abandoned and Mayans moved to lowlands or uplands in the south. Today the city of Tikal is the Tikal National Park in Guatemala that has a wonderful area of 575 square kilometers containing jungle and wildlife. There are about 3,000 places to visit, such as separate structures, chapels, terraces and squares, about 200 stone monuments and cells. Stella was not accustomed to the Mayan culture and they are found only in the southern part of their lands, especially near Tikal. You can find a few complexes of pyramids in Tikal. Under the pyramids of Tikal there are 300 kilometers of tunnels that lead to another side of the country. In 1978, SIRA radar has detected similar structures under the Egyptian pyramids. These constructions could be used for the entrance to the underworld, a wide range of spaces and tunnel networks, which, as they say, lies underneath all of South America.
In the afternoon we will departure to the airport for a short flight to the capital of Guatemala.
If you will be discussing about “the real Guatemala”, you will never hear a word „Antigua“. ‘The Lonely Planet’ wrote: “It’s a fantasy city. Imagine how this country would look after the Scandinavian attack”. Here you can find Guatemalan best hotels and restaurants, the most popular Spanish language schools. The city is surrounded by three volcanoes, which are clearly visible above the red- tiled roofs and churches. For more than two hundred years Antigua has been one of the most important and influential cities of the „New World”. It was the colonial capital which at the time was stretching from Costa Rica to Mexico. The city was designed by the Italian architect who built impressive churches, universities, public buildings and private houses. Although, only a few authentic buildings remained after a few strong earthquakes, but the city was perfectly restored in colonial style and it’s now in the UNESCO’s World Heritage. After breakfast you will go for a half-day guided tour by foot to Antiqua. You will be watching a thrilling ceremony – the procession through the streets of Antiqua. This is an Easter festival, a parade of flowers. For weeks the streets of Antiqua are being covered in flower carpets, ornaments that attract many visitors from all over Latin America.
In the evening you will be flying to Costa Rica, San Jose.
You will visit the Poas Volcano National Park, with an area of 5,600 hectares. This is one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the country – the emerald green cauldron full of acid and almost boiling water. Cliffs of volcanoes reach a magnificent height of 2708 meters. One of the two craters is 300 meters in depth. The lake in the main crater has formed into a hot water lake. The other – into the cold water lake, called Botos. In the evening – a trip to La Fortuna. This place is famous for the impressive Arenal volcano.
After the breakfast we will go to the Arenal Volcano Park. There you will almost reach the place where the lava onslaughts. You will observe the unique nature when walking through the jungle’s hanging bridges and pass through the six bridges of 5 to 243meters in length. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy the flora and fauna of the jungle from the top. Another spectacular adventure awaits – a flight over the jungle. In the evening we will return at the hotel. After a long day, do not hesitate to enjoy a hot springs SPA.
After breakfast we will travel to the southern part of the island near the Pacific Ocean to a place called Manuel Antonio National Park.
Recreation or hiking in Manuel Antonio National Park.
In the morning we will go to San Jose.
A flight back home in the evening.