Guatemala & Belize Highlights

Despite being neighbours, Guatemala and Belize are two remarkably contrasting countries. Guatemala offers picture-perfect colonial towns surrounded by lofty volcanoes. It also has lively indigenous markets, mysterious Mayan ruins and the exquisite sparkling waters of Lake Atitlan. Belize has jungle that teems with wildlife and superb adventure activities. It is also home to some of the best snorkelling in the world and blissful white beaches. This tour combines the highlights of both countries in an exciting two weeks.


  Toast marshmallows over lava
  See lava flows of Pacaya Volcano
  Walking tour of pretty Antigua
  Canoeing on Lake Atitlan
  Explore Mayan ruins at Tikal
  Visit remote ATM cave
  Snorkel over pristine coral reef

15 days from £3,250 pp

Plus international flights from £850


A 2-week holiday in Belize & Guatemala usually costs a minimum of £13,000 based on mid-range hotels, excluding international flights.

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Guatemala & Belize Highlights day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Guatemala City – Antigua
When you arrive in Guatemala City your guide will meet you and whisk you away to the beautiful old Spanish colonial city of Antigua, about an hour away.

Day 2 Antigua
Take a guided walking tour around Antigua, with its pretty cobbled streets flanked by colourful houses. There are leafy plazas with fragrant bushes of frangipani, imposing churches and bustling markets, all set against the backdrop of an impressive volcano. Your guide will take you first to a viewpoint where you can see the town spread beneath you, then you will weave through the narrow streets to take in all of the highlights. There are lovely cafes to stop for a break and the children will enjoy haggling for souvenirs along the way.

Day 3 Antigua
This morning take an excursion to Pacaya Volcano. You will follow a picturesque trail that winds up through woodland and cinder scree to the impressive crater and lava flows. The views over the volcano flanks are stunning. Toast marshmallows over the molten lava before returning to Antigua for a relaxing afternoon.

Day 4 Antigua – Lake Atitlan
This morning head into the countryside to Lake Atitlan. Set against a backdrop of two perfect volcanoes and dotted with traditional villages, Lake Atitlan is extraordinarily beautiful. This really is Central America at its finest. There will be time to browse the markets in the pretty lake-side town of Panajachel before continuing by boat to your lake-front hotel. The view from the hotel over the lake and surrounding volcanic hills is completely breathtaking and one of our favourite spots in Central America.

Day 5 Lake Atitlan
Make the most of the beautiful surroundings, starting with a kayak trip around the lake to the indigenous village of San Marcos. From here, a gentle 2hr hike will take you along the lakeshore back to your hotel. The afternoon is free for you to relax in a hammock and enjoy the beautiful gardens. However, if you have the energy there is a lovely short hike along an ancient Mayan trail to a neighbouring village.

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Day 6 Lake Atitlan 
Head out by boat over Lake Atitlan to visit some of the villages that dot the shores. Each has its own distinctive character; one has a main street strung with colourful umbrellas to create shade; another has a lively market and churches that blend Catholic and Mayan traditions. You will have plenty of time to explore and can visit local craft cooperatives to learn about local handicraft traditions.

Day 7 Lake Atitlan – Flores – Tikal
If you are travelling on a Thursday or a Sunday, this morning we can arrange a stop at Chichicastenango market, one of the largest in Central America. Wander through the narrow alleyways between the stalls and marvel at the sheer quantity of things for sale. You’ll find wooden masks, exquisite embroidery, pottery, woodcarvings, ethnic bags, piles of fruit, traditional incense and more.

Later, transfer back to Guatemala City airport for a flight to Flores.

Day 8 Tikal
Rise early this morning for a guided tour of Tikal, Central America’s most impressive Mayan ruins. These are found deep in the jungle, the surrounding trees alive with the deep-throated cackle of howler monkeys. Climb the steps to the top of a pyramid, with intricate carvings adorning the giant stone blocks, for superb views and a sense of the enormity of the site. The children will be entranced by gruesome tales of human sacrifice during Mayan times and will enjoy walking through the jungle to spot toucan and spider monkeys.

The afternoon is free to relax.

Day 9 Tikal – San Ignacio
Transfer over the border into Belize, where you will immediately notice a difference in atmosphere. With reggae blaring from speakers, Belize has a distinctively Caribbean feel. Your destination is the small town of San Ignacio where you will stay in a jungle lodge. This is a great base from which to explore the rainforest that surrounds the Macal River.

Day 10 San Ignacio
Today enjoy a visit to Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM). The adventure starts with a 45-minute jungle hike into the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. You will cross streams and then swim a short section of river to enter the cave itself. From here hike across a maze of rocks and then follow a tunnel with waist-deep water as you head deeper into the cave system. After half an hour or so you will reach the main chamber of the cave, home to a Mayan burial chamber and the remains of a Maya Princess laid to rest centuries ago.

Day 11 San Ignacio
This morning take a canoeing excursion on the meandering Macal River, passing by Mayan villages and tropical rainforest. Kingfishers flit from branch to branch and the eerie booming roar of howler monkeys echo between the cliffs. Take a refreshing swim in the clear waters of the jungle river and watch out for giant iguanas sunbathing high above in the branches.

Days 12 San Ignacio – Placencia
After breakfast it’s time to head to the coast. Your destination is the beachside town of Placencia, a long narrow peninsula fringed with idyllic white sandy beaches. It’s time to find a hammock in the shade of a gently swaying palm tree, kick off the shoes and relax!

Day 13 Placencia
This morning take a snorkelling excursion off the coast to Belize’s famous marine reserve. This is one of the most pristine marine environments in the world, with an incredible range of brightly coloured fish, nurse sharks and turtles as well as huge coral beds. The sheer variety is extraordinary. You will stop at two different locations to snorkel, one of which will be a picture-perfect desert island complete with a solitary palm tree.

Day 13 Placencia
A final free day to relax or perhaps head into the bustling town of Placencia for some last-minute shopping.

Day 15 Belize City
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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