The Best of Guatemala and Belize
A 16-day discovery of Guatemala and Belize’s highlights - colonial towns, Maya ruins, lively culture, lush rainforest and Caribbean beaches
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- All tours mentioned in itinerary
- All transfers and domestic flight
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Begin you journey in Antigua, an enchanting little city, ringed by three volcanoes, with perfectly preserved colonial and Baroque architecture from its time as the Spanish capital of Central America. Here, you’ll taste the best local street food and hike up the active Pacaya volcano.
Next, venture to the beautiful shores of tranquil Lake Atitlan, taking private tours to uncover the rich culture of area, visiting villages and a bustling market where Maya traditions are still strongly felt.
Then enjoy three nights at Francis Ford Coppola’s La Lancha lodge by the astounding ruins of Tikal, an ancient Maya citadel surrounded by jungle and the site of the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas.
You’ll also get to visit Yaxha, a lesser frequented site in an area rich with wildlife for an unforgettable sunset. From here, cross the border into Belize and the rainforest of the Cayo District. Spend a full day on an expedition into the Actun Tunichil Mukna cave system, an enigmatic Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics and stoneware.
Your final three nights will be spent on Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island, relaxing on its sandy beaches, snorkelling in its warm Caribbean waters and soaking up the wonderfully laid back atmosphere.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer from Guatemala airport to your hotel in Antigua
Accommodation in Antigua
- Seven rooms
- Small pool
- Dining Room
A charming boutique hotel full of character, Posada del Angel is an excellent base from which to explore Antigua. As one of the first boutique hotels in the area they have built up a deserved reputation. There are just seven rooms and service is attentive and very friendly. Rooms are all individually decorated in a colourful colonial style. The hotel also has an excellent ‘Rosas’ suite at the top of the building with its own private terrace area.
- 14 rooms
- Rooftop terrace
One of the most comfortable and luxurious boutique hotels in Antiqua, El Convento takes its name its location just next to the historical Convent. Built in a Colonial style the rooms are very spaciously constructed with private patio walled patio areas, large bathrooms and luxury fittings. The hotel has a courtyard area, restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace.
- Thirteen guestrooms
- Tea room
Steps from the cultural city of Antigua is the colonial gem Palacio de Doña Leonor. The former home of the daughter of Spanish conqueror, Don Pedro de Alvarado, this historic and elegant property is built around a pretty courtyard with a fountain shrouded in greenery and boasts superb service. Each of the thirteen guestrooms, which range from rooms to suites, are individually designed in luxury Spanish style. Four poster beds, original art and antique chandeliers create a regal feel, while your private balcony or terrace looks down onto either the city or garden. Further graceful touches you’ll find here include hand-painted ceilings, stone fireplaces and a heated Jacuzzi spa. What’s more, the Palacio Restaurant offers modern international cuisine and the Tea Room makes the perfect spot to enjoy a tasty cocktail.
- 125 rooms
- Large outdoor pool
A historic destination in itself, Casa Santo Domingo is set over large grounds in a historic convent. Besides its well preserved and restored construction, the hotel is home to many antique pieces recovered through excavations of the grounds. The hotel includes an excellent on-site museum showcasing many of these pieces. Flagstone walkways lead through the large hotel, leading into various gardens and courtyards – just exploring the hotel can take some time given it’s scale. This is an excellent choice for those looking for the support and infrastructure of a larger hotel whilst still being in keeping with the historic and colonial setting of Antigua.
Spend your days in this enchanting city strolling through avenidas, plazas and calles, soaking up the baroque architecture and lovely atmosphere. Explore the central market and artisan workshops and then head up to the Hill of the Cross for impressive city panoramas. Your travel designer will give you our top recommendations for culture, dining and shopping so that you can make the most of your time here.
Discover the local cuisine on a tour that takes in some of Antigua’s best street food. You’ll visit several stalls, each with their own speciality, and enjoy sampling delicious morsels along the way.
This private tour begins with an hour's morning transfer taking you to the foothills of the active Pacaya volcano. Here you will hike through lovely pine forest to the tough volcanic ash section and then to the sulfur smoking cone. During the hike, which is fairly strenuous, you may even see little eruptions and lava flow and when at the summit take in the amazing views of the northern volcanoes, pacific lowlands and El Salvador. On your return down you will stop for a picnic lunch with grand volcanic views and once you are back at the base you will be privately transferred back to either Antigua or Guatemala City.
Private transfer from Antigua to Lake Atitlan
Accommodation in Lake Atitlan
- 6 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Spa and gym
- Swimming pool
- Yoga pavilion
Secluded amid its very own nature reserve on the northern shoreline of Lake Atitlan, Laguna Lodge delivers a naturally intimate and romantic atmosphere all within your very own private wilderness. The lodge, which champions sustainability, channels a rustic chic decor with a touch of Mayan decadence. Assembled with rough stone walls, smooth wooden floors, colourful textiles, indigenous antiques and hand-hewn beds, its six spacious suites (600 sq ft) all come with private balconies and spectacular views of the lake too. The superb location of Laguna right on Atitlan’s shoreline means a myriad and instant outdoor pursuits to cherry pick from. The lodge’s pleasant palm-thatched pavilions that jut out onto the waters are wonderful to relax on, and there is even a network of old Mayan trails through the reserve here to explore. The spa gives you an extensive list of treatments and the Zotz restaurant specialises in international vegetarian cuisine with a focus on local providence; eggs and organic vegetables are harvested from the hotel gardens, and all the coffee served is grown, harvested and roasted on site.
- Seven rooms
- Two bed villa room
- Restaurant – Indoor and outdoor dining
- Indoor and outdoor lounge
- Small solar powered infinity pool
This charming and exclusive small villa hotel, built into the hills near the village of Santa Catarina Palapo village and on the shores of Lake Atitlan, provides guests with splendid views of three magnificent volcanoes. Casa Palopo stands as one of the most beautifully designed luxury hotels in Guatemala; the rooms are spacious and reflect the country’s unique décor and design, with each suite being different from the next. Guests can enjoy the spacious lounge areas inside and out and exquisite food and wines are served in the hotels top restaurant, where guests can enjoy their meals in elegant and sophisticated surroundings with spectacular views. This is the perfect base for exploring the Guatemalan highlands, visiting the traditional and authentic villages to learn about Mayan culture, hiking up the heights of one of the volcanoes (Toliman, Atitlan, and San Pedro), with a local guide.
Spend your time at Lake Atitlan taking in the incredible scenery and exploring this outstanding area of natural beauty. The tranquil atmosphere of this location means that it's the perfect place to relax for a few days.
Transfer to San Juan La Laguna Village where you can visit a local textile cooperative to see the back strap loom in use and to see how they still dye with natural dyes. You can also visit the home and workshop of local naïf painters before boarding the boat onto Santiago Village for lunch. After lunch walk with your guide to find the house where the Maya God Maximon is living. Each year a different "brotherhood" has the privilege of taking care of their God so his location changes. Once with Maximon you may see local shaman performing rituals for local people and if you wish you can ask your guide to help you hire the services of a shaman for you to have a personal ceremony performed. After visiting Maximon guests can visit the local church and learn about the history of this very traditional town and also see the market and learn about the distinctive textiles and primitive art that is famous from this area. When you are ready you will be transferred back to your hotel.
You will be met at your hotel by your private driver & guide for the 1hr transfer out to the highland town of Chichicastenango. Along the way you will pass through the central highland region and see the local Maya people in their traditional dress going about their daily lives - working in the fields, collecting firewood, travelling between markets, selling their wares. Upon arrival at Chichicastenango your guide will take you to explore this famous market both the local areas of the fruit & vegetables & everyday items as well as the craft area where you can find endless variety of beautiful textile, wooden & ceramic crafts. You can also visit the famous St Tomas Church where local Maya people come to perform Maya rituals within the Catholic church - demonstrating the interesting way the two faiths have combined in recent times. If you want to you can also hike up the hill to the Pascaul Abaj ritual site to see if any local shaman are performing rituals and/or to the cemetery on the outskirts of town. Lunch is provided in the Hotel St Tomas.
Private Transfer from Lake Atitlan to Guatemala City
Flight from Guatemala City to Flores
Transfer from Flores airport to your hotel
Accommodation in Tikal
- Swimming pool
Owned by Francis Ford Coppola this is the most comfortable and well-serviced lodging option in the Tikal area. La Lancha sits overlooking Lake Peten just a short drive from the entrance to the Tikal National Park. Service is attentive and friendly with many of the staff receiving extra training from abroad. Decoration with a mixture of local and Balinese textiles and handicrafts. Accommodation is in air-conditioned casitas, the best of which enjoy views of the lake with a private balcony.
Head to Yaxha National Park where you’ll enjoy a private guided tour of this lesser visited site. The city was once home to around 40,000 people and its 400-plus structures include five acropolises, two astronomical towers and three ball courts. The area is rich in wildlife and you’ll enjoy the sights and sounds of howler and spider monkeys as well as colourful tropical birds. Enjoy sunset drinks at the end of the tour on top of the main temple, with views over the surrounding rainforest and nearby Lake Yaxha. You’ll then trek back through the jungle with torches as it starts to get dark, perhaps spotting some nocturnal wildlife along the way.
Enjoy a private guided tour of the Tikal site with its fabulous temples that rise up through the jungle canopy. History will come to life as you discover the ruins, which are dominated by five enormous pyramids, rising to more than 60m. Many structures are wrapped in giant roots and partially hidden beneath mounds of earth, making this site ripe for exploring. Keep your eyes peeled for tropical birds and monkeys. After a restaurant lunch, explore the museum before heading back to your hotel.
Private transfer to the Belize border at Melchor de Mencos and on to your hotel in the Cayo District
Accommodation in Cayo District
- Ranges of villas, cottages and suites
- Infinity Pool
- Full Spa
- Butterfly House
Started more than twenty years ago, Chaa Creek has grown organically to be one of the very best eco-lodges in Belize with a real sense of place, character and history. The lodge is set in a 400-acre private nature reserve on the banks of the Macal River. There are a wide range of accommodation options ranging from garden suites to cottages and fabulous modern villas, all are ample in size and luxuriously appointed. The lodgings are arranged around beautiful lush gardens dotted with royal palms and brimming with exotic birdlife. At the centre is a large infinity pool, bar and restaurant. There is also a large spa area atop the hill with an extensive range of treatments on offer. The lodge is well-positioned to explore the attractions of the surrounding area from Mayan ruins to Cave systems. Service is friendly, knowledgeable and very professional.
- Accomodation in spacious rooms or casitas
- Wine Cellar
- Organic Garden
- Infinity Pool
This boutique resort is for those seeking a more polished hotel-style experience in the Cayo district. Located just a short drive to San Ignacio. All rooms are very comfortable and equipped with all the modern luxuries one would expect from a hotel such as air-conditioning, flat screen televisions and iPod docks. Accommodation is in large rooms or private casitas. The hotel has a pleasant outdoor pool, spa, bar, and a good restaurant. Service is excellent, very attentive and helpful.
- 11 thatched Cabanas
- Dining Room
The place to come for a real rainforest experience in Belize, Pooks is very much a jungle lodge. Set in a 300-acre private reserve of old-growth forest bordering the Tapir mountain reserve, the lodge is a great spot to explore the lush tropical rainforest and wildlife. Lodgings are in small thatched Cabanas, each simple but comfortable. In the centre of the main area is a small Mayan site which has been restored, adding to the history and sense of place. Food is excellent home cooked fare, served communally in the restaurant allowing for an inclusive and friendly lodge experience.
Spend your days exploring the lush interior area of Cayo and where you can truly get stuck into some outdoors activities, hiking the rainforest, birdwatching, horseriding, kayaking, to happening upon hidden Mayan ruins and cave rivers.
Your guide and instructor will collect you from your hotel and drive you to the Actun Tunichil Mukna caves for a full day's exploration of them with picnic lunch.
Transfer to San Ignacio airstrip
Flight from San Ignacio to Ambergris Caye
Shared transfer from San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) to hotel
Resorts in Ambergris Caye
- 7 Private Bungalows
- Full Room Service
For those seeking a truly intimate and private island experience, Cayo Espanto certainly delivers. The island is set three miles away from San Pedro and has just six villas with all services completely private (even meals are served in your villa meaning you have total privacy). Service and the quality of the rooms here is exemplary, with the fully private activities tailored to your requirements making this an ideal place for honeymooners. The island also has spa facilities with an on-site massage therapist.
- 8 beach Cabanas
- Three tree-top suites
A wonderful and romantic beachfront option on the more secluded northerly shores of Ambergris, Portofino is owned and run by a friendly European couple who really add a personal touch to the feel and service of this boutique resort. Design is based around the idea of simple comfort with whitewashed walls, spacious rooms and handmade furniture. There is a pleasant pool area and all room and cabanas offer views of the Caribbean. The onsite restaurant and bar serves excellent euro-caribbean fusion and the option to take a romantic meal on the pier. The hotel is close to an excellent snorkelling area which can be reached by boat or even on your own using the hotel’s kayaks. Access to the town of San Pedro is via water taxi and there are several good restaurants within walking distance.
- 31 private bungalows
- Beach service
Set on a secluded stretch of natural white-sand beach looking out to the vast barrier reef, Matachica offers a choice of 31 intimate villas, including 30 single casitas and 1 two-bedroom villa. Vibrantly coloured with thatched roofs, the villas are spacious and privately located from each other with traditional mosaic bathrooms, air-conditioning, private patios and hammocks. There is a welcoming bar, and drinks can be brought to you, poolside or on the beach, while the award-winning Mambo restaurant is considered one of the best in the country and offers locally inspired flavours and some surprising combinations. As well as relaxing on the serene beach or in the Jade Spa, you can explore both land and the reef with complimentary use of sea kayaks, bicycles, snorkel gear and fishing tackle. The buzzing little town of San Pedro is just a short water taxi away and the lush jungles of Belize’s interior are also within reach.
- 42 rooms
- 2 swimming pools
- Dive shop
Located a short drive away from the main town, Victoria house is an wonderfully elegant beachfront property with beautiful gardens and pool area. Service is very professional and helpful and the gardens and beach are immaculately manicured. On-site services include a dive-shop, massages, bar and a good restaurant. There are a range of different accommodations on offer from private casitas, to beachfront houses suitable for families or groups of friends.
The country's most popular beach destination, for good reason when you see its calm Caribbean beaches, chic island hotels and warm tropical waters. Spend your days here winding down and soaking up the sun, to some excellent snorkelling, diving, water sports and days out on a chartered boat.
Take a boat up the coast from Ambergris Caye to Mexico Rocks where an beautiful collection of Star, Elk Horn Coral, and Staghorn corals are colonised by lobsters, rays, eels and colourful juvenile fish. Shallow and protected by the barrier reef from ocean swells, this site is great for novice snorkellers with excellent visibility. Lunch is will be a wonderful BBQ cooked up on the beach.
Enjoy your day of leisure at Ambergris Caye swimming, snorkelling and diving in the warm Caribbean seas, on a trip to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef or simply relaxing at your luxury hotel.
Transfer from Ambergris Caye hotel to San Pedro airport
Flight from Ambergris Caye to Belize City
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The Best of Guatemala and Belize
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.