3 flights (longest 1hr); 4 scenic road journeys (longest 4hrs).
This tour uses small or medium-sized, family-friendly properties with plenty of local colour and special features, very comfortable but not necessarily offering all the facilities of a top-of-the-range property.
The accommodation on days 8-10 is a camping lodge.
Breakfast daily, lunch on day 7 full board days 8,9.
We carefully select our local partners, some of whom we have worked with for over 25 years. Their English-speaking guides understand the expectations of our clients very well, and are consistently singled out for praise by the latter on their return.
• Antigua: City tour and visit to a coffee farm.
• Chichicastenango market.
• Kayaking on Lake Atitlán.
• Lake Atitlán: Boat excursion to San Juan la Laguna.
• Tikal: Guided tour of the Mayan ruins.
• San Ignacio: Butterfly Farm
Summary of nights
14 days, 13nights: Antigua 2; Lake Atitlán 3; Tikal 2; San Ignacio 3; Ambergris Caye 3.
Included in the journey price
• Services of our team of experts in our London office.
• Services of Journey Latin America local representatives and guides.
• All land and air transport within Latin America.
• Accommodation as specified.
• Meals as specified.
• Excursions as specified, including entrance fees.
Not included in the journey price
• Tips and gratuities
• Meals other than specified.
• International flights to Latin America.
• Airport taxes, when not included in the ticket
• Optional excursions.
The unit of currency in Guatemala is the quetzal. In Belize it’s the Belize dollar.
It is very difficult to give a guideline for essential expenses but a budget of around US$35 per day should cover the cost of meals not included in the holiday itinerary, drinks and the odd souvenir. Eat at the best restaurants and you will pay considerably more. As a rule of thumb Belize is generally more expensive than Guatemala.
How to take it
Cash machines are available in all major cities and towns, and so taking a debit or credit card with a PIN number is the most convenient way of withdrawing money while on your trip, and in most shops and restaurants you can also pay by card. However, since cards can get lost, damaged, withheld or blocked, you should not rely exclusively on a card to access funds.
We recommend that additionally you take a reasonable quantity of US dollars cash (no more than is covered by your insurance), which you can exchange into local currency, and possibly some travellers’ cheques, though these are gradually falling out of use (American Express are the most widely accepted). Dollar bills should be in good condition, soiled or torn bills may be refused. You can take sterling, but the exchange rate is not always competitive or even available, restricting the number of places where you can change money.
In Guatemala, the exchange rate of the quetzal against the $US is variable. In Belize the rate is fixed at $2 Belize dollars to 1 $US, and $US are widely accepted in cash.
Tips are expected and local guides often rely on their tip as a significant proportion of their income.
Most service industry workers will expect a tip of some kind and so it is useful to have spare change for hotel porters, taxi drivers and the like. It is common to leave 10 - 12% in restaurants..
Tipping guidelines can be found in our Briefing Dossier.
Travel insurance is essential. Details of our recommended policy can be found on our Travel Insurance page.
There are no long non-stop days of travel on this trip; journeys are broken up at places of interest. This holiday is suitable for families with children of all ages. If you have a disability or other special requirements, please call us. In the summer the weather can be extremely hot and humid, you might bear this in mind if travelling with small children or elderly persons.
Travellers on May to October journeys should encounter high temperatures (around 35°C) and high humidity in the lowlands. There are likely to be some short bursts of heavy rainfall during these months. December to May visitors will still encounter high temperatures in the lowlands, but cool evenings in the Guatemalan highlands, with temperatures falling to around 5°C. Rainfall and humidity will be lower at this time.
Clothing and special equipment
Bring plenty of light cotton clothing and good, comfortable walking shoes. Some warm items and good waterproof jackets are also necessary. We suggest that you plan to ‘layer’ your clothing; it is easier and more efficient to put on a couple of light layers than one thick jumper, and sensible to have long sleeves for areas where mosquitoes may be hovering around.
Protection against the sun (sun-block, sun hat) and mosquito repellant are essential and you should bring swimwear. A daypack is useful for carrying sun block, guidebook, water and any extra layers.
Please get in touch with the office before departure if you have any doubts. Good equipment is very important and hard to come by in Central America.
Preventative vaccinations are recommended against the following: typhoid; polio; tetanus; hepatitis A. You should consult your GP for specific requirements, including advice on yellow fever and malaria tablets (unlikely for this holiday). For specific requirements you must consult your GP.
You can also find helpful information on the Masta Travel Health website.
Holders of a full British passport do not require a visa, although passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the trip begins. Anyone with a different nationality should enquire with us or check with the relevant consulate.
APIS and ESTA - important flight information:
ESTA - if flying to, or via, the USA you will need to fill in your application to ESTA online
This costs $14 per person, and must be done by you personally.
Passports must also be machine-readable (MRP). Avoid locking suitcases if transiting the USA, as their customs authorities retain the right to break into them.
APIS - Many countries now oblige airlines to provide additional information about passengers prior to the flight departure. This Advance Passenger Information (APIS) must be supplied to us promptly in order to issue tickets and avoid fare increases. We will provide the airlines with the relevant details if we are booking your international flights. If the information is not provided you may be denied boarding.