Map of Guatemala to Belize			 including Belize and Guatemala

Sun, fun, creatures and culture in Guatemala and Belize.

Wander the cobblestone streets of Antigua, admire ancient Mayan ruins and unwind on the laidback island of Caye Caulker on this 10-day adventure from Guatemala to Belize. This trip spans two captivating countries, with different languages, distinct cultures and varied landscapes – each with the capacity to inspire awe in those who visit. From volcano-studded highlands to the chilled-out charm of the Caribbean coast, this tour delivers a hearty dose of history and culture, plenty of epic scenery and some well-deserved downtime.


Start
Antigua, Guatemala
Finish
Caye Caulker, Belize
Destinations
Belize, Guatemala
Style
Original
Theme
Explorer
Code
QVSB
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Gaze in wonder at the jungle-shrouded limestone temples of Tikal, one of the most impressive Mayan sites in the whole of Central America, as howler monkeys call from the canopy.

  • Relax and recharge on the white sands of Caye Caulker, a tiny Belizean island made for beach BBQs, snorkel trips and lazy afternoons spent swinging in a hammock.

  • Explore Livingston: a one-of-a-kind riverside town where the local culture is heavily influenced by the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna population.

  • Walk along cobblestone streets and shop for local handicrafts in the tiny inland island town of Flores.

  • Dig deeper into Mayan history – visiting lesser-known ruins and a mystical Mayan cave complex – around San Ignacio, a vibrant market town near the Belize-Guatemala border.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be really hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

  • As this trip covers destinations across two countries, you'll need to make a border crossing. While this is usually straightforward, please prepare to be patient.

  • While your leaders on this trip will bridge any language gaps you have along the way, you'll find meeting locals easier the more Spanish words you know. Attempting to communicate in Spanish is a great way of showing you care.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023.
View the 2022 itinerary
Hola! Welcome to Antigua. Surrounded by three volcanoes dominating the skyline, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that the city became the tourism hub of Guatemala. Today, the city is filled with coffee shops and international restaurants and is always buzzing with live music and salsa classes. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. If you arrive with time to spare, why not get a taste of local tradition with a chocolate-making workshop in the ChocoMuseo.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop at ChocoMuseo - GTQ225
  • Antigua - Salsa-dance Lesson (per hour) - GTQ100
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
As the seat of the Spanish colonial government, Antigua was once one of the most important cities in Central America. The city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1773, but many of the colonial-era buildings have been carefully restored. This morning, wander the quiet cobblestone streets with your leader, who will point out many fascinating markets and museums. Later you’ll learn how to make a tortilla using traditional techniques. The afternoon is yours to spend exploring the city and its surrounds. Prefer to take it easy? Grab a coffee on the main plaza and settle in for some people watching. Don't miss the chance to taste a tamale, a local dish served in a corn leaf. Or try pepian, a meaty dish of chicken, beef, pork, or all three at once, in a rich sauce. You’ll find the best value food next to the markets near the bus station.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Antigua - Tortilla making demonstration
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
It’s a long day of travel as you make your way to Rio Dulce by private vehicle. Depart early for the 8-hour journey, arriving mid-afternoon. Enjoy a wander around the city with your leader, learning some key Spanish phrases to make interacting with the locals a breeze. Rio Dulce, which means 'Sweet River' in Spanish, refers to both the Guatemalan river that flows from Lago de Izabal (Lake Izabal) to the Caribbean Sea and the town of Fronteras, which sits at the east end of the lake. Upon arrival, the rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure. Maybe stretch your legs on a jungle walk, rent a kayak for a bit of exploration or just laze in a hammock and enjoy the tropical surrounds.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Join your group on a boat ride down the river to Livingston, a laidback Afro-Caribbean town that offers a unique taste of Garifuna culture in a far-flung corner of Guatemala. It’s located 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Rio Dulce and the boat ride is spectacular, taking you through waters laden with water lilies, past tropical forests and through a deep canyon replete with river birds. The Garifuna population in Livingston are descendants of a community forcibly removed from the Caribbean by the British in the late 18th century. Livingston was one of the towns the displaced Garifuna settled in, and its relative isolation means the culture has remained undiluted by Guatemalan norms. Spend a little time here and perhaps grab a Garifuna meal like tapou, a creamy soup made with fish.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Livingston - River boat trip to Garifuna town
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to the township of Flores on Lago Peten Itza. On the way, pay a visit to Nuevo Horizonte, a ranch where 130 demobilised families settled after the signing of the Guatemalan Peace Accords in 1998. Beginning with no infrastructure and poor living conditions, the community cooperated to establish fish-farming, agriculture, reforestation and eco-tourism projects. Tour their nature reserve, have lunch on the ranch and speak to the locals about the origins of the community. Continue to Flores, where you’ll take an orientation walk with your group leader. Flores had a long history before it was colonised by the Spanish in 1697, most significantly as the capital of the Itza people after the fall of Chichen Itza. Spend your free afternoon wandering the island’s quaint streets or shopping for local handicrafts. Around 4 pm, the lakefront starts to hum with street food vendors, making it a good place to grab a bite.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flores - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Santa Ana Vieja - Cooperativa Nuevo Horizonte visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Get up early for a guided exploration of Tikal National Park. Among the thick, evergreen jungle are some of the most significant remnants of the ancient Maya civilisation – plus an array of local wildlife, including coatis and howler monkeys. Wonder at the towering limestone temples and other monuments while pondering the mystery of the ancient city's demise. Spend a few hours playing archaeologist, and afterwards, say goodbye to Guatemala and head across the border to Belize. As the only English-speaking country in Central America, Belize is a great place to get chatting with locals.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
All guests at our hotel in San Ignacio are required to pay an additional charge of USD 20 per night if they choose to use the air conditioner in their room. Electricity in Belize is incredibly expensive so most hotels charge an extra rate to use the air conditioning – USD 20 per night is pretty standard. We could include this extra charge in the trip price but then all of our travellers would have to pay whether they want to use it or not. We believe giving our travellers the option is a fairer way to manage this situation.
This morning, you can choose whether you would like to relax in San Ignacio or take part in some of the other optional activities on offer, like a visit to the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM caves). A living museum of Maya relics, the ATM cave system is home to ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons, preserved by the natural processes of the cave for over 1400 years. If you choose to explore the cave system (and it is highly recommended), you’ll spend most of the day there. If not, there are always more local ruins to explore above ground, including Cahal Pech, which was once the residence of a wealthy Maya family. Nature lovers may be interested in a trip to the Green Iguana Conservation Project, where a number of the scaly – and surprisingly large – beasts are protected.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • San Ignacio - Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves (Incl. entry, guide, transport & lunch) - BZD250
  • San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins entry - BZD10
  • San Ignacio - Cave tubing (incl. entrance, guide & transport) - BZD190
  • San Ignacio - Iguana Conservation Project (entrance fee) - BZD20
  • San Ignacio - Xunantunich Ruins entry - BZD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
If your idea of paradise is white sand, clear blue waters and palm trees, then you’re going to dig Caye Caulker. The island even has a motto: ‘go slow’. Arrive following a scenic boat ride and join your leader for an orientation walk, to help you get your bearings on the petite island. While the island is entirely walkable, you might like to hire a bike and cycle between beach bars and along quiet palm-lined streets. Can’t keep your eyes off those Caribbean waters? Get out there for a spot of standup paddleboarding, or if the mood strikes, join a sunset catamaran cruise for an unforgettable end to your first day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Caye Caulker - Bicycle Rental (per day) - BZD40
  • Caye Caulker - Stand-up paddleboard hire (per hour) - BZD35
  • Caye Caulker - Sunset sailing - BZD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your time in Caye Caulker is all about taking it easy, so do as much (or as little) as you want with another day here. If you’re keen to find the best snorkelling spots, opt to take a full-day boat tour (just remember to slather on sunscreen). After a day of swimming and lounging in the sunshine, you’re sure to get hungry. Belize is famous for its barbequed food, with some of the best meals cooked on the roadside. Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster – not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so (so) good. Always make sure that you respect the season: lobsters can only be caught here between June and February. If you’re out of season, how about some grilled shrimp and a lovely rum and coke made with the local firewater?
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Full day Catamaran tour-(gear, guide and transport included) - BZD230
  • Full day speed boat-(gear, guide and transport included) - BZD230
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time following check out. If you would like to spend more time in Caye Caulker, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An open-dated round-trip water taxi ticket is included on your trip. To take the water taxi from Caye Caulker ferry port back to Belize City you will need to arrive at the ferry terminal 1 hour prior to departure. You will need to make your own way to the ferry port from your hotel in Caye Caulker. Your hotel can provide the ferry schedule. The journey takes around 1 hour and transfers from the port to our Belize City Hotel or the airport can be booked in advance. Please contact your booking agent should you require transfers or additional accommodation.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle, Public bus, local bus, Taxi, Ferry, Shared boat

Accommodation

Hotel (7 nights), Lodge (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Antigua - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Antigua - Tortilla making demonstration
  • Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Livingston - River boat trip to Garifuna town
  • Flores - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Santa Ana Vieja - Cooperativa Nuevo Horizonte visit
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Guatemala to Belize trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please be careful when booking flights to Antigua; make sure you fly into Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do not book flights to Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
4. On your final day, you’ve got the power to choose where your adventure takes you. If you like, you can stay in Caye Caulker for another couple of nights relaxing beachside – we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Otherwise, jump on an included water taxi transfer from the Caye Caulker ferry port back to Belize City where you can also book additional nights’ accommodation, or where your leader can assist you to catch a taxi from the port to the airport for an onward connection. You will need to make your own way from your hotel in Caye Caulker to the ferry port. To allow for transfer times, please book a flight after 12 pm (midday).
5. An open-dated round-trip ticket to return to Belize City from Caye Caulker's ferry port is included on this trip. If you are travelling from Caye Caulker to Belize Airport please ensure you do not book a flight before 12pm to allow for travel time.

Essential trip information

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