Holidays

Colonial Treasures of Central America

Colonial Treasures of Central America

Purpose: Culture, History, Nature
No. of days: 12 days - 11 nights
First & Last Cities: Guatemala City, Managua
Other cities: Lake Atitlán, Antigua, Suchitoto, León, Granada
Starting cost: $1,839
 
Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua have important Spanish-colonial heritage, amongst the best-preserved to be found in Central America. Colonial Treasures of Central America is a tour that take you through three countries offering a unique experience that combines diversity in culture, nature and landscapes.
Guatemala City
Guatemala City is the capital of the Republic of Guatemala since 1775, after a series of earthquakes destroyed the former capital, Antigua. In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shops, the city has numerous art galleries, theatres, and museums (including some fine collections of Pre-Columbian art) and offers an increasing amount of cultural activities. The city is divided in 22 zones.  Zone One is the Historic Center, lying in the very heart of the city, where many important historic buildings are found, including the National Palace of Culture,  the  Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Congress, the Presidential House, the National Library and the Constitution Plaza. Zone Ten, along with being the financial district of the city, is among the most popular areas for pop culture, shopping and entertainment. A district within Zone Ten, known as Zona Viva, contains many of the city's most popular and most expensive hotels, restaurants, and bars
Leon – El Salvador
The city of León is a cultural-historical attraction with an authentic atmosphere where you can easily connect with the locals. León offers a quiet, relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.  Stroll through the center of the city amongst the colonial buildings, beautiful churches and the cathedral. You can also go to the beach reserve Juan Venado, or go volcano boarding at Cerro Negro (surf down the steep slope on a wooden sled) one of the most popular attractions in the area.
Granada - Nicaragua
Granada, one of the most important cities of Nicaragua, has a rich history. It was founded in 1524 and is believed to be the second oldest city established in mainland Latin America by the Spanish conquest.  Granada is characterized by bright-colored Spanish-colonial architecture, visible throughout the city center. The ambiance is very pleasant and there is a wide array of popular restaurants and bars, especially along the boulevard from the central park to the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
 
Day 1 - Tue: Guatemala City
Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arrival transfer to your hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure to explore the city on your own.
 
Day 2 - Wed: Guatemala City, Atitlan Lake
In the morning depart from your hotel towards Lake Atitlán. En route tour the ruins of Iximche the last capital of Kaqchikel Maya kingdom. Located in the western highlands of Guatemala, the name Iximche derives from the words Ixim and Che, meaning literally “Corn tree”. The site was inhabited by the Kaqchikel, a Mayan tribe. At its height, Iximche had a population of 10,000. Soon after the arrival of the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in 1524 the city was abandoned as the Spanish demanded excessive tribute. The ruins of Iximche were declared a Guatemalan National Monument in 1960. Continue your ride until Lake Atitlan which is considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America and supports extensive agricultural produce such as coffee, avocado, as well as beans, tomatoes, cucumbers and garlic.  Arrive at your hotel. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure [B]
 
Day 3 – Thu: Atitlan, Chichicastenango
Today you visit Chichicastenango, commonly referred to as "Chichi". This charming small city located in the crests of a mountain about 2-3 hours northwest of Guatemala City is home to the 16th century Santo Tomas Apostol Church, and a colorful market that serves as one of the largest trade centers in the area. Here you can find all sorts of goods including pottery, coffee, jewelry and woven textiles. Later return to Atitlan, spend the remainder of the day at leisure [B]
 
Day 4 - Fri: Atitlan, Antigua
This morning enjoy a tour to Santiago Atitlan. Depart your hotel and take a short ride to the marina where you board a boat to Santiago Atitlán. The city, located on the southern shore of Lake Atitlán, is famous for its art and the tocoyal, a long handmade ribbon that is worn by the indigenous women. The town is also home to the impressive Santiago Apóstol church, one of the most magnificent churches in this area, dating from the 16th Century. Your tour also includes a visit to Tzutuhil, one of the 21 Maya ethnic groups that reside in Guatemala. Now on to Antigua, a colorful and charming town is less than an hour from Guatemala´s capital city. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, Antigua is known for its beauty and historical importance. The cobblestoned streets, balconies and colonial buildings offer visitors a wonderful mixture of cultural and religious tradition, and the fact that it is surrounded by three volcanoes make for nice scenery. [B]
 
Day 5 - Sat: Antigua
Day at leisure to explore Antigua on your own. [B]
 
Day 6 - Sun: Antigua, Suchitoto (El Salvador)
In the morning depart Antigua for a scenic drive to El Salvador. Your first stop is at the archaeological site of Joya de Ceren, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Joya de Ceren is considered the most important archaeological discovery in recent years in Latin America. The archaeological site contains the remains of a pre-Hispanic farming village that was covered by a volcanic eruption in the seventh century AD. The village is incredibly intact despite of the layers of volcanic ash. For this reason, the site is often referred to as the “Pompeii of the Americas”.  Next, a short ride takes you to Suchitoto: a fascinating city known as the cultural capital of El Salvador. This tranquil town nowadays is famous for the beautiful Santa Lucia church and the cobblestoned streets.  During the colonial period it had a significant role in the indigo trade. Suchitoto means "Place of birds and flowers" in Nahuatl language, spoken by the Pipils, an indigenous people who were the founders and first inhabitants of this place. [B]
 
Day 7 - Mon: Suchitoto
A tour around the city takes you to the most emblematic buildings of the city, such as the Santa Lucía Church, the Arte para La Paz (Art for Peace) Museum and Las Ruinas Theatre, among others. During the tour you enjoy a historical-cultural narration about the city. [B]
 
Day 8 – Tue: Suchitoto, Leon (Nicaragua)
In the morning transfer to the port of La Union in El Salvador where you embark a boat that takes you to Nicaragua, crossing the Gulf of Fonseca. Then continue your full day journey to León. [B]
 
Day 9: Wed: Leon
In the morning you will discover the fascinating history of one of Nicaragua’s oldest and most influential cities. During a guided walking tour, see the revolutionary murals, baroque and neoclassical churches and an art museum displaying works by internationally renowned artists. Continue the tour exploring the local market and colonial buildings, among them Nicaragua’s first university. Later, climb the rooftop of Central America’s largest Cathedral, Cathedral de Leon, opened in 1814 and awarded a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Afternoon at leisure to explore Leon at your pace. [B]
 Day 10 - Thu: Leon, Granada 
This morning you depart Leon to the Masaya Volcano National Park. You will get to the summit of the volcano, where you can peek inside the active crater. Your next stop is at the Masaya´s artisan market. Located inside an old stone fortress this typical market offers all kinds of crafts from hammocks to shirts. Your tour includes a delicious lunch overlooking the impressive Apoyo Lagoon before you continue to Granada. [B, L]
 
Day 11 - Fri:  Granada
This morning depart your hotel and head to the peaceful Lake Nicaragua to enjoy a 2 hour tour to Las Isletas (the Islets of Granada). Situated at the foot of Mombacho volcano, Las Isletas consist of 360 small forest- covered islands, formed by a volcanic eruption 20,000 years ago. During the tour, you will learn about the history of this area and appreciate the exotic flora and fauna. Then go back to the city and explore the city at your pace.  [B]
 
Day 12 - Fri: Granada, Managua, USA
At agreed time transfer to Managua’s airport to board your flight back home. [B]
 
[B] = Breakfast | [B/L] = Breakfast and Lunch


Book
program

Customize
Program

Print
program

Email
program

1-855-55
TOURS

Tour includes
  • Shared transfers where required
  • 11 nights accommodation in standard rooms at hotels of preference:
    • Guatemala City - 1 night
    • Lago Atitlan - 2 nights
    • Antigua - 2 nights
    • Suchitoto - 2 nights
    • Leon  - 2 nights
    • Granada - 2 nights
  • Meals:
    • Daily breakfast
    • 1 lunch
  • Shared tours where described
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • Entrance fees to attractions mentioned
  • All hotel taxes
Not included in tour
  • International or domestic air tickets
  • Early check-in or late check-out at hotels
  • Services and food not listed in the itinerary
  • Beverages during the meals
  • Hotel extras, and personal expenses.
  • Tips for guides, drivers, and in restaurants
  • Any personal expenses

Hotels in your Tour

Category Hotel Name Room Type Tripadvisor
Tourist Class
Guatemala Guatemala City Best Western Stofella 3.5
Lago Atitlan Vila Santa Catarina 4
Antigua Vila Colonial 4
El Salvador Suchitoto La Posada de Suchitlán 4
Nicaragua León Hotel Flor de Sarta 5
Granada Hotel Patio del Malinche 4
First Class
Guatemala Guatemala City Barceló Guatemala 4
Lago Atitlan Portal del Lago 4
Antigua Porta Antigua 4.9
El Salvador Suchitoto Los Almendros de San Lázaro 5
Nicaragua León Hotel El Convento 4.9
Granada Hotel Plaza Colón 5

All hotels are subject to confirmation at time of booking


Tour Pricing

Category From
Tourist $1,839
First Class $2,239
Rates are minimum per person sharing a room and may change without notice.
Rates may change depending on the date of travel
Prices for single room or for 3 passengers sharing a room are available on request
Valid through December 20th 2019. Not valid for Holidays and big Conventions.
Other blackout dates may apply.
 
Tour Code: MU03GUA19VP