The Maya World - Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras
£2,995 excl. flight
- The Maya mega-cities of Copan and Tikal
- Unusual and little visited Takalik Abaj and Izapa
- Behind-the-scenes privileged access at Copan and Izapa
On December 21st the ancient Maya Calendar will complete a 5,124 year cycle. To mark this auspicious event, this tour traces a great triangle through the Maya World. Beginning with Takalik Abaj and Izapa, where time is said to have begun, continue to Copan, the Athens of the Maya world, before heading to Tikal where the Maya empire achieved its peak.
Please note:The Maya World Tour will benefit from the services of two experienced and knowledgeable guides. Jose Antonio Gonzalez will meet the group on arrival in Guatemala City on the 13th December. He will lead the group until you arrive in Copan on the 21st December, the day that the Maya calendar completes its current cycle and an appropriate point to hand over to David Sedat, who will lead the remainder of the trip.
Day 1 London/ Guatemala City - Transfer on arrival to colonial Antigua.
Day 2 Takali’k Abaj – Drive to Takali’k Abaj, a major Maya centre of commerce that emerged from the Olmec civilization and witnessed early development of the Maya calendar and hieroglyphic writing.
Day 3 Izapa - Cross into Mexico for Izapa, another large early Olmec/ Maya settlement, to complete our understanding of the Maya sacred almanac and Long Count.
Day 4 Xela - Transfer back into Guatemala to highland Quetzaltenango (Xela), considered by some as the ‘capital of the Maya’.
Day 5 Xela, Lake Atitlan – Tour of Xela, after which visit the traditional Monday market in the Quiche village of Zunil en route to spectacular Lake Atitlan.
Day 6 Lake Atitlan - Full day boat tour with visits to San Juan (local textiles and naïf painting) and Santiago, where you can visit the Maya God Maximon.
Day 7 Iximche, Antigua – Visit Iximche, an important highland Mayan ceremonial site, for a traditional shaman ritual. Return to Antigua.
Day 8 Antigua - Community guides will offer a local insight into cooperatives that produce textiles and fairly traded coffee.
Day 9 Copan - Drive to Copan in Honduras, considered by many the most spectacular ancient Maya city. It is thought that the Maya Calendar completes its current cycle today. Visit either Copan museum or participate in celebratory events. Evening dinner at David’s house to celebrate the start of the next Long Count cycle.
Day 10 Copan - Tour Copan, famous for its intricately-carved stellae, amazing hieroglyphic stairway, archaeological tunnels and excellent museum. Also visit Los Sapos, ancient carved rocks shaped like toads where Maya women went to give birth.
Day 11 Copan, Livingstone – Return to Guatemala and the Bay of Honduras, stopping at Quirigua, an important trade route centre for the sculptures. Then by boat along the coast to the Caribbean port of Livingstone.
Day 12 Lake Peten Itza - Travel by boat through spectacular Rio Dulce Canyon, then drive to a lodge on Lake Peten Itza. This evening visit the Classic Maya site of Yaxha, near the border with Belize, for a memorable sunset.
Day 13 Tikal – Travel via the ruins of Uaxactun for the oldest known complete Maya astronomical complex at Tikal. Here, sky-reaching temples are surrounded by rainforest and we are reminded of what the Maya empire achieved at its peak.
Day 14 Guatemala City - Fly to Guatemala City for a tour of the modern capital and its museums. Evening farewell dinner.
Day 15 Guatemala City/ Madrid – Return flight to London via Madrid.
Day 16 Madrid/ London - Arrive in London.
David Sedat has been a Maya archaeologist for over 30 years and remains associated with the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He specialises on the origins of the Maya and the development of Maya writing, undertaking pioneering fieldwork in Guatemala and Honduras.
For 15 years David was Field Director of the UPM’s Copan, Honduras archaeological project, leading the team which discovered two extraordinary early royal tombs. David now lives in Copan.
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.