An overview of a pyramid ruin in Yaxha.
A colorful long Guatemalan carpet with many designs spread out on the street.
A Mayan ruin in Yaxchillan set in the jungle in Guatemala.
Pink bougainvillea in Guatemala
A Mayan ruin pyramid in Palenque, Guatemala.
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Central America Guatemala Land Tour

Grand Maya Escape

On the Grand Maya Escape, explore famed Maya archeological wonders including Copan, Quiriqua, Tikal, Yaxchilan, Bonampak and Palenque. Throughout the journey expert guides weave a rich tapestry of ancient Maya mythology and modern Maya culture. The Grand Maya Escape also features abundant rainforest birds and wildlife in Central America’s most diverse jungle environments. Upscale hotels, transfers and guided explorations are included.

Take in an outstanding collection of original Guatemalan monuments and ceramics at the Guatemala National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. Visit multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Copan Archaeological Site and Museum of Sculptures, the Quirigua Archaeological Site and the Palenque Archaeological Site and Museum. Photograph the detailed Maya carvings at Copan. Spend the day with an expert Maya guide exploring the temples, plazas, multi-leveled palaces, ball courts and living areas of Tikal National Park.

Seek out howler and spider monkeys, coatamundi, the elusive jaguar and ocelot in a protected rainforest reserve. Birders will delight in watching for the almost 300 species of birds have been identified in Tikal including toucans, motmots and parrots. Escape and unwind while visiting a series of emerald blue pools set within lush tropical forest. Learn from history at the Yaxha, Bonampak and Yaxchilan Archaeological Sites. Top off the trip with a scenic boat ride down the Maya’s main highway, the Usumacinta River.

Spend nights at upscale, tranquil retreats that offer both lakefront and jungle settings. On this 9-day land tour across Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, take in Maya culture and tropical environments, revealing a rich culture and history.

Read on for details about this trip, or view all of AdventureSmith’s Guatemala trips.



Itinerary

Grand Maya Escape Itinerary

This 9-day adventure through Guatemala begins in Guatemala City, Guatemala and ends in Villahermosa, Mexico.

Route map of Grand Maya Escape land tour, operating from Guatemala City to Villahermosa, Mexico, with visits to sites representing classic and post-classic Maya civilization in Mesoamerica, including Copan, Honduras, Quiriqua, Tikal National Park, Yaxha, Palenque & Agua Azul, Bonampak, Yaxchilan.
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Day 1
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Upon arrival at the international airport in Guatemala City, be met by a local representative and transferred to your hotel.

Accommodations

Las Americas Hotel

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Exploring Guatemala City

A perfect start for the Grand Maya Escape is the visit to the Guatemala National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology with an outstanding collection of original monuments and ceramics from all over the country. Later this afternoon transfer to Copan, Honduras.

Accommodations

Clarion Copan

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 3
Copan, Honduras

Copan is the southeastern-most city of the Ancient Classic Maya and the one with more detailed carvings, making of it a very picturesque place. Today, visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Copan Archaeological Site and Museum of Sculptures. In the afternoon there will be some time left to re-visit the site on your own or walk around charming Copan Ruinas Town.

Accommodations

Clarion Copan

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 4
Quiriqua, Guatemala

Transfer to Guatemala’s Peten Northern Lowlands. En route, visit the Quirigua Archaeological Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quirigua is a small site that has played a key roll in the process of understanding life in the Ancient Classic Maya Era, due to the remarkably well preserved panels with glyphs.

Accommodations

Camino Real Tikal Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 5
Tikal National Park

Spend the day in the company of an expert Maya guide exploring the magnificent achievements of these fascinating ancient people. At its height, Tikal was home to over 100,000 Maya and was a cultural and political center. It becomes easy to imagine life in the city as you explore temples, plazas, multi-leveled palaces, ball courts and living areas. Howler and spider monkeys, and coatamundi are commonly seen while the elusive jaguar and ocelot are known to survive in this protected rainforest reserve. Almost 300 species of birds have been identified in Tikal including toucans, motmots and parrots. At the day’s end return to the hotel.

Accommodations

Camino Real Tikal Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 6
Yaxha

Make an early morning departure from Flores to visit the Yaxha Archaeological Site located within the Maya Biosphere Reserve on the shore of a beautiful lake. This afternoon, transfer to Palenque.

Accommodations

Villas Kinha Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 7
Palenque & Agua Azul, Misol-Ha Waterfalls, Mexico

This morning enjoy a visit to the Palenque Archaeological Site and Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Palenque is the northwestern-most site of the Ancient Maya and a perfect site to end this tour. The Palace and the Temple of the Inscriptions are icons of the Maya World. In the afternoon, tour the waterfalls at Agua Azul and Misol-ha, in the lush Chiapas piedmont. Agua Azul (blue water in Spanish) forms a series of emerald blue ponds of an extraordinary beauty enhanced by lush tropical forests. Take a scenic drive along Maya peoples’ villages on the way to your charming Chiapas eco-lodge.

Accommodations

Escudo Jaguar Lodge

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Bonampak, Yaxchilan & Villahermosa

Today, visit the nearby Bonampak Archaeological Site. Bonampak has its place in Maya History due to the famous frescoes with scenes of a battle: 1 room painted with the preparations, 1 room with the battle itself and the last room with the celebration of victory. Mayanists have learned much from these frescoes: how they dressed, the colors they used, the musical instruments, the warfare, etc. Drive 20 minutes to reach the Usumacinta River, the Maya’s main highway. An hour boat ride brings you to the Yaxchilan Archaeological Site. This is a site in a pristine forest and walking through its temples, pyramids and palaces is magic. The quality of the carved lintels is awesome, although some of the originals are in the British Museum. At the end of the visit, transfer to your Villahermosa, Mexico, hotel.

Accommodations

Villas Kinha Hotel or Olmeca Plaza Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Day 9
Depart Villahermosa, Mexico

Transfer to the Villahermosa Airport for return flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All lodging as listed on the itinerary or similar; meals as indicated; all airport/hotel transfers when arriving and departing on the stated arrival and departure dates of the trip; all land and water transportation within destination; entrance fees to national parks and reserves as specified; and guide services as specified.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the destination; domestic airfare between Flores and Guatemala city; excess baggage fees; the cost of obtaining passports; visas or tourist cards; airport arrival and departure taxes; meals not specified in the itinerary; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses such as room service; beverages and laundry; personal communication charges; insurance of any kind; and gratuities to tour escort, guides or drivers.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $300 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:  
Up to 91 days – 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days – 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations’ Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Grand Maya Escape begins in Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA), and ends in Villahermosa, Mexico (VSA). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Guatemala City any time on day 1 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Villahermosa any time on day 9. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the guides can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include land treks, cultural and historical visits, birding, wildlife observation and boat rides.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy room may do so at a $500 supplement in addition to the per-person listed rate in select rooms upon availability.

Families & Children

Child rate of 25% of the adult fare is available for children 11 years old and under sharing a room with two parents.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the guides’ discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of adventure travel unique.

Rates & Dates

Trip Rates & Details

Departures available daily, year-round. Contact us for current rates and availability.

Accommodations

Learn About the Lodges & Hotels on Your Itinerary

Hotel
Las Americas Hotel

Las Americas Hotel has 138 rooms and is located in Guatemala City's business district, minutes from Justo Rufino Barrios and El Obelisco.

Hotel
Clarion Copan

Clarion Copan in Honduras has 78 rooms and is situated on a hill with beautiful view of the valley and Copán River.

Hotel
Camino Real Tikal Hotel

Camino Real Tikal Hotel is located on the remote north shore Lake Petén Itzá, 45 minutes by car to Tikal National Park. The hotel is a convenient, tranquil retreat for exploring the history, culture and traditions of the ancient Mayans.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Lis Larson • January 4th, 2016
Expert Review: Guatemala with AdventureSmith

An AdventureSmith expert visits Tikal National Park, Antigua, Chichicastenango, Lake Atitlan and the Highlands region.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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Grand Maya Escape

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