Guatemala-and-Belize:-Vibrant-cities-and-remote-ruins

1-3,Antigua

Bask in luxury and relax at one of Antigua’s many resort areas. There are 365 beaches to sample, from lively Dickenson Bay to deserted Half Moon Bay. Whether you’re looking for glass-bottom boat trips, banana boat rides or jet ski rental, there’s something to suit everyone. Away from the beach, shop in the island’s capital, charming St John’s. Nelson’s Dockyard will delight history fans while the Sunday night party at nearby Shirley Heights is a must for party-goers.

2h40m to Lake Atitian

4-6,Lake Atitian

Visit the deepest lake in Central America, Lake Atitlan. Ringed by towns and villages, the area is a favourite for backpackers. The area’s scenic beauty, Mayan culture and tourist amenities attract many visitors for hiking, bird watching, kayaking and diving.

3h01m to Guatemala

7-9,Flores

Located on an island on Lago Petén Itzá, Flores might draw the crowds keen to visit the nearby ruins at Tikal but it’s a worthy destination in its own right. The cobbled streets are lined with red-roofed homes and businesses, churches and restaurants. Things to see near Flores include La Cueva de la Serpiente in Ak’tun Kan, the wildlife rescue centre, Asociaciòn de Rescate y Conservaciòn de Vida Silvestre and the Petencito Zoo, which is home to raccoons, monkeys and jaguars.

1h05m to Tikal

10-12,Tikal

Wander amidst the ruins at Tikal, constructed by the Mayans over two thousand years ago. The ceremonial ruins of the Lost World Pyramid are fascinating, as is the Temple of the Grand Jaguar.Don’t miss temple IV, the tallest Pre-Columbian structure in the Americas at 70 metres tall.

1h51m to San Ignacio

13-15,San Ignacio

Rustic San Ignacio is a convenient base from which to visit the Mayan ruins at Cahal Pec and see the mural entitled ‘Land of the Gods’ on the Scotia Bank wall that was a joint project by local artists. An absolute must-see is the Green Iguana Conservation Project where you can interact with the friendly, green iguanas that lend the project their name.

1h50m to Belize City

16-18,Belize City

A visit to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary from November to February is a treat for bird watchers as migrating birds from North America gather. Admire and enjoy Old Belize Beach, just outside the city, whose quaint, old-fashioned Caribbean charm provides contrast to the modern Belize of the city.