Classic Maya ruins in Tikal & Copan
with optional Guatemala Highlands Extension

On this 6 night tour you'll visit 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, breathtaking Maya ruins and pristine rainforest jungles. For locations of the archaeological sites see our MayaMap page.


Day 1:
Your adventure begins with your evening flight from Guatemala City to Flores (closest airport to Tikal).  Arriving at 7:30 pm you'll transfer directly to the Tikal Inn.  Located in Tikal Park, the hotel has obtained exclusive sunrise and sunset access to the archaeological site for their guests.  From the hotel's grounds you can observe spider and howler monkeys, roaming wild turkeys and numerous bird species such as toucans, parrots, and macaws in the towering ceiba trees.  Overnight Tikal Inn.

Day 2:  Optional sunrise at Tikal. (Weather permitting.)  Today you have a full day to visit spectacular Tikal.  One of the most famous and beautiful of Maya sites, Tikal’s massive and steep pyramids (one is over 200 feet high) loom above the lush jungle of the Peten. With a history beginning at 600 BC when farmers settled in the high ground above the swamps of Lake Peten, at its peak Tikal was home to an estimated 100,000 people and the site has over 3,000 structures within a six square mile area. Glyphic texts tell of a dynamic written historical record spanning over 1,800 years, including a very old date of 292 AD.  For your maximum enjoyment of Tikal, climb the highest pyramid, Temple 4, and get a birds-eye view of the site above the jungle canopy.  You'll also visit the Sylvanus Morley Museum.   Optional sunset at Tikal. (Weather permitting.)   Overnight Tikal Inn.

Day 3:  Early morning visit the Maya ruins at Uaxactun, located in the 1.65 million hectare Maya Biosphere Reserve, which is part of the largest body of intact tropical forest in Central America. Archaeologists have determined that the four major structures at Uaxactun were probably used for astronomical studies as they are aligned to the sunrise on equinoxes and solstices. An important part of the history of how Tikal became one of the great empires of the ancient Maya world was its conflict with Uaxactun. Tikal and Uaxactun are so close to each other (just 12 miles apart) that they engaged in a long period of  struggle for domination of the region.  To quote Schele & Freidel in A Forest of Kings: "Their competition ... was resolved violently in AD 378 by means of an innovative type of warfare we call Tlaloc-Venus war, or sometimes simply "star wars".  This new method of warfare was borrowed from the central Mexico civilizations and had a great impact on the wars between the kingdoms of the Peten region.  Unlike former wars that were ritualized combats for personal glory and to capture captives to sacrifice to the gods, this new warfare had much higher stakes -- if you lost the war you lost your kingdom."

Afternoon visit Yaxhá. Yaxhá was the 3rd largest Maya city in the Peten (after El Mirador & Tikal) and has an unusual layout for the region. Its twin pyramid complexes, 9 acropolis', plazas and more than 500 structures are connected by sacbés (ancient elevated roads) in a manner more similar to Maya sites in the Yucatan. The views of the jungle from the 30 meter high Structure 216 are breathtaking. Birds, butterflies, spider and howler monkeys abound at this remote jungle site.  Then to Flores for a walking tour of the island and the small archaeological site of Tayasal (former Maya name of Flores before the Spanish conquest).  Early evening fly from from Flores to Guatemala City.  Airport pick up and transfer to your hotel.  Overnight Barcelo GC in Guatemala City.

Day 4:  This morning you visit 3 "must see" museums in Guatemala City: The National Museum of Archeology and Ethnology:  Pre-Hispanic artifacts found at numerous sites in Guatemala; The Popol Vuh Museum: Extensive collection of pre-Hispanic art and folklore section with indigenous clothing and traditional masks.  The Ixchel
Museum of Indigenous Textiles and Clothing:  Vast collection of textiles from over 100 Mayan communities dating from the 19th century today.  After lunch you travel by land to Copan, Honduras.  In the evening you'll enjoy a private slide presentation about Copan with renowned archaeologist Dr. David Sedat Overnight Hotel Marina Copan.
Day 5:  Today you visit beautiful Copan, with its stunning monuments and forest of "tree stones" documenting a powerful dynasty in the Classic Period of the Maya. The vast Acropolis is dotted with large, well preserved standing steles carved with incredibly intricate detail. 
Copan's Temple of the Hieroglyphic Stairs has the longest Pre-Columbian text in existence with over 2,000 carved glyphs. Your visit will include the Sculpture Museum and a guided visit of the Tunnels.  Overnight Hotel Marina Copan.

Day 6: 
This morning you'll visit the Quirigua archaeological site.  Quirigua is famous for having the tallest stone monument ever discovered in the Maya World (over 10 meters high and weighing over 65 tons) and for its relationship with nearby Copan.  The monuments at Quirigua are unique in the Maya World as they show full frontal views of the human figure -- rather than the traditional profile depictions seen at other Classic Period sites.  Stela C is famous for having the longest single hieroglyphic description of the Maya Creation Myth, which it states began on the Long Count Calendar Day of (which corresponds to Aug. 13, 3114 BC on our calendar).  This calendar cycle ended on Dec. 21, 2012.  You'll also see the Plaza where a powerful king of Quirigua ritually executed a great king of Copan after capturing him in battle. Overnight Hotel Marina Copan.

Day 7:  Private transfer to San Pedro Sula airport for your departing flight.


6 night Tikal & Copan tour

Tour Specifics:  This tour can be customized to meet your individual needs and interests.

Cost of this 6 night private tour (double occupancy):

2 people $2,120 per person
4 people $1,545 per person
6 people $1,365 per person
8 people $1,235 per person

Discount for children under age 12 sharing hotel room with 2 adults.
Prices for Dec. 16-Jan. 6 and Easter week may be slightly higher depending on hotel policies.

Tour includes:

-- 6 nights hotel and tourist taxes.
-- All ground transportation in privately chauffeured van with a/c
-- 6 breakfasts 1 lunch, and 2 dinners per person.
-- All entry and guide fees for activities listed on the itinerary.
-- The all day services of expert licensed guides throughout the tour.

Tour does not include:  Meals not indicated above; Guatemala/Honduras border crossing fees of approximately $20 per person; air tickets.  Round-trip air tickets from Guatemala City to Flores cost around $300 round-trip.  Contact us about best prices on air ticket prices from your departing airport.

Add 4 nights in the Guatemala Highlands
UNESCO World Heritage City Antigua, Santiago Atitlan, market in Chichicastenango & More!

For more information or to make a reservation contact MayaSites Travel Services
U.S. office toll free 877-620-8715
Outside of the U.S. (1) 505-255-2279
Or e-mail us at
[email protected]

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