- Spend a full day and a half exploring the magnificent Mayan citadel of Tikal
- Travel by boat from Yaxha to Topoxte, magnificent cities that sit across a lake from each other
- Explore Lamanai where the Mask Temple reveals two unique mask statues sitting at opposite ends of the building
- Discover armadillos, foxes, iguanas and white-tailed deer as we travel through jungle terrain to reach ancient cities
WHAT TO EXPECT
As we travel through the lands of the Maya we find Copán, one of the most important sites of Mayan civilization. The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century. With so much to see, we spend two full days here. We visit the Great Plaza and Hieroglyphic Stairway, silhouetted against the verdant jungle, and the Archaeological Museum. We continue touring at Copán Acropolis and the Sepulturas section of elite residences. We also visit the tunnels, where excavations have revealed beautifully preserved early period architecture.
Rainforest Walks & Maya Medicine
Discover Lamanai, totally hidden from river traffic by vegetation, it was continuously occupied from 1500 BCE until the late 16th century. Keep your binoculars at hand; we’ll see many species of birds and wildlife as well as flowering orchids and other brightly colored plants during our adventure. We also explore Xunantunich, one of the largest ancient cities in the Belize River valley. After climbing the 130-foot El Castillo monument we are rewarded with a spectacular view.
The ancient city of Tikal — one of the Maya world’s largest — is truly a wonder to behold, characterized by towering temples and steep-sided pyramids. We are privileged to be able to spend one and a half days here. Get to know every shrine and temple; walk in the dappled shade of the rainforest canopy bridging space between buildings; and take everything in from wide-open plazas. Then there’s Antigua, its paintbox of saturated colors in startling relief with the endless green of Tikal — but with no less impressive a list of relics. Here, old colonial churches and civic buildings stand firm in the shadow of ancient volcanoes.
Prof. William Saturno