Build your tour
1 / 10
review photo
review photo
review photo
review photo
1 / 4

Guatemala to Belize: Local Traditions & Tropical Wildlife

11 days Nature & Wildlife Tours
Sharing a border and deep cultural connections to the mysterious Mayans, Guatemala and Belize are world-renowned biodiversity hotspots. As you travel through the Guatemalan highlands and explore the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tikal and Yaxha, you’ll experience the dramatic environments each country is known for while learning cultural traditions from the people whose lives unfold there.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 7 three-course dinners, some with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Boat transfers & private motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Antigua1 night Hotel info

Day 1: Travel day

Included meals: Dinner

Board your flight to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, transfer to Antigua.

Lake Atitlan Region2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of the Lake Atitlan Region

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Chichicastenango market visit

Transfer to the Lake Atitlan Region to explore its small towns and villages on a guided tour. 

• Barter with merchants at the famous Chichicastenango market 

• Explore Panajachel’s beautiful lakeshores and artisan markets 

• Speed through the streets in a tuk-tuk, a small three-wheeled taxi

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of San Juan la Laguna

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Community artisan cooperatives

Cruise along the lake to San Juan la Laguna and tour the island with a local guide from the Rupalaj K’istalin association. 

• Visit the village meet the community’s artisans 

• Watch textile spinning and weaving demonstrations, then try it yourself

Antigua2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Transfer to Antigua

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Antigua by bus, then tour the UNESCO-recognized city with a local guide.

• Pass the Santa Catalina Arch, once used by nuns to cross the road undisturbed

• View Parque Central and La Merced Church

Day 5: As Green As It Gets coffee plantation tour

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: As Green As It Gets guided visit

Connect & Conserve: As Green As It Gets coffee farm

Visit a coffee plantation in Ciudad Vieja and learn about sustainable farming.

• Tour the farm and try your hand at picking coffee beans

• Visit the farmer’s home for a demonstration of sorting, roasting and grinding coffee beans

• Taste the freshly brewed coffee and bring home your own one-pound bag

Flores2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Yaxha

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Yaxha ruins

Fly to Flores and tour the Yaxha archeological site with a local guide.

• Travel through at Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park

• See the sun set over the magnificent Mayan ruins, pyramids and plazas

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Tikal Archaeological site

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Tikal ruins

Take a guided tour of the city’s UNESCO-recognized ruins at sunrise. 

• Gain an understanding of the acropolis, great plaza and temples from a local guide

• Observe ruins, pyramids and Mayan hieroglyphics in the heart of a tropical rainforest

Enjoy a free afternoon in Flores or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Zipline & Canopy Tour $39*pp Details

Fly through the lush rainforest canopy on this adventurous excursion, as you zipline around Ixpanpajul Natural Park. As you make your way through the trees, learn about the wide variety of exotic plant and animal species that live in the preserve.

Rio Dulce1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Rio Dulce & the Castillo de San Felipe de lara

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Castillo de San Felipe de lara

Leave early this morning to head toward Rio Dulce. Explore the Castillo de San Felipe, the Spanish colonial fort at the entrance of Lake Izabal, before joining your group for dinner.

Punta Gorda2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Belize via Rio Dulce cruise

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Local hot springs

Connect & Conserve: Ecology & ecotourism lecture

Embark on a half-day journey by boat down the Rio Dulce, toward the Caribbean. 

• Take a dip at a community hot spring 

• Stop in Livingston, a town only accessible from the river

• Learn about local Garifuna culture

• Board a ferry to Punta Gorda, Belize

• Arrive a the Cotton Tree Lodge in time to learn about local ecology

Day 10: Cacao farm tour with local farmer

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Eladio Pop’s farm

Connect & Conserve: Eladio Pop cacao farm

Meet Eladio Pop, a local cacao farmer and tour his organic farmland.

• Learn about Eladio’s conservation efforts

• Taste fresh cacao fruit, sugarcane and other just-picked treats

• Eat a home-cooked lunch with Eladio and his family

• Learn the art of chocolate making from Eladio’s daughter, and sample the results

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner at the Cotton Tree Lodge.

Day 11: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Belize International Airport for your flight home or extend your stay to further explore Belize.

Add Coastal Belize $599 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Hopkins2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the beachy eastern coast of Belize to tour the world’s only jaguar reserve with a local guide.

• Explore the lush mountainside trails in search of the elusive jaguars

• Spot pumas, coati, Brocket deer, endangered birds and more 

• Learn about the reserve’s flora and fauna and tropical forests

Day 12: Free day in Hopkins

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Enjoy a full free day in Hopkins before rejoining your group for dinner.

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Belize International Airport for your flight home.

Chichicastenango market visit

Community artisan cooperatives

In the language of the indigenous Tz’utujil Maya, the term Rupalaj K'istalin means "crystalline face". It refers to the rocky profile that’s formed by the nearby mountain, overlooking Lake Atitlan. Rupalaj K'istalin (or Rostro Maya, as it’s translated in Spanish) has always been a sacred place to the Maya, for its incomparable beauty and its proximity to the heavens. When a group of local tour guides formed a cooperative association in 2003, they strove to exemplify this respect and awe for nature; and so they took the name Rupalaj K'istalin as a tribute to the Maya and the mountain. Nowadays, the association guides lead travelers on tours that focus on traditional weaving and dyeing done by a local women's cooperative, the healing powers of medicinal plants, traditional fishing on Lake Atitlan and other aspects of indigenous culture. In addition to preserving and promoting the Tz’utujil culture, Rupalaj K'istalin plays an active role in reforestation, planting and maintaining some 20,000 plants of native species that are in danger of extinction. In 2007, Rupalaj K’istalin Community Guide Association achieved the Green Deal Sustainable Tourism Certificate. A decade after its founding, Rupalaj K’istalin is an impressive model of how tourism can play a role in conservation, both natural and cultural.

As Green As It Gets coffee farm

Next time you're sipping a cup of fresh-brewed, shade-grown organic coffee, taking in its rich aroma and feeling the energy boost, think about where it came from. You'll appreciate it even more if you know that a hardworking farmer and his family are benefiting from your indulgence. As Green As It Gets (AGAIG) supports a collective of small, independent coffee growers, helping them to secure financing to purchase property, to implement environmentally friendly agricultural practices and to pursue local and export markets for their high-quality coffee beans. About two-dozen farmers have started and grown their coffee business (and now lead guided tours and coffee demonstrations that supplement their income), thanks to AGAIG resources and expertise. The community organization also supports artisans and entrepreneurs who are producing other marketable products, from all-natural cosmetics to burlap tote bags to sustainably harvested hardwood furniture. So sip away—not only is your java invigorating and delicious, it's also guilt-free. You're doing a good deed, just by drinking it.

Ecology & ecotourism lecture

Eladio Pop cacao farm

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 7 three-course dinners, some with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Boat transfers & private motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Antigua1 night Hotel info

Day 1: Travel day

Included meals: Dinner

Board your flight to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, transfer to Antigua.

Lake Atitlan Region2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of the Lake Atitlan Region

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Chichicastenango market visit

Transfer to the Lake Atitlan Region to explore its small towns and villages on a guided tour. 

• Barter with merchants at the famous Chichicastenango market 

• Explore Panajachel’s beautiful lakeshores and artisan markets 

• Speed through the streets in a tuk-tuk, a small three-wheeled taxi

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of San Juan la Laguna

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Connect & Conserve: Community artisan cooperatives

Cruise along the lake to San Juan la Laguna and tour the island with a local guide from the Rupalaj K’istalin association. 

• Visit the village meet the community’s artisans 

• Watch textile spinning and weaving demonstrations, then try it yourself

Antigua2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Transfer to Antigua

Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to Antigua by bus, then tour the UNESCO-recognized city with a local guide.

• Pass the Santa Catalina Arch, once used by nuns to cross the road undisturbed

• View Parque Central and La Merced Church

Day 5: As Green As It Gets coffee plantation tour

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: As Green As It Gets guided visit

Connect & Conserve: As Green As It Gets coffee farm

Visit a coffee plantation in Ciudad Vieja and learn about sustainable farming.

• Tour the farm and try your hand at picking coffee beans

• Visit the farmer’s home for a demonstration of sorting, roasting and grinding coffee beans

• Taste the freshly brewed coffee and bring home your own one-pound bag

Flores2 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Yaxha

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Yaxha ruins

Fly to Flores and tour the Yaxha archeological site with a local guide.

• Travel through at Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park

• See the sun set over the magnificent Mayan ruins, pyramids and plazas

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Tikal Archaeological site

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Tikal ruins

Take a guided tour of the city’s UNESCO-recognized ruins at sunrise. 

• Gain an understanding of the acropolis, great plaza and temples from a local guide

• Observe ruins, pyramids and Mayan hieroglyphics in the heart of a tropical rainforest

Enjoy a free afternoon in Flores or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Zipline & Canopy Tour $39*pp Details

Fly through the lush rainforest canopy on this adventurous excursion, as you zipline around Ixpanpajul Natural Park. As you make your way through the trees, learn about the wide variety of exotic plant and animal species that live in the preserve.

Rio Dulce1 night Hotel info

Day 8: Rio Dulce & the Castillo de San Felipe de lara

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Castillo de San Felipe de lara

Leave early this morning to head toward Rio Dulce. Explore the Castillo de San Felipe, the Spanish colonial fort at the entrance of Lake Izabal, before joining your group for dinner.

Punta Gorda2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Belize via Rio Dulce cruise

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Local hot springs

Connect & Conserve: Ecology & ecotourism lecture

Embark on a half-day journey by boat down the Rio Dulce, toward the Caribbean. 

• Take a dip at a community hot spring 

• Stop in Livingston, a town only accessible from the river

• Learn about local Garifuna culture

• Board a ferry to Punta Gorda, Belize

• Arrive a the Cotton Tree Lodge in time to learn about local ecology

Day 10: Cacao farm tour with local farmer

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Eladio Pop’s farm

Connect & Conserve: Eladio Pop cacao farm

Meet Eladio Pop, a local cacao farmer and tour his organic farmland.

• Learn about Eladio’s conservation efforts

• Taste fresh cacao fruit, sugarcane and other just-picked treats

• Eat a home-cooked lunch with Eladio and his family

• Learn the art of chocolate making from Eladio’s daughter, and sample the results

Later, join your group for a farewell dinner at the Cotton Tree Lodge.

Day 11: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Belize International Airport for your flight home or extend your stay to further explore Belize.

Chichicastenango market visit

Community artisan cooperatives

In the language of the indigenous Tz’utujil Maya, the term Rupalaj K'istalin means "crystalline face". It refers to the rocky profile that’s formed by the nearby mountain, overlooking Lake Atitlan. Rupalaj K'istalin (or Rostro Maya, as it’s translated in Spanish) has always been a sacred place to the Maya, for its incomparable beauty and its proximity to the heavens. When a group of local tour guides formed a cooperative association in 2003, they strove to exemplify this respect and awe for nature; and so they took the name Rupalaj K'istalin as a tribute to the Maya and the mountain. Nowadays, the association guides lead travelers on tours that focus on traditional weaving and dyeing done by a local women's cooperative, the healing powers of medicinal plants, traditional fishing on Lake Atitlan and other aspects of indigenous culture. In addition to preserving and promoting the Tz’utujil culture, Rupalaj K'istalin plays an active role in reforestation, planting and maintaining some 20,000 plants of native species that are in danger of extinction. In 2007, Rupalaj K’istalin Community Guide Association achieved the Green Deal Sustainable Tourism Certificate. A decade after its founding, Rupalaj K’istalin is an impressive model of how tourism can play a role in conservation, both natural and cultural.

As Green As It Gets coffee farm

Next time you're sipping a cup of fresh-brewed, shade-grown organic coffee, taking in its rich aroma and feeling the energy boost, think about where it came from. You'll appreciate it even more if you know that a hardworking farmer and his family are benefiting from your indulgence. As Green As It Gets (AGAIG) supports a collective of small, independent coffee growers, helping them to secure financing to purchase property, to implement environmentally friendly agricultural practices and to pursue local and export markets for their high-quality coffee beans. About two-dozen farmers have started and grown their coffee business (and now lead guided tours and coffee demonstrations that supplement their income), thanks to AGAIG resources and expertise. The community organization also supports artisans and entrepreneurs who are producing other marketable products, from all-natural cosmetics to burlap tote bags to sustainably harvested hardwood furniture. So sip away—not only is your java invigorating and delicious, it's also guilt-free. You're doing a good deed, just by drinking it.

Ecology & ecotourism lecture

Eladio Pop cacao farm

How's the weather?

  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • Lake Atitlan
  • Flores, Guatemala
  • Rio Dulce, Guatemala
  • Punta Gorda, Belize
  • Hopkins, Belize
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Guatemala and Belize, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact each country’s consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

Your itinerary focuses on the outdoors, so your clothing should be casual and appropriate for outdoor use. Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. A sun hat, sunglasses and a bathing suit are recommended, as well as walking shoes or hiking boots. Occasional rain showers are common in the areas you’ll be visiting, so pack lightweight rainwear. Binoculars are very useful for bird- and animal watching, along with a field guide if you’re particularly interested in the different species you’ll spot. Insect repellent is highly recommended for visits to the rainforests. The sun can be especially strong in the highlands and by the Caribbean coast, so you’ll want to carry sunscreen at all times.

Health

Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure. There‘s also some risk of mosquito-born diseases, especially in the rainforests and national parks. Additionally, there are several boat transfers on your tour which may pose problems if you’re prone to motion sickness. Consult your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure about possible preventive measures and personal travel requirements.

Walking on tour

This is an active tour, and travelers should be prepared to walk on some uneven terrain.

Climate

Guatemala consists of several distinct climate zones. The coastal regions, as well as the northeast, are usually warm and humid year-round. At higher altitudes, there’s typically a rainy season, which occurs from May to September. Here, temperatures drop dramatically in the evenings. Belize typically experiences two seasons: one wet, one dry. The wet season occurs from May to September in the south and from June to November in the north. Both countries are warm year-round.

Cuisine

Guatemalan cuisine is inspired by both Mayan and Spanish cultures, and most meals are centered around staples such as rice and beans, stews and seasoned meats. Sample a plethora of tamales—a doughy treat filled with meat or fruits, which is wrapped in maxan or banana leaves. Traditional desserts include arroz con leche and tres leches cakes. Locally grown fruits, such as mango, papaya, banana and avocado, enhance most meals. You can also count on enjoying the punch of the world-class Guatemalan coffee.

Belize’s culinary influences derive from Spanish, Mexican, African, Caribbean and Mayan cultures. While staples such as rice and beans, corn and fruit are involved in nearly every meal, seafood is the shining star. Lobster, shrimp and fish can be found on most menus. Local fruits like pineapples, mangos and melons are abundant and fresh. For dessert, you’re likely to find favorites like bread pudding and flan.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Guatemala City and depart from Belize City. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach and motorboat/ferry. Travelers will also fly between Guatemala City and Flores. Destinations on tour are all easily walkable, although taxis are also available in Antigua.

Electricity

Guatemala and Belize use 110 volts, the U.S. standard.

Time zones

Guatemala and Belize are always six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and do not observe daylight-saving time. Therefore, they are two hours behind New York from April to October, and one hour behind New York from October to April.

Currency

The Guatemalan quetzal and Belize dollar are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available at your destination, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. You will most likely want a supply of small bills in local currency for any souvenirs you wish to purchase. We also strongly advise that you take a combination of debit/bank cards and credit cards, which may be exchanged at local banks for cash as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • Lake Atitlan
  • Flores, Guatemala
  • Rio Dulce, Guatemala
  • Punta Gorda, Belize
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

In order to enter Guatemala and Belize, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact each country’s consulate for your particular entry requirements.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.  Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height).  Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

Your itinerary focuses on the outdoors, so your clothing should be casual and appropriate for outdoor use. Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. A sun hat, sunglasses and a bathing suit are recommended, as well as walking shoes or hiking boots. Occasional rain showers are common in the areas you’ll be visiting, so pack lightweight rainwear. Binoculars are very useful for bird- and animal watching, along with a field guide if you’re particularly interested in the different species you’ll spot. Insect repellent is highly recommended for visits to the rainforests. The sun can be especially strong in the highlands and by the Caribbean coast, so you’ll want to carry sunscreen at all times.

Health

Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure. There‘s also some risk of mosquito-born diseases, especially in the rainforests and national parks. Additionally, there are several boat transfers on your tour which may pose problems if you’re prone to motion sickness. Consult your doctor at least eight weeks prior to departure about possible preventive measures and personal travel requirements.

Walking on tour

This is an active tour, and travelers should be prepared to walk on some uneven terrain.

Climate

Guatemala consists of several distinct climate zones. The coastal regions, as well as the northeast, are usually warm and humid year-round. At higher altitudes, there’s typically a rainy season, which occurs from May to September. Here, temperatures drop dramatically in the evenings. Belize typically experiences two seasons: one wet, one dry. The wet season occurs from May to September in the south and from June to November in the north. Both countries are warm year-round.

Cuisine

Guatemalan cuisine is inspired by both Mayan and Spanish cultures, and most meals are centered around staples such as rice and beans, stews and seasoned meats. Sample a plethora of tamales—a doughy treat filled with meat or fruits, which is wrapped in maxan or banana leaves. Traditional desserts include arroz con leche and tres leches cakes. Locally grown fruits, such as mango, papaya, banana and avocado, enhance most meals. You can also count on enjoying the punch of the world-class Guatemalan coffee.

Belize’s culinary influences derive from Spanish, Mexican, African, Caribbean and Mayan cultures. While staples such as rice and beans, corn and fruit are involved in nearly every meal, seafood is the shining star. Lobster, shrimp and fish can be found on most menus. Local fruits like pineapples, mangos and melons are abundant and fresh. For dessert, you’re likely to find favorites like bread pudding and flan.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Guatemala City and depart from Belize City. Included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach and motorboat/ferry. Travelers will also fly between Guatemala City and Flores. Destinations on tour are all easily walkable, although taxis are also available in Antigua.

Electricity

Guatemala and Belize use 110 volts, the U.S. standard.

Time zones

Guatemala and Belize are always six hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and do not observe daylight-saving time. Therefore, they are two hours behind New York from April to October, and one hour behind New York from October to April.

Currency

The Guatemalan quetzal and Belize dollar are the currencies you’ll be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available at your destination, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. You will most likely want a supply of small bills in local currency for any souvenirs you wish to purchase. We also strongly advise that you take a combination of debit/bank cards and credit cards, which may be exchanged at local banks for cash as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Tour

Everything Goahead had control over was wonderful. I gave the meals an average rating because - let's face it - that part of the world exists on chicken, beans and rice. So after a while that gets a little old. But when in Rome . . . Our guide Hugo was wonderful and patient and innovative. I will definitely take another trip with these folks. As a matter of fact almost everyone on my trip had used Goahead MANY times before, which I think speaks to the company's overall quality.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: NC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Cultural Experience

The Guatemala / Belize Eco Tour was filled with amazing sights and sounds. Volcanoes erupting, temples at sunset and dawn, vibrant and noisy birds, howler monkeys, beautiful Mayan clothes, fantastic food, local families / community groups, fascinating chicken buses and beautiful lakes/rivers and the sea. Our guide Hugo was a multi-faceted and fun person – the best. He arranged all of our activities with helpfulness, precision and with an eye to the unique and fun. He could arrange an exciting truck, boat, tuk-tuk or chicken bus (we saw one being created) ride and knew all the birds, flora and fauna on the many jungle trails/waterways – with pictures! Be prepared for lots of walking on rough terrain/large cobblestones and climbing many stairs to access temple sites, if you take the Tikal extension. To see sunsets and sunrises, you need to stay up later and rise very early but it was totally worth it. This is an active tour but there was still time to bask in a pool or have individual time shopping and/or sightseeing. The group was small (7) and added to the closeness and ease of moving around. I’ve been on many of the Go Ahead tours and enjoyed them all. However, this tour was very different with many local and cultural experiences. I was extremely impressed by the people, their hospitality, work ethic and ingenuity. One of my favourite experiences was when a little girl, (Marisol) from a day care facility, spent an hour sitting on our laps while we learned about community programs. Then there was lunch in peoples’ homes that was next on my list. For me, travelling memories are the best when you meet the people and experience their lives. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in personally experiencing the world. To those who asked, “why Guatemala?” I answer “why not? It was wonderful”!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour director, great sites, great food, great experience!

Where to begin? When I originally signed up for this tour, I wasn't sure what to expect exactly. Being my first trip with GoAhead and after reading the previous reviews, I was a little apprehensive but Boy was I pleasantly surprised! Our travel group was small (7) which for me was a plus. Although there were no luxury accommodations, all the hotels were above average. I too wished the stay on Belize beach would have been longer than one day and I think that this could have been easily arranged by making the previous stop shorter. The food was delicious and had no digestive issues even with my dietary restriction. Ground transportation was great, from the private vans to the tuk-tuks, chicken bus, pick up truck and tractor trailer. Water transportation was also unforgettable! We even saw dolphins on our way to Belize! This tour requires some moderate hiking and walking on uneven terrain. Although I did not need the trekking pole I took with me, others found it necessary. If you elect to take the Tikal extension, there is some stair climbing as well. Although it was hazy for the sunrise at Tikal, overall weather was not an issue. Nights were cool and days were warm/hot. Our guide, Hugo!!!! He is knowledgable, shared great stories, was very patient and also accommodating. He definitely made this trip so much more enjoyable since he is so easy going and so patient! Overall this was a great experience and can't rave enough about it. Guatemala is a beautiful country and has so much to offer. I am glad to have supported their local economy even if it was in a small part.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 2/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 6

From: AZ

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

What a wild experience!

This was our first eco-trip, and I really didn't know what to expect. It is a lot more "up close and personal" than most Go Ahead trips because we spend quite a lot of time with the local people. I enjoyed picking coffee and learning how the beans are processed. The ride to the plantation was memorable because we took Tuc-Tucs, a chicken bus, and a pick-up to get there! The Eladio Pop farm was also fascinating, and gave me a better understanding of traditional Mayan life. Our tour guide, David, was excellent. He was flexible with meals and always ready to take advantage of situations that would make our trip more exciting and memorable. Most of the hotels were wonderful and the meals were good. There was a lot of travel, and the trip to Tikal was intense! I looked at my watch the second day and was shocked to see it was only 10AM; we had been on top of the temple before dawn! The guide warned us that we would get sick on this trip, and that was certainly true. At least half of our group had some sort of illness...GI, cold, or some combination. We avoided salads and drank only bottled water, but hey...stuff happens. I wished GoAhead had offered an extended stay in Belize! The hotel there was gorgeous and I would have loved to be able to see the Barrier Reef! One day was just not enough! This is a physically demanding trip! There is uneven terrain, altitude, heat, humidity, and the challenge of getting in and out of boats. I would caution anyone considering this trip to consider his/her level of health and fitness first. The portions of the trip that I enjoyed the most were the ones that required the most stamina: the pre-trip extension to Tikal, the coffee plantation, and the cacao farm. Some members of our group decided to skip the last two of these, and while that is their right, it is also a pity to go so far and miss the best parts! I would also suggest a talk with your doctor so you are prepared with all the prophylactic and OTC medications you might need for a trip like this. I learned a lot on this trip and enjoyed it, but I don't know if I will go on another eco tour. Going green means doing without hair dryers, having occasional power outages and temperamental toilets, and being in a much more rustic environment than one would experience on most GoAhead tours. My 68 year old bones have come to appreciate creature comforts! Some of the "wild and wooly" flavor of the trip contributed to its charm, but honestly, I have very few friends who could handle the physical demands.

review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 4

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/23/2014

Number of Past Tours: 29

From: NH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Outstanding Eco Tour

Our Tour Director, David, made this an outstanding Eco Tour. He is very knowledgeable about Mayan History, Natural History, and the cultural aspects of both Guatemala and Belize. David was excellent with logistics. We learned and experienced so much. I have been to Guatemala several times in the past and highly recommend this tour. To take part in this tour, you should be in good physical condition. Age is not a barrier as we had two participants in their 80s and several in their 70s. You do need to wear hiking boots and I highly recommend using a hiking pole if you want to enjoy this tour fully and safely. We spent time getting in and out of boats which takes some dexterity. How else would we travel on the Rio Dulce and into the Caribbean to arrive in Belize. You need good raingear. If it is raining while you are traveling by boat, you will get wet. This is all part of the adventure. My favorite saying is "The difference between adventure and adversity is attitude". You need to have a positive attitude on this tour.....and then you will enjoy it as much as I and the rest of my group did. The itinerary posted by GoAhead needs to be revised. We did not stay in Santiago Atitlan, but in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. This worked better logistically. The optional Volcano Bird Watching Hike is in the afternoon. This is not the time of day to go birdwatching! However, you will find the hike interesting. This is where you really need your poles and boots! Enjoy this wonderful tour! .

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 15

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Excellent Tour Director

This was my fifteenth goahead tour and David was the best tour director. He had vast knowledge of all subject matter, was incredibly organized, caring and had a wonderful personality. He made this a superior trip. The eco trips we took to the coffee and cocoa farms were outstanding. It was enlightening to see how local farmers operate rather than the large conglomerates you see on similar tours. The beach resort in Belize was fabulous. I would add an extra day there.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/23/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Guatemala/Belize

This was a great trip thanks to our tour director, David. His knowledge of Guatemalan and Belizean history, culture, flora, fauna, was exceptional. He was well organized, flexible, and had a fine sense of humor. The opportunity to see so much of Guatemala and learn about Mayan culture, past (day at Tikal was a high point) and present (San Juan Laguna cooperatives, highland towns, Eladio Pop farm) was important and fascinating. In order to see so much of two countries, there is a lot of time on buses, vans, boats, airplanes (and airports) -- an average of 3-4 hours a day. Jeannie

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/9/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MN

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing and ACTIVE tour!

This Guatemala/Belize eco tour was easily the MOST AMAZING vacation I've ever taken! Our Tour Director David was so knowledgeable, the itinerary was intense and in depth, I learned and saw so much! I've never before felt like I was actually helping a community by being a tourist… but by taking this particular eco tour, I I personally helped people out by buying items like blankets, coffee, chocolate directly from the people who made them! This tour is active and intense - and I will DEFINITELY be taking another Goahead Eco Tour soon!