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Alcion: Central America Discovery

22 days from £2,007pp

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Alcion: Central America Discovery

22 days from £2,007pp
 

Group Journey

 
Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlán

4 days from £553pp

Travel by road from Antigua to Lake Atitlán, where clear azure-to-silver waters reflect emerald forests cloaking the surrounding volcanoes.  Explore this traditional highland region of Guatemala, embracing one of the world's most picturesque lakes.

Day 1: You will be escorted by road to the small village of Santa Catarina Palopó on the lake-shore outside the main town, Panajachel. “Pana” is a pleasant tourist centre with dozens of market stalls selling traditional textiles and artisan craftwork. International visitors’ gastronomic tastes are well catered for: there’s a plethora of crêperies and cool bars.

Day 2: Your colonial-style hotel, Villa Santa Catalina is in a peaceful setting. You can relax on the terrace overlooking the lake, by the swimming pool or in the pretty gardens. Alternatively you can organise excursions to some of the nearby villages: most of them have their own market, distinctive costume and personality.

Day 3: Return to Antigua and the hotel Casa de las Fuentes, a former colonial mansion 10mins’ walk from the main square.

Day 4: Continue your holiday or return to Guatemala airport for your international flight.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Breakfast daily.


Tikal ruins

Tikal

4 days from £740pp

Widely considered the most impressive of all Mayan sites (and we agree), Tikal is shrouded in remote rainforest. Carved stelae are ubiquitous in this pre-Columbian skyscraper city. Three steeply-stepped pyramids poke through the rainforest canopy, allowing climbers panoramic jungle views. Stay at the Jungle Lodge, basic cottages close to the ruins.

Day 1: Fly from Guatemala City to Flores and continue by lonely road to the lodge within the national park, its grounds often swarming with exotic mammals and bird life. You will be escorted on a tour of the archaeological ruins.

Day 2: Since you are staying close to the entrance, you may revisit the park in the morning, before all the day trippers arrive. As dawn breaks you can see and hear the wildlife as it awakens: toucans, parrots and spider monkeys are rampant.

Day 3: Transfer back to the airport and fly back to Guatemala City. Stay at Hotel Barceló near the fashionable Zona Viva with its museums, art galleries, cafés and boutiques.

Day 4: Continue your holiday or return to the airport for your international flight.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Breakfast daily, lunch day 1.


Playa Cacique

Contadora beach

4 days from £359pp

Contadora is the most notable of the Pearl Islands with a current population of around 250 inhabitants. This was where the Spanish counted the pearls which were harvested from the other islands in the archipelago; hence the name of the island, which means 'counter' or 'book-keeper' in Spanish.

The islands produced pearls of many colours and sizes, and during the many years when pearls were harvested from the waters around the islands, the indigenous population would converge on Contadora to count their pearls and sell them to the Spaniards.

Today, Contadora is home to several small hotels, a clutch of restaurants, eight beautiful beaches and many luxurious holiday homes. The island´s roads area paved and most visitors and inhabitants travel around in golf carts (if not walking) and private planes. You will be met at the ferry terminal by a representative of your guesthouse and escorted to the accommodation.

Gerald´s Bed & Breakfast has just eight well-appointed guest rooms.  The restaurant is one of the best on the island (there are currently 5) with a varied menu including German specialties – the proprietor is German. The roof top terrace has a small swimming pool and offers views of the Pacific Ocean. Playa Larga, one of the island´s most beautiful beaches is just 3 minutes' walk away and it is also within walking distance of the ferry´s usual landing place.

Day 1: Your ferry ride to Contadora island takes about two hours.

Days 2,3: Enjoy days at leisure on the island's white sand beaches or book optional tours such as trips round the island, snorkelling, dolphin and humpback whale-watching (July – Oct), deep sea fishing, diving, and early morning nature walks. The island is indented with pretty sandy bays, while inland you'll find verdant woodland. The island's tiny airstrip runs down across spine.

Day 4: Continue your holiday or transfer to the airport for your international flight.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Breakfast daily.


Pollera making

Panama's Cultural Heartland - The Azuero Peninsula

4 days from £813pp

Panama’s cultural heartland, the Azuero Peninsula, has a heady mix of indigenous heritage, contemporary Spanish-inspired culture and cattle-raising. The region certainly sits slap bang in the centre of the country, on the Pacific side. The Azuero Peninsula has a rich history dating back to pre-Columbian indigenous groups, with many artefacts and ceremonial sites uncovered by archaeologists. The indians did not survive the Spanish invasion though, and nowadays there is a distinctly Hispanic tradition, best observed in the region’s festivals and colonial architecture.

Day 1: It’s a 4hr shared road transfer from Panama City to Chitre, capital of the Herrera province.

Day 2: On today’s guided excursion you will be introduced to the cultural traditions of the Azuero Peninsula. Visit a family house where grotesque devil masks are made; a local drum maker who uses razor sharp chisels to hollow out cylindrical cuts of wood and call in on a potter who has been spinning his wheel manually for decades. At the home of a maker of pollera dresses - introduced by the colonial Spanish - sometimes it is a man who was does the sewing. In each place you have the chance at trying your hand at the craft yourself.

Day 3: Urracá, 'the Lord of the Wind, Rain and Thunder', was a chieftain who resisted the invasion of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, defeating them on several occasions. Exploring  Urracá's territory you visit his statue before continuing towards San Francisco de la Montaña where you visit the church, a 1727 jewel of baroque art with hundreds of hand-carved altar pieces demonstrating a fusion between Spanish Catholicism and indigenous culture. Continue to the San Juan river canyon and La Yeguada lagoon for a short hike through the forest and a swim in the waterfall.

Day 4: Return to Panama City to continue your holiday or to the city’s airport for your international flight.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Breakfast daily.


weaver

San Blas and the Kuna Indians

3 days from £622pp

Spend a few days combining relaxing beach-time with an insight into one of Panama’s most distinctive cultures, that of the semi-autonomous Kuna (also known nowadays as Guna) indians.

San Blas is a necklet of hundreds of coral islands lying off the Caribbean coast and stretching 200km to the border with Colombia, ranging from tiny islets with a cluster of palms to larger, inhabited islands. The Kuna, farmers, fishermen and traders, are notably spiritual and maintain a deeply traditional lifestyle here. The Kuna, famous for their  are famous for their bright molas, a colorful textile art form used in the blouses of the Kuna women's national dress, which is worn daily by many Kuna women. It’s a fascinating lifestyle with which you will have the privilege of getting acquainted.

Day 1: Take an early morning 50min flight by light aircraft to Playón Chico airstrip. You’ll be staying at Yandup Lodge, with simple, understated but comfortable bamboo-constructed beds with bright fabrics, a ceiling fan, private bathrooms (no hot water - this is the tropics) ,and a hammock on the veranda. The dining room overlooks the Caribbean, as almost everything does, and all meals are served en famille.

Day 2: Spend time alongside the Kuna and enjoy relaxing on the pearly white beaches, where the glass-clear water invites you to snorkel out to the coral reef.

Day 3: Return by canoe to the airstrip and fly back to Panama City to connect with your flight home or continue your holiday.

UK clients arrive home the following day.

Lunch and dinner day 1, full board day 2, breakfast day 3.


Journey with the UK's NO1 specialist in travel to latin america

Experience

  • The pioneers in travel to Latin America since 1980
  • The UK's no.1 specialist – nobody knows it better

Knowledge

  • All our staff are in-depth Latin America specialists
  • Get the inside track with expert advice based on first-hand experience

Passion

  • Our love of Latin America runs through all we do
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Protection

  • Unbeatable and secure financial protection
  • Book with confidence, knowing every penny is secure

Flexibility

  • The widest range of travel options to Central and South America
  • The journey you'll love, in a style to suit you

Expertise

  • Award-winning holidays, endorsed by our clients and the press
  • Exclusively dedicated to 
    Latin America – it's all we do


Wanderlust

Food and Travel Magazine Readers' Awards - Tour Operator of The Year 2016

Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards - Best Tour Operator to Latin America 2016

Sunday Times Travel Magazine - Editor's Award 2013

Guardian and Observer Travel Awards - Top Ten Small Tour Operator: 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Value Tour Operator 2011

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards - Top Ten Specialist Tour Operator 2016

Wanderlust Readers' Travel Awards - Top Ten Tour Operator 2015

British Travel Awards - Best Small Tour Operator to Central and South America 2012

Latin American Travel Association - Award for Customer Service 2012

Sunday Times Travel Magazine Awards - Best Specialist Tour Operator 2011

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