Central America is a region yearning to be explored by the adventurous traveller. It has all the right elements for an unforgettable trip - incredible history, fascinating indigenous cultures, stunning coral reefs, beaches and wilderness, exciting activities, and wonderful food and music!
Some of the highlights of this trip, as you might expect, involve volcanoes – with opportunities aplenty to get up close to active stratovolcanos including Arenal and Masaya. For an extra dash of adrenaline, you can even try your hand at volcano-boarding in Nicaragua.
This sample tailor-made holiday also includes visits to historically significant ancient Mayan settlements as well as a chance to learn about daily local life in weavers’ villages, small towns and modern cities.
This is just a suggested Itinerary. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
To secure your place on any Tailor Made trip we require a deposit of 30% of the total trip price, per person.Book or Enquire
• Visit the Mayan city of Cop�n, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980
• Head to Granada, one of the oldest Spanish colonial towns in the Americas, and one of the best preserved to boot
• Enjoy a guided walking tour of Antigua
These are just suggested inclusions. Please speak to our experienced consultants who can tailor make this trip to your needs.
16 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
16 nights hotels
Private vehicle, ferry
Guatemala City is the capital of the Republic of Guatemala which was moved here in 1775 after a series of earthquakes destroyed the old capital, Antigua. In addition to a wide variety of restaurants, hotels and shops, the city boasts numerous art galleries, theatres and museums (including some fine collections of Pre-Columbian art) and offers a wide range of cultural activities.
The city is divided into 22 zones with Zone 1 being the Historic Centre. This lies in the very heart of the city and is home to many important historic buildings including the National Palace of Culture, the Metropolitan Cathedral, the National Congress, the Presidential House, the National Library and the Constitution Plaza.
Zone 10, along with being the financial district of the city, is among the most popular areas for pop culture, shopping and entertainment. A district within Zone 10, known as Zona Viva, contains many of the city's most popular and most expensive hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs, and other entertainment venues for urban dwellers.
Once you arrive at Guatemala City Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Best Western Plus Hotel Stofella or similar
After breakfast head to Iximche, a Pre Columbian Mayan site in the Western Highlands of Guatemala for a brief guided tour, then enjoy lunch at local restaurant in Tecpan. You will then be transferred to Lake Atitlan, Panajachel where you can see breathtaking views of one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, Lake Atitlan, as well as the volcanoes Toliman, Atitlan and San Pedro.
During the period of the Spanish conquest of Guatemala, the shores of the lake were the scene of a great battle in which the Spanish and their Cakchiquel allies defeated the Tzutujils. The Spanish set up a church and monastery in Panajachel soon afterward and used the town as a centre for converting the Indians of the region to the Catholic faith. The original facade of the church stills stands, and is one of the gems of the colonial style in Guatemala.
Later, why not visit Panajachel's busy market street (Calle Santander) or pay a visit to the colourful Sololá market – open Tuesdays and Fridays - just a 15 minute ride from Panajachel on the local ‘chicken bus’!
Visit to Iximche
Hotel Jardines del Lago or similar
After breakfast, take a boat trip across Lake Atitlan to the indigenous islands of San Juan, San Pedro and Santiago. Get acquainted with local cultures including textiles, paintings and history. Clean, quiet San Juan is famous for its textiles and art galleries – its streets are painted with murals reflecting everyday life and traditions. Santiago meanwhile, is mostly known for the famous Maximon - a smoking and drinking Mayan-Catholic deity who, according to legend, has been known to grant favours and miracles to those who visit him!
Hotel Jardines del Lago or similar
After breakfast you will be transferred to Chichicastenango – a town in the El Quiche department famous for its traditional K'iche' Maya culture. Tour its famous market where you will discover a staggering variety of wares including textiles, handicrafts, leather goods, food, flowers, pottery, medicinal plants, candles, incense, lime stones, pigs and chickens, machetes, ceremonial masks, and many more.
After lunch, transfer to Antigua, the charming and colourful once-capital of Guatemala. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979, Antigua is known for its beauty and historical importance. The cobblestone streets, balconies and colonial buildings offer visitors a wonderful mixture of cultural and religious tradition, surrounded by the three volcanoes, Volcán de Fuego, Volcán de Agua and Acatenango.
Despite the destruction caused by the 17th Century earthquakes, many inhabitants decided to stay in the old city and took the task of recovering the beauty of the buildings and monuments, making Antigua what it is today.
Tour of Chichicastenango market
Posada San Vicente or similar
Today, enjoy a guided walking tour of Antigua. Walk around in this wonderful city and learn more about Guatemalan history during colonial times, visiting historic sites along the way. These include the Cathedral and fountain on the main square, City Hall, the cloister of Capuchinas with its colonial architecture and the San Francisco el Grande Church, one of best preserved churches in Antigua.
Antigua City Walking Tour
Posada San Vicente or similar
Today you will head to Honduras and the town of Copán Ruinas, known for its magnificent Mayan ruins. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980, the Mayan city of Copán, as it exists today, is composed of a main complex of ruins with several secondary complexes that surround it.
The Hieroglyphic Stairway is one of the main attractions and one of the most outstanding structures of Mayan culture. Within the lines of this 10m wide stairway are more than 1,250 individual glyphs that constitute the longest known Mayan inscription. The charming city of Copán Ruinas itself is typified by cobblestone streets whilst the surrounding area boasts many options for hiking, trekking, visits to coffee plantations, bird watching, visits to Mayan towns, motorcycle or bike rides, extraordinary horseback rides and more.
Hotel Plaza Copán or similar
In the morning, enjoy a tour of Copan, known as the ‘Paris’ of the Mayan archaeological sites. Situated in the southwestern part of the Mayas region, it flourished during the 7th century AD and represents for the New World what Athens represents for the Old: the cradle of its civilisation. In 1980, UNESCO declared Copán a world heritage site.
After lunch, transfer to the colonial town of Suchitoto in El Salvador.
The small town of Suchitoto is a popular weekend destination for the Salvadoran population and boasts beautifully renovated houses and cobblestone streets, many art galleries and cultural activities that are held throughout the year. Every weekend, handicrafts are displayed in the artisan fair. Trips to Lake Suchitlán, nearby waterfalls, pre-columbian ruins and forests and volcanoes can be organised from Suchitoto, too.
Copán Walking Tour
El Tejado Hotel or similar
Suchitoto means ‘place of birds and flowers’ in Nahuatl language, spoken by the Pipils, founders and first inhabitants of this place. Take a tour around the city and see its most emblematic buildings including Santa Lucía Church, the Arte para la Paz (Art for Peace) Museum and Las Ruinas Theatre among others, while enjoying a historical-cultural narration about the city.
Suchitoto Walking Tour
El Tejado Hotel or similar
After breakfast, transfer to the harbour of La Union where you will take the boat across the Gulf of Fonseca to Potosi in Nicaragua. After immigration procedures, continue to León.
The city of León is a cultural historical city with an authentic atmosphere where you can easily connect with the locals. It offers a quiet, relaxed and pleasant atmosphere that comes to life at night owing to the city's large student population. In the evenings you can enjoy parties, live music, folkloric performances and much more. The centre with its colonial buildings, beautiful churches and the cathedral which has been declared as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, are only some of León´s many attractions.
If you want to cool off you can head to the nearby beaches of Poneloya and Las Peñitas. Culture buffs may want to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of León Viejo, where the city was originally founded, whereas those who enjoy hiking can go to one of the many volcanoes in the surrounding area. One of the most popular attractions is ‘volcano-boarding’ at Cerro Negro.
Hotel Austria or similar
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the colonial centre and explore the fascinating history of one of Nicaragua's oldest and most influential cities. Considered to be Nicaragua's historical, cultural, educational and religious capital, León was dismantled, moved, and rebuilt due to volcanic activities; ransacked (and reconstructed) by pirates; and won and lost its struggle as the most important city in Nicaragua against Managua.
During your guided walking tour you will visit revolutionary murals, baroque and neoclassical churches and an art museum displaying works by internationally renowned artists. In addition, you can climb to the rooftop of Central America´s largest cathedral, registered on UNESCO´s list of World Heritage, and enjoy the astonishing views over the city and surrounding Maribios Volcanic Chain.
Hotel Austria or similar
Today you will head further south to Granada, one of the oldest Spanish colonial towns in the Americas, and one of the best preserved to boot.
Granada was founded in 1524 and is believed to be the second oldest city established in mainland Latin America by the Spanish conquest. During colonial times, Granada saw much unrest as the city was attacked several times by pirates. Nowadays Granada is characterised by brightly-coloured Spanish colonial architecture, visible throughout the city centre, with its city centre and surroundings drawing visitors from all over the world.
Along the way to Granada, stop at the fiery Masaya volcano where you can peek inside the active crater – a thrilling and iconic experience. You will also visit Masaya´s artisan market where you can purchase quality Nicaraguan handicrafts before enjoying lunch overlooking the impressive Apoyo Lagoon. Finally, travel through San Juan de Oriente, one of the so-called ‘White Villages’ to witness local craftsmen producing fine ceramics out of clay enroute to your final destination of the day, Pueblos Blancos.
Masaya Highlights Tour: Masaya Volcano, Artisan Market & Pueblos Blancos.
Hotel Patio del Malinche or similar
The day starts with a guided city tour of Granada’s historic centre, travelling both on foot and by traditional horsedrawn carriage. Explore interesting sites including the San Francisco church and adjacent San Francisco Convent, built in 1529. You will also visit the Merced church where you have the opportunity to climb the bell tower and enjoy spectacular views over the city, Lake Nicaragua, and Mombacho volcano. The last stop is the oldest part of the city where you visit the Xalteva church and the old city walls.
Granada City Tour
Hotel Patio del Malinche or similar
Transfer to the port of San Jorge, where you will take the onward ferry to Isla de Ometepe, one of the world's largest fresh water lakes. Ometepe has served as home to indigenous tribes and cultures for many centuries, of which the many pre-Columbian petroglyphs are silent witnesses. The two volcanoes on the island, Concepción and Maderas, offer stunning views when approaching Ometepe by boat from the mainland. Both volcanoes have their own climate and unique vegetation and hiking either of them is a great way to enjoy spectacular views of the surroundings.
Take a hike in the Charco Verde reserve - a protected area located between Ometepe´s two volcanoes consisting of a lagoon, a beach, and a forest. The reserve is named Charco Verde (Green Puddle) due to the green color of the lagoon. Many birds find shelter in this part of the island so birdwatching enthusiasts should keep an eye out! The hike is not strenuous and leads up a hill, from where you are treated to fantastic views.
Charco Verde Walking Tour
Hotel Villa Paraíso or similar
This morning, take the ferry back to San Jorge and transfer to the border with Costa Rica. Here you will be picked up and transferred to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
La Fortuna is situated just a few kilometres from the looming Arenal volcano, among the most active volcanoes so you will be treated to some breathtaking views! Other attractions in the area include a 70 metre high waterfall, hanging bridges, ziplines, a butterfly farm and whitewater rafting.
Arenal Montechiari Hotel or similar
Today you will be given the opportunity to get closer to the Arenal Volcano with a hike through the national park. The impressiveness of the volcano is undeniable as you will see! Walk along the trails through extensive and authentic rainforest, where you can appreciate the local wildlife and, don’t miss the impressive Ceiba tree which is over 400 years old.
That evening, relax your muscles at the thermal baths of Ecotermales, where you will also enjoy dinner.
National Park Arenal
Arenal Montechiari Hotel or similar
Transfer to the modern city of San José, founded in 1738. The city is a showcase of beautiful art and architecture, and boasts many excursion options including visits to beautiful national parks and a national theatre.
Hotel Balmoral or similar
It’s time to depart! After breakfast transfer to San José Airport for your onward International flight.
We want you to enjoy your trip to the fullest extent possible, so we ask you to take a moment to read through the following information and make sure you’re fully aware of the kind of trip you will be joining.
Imaginative Traveller trips and adventure travel in general can be quite demanding and there are risks and hazards that are inherent in such trips. Long driving days can sometimes be uncomfortable and tiring. Many of the places we visit are off the beaten track and so do not have the infrastructure that we are accustomed to in western society. Accommodation can vary greatly in standards and when wild camping on an Overland trip we rely entirely on our own provisions.
You will have the opportunity to take part in many exciting activities and excursions, some of which are included whilst others are optional (i.e. hiking the Inca Trail, trekking to see Mountain Gorillas) these require a certain level of fitness, so it’s important that you read through the trip notes thoroughly and make your own conclusions as to whether you feel that you are fit and healthy enough to enjoy this trip to its fullest. Some activities may have higher risks than you are used to and you must judge whether or not you wish to, or have the physical ability to take part. All travellers are also required to carry their own bag and lift it into storage areas, get on and off public transport or if on an Overland trip - be able to manage the 2-foot step on and off the Overland truck.
Weather conditions in certain areas can also make physical activity more challenging. This also applies to our trips that travel at altitude.
It is extremely rare for us to have to refuse anyone a space on our trips for medical reasons. If at the time of booking you have any concern at all about a medical condition that may prevent you from participating fully in the trip, please let your travel agent or Imaginative Traveller know as soon as possible. If upon disclosure, our operator is of the opinion that the trip is not suitable for you, then we reserve the right to cancel your booking or alternatively to limit your participation in certain activities.
Whilst we don’t want to put anyone off experiencing one of our trips, we ask that you read through the trip notes for the trip you have selected carefully and realistically self assess your ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your Dr and/or us if you have any doubts.
A positive attitude and an open mind are just as important as your ability to get involved and fully participate on your group trip.
In accordance with EU Directive (EC) No 2111/2005 Article 9, we are required to bring to your attention the existence of a “Community list” which contains details of air carriers who are subject to an operating ban within the EU. The Community list is available for inspection at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_en.htm .In accordance with EU Regulations we are required to advise you of the actual carrier(s) (or, if the actual carrier(s) is not known, the likely carrier(s)) that will operate your flight(s) at the time of confirmation. Where we are only able to inform you of the likely carrier(s) at the time of confirmation, we shall inform you of the identity of the actual carrier(s) as soon as we become aware of this. Any change to the operating carrier(s) after your booking has been confirmed will be notified to you as soon as possible.
BOOKING CONDITIONS - Dragoman Overseas
Travel Ltd. Valid from 1st May 2019
(Updated on 10/06/19)
3.1 Payments for Small Group Tours operated by Imaginative Traveller and excluding Polar trips to the Arctic or Antarctic
Songlines Music Tours: deposit amount £600
Family Overland: deposit amount £400
Trips with Gorilla permit: deposit amount £600
Trips with Inca Trail permit: deposit amount £400
The balance of the tour cost must be paid no later than 56 days before the departure date of the first tour booked, otherwise we are entitled to treat the booking as cancelled by you in which case the cancellation charges shown in clause 4 will be payable.
3.2 Payments for Small Group Polar trips to the Arctic or Antarctic
3.3 Payments for Tailor Made Tours and Charter Trips
4.1 If you wish to cancel your tour
Small Group Tours excluding Polar trips to the Arctic or Antarctic
Days % charge
56 or more Loss of deposit
31 to 55 50%
30 or less 100%
Small Group Polar trips to the Arctic or Antarctic
Days % charge
181 or more Loss of deposit
180 or less 100%
Tailor Made Tours and Charter Trips
Days % charge
56 or more Loss of deposit
55 or less 100%
Depending on your reason for cancellation and your travel insurance terms these charges may be recoverable under your insurance policy.
4.2 Amendments and Transfers for Small Group Tours
On some trips it is not possible for us to accept late bookings as they are subject to availability.
4.3 Amendments and Transfers for Tailor Made Tours and Charter Trips
The information about trips given in this brochure is subject to change. Where practical, any changes will be reflected in the Trip Notes that are sent to you with your Final Documentation. It is your responsibility to review the up-to-date Trip Notes sent to you with Final Documentation. If you make a booking less than 56 days before departure (181 days for Polar trips to the Arctic or Antarctic) you must ensure you are fully aware of the contents of the Trip Notes. The information and conditions in the Trip Notes will be deemed to be part of the contract.
In no circumstances will we cancel your tour less than 4 weeks before the scheduled departure date except for reasons of consolidation, force majeure or failure on your part to pay the final balance. We strongly recommend that you make no travel arrangements to your point of departure, make any connecting travel that is non-refundable or non-changeable or incurs penalties or incur any costs in respect of visas or vaccinations until such time as your travel itinerary has been confirmed. If you make such arrangements which you are then unable to use due to a change in your itinerary we shall not be liable to you for the cost of those arrangements. If we are forced to cancel your holiday after departure we will, wherever possible, make suitable alternative arrangements. If we are unable to make such alternative arrangements, or you reject these for good reason then we will return you to your point of departure and refund you for any unused services, if appropriate.
56 or more Nil
Between 28 and 55 £15
Between 15 and 27 £25
Less than 15 £35
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under ABTOT Combined and The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for Dragoman Overseas Travel Ltd., ATOL number 4157, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
ABTOT Combined cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Dragoman Overseas Travel Ltd.
In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company.
You can access the The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111168479/contents
When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us, you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.
The price of our ATOL-protected flight inclusive Packages includes the amount of £2.50 per person as part of the ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) we pay to the CAA. This charge is included in our advertised prices.
We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate or holiday itinerary, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate or itinerary (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder or supplier may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder or supplier will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder or supplier. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder or supplier, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ABTOT Combined scheme.
If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate or holiday itinerary, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder, alternative supplier or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, ABTOT Limited may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ABTOT Combined scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to ABTOT Limited any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ABTOT Combined scheme.
The combination of travel services offered to you is a package within the meaning of the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.
Therefore you will benefit from all EU rights applying to the packages. Dragoman Overseas Travel Ltd. ('Dragoman') will be fully responsible for the proper performance of the package as a whole.
Additionally, as required by law, Dragoman has protection in place to refund your payments and, where transport is included in the package, to ensure your repatriation in the event that it becomes insolvent.
Key rights under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018
A copy of The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 may be found on: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/634
(i) the act(s) and/or omission(s) of the person(s) affected or any member(s) of their party;
(ii) the act(s) and/or omission(s) of a third party not connected with the provision of your tour and which were unforeseeable or unavoidable;
(iii) force majeure;
(iv) any services which do not form part of our contract. This includes, for example, any additional services or facilities which any supplier agrees to provide for you where the services or facilities are not advertised by us and we have not agreed to arrange them as part of our contract;
vii) any information and advice on visas, travel documents, climate, spending money and other costs, clothing, equipment, etc. All such information and advice has been compiled with reasonable care and is given in good faith but without responsibility on our part;
viii) loss or damage of your personal belongings while in the sight of yourself or other group members, or while under the care of airlines or airports;
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