Icaro tours company / celas maya trips

Celas Maya often organizes trips to the most famous and visited sites in Guatemala. Tikal, Flores Island, Río Dulce, Livingston, Semuc Champey, Antigua Guatemala, Monterrico, and more are all part of our programming. Traveling to these places can be difficult for the students to organize on their own and since usually they take a long time, the students have to waste time that could be spent in studies; therefore Celas Maya coordinates each detail so that students do not waste a lot of class time and so that there is enough time to enjoy the trip. Since the amount of spots available is limited, traveling as a group is easy. These trips will be an unforgettable part of your experience here in Guatemala.


Trip to Tikal: includes Peten Itzá lake and Flores Island

Tikal is the greatest of all the Mayan Sites, situated deep in the jungles of the north of Guatemala, north of Lake Peten Itzá. It is Guatemala’s most famous cultural and natural preserve. Tikal possesses a certain magic… like all puzzles without answers it fascinates everyone and we dare say… Tikal is irresistible to all who come to visit.

Set in a jungle canopy, the site today consists of over 3,000 buildings, including a handful of impressively tall temples that tower above the forest. At its peak some 1,500 years ago, Tikal was home to an estimated 100,000 Mayans.

 

This majestic archaeological gem comprises 222 square miles of jungle all around the ceremonial center. It took the University of Pennsylvania 13 years to uncover about 10 square miles of structures at Tikal. However, much of it is still left to be unearthed.

Flores is a very charming and small town in Peten Guatemala, situated on an island in Lake Peten Itzá, 45 minutes by road from Tikal National Park. Flores is a slow-placed village with Caribbean sensibility and friendly people. Despite the steady flow of tourists passing through en route to Tikal, the town retains an urban air. It has little to detain you and is small enough to explore in an hour or so, but it does offer some attractive places to stay, good restaurants, and spectacular lake views. Lake Peten Itzá is a wildlife paradise with more than 100 important indigenous species. There are at least 26 Mayan sites surrounding the lake. It is surrounded by an old growth forest of ceibas and mahogany trees.

The trip to Tikal, Flores Island and Peten Itzá Lake is about 3 days long.


Trip to Rio Dulce, San Felipe Castle and Livingston

Río Dulce is located in Izabal, Guatemala. This river is one of the most desirable destinations in the world. It connects the biggest lake in our beautiful country “Lake Izabal” with the Atlantic Ocean. The river is surrounded by incredible natural beauty.

 

The river, rainforest, ecology, boat travel and many other activities await you. The most impressive location on the river is “El Canyon.” Here the river becomes very narrow and tall canyon walls rise on both sides of the river to a height of 300 to 400 spectacular feet above the water. The view is always stunning. The canyon walls are sheer cliffs of white limestone festooned with green jungle growth clinging to the walls. The visual effect is unforgettable.

Between Río Dulce and Lake Izabal is San Felipe de Lara Castle. Early in the Sixteenth Century, trade was established between Guatemala and Spain via what was then called the Golfo Dulce. Constant attacks by pirates in the Gulf of Mexico and incursions into Guatemala through the Rio Dulce made it necessary to defend the entrance to Lake Izabal where warehouses had been set up for goods entering or leaving Spain.

Located on the north bank of the mouth of the Rio Dulce is the colorful town of Livingston. It was founded in around 1795 by the Caribbean people and is the only settlement of Caribbean in Guatemala. Complete with their own language and culture, these descendants of escaped slaves really know how to kick back. The reggae is fierce here, as is the incredible seafood.

 

Located on the north bank of the mouth of the Rio Dulce is the colorful town of Livingston. It was founded in around 1795 by the Caribbean people and is the only settlement of Caribbean in Guatemala. Complete with their own language and culture, these descendants of escaped slaves really know how to kick back. The reggae is fierce here, as is the incredible seafood.

 The trip to Río Dulce, San Felipe Castle and Livingston is about 3 days long.


Trip to Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey is located in Guatemala’s Alta Verapaz department. Here lies a jewel of stunning natural splendor that relatively few travelers visit: Semuc Champey. Those who go, however, agree that it’s the most beautiful area in the country. While this claim may be true, it is hard to give the accolade to just one area when there are so many beautiful places to see.

 

What is Semuc Champey?

Semuc Champey is part of a national park that was established to protect the pools and the surrounding terrain. In Semuc Champey, the Cahabon River flows underground for about 350 m (1,150 ft). Above it a natural limestone bridge has formed and is home to a series of pools and small ponds which are fed by creeks and waterfalls running down the surrounding mountain slopes. The pools are about one meter (three feet) deep and range in color from emerald green to turquoise to dark sapphire blue.

Semuc Champey is a unique stretch of the Cahabon river that plunges with immense force into an underground cavern. The sight of that alone is absolutely exhilarating. The water gains so much momentum before being sucked underground that the ground is carved into a semi-circular shelf of rock. One can imagine how many years the water has done this to create such formations in stone. Semuc Champey is truly a natural wonder and not to be missed.

 

Close to Semuc Champey we find Lanquin Caves which are deep limestone caverns containing an underground river with various lagoons and unique rock formations.

A religious shrine is contained within and the caves are considered sacred by the local indigenous people.

The trip to Semuc Champey and Lanquin Caves is about 3 days long.


Trip to Antigua Guatemala and Monterrico

In 1979 UNESCO added La Antigua to the World Heritage Sites list. This was recorded on large, colorful tile set in the outside wall of City Hall. Antigua Guatemala may be the most outstanding and best preserved colonial city in Spanish America. The Spanish Colonial style permeates every part of the town: houses, churches, squares, parks and ruins. Antigua sits in a Highland valley (1,500 meters) overlooked by the spectacular Agua Volcano (3,765 meters high). A little further away are two other volcanoes, Acatenango and the always smoking, sometimes erupting, Fuego.

Monterrico is a black-sand beach on Guatemala’s Pacific coast. It is considered by many to be Guatemala’s best beach. In Monterrico you can choose to play in the waves, bask in the sun, eat some of the tasty local cuisine or simply just hang out in a hammock all day. For those who are interested, it is also possible to visit the animal sanctuary and release a baby turtle into the wild. This is a place where you will get a good taste of the real local flavor, not just a shiny facade put on for tourists.

 The trip to Antigua Guatemala and Monterrico is about 3 days long.

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