Tour itinerary can be seen below.
Arrive in San Salvador. Make your way to the hotel where we'll all meet up in the evening and head out for dinner and drinks.
Today we take a full day tour of San Salvador. The first place we visit is the Cathedral of San Salvador where we'll learn about the 1980 assassination of Oscar Romero. Afterwards we go the HQ of renowned forensic criminologist Israel Ticas, where we learn from the man himself about the work he has done. Known as the 'lawyer for the dead', Ticas has uncovered over 700 victims of gang warfare, whilst surviving three assassination attempts. Afterwards we will meet Mauricio Vilanova, the mayor of San José Guayabal. Vilanova has managed to go against the national trend by driving the gangs out of his town and locals can now live there without fear of extortion. We finish the day by going out on patrol with the police and learn about what work is being done in these areas to help fight against the gangs.
Today we visit Apanteos Prison with the chance to meet prisoners taking part in the Yo Cambio 'I change' programme. The prisoners we meet have renounced their gang affiliations and are working towards rehabilitation. The prison is mainly run by the prisoners themselves which gives them the opportunity to share their skills and teach each other painting, baking, carpentry and more.
In the morning we drive south and visit San Juan 'ghost prison' which up until 2016 was used to incarcerate members of the Barrio 18 gang. We'll have the chance to explore all corners of the prison. Afterwards we will visit the San José De La Montana self defence community. As well as meeting the community and hearing their stories we'll also go on boat patrol.
Today we depart San Salvador and cross to Honduras. We will first arrive in the town of Santa Rosa De Copan where we will stop for lunch and also take a tour of the local cigar factory. Afterwards we move onward to Copan Ruinas where we will stay for the next two nights.
After breakfast we travel to the ancient Mayan site of Copan. The UNESCO listed site was discovered in 1570 by Diego García de Palacio. Copan was one of the most important sites of the Mayan civilisation during the Classical period 250-900 AD. Rest of the day at leisure.
After breakfast we depart Honduras to cross into Guatemala and drive west to the well preserved Spanish colonial city of Antigua.
The active volcano of Pacaya is where we will head today. From Antigua we will drive 25km to the base of the volcano before taking a 2.5 hour hike to the top. For those not keen on hiking, there is the option of staying around the city for a relaxing day.
Today after breakfast the main tour ends. Extra accommodation can be arranged if you wish to stay longer in Antigua.
For those who are taking the extension, we will depart after breakfast to Flores. After lunch we will take a boat to cross from Flores Island to the Tayasal Peninsula. We start our walk at Tayasal Archaeological site and continue walking through the forest to reach San Miguel Village; which is a nice opportunity to see how the local people live. Then we'll cross by boat back to Flores Island to explore the island city. Afterwards we transfer to the Mayan site of Tikal (approximately 90 minutes) to stay overnight in the jungle lodge.
A very early start today at 04:30 to watch the sunrise over the incredible pyramids at Tikal. We'll explore the whole site including the Jaguar Temple, Grand Plaza, Central Acropolis and other locations, before returning to the lodge at 10:30 to checkout and have an early lunch. At 12:00 we depart for the Belize border and once through we will take the ferry across the Mopan River and drive to the Xunantunich Mayan Site to view another amazing set of ruins. After our visit we head on to Belize City, arriving at around 18:00, to stay overnight.
Today the tour ends in Belize City, but we can arrange extra accommodation if you wish to spend more time there.
There is an optional extension tour to Belize; please email us for more information.
Extension price - £475 (does not include flights)
Extension single supplement price: £205