Road Scholar : Home
The Maya and More: History and Culture of Honduras, Guatemala and Belize

Program Number: 3217RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/1/2012 - 11/15/2012; 11/6/2014 - 11/20/2014; 12/4/2014 - 12/18/2014; 1/8/2015 - 1/22/2015; 1/22/2015 - 2/5/2015; 2/5/2015 - 2/19/2015; 2/12/2015 - 2/26/2015; 2/19/2015 - 3/5/2015; 2/26/2015 - 3/12/2015; 3/5/2015 - 3/19/2015; 4/9/2015 - 4/23/2015; 5/14/2015 - 5/28/2015; 9/17/2015 - 10/1/2015; 10/15/2015 - 10/29/2015; 10/22/2015 - 11/5/2015; 11/5/2015 - 11/19/2015; 12/3/2015 - 12/17/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Honduras/Guatemala/Belize
Price starting at: $2,795.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 41; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat    

Delve into the history of a people whose sophistication in art, architecture and science rivaled the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Journeying through the lands that are now Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, gain insight into the contemporary issues of each country and witness the impact of European colonization and the lifestyles and traditions of modern-day descendants of the Mayan people.




Highlights

• Discover the extraordinary Mayan ruins at Copan, Tikal, Cahal Pech, Lamanai and Xunantunich.
• In Honduras, examine traditional chocolate production and visit a local school for insights into the educational system.
• Embrace the old world charm of Antigua, Guatemala at the famous colorful indigenous market of Chichicastenango, filled with textiles, handicrafts and food.



Activity Particulars

Climatic conditions vary from hot and tropical, cool and mountain. Elevations up to 5,125 feet.




Date Specific Information

11-6-2014, 12-4-2014, 1-8-2015, 1-22-2015, 2-5-2015, 2-12-2015, 2-19-2015, 2-26-2015, 3-5-2015, 4-9-2015, 5-14-2015, 9-17-2015, 10-15-2015, 10-22-2015, 11-5-2015, 12-3-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Belize City (Belize), 1 night; coach to San Ignacio, 2 nights; coach to Flores/Tikal (Guatemala), 2 nights; fly/coach to Atitlan, 2 nights; coach to Antigua, 3 nights; coach to Copan (Honduras), 3 nights; coach to San Pedro Sula, 1 night; departure



Flight from U.S.
Arrival Belize City (Belize)
1 night
Coach to San Ignacio
2 nights

Discover the natural healing methods and herbal medicine of the Maya at a modern Mayan community. Learn about traditional farming techniques during a cultural visit to an Amish community. At Cahal Pech, Lamanai and Xunantunich, lectures reveal the uniqueness of each site and the ongoing archaeological work.



Coach to Flores/Tikal (Guatemala)
2 nights

Lectures present an archaeological perspective on Tikal’s history and ceremonial artifacts. Explore the Great Plaza, containing the Temple of the Jaguar and the Temple of the Masks as well as the ball court and infamous sacrificial stone and absorb modern Mayan culture in Flores.



Fly/coach to Atitlan
2 nights

Experience the melding of Maya and Catholic religion and agricultural practices of the modern Maya. Visit the bustling, colorful market of Chichicastenango, the church of Santo Thomas and the lakeside villages of Santa Catarina, San Antonio Palopo and Panajachel.



Coach to Antigua
3 nights

Discussions orient you to Guatemala, Antigua’s history and architecture, Mayan life, textiles, religious practices and the origin and evolution of Mayan music. Visit San Antonio, a weaving cooperative, and Casa Koijom, the museum of indigenous music. A walking excursion introduces Antigua’s old town, colonial churches and a historic home.



Coach to Copan (Honduras)
3 nights
Coach to San Pedro Sula
1 night
Departure

The “Athens” of the Mayan world, experts in Copan illuminate the classical period, through interpretation of Mayan hieroglyphics, stelae, medicine and “sacred” cacao. Explore the Museum of Mayan Culture, Las Sepulturas and the ruins of a Mayan residential area. Learn about traditional chocolate production and visit a local school for insights into the Honduran educational system.




Accommodations
Belize City: Waterfront hotel in historic area. San Ignacio: Small, family-owned hotel. Tikal: Beautiful lakefront hotel. Lake Atitlan: Lakeside hotel. Antigua: Historic hotel. Copan: Hotel on central plaza. San Pedro Sula: Comfortable hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Elizabeth Bell

Elizabeth Bell has several academic degrees and has authored a number of books on Antigua including "Antigua Guatemala: The City and Its Heritage" and "Lent and Holy Week in Antigua." From 1978-1984, she managed Antigua through the National Council for the Protection of Antigua Guatemala and in 2011 the Council awarded her the city's highest honor, the Orden Diego de Porres - Gran Venera. Since 1992, she has worked in cultural tourism, introducing visitors from around the world to the rich history and culture of Antigua.
 
David Sedat

David Sedat was born in Guatemala and has been a field archaeologist in the Maya region for more than 30 years. Since 1989, David has been field director of the Early Copan Archaeological Project at the major Maya center of Copan, Honduras. He lives in Copan, where he directs an experimental botanical garden that applies the ancient perspectives of the Maya past to regenerating the bounty of the landscape beyond the dawning of the next Great Period of the Maya calendar that began in 2012.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Radisson Ft. George
  Belize City, Belize 1 night
   San Ignacio Resort Hotel
  San Ignacio, Belize 2 nights
   Hotel Peten Esplendido
  Tikal, Guatemala 2 nights
   Posada de Don Rodrigo - Atitlan
  Lake Atitlan, Guatemala 2 nights
   Posada de Don Rodrigo - Antigua
  Antigua, Guatemala 3 nights
   Marina Copan
  Copan, Honduras 3 nights
   Gran Hotel Sula
  San Pedro Sula, Honduras 1 night
 Radisson Ft. George
Type: Hotel
  Description: Waterfront hotel located in the historic Ft. George area of Belize City.
  Contact info: 2 Marine Parade
Belize City,  00000 Belize
phone: +5012233333
web: www.radisson.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, cable TV, hair dryer, direct dial telephone, and mini-bar.
  Facility amenities: Pool (2), restaurants, bar, laundry service, afitness center, marina, and conference rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Prices starting at $115. Additional nights are subject to hotel availability.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 San Ignacio Resort Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Small family owned hotel located in San Ignacio town, 9 miles from the Guatemalan border and 72 miles from Belize City.
  Contact info: No Information.
San Ignacio,  00000 Belize
phone: +5018242034
web: www.sanignaciobelize.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, ceiling fans, cable TV, and telephone.
  Facility amenities: Pool, tennis court, restaurant, bar, conference facility, and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Hotel Peten Esplendido
Type: Hotel
  Description: Attractive lakefront property located 45 minutes away from the Tikal National Park.
  Contact info: 1 calle, 5-01, Zona 1
Santa Elena Flores,  00000 Guatemala
phone: +5029260880
web: www.petenesplendido.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, ceiling fan, cable TV, direct dial telephone, and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Laundry services, pool, conference room, and restaurant.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Posada de Don Rodrigo - Atitlan
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel built along the shores of Lake Atitlan.
  Contact info: Final Calle Santander
Atitlan,  00000 Guatemala
phone: +5027622326
web: posadadedonrodrigo.com/
  Room amenities: Fireplace.
  Facility amenities: Pool, restaurant, and bar.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Posada de Don Rodrigo - Antigua
Type: Hotel
  Description: Historic hotel located a few blocks from the town's main square. Inner courtyards, tiled roofs, fountains and antique furnishings give guests the feeling of having stepped back in time.
  Contact info: 5ta Avenida Norte No. 17
Antigua,  000000 Guatemala
phone: +5028320291
web: posadadedonrodrigo.com/
  Room amenities: Fireplaces and antique furniture.
  Facility amenities: Conference rooms, restaurant, and bar.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Marina Copan
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: Overlooking Central Plaza
Copan Ruinas,  00000 Honduras
phone: +5046514070
web: www.hotelmarinacopan.com
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, ceiling fans, cable TV, and phone.
  Facility amenities: Pool, restaurants, bar, laundry services, gift shop, and meeting rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Gran Hotel Sula
Type: Hotel
  Description: Comfortable hotel located next to San Pedro's central park.
  Contact info: 3-4 Ave in front of Central Park
San Pedro Sula,  00000 Honduras
phone: +5045529999
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, coffee maker, telephone, and cable TV.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, lounge, coffee shop, bar, newspaper delivery, business center, fitness center, pool, laundry services, and meeting/banquet facilities.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Double rooms starting at $96. Additional hotel nights subject to hotel availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Radisson Ft. George that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from the Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedo Sula, Honduras. Hotel check-out by 11 a.m. You will be staying at Gran Hotel Sula the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. U.S. and Canadian citizens need valid passports (valid for at least 6 months after the date of entry into Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. For more information, please contact the nearest consulate/s.
  Parking availability:
NA
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Belize City
  Nearest airport:  Belize City has both an international airport & a domestic airport.
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available for hire outside the arrivals hall of the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport. If you choose to hire a taxi to the hotel, please agree on the price beforehand since the taxis do not have meters. Authorized taxis can be identified by their green license plates.
  From End of Program
  Location:  San Pedro Sula
  Nearest airport:  San Pedro Sula International Airport
  Transportation from site: Taxi services can be hired at the hotel. If you wish to use this service, please ask for assistance at the hotel's front desk.
Elevation Note: Elevations of up to 6,500 ft.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrive to Belize City
(Thursday, November 1)
   
 Arrive To: Arrive at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport in Belize City, Belize.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the exit door with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
 Evening: Orientation to the program.
   
Accommodations: Radisson Ft. George
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: San Ignacio -
Belize Zoo & Mayan Community

(Friday, November 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to San Ignacio.
En-route excursion to the Belize Zoo.

"The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center was started in 1983, as a last ditch effort to provide a home for a collection of wild animals which had been used in making documentary films about tropical forests. Shortly after the "zoo" began, it was realized that Belizean visitors were unfamiliar with the different species of wildlife which shared their country. This fomented the commitment to develop the zoo into a dynamic wildlife education center. Today, The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center is settled upon 29 acres of tropical savanna and exhibits over 125 animals all native to Belize. The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center believes that by bringing the people of Belize closer to the animals which are their natural heritage, they will feel proud of these special resources, and want to protect them for future generations."

 Lunch: Lunch at hotel.
 Afternoon: Field trip to a Mayan community.
Site Lecture: Natural Healing with Maya Herbal Medicine.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: San Ignacio Resort Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: San Ignacio -
Cahal Pech Ruins/San Ignacio City Orientation/Iguana Farm/Amish Community Visit

(Saturday, November 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: This morning visit the Maya site of Cahal Pech (approximately 20 mins from the hotel). Site lecture: Uncovering the Oldest Mayan Site in Belize.

Cahal Pech is a Maya ceremonial center situated near the Belizean town of San Ignacio, in the Cayo District. Its location on the top of a steep hill makes for great views of the Maya Mountains and the Belize River valleys. The complex contains 34 structures including ball courts, stelae, temples, and palaces. Archaeological findings point to Cahal Pech as being one of the earliest Maya settlements in the country—thriving through the Classic Maya Period and possibly beyond. Human bones and corn, cacao, and anato seeds were found at nearby caves, strong indicators that the site may have been used for ritual sacrifices and food offerings to Maya deities.

After exploring Cahal Pech, enjoy a city orientation of the town of San Ignacio, followed by a visit to an Iguana farm.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon the group will have a cultural visit to an Amish community to learn about traditional Belizean farming techniques and sample some of the locally baked bread.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: San Ignacio Resort Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Tikal (Flores) -
Xunantunich Archaeological Site.

(Sunday, November 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Xunantunich archaeological site.

Xunantunich means "Stone Woman" in the Maya language is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The "Stone Woman" refers to the ghost of a woman, whom several say currently inhabits the site. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of El Castillo; ascends the stone stairs and disappears into a stone wall.

The core of Xunantunich occupies about one square mile (2.6 km²), consisting of a series of six plazas surrounded by more than 26 temples and palaces. One of its structures, the pyramid known as "El Castillo," the second tallest structure in Belize (after the temple at Caracol).

Transfer to the border of Belize and Guatemala.
Continue to Flores (Tikal).
Check into the hotel
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel.
 Afternoon: Boat ride with an orientation to the town of Flores.
Lecture: Tikal - Where Only Legend Survives.
Time at leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Peten Esplendido
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Tikal -
National Park & Archaeological Site,
UNESCO World Heritage Site.

(Monday, November 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Tikal National Park archaeological site.

One of the largest of the classic Mayan cities, Tikal had no water other than what was collected from rainwater and stored in underground storage facilities. The absence of springs, rivers, and lakes in the immediate vicinity of Tikal highlights a remarkable feat: building a major city with only supplies of stored seasonal rainfall. The reliance on seasonal rainfall left Tikal vulnerable to prolonged drought, which is now thought to play a major role in the Mayan collapse.

There are thousands of ancient structures at Tikal and only a fraction of these have been excavated after decades of archaeological work. The most prominent buildings include six very large Mesoamerican step pyramids. Some of these pyramids are over 200 feet tall.
Site lecture: Tikal - One of the Most Powerful Cities in the Ancient Mayan World.
 Lunch: Lunch at the site.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Tikal Museum.

The Tikal Museum (Museo Sylvanus G. Morley) is a small museum is filled with exquisite ceramics and artifacts excavated from Tikal. Exhibits include the three long-nosed pale turquoise rain gods, the little figure of the "Old God" from the tomb of "First Crocodile," holding a human head in his hands, an incense burner (the Maya god is wearing an owl headdress), a platter decorated with a flapping fish, a little jade sleeping jaguar.

Transfer back to Flores.
Time at leisure to enjoy the hotel and surrounding area.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Peten Esplendido
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fly and Drive to Lake Atitlan -
Natural Beauty & Colorful Mayan Villages.

(Tuesday, November 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flight to Guatemala City.
Arrive to Guatemala City.
Ground transfer to Panajachel (Lake Atitlan).
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Arrive to hotel.
Excursion to the town of San Antonio.

Lecture: Lake Atitlan: One of the Most Beautiful and Mystical Lakes in the World.

Lake Atitlan is a large endorheic (internal drainage) lake recognized as the deepest lake in Central America. Estimates of its maximum depth range up to 1115 feet. The lake is shaped by deep escarpments which surround it and by three volcanoes on its southern edge. The lake is volcanic in origin, filling an enormous caldera formed in an eruption 84,000 years ago. It is renowned as one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The lake basin supports extensive coffee growth and a variety of farm crops, most notably corn. The lake itself is rich in animal life which provides a significant food source for the largely indigenous population.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo - Atitlan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lake Atitlan -
Culture & Customs of Surrounding Communities

(Wednesday, November 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Boat transfer to the village of Santiago La Laguna for a visit with the notorious Maximón.

Maximón is a “saint” worshipped in various forms by the Mayan people of several towns in the highlands of western Guatemala. His origins are not well known though he is believed to be a form of the pre-Colombian Maya god Mam, blended with influences from Catholicism.

Maximón is represented by an effigy which resides in a different house each year. Devotees visit offering money, spirits and cigars or cigarettes to gain his favor in exchange for good health, good crops, and marriage counseling etc. His expensive tastes in alcohol and cigarettes indicate that he is a very human character, very different from the ascetic ideals of Christian sainthood.

Site Lecture: Paying Tribute to Maximon, a Mayan "Saint".
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Boat transfer from Santiago La Laguna to Santa Catarina.
Transfer from Santa Catarina back to Panajachel.
Orientation to the town of Panajachel.
Time at leisure to explore the town.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo - Atitlan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Antigua -
Chichicastenango Market.

(Thursday, November 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Begin transfer to Antigua.
Excursion to the famous Chichicastenango Market.

"Chichi," as it is locally known, is the site of a colorful, indigenous market. Mayans from miles around come to “Chichi"on Thursdays and Sundays to bring their products and produce to the market. It is here that the locals exchange gossip and information.

 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to church of Santo Tomas to see how the Mayan religion has blended with Christianity.
Site lecture: The Religious Rituals of the People of Guatemala.
Arrive to Antigua.

Still about the same size as in colonial times, Antigua's cobble-stone streets and colonial architecture depict more than 50 monumental buildings including convents, monasteries, churches and chapels around the main square. With the blending of the old with the new, Congress passed a Protective Law for the protection of historical buildings and areas that gives much of the city its colonial character. Cultural activities including art galleries, performing arts, popular arts, films and forums abound in Antigua.

Lecture: Behind the Walls of Antigua.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo - Antigua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Exploration of Antigua -
Cobblestone Streets & Colonial Architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage City.

(Friday, November 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Traditional Maya Textiles.
Excursion to San Antonio Aguas Calientes Textile Cooperative to see weavers and textiles.
Return to hotel.
Lecture: Overview of Guatemala.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel.
 Afternoon: Walking orientation to Antigua, including Jade Museum which was features in the National Geographic September 1987 issue and Discovery Channel special.

Return to hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo - Antigua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Antigua -
Culture, Traditions & Customs.

(Saturday, November 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Casa K’ojom Music Museum.

Casa K’ojom is a private, educational, non-profit research center and museum, dedicated to research, preservation, and dissemination of traditional music of the Mayan communities of Guatemala. Since 1984, founder and current Director Samuel Franco A. has carried out extensive field work, through several expeditions to different Maya areas during their local Patron Saint celebrations and other rituals, recording their music and photographing their contemporary ceremonies. The museum houses an important audiovisual archive including sound recordings, photographs and video footage.

Site lecture: The Evolution of Mayan Music.
Return to hotel.
Lecture: Mayan Agriculture.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore Antigua.
Lecture: Maya Spirituality (with a reenactment of a religious ceremony).

Religious ceremonies were a large part of the Mayan culture. Their calendars provided them with many occasions to have ceremonies, feasts, and banquets. Ceremonies usually had lavish decoration, beautiful costumes, storytellers, actors, clowns, and musicians. Religious ceremonies usually started after a period of fasting. The ceremony it self usually started with purification rites followed by prayers, chanting, and ritual dancing. All ceremonies involved the burning of incense.

 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Posada de Don Rodrigo - Antigua
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Copan -
UNESCO World Heritage Site

(Sunday, November 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to Copan.
 Lunch: Lunch en-route at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Arrive to Copan and check-in at hotel.

Copan is a small town with a population under 5000. Set in a fertile valley, it has remained virtually unchanged since the days when explorer John Lloyd Stephens first arrived in 1839. The quaint cobblestone streets and tile roofs are characteristic of colonial times. The town is quiet and a perfect place to relax.

Time at leisure explore the town.
Lecture by an expert archaeologist David Sedat: Discovering Copan.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel.
   
Accommodations: Marina Copan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Copan -
Copan Ruins & Sculpture Museum

(Monday, November 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to Copan archaeological site.

The splendors of Copan are represented by its beautiful carvings, inscriptions, and paintings. The Great Plaza, the ball court, several lesser courts, and amphitheater that lie near the base of the Hieroglyphic Stairway are symbolic of the boundaries between the actual and supernatural worlds as games were metaphors for the struggle between good and evil. The Stairway, which has 63 steps is inscribed with a partial history of Copan and is the longest extant Mayan inscription. Unfortunately, repairs have allowed only small portions of the most spectacular hieroglyphics in Central America to be interpreted. It features lifelike displays of Mayan temples and sculptures, Mayan stelae, and hieroglyphics.

Site lecture: Life in Ancient Copan.
 Lunch: Lunch at the site.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Copan Sculpture Museum.

The Sculpture Museum insures the safekeeping of Mayan Monuments and unveils reconstructed façades with bold, sculptural messages from buildings throughout the ancient city of Copan.

Return to the hotel.
Lecture: Mayan Medicine.
 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Marina Copan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Copan -
Orientation to Copan
Sacred Cacao.

(Tuesday, November 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to a local school (if in session).
Lecture: The Educational System of Honduras.
Excursion to the town museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Time at leisure to explore the town of Copan.
Visit to the home of a local archaeologist for a demonstration on transforming cacao into chocolate.

Lecture: History of Cacao – The Sacred Mayan Beverage.

Before chocolate was a sweet candy, it was a spicy beverage. Some of the earliest known chocolate drinkers were the ancient Maya of Central America. The Maya mixed chocolate with cornmeal, chile peppers, honey, and water. They poured this concoction from cup to bowl and back again until a nice, thick layer of foam formed on top. Maya priests presented a chocolate drink at sacred altars during special religious ceremonies. They also made offerings of cacao seeds to the gods.

 Dinner: Barbeque dinner accompanied by marimba music.
   
Accommodations: Marina Copan
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: San Pedro Sula -
Sepulturas Site & Local Market

(Wednesday, November 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Field trip to the Las Sepulturas site.
Las Sepulturas is a small archaelogical site, less than 2 km from the main Copán site. This is where the Copán aristocracy lived.

Site lecture: Sepulturas - The Story in the Stellae.
Transfer to San Pedro Sula.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Excursion to the San Pedro Sula Museum which features an outstanding display of the early history of Honduras and the city.

Visit to Guamilito Market featuring Honduran artisans, crafts and produce from around the country.

Guamilito Market is the best place in Honduras to purchase everything from rum, coffee and vanilla, to handicrafts. The first rule at Guamilito is to barter any price that is given to you. Handicrafts include handmade wood carvings, as well as the woven baskets and panama hats from Santa Barbara. These items have colorful patterns and are a real bargain.

Site lecture: San Pedro Sula.
Time at leisure.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Gran Hotel Sula
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Depart from San Pedro Sula.
Arrive to the USA.

(Thursday, November 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel (depending on flight time).
 Morning: Transfer to the Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport in San Pedo Sula for your flight home.

Note: Participants with independent travel arrangements and/or scheduled on later flights can keep their hotel rooms until check-out time on this day. Except for breakfast, all other meals are on your own on this day.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Time Among the Maya, Travels in Belize, Guatemala, & Mexico


Author: Ronald Wright


Secrets in Stone: All About Maya Hieroglyphs


Author: Laurie Coulter


Popol Vuh: A Sacred Book of the Maya


Author: Victor Montejo


Moon Handbooks - Belize


Author: Joshua Berman


Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish


Author: Joseph Keenan


Description: Idioms, common mistakes in word usage, and other helpful advice on tackling spoken Spanish. You'll need some foundation to take full advantage of this book – but even a complete novice will appreciate the author's playful sense of humor.



Central America Map


Author: ITMB


Description: A detailed map of the Central American isthmus at a scale of 1:1,100,000.



Forgotten Continent, The Battle for Latin America's Soul


Author: Michael Reid


Description: Economist editor Reid draws on his years in the cities, presidential palaces and shantytowns of Central and South America in this portrait of a region rich in oil, farmland and culture and its prospects in the face of globalization.



Guatemala and Belize: The Rough Guide


Author: Rough Guides


Description: This comprehensive guide to Guatemala and Belize, includes in-depth accounts of towns and villages, with background on history, culture, and archaeology.



Lost Cities of the Maya


Author: Claude Baudez, Sydney Picasso


Description: This lavish little pocket encyclopedia of archaeological discovery features hundreds of color photographs and illustrations, including Catherwood's original engravings.



Maya Art and Architecture


Author: Mary Ellen Miller


Description: An illustrated overview of the art and architecture of the Maya, making use of the latest discoveries at Tikal, Copan and Palenque to demonstrate the range of Maya artistic influence. With 200 illustrations, 50 in color, including site plans, maps, strikingly rendered reconstructions and color photographs of key temples and buildings.



Moon Handbook Honduras


Author: Moon Handbooks


Description: A comprehensive guide to Honduras, its history, culture and attractions.



Scribes, Warriors and Kings: The City of Copán and the Ancient Maya.


Author: William L. Fash


Description: Recent breakthroughs by Fash and other experts show how decipherment of the Maya inscriptions has unlocked the secrets of Copán’s history. Fash describes the city’s rise to statehood, its triumphs and its demise in the ninth century.



Tropical Nature


Author: Adrian Forsyth, Ken Miyata


Description: A lively, lucid portrait of the tropics as seen by two uncommonly observant and thoughtful field biologists. Its 17 marvelous essays introduce the habitats, ecology, plants and animals of the Central and South American rainforest





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768