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Islands, Reefs, Rainforests & Ancient Sites of Central America’s Caribbean Coast

Program Number: 20807RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/14/2014 - 2/22/2014;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Honduras/Guatemala/Belize
Price starting at: $4,245.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 23; 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Experience wonders forged by nature and built by ancient civilizations on this voyage from tiny islands and a huge reef to jungle rivers and hidden cities. Watch howler monkeys at play and colorful birds in flight, snorkel in crystal-clear waters and learn about the Mayan civilization as you stand among its ruins and more.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; uneven terrain and irregular stairs at some sites.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

San Pedro Sula (Honduras) 1 night; aboard Yorktown, 7 nights.



Days 1-2: Arrival San Pedro Sula (Honduras):

Visit the San Pedro Sula Museum, featuring an outstanding display of the early history of Honduras and the city. Learn about the work of traditional Honduran artisans during a stop at the Guamilito Market.



Day 3: Punta Gorda, Belize/Lubaantun/Snake Cayes:

Take an excursion to the Maya site of Lubaantun. Return to Punta Gorda late morning and set sail for Snake Cayes for an afternoon of swimming and snorkeling.



Day 4: La Ceiba / Pico Bonito National Park (Honduras:

Pico Bonito National Park is Honduras' largest, and arguably its most beautiful, national park with over 100,000 hectares of virgin rainforest and cloud forest.



Day 5: Roatan:

Explorations of the island include visits to the Institute for Marine Sciences, the Carambola Botanical Gardens, and the Roatan Museum as well as swimming and snorkeling activites at West Bay.



Day 6: Trujillo:

Trujillo is more than just a beach city and retreat for vacationing Honduran families. Its rich history includes a visit from Christopher Columbus during his final voyage in 1502. Explore Trujillo's architecture before a visit to the wildlife rehabilitation center at Campo del Mar Nature Park.



Day 7: Cayos Cochinos Reserve and Marine Park:

The perfect white-sand beaches, lush tropical vegetation, and coral reefs are a little-known piece of paradise situated less than 20 miles off the northeastern coast of Honduras. Enjoy swimming and snorkeling.



Day 8: Santo Tomas de Castilla (Guatemala):

Drive to the nearby Mayan ruins at Quirigua, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quirigua is famed for its intricately carved stelae sandstone columns, some of which are over 30 feet tall.



Day 9: Puerto Cortes (Honduras) / Disembark:

Disembark at Puerto Cortes. Transfer to the international airport in San Pedro Sula in order to check-in for the return flights to the U.S.



Yorktown

Built and registered in America and staffed by American officers and crew, the Yorktown is the perfect vessel for exploring America’s great coastal waterways. With a draft of only nine feet, it can sail where larger vessels cannot go, and its American registry allows it to operate domestic itineraries unavailable to foreign-flag ships. Passengers enjoy an informal onboard atmosphere and tend to spend much of their time underway enjoying lectures and concerts in the lounge or reading and relaxing on the sun deck.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel y Suites Copantl
  San Pedro Sula, Honduras 1 night
   Yorktown
  At Sea, Honduras 7 nights
 Hotel y Suites Copantl
Type: Hotel
  Description: Modern, resort-style hotel located in northern San Pedro Sula. The property can accommodate up to 300 guests.
  Contact info: North of San Pedro Sula Airport
San Pedro Sula,   Honduras
phone: +504-25618900
web: www.copantl.com
  Room amenities: All air conditioned rooms have private bathroom, Internet access, cable TV, telephones, safety deposit box, coffee maker, and minibar.
  Facility amenities: Convention center/banquet halls, two restaurants, a bar, fitness center, 6 tennis courts, Spa, swimming pool, laundry service, and business center. Complimentary Wi-Fi in hotel common areas.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Room type and rates are subject to hotel availability. Please contact the program provider, Holbrook Travel, at 1-800-866-7111 or roadscholarprograms@holbrooktravel.com for assistance in booking additional nights.

 Yorktown
Type: Cruise Ship
  Ship Information: At 257 feet long, 43 feet wide, with a draft of eight feet, the Yorktown is able to maneuver in secluded waterways and visit small ports that are inaccessible to larger vessels.
  Contact info: 132 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021 USA
phone: 186-645-9885 x3
web: www.traveldynamicsinternational.com
  Room amenities: All cabins have air-conditioning and small, private bathrooms with continental-style showers.
  Facility amenities: Returning from excursions, guests enjoy complimentary refreshments, afternoon tea and all-day coffee in The Lounge, a gracious space for relaxation, surrounded by panoramic windows. Before or after dinner, cocktails are served to live music performed by the ship’s pianist. Other Yorktown features include: •Internet access (additional cost)* •Window-lined lounge with panoramic views •Dining room surrounded by windows •Swimming platform For your convenience a shipboard account is opened upon embarkation. Shipboard expenses are charged to this account, which is payable at the end of the cruise. Your account may be settled with American Express, MasterCard, or VISA, or in cash, with U.S. Dollars. Please note that the purser may not always be able to make change for travelers’ checks and cash in large denominations and would appreciate the use of smaller denominations for settlement of your shipboard account. Personal checks are not accepted as a form of payment The U.S. Dollar is the standard currency aboard ship. There is no currency exchange facility on board, but there will be opportunities to change money ashore. *Note: Before purchasing onboard internet service, please note that the andwidth is relatively narrow and speed is correspondingly slow. Participants will be able to send and receive email messages and check your email accounts without difficulty. However, it is not suitable for ‘surfing’ the web, downloading files of any significant size, or attempting to stream audio or video.
  Smoking allowed: No


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals at San Pedro Sula's international airport. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Hotel y Suites Copantl that night.
  End of Program:
Disembarkation and transfer to San Pedro Sula. Departures from San Pedro Sula's international airport. You will be staying at Yorktown the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Pedro Sula
  Nearest airport:  San Pedro Sula International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxi services are available for hire outside the arrivals hall of San Pedro Sula's international airport.
  From End of Program
  Location:  At Sea
  Transportation from site: At the conclusion of the Road Scholar cruise, participants will be transferred to the international airport in San Pedro Sula to connect with return flights to the U.S.
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: Arrivals in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
(Friday, February 14)
   
 Arrive To: Arrivals in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

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 flights).

Transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Before dinner, enjoy a program orientation at the hotel.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel y Suites Copantl
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Exploring San Pedro Sula/Transfer to Puerto Cortes/Embarkation on the Yorktown.
(Saturday, February 15)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy a traditional breakfast at a local restaurant.
 Morning: After breakfast, pay a visit to the San Pedro Sula Museum which features an outstanding display of the early history of Honduras and the city.

Learn about the work of traditional Honduran artisans during a stop at the Guamilito Market.

Guamilito Market is the best place in Honduras to purchase everything from rum, coffee and vanilla, to handicrafts. Handicrafts include handmade wood carvings, as well as colorful woven baskets, textiles, and panama hats from Santa Barbara.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to Puerto Cortes and embark on the ship.

Attend a welcome briefing and safety drill.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner on board the ship.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Roatan Island, Bay Islands/Institute for Marine Sciences/Roatan Museum/Carambola Botanical Gardens/Swimming and Snorkeling at West Bay.
(Sunday, February 16)

Note: Snorkel and fins will be provided, but snorkeling enthusiasts often bring their own gear to ensure a good fit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board ship.
 Morning: Disembark at Roatan.

Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands belonging to Honduras. Once favored by pirates then controlled by the British, the island is now a preferred destination for divers and romantics. It has a mountainous backbone, is surrounded by coral reef, and boasts some of the best snorkeling and diving in the hemisphere.

Explorations of the island include visits to the Institute for Marine Sciences, the Carambola Botanical Gardens, and the Roatan Museum.

The Roatan Institute for Marine Science is dedicated to preserving Roatan's natural environments through education and research. Its facility is visited year-round by colleges, universities and high schools from abroad to study tropical marine ecosystems and the bottlenose dolphins housed by the institute.

Roatan's Carambola Botanical Gardens contain one of the world's largest collections of Asian fruit plants as well as an impressive selection of flowering plants, ferns, hardwoods, palms, and more. A system of trails allows visitors to view plants up close and catch glimpses of local wildlife including iguanas, Guatusa rabbits, and a number of tropical bird species.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon of swimming and snorkeling activities at West Bay.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Trujillo, Honduras/Santa Barbara Fortress/Campo del Mar Nature Park and Capiro-Calentura National Park/Swimming and Snorkeling
(Monday, February 17)

Note: Snorkel and fins will be provided, but snorkeling enthusiasts often bring their own gear to ensure a good fit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore Trujillo's colonial buildings including the 17th century Santa Barbara Fortress.

Trujillo is more than just a beach city and retreat for vacationing Honduran families. Its rich history includes a visit from Christopher Columbus during his final voyage in 1502 and the final standoff between William Walker and British forces that resulted in his capture and execution. Under colonial Spanish rule Trujillo became a valuable port and administrative center, frequently attacked by pirates and foreign forces.

The moss-covered stone walls, small buildings, and weather-worn iron canons of Trujillo’s Santa Barbara Fortress serve as a reminder of the city’s turbulent colonial past. Once built to protect Trujillo Bay and the surrounding city from marauding invaders, Santa Barbara now serves as a historic monument and museum which includes a small display of naval artifacts and colonial items.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Visit the wildlife rehabilitation center at Campo del Mar Nature Park and enjoy swimming and snorkeling along the park's beautiful white-sand beach.

There will be opportunities for the more adventurous to explore the Guayamoreto Lagoon and its canopy walkway as well as the Capiro-Calentura National Park to view local wildlife and flora.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cayos Cochinos Reserve and Marine Park.
(Tuesday, February 18)

Note: Snorkel and fins will be provided, but snorkeling enthusiasts often bring their own gear to ensure a good fit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore the islets and protected waters of Cayos Cochinos.

The two main islands and 13 smaller coral cays that makeup the Cayos Cochinos Archipelago are part of a marine reserve established in the mid 1990s. The perfect white-sand beaches, lush tropical vegetation, and coral reefs are a little-known piece of paradise situated less than 20 miles off the northeastern coast of Honduras.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Take advantage of the ideal local water conditions to swim and snorkel.

Return to the ship in the late afternoon and set sail.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Tela, Honduras/Pico Bonito National Park
(Wednesday, February 19)

Note: Participants should wear good walking shoes or sneakers in preparation for walks on forest trails. Sun screen and insect repellent are also highly recommended.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After breakfast, disembark at Tela and transfer to Pico Bonito National Park.

Pico Bonito National Park is Honduras' largest, and arguably its most beautiful, national park with over 100,000 hectares of virgin rainforest and cloud forest. Seven different eco-systems exist within its borders. The Park is home to over 275 species of birds as well as jaguars, tapirs, deer, puma, white-faced monkeys, and spider monkeys.

Options include: Full day at Pico Bonito, full day Cuero Y Saldo Wildlife Refuge, full day whitewater rafting on Cangrejal River, half day kayaking at Punta Izopo National Park (morning), half day at Lancetilla Botanical Gardens (afternoon)
 Lunch: Lunch en route.
 Afternoon: Continue with ship's activities.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Captain's Farewell Reception and Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Punta Gorda, Belize/Lubaantun/Snake Cayes.
(Thursday, February 20)

Note: Snorkel and fins will be provided, but snorkeling enthusiasts often bring their own gear to ensure a good fit.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board the ship.
 Morning: Facing the tranquil waters of the Bahia de Amatique, the small port town of Punta Gorda was founded by the Garifuna, who emigrated here around 1830.

Take an excursion to the Maya site of Lubaantun. Located on a high ridge, Lubaantun was a major Maya center that flourished around 700 A.D. The site includes five plazas flanked by buildings and ball courts.

Return to Punta Gorda late morning to re-board Yorktown and set sail for Snake Cayes.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Arrive at Snake Cayes and enjoy an afternoon of swimming and snorkeling activities.

Return to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy ship's evening entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala/Quirigua/Cruising to Puerto Cortes.
(Friday, February 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Guatemala’s port town of Santo Tomas de Castilla is our gateway to Quiriguá. Drive to the nearby Mayan ruins at Quirigua, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quirigua is famed for its intricately carved stelae sandstone columns, some of which are over 30 feet tall. Completed in the 8th century a.d., the carvings depict the deeds of local rulers, mythical figures, and animals, and contain Maya glyphs.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a leisurely afternoon cruising along the coast of Guatemala and Honduras. Once back at Puerto Cortes we will drop anchor and spend the night docked in port.
 Dinner: Captain's Farewell Reception and Dinner.
   
Accommodations: Yorktown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Disembark at Puerto Cortes, Honduras/Departure Flights to the U.S.
(Saturday, February 22)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Disembark at Puerto Cortes. Transfer to the international airport in San Pedro Sula in order to check-in for the return flights to the U.S.
   
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


Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide


Author: Louise H. Emmons & François Feer


Description: This beautifully illustrated field guide contains all you need to know about rainforest mammals in Central and South America. It has color plates, range maps and detailed descriptions of each animal, including information about their biology, behavior and natural habitats.



A Brief History of Central America


Author: Hector Perez-Brignoll


Description: A good overview of the region’s economic, political and social history through the 1980s by a professor at the University of Costa Rica. Well-written, informative and concise.



A Neotropical Companion


Author: J.C. Kricher, Mark Plotkin


Description: From plants and animals to birds and bugs, it's all here in this wonderfully written overview of the ecology, habitats, plants and animals of Central and South America.



Birds of Mexico & Central America, Princeton Illustrated Checklists


Author: Ber Van Perlo


Description: An admirably compact, comprehensive guide featuring color plates.



Fishwatcher's Field Guide Caribbean


Author: Idaz Greenberg


Description: A convenient double-sided plastic card showing 75 reef fish of the Caribbean.



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.



Lonely Plant Honduras & the Bay Islands


Author: Lonely Planet Publications


Description: An informative overview of Honduras and the Bay Islands from the popular Lonely Planet series.



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.





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