Central America highlights holiday, culture & nature
A glorious, well paced introduction to Central America and its diverse highlights, from colonial cities to ancient Mayan sites and local markets, with comfy accommodation throughout.
Nicaragua: Granada Las Isletas Masaya National Park & volcano León Pacific coastline León Viejo El Salvador: Suchitoto Lago Suchitlán Guatemala: Antigua Mayan town of Joya de Ceren Chichicastenango market Lake Atitlán motor launch across the lake to Santiago de Atitlán Flores Mayan ruins of Tikal Belize rainforest lodge Optional: ruins of Copán, Honduras
Description of Central America highlights holiday, culture & nature
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Small group tour, ideal for solos & couples:
This trip is run by a company which specialises in only Central and South America holidays. Typically you will be sharing your experiences with between 4-20 like minded travellers (depending on the trip and how many others are booked on it) and you'll have a group leader with you. Whether you are travelling alone, with your partner or with friends its good value, and a great way to meet new people! While itineraries are pre-planned there is some flexibility and you'll have plenty of privacy. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as seeing new places, whilst being led by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader.
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThis of- the-beaten- track holiday visits El Salvador: a destination only recently emerging from a recent history of political upheavals. Here the modestly developing economy is targeting tourism as a potentially important money-earner. Here we hope to encourage the local entrepreneurs to adopt a sustainable approach by patronising enterprises which demonstrate a responsible attitude.
The properties we use in Atitlan and Flores are owned by Villas Guatemala. Their sustainability policy states that they “are a company with a sustainable approach, focused and committed to the conservation of the environment and socially responsible, supporting and promoting the development of local communities and culture.”
Chaa Creek Hotel, where you stay in Belize has a comprehensive history of eco-friendliness ever since they started up as a small farm producing their own vegetables and having the odd traveller to stay, while using a canoe as their only means of transport. It now is a well known luxury hotel and eco-camp in the tropical highlands of Belize which seeks to minimise impact on the natural environment, travel on durable and natural surfaces, have effective waste disposal and educate guests on what they can do to help in these respects.
This of- the-beaten- track holiday visits El Salvador: a destination only recently emerging from a recent history of political upheavals. Here the modestly developing economy is targeting tourism as a potentially important money-earner. Here we hope to encourage the local entrepreneurs to adopt a sustainable approach by patronising enterprises which demonstrate a responsible attitude.
Local guides also instruct traveller while on the move the most sustainable way to travel for the environment and the wildlife you'll encounter.
Our partner company Nicaragua belongs to a partnership with a Wisconsin / Nicaragua organisation which supports a number of projects all over the country. When you are there, they encourage you to visit one or more of these not for profit projects to learn more about the development of the country and programmes such as this. An excursion offered to those staying in Antigua ,Guatemala, is to take part in a workshop offered through the NGO De La Gente based in small towns in the surrounding region. This can be anything from weaving a traditional bag, to making your own cosmetic creams to learning how to cook the traditional dish of the region. It has proved very popular and all proceed go to the workshop organisers’ organisation directly. It is also supported by the LATA Foundation, of which JLA is a Gold Member.
PeopleThis multi-country holiday takes you off the beaten track to visit out-of-the-way communities and landscapes where you can engage with local people and observe their way of life, such as the villages around Lake Atitlán where you can buy textiles from women’s co-operatives.
Our aim is to familiarise you intimately with a rich indigenous culture, introducing you to local markets bursting with produce and crafts, such as Masaya in Nicaragua and Chichicastenango in Guatemala. Our excursions to pre-Columbian and Spanish archaeological sites are designed to help you appreciate the value of this heritage and the need to conserve it; our local guides are recruited for their comprehensive knowledge.
On the tour of Lake Atitlan we visit various local villages offering the chance for passengers to interact with the local communities and buy textiles from the women’s cooperatives in each village. We also eat and drink in the local community restaurants. Chaa Creek runs a Belizean children’s scholarship programme, assist and support with social health care for their staff and their families, support local law enforcement, support Belizean tourism.
Several of the hotels we use on this holiday, including Villas Guatemala and Chaa Creek have publically stated aims to help the community, the latter for example having schemes in place for aiding social welfare - "The health of the people of our surrounding towns and villages is of key importance to Chaa Creek. It is essential to us that all Belizeans have the benefits of good health care. Over the years we have financially assisted and supported many of our staff members and their families as well as other members of the local communities when medical emergencies arise. We have secured specialized international medical treatment, facilitated medical evacuations and provided health care equipment and medicines in their time of need." Chaa Creek runs a Belizean children’s scholarship programme, assists and supports with social health care for their staff and their families, supports local law enforcement and supports Belizean tourism.