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Central American Odyssey With Holy Week

  • Overview
  • Accommodation
  • Itinerary
  • Fares

A journey overview

  • Cartagena
  • Panama City
  • Arenal
  • La Fortuna
  • Granada
  • Copan
  • Lake Atitlan
  • Antigua

18 Days Explorations
  • Departing:
  • 18 Mar 2021

Timed to coincide with Semana Santa (Holy Week), our observance of Antigua’s evocative Easter commemorations is preceded by immersions into Panamanian ruins and ancient Mayan sites. Explore lush rainforests and coastal islands prior to unearthing the mysteries of the past with a renowned archaeologist on this unique journey for just 24 Captain’s Choice guests.

Latin America 2020- 2021 Map

Our discovery of Cartagena takes in the historic El Centro neighbourhood, the Inquisition Palace and Las Bóvedas. Choose to explore further by tasting your way around the Walled City and attending a ceviche-making demonstration. Alternatively, find the city's best angles while accompanying a photographer around its colourful streets. A late afternoon sail boat ride around Cartagena Bay is also on offer.

Visit the Miraflores Locks to see transiting vessels from just a few metres away. You may prefer to visit Panama Viejo, the ruins of the original Panama City. A short drive then brings us to Gamboa for our cruise of the Panama Canal. At the Pedro Miguel Locks, our vessel is lowered a full ten metres, before we continue on to the Miraflores Locks, for two further descents. Our voyage then concludes at Fuerte Amador.

A flight delivers us to San Jose, from where we make our way to Arenal and the Tabacón Thermal Resort and Spa. We then find ourselves suspended across a vast stretch of lush rainforest, courtesy of the Arenal Hanging Bridges. At the conclusion of our forest passage, we descend a succession of steps to arrive at a breathtaking waterfall. Later on, admire the expansive savannah of Arenal Volcano National Park or relax in our hotel's hot springs.

Having crossed into Nicaragua, the façade of San Francisco Convent greets us, before the bell tower at La Merced church offers views of Lake Nicaragua. The coffee plantation of Café Las Flores satisfies the senses, while a rum tasting at one of Granada's renowned cocktail lounges is also on the cards. Round out the Nicaraguan leg of our journey on the private island of Reith Lake, savouring dinner accompanied by music and traditional dance.

From San Pedro Sula airport, we take the road to Copan, home to one of the Mayan world's most exquisite archaeological sites. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Copan with renowned archaeologist David Sedat, before joining David at his home for cocktails and a presentation on the fascinating royal tombs he helped to excavate. Over dinner, David answers our many questions.

At the archaeological site of Iximche, we are treated to a Mayan ceremony. Arriving at Lake Atitlán, we find our hotel bestows wonderful lake views upon us. A cruise to the village of Santiago Atitlán then sees us visit with the revered Mayan deity, Maximon. As the sun goes down, the beguiling aroma of tortillas and Chiles Rellenos leads us on a Dine-around dinner to some of Panajachel's finest local restaurants.

In Antigua, we witness the production of elaborate carpets to be used in the Holy Week processions. The smell of incense and the strains of a funeral dirge overwhelm the senses, before giant floats wind their way along the city streets. A host of men in purple robes carry a float bearing a statue of Christ, depicting his final hours. Donning black attire, a group of women follow in similar fashion, supporting a large figure of the Virgin Mary.

Before we farewell Antigua, perhaps immerse yourself in one of Guatemala's oldest coffee estates and learn of their processes. Alternatively, accompany a photographer and find the best locations in which to capture the city’s sites and people. Finally, we share stories of our journey together during a Farewell Dinner.