Best of Guatemala & Costa Rica(ILC)

12 Day Package from Antigua to San Jose

Discover volcanoes, rainforests, and ancient Mayan sites, starting with one of the Americas’ oldest and most beautiful cities, Antigua—Guatemala’s former 16th-century capital. Amid its pastel buildings, cobblestone streets, and three volcanoes surrounding the city, your Local Host will share private tours of Antigua’s Spanish-Colonial architecture and ruins of the churches and monasteries destroyed by the earthquake of 1776. Visit the highland town of Chichicastenango. In the whitewashed town, visit the open-air Indian market, and witness ancient Mayan ceremonies in the Church of Santo Tomás. Continue to Lake Atitlán to visit the village of Santiago Atitlán. Meet the Tzutuhil people who continue traditions of their indigenous Guatemalan ancestors. Take a city tour of Guatemala City, then fly to San José, Costa Rica for the next part of your Central America adventure.

In La Fortuna, explore the Arenal Volcano area with a 2-night stay. Visit the famed Tabacón Hot Springs in the lush, tropical forest here. Options during your time here include a Naturalist-guided tour of the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a network of suspension bridges and platforms built in the cloud forest. Or, river rafting, horseback riding, and cave spelunking may also catch your interest in exploring this incredible part of the world. Transfer to Monteverde with a short boat ride across Arenal Lake, and travel to Monteverde Cloud Forest—home to thousands of plant, animal, and bird species. Explore the cloud forest at dusk with an expert naturalist guide to spot fascinating nocturnal wildlife. Spend a day of leisure to explore Monteverde. Perhaps visit Santa Elena Cloud forest with its misty sanctuary of mosses, ferns, and flowers; or visit a local family farm to learn about sugar cane, coffee, and Tilapia farming. It’s an unforgettable Central American Monograms vacation to discover incredible nature and native people.


Always Included:

Your Choice of Hotels

We've carefully screened and selected the right hotels in the heart of the destination and you can choose your accommodations to match your style and budget.

Local Host

Antigua
Lake Atitlan
Guatemala City
San Jose
Arenal
Monteverde

Meals Included

Buffet breakfast daily; 1 three-course dinner

Sightseeing & Activities

Sightseeing with a Local Guide, inside visits, and special features are shown in UPPERCASE

Baggage Handling

Monograms has taken care of porterage at your hotel, so feel free to let the bellman help get your luggage to your room with no tipping required.

Day-By-Day 2020

FEATURED HIGHLIGHT

This Monograms vacation combines the indian and Colonial history of Guatemala with the natural wonders of Costa Rica! From beautiful Mayan cities to the rainforests of Costa Rica, this vacation has it all!

DAY
1
ARRIVE IN GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA–ANTIGUA

Welcome to Antigua, Guatemala’s capital from 1543 until a devastating earthquake in 1776 when it was moved to Guatemala City. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Antigua is one of the Americas’ oldest and most beautiful cities, with pastel-colored buildings, wide cobblestone streets, and a beautiful natural setting ringed by three volcanoes.

DAY
2
ANTIGUA

This morning, our PRIVATE TOUR of this magnificent highlands city, known for its 16th-century Spanish Colonial architecture, includes lively Plaza Mayor, flanked by the impressive Catedral de San José and Palace of the Capitanes Generales. See the ruins of churches and monasteries, some with hidden underground passages destroyed by the earthquake of 1776, and take a tour of a JADE FACTORY.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
3
ANTIGUA–CHICHICASTENANGO–LAKE ATITLÁN

Today, with your Local Host, reach the whitewashed highland town of Chichicastenango to visit the colorful, open-air INDIAN MARKET, where hundreds of Indians from the surrounding countryside gather to barter their goods and products. Also, visit the Catholic CHURCH OF SANTO TOMÁS to witness ancient Mayan ceremonies that have long been practiced there. Continue to the shores of Lake Atitlán, surrounded by volcanoes and indigenous villages. Lake Atitlán is the ideal place to come in contact with native Guatemalans. Twelve Indian villages surround the lake, and their inhabitants are descendants from the great Quiché, Cackchiquel, and Tzutuhil Nations.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
4
LAKE ATITLÁN

This morning, CRUISE across Lake Atitlán to visit the Indian village of SANTIAGO ATITLÁN, and meet the Tzutuhil people, one of Guatemala’s indigenous tribes. This afternoon is free to explore on your own.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
5
LAKE ATITLÁN–GUATEMALA CITY

Head back to Guatemala City for your included CITY TOUR.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
6
GUATEMALA CITY–SAN JOSÉ, COSTA RICA

Today, fly to San José, Costa Rica and transfer to your hotel.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
7
SAN JOSÉ–ARENAL

This morning, transfer to the town of La Fortuna in the Arenal Volcano area, where you will stay two nights. This afternoon, visit the famous TABACÓN HOT SPRINGS and take a dip in the natural springs and pools of mineral waters surrounded by lush, tropical forest. Enjoy dinner at the hot springs.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

DAY
8
ARENAL

Today is at your leisure to explore on your own. Perhaps visit the Arenal Hanging Bridges, a network of suspension bridges, platforms, and trails built in the cloud forest. From here, explore the forest canopy with a bird’s-eye view, giving you a different perspective of the forest’s wildlife. Alternatively, you may choose a rafting adventure, horseback riding, or spelunking in nearby Venado Caves.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
9
ARENAL–MONTEVERDE

This morning, your transfer begins with a short BOAT RIDE across Arenal Lake to admire different species of birds that visit and call the area home. Continue through incredible mountain scenery and the MONTEVERDE CLOUD FOREST, home to over 3,000 plant species, approximately 120 mammal species, 400 bird species, and 1,200 species of amphibians and reptiles. This evening, venture into Monteverde’s Cloud Forest just before nightfall with an expert Naturalist for a GUIDED NATURE WALK to search for the jungle’s nocturnal creatures, like sloths, foxes, agoutis, frogs, and many more!

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
10
MONTEVERDE

Enjoy a day to do as you please. Maybe wake up early and visit Santa Elena Cloud Forest to best experience the animals in their natural forest habitats. Discover this misty and surreal wildlife sanctuary full of mosses, ferns, flowers, and other indigenous plant life. Also, notice how the combination of climatic and geographic factors create temperature and humidity gradients, changing dramatically over just a short distance, or you could visit a local family’s farm to learn about sugar cane, coffee, and tilapia farming.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
11
MONTEVERDE–SAN JOSÉ

Return to San José today.

Breakfast Breakfast

DAY
12
SAN JOSÉ

Your vacation ends after breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

Transportation

As outlined in the day-by-day itinerary and private airport transfers to/from intra-vacation flights; intra-vacation flights not included

Included Hotels

Antigua
Lake Atitlan
Guatemala City
San Jose
Arenal
Monteverde

Porta Hotel Antigua

Porta Hotel Antigua

Check-in Time: 15:00
Check-out Time: 13:00

Address: 5 Avenida Sur Y 8 Calle Antigua, Guatemala

With its lush, beautiful gardens, charming colonial architecture, and gracious hospitality, Porta Hotel Antigua is an authentic, unique, and unforgettable hotel in Antigua, Guatemala. The hotel features a swimming pool framed by tranquil gardens and comfortable chaise lounges, on-site spa, superb dining choices, and a poolside snack bar.

Location & Highlights

Located nearby a host of attractions within a 5-minute walk of the main plaza.

Room Amenities

Featuring 16th century ambience and décor, guestrooms offer historical touches such as wood floors, antique period furnishings, wood-beamed ceilings, exposed brick, and stone walls and bathrooms with beautiful handmade tiles.

  • In-Room Safe
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Phone
  • Room Service
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet Access
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Television
  • Desk
  • Window Opens
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Voicemail

Hotel Amenities

  • Concierge desk
  • Spa Services
  • Bar/Lounge
  • Business Center
  • Parking/Valet
  • Fitness Room
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Luggage Storage
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Beauty Salon
  • ATM
  • Pool

Other Hotel

Monograms offers an impressive choice of hotels pre-selected for their location, amenities and service. When booking your package check to see what other hotels are available for your dates. Some hotels may not be available for this package.

Antigua
Lake Atitlan
Guatemala City
San Jose
Arenal
Monteverde

Casa Santo Domingo

Casa Santo Domingo

Check-in Time: 15:00
Check-out Time: 12:00

Address: 3a, Calle Oriente, No 28 Antigua, Guatemala

This innovative Hotel-Museum offers 128 rooms each with unique and special characteristics. Its decoration includes works of art from renowned Guatemalan artists and handmade textiles with traditional-contemporary designs. Offering the finest cuisine at the hotel's restaurant, "Refectorio del Prior," high-quality amenities, and stunning grounds, every experience at the Casa Santo Domingo is infused with class, nature, and relaxation. As a former convent, you could spend an entire day just within the hotel, viewing its museums, sampling its superior cuisine, dipping in the pool, and relaxing at the spa. A memorable hotel for a most memorable city.

Location & Highlights

With a rich history, stunning architecture, surroundings, and accommodations, the Casa Santo Domingo is a paradise boutique hotel in the heart of Antigua.

Room Amenities

Comfortable and spacious guestrooms feature a terrace or balcony and chimney as well as a telephone with voicemail, Smart TV, alarm clock, hairdryer, in-room safe, minibar, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

  • Mini-bar
  • In-Room Safe
  • Television
  • Window Opens
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • Cable/Satellite
  • Alarm Clock
  • Iron/Ironing Board
  • Coffee Maker
  • Room Service
  • Phone
  • Voicemail
  • Desk
  • Hair Dryer
  • Wake-Up Calls
  • Internet Access

Hotel Amenities

  • Bar/Lounge
  • Gift Shop
  • ATM
  • Restaurant On-Site
  • Concierge desk
  • Pool
  • Currency Exchange
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Free WiFi
  • Business Center
  • Beauty Salon
  • Parking/Valet
  • Luggage Storage
  • Spa Services

Activities & Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following activities & excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Activities and Excursions are available for purchase on our MyMonograms site as soon as initial deposit or payment is received.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)



No excursions exist for this departure

Insider

Antigua
Guatemala City
San Jose

Antigua

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Antigua, GuatemalaMonograms provides travellers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Antigua, Guatemala. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Antigua and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Antigua insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet Sergio, a Local Host®

Raised in La Antigua Guatemala, I studied Central American History at the University. Because I was born in a Mayan community, my major area of interest and study was mostly all of the Maya Culture. I keep particular emphasis on the importance of the diversity of Mayan languages and cultural linguistics of Guatemala. I love being a tour guide and opening up the world of Mayan culture to new visitors of my precious home country.

Casa Santo Domingo

The Casa Santo Domingo isn’t only one of Antigua’s best hotels, but it offers a magical combination of interesting gardens and museums. You could easily spend a day exploring the many facets of the museum circuit, a gem and great source of pride for Antigua.

ChocoMuseo

This is a must when visiting Antigua. Learn about the history of cacao, the cacao tree and cacao in Guatemala. ChocoMuseo has its own artisanal chocolate factory, which makes chocolate from organic Guatemalan cacao beans. It also offers chocolate workshops so you can make your own chocolate – it’s a fun and unique experience!

Cathedral de Santiago

The Cathedral de Santiago is a must see during the day or at night – or possibly both. Its façade is stunning with the sun up or down, but the best part of the Cathedral are the ruins, displaying collapsed walls, broken columns, fallen arches, and a crypt. It’s a strangely beautiful experience.

Tostasduria Antigua

If you’re a coffee lover, you must stop at Tostasduria and buy some coffee beans to bring home. Locals and travelers alike have been raving about the quality of the beans here for years – you can relive your Guatemala visit every time you drink a cup back home.

Guatemala City

Meet one of your Local Hosts in Guatemala City, GuatemalaMonograms provides travellers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Guatemala City, Guatemala. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Guatemala City and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host will share local Guatemala City insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet Sergio, a Local Host®

Raised in La Antigua Guatemala, I studied Central American History at the University. Because I was born in a Mayan community, my major area of interest and study was mostly all of the Maya Culture. I keep particular emphasis on the importance of the diversity of Mayan languages and cultural linguistics of Guatemala. I love being a tour guide and opening up the world of Mayan culture to new visitors of my precious home country.

Mercado Central

A seemingly endless maze of underground passages is home to the Mercado Central, where handicrafts from the highlands are hawked from overstocked stalls. The leather goods, wooden masks, and woolen blankets found here are often cheaper than other markets, it’s a wild and bustling market so be sure to watch your belongings. A lot of fun!

Palacio Nacional de la Cultura

The grandiose National Palace was built between 1937 and 1943 to satisfy the monumental ego of President Jorge Ubico Castañeda. It once held the offices of the president and his ministers, but now many of its 320 rooms house a collection of paintings and sculptures by well-known Guatemalan artists from the colonial period to the present. The palace's ornate stairways and stained-glass windows are a pleasant contrast to the bustle of the city.

Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena

Arguably the city's best museum, the Ixchel Museum of Indigenous Dress, focuses on textiles of Guatemala's indigenous community with an impressive array of handwoven fabrics from 120 highland villages, some of which date from the 19th century. It provides you with a good background in the regional differences among textiles before you head out to Guatemala’s country. You'll also find sculptures, photographs, paintings, and interactive weaving displays.

San Jose

Meet Jorge Avila, one of your Local Hosts in San Jose, Costa RicaMonograms provides travellers access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to San José, Costa Rica. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about San José and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local San José and Costa Rica insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.

Meet a Local Host® in Costa Rica

My name is Jorge Avila from Costa Rica, I’m a general naturalist tour guide licensed by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. I really love my job because I can share with all visitors the exuberant flora and fauna of my beautiful country, I enjoy walking and spotting all kinds of animals such as monkeys, sloths and especially birds, as well as talking about plants, trees, flowers and orchids. I also love when people ask about our typical phrase "Pura Vida" and I can explain to them that this is everything in Costa Rica. It is the way to say "very nice", "beautiful", and "OK"!! I like when people come to Costa Rica looking to learn about our efforts for conservation and our culture and I can be part of these memorable experiences that I'm sure they will share with their families and friends when they return to their countries. I have one of the best jobs in the world.

Costa Rican Art Museum

Created just twenty years ago as the place for art lovers to see contemporary Costa Rican painting and sculpture, this museum offers modern art in every medium imaginable.

Costa Rican National Museum

Located in the old Bellavista Fortress, the National Museum houses Costa Rica's past surrounded by bullet-riddled stone walls. The National Museum is situated on 17th Street, between Central and Second Avenues, on the Cuesta de Moras. It is adjacent to the Plaza de la Democracia. The National Museum offers a brief overview of the country's history, beginning with pre-Columbian artifacts, travelling through the time of the conquistadors, and gradually merging into the present. A small butterfly museum rounds out the collection.

Gold Museum

Located beneath the Plaza de la Cultura, this museum is home to the most valuable collection of pre-Columbian gold in the world. More than 2,600 gold artifacts are on exhibit, as well as a history of Costa Rica's currency and a collection of rare coins and bills.

Jade Museum

It's not all jade, though the beautiful green stone takes center stage at the aptly-named museum. In addition to pre-Columbian jade jewelry, carved artifacts and display objects, you will find ceramics, precious stones and gold miniatures from different cultural areas of Costa Rica.

National Children's Museum

Learning is fun at this interactive museum, where kids play with hands-on exhibits that focus on science and technology, as well as traditional culture, art and literature of Costa Rica.

Museo de Jade

You’ll find the largest collection of American jade in this black glass building. You’ll also enjoy panoramic views of the city on the 11th floor of this stunning structure.

Museo de Oro Banco Central (Gold Museum)

For an experience that’s truly “golden,” don’t miss the Gold Museum. Housed beneath the Plaza de la Cultura, this underground museum has more than 2,000 pre-Columbian gold objects on display.

Spirogyra Butterfly Garden

If you’re looking for a brief respite from sightseeing, nothing is more soothing than this butterfly garden in the heart of the city. Learn about native species and enjoy a pick-me-up in the coffee shop.

Lukas

Costa Ricans eat black beans at almost every meal, including breakfast. For a taste of native cuisine, head to Lukas for the black bean soup or the Gallo Pinto, a dish made of black beans, rice, and usually accompanied by fresh eggs, cheese, and fried plantain.

La Luz

Regional cuisine with an adventurous twist is served at La Luz. The menu features fresh local ingredients prepared with ethnic influences. The beef tenderloin in strawberry-balsamic reduction is one of its most popular dishes.

Boutique Annemarie

This 2-story specialty shop in the Hotel Don Carlos carries a selection of jewelry, books, art, leather goods, and local crafts that you’ll find nowhere else. You may go in seeking souvenirs for others, but you’ll walk out with treasures for yourself.

Café Rica

This isn’t a café but a Costa Rican coffee liqueur that makes for an excellent souvenir. For the best prices, skip the boutiques and head straight to a local grocery store.

Club Twister

San José is disco central and this club is where the locals go for hot Latin and international music. The dance floors are large and the drinks flow freely.

Shakespeare Bar

For a quieter evening, try the Shakespeare Bar. Live blues, soul, and jazz provide the perfect backdrop at a place where you can sit back with friends, order a drink, and enjoy the atmosphere.

Central Market

Probably Costa’s Rica’s most authentic market, the San José Central Market features more than 350 booths selling everything imaginable, from spices and fish to hammocks and flowers. Open daily, it is located on Central Avenue in the heart of the city.

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* The “Starting at” or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per person based on twin occupancy and any applicable port charges, non-commissionable taxes and fees and intra-vacation flight are included in the price shown. Any included overnight stay in Canada, applicable GST/HST is also included in the price shown. International airfare, however, is not included. If price is crossed out, the new price shown includes a limited time promotional offer(s). Please review current promotions or deals for additional information.