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About Puerto Quetzal

On the Pacific Coast of one of the worlds newest and most exciting eco-tourism and cruise destinations - Guatemala, the Central American cruise port Quetzal leads you into a country boasting sublime scenic drama and a colourful history going way back to Mayan times.

Its interior is a lush panorama of coastal plains, lakes, mountains, volcanoes and valleys creating a habitat for 300 species of birds and no fewer than 600 types of orchid. This is interspersed with farmland and timeless villages while modern Mayan Indian communities still cluster around the beautiful Lake Atitlan in the Guatemalan Highlands.

The major ancient Mayan site is Tikal (nearer the Caribbean coast) while another must-see is La Antigua, once the Guatemalan capital until it was destroyed by earthquakes 300 years ago. The ruins of this Spanish colonial city set in the shadow of three volcanoes are now a World Heritage site.

 

Shore excursions in Puerto Quetzal

Please note: The shore excursions listed are typical for this port. The full programme of shore excursions available for your cruise will be displayed on Cruise Personaliser at least 12 weeks prior to departure.

Chapin Safari Park

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

An opportunity to enjoy a close up view of some of the world’s animals, at Chapin Safari Park.

Depart the pier for a scenic drive to the Chapin Safari and Zoological Park. En route, you will pass through picturesque lowland pastures, and take in views of volcanoes which dominate the horizon (weather permitting).

Founded in 1980 as a natural reserve area, Chapin is among the largest animal parks in the region that features drive-through, pedestrian and recreation areas. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a scenic drive through the open-air park and see a variety of different animals from the comfort of your air-conditioned coach.

Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to take a walk around an area, which is more resemblance of a regular zoo, to view animals, birds and reptiles indigenous to Guatemala, as well as species from around the world.

A cooling refreshment will be served in the pavilion, prior to your drive back to Puerto Quetzal.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey to Chapin is approximately 1¼ hours. Park regulations do not allow anyone to venture outside of the vehicle during the safari drive. As the vehicles are air-conditioned, the windows do not open. This tour involves approximately 45 minutes of walking over uneven ground with some steps. Toilet facilities are available at the entrance of the park but are limited. Comfortable, flat, walking shoes are recommended.

Filadelfia Coffee Estate and Panorama

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 5½ hours

An opportunity to visit a Guatemalan coffee estate and sample some aromatic flavours.

Enjoy a scenic drive through the lowlands and on to the Filadelfia Coffee Estate, an ecological project covering an area of approximately 250 acres of land. The estate runs reforestation programmes seeding White Pine, Gravilea, mahogany, cedar and cypress, and contributes to the well being of the country’s ecology.

You’ll be taken on a guided tour of the estate to see the wet mill, dry mill and the hand sorting process. Sample 2 of the greatest coffee classifications, their aromas, body, acidity and their differences. During your visit, a light snack and refreshing soft drink will also be served.

Your next stop will be at the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, known today as La Antigua Guatemala. You’ll see the La Merced Church (exterior view) and take a walk through Calle del Arco and on to the main Plaza. The colourful façades, churches, palaces, and colourful bougainvillea make this Spanish colonial city a favourite with visitors from all over the world.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. The journey time to Filadelfia is around 1½ hour and the return drive from La Antigua is around 1½ hours. This tour involves approximately 1 hour of walking over some rough and uneven ground including steps. Comfortable, flat shoes are recommended. Due to municipal regulations coaches are not permitted to drive to the main plaza, therefore this tour is operated using coaster style buses. Depending on actual drop off point, there may be an approximate walk of 700 metres from the bus to the plaza.

Guatemalan Bird Watching

Activity highRefreshments included

Duration: 6 hours

Take a walk on the wild side! This is an experience designed to delight bird lovers, photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Calling all bird buffs and nature lovers… this is a tour that will leave you flocking for more. It’s a veritable feast for the senses; filled with all the natural sights, sounds and sub-tropical scents that Guatemala has to offer.

Embark on a comfortable air conditioned coach ride from the port, taking you through the lush southern lowlands of Guatemala, and up through the mountains to La Reunion Golf Resort and Residences – situated a safe distance from, but within sight of the magnificent, towering Fuego volcano. The facility spans 147 hectares of humid sub-tropical forest and is home to an abundance of birdlife.

You’ll have the opportunity to photograph a number of species, including the Gartered Trogon, the Pacific Parakeet, the Bar-Winged Oriole, Black-Winged vultures and the Red-Tailed Hawy – to name a few.

After a fascinating bird-watch, you’ll be served snacks and refreshments at the residence itself before boarding your bus and making your way back to the port.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 2½ hours’ of standing on this tour. Please wear comfortable closed toe walking shoes and long trousers. The trail is not shaded, so please wear sun protection, hat and bring additional water.

Historic Sugar Plantation Home

Activity mediumRefreshments included

Duration: 4½ hours

Discover the history and traditions at the mansion of an 18th century sugar plantation.

Enjoy a scenic drive heading north along the highway. Arrive at the Casona de Don Pancho, a beautiful former sugar plantation mansion dating from the 1800s and set amongst flowering gardens, with spectacular views of the surrounding area.

Once home to the plantation owner, its antique furnishings provide an insight into the history of the families who lived there. During a guided tour, discover the fascinating history of how the sugar was once processed. Visit the farm’s chapel and the ruins of the former local processing plan. Take a stroll to admire the beautiful gardens and look out for some of the local wildlife, including exotic birds, geese and peacocks.

During your tour, local refreshments will be served whilst a local marimba delight you with their music. Re-board your coach for the return drive to the port.

Essential information

This excursion operates by coach and on foot.This tour involves approximately 45 minutes walking over some rough and uneven cobblestone ground. There are six steps to enter the mansion. The journey to the plantation mansion is approximately 1½ hours each way.

La Antigua Guatemala

Activity highMeal included

Duration: 8½ hours

Step back in time and experience La Antigua Guatemala’s rich architecture and impressive remains.

La Antigua Guatemala has been declared a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of colonial architecture. Toppled by earthquakes, the preserved ruins include fallen domes adorned with creeping vines, and plazas and chapels that were miraculously spared.

Essential information

This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is a high level of walking on this tour, which may also be affected by the coach parking location on the day. There is some uneven ground, including cobblestones and steps to negotiate. Comfortable, flat walking shoes are recommended. The drive to La Antigua is approximately 1½ hours each way.

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