Leaving for Copán in the early morning after pickup from your Antigua hotel by your guide, board your comfortable coach for a scenic 6-hour drive. You’ll stop en route for a typical Guatemalan breakfast, including beans, eggs and tortillas or bread.
After crossing the border into western Honduras with your group, you’ll head about 37 miles (60 km) to the country’s most significant archeological site, Copán. This ancient city, dating back to the 7th century and known as Xukpi by the Mayans, existed during the most impressive dynasty – Yax Kuk Mo.
Here, embark on a 2-hour guided tour of the ruins as you learn about the fascinating temples, altars and stone sculptures that make it a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Your guide will point out the five main sections of the city, including the Acropolis and Great Plaza, as well as the tunnels, ball court and hieroglyphic stairway.
Step foot in the two large plazas that divide the Acropolis, which houses several important temples and altars. In the Great Plaza, take in the detailed design of the scattered stelae – sculpted stone monuments 9-16 feet (3-5 meters) tall, which depict Mayan rulers throughout the city’s history. Then listen as your guide explains the function of the ball court, Central America’s second largest!
Climb the 63 steps along the hieroglyphic stairway and admire the several thousand intricately carved glyphs, the longest text of the ancient Mayans ever to be discovered. You can visit the on-site museum and pore over the excavated artifacts on display, or explore the tunnels archeologists have dug under the Acropolis to view earlier stages of the vast Mayan civilization (additional fee).
Afterward, your guide will take your group to the nearby colonial town of Copán Ruins, also known as San Jose del Copán, where you can purchase lunch. Then, relax on the return to Guatemala by coach, arriving at your Antigua hotel around 7pm.