Guatemala City, the country’s capital city is vibrant and brimming with life. Colonial architecture and many churches line the busy city streets buzzing with energy. The city is full of history, home to a plethora of museums and galleries.
We arrive in Guatemala City and transfer to our hotel before a welcome dinner this evening where we meet our fellow small group travelers.
The picturesque village of Flores is located on a tiny island in the middle of Lago Peten Itza. Connected to the mainland via a causeway, a walk around the entire island takes about 30 minutes.
We start our day with a tour of Guatemala City. We visit 2 museums, Ixchel and Popol Vuh Museum, uncovering the fascinating history of Guatemala before visiting Guatemala City’s historic center. We enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before boarding a flight to Flores in the early evening.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
We rise early this morning to travel to the incredible ruins of Tikal. Tucked away amidst lush rainforest, the Mayan city of Tikal represents one of the most impressive achievements of the Mayan civilization. We arrive at Tikal National Park and embark on a tour of the ancient city, exploring its 3,000 buildings that range from temples to palaces and public squares. Make sure your cameras are charged as we travel to this ancient city and visit one of Guatemala’s most famous landmarks, Tikal Temple 1. After our guided tour, we enjoy free time to explore the park at our own pace before a barbeque lunch inside the park.
We return back to Flores in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day at our own leisure.
[Breakfast and Lunch]
Panajachel is a vibrant and charming lakeside town situated on the north shore of Lake Atitlan. Bursting with cafés, shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, Panajachel’s main street is vibrant, crowded with people and tuk-tuks. Just outside of Panajachel is the stunning Lake Atitlan, providing a serene escape from the cosmopolitan city, with impressive scenery and a laidback atmosphere.
We board an early morning flight from Flores back to Guatemala City this morning before driving to Panajachel. En route to Panajachel, we stop at the Iximche ruins, exploring another ancient Mayan city. We arrive in Panajachel and have the afternoon at leisure to explore the town or take in the serenity lakeside.
[Breakfast and Dinner]
After breakfast this morning, we board a boat and enjoy a cruise on Lake Atitlan. We tour the lake, taking in its natural beauty before arriving at the lakeside village of Santiago Atitlan. Here, we tour the village before taking a tuk-tuk to visit Maximon, the local Mayan God. Looked after by a group of men, the god’s statue is housed in a different private house each year. We visit the house of Maximon, which is filled with burning candles, bottles of rum or Quetzalteca grain alcohol, and other offerings from his followers. We have the opportunity to witness a traditional ceremony.
After, we make our way, via boat, to the beautiful village of San Juan La Laguna. Ancestral traditions and one-of-a-kind natural marvels have been conserved here for many years. After a tour of the village we return to Panajachel and enjoy the rest of our day at leisure.
Pastel colored buildings and old Spanish architecture line the cobblestone streets of Antigua, a city that served as Guatemala’s capital during the 16th to 18th centuries. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Antigua is among the world’s best-preserved colonial cities. The town centre is a mix of historic buildings, churches, plazas, fountains, and ruins and is watched over by the towering Volcano Agua that lurks in the background.
We wake early this morning to visit the famous Chichicastenango market. Often referred to as the best local market in Central America, Chichicastenango market is a vibrant explosion of color and a hub of activity as vendors from the town and neighboring villages flock to sell their goods. We explore and shop up a storm at the stalls selling food, flowers, pottery, condiments, handmade crafts, textiles and more.
After our visit to the markets, we make our way to the 400-year-old Church of Santo Tomas. Original Maya temple steps remain at the church, with each of the 18 steps representing each month of the Maya calendar year. This afternoon we make our way to Antigua.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
After breakfast this morning we explore Antigua on a half-day tour. Impressive baroque-influenced architecture awaits as we meander through Antigua’s streets, visiting Ciudad Vieja, San Antonio Aguas Calientes and the Cerro de la Cruz lookout for amazing views over the city and of the towering Volcano Agua in the background. We then explore more of the city by foot, walking through the Central Plaza and Cathedral, and the Palace of the Captains General.
The last stop on our city tour is Antigua’s Jade Factory and Museum. We learn about jade, the process of mining the crystal, and discover its beauty in fine detail. The rest of the afternoon and evening is at our own leisure.
This morning we visit the Pacaya Volcano, one of Guatemala’s three active volcanoes. At an elevation of 2,552 metres above sea level, we set out on a hike of the volcano and witness some incredible views of the volcanic chain. Our hike starts at the foothill of the volcano and takes us through a pine forest before reaching volcanic ash and then the cone of the volcano. We are rewarded at the top with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.
We return to Antigua and have the afternoon at leisure.
This evening we have a group farewell dinner at a local restaurant. We indulge in delicious food and enjoy traditional Folkloric dance entertainment, in a fitting farewell to this fantastic country.
[Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner]
Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning. We transfer back to Guatemala City and bid farewell to our new friends and the incredible country of Guatemala.
Lush jungle foliage line the riverbanks of some of the world’s best national parks, sandy white beaches stretch along the Caribbean coastline, volcanoes steam over vast lakes and welcoming locals live by the simple concept of Pura Vida; the Pure Life.Explore more