An Old World full of New Discoveries
A 13-day and 12-night tour (with a flexible schedule) of Guatemala’s highlights.
This package gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in everything this mystical land has to offer.
Arrival, Pick Up, Hotel, Welcome Dinner
You arrive at Guatemala’s La Aurora International Airport. A pre-arranged transfer collects you from the airport and takes you to a nearby hotel. Relax and wind down before your official Welcome Dinner.
Mira Flores Museum, Mayan Archeological Site, National Museum & Antigua
A tour of Guatemala City takes you to the Miraflores Museum which is on the archeological site of the ancient Mayan city of Kaminaljuyú. The museum has one of Guatemala’s finest archeological collections. You will also have the opportunity to visit the National Museum, Railway Museum and the city’s Central square.
After the tour you head to the beautiful UNESCO listed city of Antigua which is only an hour’s drive from the capital. Antigua’s charming colonial streets are full of history, culture and beautiful architecture.
Village Tour, History of Antigua
The day starts with a fascinating tour of the villages surrounding Antigua where you will learn more about their history and culture.
In the afternoon you will explore the history of Antigua’s most important buildings which will help you to put modern Guatemala in context.
Pacaya, Marshmallows, Lake Atitlan, Drinks, Relax
Marshmallows at the ready! Your Pacaya adventure starts here!
Pacaya is the most accessible of Guatemala’s three active volcanoes. The climb has a reasonable level of difficulty and the whole trip takes about 5 hours from start to finish.
In the afternoon you’ll head to Panajachel and stunning Lake Atitlan. Here you can recover from your adventure and enjoy a relaxing drink and meal overlooking one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.
Atitlán Tour, San Juan La Laguna, Santiago Atitlán & San Marcos La Laguna
Wake up to sunrise over Atitlan’s sparkling blue water before starting a tour of the main villages surrounding the lake.
San Juan La Laguna is a tranquil village where you can buy local arts and textiles along with glimpsing the processes behind the local production of coffee and natural dyes. You will also have the opportunity to visit a local organization that promotes organic agriculture. Here you will be able to try their fresh produce and sample some of the wonderful local dishes.
Santiago Atitlán is a Mayan village that is home to the largest and oldest church in Tzu’tujil territory. It was the pre-Colombian capital of the Tzu’tujil people and has a weaving center and museum. The museum explains the history and tradition of backstrap loom-weaving and the traditional dress of the Tzu’tujil.
San Marcos La Laguna is the last stop on the tour and gives you the opportunity to experience some meditation and relaxation.
The trip offers a day of culture and color in the backdrop of Atitlan’s outstanding natural beauty.
Breakfast, Xela, Drinks, Relax
After a delicious breakfast, you travel north to Guatemala’s second city and cultural heart, Quetzaltenango. Affectionately known as Xela (Shay-la), and with over 50% of the population Mam-Mayan, Quetzaltenango is unofficially known as the capital of Mayan Guatemala.
Quetzaltenango is also the main center for Spanish learning in the country. On arriving in Xela, you will have time to settle in to your hotel and get some rest. Later in the evening you will tour the city’s main bars and experience some of Xela’s history and culture.
First Catholic Church in Central America, Fuentes Georginas (hot springs)
Seeing the first Catholic church in Central America is just part of a wonderful day of living history.
Fuentes Georginas is your first stop and gets your day off to an energized start. These clear blue hot springs are heated by the Zunil volcano which gives its name to the nearby Mayan Quiche village and your next stop. A visit to the community of Zunil will give you a great insight into the local way of life which is completely reliant on farming to survive.
The afternoon involves the magnificent colonial church tour of Salcajá and San Andres Xecul.
Salcajá is home to the first Catholic church to be founded by the Spanish in Central America. Just 20 minutes from Xela, it’s also famous for its local tipple “Caldo de Frutas”, a sweet eggnog style drink that you can taste for yourself.
San Andres Xecul is home to something truly special. Also close to Xela, its famous yellow church is a stunning mix of colonial Catholicism and Mayan symbolism. The combination creates a wonderfully vibrant facade that captures the unique and rich culture of Guatemala.
It’s a great day of history and all within an hour’s drive of Xela.
Xela’s Historic Center, Flores, Lake Peten
The second day in Xela starts after breakfast with a quick tour of the Xela’s historic center. You then head for the International airport in Guatemala City to catch a flight to Flores which is the starting point for any visit to Tikal.
Flores is listed as one of the world’s 25 most beautiful small towns. It sits on an island in the middle of Lake Petén and is so much more than just a starting point for your Tikal adventure. Stroll along its quiet streets, enjoy the local cuisine and then enjoy the splendor of the area’s natural beauty by watching the sunset over the idyllic lake.
Dawn over Tikal, Ancient Mayan Temples, Jungle Wildlife
Your Tikal adventure starts early in order to see dawn rise over the historic site. The tour starts shrouded in darkness as we make our way from the drop off point to the temple. The dense jungle surrounding the park exudes mystery with its sounds amplified and your senses sharpened in the darkness.
Dawn begins as you reach the top of the main Mayan temple. As the darkness departs and the jungle wakes you get a wonderous view. Temple peaks rise out of a seemingly endless sea of jungle and you get a real sense of how incredible Tikal really is. The amazing start to the day is followed by an equally fascinating archaeological tour of this UNESCO world heritage site. To top it all a jungle sound track of Howler monkeys, exotic bird song and a whole host of other wildlife can be heard throughout this wonderful day.
You will come away from this trip in no doubt as to just how great the Mayan civilization was in taming this unforgiving and rawest of natural environments.
After Tikal you head towards the towns of Lanquin and Coban with the opportunity to see more of Guatemala’s diverse range of plant and animal life.
Seymuc Champey, Coban, Relax
Semuc Champey’s fairytale quality comes from its glittering lime stone pools embedded in the forest floor. Getting to them means an early start to reach the Cahabon river. From there you can climb up to the El Mirador viewing point where you can get some outstanding pictures of the pools from above.
An afternoon trip takes us to Cobán where you can rest in preparation for the final day.
The Journey Home
Your final day starts in Cobán as you travel back to either Guatemala City or Antigua as the stop off before your flight home.
The trip includes:
» 12 nights of accommodation in a private room (double or triple rooms) with private bathroom and hot water.
» Private transportation
» Flight Guatemala City – Flores one way.
» Entry to all pre-booked activities
» 24-7 contact via telephone, Whatsapp and email.
» Bux lunch for hikes
The trip does not include:
» International flights
» Personal travel insurance
» Access to activities not on the itinerary
» Meals and drinks
» Personal expenses
» Hold a passport that is valid for at least six months.
» Proof of negative test and vaccination for Covid-19.
» We advise you to take a large suitcase or backpack and a smaller bag for day-to-day use.
» Take a variety clothing suitable for the different environments you will be going to.
» The national currency is the Quetzal and we advise you to check currency conversion rates before travel.
» ATMs are easy to access in major towns like Antigua, Guatemala City and Xela but be aware that many places do not accept credit card or debit card. It is therefore a good idea to carry some cash for small purchases.