Volcano Tour in Guatemala

Discover Guatemala's lava and magma on this 14 day suggested itinerary.

This 14 day tour takes you around the volcanoes of the Antigua region. Have the opportunity to get close up to active volcanoes, see lava and feel the warmth of molten magma! The Pacaya volcano is one 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala, its ascent is accessible to all. Climbing the Acatenango volcano is an unforgettable experience: on this demanding hike get up close to Fuego volcano, one of the most active in the Americas! Spend a night camping in front of this erupting giant for a guaranteed spectacle that you’ll never forget. Then discover the must-see wonders of Guatemala including Lake Atitlan and the archaeological sites of Petén. End your trip relaxing on sandy beaches soaking up the Caribbean sun in the Garifuna village of Livingston!

Length of stay: 14 days

Kind: Hiking and Adventure Travel

Fix: Good Physical Condition

Countries visited: Guatemala

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Day 1 : Guatemala City

Bienvenidos a Guatemala!

Arrive at La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City, meet your driver and transfer to Antigua. Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 2 : Antigua

Explore Antigua

Surrounded by 3 majestic volcanoes, this ancient capital of Central America has suffered many natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions… Yet, Antigua remains one of the most beautiful cities in Guatemala.

The city is home to more than thirty monasteries, convents and a grand cathedral in the central square. The cobblestone streets adjoin the colorful patios of the colonial houses. Stroll along the arcades of Parque Central, admiring the volcanoes Fuego, Agua and Acatenango in the distance.

Note: walking tour of the city (no vehicle required). Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 3 : Antigua

Departure at 09:00 for an exciting adventure to the Acatenango volcano!

Arrive at the starting point of the hike (1 hour 30 minutes drive). After going over the guidelines and an equipment check, start off the hike on the slopes of Acatenango (about 5 hours hiking). The dormant volcano, whose peak rises 3,976 meters above sea level, offers a breathtaking view of the Antigua Valley. As you approach the volcano you’ll hear the thunder of Fuego volcano… until the massive silhouette of the volcano reveals itself before your eyes.

The Fuego is well named. It is one of the most monitored volcanoes in America, in constant activity. It’s eruptions are violent and generate magma flows and lava projections that can reach hundreds of meters! Settle into camp with a breathtaking view of the active crater in front of us, just a few kilometers away.

Dinner at camp. Night falls and awakens our senses. Enjoy a glass of wine while observing the active volcano. During periods of high activity, lava jets illuminate the darkness . Regular explosions resound in the valley and remind us at all times of the presence of this imposing neighbor. Night in a tent in front of this awake giant!

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Day 4 : Acatenango

Optional ascent to the top of the Acatenango to enjoy the sunrise (1 hour 30 minute walk, departure 4:30AM).

Head down the volcano and drive to Antigua. Return to the former capital of Guatemala in the late morning. The Fuego volcano is still there, in the background, reminding you of the excitement experienced the day before.

Note :

– Good physical condition required.
– Distance: 15.3 kilometers; Vertical drop: 1,726m; Maximum altitude: 3,976m
– This hike can be replaced by a walk and camp on the active volcano Pacaya, less demanding (400m difference in altitude). Please contact us for details.
– Although the Fuego is one of the most active in the world, it may still experience periods during which its activity is limited. Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 5 : Antigua

Continue on to Lake Atitlan, a true symbol of Guatemala. This beautiful lake is nestled between 3 volcanoes at 1,600 meters above sea level–the panoramic views are magnificent! There are many small villages that sit on shores of the lake, often only accessible by boat. Here, they celebrate local festivals and host markets rooted in tradition.

On the way, stop at the lively, colorful Sololá market (Tuesday and Friday).

In the afternoon enjoy free time to explore the village Panajachel facing beautiful Lake Atitlan.

Overnight stay at the hotel Dos Mundos Panajachel.

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Day 6 : Panajachel

Market day in Chichicastenango:

Today travel to Chichicastenango to explore it’s famous market (Thursday and Sunday). The Kaqchikel Indians descend from surrounding villages twice a week to sell their handicrafts here. The city is transformed into a real kaleidoscope of colors and smells! The women wear the traditional huipil, representing the seasons of the Mayan calendar. In the center of the village, shamans purify the stairs of the church with incense and partake in Mayan rituals.

Return to the shores of Lake Atitlan and visit the charming little village of Santa Catarina Palopo. Here, locals live mainly off of agriculture, fishing and weaving. Since 2016, a community project has been gradually repainting the village houses with the colors of the local huipil: a deep blue with traditional motifs.

We recommend a visit to the Santa Catarina Cultural Center where you can meet with locals, learn more about the way of life here and even try on traditional clothes. Overnight stay at the hotel Dos Mundos Panajachel.

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Day 7 : Panajachel

Lake Atitlan and Mayan villages

In the morning, hop on a boat and discover the Tzutuhil villages of Lake Atitlan. The Tzutuhil are one of the 21 Mayan peoples of Guatemala. They are present in only a handful of villages located southwest of Lake Atitlan. Visit Santiago Atitlan where you’ll discover a curious syncretic cult: Maximón, the cigarette smoking God of Guatemala is feared as much as he is idolized. Somewhere between good and bad, the villagers offer Maximón gifts in the form of cigarettes, alcohol or money.

Continuation by boat to San Antonio Palopo . Discovery  this small Mayan village where residents subside on agriculture and weaving. Here, ceramics are crafted and sold throughout the region. Overnight stay at the hotel Dos Mundos Panajachel.

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Day 8 : Antigua

Lava and magma at the Pacaya Volcano

Departure at 3:00 PM for the Pacaya volcano, one of the 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala. After 1 hour and 30 minutes drive, begin the ascent (3 hour hiking, 400 meters of altitude difference). The hike is accessible to most and offers beautiful views of the valley. Arrive at the base of the cone at nightfall to observe lava flows that illuminate the side of the volcano. Fumaroles are escaping from the crater for a unique show!

Descent the volcano and return to Antigua around 10:00 PM.

Note: Good physical condition recommended. Possibility of horseback riding on site. A picnic and a hot drink will be served at the top. Option included: Entrance fees to volcan Pacaya. Option included: English speaking local guide

Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 9 : Antigua

Highlands in the Verapaces

Today, depart for the region of Alta Verapaz whose mountainous landscapes are covered with mist, waterfalls and lush forests.

Visit a coffee cooperative made up of small producers of the Q’eqchi ethnic group in the highlands of Cobán. A community member accompanies visitors to the plantation, explaining the history of coffee in Guatemala, the processes of production and roasting. The tour continues with a zipline route over the coffee fields.

Continue to Cobán, capital of Alta Verapaz located at 1,300 above sea level. The name of the city comes from the Indian Quek’chi, meaning “between the clouds”.

Option included : Entrance fees to Coffee tour. Overnight stay at the hotel Casa Gaia.

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Day 10 : Coban

Today, depart for the region of Alta Verapaz whose mountainous landscapes are covered with mist, waterfalls and lush forests.

Arrival in Sayaxché and boarding a motorized lancha.

Refreshing swim at Crater Azu

Relaxing boat trip down the Río la Pasión . Observe many birds that have made their home in the Petexbatún lagoon: herons, kingfishers, cormorants. Turtles and crocodiles hide on the banks of the river. After about 1 hour boatride, arrive at the Crater Azul (the blue crater), a natural site little known to travelers.

With an unparalleled transparency, the Crater Azul is a cenote, an underwater well about ten meters deep. Dive into the water for a refreshing swim in this fresh and crystal clear water, home to an amazing underwater garden.

Return by boat to Sayaxché. Road to Flores in the heart of Petén.

Excursion Overnight stay at the hotel Isla de Flores. Premium Room.

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Day 11 : Flores

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Day 11 : Flores

 

Tikal: Jewel of the Mayan world

Day dedicated to the exploration of the impressive city of Tikal, built in the 4th century BC. The impressive Mayan city reached its peak between the 3rd and 9th centuries AD.

Some 3,000 structures rise from the rain forest in a mystical atmosphere. The temple of The Great Jaguar faces the Temple of the Masks on the great square, the heart center of the city. At 65 meters high, the Snake Temple was the highest building in the new world until the 19th century.

Nature is not to be outdone, engulfing the traveler who enters the reserve. Watch for spider monkeys, pheasants, coatis, toucans and other multicolored parrots. The cries of howler monkeys can be heard for miles around. Smells of lianas and roots surprise the traveler.

In 2017, new research techniques discovered uncovered temples still buried in the jungle. Tikal has not yet finished revealing all its mysteries…

Transfer to Flores on a peninsula of Lake Peten Itza. Option included: English speaking local guide in Tikal. Option included: Entrance fees to Tikal. Overnight stay at the hotel Isla de Flores. Premium Room.

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Day 12 : Livingston

Then travel approximately 4 hours to Rio Dulce. Here, start to feel the Caribbean vibes! Visit Fort San Felipe which was built in the 17th centre to stop the recurrent pirate attacks. Look out over the many sailboats that anchor here today.

Sweet Rio Dulce

Relaxing boat ride down the Río Dulce (private boat). Cross canyon and stop to swim in the hot springs. Reach the village of Livingston by boat. A large part of the of the population is of Garifuna, descended from the Black Caribs. The contrast with the rest of the country is striking!

Overnight stay at the hotel Villa Caribe.

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Day 13 : Livingston

This morning board a boat for Puerto Barrios (40 minute sail) and then continue on to the ruins of Quirigua, an archaeological site in the valley of Motagua. Quirigua was an important and respected city during the Mayan Classic period (200 – 900 AD). The site is particularly famous for the beauty of its steles, the highest reaching 10.70 meters high and 65 tons!

 

Overnight stay at the hotel Stofella.

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Day 14 : Guatemala City

Private Transfer to Guatemala City Airport.

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