A Journey Down Volcano Road

A 12 Day Adventure Tour to Discover Guatemala's Volcanoes

Discover the wonders of Guatemala and the mysteries of the Mayan civilization! As seen on the Dutch-Flemish show, Beijing Express, journey down “The Road of 50 Volcanoes” in Central America.

Length of stay: 12 days

Kind: Hiking and Adventure Travel

Fix: For all public

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 your hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel Stofella.

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Day 2 : Guatemala City

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.

 

Emblematic Lake Atitlan:

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.

Arrive in Panajachel at the end of the day. Overnight stay at the hotel Dos Mundos Panajachel.

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Day 3 : San Juan la Laguna

At 8:00 AM meet with a local English-speaking guide and depart by boat for Santa Cruz la Laguna. Walk in the direction of the village of Jaibalito with it’s beautiful views of the volcanoes Toliman, San Pedro and Cerro de Oro. The 1-hour walk allows you to appreciate the local life: the farmers hard at work in the corn fields and coffee plantations. You’ll cross paths with locals as you walk along the lake.

After, discover the small Mayan village of San Juan La Laguna. Here the weavers’ cooperative will open its doors to teach you about the techniques of natural coloring and traditional weaving. Appreciate the naive paintings that represent scenes of daily life in the region.

Note: Traveling by public taxis that serve the small villages bordering Lake Atitlan (tickets included, trips every 30 minutes). Overnight stay at homestay in San Juan Laguna.

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Day 4 : Panajachel

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.

After lunch, drive to Antigua. End of the day to explore this charming colonial city. Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 5 : Antigua

Climb the Pacaya Volcano:

This morning, depart early for Pacaya Volcano, one of 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala. After a 1 hour and 30 minute drive, begin the ascent (3 hours hiking, 400 meters of altitude difference). The hike is accessible to all and offers beautiful views of the valley and the volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. At the base of the cone, observe the crater and fumaroles escaping. Lava flows can be seen when the volcano is active. Descend the giant and return to Antigua around 1PM. Free afternoon to explore Antigua.

Note: Good physical condition is recommended! There is the possible to do this activity on horseback. Option included : Entrance fees to volcan Pacaya. Option included: English speaking local community guide (mandatory for your climb).

After lunch, head for the department of Alta Verapaz whose mountainous landscapes are covered with mist, waterfalls and lush forests. Arrival in Cobán , capital of the department located at an altitude of 1,300 meters above sea level. The name of the city comes from the Indian Quek’chi, meaning “between the clouds.”

Overnight stay at the hotel Casa Gaia.

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Day 6 : Coban

Early departure from Cobán to the Cahabón River (07:00). The village of Lanquín and the valley are particularly famous for their caves, waterfalls and natural pools.

Excursion to Semuc Champey

Excursion to Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey’s natural swimming pools are one of the most beautiful landscapes in Guatemala. The Cahabón River flows under a limestone bridge, forming a series of turquoise water basins on its surface. Amazing and superb! Possibility to access a viewpoint by a steep path to enjoy the panorama (30 to 45 minutes walk). Swimming in these pools with calm and fresh water.

After the visit, continue to the department Alta Verapaz to reach a charming lodge near the Caves of Candelaría . End of the day in this tropical oasis. Option included: private transport by 4×4 vehicle between Lanquin and Semuc Champey (10 to 15 minutes up a steep road). Overnight stay at the hotel Candelaria Lodge.

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Day 7 : Candelaria

Exploration of the Candelaria Caves

A 3-hour excursion through the rainforest and caves of Candelaria. The main gallery is nearly 22 kilometres long and 60 kilometres of ancillary networks are added, making up one of the largest underground networks in Latin America.

After lunch, departure for Flores in the heart of Peten. Option included: entrance fees included to the caves of Candelaria.

 

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

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Day 8 : 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…

Settle into to your hotel in Tikal National Park to experience a night’s in the heart of the Petén jungle.

Option included: English speaking local guide Option included: Entrance fees to Tikal.

Overnight stay at the hotel Jaguar Inn Tikal.

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Day 9 : Tikal

Cross the Peten South towards the department of Izabal (5:00 hour drive). After a lunch along Lake Izabal, discover the waterfalls and hot springs of Finca Paraíso. Take a swim and relax in this tropical paradise.

Follow the lake to reach Río Dulce (45 minutes). Here, start to feel the Caribbean vibes! Many sailboats come here to drop anchor. Overnight stay at the hotel hacienda Tijax.

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Day 10 : Livingston

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 11 : Livingston

Mayan Stories at Quirigua

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!

Continuation to Guatemala City (5 hours).

Option included: private boat from Livingston to Puerto Barrios. Overnight stay at the hotel Stofella.

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Day 12 : Guatemala City

Private transfer to Guatemala City Airport.

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