Immersion in nature

Immersion in the luxurious natural world of Guatemala

Discover the wonders of Guatemala and meet its people through a concentrate of colours and nature. This 14-day tour is centered around the great natural wonders of Guatemala. Enjoy a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan from a small village rarely visited by tourists. After discovering the colonial city of Antigua and its volcanoes, we will head to the Verapaces region for a swim in the tropical nature at Semuc Champey. Discover Tikal differently with a night in a lodge in the middle of the jungle and then visit the site at sunrise. Finish the trip with your feet in the Caribbean water at the Garifuna village of Livingston.

Length of stay: 14 days

Kind: Our must-see tours in Guatemala

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 its famous market (Thursday and Sunday). The Kaqchikel Indians descend from surrounding villages twice a week to sell their wares 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 and in the center of the village, shamans purify the stairs of the church with incense and indulge in Mayan rituals.

Emblematic Lake Atitlan:

Today, depart for Lake Atitlan, a true symbol of Guatemala. This beautiful lake is nestled between 3 volcanoes at 1600 meters above sea level – the panoramas 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. Landing on a private lancha. We follow the shores of Lake Atitlan to reach the small village of Tzununa. Tuk tuk trip (included) to the Lomas Hotel in Tzununa.

The small hotel (10 rooms) is away from the tourist roads. Each room offers a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan. The hotel lends itself to relaxation with a spa, a swimming pool with panoramic views, a typical restaurant, yoga workshops. Possibility to rent kayaks to explore the surroundings and swim in the lake.

Overnight stay at the hotel Lomas de Tzununa.

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Day 3 : Tzununa

Free day in Lomas de Tzununa.

The small hotel (10 rooms) is away from the tourist roads. Each room offers a breathtaking view of Lake Atitlan. The hotel lends itself to relaxation with a spa, a swimming pool with panoramic views, a typical restaurant, yoga workshops. Possibility to rent kayaks to explore the surroundings and swim in the lake.

Suggestions for activities in the area:

– discovery of the Panajachel Atitlan Reserve (zip line routes, suspension bridges, butterfly greenhouse, interpretive trails, monkey and bird watching)
– visit the colourful village of Santa Catarina Palopo (15mn by taxi from Panajachel)
– kayak or paddle board on Lake Atitlan visit of the Mayan villages along the lake accessible by taxi boat: San Juan, San Marcos, Santa Catarina, Santiago Atitlan. . .
– guided hikes
– Paragliding

NB: day without transport service.

Overnight stay at the hotel Lomas de Tzununa.

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Day 4 : Panajachel

Boat Trip to Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan

This morning, hop on a boat and discover the Tzutuhil villages of Lake Atitlan. The Tzutuhil natives 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 and discover a curious syncretic cult. Somewhere between good and bad, Maximón , the smoking God of Guatemala is feared as much as he is idolized. The villagers offer him gifts in the form of cigarettes, alcohol or money.

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.

Return to Panajachel and spend the rest of your afternoon at leisure in the small town. Option included : english speaking local guide for the day. Overnight stay at the hotel Lomas de Tzununa.

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Day 5 : Panajachel

Depart for the Mayan site of Iximché , capital of the Mayas Kaqchikel who allied themselves with the Spanish settlers facing the Maya Quiché. The conquistadors established the first Spanish city of the country, but the Kaqchikels revolted and burned the city in 1562. The site is sometimes the place of Mayan rituals practiced by shamans and locals.

Continuation to Antigua . End of the day free in the beautiful colonial city.

Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 6 : Antigua

Explore Antigua

Surrounded by 3 majestic volcanoes, the ancient capital of Central America has suffered throughout its history many natural hazards: earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions… But Antigua is now one of the most beautiful cities in Guatemala.

We invite you to discover the city which is host to more than thirty monasteries and 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 in the distance the volcanoes Fuego, Agua and Acatenango.

NB : walking visit of the city (no vehicle). Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.

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Day 7 : Antigua

Ascension of the Pacaya volcano:

Early morning departure (7am) for the Pacaya volcano, one of the 3 active volcanoes in Guatemala. After 1h30 of transport, start of the ascent (3h of walking, 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. Once at the base of the cone, we observe the crater and the fumaroles that escape from it. Lava flows can be seen when the volcano is active. Descent of the giant and return to Antigua around 1pm. Afternoon free. NB: Good physical condition recommended. Possibility of horseback riding on site.

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 1300 meters. The name of the city comes from the Indian Quek’chi between the clouds . Option included : Entrance fees to volcan Pacaya. Option included : english speaking local guide in XXX (meeting at xxx at xxx) Overnight stay at the hotel Casa Gaia.

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Day 8 : 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

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 mn of steep road). Overnight stay at the hotel Candelaria Lodge.

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Day 9 : Tikal

Tubing in the caves of Candelaria:

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 an approach walk, we embark on the sacred river in a large buoy. We then let ourselves be carried away by the current to discover the impressive stalactites, stalagmites and other surprises that these deep caves have in store for you. A unique experience in the bowels of Guatemala.

Departure for Tikal National Park in the heart of Peten.

Overnight stay at the hotel Jungle Lodge Tikal.

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Day 10 : Tikal

Sunrise in Tikal

Early departure (4:30 am) for Tikal. The impressive Mayan city built in the 4th century BC reached its peak between the 3rd and 9th centuries AD.

We enter the site in the darkness to climb the highest pyramid and witness the awakening of the jungle: first the howler monkeys whose cries can be heard several kilometers away, then the birds that cross the twilight. The light rises over the tropical forest, gradually revealing the pyramids that surround us.

Return to the hotel for breakfast. Then visit the archaeological site. Some 3,000 structures emerge from the rainforest in a mystical atmosphere. The temple of the great jaguar faces that of the masks in the great square, the nerve 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. We are watching for spider monkeys, pheasants, coatis, toucans and other multicoloured parrots. The screams of howler monkeys can be heard from several kilometers away. The traveler is surprised by the smell of vines and roots.

Transfer to Flores located 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 11 : Livingston

Today, travel approximately 4 hours to the Rio Dulce . Here you can feel the atmosphere of the Caribbean! Visit Fort San Felipe which was built in the 17th centre to stop the continuous pirate attacks and view the many sailboats that anchor here today.

Sweet Rio Dulce

Take a private boat trip out onto the Rio Dulce. Travel past a canyon and take a dip in some hot springs. Arrive at the village of Livingston where part of the population are the ethnic group Garifuna , who are descendants of black slaves. You will notice how different the culture is here to the rest of Guatemala! Overnight stay at the hotel Villa Caribe.

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Day 12 : Livingston

Coconut trees, white sand & Caribbean

Departure in the morning by boat to an isolated beach near the border with Belize. It takes 45 minutes to 1 hour of navigation to reach the Playa Blanca site. On the program of this excursion: relaxing on the white sand and swimming in the turquoise water of the Caribbean.

Return to Livingston in the early afternoon. Afternoon free.

NB: 4 USD to be paid on site for access to the private beach.

Overnight stay at the hotel Villa Caribe.

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Day 13 : Livingston

Boarding for Puerto Barrios (40mn of navigation) and road to Quirigua (1h30).

Visit of the archaeological site in the Motagua Valley. Quirigua was an important and respected city during the Mayan classical period (200 – 900 AD). The site is particularly renowned for the beauty of its stelae, the highest reaching 10. 70 metres high and weighing 65 tonnes. Continuation to Guatemala (5h).

Overnight stay at the hotel Stofella.

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Day 14 : Guatemala City

Today, meet your driver and transfer to Guatemala City Airport.

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