Wonders of Guatemala
Our Suggested Itinerary to Discover Guatemala in 8 Days
Discover the colors and nature of Guatemala and it’s people on this 8 day tour! Explore the charming colonial city of Antigua with it’s cobblestone streets and flowered patios. Marvel at Lake Atitlan, surrounded by breathtaking volcanoes and lined with small Mayan villages. Discover the Petén region covered with jungle and dotted with mysterious archeological sites such as the famous city of Tikal.
Length of stay: 8 days
Kind: Must-See 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 Antigua. Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.
Day 2 : 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.
NB : Walking visit of the city (no vehicle required). Overnight stay at the hotel Meson María.
Day 3 : Antigua
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.
The Emblematic Lake Atitlan:
Today, depart for Lake Atitlan, a true symbol of Guatemala. This beautiful lake is nestled between 3 volcanoes at 1,600 meters above sea level. Take in the panoramic views! There are many small villages that sit on the 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.
Day 4 : Panajachel
Boat Trip to Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan
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.
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 free to explore the small town.
Option included: English speaking local guide for the day. Option included: Lunch in a local family in San Juan la Laguna
Option included : english speaking local guide for the day. Overnight stay at the hotel Dos Mundos Panajachel.
Day 5 : Panajachel
Discover The Atitlan Nature Reserve
The Atitlan Nature Reserve is a must-see for visitors of Lake Atitlan. It also plays an important role in the environmental cause: Atitlán Azul. It is an extraordinary introduction to the magnificent Lake Atitlán and the spectacular volcanoes that surround it.
At the Butterfly Geodome, enjoy the colors and shapes of hundreds of butterflies surrounded by flowers and the sounds of water. Humming birds, spider monkeys and the hum of the river accompany you as walk along the trails of the reserve.
Transfer to Guatemala City airport.
Option included : Entry fees to Atitlan Reserve.
Domestic flight from Guatemala City -> Flores (included). Arrive in Flores airport. Private transfer to your hotel. Overnight stay at the hotel Isla de Flores. Premium Room.
Day 6 : 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.
Day 7 : Flores
Immerse Yourself in the Jungle at Ixpapajul Eco-Park
A few miles from Flores, Ixpanpajul offers a beautiful immersive jungle experience. Walk along rope bridges to observe the local flora and fauna (2 hour walking tour, approximately). Some rope bridges measure more than 100 meters and offer breathtaking views of the rain forest!
Departure for Yaxha, which means “green water” in the Mayan language. The site is located on the shores of Lake Yaxha, which was used to supply the Maya population with fresh water. We walk on the trails of this immense and uncrowded site.
Don’t miss the sunset from from the Temple of las Manos Rojas!
Option included : Entrance fees to Yaxha.
Option included : Entrance fees to Ixpanpajul, rope bridges activity.
Overnight stay at the hotel Isla de Flores. Premium Room.
Day 8 : Flores
Private transfer from your hotel to the Flores airport. Domestic flight from Flores – Guatemala City (flight time TBD). Connect to your international flight.