Antigua Guatemala
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Antigua Guatemala Meet the Locals

Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

1. Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

Start the day with a trip from Antigua or Guatemala City to the Maya town of Panajachel. During the drive there will be a brief stop in Katok, a very famous restaurant where you can indulge in a hot drink. Once at Panajachel, it's time for a boat trip to cross Lake Atitlán and visit the Tzutuhil Village of Santiago de Atitlán. In this village you will visit the confraternity of the local saint named Maximon or Ri Laj Mam, visited by people all over the world who come to ask for health and prosperity in their lives. The lake itself owes its grandeur to its enormous size and spectacular volcanic setting. Three large volcanoes, Atitlán Tolimán and San Pedro, rise gracefully from its southern shore, creating breathtaking views around the area. You will experience these views and the traditional practices still carried out by the Maya-Tzutujil and Cakchiquel women who live around the lake. After a short transfer, we will have lunch at one of the most exquisite restaurants of Panajachel. While in town, guestes will also Santander Street and experience its vast, bustling handicraft market.

From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

2. From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

This is a real immersion in the Mayan culture and you will see the lifestyle of the Mayan people. See how ancient technology is used for textile manufacture as you visit three Mayan villages around Lake Atitlan. The departure is from Antigua, with a 2.5-hour drive to Panajachel (Lake Atitlán). Then, visit San Juan la Laguna, San Pedro, and Santiago Atitlan, returning at the end to Panajachel. This is a round trip around Lake Atitlan, and there will be a one-hour stop in every town. Admire the colorful town of San Juan. Visit its attractions down the main streets such as galleries and women's coops, and witness a chocolate and coffee production demo. Then, explore San Pedro. A small town populated by Mayan Tzutujil. Discover its interesting sights and learn about the local culture there. Lastly, make a stop in Santiago Atitlán, where you can make a visit to a deity revered by the locals and visitors. Its market day is very colorful, and you can visit Santiago Apóstol Parish Church, built in the colonial times in the Renaissance style.

3 Day Acatenango & Fuego Volcanoes Doubleheader Hike

3. 3 Day Acatenango & Fuego Volcanoes Doubleheader Hike

This 3-day/2-night hike brings you up the slopes of beautiful Volcan Acatenango to our private campsite – bench-cut into the side of this towering mountain. From here we enjoy our camp meals, incredible views and plenty of room to stretch out - along with the sights and sounds of nearby Volcan Fuego’s violent volcano eruptions. We continue our hike across and up Volcan Fuego the next morning, and enjoy lunch beneath Fuego’s smoldering caldera on Day 2. After a return hike in the afternoon, we enjoy another evening at camp with fresh food and a warm fire (weather permitting!). Our group will summit Acatenango’s peak (3,975m/12,720ft - the third highest volcano in Guatemala!) on the morning of the 3rd day, and descend back down through a myriad of environmental zones to return to Antigua Guatemala by early afternoon. Day 1 Our group meets at the Old Town Outfitters Shop at 08:00hrs (5th Avenida & 6th Calle – 1 block south from Central Park) to board our private transport for the trailhead. Hikers should eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road. A one-hour drive takes us from Antigua to the sleepy mountain village of La Soledad, perched on the ridge of the Pacific slope of Guatemala’s volcanic mountain chain. The trail up Volcan Acatenango has four distinct environment zones, each of which will take you a little over an hour to traverse. We’ll begin by walking up steep trail through local farm fields - the same trail used by local villagers each morning to access their corn, snow pea and lily fields. Our first hour of hiking will help hikers acclimatize and warm their leg muscles up for the day’s hike. The second phase of our ascent passes through old-growth tropical cloud-forest. In this zone, we find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, the biggest biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh clean air and the sounds of local birds and wildlife. This type of high-alpine cloud-forest is found on the upper slopes of many of Guatemala’s tallest volcanoes and mountains, and is home to the famous Quetzal. After exiting the cloud-forest, we will be rewarded with fantastic views northward of other highland volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Tajamulco), along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes Mountain chain. A fresh picnic lunch is prepared around mid-day for our group to enjoy. Temperate coniferous (pine, fur, etc.) cloud-forest and dry-forest characterize the 3rd phase of our ascent, and it will lead us to the storm-beaten tree-line of the mountain. Our campsite is perched just below treeline with sweeping views of the Antiguan valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, hikers are free to rest, relax and enjoy their surroundings while our guide prepares a fresh vegetarian camp dinner at ~3750m with hot tea and coffee. Day 2 In the morning, our group will enjoy a hearty breakfast after a mesmerizing sunrise above cloud-line across from Volcan Fuego. With expansive views south towards Esquintla and the tropical Pacific coast of Guatemala, and east across the Antigua Valley to towering Volcan Agua, we will begin our 1-hour descent to the saddle between Volcan Acatenango and Fuego. After a short rest, we will wind our way up the 1½-hour push to the vertigo-inducing ridge of Volcan Fuego. At a responsible distance from the active summit of Fuego – teetering between the highland valleys and the Pacific slope - our group will rest and eat lunch as we wait for a chance eruption at close-range. Our group will spend the afternoon hiking back to our campsite to rest and relax. Another beautiful night on the mountain, and another delicious dinner prepared by your guide will help ease our tired bodies to rest. Day 3 In the morning - after an early camp breakfast - our group embarks on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. The trail up to the summit is the steepest we will attempt, and leads to the exposed rocky surfaces left by the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak. At the summit, our group will rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan highlands – all the way to the border of Mexico. After 45min at the top (depending on conditions and time considerations), the group will begin the 3½-hour descent back towards La Soledad, and transport back to Antigua to arrive in town in the early afternoon (~13:00hrs).

Guatemala Cooking Class Tour

4. Guatemala Cooking Class Tour

This program is part of GA’s Newest One Day Tours. The tour can depart from Guatemala City or Antigua Guatemala depending on where you are staying.  During this one day Tour you will have the chance to get to learn how to prepare the local cuisine from Guatemala. Guatemala is well known for its delicious and unique flavors. Guatemalan food is a great mixture of unique and traditional colonial Spanish and local Mayan cooking that are both fun to prepare. Don’t waste any time and enjoy this unique tour. Departure from Guatemala City and arrive at Antigua where the cooking class will take place.  Start with an explanation of the traditional dish itself, the ingredients and the basic process of how to prepare it.  You will choose one “main dish”, two “side dishes” and one “dessert” to learn how to prepare.  Then take your time to enjoy and taste the amazing food you just prepared Arrive back at your hotel in Guatemala City at 2:30 pm.

Acatenango Volcano 2-Day Hike

5. Acatenango Volcano 2-Day Hike

This 2-day/1-night hike brings you up the slopes of beautiful Volcan Acatenango to our private campsite – bench-cut into the side of this towering mountain. From here we enjoy our camp meals, incredible views, and plenty of room to stretch out. In camp there we will have ample time to appreciate the sights and sounds of nearby Volcan Fuego’s violent volcano eruptions. On the morning of the 2rd day, our group will summit Acatenango’s peak (3,975m/12,720ft - the third highest volcano in Guatemala), taking in panoramic views from atop the summit. Finally, we will descend back down through a myriad of microclimates to return to Antigua by early afternoon. Day 1: Hike To Camp Our group leaves from the Old Town Outfitters Shop at 8:00am, where you can fill up your water bottles and purchase any additional gear you might need. Hikers should eat breakfast beforehand and pack a small snack for the road. A one-hour drive takes us from Antigua to the sleepy mountain village of La Soledad, perched on the ridge of the Pacific slope of Volcan Acatenango. The trail up Volcan Acatenango has four distinct microclimates, each of which will take you about an hour to traverse. We’ll begin by walking up a steep trail through local farm fields - the same trail used by local villagers each morning to access their corn, snow pea and lily fields. Our first hour of hiking will help you acclimatize and warm up the leg muscles for the day’s hike. The second phase of our ascent passes through old-growth tropical cloud forest. In this environmental zone, we find some of Acatenango’s oldest trees, an incredible biodiversity of flora and fauna, fresh mountain air and the sounds of local birds and wildlife. This type of high-alpine cloud forest is found on the upper slopes of many of Guatemala’s tallest volcanoes and mountains, and is home to the famous Quetzal. After exiting the cloud forest, we will be rewarded with fantastic views of the other highland volcanoes (Atitlan, Toliman, San Pedro, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, Tajamulco), along with glimpses of the Cuchumatanes mountain chain. A fresh picnic is prepared mid-day for our group to enjoy. Temperate coniferous forest and tropical dry forest characterize the 3rd phase of our ascent, which will lead us to the storm-beaten tree-line of the volcano. Our campsite is perched just below tree-line with sweeping views of the Antigua valley and Volcan Fuego. After setting up camp, hikers are free to rest, relax and enjoy their surroundings while our guide prepares a fresh camp dinner at ~3750m with hot tea and coffee. Day 2: Summiting Acatenango In the morning, after an early camp breakfast, our group embarks on a 45-minute ascent to the summit on a sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. The trail up to the summit is the steepest we will have seen, and leads to the rocky summit exposed to the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak. At the summit, our group will rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the entirety of the Guatemalan highlands – all the way to the border of Mexico. After 45min at the top (depending on conditions and time considerations), the group will begin the 3-hour descent back towards La Soledad. Our group has the opportunity to descend through an alternate route down Volcan Acatenango, experiencing a variety of microclimates and beautiful trail. From La Soledad, we will transport back to Antigua, arriving in the afternoon with plenty of time for you to enjoy the delights of the old Spanish colonial capital (~13:00hrs).

3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

6. 3-Day Tour of Lake Atitlan & Chichicastenango Market

Experience two of Guatemala's most celebrated points of interest: sparkling Lake Atitlan and the Chichicastenango Market on this 3-day tour from Antigua. Visit the highland town of Chichicastenango, world-famous for its open-air market. Here you'll find amazing handicrafts created by the indigenous Maya people as you witness an incessant exchange of fruits and vegetables. Next to the market stands the Church of Santo Tomas, a 16th-century church where you can observe age-old Mayan rituals being performed. Filling an enormous caldera and surrounded by volcanoes and traditional Mayan villages, Lake Atitlan has become renowned for its indescribable beauty and unique cultural history. Spend a day on a guided boat tour of the lake and surrounding towns, then experience the nightlife of Panajachel. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Antigua ̶ Chichicastenango – Panajachel Travel from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Explore the open-air market, where a wide array of produce, finely woven textiles, and intricate handicrafts are for sale. Afterward, visit the Church of Santo Tomas. Evening transfer to Panajachel for overnight. Day 2: Lake Atitlan Boat Trip Board a private boat for a scenic trip across Lake Atitlan. Visit two traditional Maya villages that line the shores of the lake and admire views of the nearby volcanoes. Afterward, enjoy free time in Panajachel on your own. Day 3: Panajachel ̶ Antigua Have free time to further explore Panajachel. In the afternoon, transfer to Antigua Colonial City.

San Andrés Itzapa Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour

7. San Andrés Itzapa Half-Day Mountain Bike Tour

Enjoy a half-day bike ride of the mountain roads and paths of San Andrés Itzapa, northwest of Antigua, and marvel at the fertile soil that provides ideal growing conditions for corn, black beans, peas, broccoli, coffee, and many other vegetables. You will pedal single track cross-country dirt roads and old jeep tracks through an undulating terrain that is suitable for a variety of skill levels. The energetic 32-mile (50-kilometer) ride includes a visit to the Maximón shrine in San Andrés Itzapa, where you will have the opportunity to see the indigenous Maya ceremonies up close. Watch farmers at work in their fields and plantations, while enjoying panoramic views of the mountains of Guatemala’s southern Highlands.

Antigua Half-Day Lost Cities of the Almolonga Bike Tour

8. Antigua Half-Day Lost Cities of the Almolonga Bike Tour

Get to know the areas surrounding Antigua with a half-day bike tour. On this trip, which is suitable for beginners and intermediate bike riders, ride to the Almolonga Valley west of Antigua. The area was home of the second capital of Guatemala, Ciudad Vieja. On your trip, see the city life fade and the country life take over as you travel further out. Learn about how the old city met a fateful end in 1541 as a result of a terrible mudslide released from the crater of Agua Volcano. The city disappeared in the valley between Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango volcanoes, and you will hear about the ongoing debate as people try to pinpoint its exact location. While out and about, you will also see the villages of Santiago Zamora and San Antonio Aguas Calientes, and stop off at a macadamia farm. This trip is guaranteed to be an educational experience that will teach you about the history and culture of the area while spending time in the great outdoors!

Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

9. Chichicastenango and Panajachel One Day Tour

This day-long tour of Guatemala, beginning from Antigua or Guatemala City, covers market villages to picturesque lakes and is sure to give you a bar-none introduction to some of the country's loveliest sights! Start your day at the open market of Chichicastenango. Here, you can explore the indigenous market and witness the incessant exchange of fruits, vegetables and handicrafts between local people and foreigners. This charming local market really does offer just about everything—you can even shop for wood products, ceramics and the sorts of gifts that the Mayan priests offer on their pre-hispanic altars. We will then move on to visit Santo Tomás church, where the Popol Vuh (The sacred book of the Maya) was found. For the perfect end to the day we will spend the remainder of our time overlooking one of the world's most beautiful lakes.

Explore the Heart of the Mayan World - 10 Day Adventure

10. Explore the Heart of the Mayan World - 10 Day Adventure

Day 1   >>> Arrival in Guatemala & world-Famous Antigua Enjoy two days in Antigua - one of the world’s oldest & most beautiful colonial cities. Antigua, Guatemalais an exquisite Spanish Colonial town with elegant 16th & 17th Century architecture, cobblestone streets, a tranquil central square, stylish hotels, luxurious shops and superb international cuisine. The town enjoys a unique and impressive setting nestled beneath three towering volcanoes and surrounded by lush evergreen forests. Day 2  >>> Antigua & Travel to Chichicastenango Meet for a leisurely and informative Walking Tour of Antigua. The tour will focus on Antigua’s architecture, history, restoration and cultural trends. Your tour will include a visit to the Jade Museum and also the museums at Paseo de los Museos at Casa Santo Domingo.  In the afternoon you will take a private shuttle from Antigua to Chichicastenango. Day 3   >>> Amazing Chichicastenango In the morning, you will have time to enjoy the spectacular outdoor market of Chichicastenango – one of the world’s most famous outdoor markets! People watch in this very Mayan village, and also ‘shop until you drop’ or until 1pm when the market closes. Walk through the cemetery and sacred Shaman Hill, Pascal Abaj where you are likely to see Mayan fire cleansing ceremonies.  Day 4  >>> Lake Atitlan– 3 village boat tour of San Marcos, San Juan, and Santiago This spectacular full day trip will take you from one end of the lake to the other. You will visit the villages of San Marcos, San Juan and Santiago, with time to explore each village. Easy walking is involved and the trip is approximately 5-6 hours.Your Itinerary may vary from the following, but just tell Lee what you are most interested in seeing or doing and he will do his best to accommodate:  Sample Itinerary: The day begins in Santa Cruz where you depart for the west end of the lake. You get to see the villages of El Jaibalito, Tzununa, San Marcos, and San Pablo as you make your way along the north shore. Your first stop isSan Marcos, where you stop for breakfast and optional cliff jumping. Then you will depart the north shore for San Juan, the “Swiss village” of Lake Atitlan. You will spend approximately 2 hours on a guided walking tour and visit art galleries, two woman's weaving cooperatives, a medicinal and curative plant garden, or you can learn about fishing and paddle a traditional cayuka (canoe).   Several famous painters are from San Juan so you will also visit their galleries to see them at work. Women Weavers and Nuestra Artesania includes demonstrations showing how the beautiful fabrics are made; from harvesting the cotton, to spinning it into yarn, dying the yarn, and then creating one of-a-kind fabrics with the back strap loom. The Qomaneel center is a medicinal and curative herb garden operated by the midwives of San Juan.  You are guided through the garden and given samples of each plant along with a description of its curative powers.There are no entrance fees at the cooperatives. Your gift purchases or donations are how these centers function.  Your third stop is Santiago. The bay of Santiago is a photographer’s dream. We take a tour along the shore of the bay before we start our walking tour. Your first stop is a visitor center that offers insight into the life of the Tzutujile Maya. There are interpretive displays on the history of the traje (traditional clothing), spiritual beliefs and Maximon. We have lunch before we tour the local church and visit Maximon. The Mayan visit Maximon to ask for healthy crops, to help cure illness, to find love, or to cast a spell on a neighbor. Be sure to buy some candles, cigarettes, or liquor to make your own offering!!!A small fee is required for admittance. The Catholic church was first constructed in 1547, however the original structure has been destroyed several times over.  The church has two wooden alter pieces from the original 1500's, as well as other ancient artifacts.  This was the sight of many incidents during the 30 year civil conflict, and ultimately lead to the murder of Father Stanley "Alpa" Rother in 1981.  We visit Father Rather's personal living quarters, learn about his efforts to help the villagers during the war, and discuss the history of the war. Day 5  >>> Hiking the Upper Mayan Trail at Lake Atitlan (or driving tour).  Some of your family or group may choose the hike, while the others would meet us at the market. On this day you will be hiking the Upper Mayan Trail affording you some truly amazing lake views! At the hikes’s conclusion you will spend some time at the colorful market of Solola. Your hike takes you along ancient paths that have been used by the Kaqchikel Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world. The hike takes you 2,500 feet above the waters of Atitlán for breath taking views and pristine scenery. It is a difficult walk/climb, but is not overly challenging for those in good health. The walk is approximately three hours through magnificent scenery. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. You walk through a remote Mayan village high in the mountains where we find the road. There we take a collectivo (shared van/pick-up) the last few miles into Solola. In Solola you visit the second largest market in Guatemala, then return via chicken bus or pick up into Panajachel.  We have the opportunity to observe a Mayan ceremony at the sacred caves of San Jorge.  We are able to              observe the Fire Cleansing Ceremony on most occasions, but it is not guaranteed. Day 6    >>> Lake Atitlan– Kayak and Hike Mulit-Sport  Full-day trip begins and ends in Santa Cruz. This full day includes a kayak tour along the rugged north shore, and a hike back thru San Marcos, Tzununa,  El Jaibalito and Santa Cruz la Laguna.   Meet at the hotel dock to gear up for a day of adventure. It is best to wear your swimsuit or other appropriate boating atire as you will get wet along the way.  We supply dry sacks for your backpacks and other gear for the second part of the day. Be sure to bring your camera, drinking water, and some sunscreen.   We paddle for 1 ½ -2 hours along the shores of Santa Cruz la Laguna, El Jaibalito, and Tzununa, ending in San Marcos.  You will have many up close encounters with Mayan men who fish from hand hewn cayukas as they have for centuries.  You will feel privileged to share the lake with these proud fishermen who make Lake Atitlan so unique. You paddle along rugged cliff faces filled with exotic plant and bird life.  You have the opportunity to soak in the hot springs and cliff- jump into the crystal clear waters, or just enjoy a swim and sun. We pull into the Bay of San Marcos and gear up for the next part of our adventure. The  north shore of Lake Atitlan has no true road access, so you will be hiking along ancient paths that have been used by the Maya for centuries. You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maiz and coffee fields, and see some  of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  This rugged and remote section of Lake Atitlan has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our hike takes us several hundred feet above the ever changing waters of Atitlan for breath taking views of the famous volcanos.  We end our hike in Santa Cruz la Laguna at the end of our day of adventure. Day 7  >>> Guatemala City tour The capital city has many sights to enjoy, and most visitors miss this opportunity. You can let me show you my favorites, or you can choose from the options described below.   There are several museums that offer the visitor an in site to the Maya. The Popol Vuh Archaeological Museum and the Ixcchle Museum. Free evening to explore the Zona Viva area. It is safe and has many restaurants to enjoy. I will escort you if you wish, and this may be preferable.  I know the area well and am comfortable with its safety. Overnight Guatemala City For your Guatemala Hotel (2 nights, Day 7 & Day 9) we recommend that you book directly with one of the many hotels which are near the airport. Day 8   >>> the world famous mayan ruins of Tikal 4:30 am Shuttle from your Guatemala City Hotel (near the airport) to the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport 5 am Check-in at the TAG (18 calle & Avenida Hincapie zona 13 Hangar 16) (passport required) 6:30am Flight TG 01 with TAG from the TAG Hangar at the GUA Airport to FRS 7:30am Go to the Tikal Inn personnel at the FRS airport. Shuttle from Flores airport to Tikal National Park (park admission included). There may be a wait for the next flight (have breakfast) 9am English tour: Complex Q, North and Central Acropolis, Mundo Perdido Complex & Temple IV. Lunch at Hotel Tikal Inn (beverages and tips not included) Visit to museum on your own. Admission not included Overnight at Tikal Inn (double occupancy) Day 9   >>> the world famous mayan ruins of Tikal Breakfast/Free morning (US$20 park admission not included) 2 pm Shuttle fromHotel Tikal Innto Flores airport 3 pm Check-in at the TAG counter (passport required) 5 pm Flight TG 02 with TAG from FRS airport to the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport 6 pm Shuttle from the TAG Hangar at the GUA airport back to your Guatemala City Hotel Day 10     >>> Departure day Check out of your Guatemala City Hotel in time to catch your flight home. 

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What people are saying about Antigua Guatemala

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 9 reviews

An amazing tour! Totally recomended, we learned a lot about the mayan culture, history and deities. Salvador, our guide, is from Lake Atitlan, he is amazing, truly recomended. At the start, due to a confusion with the name of the hotel, the driver didn't pass for us. But Salvador made the arrangement with the company to give us a private shuttle few minutes after. So, it was great! Again, totally recomended. You have to walk a lot in the tour to enjoy it in fullness, so is not recomended for childs or old people.

This was probably the most challenging thing I have done but also the most incredible experience I have ever had! Just a word of advice to take the following: wet wipes, tissues, head lamp (or torch) for early morning summit, hiking poles (they make such a difference) and obliviously warm clothing (it gets freezing at night).

Excellent experience by all artisan manufacturers. You can see the process of chocolate, macadamia, medlar and jade in their different presentations. The tour was guided by Josías who gave me a lot of information about everything, very attentive and excellent attention.

Very neat and accomplished

Everything offered was fulfilled. Comfortable transport. Very friendly in the chosen hotel. Good location and willing to collaborate. The guide in the Lake very attentive to his work. A very pleasant experience. Thank you

Excellent!

We were extremely pleased with Mr. Mirco's attention, it was excellent! Very beautiful place and an incredible culture!