Guatemala

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Our most recommended things to do in Guatemala

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

1. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Trek

Walk for 2 hours to the summit of Pacaya Volcano and enjoy stunning views. Leave from Antigua for a 1-hour bus journey to the volcano's base before immediately starting your 2-hour trek with your local guide. Hike through wonderful pine forests up to the trickier volcanic ash section and finally to the sulfur smoking cone. On occasions you can even see small eruptions and lava flowing, depending on the activity of the volcano. From the summit you can enjoy great views of the nearby volcanoes, Agua, Fuego and Acatenango, the pacific lowlands and all the way to El Salvador. To ensure your safety you won’t be able to visit the crater, but you will get an amazing view of red-hot lava flowing and steam baths created by the heat of Pacaya. Take a break and relax here as you take in more scenic views before hiking back to the base of the volcano, from where you will transfer back to your accommodation. 

Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure

2. Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure

Volcano Acatenango is the sleeping giant, and a twin of the most active volcano in Guatemala. Acatenango is the third highest volcano in all of Central America and it is a real adventure to hike to the top. It gives you the best location to observe the sunset and the sunrise. Sleeping overnight in the base camp of the volcano will be unique experience. Its highest summit is 3,976m (13,044 ft). The itinerary of the trip is broken into two days. Day 1 will begin at 9:00 AM, with a shuttle from Antigua to La Soledad village. The tour guide will pick you up at your hotel. Your hike will begin at 11:00 AM and will continue for approximately 5 hours. You will reach base camp by 17:00 PM in time to watch the sunset. The second day will begin at 4:00 AM, as an hour's hike to the summit will provide a great view of the sunrise. Breakfast will be served back at base camp and the trek will start around 8:30 AM downwards toward the village. Reaching the village by 11:30 AM, you will have some time to look around before the transfer to Antigua. The tour finishes here by 12:30 PM, giving you the rest of your day. 

Tikal Day Tour From Flores With Lunch

3. Tikal Day Tour From Flores With Lunch

Discover the impressive splendor of Tikal, which means Place of Voices. The park, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, spans an area of 576 square kilometers. During this 8-hour tour you’ll have the opportunity to walk through the jungle and admire the many species of local flora and fauna. In addition to the main temples and plazas, there are several other sites not to miss. See the Major Plaza surrounded by impressive buildings such as Temples I and II, or the North and Central Acropolis. See the altars that played a role in the dynamic history of Tikal’s Mayan civilization. At the end of the tour you’ll enjoy a traditional lunch.

Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

4. Lake Atitlan Tour Full Day From Antigua

Take the road to The Western Highlands region, home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests, and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous people. This is the region most travelers familiar with Guatemala think about when daydreaming of a trip to this beautiful country. Upon arrival at Panajachel, take a public boat to cross Lake Atitlan and visit San Juan La Laguna. Enjoy the vibrant colors and local flavor of this village. Santiago is the most popular lakeside settlement outside Panajachel, and many atitecos (as its people are known) cling to a traditional Tz’utujil Mayan lifestyle. Women weave and wear huipiles (tunics) embroidered with brilliantly colored birds and flowers, and the cofradías town’s maintain the ceremonies and rituals of tradition, the syncretic traditions, and practices of Mayan Catholicism. There’s a large art and crafts scene here as well. Back to Panajachel. In Panajachel, you will take a delicious lunch (NOT INCLUDED) Explore the village of Panajachel is a pre-Columbian town of Kakchiquel origin, settled next to the river with the same name and on the lakeside of Atitlán. The town witnessed the final battle between Spaniards and their Kakchiquel allies against the Tzujiles and it also was a settlement point for the Franciscan missionaries who founded a convent nearby. In the afternoon, you’ll be returned to Antigua Guatemala.

Tikal & Yaxha Archaeological Sites: 2-Day Tour

5. Tikal & Yaxha Archaeological Sites: 2-Day Tour

Experience the wonders of 2 of Guatemala’s most important Mayan archaeological sites. On this 2-day tour you’ll explore ruins and learn about the more than 100 wildlife species that live in and around the parks. Day 1: Tikal morning tour You’ll be met at your hotel in Flores by an expert guide and head out on an hour’s drive to the Tikal archaeological site. You’ll explore the site on a 3-hour guided tour and learn about the temples and ruins you encounter, dating from the Mayan Classic period. At the end of the tour you’ll be transferred back to your hotel. Day 2: Yaxha sunset experience Today your driver will meet you at your hotel at noon to take you on a tour of the Yaxha archaeological site. See the ruins and explore jungle in the park. After sunset you’ll be transferred back to your hotel in Flores. Please note that the price of the tour does not include a local guide at Yaxha, or the entrance fees to the 2 parks.

Kanba Cave & Semuc Champey Park Tour Including Entrance Fees

6. Kanba Cave & Semuc Champey Park Tour Including Entrance Fees

In the morning after meeting in Lanquin village, you will then head out by safety truck on this full-day adventure to Kanba Cave and Semuc Champey Park. At Kanba your guide will take you inside the underground river caves for around 1,000 meters. You’ll scramble over rocks, wade through pools, climb up waterfalls, and swim through narrow channels. Next you’ll go on a half-hour tubing experience on the Kahabon River. Afterwards, you’ll go on a walk in Semuc Champey National Park. The monument comprises a natural stone bridge that’s 300 meters long. Natural pools of different sizes have formed above the bridge, where you can relax and soak in the turquoise pools.

From San Ignacio: Tikal Maya Site Day-Trip with Local Lunch

7. From San Ignacio: Tikal Maya Site Day-Trip with Local Lunch

Start with pickup from San Ignacio at 7:00 AM, and take a 15-minute drive to Guatemalan border. Be assisted at the border by your guide, and continue on the 2-hour long journey to Tikal. Discover the ancient Mayan site of Tikal which is considered to be one of the most spiritual locations on earth. Once at the national park, see the abundance of wildlife surrounding the temples. Discover how the Mayan civilization built inspiring temples and cities that formed a vast complex of religious, social and political power.  Enjoy a guided tour of the main sights of the complex, which is estimated to have over 3,000 structures including palaces, temples, ceremonial platforms, ball courts, terraces, plazas, causeways, and reservoirs. See several of the main temples including the tallest structure which measures 212 feet.  After visiting the main parts of Tikal, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Then, drive back to San Ignacio you can stop at the local gift shops, with arrival back in San Ignacio at approximately 4:30 PM.

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

8. From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

Volcano Pacaya (8370ft/2552m) may not be Guatemala’s highest peak, however its slopes and unique landscapes are certainly of some of the most impressive volcanic landscapes in all of Central America. Set in its own National Park, Pacaya is a storybook volcano with a continuous plume of smoke drifting from its summit and a massive dried lava field forming the valley at the base of its caldera. The group meets in Antigua at 08:00 (for a morning hike) or 14:00 (for a sunset hike) – where drinking water, bathroom facilities, and retail outdoor equipment are available. Your drive to the trailhead is just over 1 hour in private transport from Antigua to the Park Office. As the group moves up the myriad of trails on the mountain, Guatemala’s impressive vistas open up before you. As you reach the base of the caldera, your guide will direct the group through the rugged dried lava fields, recently reformed by a massive eruption in 2010. No matter what conditions you encounter on the mountain, the group will have the opportunity to traverse unique volcanic-rock landscapes as you ascend towards the peak. Here the group will stop for a freshly prepared picnic to enjoy along with views of nearby volcanoes Agua, Fuego and Acatenango. There will be plenty of opportunity to explore geothermal hot-spots on the cooled lava formations – which are always available to help roast marshmallows! The hike down brings across the remaining dried lava fields before you begin your descent through Pacaya’s lush and lesser known forests and farmland. After your hike down to the trailhead, the group returns to Antigua by private transport to arrive in town at roughly 16:00 (day hike) or 20:30 (sunset hike).

Lake Atitlán Boat Tour

9. 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.

Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour with Shared Boat Trip

10. Lake Atitlan Full-Day Tour with Shared Boat Trip

Cruise across Lake Atitlan and visit the villages of San Juan La Laguna on this full-day shared sightseeing tour. Ringed by 3 volcanoes on its southern flank, Lake Atitlan is the deepest lake in Central America. Departing from Panajachel, at the gateway to the lake, your private guide will take you on a scenic shared boat trip before exploring some local textile communities and the Mayan villages of San Juan La Laguna. Get amazing views of the Atitlan, Toliman and San Pedro volcanoes, as you experience for yourself why the area became such a Mecca for beatniks and bohemian writers such as Aldous Huxley. Capture the scent of coffee plantations, and then try some freshly ground coffee. Here, you can immerse yourself in the laid-back vibe of the Tz'utujil Mayans and turn the noisy dial of modern life down to zero.

Other Sightseeing Options in Guatemala

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