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Western Highlands

Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Western Highlands Nature & Adventure

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 occasion, 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. 

Tikal Day Tour From Flores With Lunch

2. 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.

From Flores: Tikal Ruins Day Tour

3. From Flores: Tikal Ruins Day Tour

Tour the Tikal Mayan Ruins on a day trip from Flores. Enjoy a stunning sunrise before driving through the wild jungle and hiking through the breathtaking ruins with a local guide. Meet your driver at the meeting point by the entrance to Flores island. Drive out from the city towards the archaeoligical site and watch the sky burst into crimson color with the sunrise. Enter the jungle as you continue your adventure and be introduced to your guide at the start of the winding forest trails. Start hiking and admire the scenery as you trek, discovering the temples, pyramids, ruins, and palaces of the Mayans. Listen to the chirping birds and spot monkeys swinging through the trees. Learn about the history of Mayan culture and how these wonders of archaeology were built and used.

Overnight Volcano Acatenango Hiking Adventure

4. 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. 

Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

5. Chichicastenango and Lake Atitlan Tour From Antigua

Your 10-hour excursion begins with a drive into the western highlands of Guatemala. The region is home to quaint and colorful mountain villages, highland lakes, pine forests and the majority of Guatemala’s indigenous peoples. When you arrive at the Chichicastenango market you’ll begin your walking tour. The market is at the center of the town and is the heart of commercial life for maxeños, the natives of Chichicastenango. Every Thursday and Sunday merchants head to the central plaza to sell their products in this impressive indigenous market that has changed very little over the centuries. Explore the pathways of the market and admire the colorful handicrafts and produce offered by the local people of the region. In Chichicastenango, you’ll also visit Santo Tomás Church, built in 1540 over the base of a pre-Hispanic temple. This church is a splendid example of colonial architecture, and the Mayan and Latino influence is evident in both the interior and exterior of the building. After exploring the market you’ll enjoy a delicious lunch (not included in the tour price). Next you’ll continue to the town of Panajachel, located at the edge of Lake Atitlan. Take a walk along Santander Street and enjoy the spectacular views of Lake Atitlan, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. The volcanoes Tolimán, Atitlán and San Pedro form a natural frame for the lake. Lake Atitlan has a surface of 125 square kilometers and sits 1,560 meters above sea level.

San Pedro La Laguna: Sunrise Hike to the Indian Nose

6. San Pedro La Laguna: Sunrise Hike to the Indian Nose

Climb to the summit above where the mountains meet water. The Indian Nose is the mountain on the northwest shore of Lake Atitlan. Also called Rupalaj K’istalin, this  2550 meters tall mountain presents one of the most rewarding climbs of Lake Atitlan. In addition to viewing the sunrise over a chain of volcanoes and then onto the pristine waters, this climb provides great views over the San Juan and San Pedro la Laguana villages. The climb takes about 30 minutes beginning in either of these villages.  Your guide will meet you at your San Pedro la Laguana accommodation, where you will then catch a shuttle bus to the beginning of the hiking trail. It is much more enjoyable and easier to begin the hike in the village of Santa Clara la Laguna, meaning that the pick-up time from your hotel is 3:45 AM, to be able to make the sunrise. 

Yaxha Day Tour From Flores With Lunch

7. Yaxha Day Tour From Flores With Lunch

From your Hotel in Flores you will be transferred to Yaxha archaeological park. It is a Mesoamerican archeological site located in the northeast of the Petén Basin region within the Department of Petén. It is approximately 30 km southeast of Tikal, between the Yaxha and Sacnab Lake. Yaxha is notable for the unique survival of its toponym from the classical period. The name of the city is of ancient origin, literally meaning blue-green (Yax) water (ha). A thriving ceremonial center in its heyday, it has over 500 structures, including 40 stelae, 13 Altars, 9 Temple Pyramids, and 2 Mesoamerican ball courts. At the conclusion of the tour, you will be treated to a traditional Guatemalan lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll return to Flores.

Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs with Lunch

8. Pacaya Volcano Tour and Hot Springs with Lunch

This day you will visit the Pacaya National Park. Visit to the most active volcano in Guatemala, its 2500 m. above the sea; the environment is formed by humid forest and rocks. Transfer to the foot of the volcano Pacaya and from there,we start hiking from the San Vicente de Pacaya village and begin ascent route is estimate at 60 minutes of walking up to a distance of approximately 50m from the craterat the top you can see down into the crater to the lava as well as experience the energy of an active volcano. Pacaya Volcano remains one of the active volcanoes of Guatemala. After the visit and explored of the Pacaya Volcano we continue to Kawilal Hot Springs to have time to take lunch   ( Included ). Kawilal is a world of relaxation, where the most important elements of nature are present in this unique place of hot springs, in our environment are mixed fire and heat from Pacaya Volcano who gives us the thermal waters and steams. Has a complex that promotes sustainable tourism in our country, and has 12 thermal pools, Thermal Circuit, 25 Steam Baths, and 3 Hydrotherapy Baths. The spa offers Relaxing Massages, Reflexology, Shiatsu Relaxing, Manicure and Pedicure among others, within our facilities are also Fonda Del Castillo, a restaurant with international with fast food service. At the end of the Tour Transfer to Antigua Guatemala.

Solola Market and Mountain Villages Tour

9. Solola Market and Mountain Villages Tour

See the local handicrafts from this region, and shop if you wish.  However this tour is less about shopping and more about sharing the Mayan culture.  You will find the people warm and welcoming, and more of the Kachekel Maya dress in traditional traje (clothes).  Even the men still dress in traditional clothes. You will visit many interesting sights unique to this location including the local government office, and the indigenous mayor's office.  Learn how and why the two mayor's exist side by side.  Your guide can explain about the Mayan calendar and teach you about the unique Mayan counting system. Full day trip takes you high into the mountains above Lake Atitlan and features the Solola market, small farms, and Mayan villages. Drive through maize and terraced vegetable fields, coffee fields, old growth forest, and into the cloud forest.  Visit a sacred Mayan site with the chance to witness a Fire Cleansing Ceremony.  The day begins in Panajachel and the start of our adventure. You drive along ancient roadways that have been used by the Kachekel Maya for centuries.  You will view villagers going about their daily life, encounter farmers tending their maize and coffee fields, and see some of the most magnificent scenery in the world.  You can visit a sacred Mayan site where rituals are performed by the local shamans, and make your own offering at the alter. This rugged and remote area has barely been touched by the outside world.  Our drive takes us 2500 feet above the waters of Atitlan for breath taking views and pristine scenery.  We drive into the countryside to visit the small mountain village of Conception.  The road to this village has been paved for less than 10 years. The town is especially proud of its beautifully maintained church built in 1612.  Visit the confradia of Saint Frances and a lesser known Maximon.  Learn about the confradia systems and why they are important to the people of Guatemala.

From Antigua: 3 Mayan Villages on Lake Atitlan Day Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Western Highlands

The hike was kind of challenging but great, the walking stick rental was $2 but worth every penny because I have a bad knee and I didn’t want to give up and ride a horse:) All uphill and not used to the altitude. The marshmallow roasting was a fun ending! After the hike we drove about 40 minutes to a fancy resort for the lunch, then went on the ‘thermal circuit’. We didn’t get much for instructions so ask questions! There were four small pools ranging from something like 75 to 105 F. Free smoothies too! It felt quite luxurious! Our driver simply waited until we were done, so we stayed at the pools for a couple hours, felt really good in the tired muscles:) I wish I had brought a clean set of clothes do that I didn’t have to put my sweaty hiking clothes back on afterward

Great group and guides, they give you the option of riding a horse paying 200Q because it is a little effort but in 1 hour you are up and if it is not cloudy the views are great. They gave us marshmallows to roast in the heat of the volcano (careful, the first one they gave me jumped out and ate it) For 22 euros I don't think there is anything better

We loved our hike up Pacaya Volcano. Crista, our guide, was very well organized - and just overall a lovely person. She prepared a tasty vegetarian meal for us from scratch. The guacamole was spectacular! The organization of the trip was flawless and the local guide at the volcano said that this agency is by far the best one. I definitely recommend it.

The Q100 entrance fee to the national park is not included! Make sure you have that in cash! Amazing tour!

Hiking Pacaya was super fun ! Shuttle was super nice, guides were great and the scenery was beautiful.