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Western Highlands

Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Western Highlands Outdoor Sports

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. 

From Flores: Tikal Ruins Day Tour

2. 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

3. 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. 

San Pedro La Laguna: Sunrise Hike to the Indian Nose

4. 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. 

From Antigua: Pacaya Volcano Day Hike

5. 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).

From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

6. From Antigua: 1-Day Guatemala-Pacaya Active Volcano Hike

After pick-up from your hotel in Antigua arrive at the foot of the volcano. From there your expert guide will lead you on a 1-hour hike from the San Vicente de Pacaya village up to a distance of approximately 50 meters from the crater. Look down into the crater at the lava as you experience the energy of an active volcano. Note the fumaroles, vents in the earth through which gases escape. Learn about Pacaya Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala, and observe how it has shaped the country around it. At 2500 meters above sea level wander through an unusual landscape of humid forest and rocks.  Before transfer back to your hotel in Antigua visit the Lava Store to buy souvenirs made from the volcanic ash produced by the mountain. 

1 Day Acatenango Volcano Hike from Antigua

7. 1 Day Acatenango Volcano Hike from Antigua

Our group leaves from our office in Antigua at 5:00am, 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 lunch is prepared around 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 last section of ascent is sand and gravel scree-trail dotted with dwarf pine trees and high alpine mosses. As we approach the summit, we find the exposed rocky surfaces left by the gusty and cold winds which constantly pass over Acatenango’s peak. At the summit, your guide will prepare a fresh, well-earned picnic lunch while you rest and enjoy unparalleled 360-degree views of the Guatemalan highlands. Atop the summit we will also fix our attention on nearby and constantly erupting Volcan Fuego. With a bit of luck, Fuego will put on a high altitude firework show, displaying violent explosions of gas, rock, and lava. After 30min-1hr 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.

Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

8. Guatemala: 10-Day Mayan Explorer Adventure

Spend 10 days in Guatemala exploring the country’s stunning landscape of volcanoes and mountain lakes. Learn about the Mayan lifestyle, shop at traditional markets, visit ancient ruins, and hike up a volcanic peak. Transfers and first-class public bus service are included, as is basic hotel accommodation with private bath. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Guatemala City – Antigua Your driver will meet you at Guatemala City’s Aurora Airport for the transfer to your Hotel in Antigua. Day 2: Antigua – Lake Atitlan Today you’ll travel from Antigua to Panajachel, where you’ll stay overnight with a Mayan Family in San Jorge village. Experience the local Mayan lifestyle. Day 3: Lake Atitlan by Boat Take a boat tour to visit Mayan communities along the lake, including San Pedro, Santiago, and San Antonio. Day 4: Panajachel – Chichicastenango – Antigua (Thursday and Sunday only) Travel from Panajachel to the Chichicastenango Market, the largest market in Guatemala, where vendors offer colorful clothing and souvenirs. You’ll have time to bargain and do a lot of shopping and interacting with Mayan sellers. Day 5: Antigua – Pacaya Volcano Active Trek Your driver/guide will pick you up at your hostel for the transfer to the bus station. You’ll have a 1-hour ride to the Pacaya Volcano base, and then hike for 2 hours to the volcano’s peak. Day 6: Antigua – Lanquin – Semuc Champey You will be transferred from your Antigua hotel to Lanquin, travelling for the whole day. Day 7: Lanquin – Kanba (Kanba Caves and Semuc Champey Day Tour) A local guide will meet you at your hotel to begin this day tour. Experience the pristine KanBa Caves and relax by the crystal clear waters of the Semuc Champey pools. Day 8: Lanquin – Semuc Champey – Flores Your will be transferred from Lanquin to Flores by shared van, travelling for the whole day. Day 9: Flores – Tikal The driver will meet you at your hotel for your transfer to Tikal park. Arriving early in the morning, you’ll be among the first visitors and have a chance to see monkeys in the jungle area. Explore the ancient Mayan ruins. Day 10: Flores – Guatemala City You have a free day in Flores to relax on the amazing beach of Lake Peten Itza. That night you'll be transferred by first-class public bus on the overnight service to Guatemala City for your departure.

Tikal & Yaxha Archaeological Sites: 2-Day Tour

9. 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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Western Highlands

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.

Our guide was amazing ! Enjoyed everything about the trip. The transportation for us was good we only had our party inside of the van. Will definitely recommend this tour!

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.