Days
8
Price from
CHF 2,260
Map of Guatemala Highlights including Guatemala

Ancient ruins, colonial architecture and breath-taking scenery: discover what was once the centre of the Maya civilisation.

Breathe in the crisp air of the Guatemalan highlands and explore ancient Maya ruins in the northern jungle. From tiny Flores to colonial Antigua, Guatemala is one for the history buffs with once mighty centres now reclaimed by both nature and travellers. Live luxuriously on the shores of Lake Atitlan and navigate the bustle of the highland markets on an eight-day adventure taking in Guatemala’s best.


Start
Antigua, Guatemala
Finish
Antigua, Guatemala
Destination
Guatemala
Style
Peregrine
Code
PSGH
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Your 2-night feature stay at Hotel Atitlan, an elite establishment on the shore of Lake Atitlan with botanic gardens, a spa and jaw-dropping views of the lake and volcano

  • Journey into the jungle and uncover the remains of the lost Maya civilisation in Tikal

  • Immerse yourself in the traditional communities around Lake Atitlan and attend a local artist workshop

Is this trip right for you?

  • Some included activities, such as guided tours of archaeological sites, can be strenuous. Be sure to bring comfortable and sturdy footwear.

  • The tropical climate of Central America means conditions can be hot and humid. Always carry plenty of water with you and stay hydrated, especially on walking tours.

Itinerary

There’s no time to waste. Touch down in Guatemala City and transfer straight to the small city of Antigua in the Guatemalan central highlands, approximately an hour away. Ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the complimentary transfer can be organised. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Antigua was once the capital of Guatemala and despite a history of destructive earthquakes and the ever-present Pacaya Volcano, the incredible Spanish architecture stands strong. You’ll have a welcome meeting at 6 pm; please look for a note in the lobby or ask the reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Afterwards, join in for the optional group dinner or head out on your own to find some Guatemalan gastronomical delights.
Accommodation
  • La Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave Antigua at approximately 9 am for Panajachel. You’ll first be transferred in a private vehicle to the highlands’ Solola market (2.5 hours), where colourfully-dressed locals shop for vegetables, fruit, meat, clothing and knick-knacks. There’ll be an informal Spanish lesson on the journey for you to improve your purchasing prowess and your leader will take you on a tour of the market, just be sure to bring your camera and all your senses. From Solola, the vehicle will continue to Panajachel (30-45 minutes) and the Hotel Atitlan, a stunning hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The afternoon is yours: stroll around the lake, take a dip in the pool or submerge yourself in the infinity hot tub and soak up the incredible views.
Accommodation
  • Feature stay, Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Solola - Market Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Communities are scattered around Lake Atitlan and today you’ll take a boat across the water to visit Santiago, the largest of the them. Santiago remains very traditional with many villagers continuing to live a Tz’utujil lifestyle. Take a guided tour of the community and experience a naif painting workshop. Meet local artists Antonio and Angelina Coche and learn from them about your Maya 'Nahual', a local equivalent of the zodiac that assigns animal spirits based on birth date. You might even want to try painting your own symbol before heading back to Panajachel. The actual town of Panajachel is a short drive from the hotel, so this afternoon your leader will take you on a walking tour through town. Pana, as it’s known in Guatemala, is popular with tourists and you’ll have an opportunity to buy handicrafts from locals before returning to the hotel.

Accommodation
  • Feature stay, Hotel Atitlan or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Panajachel - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Panajachel - Bicycle rental (per day) - USD10
  • Panajachel - Water taxi to Santiago, San Pedro or San Juan - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
With checkout at 10 am, the early morning is free to either relax or rent a kayak and take to Lake Atitlan. A private vehicle will transfer the group to Guatemala City (approximately 3.5 hours) for a late lunch at a restaurant and there’ll be some time to explore the city before heading to the airport around 5:30 pm to catch a 7 pm flight to Flores (1 hour), a small town in Guatemala’s northern Peten region. Flores, which was built on an island on Lake Peten Itza, is the gateway to several national parks and important Maya sites including Tikal, which the group will visit tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Flores - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Panajachel - Kayak rental (per hour) - USD8
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Embrace an early start for a leader-led tour of Tikal. Home to some of the world's most magnificent Maya ruins, Tikal's five major temples rise above the jungle canopy while an array of smaller structures remain hidden in the undergrowth. Explore the highlights of the area, including Temple I, which is perhaps the iconic image of Guatemala. This area is a repository of Maya wisdom, containing insights into traditional medicine, astrology, agronomy and architecture. The jungles thrum with life, with toucans and macaws swooping between trees and monkeys crashing through the canopy. Those interested can climb to the top of the ruins for unsurpassed vistas over the forest. Return to Flores early in the afternoon and enjoy free time to stroll the cobblestone streets, shop for locally-made souvenirs or swim in Lake Peten Itza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Villa Maya or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
Optional Activities
  • Flores - Lake Peten Itza boat tour - USD6
  • Flores - El Castillo Fort - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
An early 7:30 am flight back to Guatemala City is worth waking up for to maximise time in Antigua (1 hour transfer), Guatemala’s favourite traveller hangout. Your leader will take you on a quick orientation walk around town before check-in, followed by a city tour with a local guide. Tonight is yours to enjoy, so spend the evening in town if you’ve any energy left or opt for a quiet night at the hotel.
Accommodation
  • Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antigua - Guided City Tour
  • Antigua - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There are no activities planned today and the world, or at least Antigua, is your oyster. Perhaps you’ll want to sample Guatemala’s two famous beans, coffee and cocoa, or maybe you’ll peruse the markets or watch the world go by at one of the many cafes and bars. If you fancy something more strenuous, a number of local companies run hiking trips to the active Pacaya Volcano, approximately 1.5 hours out of town. Don’t forget the marshmallows, and rest assured you’ll be back in time to have your final group meal and perhaps even hit the local dance spots for some farewell salsa dancing with your group.
Accommodation
  • Posada de Don Rodrigo or similar (1 night) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antigua - Chocolate-making workshop - USD25
  • Antigua - Coffee tour - USD45
  • Antigua - Pacaya Volcano hike - USD16
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Your trip ends after breakfast and there are no activities planned, but remember to say goodbye.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Plane, Shared Boat

Accommodation

Hotel feature stay (2 nights), Comfortable Hotel (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Informal Spanish Lesson
  • Solola - Market Visit
  • Lake Atitlan - Santiago Village tour
  • Lake Atitlan - Naif painting workshop
  • Panajachel - Orientation walk
  • Flores - Orientation walk
  • Tikal National Park - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
  • Antigua - Guided City Tour
  • Antigua - Orientation walk

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. There are no activities planned for the final day so you may depart at any time.
2. To have a private room on this trip, a single supplement is bookable; subject to availability.
3. For the included internal flight ticket, please provide your full name exactly as per passport, at the time of booking or at least 45 days prior to travel.
4. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
5. Please be careful when booking flights to/from Antigua; make sure you fly into/out of Guatemala City Airport [GUA]. Guatemala City Airport is the closest airport to Antigua. Please do NOT book flights to/from Antigua & Barbuda Airport [ANU] as this is an island in the Caribbean.
6. Hurricane season in this region is June to November, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Peregrine monitors any situations that arise, and may need to change itineraries or activities in response to these natural weather occurrences.

Essential trip information

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