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Guatemala Explorer

Itinerary in Brief:  Experience the Highlights of This Fascinating and Beautiful Country

  • Spend time in charming colonial Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Explore Mayan archaeological sites and beautiful Lake Atitlan
  • Visit the bustling market at Chichicastenango
  • Walk amidst the magnificent ruins at Tikal
  • See pristine rainforest and jungle wildlife
  • Top quality boutique hotels, truly outstanding local English-speaking private guides
  • All of our itineraries can be customized to your interests, dates, and budget!

Day by Day Itinerary

Included meals are indicated in parentheses: (B,L,D)

(The start day is flexible; we provide the days of the week so you can see which days are market days)

Day 1       Saturday Arrive Guatemala / Transfer to Antigua

Upon arrival in Guatemala City, you will be met at the airport by a local representative holding a sign with your name on it for transfer to the colonial town of Antigua (1 hour scenic drive). This local representative will welcome you to the country, answer any questions you have, and help you get situated in Antigua. Antigua is a remarkable town set beneath a towering volcano.
Posada del Angel

Day 2       Sunday Antigua

Today you have a morning walking tour of this historic and beautiful small city. For more than two centuries from the mid 1500s to the late 1700s, Antigua was the finest city in the region and was the capital of Spain’s Central American colonies, until it was heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1773. Now fully reconstructed and renovated, Antigua has wonderful restaurants, patio cafes, shops and galleries in which to relax, numerous ruins to explore, and interesting museums and exhibitions to visit. After your walking tour, you will have the afternoon free to do some exploring on your own or just relax.
Posada del Angel (B)

Day 3       Monday Lake Atitlan

Today you continue your trip to Lake Atitlan, set between 3 volcanoes, about 2.5 hours drive from Antigua. En route, you will stop to see the Mayan archeological site of Iximche. Upon arrival at your hotel on Lake Atitlan, you will have the balance of the day to relax around the lake and enjoy the spectacular surroundings.
Casa Palopo (B)

Day 4       Tuesday Lake Atitlan / Santiago

In the morning you will make a visit to the nearby town of Solola, where the traditional dress of the local Maya is probably the most colorful in all of Guatemala. After lunch, you will be picked up at your hotel dock for an afternoon boat tour to Santiago, a traditional town on the opposite side of Lake Atitlan. The Maya language of Tz’utujil is spoken in Santiago, and this is a place where the local people hold strongly to their beliefs and rituals. This village is also famous for its beautiful woven “huipiles” (women’s blouses or tunics). After this excursion you return to your hotel.
Casa Palopo (B,L)

Day 5       Wednesday Santiago / Chichicastenango

You have the morning free. In the afternoon you will continue your trip to Chichicastenango, home to one of the largest markets in Guatemala. Spending the night here allows you to see the market in the very early morning on Thursday, which is a pretty amazing experience. (If you prefer to do Chichicastenango as a day trip rather than with an overnight, we can also arrange that.)
Santo Tomas (B)

Day 6       Thursday Chichicastenango / Las Lagunas

In the morning you will have the chance to explore this sprawling, colorful market at your leisure. In the afternoon you will transfer back to Guatemala City for your flight north to Flores from where you will be transferred to your hotel located on the shores of Lake Peten.
Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (B,L)

Day 7       Friday Lake Peten / Yaxha / Topoxte

Today you have a full day excursion out to the less visited Mayan sites of Yaxha, located on a hillside above the Yaxha lagoon, and Topoxte, a smaller site, located on a series of forested islands in Lake Peten. These sites offer a glimpse at some of the ruins near Tikal that undoubtedly played a large role in the Maya region yet are much less visited; the surrounding forest is home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (B,L)

Day 8       Saturday Tikal

Today you have a full day, private excursion to the ruins of Tikal, one of the most impressive of Mayan achievements, containing hundreds of buildings, some towering over the jungle canopy. The site is also home to a wide variety of jungle wildlife, including monkeys, toucans and many other species. After your tour you will have the chance to explore the ruins on your own before returning to your hotel.
Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel (B,L)

Day 9       Sunday Return to Guatemala City / Home

You will be transferred in the morning back to Flores for your flight to Guatemala City where you can connect with your international flight home.