Guatemala's relatively small size means you can comfortably cover four to five destinations with the family in tow in 10 days. Get active with the kids and hike Pacaya volcano and kayak Lake Atitlán. Add El Paredon to the mix to release turtle hatchlings into the wild; or, fly to the island city of Flores to wander the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal National Park. Intrepid families might consider an expedition with the whole gang camping out on a still-active volcano or sticking to Flores and the Caribbean coast for plenty of fun in the sun and watersports.

Itinerary #1: Active Family Adventure in Guatemala: Antigua & Lake Atitlán

With a balance of cultural experiences, sightseeing, and outdoor activities, this active adventure is ideal for families traveling to Guatemala for the first time. Visit Antigua and Lake Atitlán, two of the country's most celebrated locations, and participate in artisanal chocolate making, roasting marshmallows on top of a volcano, and ziplining through a forest canopy. Although it's suited to kids of all ages, older children will especially appreciate the chance to hike Finca El Pilar, uncover ancient ruins, and learn about traditional local weaving practices.

Ziplining across the forest canopy at Atitlán Nature Park
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala, Transfer to Antigua, Chocolate Workshop Antigua
Day 2 Tour the Almolonga Valley Antigua
Day 3 Hike the Pacaya Volcano Antigua
Day 4 Finca El Pilar Nature Hike & Natural Swimming Pools Antigua
Day 5 Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour Lake Atitlán
Day 6 Kayaking & Hiking at Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 7 Atitlán Nature Reserve, Ziplining Adventure & Spiritual Maya Ceremony Lake Atitlán
Day 8 Visit Chichicastenango Market Lake Atitlán
Day 9 Transfer to Antigua, Visit the Iximché Maya Ruins Antigua
Day 10 Transfer to Guatemala City, Depart  

During your first two days in Guatemala, visit the well-preserved colonial city of Antigua, where the kids can experience the chocolate-making process at Antigua's Chocolate Museum. Take a guided tour of the local countryside, visit a macadamia nut farm, explore towns and villages in the Almolonga Valley, and visit textile and weaving cooperatives. Hike up the Pacaya volcano for a panoramic view, and earn some major parent brownie points by roasting marshmallows over the volcano's natural heat. On Day 4, you'll hike through the Finca El Pilar Nature Reserve, followed by a dip in a natural spring-fed pool and a picnic lunch. 

Enjoy a private boat tour around Lake Atitlán, then spend the day kayaking along the north shore of the lake and hiking through several Maya villages. You'll even see local women producing traditional textiles and paintings at San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán. Then take the kids ziplining through the forest canopy at Atitlán Nature Park and embrace traditional Maya culture with a memorable fire ceremony—a ritual that dates back 5,000 years. Kids interested in ancient history will be in awe of the ancient Iximché, especially the guide's vivid stories of the past, symbolism, and legends preserved among the fascinating ruins. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Guatemala Cuisine, Culture & Coast for Families

Adding the black-sand beach of El Paredon on the Pacific Ocean to this 10-day itinerary, you and the family will also cover the cultural highlights of Antigua and Lake Atitlán. Embark on a food tour with the kids, including honey tasting and a chocolate workshop, explore Maya villages on Lake Atitlán, and let the kids learn to surf, visit a turtle conservation site, and sail through the wildlife-rich mangrove forests of the Chiquimulilla Canal in El Paredon.

Meet the locals in the streets of Antigua
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua, Street Food & Chicken Buses Antigua
Day 2 Goat Cheese Farm & Honey Pairing Antigua
Day 3 Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop Antigua
Day 4 Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour Lake Atitlán
Day 5 Comalapa Authentic Market, Explore Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 6 San Juan La Laguna Day Trip Lake Atitlán
Day 7 Transfer to El Paredon, Sea Turtle Conservation Project El Paredon
Day 8 Mangroves Tour, Explore El Paredon El Paredon
Day 9 Free Morning in El Paredón, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 10 Transfer to Guatemala City, Depart  

Begin in the colonial city of Antigua. You can explore the Spanish colonial Old Town and Parque Central and learn about Guatemalan culture through food with a walking tour to eight traditional restaurants and street vendors. Indulge your kids' foodie side with a visit to a goat cheese farm and a chocolate-making class before test-driving a "souped up" chicken bus. Drive 2.5 hours west to Lake Atitlán, where you can enjoy endless views of water meeting the sky and visit Maya villages surrounding the lake. Participate in guided walks or zipline rides at the Atitlán Nature Reserve.

Visit a shrine dedicated to the Maya saint Maximón, explore the art destination of San Juan Comalapa, and enjoy a boat tour with the kids to San Juan La Laguna, a village that produces traditional textiles and paintings. Here, the kids can meet the local beekeepers (and bees) with an apiary visit. From there, make the three-hour drive to El Paredon. At this premier surf destination, the kids can learn to surf and visit a turtle conservation center in the nearby beach community of Monterrico. If you're lucky, you and the kids might even get the opportunity of helping to release turtle hatchlings into the ocean. Learn more

Plan your trip to Guatemala
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Itinerary #3: Guatemala Culture Tour for Families: Flores, Antigua & Lake Atitlán

Swap out El Paredon for a flight to Flores, where you and the children will explore the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal National Park on this culture tour of Guatemala. You'll also cover the ruins of Yaxhá, take a cooking class in Antigua, go on a scenic driving tour of the Almolonga Valley, and uncover the history of the early Maya kingdoms at Iximché.

The kids can learn the art of Guatemala's artisanal textiles
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Flores, Lake Petén Itzá Boat Tour Flores
Day 2 Discover Tikal National Park Flores
Day 3 Day Trip to the Yaxhá Maya Ruins Flores
Day 4 Transfer to Antigua via Guatemala City, Family Cooking Class Antigua
Day 5 Historic Walking Tour of Antigua Antigua
Day 6 Explore the Almolonga Valley Antigua
Day 7 Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour & Chocolate Workshop Lake Atitlán
Day 8 Totonicapán Handicraft Workshops, Spiritual Maya Ceremony Lake Atitlán
Day 9 Visit the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 10 Transfer to Guatemala City, Depart  

Begin your adventure in Flores, a colorful colonial island town on Lake Petén Itzá. Explore the town's narrow streets and cute cafés, or take the kids to Petencito Zoo or Jorge's Rope Swing. Join a boat tour around the island to explore places like Santa Barbara Island and Mirador del Rey Canek. On Day 2, visit Tikal National Park, known for its Maya pyramids and ruins, and Yaxhá National Park, an archaeological site that includes the ruins of an ancient Maya city. In Antigua, sign up for a family cooking class and walking tour of top landmarks like Antigua Guatemala Cathedral and the Paseo de Los Museos.

Take a driving tour of the countryside to the Almolonga Valley and Ciudad Vieja, where the kids can stretch their legs and run and play. Visit textile and weaving co-ops in the villages, where the kids can try weaving and sample macadamias at a nut farm. Head to Lake Atitlán to visit villages on a private boat tour, participate in a "bean to bar" chocolate workshop, and visit historic Totonicapán for artisan goods and traditional crafts. Experience a traditional Maya fire ceremony and explore the archaeological site of Iximché, where the kids can learn about the early Maya civilization. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Guatemala Family Expedition: Volcanoes, Villages & Lakes

Centered around Antigua and Lake Atitlán, this Guatemala expedition suits curious and intrepid families with older kids. Experience a range of activities, including hiking and camping overnight on the Pacaya volcano, kayaking on picturesque Lake Atitlán, cycling to Maya villages, exploring coffee plantations, and trekking through dense jungles and forests.

Take the kids on a hike through the Guatemalan forest
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala, Explore Antigua Antigua
Day 2 Bike Tour Through the Almolonga Valley's Villages, Farms & Ruins Antigua
Day 3 Hike Pacaya Volcano & Overnight Camp  Antigua
Day 4 Descend Pacaya & Transfer to Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 5 Lake Atitlán Village Tour Lake Atitlán
Day 6 Kayaking & Hiking Adventure at Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 7 Explore the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 8 Bike Tour to Coffee Cooperative Antigua
Day 9 Visit Earth Lodge & Nature Hike Antigua
Day 10 Depart Antigua  

Start your family adventure by exploring Antigua's cobbled streets and visiting the Santa Catalina Arch, Plaza Mayor, and the ruins of the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. Let the kids choose dinner from the delicious street food options. Take a guided bike tour in the Almolonga Valley, see Spanish colonial ruins and magnificent churches, stop at an experimental macadamia nut farm, and visit San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for its textiles. Then let the kids sleep in before a guided hike of the nearby Pacaya volcano. Enjoy panoramic views and a picnic lunch complete with toasting marshmallows for dessert at the top—you've earned it!

In Lake Atitlán, take the kids on a private boat tour of the Maya villages. Next, enjoy a kayak tour of the lake's north shore, followed by a hike along the shoreline and through small villages. The trip continues with a visit to the ruins at Iximché. The following day offers a combination of cycling and volcanoes, stopping at the De la Gente coffee cooperative for a tour of the fields and a coffee-toasting demonstration. Then hit the nature trails in the Panchoy Valley and marvel at the sweeping valley views. The trip ends with a relaxing lunch and hammock time at Earth Lodge, where kids can witness a working avocado farm up close. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Caribbean Guatemala for Families: Rivers, Beaches & Ruins

Discover Guatemala's lesser-frequented locales on this 10-day itinerary that focuses time on the Caribbean seaboard. In Guatemala City, kids will indulge their sweet tooth in a chocolate workshop before boating down tropical Río Dulce and soaring through the treetops on a zipline at Ixpanpajul Natural Reserve.

Active kids will love the rivers and beaches of Caribbean Guatemala
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City, Chocolate Museum Workshop Guatemala City
Day 2 Transfer to Río Dulce via Quiriguá Maya Ruins Río Dulce
Day 3 Explore Río Dulce & Coastal Livingston by Boat Río Dulce
Day 4 Day Trip to Finca el Paraíso Hot Springs Río Dulce
Day 5 Transfer to Las Conchas, Waterfalls & Cuevas de Se'tzol Cave  Las Conchas
Day 6 Transfer to Flores, Ixpanpajul Natural Reserve Flores
Day 7 Discover the Ruins & Jungles of Tikal National Park Flores
Day 8 Swim in the Blue Waters of Crater Azul  Flores
Day 9 Visit the Yaxhá Maya Ruins Flores
Day 10 Fly to Guatemala City, Depart   

Begin your adventure in Guatemala City, exploring the city's historical and cultural landmarks, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral and The National Palace of Culture in Parque Central. Take a "bean to bar" class at the Chocolate Museum to learn about the history of cacao in Guatemala and create custom chocolates with the kids. You'll then drive to Río Dulce on Day 2, considered the gateway to the Caribbean. Head down to the river to admire the dense foliage—the kids might even spot pelicans diving for their dinner. Take a boat tour of Río Dulce, stopping at the Castillo de San Felipe and Livingston for watersports. 

On Day 4, explore Finca el Paraíso, a river with a waterfall fed by natural hot springs, then travel to Las Conchas for a guided tour of the Cuevas de Se'tzol community. In Flores, visit Ixpanpajul Natural Park and thrill to a zipline ride with the kids. Visit Tikal National Park, home to impressive Maya pyramids and ruins, where kids can spot wildlife like monkeys and tropical birds. On Day 8, you'll visit the Blue Crater, a deep section of the Arroyo El Pucté river with crystal-clear blue water perfect for a dip. More ruins can be found at Yaxhá National Park, which has over 500 ancient Maya structures. Learn more

More Great 10-Day Guatemala Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Guatemala? Check out these other 10-day Guatemala itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 10 Days in Guatemala - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in Guatemala - 5 Family-Friendly Itinerary Ideas