Enjoy the best of Guatemala and Honduras' Roatán Island on this two-week culture and nature adventure. You'll explore ancient Maya ruins at Tikal, go tubing through river caves, and visit Indigenous communities in the western highlands. Finish the journey in Roatán, a Caribbean island fringed with coral reefs perfect for snorkeling.


  • Explore the well-preserved Maya ruins at ancient Tikal 
  • Take a dip in Semuc Champey's stunning turquoise pools
  • Discover Ixil daily life and culture in the Guatemalan Highlands
  • Admire the colonial architecture and church ruins in Antigua
  • Snorkel the immaculate reefs off Roatán island, in the Caribbean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City Guatemala City
Day 2 Fly to Flores, Explore Tikal Tikal National Park
Day 3 B'omb'il Pek Cave Tubing, Transfer to Cobán Cobán
Day 4 Day Trip to Semuc Champey Cobán
Day 5 Transfer to Huehuetenango Huehuetenango
Day 6 Day Trip to the Ixil Region Huehuetenango
Day 7 Transfer to Lake Atitlán Panajachel
Day 8 Boat Tour of Lake Atitlán  Panajachel
Day 9 Transfer to Antigua, Optional Activities Antigua
Day 10 Bike Tour Outside Antigua Antigua
Day 11 Fly to Roatán Roatán
Day 12 Roatán Snorkel Tour Roatán
Day 13 Transfer to Guatemala City Guatemala City
Day 14 Depart Guatemala City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City

Guatemala City, Guatemala
Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, in the Plaza de la Constitución  

Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arrival in the capital of Guatemala City, a representative will meet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel where you will receive your detailed itinerary. Depending on your arrival time, stretch your legs on a stroll around Guatemala's capital. This city is an enticing mix of modernity and Spanish colonial heritage, and you'll find its most iconic landmarks around the Plaza de la Constitución, in the historic center.

Day 2: Fly to Flores, Explore Tikal

Tikal, Archaeological site.
Explore the ancient Maya pyramid temples at Tikal

In the morning, you'll transfer back to the airport in Guatemala City for the one-hour flight north to the lakeside town of Flores located in the Petén department. Here, you'll meet your driver and transfer to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tikal National Park. This 222-square-mile (576 sq km) archeological site boasts some of the most famous Maya ruins in the Americas. It was the capital of one of the ancient Mayas' most powerful kingdoms during the Classic Period (200-900 CE) and is home to Temple IV, the tallest pre-Culumbian structure in the Americas at 270 feet (70 m).

On a tour of Tikal, your expert guide will lead you around to the famous pyramid temples and other major points of interest. As you go, keep an eye out for the resident wildlife like howler monkeys and toucans. At the end of the day, you'll return to Flores and the hotel where you'll overnight.

Day 3: B'omb'il Pek Cave Tubing, Transfer to Cobán

B'omb'il Pek, Candelaria, Guatemala
Float through a labyrinth of caves at B'omb'il Pek

After an early breakfast, transfer south to the city of Cobán, which is located in the mountainous jungles of Guatemala's highlands. It's a long drive—over five hours—but you'll break up the trip with a visit to the town of Chisec and a stop at the nearby river caves of B'omb'il Pek ("Painted Stone"). Here, you'll grab a flashlight, hop in an inner tube, and set off on a fun journey along the underground rivers running through this cave system, which is one of Central America's largest. At the end of the adventure, you'll get back in the car and continue to your hotel in Cobán.

Day 4: Day Trip to Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey, Alta Verapaz
Cool off with a refreshing swim in one of Semuc Champey's pools

After breakfast, a driver will pick you up from your hotel for a full-day excursion to one of the crown jewels of the Alta Verapaz department: the waterfalls and terraced turquoise pools of Semuc Champey. En route, you'll switch vehicles and climb into a 4WD at the Q'eqchi' Maya town of Lanquín before making your way to Semuc Champey. Once here, hike up to a viewpoint and enjoy panoramic views of the Río Cahabón and surrounding forest landscapes followed by a refreshing dip in one of the pools. At the end of the day, you'll return to your hotel in Cobán.

Day 5: Transfer to Huehuetenango

Huehuetenango, Western Highlands, Guatemala
Drive through the forested hills in the highlands of Huehuetenango

Set off bright and early on a 4.5-hour drive to the city of Huehuetenango. Located in Guatemala's western highlands and sitting at an altitude of 6,233 feet (1,900 m), this destination is far off the tourist trail and is a hotbed of Indigenous culture and natural beauty. You'll see this culture during the drive to Huehuetenango, as you'll stop at various pueblitos (small towns) along the way.

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

Day 6: Day Trip to the Ixil Region

Nebaj, Quiche.
Meet with local Ixil people of Santa Maria Nebaj

Your driver will take you east today, into the department of Quiché to visit some Ixil indigenous villages in the region. During the trip, you'll visit three towns: Santa Maria Nebaj, San Juan Cotzal, and San Gaspar Chajul. Here you'll meet locals and hear stories about the 30-year civil war that affected these communities, as well as learn about their daily customs and rituals.

Day 7: Transfer to Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlán, Panajachel.
Marvel at the stunning views of Lake Atitlán from Panajachel

Get an early start for your drive south to Panajachel, the main town on Lake Atitlán. Considered to be among the most beautiful lakes in the world, Atitlán's sparkling blue waters are surrounded by dramatic volcanoes that lend the area a uniquely magical atmosphere. The ride takes 4.5 hours, but it's a scenic one during which you'll be treated to the natural beauty of Guatemala's southern highlands. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel on the watefront. 

Day 8: Boat Tour of Lake Atitlán 

Santa Cruz la Laguna, Lake Atitlán
Visit Santa Cruz la Laguna on Lake Atitlán

Atitlán's shores are home to several Indigenous Maya villages, and you'll get to visit a few during today's private boat tour. These include San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán, where you'll have time to explore the local markets, shops, and weaving cooperatives. It's a great opportunity to learn about Maya culture and traditions. 

Day 9: Transfer to Antigua, Optional Activities

Antigua, Guatemala
Discover Antigua's historic landmarks, like the iconic Santa Catalina Arch

This morning you'll transfer from Lake Atitlán 2.5 hours east to Antigua. This historic Spanish colonial city is nestled in a valley beneath three volcanoes. After checking into your hotel, you'll get to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site on a walking tour.

As you stroll down Antigua's charming cobblestone lanes, you'll see exquisitely preserved colonial buildings with pastel facades situated around Parque Central, the town's main plaza. You'll also visit the haunting ruins of many 17th and 18th-century churches. These include the bright yellow La Merced, Iglesia San Francisco, and La Recoleccion, a former convent reduced to ruins in a massive earthquake in the 1700s. Another highlight is the 17th-century Santa Catalina Arch, which is a perfect photo location. 

After the tour, you can spend the rest of the afternoon and evening exploring on your own. Browse the local crafts markets, sample delicious street food, and dine at a restaurant around Parque Central. Later, if the mood strikes, indulge in Antigua's nightlife. 

Day 10: Bike Tour Outside Antigua

Hit the towns and trails outside of Antigua

Kick off the day with a bicycle ride to explore the nearby villages, ruins, and countryside around Antigua. During the ride, you'll enjoy panoramic views of the countryside in between visits to a macadamia nut farm, coffee plantations, and a famous textiles and handicrafts market in the town of San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Later, you'll pedal back to Antigua and can spend the rest of the day relaxing. Be sure to rest up, as you're off to Honduras tomorrow.

Day 11: Transfer to Roatán

Fly to Roatán, a little-discovered gem of the Caribbean 

Rise early and transfer to the airport in Guatemala City where you'll catch a flight to San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Then hop aboard a connecting flight to the Caribbean island of Roatán. This is a great snorkeling/diving destination, as it sits at the end of the MesmoAmerican Barrier Reef, which, after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, is the largest reef system in the world. Upon arrival, you'll transfer to your hotel and will have the rest of the day free to relax on the beach.

Day 12: Roatán Snorkel Tour

Go snorkeling at the best spots around Roatán

In the morning, you'll head to the pier and board a boat for a four-hour snorkeling tour. Throughout the excursion, the boat will stop at some of the best spots around the reefs. At each one, you'll strap on your mask and hop in the water to swim with colorful marine life. These include sea turtles, rays, parrotfish, angelfish, lionfish, butterflyfish, and more. At the end of the tour, you'll return to the island and will have the rest of the day free.

Day 13: Transfer to Guatemala City

Spend one last day exploring Guatemala City

After breakfast, you'll transfer to the Roatán airport for your quick flight to San Pedro Sula then onward to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, a driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. If you aren't too tired, you can hit the town and explore the capital one more time. In the evening, consider dining at one of the popular restaurants in the trendy Zone 10 neighborhood. 

Day 14: Depart Guatemala City

Until next time

Unfortunately, it's time to say adiós to Guatemala. No doubt you've created memories to last a lifetime. At the scheduled time, your driver will transfer you to the airport where you'll catch your flight home. Safe travels!

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Map of Best of Guatemala & Roatán - 14 Days
Map of Best of Guatemala & Roatán - 14 Days