- Learn the secrets of Guatemalan cuisine with a family cooking class
- Uncover the chocolate-making process at a cacao bean farm
- Kayak and hike the sparkling waters of Lake Atitlán
- Tour the famous pyramids and temples at Tikal
|Arrive in Guatemala, Transfer to Antigua
|ATV Tour Around Antigua, Visit Hobbitenango, Street Food Tour
|Tour the Almolonga Valley
|Family Cooking Class, Goat Cheese Farm Visit & Tasting
|Cacao Farm Tour, Jade Workshop
|Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Flor de Ixcaco Weaving Workshop
|Lake Atitlán Village Tour
|Visit Chichicastenango Market, Afternoon at Leisure
|Kayaking & Hiking Adventure at Lake Atitlán, Transfer to Antigua
|Honey Workshop & Tasting, Fly to Flores via Guatemala City
|Tour the Yaxhá Maya Ruins
|Boat Ride & Swimming at Crater Azul
|Explore Tikal National Park, Fly to Guatemala City via Flores
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala, Transfer to Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala! This country's rich history dates from long before the Spanish colonial conquest to the days of the ancient Maya kingdoms. Its renowned natural beauty, diverse wildlife, and fascinating ruins make it the perfect family destination. At the airport, meet your driver and transfer one hour west to Antigua. One of the most well-preserved colonial cities in the Americas, full of beautifully restored architecture and bordered by volcanoes, it's easy to see why the town has earned UNESCO World Heritage status.
Check in to your hotel, and the rest of the day is yours to relax or explore Antigua's cobbled streets. Meander through the Santa Catalina Arch, the gateway to the Old Town, and admire the tree-lined elegance of Plaza Mayor as you soak up the atmosphere and grab a cool drink. Stop by the ruins of the 16th-century Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. If the kids are starting to feel peckish, let them choose dinner as you browse Antigua's delicious street food options—a surefire way to enthrall them with Guatemala's culinary charms.
Day 2: ATV Tour Around Antigua, Visit Hobbitenango, Street Food Tour
Spend the morning exploring the countryside around Antigua as you and your family take a guided ATV tour. Guatemala is known for its exceptional coffee, and just outside of the city, you'll find La Azotea coffee plantation. Learn about the coffee production process from bean to cup (while sampling the finished product) and the various stages involved. Next, hop back in the ATV and head over to Cerro de la Cruz, the stone cross atop a hill is one of Antigua's most well-known landmarks and offers incredible views over the city.
Little ones and fans of Tolkien and "The Lord of the Rings" will be thrilled with the next location; Hobbitenango—a nature park inspired by the fantasy world of JRR Tolkien. Stretch your legs as you and the kids discover a giant swing, stone hand, and various activities to amuse the youngsters. The mountainside lookout points offer stunning views of the Panchoy Valley and towering volcanoes. Enjoy refreshments at one of the on-site restaurants and a peek at the hobbit-style guesthouses before returning to Antigua.
Bring your appetite to this afternoon's excursion as you and your family meet a local guide who will introduce you and the kids to the traditional and contemporary mestizo food that defines Antigua. Sample a wide variety of local dishes, including tostadas and dobladas (empanadas), as you stroll the streets and discover the city's street food scene. This culinary walking tour is a fun way for kids to expand their tastebuds and explore the city's history.
Day 3: Tour the Almolonga Valley
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast with the kids before easing into your Guatemalan adventure with a guided tour of the local countryside. Your driver will take you just west of the city to the Almolonga Valley and Ciudad Vieja, a historic city and the country's capital until 1541. Stroll the scenic plaza, and visit the restored colonial church before a fun tour of a local macadamia nut farm. Continue south and explore the towns and villages dotted through the valley before visiting several textile and weaving cooperatives, where you can pick up some local handicrafts.
You'll return to Antigua around midday, just in time to enjoy lunch around the central plaza. The rest of the day is yours to explore or relax as you wish.
Day 4: Family Cooking Class, Goat Cheese Farm Visit & Tasting
This morning, you and the kids will carry on your exploration of Guatemala's cuisine as you head to a nearby village to participate in a cooking class hosted by a local family. Learn how to prepare the country's traditional dishes (a mix of colonial Spanish and Maya cuisine) using local ingredients while enjoying the company of your hosts as you and your family enjoy this fun and eye-opening experience. Afterward, feast on your culinary creations as you sample a glass or two of the local wine or beer.
Carry on the foodie theme this afternoon with a guided Guatemalan goat cheese farm tour. Learn about the cheese-making process while interacting with (and perhaps even feeding!) the goats themselves. The kids will get to play with the goats and other farm animals while your guide shares stories about the history of goat farming in Guatemala. The tour takes you through every step of cheese-making and ends with a tasting of several goat cheese varieties.
Day 5: Cacao Farm Tour, Jade Workshop
The culinary theme continues this morning as you and your family visit an organic cacao farm. Guatemala's tropical climate gives ideal growing conditions for the cacao trees, and as you explore the farm, you'll learn about the complete cacao process from bean to chocolate bar. Kids will be fascinated to see the origins of their favorite sweet treat as they learn about organic cacao farming and the other crops grown on the land. And don't worry—the tour concludes with a delicious tasting of the finished product!
Day 6: Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Flor de Ixcaco Weaving Workshop
Get ready for the next leg of your adventure this morning as you transfer to Guatemala's famous Lake Atitlán, considered one of the world's most beautiful bodies of water. Enjoy the scenic views of the glittering lake and surrounding volcanoes as you drive to your accommodation.
After lunching on delicious seafood, learn the intricacies of traditional Maya weaving at Casa Flor Ixcaco today, a local cooperative that offers workshops on the history and process of creating artisan clothing. The cooperatives focus on preserving their traditions through teaching, manufacturing, and selling Guatemalan textile products. Working with handmade fabrics, organic cotton, and natural dyes, you'll learn all about the art of weaving, and the kids will be able to practice their skills while using a traditional waist loom.
Day 7: Lake Atitlán Village Tour
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 8: Visit Chichicastenango Market, Afternoon at Leisure
This morning you'll transfer 2.5 hours north to Chichicastenango (or simply "Chichi" to the locals) in the Guatemalan highlands. Home to Central America's largest and most vibrant public market, visitors travel far and wide to browse textiles, handicrafts, jewelry, and pottery. As you explore the stalls, take a guided walk through the historic market and get the kids to keep their eyes peeled for the wooden carvings and ceremonial masks used in traditional Maya dances. Return to Lake Atitlán in the afternoon, where the rest of the day is yours to spend at leisure.
Day 9: Kayaking & Hiking Adventure at Lake Atitlán, Transfer to Antigua
If the earlier tour around Lake Atitlán has left you and the kids desperate to get out on the waters, then waste no time heading out for today's adventure. Enjoy a leisurely couple of hours paddling along the north shore of the lake, passing villages, and gazing across to the towering volcanoes. Don't worry if the water is too tempting to resist; there are plenty of places to dock your kayak and hop in the lake for a swim. After a splash with the kids, paddle to San Marcos La Laguna, where you'll swap your kayak for hiking boots.
Follow the lake trail along the shoreline and pass through several villages, taking in the views of the San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán volcanoes as you go. Eventually, the route will return you to your accommodation. Grab a bite to eat before meeting your driver and returning to Antigua in anticipation of tomorrow's adventure.
Day 10: Honey Workshop & Tasting, Fly to Flores via Guatemala City
After breakfast, explore Guatemala's agricultural resources with a sweet treat for the whole family—a honey-tasting workshop. Honey flavors depend on the type of bees, their territories, and the flowers from which they collect pollen. Today, you and the kids will experience the different tastes, smells, and colors of four delicious variations of Guatemalan honey. Discover how honey can accompany savory food such as cheeses as you feast on child-friendly local produce, including bread, hams, and fruit.
Afterward, it's time for the next leg of your family adventure as you transfer to Guatemala City to catch a flight to Flores, a colorful colonial town on Lake Petén Itzá. Known as the gateway to Tikal National Park and many of the country's ancient Maya ruins, Flores has a relaxed, family-friendly vibe. Spend the evening strolling the narrow streets, then grab a drink at one of the cute cafés and catch one of the town's famous sunsets.
Day 11: Tour the Yaxhá Maya Ruins
There are more wonders in store today as you tour Yaxhá National Park. This archaeological site includes the ruins of an ancient Maya city and ceremonial center—once the third-largest city in the region, reaching its height of power during the Classic Period (200-900 CE).
The site is an adventurer's playground, so set your young explorers off to discover some 500 structures, including pyramids, altars, plazas, ball courts, and a network of sacbeob (ancient roads) as you enjoy a guided tour of the park. Finish with a hike up the 90-foot (30 m) tall Temple 216 (suitable for children five years and older), which offers stunning views across the park and jungle.
Day 12: Boat Ride & Swimming at Crater Azul
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before rallying the kids, packing snacks and a picnic, and heading to Guatemala's famous Crater Azul (Blue Crater). Part of the river Pucté (a small tributary of the Río La Pasión), the crater is a very deep section of the river where trapped sediment on the riverbed causes the startling blue color. After a private transfer to nearby Sayaxché, board your boat as you and the kids spend the next couple of hours relaxing and taking in the lush vegetation and wildlife as you cruise the river.
Arrive at the crater, and the afternoon is yours to swim, play and relax with the kids in this natural wonder. Tired but happy, return to Flores in time to see the sunset and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 13: Explore Tikal National Park, Fly to Guatemala City via Flores
It's time for you and the kids to channel your inner Indiana Jones today as you set off for Tikal National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the former capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya world, dating back to around 400 CE. Over the centuries, Tikal gradually succumbed to a ruinous state hidden in the dense jungle until it was unearthed and excavated in the 20th century.
The kids will love exploring the vast temples and pyramids, including Temples I, II, III, IV, and V, the Lost World, Complex Q, the Great Plaza, and the Window Palace. The Great Jaguar (Temple IV) is the jewel in the park's crown, soaring 270 feet (70 m) toward the sky. Don't forget to look up— the spider and howler monkeys hanging from the tree branches will further inspire the kids as they play among the ruins. Afterward, head to Flores Airport, where you'll take the short flight to Guatemala City and transfer to your overnight accommodation.
Day 14: Depart Guatemala
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