On this 10-day tour, experience the rich culture and scenic outdoor landmarks of Guatemala. Arrive in Guatemala City, before heading to Ram Tzul to explore the nature reserve, along with Semuc Champey and its iconic turquoise pools. Next, explore Tika National Park and become immersed in Mayan culture. A boat tour through Rió Dulce offers birding and a hot springs soak, while a trip to Lake Atitlán provides an inside look into Guatemalan cooperatives and museums. The trip concludes with a visit to the 4,000-year-old Chichicastenango Market, along with some sightseeing in Antigua.

Highlights

  • Take a dip into the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey
  • Explore the Mayan archaeological site of Tikal National Park
  • Visit the bustling, 4,000-year-old Chichicastenango Market
  • Go on a sightseeing tour of Antigua and its churches, ruins, and monasteries

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Guatemala City Guatemala City
Day 2 Travel to Cobán and Visit Ram Tzul Cobán
Day 3 Tour Semuc Champey Cobán
Day 4 Travel to Tikal National Park Tikal National Park
Day 5 Tour Tikal and Travel to Río Dulce Rio Dulce
Day 6 Río Dulce Boat Tour and Travel to Guatemala City Guatemala City
Day 7 Travel to Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 8 Explore Chichicastenango Market and Travel to Antigua Antigua
Day 9 Antigua Sightseeing Tour Antigua
Day 10 Depart From Guatemala City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Guatemala City

Guatemala City
Guatemala City

Welcome to Guatemala City! Look for a travel representative who will be waiting to meet you outside the airport. Receive a welcome packet with general information about your stay and all of the destinations on your itinerary. Then, take the transfer to your hotel and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 2: Travel to Cobán and visit Ram Tzul

Ram Tzul, Alta Verapaz
Ram Tzul

This morning, wake up early for the 4 am departure to Cobán. Around 11 am, embark on an adventure through Ram Tzul, a nature reserve that is down the road from Purulhá. Enjoy an up-close visit with the native flora and fauna and the beautiful waterfall.

Enjoy lunch at the onsite restaurant, and then explore the nearby cloud forest reserve, along with other nearby reserves, including the Biotopo del Quetzal, which offers the opportunity to see the local bird in its natural habitat.

Following exploration in Ram Tzul, continue on to Cobán. Check in to your accommodations, and the evening will be at your leisure.

Day 3: Tour Semuc Champey

Semuc Champey, Alta Verapaz
Semuc Champey

Depart on a day trip to Semuc Champey at 8 am. This prime attraction is a well-known natural landmark in Guatemala. Semuc Champey’s shallow staircase of turquoise pools can be viewed atop the natural limestone bridge, which is nearly 100 feet above the water. On the way, expect a vehicle change to a 4x4 in Lanquín, prior to reaching Semuc Champey.

While at Semuc Champey, you can engage in the following activities:

  • Hike to the El Mirador viewpoint, which is a 45-minute excursion
  • Go for a swim and do some diving in the refreshing pools
  • Enjoy a river tubing excursion down the Cahabón River
  • Explore the K’an Ba Cave and climb the 10-foot waterfall

Following the day trip, return to Cobán and enjoy the evening on your own.

Day 4: Travel to Tikal National Park

The caves of Candelaria
The caves of Candelaría

At 7 am this morning, transfer from Cobán to Tikal National Park via Candelaría. Around 8:30 am, visit the Limestone Mountains in Northern Alta Verapaz in Candelaría, which are full of caves to discover. Go on a tubing excursion through the complex and intriguing cavern system.

Following the activity, continue on to Tikal National Park, which is an ancient Mayan region in the rainforests. Check in to your accommodations in Tikal, which you’ll explore more tomorrow.

Day 5: Tour Tikal and travel to Río Dulce

Tikal National Park, Petén.
Tikal National Park

Join a 9 am tour of Tikal today. The protected area sits on the edge of the large Reserva de la Biósfera Maya. Keep an eye out for local species, like howler and spider monkeys and toucans and parakeets. Exploring Tikal will help you discover the Mayan vision and spirit.

The tour will be provided through the hotel, so be sure to confirm the accommodations upon check-in. Following the tour, enjoy lunch back at the hotel. Then, around 2 pm transfer to your next stop on the trip, Río Dulce. The Dulce River is contained within the department of Izabal. This lake and river system is a popular cruising destination, which you’ll get to take advantage of tomorrow. Upon arrival to Río Dulce, check into your accommodations, and enjoy the evening on your own.

Day 6: Río Dulce boat tour and travel to Guatemala City

Rio Dulce
Rió Dulce

This morning, board a boat at 8 am. Tour Rió Dulce, or “Sweet Water,” which is considered a paradise for boaters, sailors, and cruisers, with cruise ships landing in Puerto Barrios. Many visitors come to enjoy birdwatching, where unique species of aquatic birds can be found, along with orchid spotting. The river is also a popular location for diving and fishing. Take a tour of the river and stop off to enjoy the warm hot springs and secret caves along the river's banks.

In the afternoon, around 2 pm, transfer to Guatemala City for the evening, which you can enjoy at your leisure.

Day 7: Travel to Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlan
 Lake Atitlán

This morning, at 7 am, depart from Guatemala City to Panajachel. At 11:30 am, tour Lake Atitlán. Get exclusive access to hidden treasures known only to local guides, and immerse yourself in the diversity of the local cultures. 

In addition, plan to visit San Juan La Laguna. This small town is home to cooperatives that sell traditional textiles, paintings, textiles, and Guatemalan sweets that serve as great souvenirs. One the least-visited cities around the lake, San Juan offers a more authentic, Guatemalan experience—it houses a unique cotton museum, which offers an internal view of the processing, from the creation of yarn and dyeing different garments, according to the Mayans.

Next, explore Santiago Atitlán, which is famous for the neighboring house where the deity Maximón resides and is a fitting example of Guatemalan syncretism. Santiago Atitlán is the home of the Weaving Center and Museum of Cojolya, which was founded by the Mayan Women Weavers Association of Cojolya.

Following the day of touring, enjoy the evening at your leisure in Lake Atitlán.

Day 8: Explore Chichicastenango Market and travel to Antigua

Chichicastenango Market
Chichicastenango Market

At 8 am this morning, transfer to Antigua. Around 10 am, plan to visit Chichicastenango Market, a vibrant staple that dates back more than 4,000 years. Chichicastenango is one of the biggest markets in Guatemala. It is full of textiles, vegetables, fruits, and handcrafts.

Next, stop by the mask factory to discover the cultural dresses manufactured for parades and traditional performances at cultural fairs. Then, stop by Santo Thomas church, where you can experience Guatemalan spiritualism.

Following the market tour, continue on to Antigua. Check in to your accommodations upon arrival, and enjoy the evening on your own.

Day 9: Antigua sightseeing tour

Antigua’s famous Santa Catalina Arch
Antigua’s famous Santa Catalina Arch

This morning, at 9 am, embarking on a walking tour of Antigua. Take in the combination of past and present by visiting ancient buildings that were once convents, monasteries, and churches. The tour provides an enriching glimpse into Guatemalan lifestyle, tradition, and culture. Visit the San Francisco church and ruins, Santo Domingo ruins, La Merced church and ruins, and the famous Santa Catalina Arch. Then stroll the Main Square, and the surrounding municipality, palace, and cathedral.

Following the city tour, indulge in a nice farewell dinner, and a toast to your last night in Guatemala.

Day 10: Depart from Guatemala City

Adiós, Guatemala!
Adiós, Guatemala!

Today, it is time to say goodbye to Guatemala. A private transfer will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to Guatemala City Airport. It is recommended to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your international flight home. Adiós!

Map

Map of Guatemalan Culture & Outdoor Tour: Cobán, Tikal National Park, Lake Atitlán, Antigua & More - 10 Days
Map of Guatemalan Culture & Outdoor Tour: Cobán, Tikal National Park, Lake Atitlán, Antigua & More - 10 Days