- Enjoy a chocolate feast with a "bean to bar" workshop in Antigua
- Sail around and explore Lake Atitlán's Maya villages
- Discover ancient history and adventure at the Maya ruins of Iximché
- Explore the extraordinary pyramids of Tikal National Park
|Day 1||Arrive in Guatemala, Antigua Walking Tour & Chocolate Experience||Antigua|
|Day 2||Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 3||Atitlán Nature Reserve & Ziplining Adventure||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 4||Transfer to Antigua, Visit the Iximché Maya Ruins||Antigua|
|Day 5||Fly to Tikal National Park||Tikal National Park|
|Day 6||Explore Tikal National Park, Tikal Sunset||Tikal National Park|
|Day 7||Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala, Antigua Walking Tour & Chocolate Experience
Welcome to Guatemala! This country's rich history dates back long before 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, rally the kids, and explore Antigua's charming cobbled streets with a guided walking tour. Led by an entertaining and knowledgeable guide, visit top landmarks, such as the City Hall Palace, the Palace of the Captain's General, and the Antigua Guatemala Cathedral. If appetites are flagging, ask your guide for the best places to go for delicious street food.
Day 2: Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour
Enjoy breakfast with the kids before meeting your driver and transferring 2.5 hours west to Guatemala's famous Lake Atitlán, considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Keep your camera close as you drive the Pan-American Highway that stretches from Alaska to Argentina and passes breathtaking views of the glittering lake and surrounding volcanoes. Drop your bags off at your hotel and then head out for lunch.
In the afternoon, take a private boat tour and explore the Indigenous Maya villages surrounding the lake. Your first stop is San Juan La Laguna, a tiny town home to several women's cooperatives producing a range of textiles, paintings, and weavings using traditional craft techniques. Take the kids to see the painters in action at a nearby workshop and hike to the wonderful El Mirador de San Juan, a lookout above the lake filled with colorful paintings by local artists.
Next up is the town of Santiago Atitlán, famous for its shrine to the rapscallion deity Maximón who, while often depicted as a man in a suit and a hat, resides here adorned with colorful garlands and scarves, very much in keeping with the area's artistic feel. Visit the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum women's cooperative and discover the tradition of backstrap-loom weaving, which has crafted the traditional costume of the Indigenous Tz'utujil people for centuries.
Day 3: Atitlán Nature Reserve & Ziplining Adventure
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Earn some major parental brownie points today and spend the day at the Atitlán Nature Reserve, located on the shores of Lake Atitlán outside Panajachel. Spend an hour or two soaring above the park's waterfalls, coffee groves, and cliffs as you and the kids zipline across the forest canopy.
Younger children will adore the Butterfly Geodome, where you can explore the colorful flowers and plants surrounded by hundreds of butterflies. Take a breather and grab a bite to eat, then continue with a gentle hike as you explore the hanging bridges and trails amid the river's soft murmur and the hummingbird sounds. Return to your lakeside hotel, where the rest of the evening is yours to do as you wish.
Day 4: Transfer to Antigua, Visit the Iximché Maya Ruins
After one last walk by the lakeside, transfer to Antigua, drop your bags at your hotel, and take a private shuttle through the beautiful highlands to the ruins at Iximché. With an array of ancient pyramid temples, palaces, and ball courts, kids will have a blast as they take on the role of lead explorer and discover the Maya archaeological site, recreating adventures as they go. Older kids interested in ancient history will love hearing stories from your guide about the past, symbolism, and legends preserved among the fascinating ruins.
Day 5: Fly to Tikal National Park
Rally the kids for another day navigating Guatemala's extraordinary ancient history and ruins as you stock up on snacks for the journey, transfer to Guatemala City, and catch a flight to Flores, the gateway to the 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 jungle until it was unearthed and excavated in the 20th century.
After your day of travel, settle in at your accommodation and enjoy a relaxing evening at one of the local restaurants ahead of tomorrow's adventures.
Day 6: Explore Tikal National Park, Tikal Sunset
After a hearty breakfast, set off to explore Tikal National Park on a guided day trip. 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, standing at a whopping 270 feet (70 m) tall.
As you and the kids discover the ruins and channel your inner Indiana Jones, keep your eyes peeled for the park's native wildlife. You may also come across armadillos and ocelots among the spider and howler monkeys hanging from the tree branches. Don't miss the stunning sight of the sun setting over the Tikal towers as you and the kids listen out for the sounds of the jungle before returning to your hotel and enjoying your last night in style.
Day 7: Transfer to Guatemala City, Depart
It's the final day of your family adventure. You'll return to Guatemala City's airport at the appropriate time to catch your departing flight with full hearts and memories to last a lifetime. Buen viaje!
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