- Hike to the Pacaya Volcano and reward yourself with signature spa treatments
- Stroll through Antigua and Guatemala City to awaken all of your senses
- Leave the dense city to discover Lake Atitlán and all of its secrets
- Live the island lifestyle on Caye Caulker and explore its Barrier Reef
|Day 1||Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua||Antigua|
|Day 2||Day Hike to Pacaya Volcano, Spa Day in Santa Teresita||Antigua|
|Day 3||Antigua Walking Tour, Traditional Guatemalan Cooking Class||Antigua|
|Day 4||Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Lake Atitlán Village Tour||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 5||Kayaking & Hiking Tour at Lake Atitlán||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 6||Paragliding Above Lake Atitlán||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 7||Transfer to Guatemala City, Guatemala City Tour||Guatemala City|
|Day 8||Transfer to Flores, Explore Tikal National Park||Flores|
|Day 9||Visit the Crystal Blue Waters of Crater Azul||Flores|
|Day 10||Transfer to San Ignacio via Cahal Pech Maya Temples Tour||San Ignacio|
|Day 11||Transfer to Caye Caulker, Explore Caye Caulker||Caye Caulker|
|Day 12||Snorkeling Tour Along the Belize Barrier Reef||Caye Caulker|
|Day 13||Explore Caye Caulker, Half-Day Snorkeling Tour at the Marine Reserve||Caye Caulker|
|Day 14||Transfer to Belize City & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arriving at the airport in Guatemala City, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to Antigua and your accommodation in the city's colonial heart. After settling into your hotel, enjoy free time exploring at your leisure. The colorful town of Antigua boasts an impressive catalog of colonial relics in a magnificent setting. Streetscapes of pastel facades unfold beneath three volcanoes. Many old religious and civic structures are beautifully renovated, while others retain the tumbledown charm, with fragments strewn about demonstrating a different beauty.Visit the city's Central Park, where you'll find landmarks like the Antigua Cathedral and City Hall Palace. Other places to see include the 18th-century Santa Clara Convent, the National Guatemala Museum of Art, and the Colonial Art Museum. Stroll in this gorgeous city, try the local food, and take in the impressive views of the surrounding volcanoes.
Day 2: Day Hike to Pacaya Volcano, Spa Day in Santa Teresita
You'll leave early today for a guided hike up the 8,370-foot (2,552m) Volcán Pacaya. These slopes are home to some of the most impressive volcanic landscapes in Central America. Set in its national park, Pacaya cuts an imposing figure with a continuous plume of smoke drifting from its summit and the massive dried lava field at the base of its caldera. This moderate hike takes two hours to reach the top, and upon arrival at the summit, you'll enjoy a picnic lunch amid incredible panoramic views of the highlands. The hike down traverses more dried lava fields before descending through tropical forests and farmland.After your hike, soothe those tired muscles at a thermal spa whose natural springs are heated by volcanic activity. Your spa session begins with a "Thermal Circuit," which consists of immersing the body for short periods in natural thermal pools of varying temperatures, moving from hot to cold. Then you'll unwind in a private tub with thermal water at your desired temperature. Your spa therapy will finish with a relaxing 25-minute massage. Afterward, there is plenty of time to take a dip in the natural swimming pools and enjoy a snack. Once completely relaxed, you'll be taken back to your hotel.
Day 3: Antigua Walking Tour, Traditional Guatemalan Cooking Class
In the morning, meet an expert local historian guide and set out to explore the city. On this tour, you will visit landmarks like the City Hall Palace, the Palace of the Captain's General, and the Cathedral with its majestic ruins. Learn about life before the Spanish conquest as well as the history of the city by walking down the Paseo de Los Museos, or the Museum Path. Here, you'll get more of an insight into Maya archaeology and culture.In the afternoon, pick up new skills at a traditional local cooking class. Guatemalan cuisine is a wonderful mix of traditional colonial Spanish and Indigenous Maya gastronomy. Native Guatemalan chefs, and members of the Sacatepequez people, will guide you through the steps to concoct a regional specialty, homemade tortillas, and a delicious dessert. At the end of the class, you'll sit down with your hosts and enjoy the meal.
Day 4: Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Lake Atitlán Village TourIt's time for a change of scenery as you make a three-hour journey with your driver to Lake Atitlán. This lake consists of many smaller Maya villages, and in one of these, you'll meet your local guide for a private boat tour of the lake. Stop at a few of the villages that dot the shores, and delve into the local arts, history, and customs of Guatemala's Indigenous people. Highlights include visiting a local women's weaving co-op and a shrine of the infamous "Maximon" Maya saint. There will be time to stop for lunch.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After your boat tour, you'll transfer to your accommodation, where you'll have leisure time at a beautiful lakeside hotel in Jaibalito. Gaze out onto Atitlán's serene blue waters and watch the sun set behind the volcanic mountains from the comfort of your hammock.
Day 5: Kayaking & Hiking Tour at Lake Atitlán
Start today with an exciting kayaking tour, paddling westward along the north shore of Atitlán for about two hours. You'll pass by tiny villages perched on the sides of sheer ridges that rise from the lake's azure waters. If there is time, it may be possible to stop for a dip in the lake and go cliff-jumping for the more adventurous. Once you arrive at your destination between the villages of Tzununá and San Marcos La Laguna, you'll trade your kayak for hiking boots.Hiking on the lake trail, which connects village to village, provides spectacular views of the San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán volcanoes. You'll traverse some picturesque villages as you follow the shoreline for approximately one and a half hours, eventually returning to Jaibalito. After a hearty and well-earned lunch at the hotel, you'll have a free afternoon.
Day 6: Paragliding Above Lake Atitlán
Today you will meet up with your professional paragliding guides for a morning flight above the magical Lake Atitlán. This will be an unforgettable experience and a great way to take in the scenery of the lake surrounded by mountains and three volcanoes, expanding its bays to different sacred Indigenous towns. With optimal weather conditions, you will find it easy to fly longer distances along mountains covered with jungle forests.
You'll fly in tandem, which is a flight with two people (you and your guide) under one wing. With appropriate assistance and favorable wind conditions, tandem paragliding allows almost anyone to experience the freedom of flying silently like an eagle. There's no noise or a motor. It's just you in touch with nature and a guaranteed adrenaline rush.
Day 7: Transfer to Guatemala City, Guatemala City Tour
Leave Lake Atitlán this morning and head three hours east to Guatemala City, the country's capital and the largest city in Central America. Located in the southern-central area of Guatemala, lying within the Valle de la Ermita (Hermitage Valley), the city is divided into 22 zones and is home to many museums, a fantastic archeological site, and a large market where you will learn about Guatemala and taste its Maya roots.
Once checked in at your hotel, you'll meet your guide for a private tour. Visit the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology or the Lxchel Museum & Archaeology Museum. Your guide will provide alternative places according to your interests and preferences.
Day 8: Transfer to Flores, Explore Tikal National Park
Your driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transfer you to Guatemala City Airport where you'll catch a flight to Flores. Your driver and local guide will be waiting for you at the airport to take you directly to Tikal National Park. Tikal is known worldwide for its impressive Maya pyramids and sprawling ruins. The UNESCO-listed site hosts the former capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya, as well as the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas called Temple IV (or the Great Jaguar), which stands 270 feet (70 m) tall.Spend the day with an expert guide exploring this vast complex of temples and pyramids. Take the opportunity to see all the significant sites of interest, including temples such as Lost World, Complex Q, the Great Plaza, the Window Palace, and more. Keep an eye out for wildlife along the tour and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle. At the end of the visit, you'll be taken to your hotel, and you can relax for the evening.
Day 9: Visit the Crystal Blue Waters of Crater AzulThe Blue Crater and the Pucté are natural streams on the Rio Pasión. You'll transfer by road to Sayaxché today, where a boat will be waiting to take you to the Blue Crater. During a two-hour journey along the river, enjoy the vegetation and observe the abundant animal life in the area. Arrive at the Blue Crater and observe the circular formation of crystalline waters and the incredible underwater gardens. Spend the afternoon swimming in this incredible natural wonder, whose deep blue water makes for perfect pictures. Once the sun starts to set, you'll head back to Flores.
Day 10: Transfer to San Ignacio via Cahal Pech Maya Temples Tour
Today you'll say goodbye to Guatemala and head to Belize. A driver will pick you up at your hotel and drive you across the border into the town of San Ignacio. Sitting on the banks of the Macal River, this small country is known for its surrounding forest trails and archaeological preserves. You'll take an informative tour of Cahal Pech, whose name means "place of ticks" in modern-day Maya. This refers to the fact that the surrounding area was once used as pasture land. This used to be the royal acropolis-palace of an elite Maya ruling family who lived here during the Classic period.
The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures, including temples, residential buildings, ball courts, an altar, and a sweat lodge. This small complex commands a spectacular panoramic view of San Ignacio, Santa Elena, and the surrounding Belize River Valley. Spend time at the visitor center, whose museum has a model of the site, excellent paintings showing Cahal Pech in its heyday, and an interpretive film. Late afternoon, you'll continue to your hotel in San Ignacio.
Day 11: Transfer to Caye Caulker, Explore Caye Caulker
Get your bathing suits ready as you head toward the Caribbean Sea early this morning. A driver will transfer you from San Ignacio to Caye Caulker, one of Belize's most beautiful islands. With only one small village, most of the area comprises gorgeous natural landscapes like mangrove forests and sand bars. Right off the beach, you'll find the impressive Belize Barrier Reef, home to whale sharks, dolphins, seahorses, rays, hammerhead sharks, and more.Spend the rest of today exploring this small island off Belize's coast. Relax on one of its idyllic beaches, swing on a hammock, and sip a cocktail. Or, you can spend an active day in and out of the water. Rent a bike and make your way around the island, stopping to buy fresh seafood for lunch. Enjoy some of the many water activities, such as snorkeling, diving, or sea kayaking.
Day 12: Snorkeling Tour Along the Belize Barrier Reef
Get excited for a fantastic day spent swimming around the majestic Belize Barrier Reef, one of the largest reef systems in the world. Hop on a boat and enjoy a one-hour ride through the turquoise waters of the Caribbean. Then, don your snorkeling gear and jump straight into the sea. Beneath you, find a world of color teeming with life. You'll have the chance to see the corals, which attract all kinds of marine life. Known as the ocean's nurseries, corals are the perfect place to see diverse species of small fish and certain shark and whale species. You might also encounter octopuses, manta rays, and jellyfish.
Day 13: Explore Caye Caulker, Half-Day Snorkeling Tour at the Marine Reserve
This morning you are free to explore and enjoy Caye Caulker at your own pace. Spend the morning relaxing at your hotel or taking a wander along the beach to watch the sunrise. Stroll the alleys of the city center while tasting a refreshing gelato, or shop at some local boutiques for traditional items as souvenirs or gifts. Take in the fresh sea air as you peruse the different restaurants and bars bordering the beaches and get involved in local activities.After lunch, join a half-day tour provided on a speed boat that makes five stops. Three of the stops are snorkeling to view reef locations like Shark Ray Alley, the Coral Garden, and the Caye Caulker Channel. The following two are sightseeing stops where you'll be on the lookout for tarpons and manatees.
Day 14: Transfer to Belize City & Depart
After a final morning on the island, you'll be transferred to Belize City, which is not, as many think, the capital of Belize. (That's Belmopan.) Head straight to the airport to catch your flight back home. Safe travels!
More Guatemala & Belize Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Guatemala and/or Belize? Check out these other Guatemala and Belize itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.