- See the ancient ruins and pyramids of Tikal National Park
- Take a deep dive into Guatemalan cuisine with a family cooking class
- Learn how to turn cacao beans into delicious chocolate
- Align with the cosmos at a spiritual Maya fire ceremony
|Day 1||Arrive in Flores, Lake Petén Itzá Boat Tour||Flores|
|Day 2||Discover Tikal National Park||Flores|
|Day 3||Day Trip to the Yaxhá Maya Ruins||Flores|
|Day 4||Transfer to Antigua via Guatemala City, Family Cooking Class||Antigua|
|Day 5||Historic Walking Tour of Antigua||Antigua|
|Day 6||Explore the Almolonga Valley||Antigua|
|Day 7||Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour & Chocolate Workshop||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 8||Totonicapán Handicraft Workshops, Spiritual Maya Ceremony||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 9||Visit the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua||Antigua|
|Day 10||Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Flores, Lake Petén Itzá Boat Tour
Welcome to Guatemala! Upon arrival at Flores Island airport, your driver will collect and transport you to your hotel. Once you've had a chance to relax and regroup, head out to explore! This colorful colonial island town is located on Lake Petén Itzá, the second-largest lake in Guatemala, and features narrow streets, cute cafés, and plenty of views.
Start with a boat tour around Flores and see the island from a different view. Meet up with your guide and set sail around the lake as you learn about the history of the island and of the Maya communities—most of which were established long before the Spanish arrived. Visit points of interest such as Santa Barbara Island, where the kids might catch glimpses of the iguanas that make the island their home, and Mirador del Rey Canek, a viewpoint that provides some gorgeous views of the lake and island.
This afternoon, continue your exploration on foot. Flores is small and walkable, making it accessible even for those families with very small children. Visit a local café for a snack of pupusas (corn tortillas stuffed with different fillings), then stop in at Petencito Zoo, a wildlife conservation and rehabilitation facility that allows you to walk the grounds and meet the animals that live there. You can also hop onboard another boat and visit Jorge's Rope Swing. As the name indicates, it does indeed have rope swings that take you out into the lake! There are also hammocks, a dock, and relaxing benches for the adults.
Day 2: Discover Tikal National Park
Today you'll visit the famous Tikal National Park, known for its impressive Maya pyramids and sprawling ruins. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was the former capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya civilization, with the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas: Temple IV, or the Great Jaguar, which stands at 270 feet (70 m) tall.
Your expert guide will take you around the vast complex of temples and pyramids, sharing stories about the individual pyramids and their use in Maya culture. You'll have a chance to see all the major sites, including the five temples, as well as the Lost World, Complex Q, the Great Plaza, and the Window Palace. The older kids will enjoy hearing about the history of this ancient region, and the younger ones will love catching glimpses of the area's wildlife, including curious monkeys and brightly-colored tropical birds.
Day 3: Day Trip to the Yaxhá Maya Ruins
See more of the region's ancient wonders today with a tour of Yaxhá National Park, an archaeological site that 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).
There are over 500 structures here, and your guide will lead you to various pyramids, altars, plazas, ball courts, and a network of sacbeob (ancient roads). During the tour, you'll have a chance to hike up Temple 216, the site's tallest temple at 98 feet (30 m). Keep in mind that a moderate level of fitness is required to complete the tour, and children must be five years or older to attend.
Day 4: Transfer to Antigua via Guatemala City, Family Cooking Class
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
This morning, take a private transfer to the airport in Flores, where you'll catch a flight to Guatemala City and a short transfer to the colonial city of Antigua, your next destination. Once the capital of Guatemala, Antigua is known for its Old Town and main plaza, Parque Central. Three volcanoes also border it, and the contrast between these imposing mountains and the city's colorful architecture is part of why Antigua has earned UNESCO World Heritage status.
After checking in at your hotel, take a deep dive into Guatemalan cuisine and its history with a family cooking class. The food in Guatemala is a mix of colonial Spanish and Maya cooking, with distinctive dishes that are both delicious and fun to make. Head to a nearby village, where a local family hosts the class. You and the kids will prepare traditional main dishes, learn the art of tortilla-making, and hear stories about the history behind the recipes. At the end of the class, sit down with your hosts to feast on your creations.
Day 5: Historic Walking Tour of Antigua
Get better acquainted with Antigua as a local guide takes you on a history-themed walking tour of the city. See its colonial streetscapes of pastel facades, and take in the grandeur of some of the restored churches and civic buildings, contrasted with the tumbledown charm of others. The kids will experience a live history lesson as the guide shares stories about the city and burn off some energy along the way!
Day 6: Explore the Almolonga Valley
Venture beyond Antigua today for a guided driving tour of the surrounding countryside. This half-day excursion takes you into the Almolonga Valley and to the town of Ciudad Vieja. This historical city was initially founded as the second capital of Guatemala but was abandoned after a devastating earthquake in 1541. Today, it's a quiet place with a lovely plaza where the kids can run and play, a restored colonial church, and a plaque commemorating the site of the first Catholic mass in the country.
From here, head south to see more of the towns and villages nestled in the valley. Your guide will make plenty of stops along the way so the little ones can stretch their legs, and the adults can get photos of some of the area's historic sites and churches. Visit textile and weaving co-ops in the villages, where the kids can learn about and try their hand at weaving and make a stop at a sustainable macadamia nut farm. Here, you'll get a chance to see the nut trees, learn about the farm's work to provide local employment, their soil and water conservation work, and sample some delicious macadamia nuts.
Day 7: Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Village Tour & Chocolate Workshop
This morning, your driver will pick you up for the 2.5-hour ride west from Antigua to Lake Atitlán, one of the most well-known lakes in the country. The drive takes you along the Pan-American Highway, which stretches from one end of the Americas to the other (Alaska to Argentina). Along this road are stunning views of the lake and mountains. The lake, which was formed more than 80,000 years ago, sits in a volcanic crater with blue-green waters and lush greenery. After you check in at your hotel, start your exploration of this stunning region with a village tour.
Take a private boat across the lake, enjoying the endless views of water and sky while the kids keep an eye out for tropical birds and the occasional splashing fish. Visit the Maya villages that surround the lake, meet the residents, and learn about their daily life. See a women's weaving co-op and learn the basics of creating beautiful woven goods, and see a shrine dedicated to the Maya saint, Maximón, known to be more mischievous than saintly!
Later today, participate in a "bean to bar" chocolate workshop—sure to be a highlight for the kids! Besides crops like coffee and bananas, Guatemala also produces cacao, which is the main ingredient in chocolate. Cacao has been cultivated here for thousands of years and was even enjoyed by the ancient Maya people. During the workshop, you'll learn about this history and the process of growing the cacao, harvesting it, and roasting the beans. Of course, the tour concludes with a delicious tasting and chocolates for the kids to take back to the hotel.
Day 8: Totonicapán Handicraft Workshop, Spiritual Maya Ceremony
Visit the historic village of Totonicapán, known for its Spanish colonial history and the artisan goods produced by its residents. Here, you can find everything from hand-woven clothing to intricately crafted masks—a tradition that has been passed down through generations. Your family will visit local homes and learn about the artistry behind these crafts, with opportunities for you and the kids to try out traditional textile foot looms, as well as ceramics and wood carving. You'll also have a chance to walk around the village, and depending on the time of year, you might get to catch some traditional dance performances.
Later today, your family can learn about the spiritual side of Guatemalan culture with a traditional Maya fire ceremony. A local guide will explain the significance of the experience, which is led by a spiritual guide known as El Ajq'ij. The ceremony includes candles, with meditations on aligning your energy with the cosmos, a Maya practice that goes back more than 5,000 years.
Day 9: Visit the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua
A private shuttle takes you through the beautiful Guatemalan highlands today to discover the archaeological site of Iximché, where your family will explore ancient temples and learn more about the early Maya civilization. Once the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom, the ruins include pyramids, palaces, and two Mesoamerican ball courts. Your guide will tell stories about the history and symbolism of each monument, sharing insight that will be entertaining and educational for both children and adults. Afterward, you'll transfer back to Antigua for your last night in Guatemala.
Day 10: Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart
Your Guatemala adventure ends today as your driver transfers you from your hotel in Antigua to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!
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