If you're looking for an active adventure holiday to Guatemala with older kids, this 10-day trip based between Antigua and Lake Atitlán is for you! Tick off bucket list activities as you hike and camp overnight on the Pacaya volcano, kayak the world's most beautiful lake, cycle to Maya villages, explore coffee plantations, and trek through lush jungles and forests. Along the way, you'll nurture the kids' adventurous sides and unleash your own inner explorer.


  • Discover the villages of the Almolonga Valley by bike
  • Roast marshmallows at the top of the Pacaya volcano
  • Kayak the world's most beautiful lake
  • Discover ancient Maya ruins at Iximché

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala, Explore Antigua Antigua
Day 2 Bike Tour Through the Almolonga Valley's Villages, Farms & Ruins Antigua
Day 3 Hike Pacaya Volcano & Overnight Camp  Antigua
Day 4 Descend Pacaya & Transfer to Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 5 Lake Atitlán Village Tour Lake Atitlán
Day 6 Kayaking & Hiking Adventure at Lake Atitlán Lake Atitlán
Day 7 Explore the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua Antigua
Day 8 Bike Tour to Coffee Cooperative Antigua
Day 9 Visit Earth Lodge & Nature Hike Antigua
Day 10 Depart Antigua  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala, Explore Antigua

Discover Antigua's cobbled charms

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: Bike Tour Through the Almolonga Valley's Villages, Farms & Ruins

Taking a family cycling trip through Guatemalan villages and farms 

Leave the town behind you this morning and head west to the Almolonga Valley as you and the kids enjoy a fun-filled few hours on a guided bike tour peddling through nearby towns, villages, and farms. Stop to see the Spanish colonial ruins and magnificent churches as you witness rural life before heading south to the base of the Agua volcano. Listen with the kids to tales from your guide about the terrible mudslide triggered by the volcano in 1541 that led to the demise of the old city of Ciudad Vieja.

Stop at an experimental macadamia nut farm in Valhalla, where you and the children can learn about the farm's soil and water conservation work before sampling some of the delicious macadamia nuts. Continue to San Antonio Aguas Calientes, famous for its textiles, where Maya women use the traditional backstrap loom to weave garments. Explore the square and the market before cycling back to Antigua, where you'll arrive just in time for lunch. Dine at one of the town's many restaurants or sample the wonderful street food. The rest of the day is yours to relax with the kids.

Day 3: Hike Pacaya Volcano & Overnight Camp 

A hiker on the lava field of Pacaya Volcano
Young hikers on the lava fields of Pacaya 

Spend a relaxed morning in Antigua and enjoy a leisurely lunch before setting off on an exhilarating guided hike of the  8,370-foot (2,552 m) Pacaya, one of the area's most famous active volcanoes with a continuous plume of smoke drifting from its summit. A bucket list opportunity for adventurous older kids, take in the vast dried lava fields as your guide accompanies you and your family to the top. It's around two hours to the summit, and there's the fun option of ascending by horse for those looking for a more relaxed trip.

Reach the top and enjoy a picnic lunch where the kids will have a memorable time roasting marshmallows on the hot pockets of petrified lava. Savor the panoramic views of nearby volcanoes, Agua, Fuego, and Acatenango, while your guide arranges the campsite close to one of Pacaya's panoramic vistas. As the sun goes down and you await your freshly-prepared supper, take a moment with the kids to admire the extraordinary setting before settling down for a memorable evening that will stay with you for years. 

Day 4: Descend Pacaya, Transfer to Lake Atitlán

Lake Atitlan
Spend the afternoon relaxing by the lakeside of Atitlán 

Early morning hours in the Guatemalan highlands are characterized by clear and bright conditions—ideal for sipping coffee and snapping photos of Pacaya's smoldering peak and lush surroundings. Be sure to get a family selfie as you and the kids enjoy the views while your guides prepare breakfast. Take your time descending Pacaya; at the base, you'll transfer back to Antigua.

Grab a bite to eat and get ready for the next leg of your family trip as you and the kids transfer 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. Settle into your hotel, and then the rest of the day is yours to relax by the lake after yesterday's epic adventure.

Plan your trip to Guatemala
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 5: Lake Atitlán Village Tour

Lake Atitlán Village Tour
Explore the traditional Maya villages around Lake Atitlán
After breakfast, enjoy a relaxing day exploring the picturesque Maya villages that surround Lake Atitlán with a private boat tour. View Pacaya from afar and look out for birds skimming across the lake as you stop at a women's weaving cooperative and learn about the traditional craft techniques employed. See a shrine dedicated to the rapscallion deity Maximón and meander the village streets as you meet the residents and witness daily life by the lake. Afterward, either relax at your hotel or swim with the kids and play along the shore. 

Day 6: Kayaking & Hiking Adventure at Lake Atitlán

Kayaking lake Atitlan
Time to hit the lake with a kayak adventure

Start today with an aquatic adventure as you and the kids get onto the water for a kayak tour. Paddle west along the north shore of Atitlán for about two hours and pass villages perched on lakeside cliffs. If the cool water is just too tempting, jump in for a refreshing swim while older kids can do some cliff-jumping. Your destination is a spot near San Marcos La Laguna, where you'll leave your kayak behind and lace up your hiking boots.

Follow the lake trail between the villages of Tzununá and San Marcos La Laguna and admire the spectacular views of volcanoes San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán, collectively known as the Three Giants. Hike along the shoreline and through small villages for about 1.5 hours before the route takes you back to your hotel.

Day 7: Explore the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua

Iximché Ruins & Transfer to Antigua
Explore the ruins of a mighty Maya kingdom at Iximché 
Wave goodbye to Lake Atitlán this morning as you and the kids board a boat and sail to the eastern shore. From here, a private shuttle will transfer you through the beautiful highlands to the ruins at Iximché. With an array of ancient pyramid temples, palaces, and ball courts, let the kids lead the charge as you explore the ancient site, a significant capital of the Kaqchikel Maya Kingdom in the 15th century. Hear stories from your guide about the past, symbolism, and legends preserved among the fascinating ruins before your tour finishes with a transfer back to Antigua. 

Day 8: Bike Tour to a Coffee Cooperative

Visit a coffee plantation
Discover Guatemala's coffee production process in a hands-on way
While kids will love the combination of cycling and volcanoes on today's tour, adults will enjoy the bonus of sampling some of Guatemala's finest coffee. After breakfast, meet your guide for an early start as you ride out to the De la Gente coffee cooperative. Located on the flank of the Agua volcano, meet the local farmers, and take a tour of the fields before being welcomed into their house to see how they toast the coffee in small batches. Enjoy lunch with the family before cycling back to Antigua. 

Day 9: Visit Earth Lodge & Nature Hike

Nature Hike
Take a nature hike around the mountain village of El Hato
Hit the nature trails this morning, watching as Antigua's cobblestones give way to the mountainous scenery of the Panchoy Valley as your private guide drives you to the mountainside village of El Hato. Explore the numerous trails with sweeping valley views before stopping at Earth Lodge—a quaint mountain hotel and working avocado farm. Enjoy a delicious lunch and spend a couple of hours relaxing in the hotel's hammocks and gazing over the treetops before returning to Antigua. Spend your last night in Guatemala dining out on tasty street food and recounting the highlights of your trip. 

Day 10: Depart Antigua

Depart Guatemala
Until the next time, Guatemala

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!

More Great Guatemala Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Guatemala? Check out these other Guatemala itineraries, explore different ways to spend 10 days in Guatemala, or discover the best time to visit Guatemala.


Map of Guatemala Family Expedition: Volcanoes, Villages & Lakes - 10 Days
Map of Guatemala Family Expedition: Volcanoes, Villages & Lakes - 10 Days