Explore Guatemala's great outdoors on this five-day nature adventure. Marvel at the exotic flora and fauna at Ram Tzul, visit a beautiful waterfall, and swim in the turquoise pools of Semuc Champey. Next, explore the caves in the limestone mountains of Candelaría before touring Laguna Lachúa National Park, a unique ecosystem teeming with wildcats and exotic birds.


  • Get acquainted with local flora and fauna at Ram Tzul
  • Swim in the fairytale pools of Semuc Champey
  • Tour the unique island ecosystem of Laguna Lachúa

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Tour Ram Tzul Cobán
Day 2 Day Trip to Semuc Champey Cobán
Day 3 Explore the Cuevas de Candelaría Candelaría
Day 4 Tour Laguna Lachúa Candelaría
Day 5 Candelaria to Guatemala City, Tour & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Tour Ram Tzul

The cascading waterfall at Ram Tzul

Welcome to Guatemala! Just as quickly as you arrive in Guatemala City you'll leave on a four-hour trip north by car to the city of Cobán, located deep in Guatemalan coffee country. Here you'll embark on an adventure through Ram Tzul, a private nature reserve that covers more than 247 acres. Explore Ram Tzul's lush cloud forests and hike to a beautiful waterfall that plunges 260 feet (80 m) into a lagoon.

Take a break for lunch at a restaurant in Ram Tzul, then head back out to explore more cloud forest reserves like the Biotopo del Quetzal. This 2,580-acre protected region is home to beautiful flora, like orchids, and around 87 species of birds, including the resplendent quetzal. Hiking around here is a great opportunity to see this prized exotic bird in its natural habitat.

Following your exploration in Ram Tzul, you'll head to your hotel in Cobán. Afterward, you'll have the evening free.

Day 2: Day Trip to Semuc Champey

Turquoise terraced pools at Semuc Champey

Depart Cobán at 8 am and drive east for a day trip to Semuc Champey. This otherworldly natural landmark is located near the Q'eqchi' Maya town of Lanquín and is famous for its terraced turquoise pools. The best place to snap photos is atop a natural limestone bridge that rises 100 feet (30 m) above the water. Know that on the way to Semuc Champey, you'll stop in Lanquín and switch to a 4x4.

Once at Semuc Champey, you'll have the day free to enjoy a number of activities like swimming in the refreshing pools. You can also embark on a 45-minute uphill hike to El Mirador. This stunning viewpoint overlooks the terraced pools 2,300 feet (700 m) below. Perhaps take a tube ride down the Cahabón River and/or Explore the K’an Ba river caves, located about 1 km from Semuc Champey. At the end of the day, you'll return to Cobán and your hotel.

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Day 3: Explore the Cuevas de Candelaría

The Cuevas de Candelaria

In the morning you'll transfer from Cobán a couple of hours north to the town of Candelaría, located in the Alta Verapaz department of Guatemala. The area is known for its towering limestone mountains, at the base of which are river caves that you can explore. Besides hiking around on foot and swimming in the water, you can go on a tubing excursion through this unique cavern system. Following the cave tour, you'll return to Candelaría, check into your hotel, and will have the rest of the day free.

Day 4: Tour Laguna Lachúa

Laguna Lachúa
Laguna Lachúa

Depart at 8 am for a day trip to Laguna Lachúa National Park, which covers 56 sq miles (145 sq km) in northern-central Guatemala. The park is centered around a large lagoon that's about 1.2 miles in diameter, 650 feet deep, and is surrounded by dense, tropical jungle. The lagoon is home to an abundance of animal species, including jaguars, pumas, and tapirs. In fact, there are 300 species of birds, alone. If you're an inveterate nature lover, you'll have a great time exploring an ecological haven. 

You can embark on plenty of hikes around the lagoon, and there are trail maps and other helpful information available at the visitor center. You can also rent a canoe and head out on the water, or string up a hammock and spend some time relaxing by the lakeshore. Following the excursion to Laguna Lachúa, you'll return to Candelaría for the evening.

Day 5: Candelaria to Guatemala City, Tour & Depart

Visit Guatemala City landmarks like the Plaza de la Constitución

Today you'll leave Candelaría at 4 am for the six-hour drive to Guatemala City. The reason for the early start is so you'll arrive in time to enjoy a guided city tour before leaving the country. And this major metropolis is well worth exploring. Located in the southern-central area of Guatemala, within the Valle de la Ermita mountain valley, Guatemala City is divided into 22 zones and is home to the largest population of all the cities in Central America.

On this walking tour of the city's Centro Histórico (Historic Center), you'll see many museums, archeological sites, and even a large market. You'll also visit many landmarks and historic buildings such as the Plaza de la Constitución, the Palacio Nacional de la Cultura (National Palace of Culture), and the iconic 19th-century Cathedral of Guatemala City. After this scenic tour, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Guatemala Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Guatemala? Check out these other Guatemala itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Guatemala Adventure: Ram Tzul, Semuc Champey, Candelaría & Laguna Lachúa - 5 Days
Map of Guatemala Adventure: Ram Tzul, Semuc Champey, Candelaría & Laguna Lachúa - 5 Days