Explore Guatemala's diverse landscapes on this nine-day tour of its cities, ruins, lakes, and volcanoes. Touch down in vibrant Guatemala City and then escape to Tikal National Park, where you'll discover ancient Maya temples and pyramids. Head on to Lake Atitlán for kayaking and scenic hikes, then tour the UNESCO-listed streets of Antigua. The adventure ends with a day hike to the top of the mighty Pacaya volcano.


  • Hike to the fiery peak of the active Pacaya volcano
  • Tour ancient Maya ruins at Tikal and Iximché
  • Visit the famous Chichicastenango Market
  • Kayak on sparkling Lake Atitlán
  • Take a cycling tour of Antigua's surrounding villages

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Guatemala City & City Tour Guatemala City
Day 2 Fly to Tikal National Park & Ancient Temples Tour Flores
Day 3 Transfer to Chichicastenango, Maya Market & Cooking Class Chichicastenango
Day 4 Transfer to Panajachel & Kayaking on Lake Atitlán Panajachel
Day 5 Lake Atitlán Hike Panajachel
Day 6 Transfer to Antigua via Iximché Ruins Tour Antigua
Day 7 Antigua Bike Tour & Cooking Class Antigua
Day 8 Hike Pacaya Volcano & Coffee Plantation Tour Antigua
Day 9 Return to Guatemala City & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City & City Tour

Arrive in Guatemala City and explore Central America's largest metropolis

Welcome to Guatemala City! Your driver will be waiting to greet you and take you to your hotel. Settle in and then enjoy a tour of Central America's largest metropolis. Top sights include an archaeological site and market where you'll learn about Guatemala's diverse history and taste its Maya roots. The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, the Ixchel Museum, and the Archaeology Museum also make interesting stops.

Day 2: Fly to Tikal National Park & Ancient Temples Tour

See the Temple of the Great Jaguar in the famous Tikal National Park

Today you'll fly north to Flores and transfer to Tikal National Park. The park is known worldwide for its majestic Maya pyramids and sprawling ruins. The UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts the former capital of one of the most powerful kingdoms of the Maya civilization.

Spend the day with an expert guide exploring this vast complex of temples and pyramids. Highlights include the Lost World, Complex Q, the Great Plaza, and the Window Palace. Along the way, your guide will also tell you about Tikal's biodiverse wildlife, pointing out colorful toucans, spider monkeys, and the distant calls of howler monkeys.

Watch the sunset from Tikal's 270-foot-tall (70 m) Temple IV (The Great Jaguar), the tallest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas. Take in views of the forested landscape from the top of the temple. As you watch the sky change color, your guide will share stories of Maya mythology. Afterward, you'll head back to your hotel for a free evening.

Day 3: Transfer to Chichicastenango, Maya Market & Cooking Class

Browse the one-of-a-kind wares of Chichicastenango Market

Say goodbye to Tikal this morning and fly back to Guatemala City. From here, your driver will head west to Chichicastenango, which is famed for having one of the biggest markets in Central America. The market is held every Thursday and Sunday and draws locals from surrounding villages who come to sell handicrafts, textiles, regional clothing, and produce. Take a guided walk through this Maya market, sampling dishes like pan de muerto (bread of the dead).

Afterward, visit an artisanal mask factory and textile business, then tour nearby Iglesia de Santo Tomás. This 16th-century Roman Catholic church is built on a former Maya temple site and is a striking example of Guatemalan syncretism, a blend of Maya religious beliefs and Catholicism. The trip ends with a traditional dance performance.

Spend the rest of your afternoon at a nearby village for a cooking class with a local family. Guatemalan cuisine is a wonderful mix of colonial Spanish and Indigenous Maya gastronomy. The family will teach you how to cook a meal with typical Guatemalan ingredients. Sit down with your hosts afterward to feast on your creations, accompanied by beer and wine.

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Day 4: Transfer to Panajachel & Kayaking on Lake Atitlán

Discover lakeside villages on a Lake Atitlán kayaking tour

This morning you'll head to Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlán, one of Guatemala's most popular attractions. The lake sits in a volcanic crater in the southwestern highlands and is surrounded by jagged peaks. Board a kayak to start exploring, paddling for up to two hours, and passing villages perched on lakeside cliffs. As you sail, you'll have a chance to jump into the water for a swim. Afterward, check into your hotel and spend the rest of the day relaxing.

Day 5: Lake Atitlán Hike

Hike to stunning viewpoints over Lake Atitlán

Start the day with a boat ride across the lake to San Juan La Laguna, a village named after its patron saint San Juan Bautista. You'll board a chicken bus from here to Santa Clara La Laguna. These brightly painted buses are the most cost-effective mode of public transportation and earned their nickname from locals, who used to travel on them with livestock in tow.

Now it's time to tackle the Maya Face hike. Also known as Rupalai K'istalin, the mountain towers 9,393 feet (2,863 m) high, and from the Indian Nose summit, you'll get superb views over Lake Atitlán, its surrounding volcanic peaks, and tiny lakeside villages. After the roughly four-hour return hike, you'll return to your hotel for a well-earned dinner.

Day 6: Transfer to Antigua via Iximché Ruins Tour

Explore the Iximché ruins en route to Antigua

This morning, you'll take a boat across Lake Atitlán and drive through the highlands to the Iximché ruins. Declared a Guatemalan National Monument in the 1960s, this archaeological site includes various pyramid temples, palaces, and two Mesoamerican ballcourts. On your private guided tour, you'll learn about the history, symbols, and legends preserved in Iximché. Visit a museum displaying several artifacts found there, including sculptures and ceramics, then continue to Antigua.

Day 7: Antigua Bike Tour & Cooking Class

Explore Antigua's colorful cobbled streets by bike today

Today you'll get to know Antigua, Guatemala's former capital. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a colorful Old Town surrounded by several smoldering volcanoes. City highlights include historic landmarks like the Santa Catalina Arch, the 16th-century Antigua Guatemala Cathedral ruins, and the 18th-century Convento Santa Clara.

Take a cycling tour around Antigua and its nearby colonial villages. Along the way, you'll stop to enjoy panoramic countryside views and tour a macadamia farm and coffee plantation. Stop at the famous textile and handicraft market at San Antonio Aguas Calientes. Finish the day with a cooking class in one of the villages, led by a local chef, before returning to the city.

Day 8: Hike Pacaya Volcano & Coffee Plantation Tour

Start early for your hike up the active Pacaya volcano

This morning you'll embark upon a guided climb to the 8,370-foot (2,551 m) peak of Pacaya Volcano, whose slopes are home to some of Central America's most impressive volcanic landscapes. Set in its own national park, Pacaya cuts an imposing figure with a continuous plume of smoke that drifts from its summit and a lava field at the base of its caldera.

After roughly two hours of trekking, you'll reach the summit and have a picnic while admiring views of three nearby volcanoes: Fuego, Agua, and Acatenango. You'll have plenty of opportunities to explore geothermal hotspots on the cooled lava formations—and even use them to toast marshmallows! Later, hike back down across the dried lava fields through peaceful forests and farmland.

Relax with a drive to a coffee plantation atop the Agua volcano. The coffee farmer will welcome you into their home and teach you about the origins of coffee and its history in Guatemala. Learn about the entire coffee production process, from bean to cup, including the Maya roasting technique. The experience ends with a tasting session of this fragrant brew.

Day 9: Return to Guatemala City & Depart

Say goodbye to Guatemala City as you catch your onward flight

Today your Guatemala adventure comes to an end. Your driver will take you to Guatemala City Airport in time for your onward flight. Safe travels!

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