- Stroll along Antigua's cobbled streets with colorful Baroque architecture
- Hike up to Pacaya volcano for s'mores, and then bathe in natural hot springs
- Tour Indigenous villages around Lake Atitlán on a private boat tour
- Visit four ancient Maya ruins, including several pyramids at Tikal National Park
- Take a romantic boat ride down the Río Dulce and explore the Caribbean coast
|Arrive in Antigua, Free Time
|Antigua Walking Tour, Guatemala Cooking Class
|Antigua Free Day
|Volcano Hike & Spa Day
|Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Boat Tour
|Lake Atitlán Free Day
|Kayaking & Hiking Tour
|Explore the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua
|Fly to Flores, Transfer to Tikal National Park
|Tikal National Park
|Explore Tikal National Park & Uaxactún
|Tikal National Park
|Explore the Yaxhá Ruins, Transfer to Río Dulce
|Río Dulce Boat Tour
|Visit the Finca el Paraíso Hot Springs & Waterfall, Fly to Guatemala City
Day 1: Arrive in Antigua, Free Time
Welcome to Guatemala! A representative will greet you and your significant other at the airport in Guatemala City and give you your detailed itinerary for the next two weeks. You'll then transfer one hour west to Antigua, where you'll check into your hotel. Feel free to stretch your legs on a romantic stroll around one of Central America's most well-preserved Spanish colonial cities.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for the historic Old Town situated around its main plaza, Parque Central. Walk the cobbled streets and you'll be amazed by the pastel-colored facades of the colonial mansions, churches, and convents that abound in the area. The contrast between the surrounding volcanoes and the colorful architecture of the city makes it one of the prettiest places in Guatemala
Day 2: Antigua Walking Tour, Guatemala Cooking Class
After a relaxing breakfast at your hotel, the two of you will meet your local guide—an expert historian—to explore Antigua. Guatemala's former capital boasts an impressive array of Baroque buildings and colonial homes painted in bright pastels. Many old religious and civic structures have been beautifully renovated after major earthquakes while others retain a tumbledown charm.
On this three-hour tour, you'll visit 18th-century landmarks like the Palacio del Ayuntamiento (City Hall Palace), which houses the town offices and a museum of ancient books. Your guide will also take you to the Palace of the Captain's General, home to the headquarters of the Guatemala Institute of Tourism, as well as the Casa Santo Domingo, a former convent that is now a hotel and museum. You'll also have time to visit La Merced Church, with its iconic canary-yellow Baroque facade and beautiful courtyard.
After the tour, take some time to enjoy lunch and relax. But don't eat too much—up next, you and your partner will join a cooking class to discover Guatemala's potent mix of colonial Spanish and Indigenous Maya flavors. Native Guatemalan chefs from the surrounding region of Sacatepequez will teach you how to cook a main dish, make authentic tortillas, and prepare a traditional dessert. Of course, at the end of the class, you'll sit down with your fellow chefs and enjoy the meal you've prepared.
Day 3: Antigua Free Day
Take advantage of a free day to explore beautiful Antigua. Besides the rich history, there's a great food scene here and the city is filled with cafés and restaurants serving regional specialties. You can also head to the local food markets for quick eats like fresh fruit and dobladas (tostadas and empanadas).
Shopping is another great activity in Antigua. To see a more authentic side of the city, head to the colorful Mercado (municipal market). Here rows of vendors sell hand-crafted goods, garments, and textiles that make great gifts and souvenirs. You can also take a chocolate workshop and make your own treats to take home with you. Or, If you'd like to have an adventure outside of the city, it is possible to arrange a visit to a coffee plantation or even do some ziplining.
Day 4: Volcano Hike & Spa Day
Today you'll get an early start for a guided climb up the 8,370-foot (2,552 m) Pacaya volcano. These slopes are home to some of the most impressive volcanic landscapes in Central America. Set in its own 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 about two hours to reach the top, but horses are an option if you and your partner would prefer a more relaxed ascent. Upon arrival at the summit, you'll enjoy a romantic picnic lunch amid panoramic highland views and even roast marshmallows over the volcano's natural heat. The hike down traverses more dried lava fields before descending through tropical forests and farmland.
When you reach the trailhead, you'll visit a nearby thermal spa whose natural springs are heated by Pacaya. Your couple's treatment includes a thermal circuit in which you'll immerse your body in various natural hot springs. Then move on to a combined steam/hydrotherapy bath followed by a relaxing 25-minute massage. You'll have time afterward to take a dip in the spa's natural pools and enjoy a fruit smoothie before returning to Antigua.
Day 5: Transfer to Lake Atitlán, Boat Tour
This morning you'll start a scenic, three-hour transfer to Lake Atitlán, traveling along parts of the Pan American Highway, a network of roads stretching from Alaska all the way down to Argentina. As you near Atitlán, keep an eye out and your camera ready for incredible views of the lake and its surrounding volcanoes.
You and your partner will arrive in the town of Panajachel on the north shore of the lake. Here you'll hop on a boat for a guided tour of Atitlán's Indigenous villages. Your first stop is the town of Santiago, which is known for its quality artisanal crafts as well as being home to the infamous Maya saint of Maximon. Nearby is San Juan, a village famous for its textiles and weaving co-ops run by Indigenous women. You'll visit one of these co-ops to learn about the natural dying process and other techniques that go into producing beautiful clothing and textiles.
After the tour, you'll head to your lakeside hotel. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax, swim, and enjoy the sunset views.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 6: Lake Atitlán Free Day
Today is yours to enjoy Lake Atitlán on your own schedule. Start the day with a romantic breakfast at your hotel complimented by strong Guatemalan coffee. If you and your partner do wish to spend more time on the water, you can rent kayaks, go swimming, or enjoy some water sports provided by your hotel. In addition, there are many public water taxis to help you get around the lake, and several companies offer specialized themed tours.
Day 7: Kayaking & Hiking Tour
Wake up to more views of the lake and its towering volcanoes before meeting your guide for today's expedition. You'll start out in a kayak, paddling westward along the north shore of Lake Atitlán for roughly two hours. Pass by villages perched on lakeside cliffs, hop in the lake for a swim, or even do some cliff-jumping. Your destination is a spot between the villages of Tzununá and San Marcos La Laguna, where you and your partner will leave your kayak behind and lace up your hiking boots.
Follow the lake trail that runs between the villages, taking in views of three volcanoes. You'll hike along the shoreline and through small villages for about 1.5 hours, at which point you'll arrive in the town of Jaibalito. Enjoy a hearty and well-earned lunch at your hotel, then continue to explore Atitlán on your own for the rest of the afternoon.
Day 8: Explore the Iximché Ruins, Transfer to Antigua
You'll have another chance to get out on Lake Atitlán today with a boat transfer across the lake. This is where you'll connect with your driver on the other side who will transfer you to the archaeological site at Iximché.
Back in the 15th century, Iximché was a great capital of the Kaqchikel Maya kingdom. Its ruins sit in the western highlands of Guatemala and include pyramid temples, palaces, and two Mesoamerican ball courts. Take a guided tour through the site, which was declared a Guatemalan National Monument in the 1960s. After the tour, you'll stop for a quick lunch on the way back to Antigua, where you'll stay overnight.
Day 9: Fly to Flores, Transfer to Tikal National Park
Take the morning to explore Antigua one last time with your spouse. Maybe visit some Baroque buildings and colonial churches you missed the first time around. Or pass by the Mercado for a quick bite to eat and to pick up last-minute souvenirs. In the early afternoon, you'll transfer to Guatemala City and catch a flight to Flores, in Guatemala's northern Petén Province. This is the gateway to Tikal National Park.
Upon arrival, a representative will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel, which is located within the 220-square-mile (576 sq km) park.
Day 10: Explore Tikal National Park & Uaxactún
Today you and your spouse will enjoy a guided tour of one of Guatemala's best treasures: the ruins in Tikal National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its ancient citadels, pyramids, palaces, and plazas. Most of these structures date to the 1st century CE and represent what was once the capital of a formidable Maya kingdom. As a testament to its grandiosity, Tikal boasts the tallest pre-Columbian structure in Central America: Temple IV, which stands 230 feet (70 m) tall.
Throughout the tour, you'll follow your expert guide through the temples and pyramids, stopping at all the major points of interest. This includes various pyramid temples, plus the Lost World, the Great Plaza, the Window Palace, and Complex Q. After a break for lunch, you'll have more time to explore the site on your own. Keep an eye out for exotic wildlife like toucans and howler monkeys in the surrounding jungle.
The adventure doesn't end in Tikal. In the afternoon, you'll venture deeper into the jungle to get to Uaxactún. This archaeological site dates to 600 BCE and is home to a village that has been inhabited by the Maya people for centuries. Here you'll tour temple ruins and visit a small forest community made up mostly of chicleros (harvesters of natural gum). It's a great opportunity to learn about Indigenous life—plus you'll get to see the first Maya astronomical observatory ever built.
Day 11: Explore the Yaxhá Ruins, Transfer to Río Dulce
This morning, you'll travel outside Tikal to the archeological site in Yaxhá National Park. On a tour, your expert guide will take you around these ruins and explain their significance. This was once the third-largest Maya city, which was inhabited from about 500 BCE until it was abandoned around 1000 CE. The site has more than 500 structures, including 40 stelae (stone slabs with engravings), 13 altars, 9 pyramids, and 2 ball courts. Also here is Plaza C, the only twin pyramid complex outside of Tikal.
In the afternoon, head southeast to a river called Río Dulce and check into your hotel for the evening.
Day 12: Río Dulce Boat Tour
After a leisurely waterfront breakfast, you'll hop on a boat for a romantic ride along the scenic Río Dulce. As you travel north along the tranquil waters, keep your camera at the ready, as the banks are lined with stunning rainforest scenery and charming villages. Waterbirds like herons are constantly flitting overhead or resting on the lily pads, and you're sure to see blooming flowers like orchids and white water lilies.
The ride will take you to Livingston, a small town on the Caribbean coast of Guatemala. Along the way, you'll stop at the famous 17th-century Castillo San Felipe. You'll also visit a protected island home to exotic birds and a natural hot spring.
Once in Livingston, you'll experience a different side of the country, as this community is largely made up of Afro-Guatemalans. The local Garufina culture means that the area has its own traditions, cuisine, and even music. Here you and your spouse can stroll the white-sand beaches, enjoy the warm waters of the Caribbean, and do some birding. Make sure to try tapado, a tropical seafood soup that's the community's most popular dish, before returning to your hotel.
Day 13: Visit the Finca el Paraíso Hot Springs & Waterfall, Fly to Guatemala City
There's a special treat in store for your last full day in Guatemala: a trip to Finca el Paraíso. This romantic waterfall and lagoon is fed by natural hot springs and is a real hidden gem. In the morning, you'll transfer about 45 minutes along Lake Izabal from Río Dulce Town to a trailhead and embark on a short hike to the waterfall. Here you can swim in the cool river and then splash around under the hot falls.
Afterward, you'll return to the hotel to freshen up and have lunch. Then transfer to Puerto Barrios airport to catch a flight back to Guatemala City. Perhaps enjoy one last romantic dinner at a nice restaurant in the capital.
Day 14: Depart Guatemala
It's time to say goodbye to Guatemala! No doubt you'll leave the country with special memories to last a lifetime. At the appropriate hour, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the airport where you'll catch your flight home. ¡Buen viaje!
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