- Stroll through colonial Antigua and hike up the active volcano of Pacaya
- Tour coffee fields and cycle around the highlands
- Kayak on Lake Atitlán and tour the Iximché ruins
|Day 1||Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua||Antigua|
|Day 2||Pacaya Volcano Hike & Hot Springs||Antigua|
|Day 3||Bike Ride & Coffee Tour||Antigua|
|Day 4||Canopy Zipline Tour, Cooking Class||Antigua|
|Day 5||Transfer to Lake Atitlán via the Iximché Ruins||Lake Atitlán|
|Day 6||Lake Atitlán Activities, Transfer to Guatemala City & Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Guatemala City, Transfer to Antigua
Welcome to Guatemala! With only six days to spare in this beautiful Central American country, you need to make each one count. Luckily, your packed itinerary covers the highlights of the stunning central highlands region. It starts with your arrival in Guatemala City, where a driver will be waiting to take you on a scenic one-hour ride west to Antigua.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for the Spanish colonial Old Town around its main plaza, Central Park. It's also surrounded by three volcanoes, and the contrast between these imposing mountains and the city's colorful architecture is part of why it's become a hot global travel destination.
Day 2: Pacaya Volcano Hike & Hot Springs
Today, you'll strap on your hiking boots for a guided hike up the 8,370-foot (2,552 m) Volcán Pacaya, whose 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 lava field at the base of its caldera.
The trip takes about six hours, but horses are an option for those who'd prefer a more relaxed ascent. Upon arrival at the summit, you'll enjoy a picnic lunch amid panoramic views (you can even roast marshmallows over volcanic vents). The hike down traverses more dried lava fields before descending through tropical forests and farmland until you reach a village, where a vehicle will pick you up.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Bike Ride & Coffee Tour
Your guide will pick you up for today's combined mountain bike excursion/coffee tour. When your bikes are ready, you'll ride outside Antigua to the De la Gente coffee cooperative. On this half-day tour, you'll visit DLG's large-scale production farm. The site itself is a community on the flank of Volcán de Agua, where local farmers work together to grow, pick, and process their own coffee. DLG works with these farmers to help them brand their coffee and export it to global markets.Upon arrival, your personal guide will lead you on a short hike around the fields, where you can meet some of the farmers. Then, you'll visit the roasting house to see how they toast the beans, one small batch at a time. A real treat is when you sit down to lunch with one of the farming families, sample their coffee, and learn a bit about life on a working coffee farm. After the meal, you'll ride back to Antigua.
Day 4: Canopy Zipline Tour, Cooking Class
Hop in a car for the drive out to a nearby coffee farm for a fun zipline experience. Designed for adventure lovers, you'll enjoy the thrill of two mega zipline rides over a canyon. Each runs almost 1,700 feet (518 m) and reaches heights of up to 500 feet (152 m).
After the adrenaline-pumping zipline ride, you'll trade your harness for a chef's knife as you partake in a local cooking class. During this three-hour experience, you'll discover that Guatemalan food is an exotic mixture of traditional colonial Spanish and Indigenous Maya cooking that is delicious and fun to make. Even better, the workshop is taught by local chefs who belong to the Sacatepéquez Indigenous community. Besides the main dishes, you'll also prepare handmade tortillas and a dessert. At the end of the class, you'll sit down with your fellow chefs and enjoy your delicious creations.
Day 5: Transfer to Lake Atitlán via the Iximché Ruins
Your driver will pick you up today for the approximately 2.5-hour drive west to famous Lake Atitlán. However, you'll break up the drive with a stop at the Iximché archaeological site. In the 15th century, this 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 personal 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 and then continue on to Atitlán. This enormous crater lake is surrounded by three towering volcanoes, and beautiful local villages dot its shores. You'll arrive in one of these villages and check in to the accommodation where you'll overnight. Then you can spend the remainder of the day relaxing.
Day 6: Lake Atitlán Activities, Transfer to Guatemala City, Depart
Wake up to views of the lake and its towering volcanoes before meeting your guide for today's five-hour 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 water 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'll leave your kayak behind and lace up your hiking boots.
Follow the lake trail between the villages, taking in views of the San Pedro, Tolimán, and Atitlán volcanoes. Hike along the shoreline and through small villages for about 1.5 hours, and eventually, the route will take you to the village of Jaibalito. After a well-deserved lunch, you'll hop in a vehicle for the transfer back to Guatemala City and the airport, where you'll take your flight home. Safe travels!