This seven-day adventure will take you to all of Guatemala's most famous points of interest while exposing you to the rich Mayan culture of this incredible country. In just one week, you will find yourself exploring the remarkable old colonial Spanish town of Antigua, gently hiking the active Pacaya Volcano, touring breathtaking Lake Atitlan, shopping in Chichicastenango, Central America's top authentic Mayan market, and combing the ancient temples of Tikal in the jungle. Whether it be culture, adventure or immersion you're after we promise that you will find it here. All the while you will enjoy the comfort and safety of premium private transportation, professional bilingual tour guides and a 24/7 Guinness Tour Leader to ensure the experience of a lifetime.
Day 1: Airport Pick-up in Guatemala City, Private Transfer to Antigua
Day 2: Pacaya Volcano and Coffee Plantation
Day 3: Antigua
Day 4: Lake Atitlan: Private, Guided Boat Tour of Lake and Mayan Villages
Day 5: Chichicastenango Mayan Market and Flight to Tikal
Day 6: Guided Tour of Tikal National Park
Day 7: Departure Day
Day 1: Guatemala City Airport to Antigua
We will meet you at the airport and from there drive 45 minutes to the picturesque, colonial town of Antigua, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site that has a vibrant history and culture. We'll check you in to your luxurious hotel or villa and guide you to one of Antigua's finest restaurants for authentic Mayan cuisine or superb international fare. We'll top the evening off at a local Antigua tavern mingling with Antiguans, travelers, local artists and musicians while we review the upcoming week.
Day 2: Pacaya Volcano and Coffee Plantation
After a luxurious steam bath followed by breakfast at the pool, we will pick you up and visit a real coffee hacienda that produces some of the world's finest coffees. Pick some coffee beans if you like. From there we will continue to the active Pacaya Volcano, where we will embark on a safe, gentle hike that will provide some of the best vistas imaginable of the Panchoy Valley and beyond. In addition to a gourmet picnic lunch, we will provide you with apples and brown sugar to caramelize over the lava, as well as all the fixings for classic American S’mores. We'll watch the breathtaking sunset and be back in Antigua for the evening.
Day 3: Walking Tour of Antigua
From your hotel, we'll set out on a guided walking tour of the enchanting town to explore the cobblestone streets laden with brilliant ancient architecture, pastel colored homes and numerous cultural and culinary attractions. You will visit San Francisco El Grande, the famous Arch Street, Hermano Pedro Museum, Central Park and Capuchinas Convent. We'll guide you to lunch for whatever suites your palate. After lunch we'll take a ten minute drive to Cerro de la Cruz, which sits atop a forested hill and provides a vista of the entire town and its surrounding volcanoes (Fuego, Agua and Acatenango). Head back in town for a rest and in the early evening attend an intimate concert in one of Antigua's premier venues followed by a lovely dinner.
Day 4: Boat Tour of Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world and a must-see while you are in Guatemala. From your hotel, we'll leave for Panajachel, a two hour scenic drive from Antigua. We will check you in to your amazing lake side hotel and have some time to relax before heading to the pier. From the pier we will take a private boat ride to the small town of Santiago, a laid-back place living in the Mayan tradition. We will tour the town and watch the Maximon Ceremony where the people of the town celebrate, worship, and give sacrifice to the famous Saint Maximon. After our time in Santiago, we continue by boat to San Juan La Laguna, a small village where we will lunch, see the local Cathedral and have the opportunity to visit a small cooperative where you will learn the traditional ways Mayan women still create handmade textiles. From here, return to Panajachel for a late afternoon of strolling along the lake and exploring the town. The evening will be free for you to uncover the culture of Panajachel.
Day 5: Chichicastenango Market
We will leave Panajachel at 8:00am to drive into the Western Highlands to Chichicastenango Market, which is about an hour and forty-five minutes from Panajachel. Chichicastenango is the largest market in Guatemala regionally famous for its jade jewelry, handmade wooden crafts, and traditional textiles. If you could go to only one market in all of Central America to see the vibrancy of the Maya people, it would be here. After some time shopping, exploring and eating the regional cuisine of Chichicastenango, we will head to Guatemala City via the famous Pan American Highway to catch our small plane for the 30 minute flight to Flores. Upon landing we'll check you into to your exquisite hotel entering the Peten Rainforest where you can enjoy an evening of fine food and drink.
Day 6: Tikal
After breakfast, with a delicious packed lunch, we will begin the journey through the jungle with a private guide who will help you to discover all of the major points of interest in Tikal National Park: The Lost World, Complex Q, Temples I, II, IV, V, and VI, The Great Plaza and The Window Palace. You'll enjoy the sunset at the highest temple overlooking the jungle. After this incredible archeological and cultural experience, we'll return you to the hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 7: Departure
In the morning, we will take the 30 minute flight from Flores to Guatemala City Airport to have you there in plenty of time for your international flight home.