Experience

Ultimate Guatemala: Antigua, Tikal & Beyond

  • Trip Type
  • Adventure
  • Length
  • 11 Days / 10 Nights
  • When to Go
  • Year-Round

  • Immersed in culture, lost in time

    From the bustling cobblestone streets and traditional colonial architecture of Antigua to the awe-inducing Mayan ruins of Tikal and serene lakeside calm of Lake Atitlán, this truly is a land of contrasts. Experience the best the country has to offer, wandering charming towns, exploring rich history, and finding peace in the tranquility of rural Guatemala and Lake Atitlán. Journey back thousands of years to walk in the footsteps of the ancients; then, let time stand still as you watch the sunset from the top of a Mayan pyramid. Embrace it all and fall head over heels for Guatemala.

    Trip Highlights

    colonial cities & ancient ruins • Antigua walking tour • fair trade coffee farm tour & tasting • Chichicastenango market • artisan & weaving cooperatives • Tikal ruins • boating Lake Petén Itzá • lush jungles & serene lake vistas


    per person from:

    Regular price
    $2,525.00 low season (May - Oct)
    $2,875.00 high season (Nov - Apr)
    Prices vary based on departure season.

    Click a day for more details.

    • Day 1: Guatemala City to Antigua - Arrival

      Touch down in Guatemala City, and meet your driver, waiting to whisk you away to Antigua, located 30 minutes away in a valley surrounded by towering volcanoes. Check into the stately El Convento Hotel, and settle into the lap of luxury in one of the country's most iconic locations.

    • Day 2: Antigua - Wander the cobblestone streets of Antigua; explore ancient ruins and learn about the city's rich colonial history

      In a city where the old stands side by side with the new, nowhere offers a better introduction to Guatemala than Antigua. Step back in time on a private walking tour of the city. Meander your way through labyrinth cobblestone streets, passing through fascinating and majestic ruins of convents and churches, and catching an authentic glimpse of modern Guatemalan culture as you uncover secrets of Antigua’s ancient past.

    • Day 3: Antigua - Follow the process of one of Guatemala's best coffees as it makes its way from bean to cup

      Today, head to Antigua’s center to embark on a tasty adventure in the scenic hills surrounding the town. Climb aboard a Unimog to take you up a steep dirt road to Finca Filadelfia, a working coffee farm whose hilltop location affords stunning panoramic views over the valley. Visit the plant nursery, where coffee and fruit plants are carefully tended until they are ready to be planted on the farm. Discover the process used to splice together Arabica and Robusta varietals to make a tasty yet hardy plant, before heading out to the farm where you’ll have the opportunity to handpick bright red coffee cherries right off the plants! Next, head to the processing plant where the beans are sorted, dried, and roasted, and finally, finish up with a cupping session and a tasting of some of the estate’s premium roast.

    • Day 4: Antigua to Lake Atitlán - Visit the largest outdoor market in the Americas

      After a hearty breakfast, your adventure begins with a private transfer to the colorful open-air market of Chichicastenango for a truly authentic glimpse of daily life in the Maya highlands. Every Thursday and Sunday, local vendors from all over the region make their way to Chichicastenango to hawk their wares – anything from fruit and vegetables to flowers, pottery and even livestock – and local families visit their favorite vendors to gather ingredients and goods for the week.

      Spend a couple of hours perusing the market stalls, then visit the cathedral of Santo Tomás, built in 1540 atop the foundation of a pre-Hispanic temple. Finally, enjoy a delicious local lunch in the market center before you depart for Lake Atitlán, where you’ll check in to the stunning lakeside retreat of Casa Palopó, and relax as the sunset bathes the landscape in a dusky pink light.

    • Day 5: Lake Atitlán - Relax & rejuvenate on the shores of Lake Atitlán

      Today, revel in lakeside bliss and serene volcanic views from Casa Palopó. Gone are the tuk-tuks whizzing by and the market vendors hawking their wares; instead, a gentle breeze and quiet lapping of waves. Catch some rays poolside, sip a tasty cocktail at the martini bar, or gear down into vacation mode with a delectable massage to melt all your stresses away.

    • Day 6: Lake Atitlán - Discover the beautiful Mayan towns of Lake Atitlán; visit artisans and indigenous weavers in their workshops, peruse galleries, and taste fair-trade chocolate and honey

      Get a tantalizing taste of Maya culture on an exploration of Lake Atitlán today. Explore the colors of the villages of San Juan La Laguna and Santiago Atitlán on a private boat tour, starting with the cobblestone streets of San Pedro, and the region’s oldest church, followed by sweeping lake views at a hilltop vista. Next, visit San Juan La Laguna, a colorful artisan village with walls decorated with murals. Your guide will take you to a women’s cooperative to learn about the unique traditional textiles created here, and see hand weaving and the natural dying process up close, before leading you to a cacao cooperative to taste delicious local chocolate in its many forms.

      Uncover your next stop at Santiago Atitlán for a delicious local lunch overlooking the lake, and end your day at a traditional market, where you’ll pay your respects to Maximón (also called San Simón), a Mayan deity and folk saint who wears colorful garlands and scarves before boarding a boat to take you back to the lodge.

    • Day 7: Lake Atitlán to Tikal - Fly north to Santa Elena

      Get an early start this morning with a two-hour transfer from Lake Atitlán to Guatemala City, where you'll catch a flight north, bound for Tikal, an ancient metropolis situated deep in the heart of the Maya jungle. When you land, a driver will be waiting to transport you to La Lancha Lodge, an intimate and romantic retreat along the shores of beautiful Lake Petén Itzá.

    • Day 8: Tikal - Explore Tikal; walk in the footsteps of the ancients

      Tikal, the City of Echoes, was the greatest metropolis in the Maya kingdom. A UNESCO World Heritage site located in Guatemala’s largest protected area, Tikal’s ruins comprise more than 3000 structures, scattered over 54 square kilometers (21 square miles).

      Wander through the extensive ruins, learning about Maya life as it existed from before 1000 BC until the civilization collapsed in 1000 AD. Take a gentle amble through primary rainforest as the howler monkeys whoop and call overhead, keeping your eyes open for spider monkeys, toucans, and other species of brightly-colored tropical birds.

    • Day 9: Tikal - Take a boat ride on Lake Petén Itzá to visit the town of Flores

      Today, explore the picturesque town of Flores, located on a tiny island in the lake’s center. Discover the peaceful, slow-paced local life, narrow cobblestone streets, and colorfully painted buildings – whose unique architecture melds Caribbean influence with traditional colonial style – on a walking tour of the town with an experienced local guide. Then, board a pontoon boat for a cruise around the lake to discover spectacular views, while you learn about the legends and myths of the ancient Maya in Petén Itzá.

    • Day 10: Tikal to Guatemala City - Transfer to Guatemala City

      Bid farewell to the jungle, and board a plane bound for Guatemala City. Check into the luxe Real Intercontinental Guatemala City for a restful night's sleep before a busy travel day tomorrow.

    • Day 11: Guatemala City - Departure

      Transfer to the international airport three hours before your departure home. Buen viaje!

    Click hotel image for details.

    What's Included?

    We'll give you everything you need, everything you want, and a few little surprises to make your trip extra special. We've got you covered, from start to finish. Unique, unforgettable destinations; private tours with local experts; authentic local cuisine; lessons, demonstrations and new cultural insights; more adventure than you can handle; perfect romantic touches; blissful relaxation; and a feeling of total freedom. We take care of everything so that you can enjoy an unparalleled, hassle-free journey without worrying about a thing.

    • Airport pickup

    • All hotel accommodation

    • Meals as indicated

    • Detailed maps and trip preparation guide

    • All special events and tours

    • All vehicle and regional air transportation from rendezvous to drop-off

    • All baggage transportation

    • All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service

    Stay Longer

    If our off-the-shelf itinerary is almost a perfect fit, but just doesn’t feel long enough, extend your stay to make it the best vacation possible. Spend a few days in the region before or after – we can customize any trip, and no ask is too big!

    Let us know what you have in mind using the contact form below, and we’ll get in touch to create your perfect travel experience.

    Know Before You Go

    • Itinerary prices are dependent on season of departure. Christmas, New Years and Easter (Semana Santa) are peak season, and prices during these periods are significantlky higher than other times of year. High season runs from November through April, and green season from May through September.

    • Arrival: hotel check-in times are at 3:00pm, but you may arrive at any time during the day. If you arrive prior to the scheduled check-in time, we will arrange for early check-in wherever possible.

    • Departure: hotel check-out times are at 9:00am. International flights on your departure day should be arranged to depart after 1:30pm.

    • All prices in USD.

    • For vaccination recommendations, please visit the CDC website.

    • For American, Canadian, and British citizens, a valid passport with 6+ months remaining is required for entry to Guatemala.

    • Debit cards may not work in Central America, but most establishments accept major credit cards.

    • Please ensure you have immediate access to a minimum of USD $250 as an emergency fund to be used if circumstances outside our control (e.g. a natural disaster) require changes to your planned route.

    • If departing Guatemala by air, most major airlines include exit taxes in the price of your airfare; if not, the airline agent will let you know payment is required upon check in (USD $30, payable in quetzales or dollars).

    • It is customary to tip service providers (waiters) around 10% depending on service. Tipping taxi drivers is not required.

    • Gratuities for guides and drivers are deeply appreciated, and provide an important supplement to their income. If you are pleased with the tour services you've received, a guideline for tipping in Central America is USD $8-10 per person per day for multiple-day tours, or USD $5-10 per person for day tours.


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    Getting There

    From North America: several airlines offer direct and connecting flights to Guatemala’s main international airport: La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City (airport code: GUA). There is a secondary international airport that services Flores and Santa Elena in Guatemala's northern region, but unless you are connecting with Belize, it is unlikely you will arrive or depart from this airport. Including connection time, flights from the USA typically range from 2.5-9 hours in duration, while most flights from Canada range from 9-15 hours in duration.

    From the UK: there are currently no direct flights to Guatemala from the UK, but there are several flight options connecting in the United States and/or Canada. Including connection time, flights from the UK typically range from 12-18 hours in duration.


    When you arrive in GUA, there will be an airport transfer waiting to take you to your first destination. If you have questions about flights, or require assistance booking, please contact us here. We're here to help!

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